Tennis Student Ken Before and After Instruction

Tennis student Ken is highlighted in this Dartfish video analysis side by side a pro tennis player before technical instruction in August 2008. This is followed by Ken’s advanced technique after one hour, four, and nine months of coaching with Charles "Bud" Cox.

Ken loves to play—and win. I like the determination he shows as a tennis player. He was nine years old when I started working with him. He joined our group of older kids (with his sister Rina), and he held his own. At our first evaluation lesson I looked at all of Ken’s tennis technique.

Ken’s forehand had nice topspin, but he needed to learn how to flatten it out as well. We worked on the various endings with the forehand. The ending "by the elbow" would generate less arch on the ball than the ending "by the hip" that he was using exclusively. The ending just "below the shoulder" would flatten out the ball even more.

Ken does a nice job of running around to hit the forehand. When the ball does get to his backhand he is sometimes late with his preparation. Often he’ll resort to the slice backhand because he’s still working on judging the correct trajectory (height and speed) of the ball. This puts him in a defensive position. We worked on coiling early on the backhand, so that he can hit a more offensive shot even in a more difficult position.

Like a lot of young kids, Ken had trouble keeping the racket head up on his forehand and backhand volleys. The racket can be heavy, so in time the kids will grow into the correct technique, especially if the coach focuses on doing the form right now even if they miss. I’m working with Ken on “sticking” his volleys, so his opponent doesn’t have time to run down the ball and pass or lob him.

The serve is the most important shot to "master." Ken has done a nice job developing the “trophy” position in the serve. He had an “all arm” swing before we started correcting this. I’ve never seen a pro tennis player use the all arm swing like he was doing (except maybe when Jimmy Connors used to hit the "skyhook overhead"). We needed to remove this obstacle to Ken’s potential in tennis and develop the correct serve function.

Tennis student Ken has the determination to become an exceptional player. At his age we’re focusing on improving each match rather than thinking about winning and losing. We're focusing on making the technical corrections and getting better.

Ken was ranked number 116 in the boys 10s in Georgia when I started working with him in August 2008. His goal was to reach the top 10 before he moved up to the 12s age group. He ended up with a high of number 10, so that was a job well done.

Return from Tennis Student Ken to Tennis Student

Return from Tennis Student Ken to Ace Tennis Coach