David F. Berens has been a certified USPTA Elite Tennis Professional since 2001. His experience in tennis has taken him from city parks to exclusive resorts and island getaways. He has taught all levels of tennis players, but he also has learned a great deal from his subjects. He also knows most recreational or club players love to play doubles, but doubles strategies are not often taught to players.
He has also been a writer most of his life and went to Carson-Newman College and East Tennessee State University to obtain his English Literature degree. He has written a couple books, a fictional tennis novel and has started a fantasy series, but his latest effort is a "call to action" for all tennis players and those looking to take up the sport.
"I began to notice that certain techniques worked for players more than others," admitted Berens. "I also found that the more complex a recreational player tries to get, the more chaos ensues! I have been asked many times, do I coach myself or my partner on the court when I play and the answer is YES! I most certainly find myself drifting away from my plan and have to remind myself what my goals are when I’m playing a match."
In Keep It Simple (Tennis) Students, Berens goes into great detail about not only the basics of tennis but how a player can a few simple strategies to success.
Here are a couple takeaways from Beren's new effort, or what I like to call, Winning Ugly, for the doubles player. (In reference to Brad Gilbert's best-selling book.)
- Make 3 Shots – Typically, the average player misses before they get to their third shot. Whether it’s excitement, nerves, pressure, etc. if you’ll avoid making an error within 3 shots, you’ll be surprised at how many points you win without trying.
- First Serve – MAKE MORE FIRST SERVES – If you want to put pressure on your opponents, you absolutely have to get more first serves in. Constantly hitting second serves puts you under so much pressure and stress that it affects the rest of your game. Take enough off your first serve so that you are making at least 80% of them.
While these might seem like "givens" when talking about tennis strategy, Berens also talks about why you should hit down the middle, how to set up a target practice drill and why a good offense beats a good defense.
This is a quick read, but Berens goes into more specifics about what implementing his five simple strategies will do to your doubles game.
Berens even uses an example involving technology when he discusses how video game developers go about making a game increasingly harder. This is what tennis players face as they improve and move up the NTRP ladder. There is a ton of useful information in this book and Beren's advice WILL improve your game.
Keep it Simple (Tennis) Students is available in paperback or it's a great download on the Kindle Store here.