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.