Lately I revisited pretty old idea by starting to ask kids in my classes of the ONE (!!) thing every player can do immediately and any time to play better, regardless of the match level, score, importance of the moment, singles, doubles, and etc. Although the answers are not always the same right away, at the end, we always comfortably agree that engaging yourself in the ready position prior to each shot of opponent is this ONE thing. Because this idea is so simple, easy to understand and relate to, I took a freedom to call it “The First Law of Tennis.”
It took me more time to pick the second law, because it was hard to choose simple, yet universal idea. After a while I settled on the following logical chain. The question to my students goes first: “What usually happens when you play tennis: the ball comes to you or you have to go to the ball?” Once again we quickly and comfortably we agree that player has to go to the ball, often even race to the ball. Even, when the ball comes straight at the player, we agree that there is still a race to the ball, we call it “Race in Place.” Therefore player always races to the ball when he wants to play well. I went on and took the next step of liberty to call “Racing to the Ball” the Second Law of Tennis.
Just like Isaak Newton had discovered The Three Laws of physics, I picked the third one for tennis, too. Of course, question goes first: “How do we want to end any race to the ball to make the contact: still running or stopping in balance? Same as in the first two times, we come to a quick agreement with kids that settling in balance for the stroke is preferable choice. And that’s how “Settling in Balance” (sideways with knees bent) becomes the Third Law of Tennis.
These are the Three Laws of Tennis that I suggest for younger kids to follow and for coaches to reinforce.