An impressively usable sports guide.

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LOVE-TO-WIN TENNIS

WIN MORE AND LOSE LESS

An easy-to-follow guide to finding faults and fixing your tennis game, from professional McKee and trainer Loen.

Learning any sport from a book is about as easy as learning to sing from a song. But McKee and Loen adeptly attack this problem through simplicity, clarity (via black-and-white photographs) and subtle encouragement that will help readers keep up the good fight. Their book offers a wealth of knowledge, from any particular aspect of the game—followed by an answer fixing it—to the complexities of anticipating your opponent in both singles and doubles matches. Ten basic skills are presented (ground stroke, serve, return, approach placement, etc.) along with 30-plus more advanced skills (court sense, nutritional advice, etc.), which the authors recommend for even midlevel players. Quizzes and other diagnostic tools help identify weaknesses as well as their fixes, for issues on the court including stance, body movement and especially shots—punch, snap, clip, bump, lift, drive, etc. Thankfully, the majority of fixes for a faulty game are notably clear: e.g., “Extend R arm toward target—with RH at eye level,” with an accompanying photograph. Some, though, aren’t very helpful: “Keep the ball in play and let opponent make the errors.” If only. There are also highly enjoyable forays into the strategic geography of the court as well as an appreciation of anatomy and physiology. Their explanations of how the body is moving and how to take advantage of positions and actions—keep the shoulders locked and pull back with your elbow; don’t bend your wrist—will go a long way toward helping the reader feel comfortable with the tennis court landscape and his or her ability to negotiate it successfully once the ball is flying. A low-key tone keeps the mood inviting, even when the authors’ tennis techniques could be mistaken for Sun Tzu explaining warfare.

An impressively usable sports guide.

Pub Date: July 8, 2014

ISBN: 978-1493600632

Page Count: 330

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2014

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A broad and deep look at Japan’s medieval referents, and a capable illustration of a martial art form steeped in rich...

PERSIMMON WIND

A MARTIAL ARTIST'S JOURNEY IN JAPAN

A reflective and entertaining journey through Japan, as the author seeks to reconnect with his martial arts sensei.

Lowry is a student of koryu (not to be confused with kendo), a style of Japanese classical swordsmanship. Koryu is a medieval art, like Noh and the tea ceremony, a style of combat born on the battlefield–but more importantly, it’s a way to address the world (though an esoteric one: Lowry may well be the only American practicing the art in the United States). Indeed, present-day practitioners refrain from exercising its fatal possibilities. Lowry’s sensei left the U.S. to return to Japan, urging Lowry to follow. Though his life headed in a different direction, he never forgot his training–when the time was ripe, he journeyed to Japan to join his sensei. The narrative revolves around this pivotal decision, and it provides a warm center from which the author expounds on such topics as the glories of a Japanese bath; the evolution of the Samurai caste; the peculiarities of Japanese landscape architecture; the elements of proper sandal-tying; the custom of the premarital shenanigans called yobai; and the teachings of mikkyo Buddhism. He also includes the vital story of the sword–what it reveals about Japanese life and technology, social structure and aesthetic values, etiquette, apprenticeship and the process of education. Lowry’s seriousness lends an earnest cast to the proceedings, but he’s not without a sense of humor–commenting upon his accomplished slurping of noodles, a friend’s wife notes, “He really sucks!”

A broad and deep look at Japan’s medieval referents, and a capable illustration of a martial art form steeped in rich tradition.

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2005

ISBN: 1-890536-10-5

Page Count: -

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2010

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A book that will help everyone feel good at the end of the sporting day.

THE RUDY IN YOU

A GUIDE TO BUILDING TEAMWORK, FAIR PLAY, AND GOOD SPORTSMANSHIP FOR YOUNG ATHLETES, PARENTS, AND COACHES

An uplifting guide to sportsmanship. The subtitle says it all.

Using the example of Ruettiger, whose experience as a Notre Dame football walk-on inspired the 1994 film, Rudy, the authors rail against disrespectful behavior in sports, at any level. They argue that kids, parents and coaches are part of a matrix that can either create a joyful youth sports environment, or a nasty stew of overweening pride, gross expectations and antisocial behavior. With an old school bluntness, they plainly state how participants should act: Kids should have a clear sense of what they want to do, develop strategies for achieving their goals, listen and learn, show respect to all, cultivate a strong work ethic, be positive and helpful and trustworthy, and finally, be patient. Parents should be involved, too, but should always "remember to be the adults. Let the kids be kids." This means not projecting your own aspirations onto your children, while encouraging self-esteem and confidence. Coaches must know their sport (even if they are only volunteers), exemplify personal excellence, challenge the kids, earn their trust, be open to feedback and get everyone involved. The authors’ straightforward advice may seem obvious, but Phillips, Leddy and Ruettiger go further, providing solid examples of how to put these principles into practice. And for all the character building, they also appreciate that kids just want to have fun.

A book that will help everyone feel good at the end of the sporting day.

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2005

ISBN: 1-58348-764-6

Page Count: -

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 27, 2010

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