Professional Tennis Instruction - Private, Group and Clinics

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Date: August 25, 2014 2:00 am
City: Chandler - Mesa - Tempe  (Arizona)
Location: Chandler, Mesa, Gilbert, Phoenix Metro
Season: Year Round
Certification: USPTA - P-1, PTR 4A National Tester (Disclaimer)
Price: $53 per hr
Discount: 2 for 1 Private Lesson for only $53   

Michael Lowdermilk
Founder/Director - Professional Tennis Management Services
USPTA P-1/PTR 5A National Tester, 2006 USTA High Performance Coach
2005 PTR Arixona Member of the Year

Michael Lowdermilk has amassed over 32 years of playing, teaching and coaching experience in the United States and throughout the world. As former Director of Van der Meer Hilton Head Inn Tennis, (Hilton Head Island, SC) and Van der Meer University, Mid West, (Lake Ozark, MO), and as a 5A National Tester for the Professional Registry, Lowdermilk is well versed in the Standard Method of Instruction which he integrates into his tennis programs at various locations throughout the Phoenix Metro Area.

As Director of Professional Tennis Management Services, a tennis management company that oversees and promotes tennis instructional programs, leagues, ladders, tournaments, corporate outings, socials, benefits and other tennis related events, Lowdermilk and his professional staff coordinate the operation, management, and marketing of various tennis programs, including, but not limited to: private and group instruction, adult and junior programs and specialized clinics.

Lowdermilk has also presented at the 2007 & 2008 PTR International Symposia on Hilton Head Island and is a graduate of the USTA High Performance Coaching Program. Lowdermilk is also a USPTA Elite Professional and has played competitively throughout his career including high school, college and some USTA pro amatuer events and on a leg of the ATP tour.

Lowdermilk has worked with beginners as well as players that have gone on to play professional tennis. You are invited to come and take advantage of a FREE Introductory 90 minute drill clinic or a Discounted Introductory Private Lesson. Feel free to contact Michael Lowdermilk directly at tennislessonsaz@gmail.com or at 480-628-0851 C.
  I look forward to hearing from you soon and working with you on the courts!

Come on out and join the fun & 'Keep serving up aces',

Michael Lowdermilk

Tennis Tips

 

Mike’s Tennis Corner

The Overhead:  An Ultimate Weapon

By:  Michael R. Lowdermilk  480-641-9741 or 480-628-0851 (M)

  Director of Tennis  USPTA Elite Professional/

PTR 5A National Tester and Clinician

 

When executed properly the overhead can be an ultimate weapon.  Conversely if your technique is poor and you hit a weak overhead, your opponent can gain both a strategic and psychological advantage changing the whole outcome of the point.  This can be very frustrating and result in a number of easy points lost rather than a number of easy points won.  That’s why it is so important to understand the bio-mechanics of an effective overhead.   Similar to the serve, a successful overhead consists of key ingredients or component parts.   

 

1)      The Stance and Early Preparation:  As soon as the net player determines that a lob is on its way, the net player should turn sideways.  Some players face the net in preparation to hit an overhead.  The disadvantage to this technique is that there is virtually little weight transfer.  The advantage to adopting a closed stance on the overhead is that it helps provide greater weight transfer, trunk rotation and, as well know author and coach, Jack L.Gropple, points out, greater ‘ground-reaction force’.  Much like Newton’s Third Law that states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, this ground reaction force refers to the pushing off force, (pushing off the court), that contributes to the generation of power on the serve.  This will be discussed in more detail later.

 

2)  Hip and Trunk Rotation:

As indicated above a successful overhead depends, in large part, on a pushing or thrusting off from the court with the legs.  This is a link in the kinetic chain that powers both the serve and the overhead.  When the net player is positioned to hit the overhead, his weight is on the back foot.  As he transfers his weight forward, upward and outward toward the ball, the knees begin to uncoil, and then the hips begin to turn.  The upper body or trunk continues to rotate up and out toward the ball followed by the shoulder turn and pronation until the ball is finally hit.

     

2)      The Point of Contact and Positioning to the Ball:  At the same time that the net player turns sideways, he should use his non-racquet arm to point toward the oncoming lob.  The non-racquet arm serves as a means to track and position to the ball.  It can also be used to block the sun and to help ensure that the net player is sideways.   Assuming the net player is right-handed, the net man should use his left arm to point at the ball and position his body to contact the ball at One O’clock.  When moving up or back to retrieve a lob, the net player should be lightly on the balls of his feet and use a side step shuffle method to intercept the lob.  Once he is positioned properly, the net player should swing upward and outward toward the ball, similar to a throwing motion in baseball.

