Transforming The Practice Court

The transformation of tennis training has arrived and it’s the beginning of the next generation of tennis players worldwide. The data is just starting to trickle in after 3.5 years of shot analysis point tracking charts and graphs. Over 33,000 points play, 440 matches, and approximately 90,000 shots played – the analysis … breathtaking. Average rally length in 99% of competitive tennis (amateur level) is between 2.0 – 3.0 shots per point, and 1% of competitive tennis (professional level) between 2.0 – 4.7 shots per point.  Never before has this data been more readily available and because of the technological advances of a decade, we now know what has been right there underneath our eyes for generations. So, now is the time to reverse-engineer our mindsets, to start with the match first and what really happens on the competitive court and merge this reality with the practice court.  Racquet technology, advanced string technology, human kinetics and psychological breakthroughs of ultimate human performance have contributed substantially to how we must find new paradigms to train in this next century. Response (reaction) time to play a shot from your opponent is less than 1 second requiring players to become more pro-active than re-active. Tennis has always been a sport of re-action, emergency situations – but new paradigms based on data research and analysis is leading to better use of practice energy and time while training as a player. The answers are rarely found in the complex, many times they are revealed and discovered in the reality of what actually happens in PLAY. Let the REVOLUTION begin…



TENNIS PRACTICE IN THE YEAR IN WHICH WE ACTUALLY LIVE can be a transforming experience not only for the player, but for the coach as well. Some things never change, however technological advances in the last decade has made the science of coaching easier. Smart phones such as the iPhone 6 with slow motion video @ 244fps has allowed the professional tennis coach and player actually “see” what really occurs on court. Swing paths and movement patterns are the 2 most crucial development factors to playing tennis. The synchronization of these two together make all the difference in advancing skillful play. A new mindset is beginning on the court with coaches and players. The question of “Why we play the game?” is being asked more often now than ever before because the reality of competing on the highest level (Professional Tour) is made up of less than 1% of all individuals who play the game of tennis.  Self-awareness is a powerful force that is the number #1 commodity on earth today in getting what you want, how you want it, and when.  As coaches of the game, re-engineering our mindsets for the 99% and teaching them to PLAY the game instead of PERFECT the game leads to a rewarding experience for all. The few will break out on their own and carve their path on the Professional Tours because that is their destiny to play on the world stage. At the same time, what is vital to the growth of the sport of tennis is directly related to the amount of FUN players have when they come to play.  Practicing should never be a time of frustration, agony, and striving for perfection.  “All work and no PLAY make for a dull day.”  Transforming the Practice Court is the first of many online coaching courses that will emphasize this paradigm shift.  For more information about coaching the STATE OF PLAY, and enrolling in this TPC Course, contact Styrling Strother.

Styrling can be contacted in a variety of ways.


Actually PLAYING tennis has made a comeback with the introduction of smaller racquets, compression tennis balls and smaller courts. These incredible tools can now be accessed by nearly every young player and coach around the globe. THE STATE OF PLAY is now moving closer to full force with a growing number of coaches and players accessing this introductory level of entry to the game. After all, what is the game all about? PLAY. Play begins with a serve (overhand or underhand), a return, then the next shot and so on. The question then becomes, are we teaching a game of PLAY, or a game of PERFECTION?  I’m totally guilty of teaching a game of PERFECTION in the past, but over the last decade I’ve devoted my coaching career to coaching a game of PLAY. When you PLAY, there is a purpose, a goal, some sort of achievement to reach. That’s why we call individuals who play tennis…tennis PLAYERS. There is a huge divide between a tennis PLAYER and a tennis HITTER. The two words that we can take away from these descriptions are PLAY and HIT. When you PLAY the shot, you are striking the ball with purpose and intention. When you HIT the shot, you are striking the ball without or with very little purpose or intention. For example, just “getting the ball back in the court” is an example of HITTING the ball, it lacks a sense of specific focus. If I asked you to focus out into a forest versus focus on the tallest tree in the forest, the purpose for “looking” would be more focused.

Thus, PLAYING a shot with idea of controlling its HDSS (Height, Direction, Spin, and Speed) provides for a more specific focus. Re-engineering the mindset to play the ball instead of hit the ball is the first step towards the STATE of PLAY.

Styrling Strother is a professional tennis coach and #1PLAYExpert in developing and advancing this transformational paradigm of reverse engineering the practice court in tennis. Introducing the most advanced and simplicity training thoughts and strategies to win every time you PLAY.



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