 

3)      Grip and Pronation:  The most effective grip to use at the net is the continental grip (half way between the eastern forehand and eastern backhand grips).  This grip enables the hand and the forearm to pronate simultaneously adding additional power to the serve.  Pronation is the turning outward motion of the arm.  If you are right-handed the arm will pronate outward from left to right.  If you are left-handed, the arm will pronate outward from right to left.  Some students of the game refer to this as a ‘wrist snap’.  Others refer to it as a wrist role.  Groppel’s research in 'Tennis for Advanced Players and Those Who Would Like to Be' suggest that the wrist actually hyper-extends as the forward swing begins.  He also notes that the wrist flexes from the hyper-extended position through to the impact point.  Irrespective of terminology or semantics, pronation is a key ingredient to generating pace on the serve.

 

4)      Weigh Transfer to Follow-through:  After you have made contact with the ball, the weight continues to transfer forward and the racquet continues across the body to the follow-through position.  If you are right handed the racquet will finish across the left side of the body.  Here the wrist will pronate along with the hand and forearm and will actually finish up against the left thigh as if you were putting a sword into its sheath.  The important this is that you actually continue transferring you weight forward, upward and outward toward the ball.  And remember to keep your forehead up as well.

 

In summary, if you can consistently incorporate all these ingredients into your overhead, you will be well on your way to winning more easy points and adding more trophies to your collection.

Mike’s Tennis Corner

Three Priorities to Effective Doubles Play

By:  Michael R. Lowdermilk  480-628-0851 (M),

tennislessonsaz@gmail.com

  Director of Tennis  USPTA/PTR 5A National Tester

 

According to PTR Master Professional and National Clinician, Pete Collins, successful doubles is based on “movement and the ability to accurately read clues.”  Just as it takes effective repetition to develop bio-mechanically sound strokes, it takes practice to learn how to effectively anticipate movements on the court and to learn how to attack and defend based on your position on the court relative to your opponents position on the court.

 

Pete Collins identifies three priorities in successful doubles that improve your movement on court, enhance your positioning, and create opportunities to attack and defend:

 

  1. Split-step or split-spring as your opponent gets ready to strike the ball.  The split-step or split-spring as Collins refers to it enables a player to get in a balanced position so that he can change direction on the dime and respond to the oncoming ball as soon as possible.  Collins asserts that in order to be “effective as a doubles player, you must split until you know where you need to move, and you must spring into action as soon as you have that information.”

 

Split – This movement resembles that of a cat poised and ready to pounce on its prey. Here the player’s feet should be about shoulder width apart with their knees slightly bent and their weight on the balls of their feet. 

 

Spring – Like a cat positioning to attack its prey or get out of harms way, the player makes a slight hop landing on the balls of their feet.  This movement resembles the movement of hop scotch or the movement of a basketball player defending against a player with the ball.  From this position the player is able to adjust forward, backward or to either side in preparation for the on-coming ball.

 

One important consideration is when to split step.  Timing is very important to optimize your positioning and give you an edge over your opponents.  Generally, the best time to split-spring is when your opponent is preparing to hit the oncoming ball.  When you learn to effectively time your split you will find yourself better balanced and in better position to take advantage of every point.

 

  1. Position yourself so that you bisect your opponent’s possible angles of return.  One way to effectively maximize your court coverage is to position yourself on the court in such a way as to bisect your opponent’s possible angle of return.  Another thing to remember is to flow with the ball.  Each time the ball is hit the middle of the return angle also changes which means that you have to move.  Just remember to move or flow with the ball.  In other words, let the ball guide you with respect to your side-to-side movement. 

 

  1. After meeting priorities one and two, remember to attack the net whenever possible.  The most advantageous position in good doubles is when both players are positioned at the net.  When you and your partner are both at the net you need less skill to volley and you have greater opportunities to angle the volleys at the net. Being close to the net enables you to be more aggressive by putting you in winning situations.  Of course when you and your partner are both close to the net your are somewhat vulnerable to the lob but if you work together as a team and communicate with each other, you should be able to effectively retrieve most balls.  Once you and your partner have taken control of the net, it is important not to leave the net unless the ball is hit behind you or one or both opponents rush the net.  If you do need to retreat, try to reestablish your position as soon as possible to put yourself in an offensive posture.

Keep it in the Road

Maintaining Consistent Directional Control on the Forehand Drive

By:  Michael R. Lowdermilk  480-628-0851 (M),

tennislessonsaz@gmail.com

  Director of Tennis  USPTA/PTR 5A National Tester

Making reference to tennis, my uncle Smoke Redding used to say ‘keep it in the road’.  In other words, keep the ball in the court and get it to go where you want it to go.  If you are having trouble maintaining directional control on yo