Book review: Play better tennis in 2 hours by Oscar Wegner
I was recently given this book as a gift. Its full title is "Play Better Tennis in Two Hours: Simplify the game and PLAY like THE PROS" and the Play like the Pros bit sounds good to me.
Reviews on Amazon range from "too basic" and "aimed at beginners" to "revolutionary". I found it to be rather basic, a bit slim and can be summarized (for me) as follows:
- 1. Forehand groundstroke: use topspin by using a 'windscreen wiper' action and think about your stroke's finish.
- 2. Backhand drive groundstroke: show the ball your butt, your rackets butt that is.
- 3. Serve: use the triceps more than your shoulder muscles.
- 4. Movement: find the ball.
- 5. Forehand volley: cut from above.
- 6. Backhand volley: turn from the shoulder.
Of course there's more than that, but that's really all I got out of it, and I've simplified the explanations given in the book with photo's to a one line summary.
So how did it work for me?
- Forehand: I already have a topspin forehand with a wrap around the shoulder when I'm not nervous (which I am most of the time in a competitive match!) but not the windscreen wiper action. I've seen Federer and others do this with a wrap to the side, but selectively. Thinking about the finish action helps when you're not hitting through the ball.
- Backhand drive: I tried it, instead of thinking about take back, hip rotation and stepping in, and it seems to work.
- Serve: I was really interested in that because of the chronic shoulder problem I have. Of course we're taught to back-scratch anyway but now 'I get it' and it seems to have added more power.
- Movement: yes it works. When you're on your game and playing well you're actively looking for, tracking, seeking, wanting and getting to the ball. Just remember this tip and it helps.
- Forehand volley: juries out.
- Backhand volley: maybe, juries also out.
So would I recommend it? It depends on your level of play. Beginner and improver then yes. Intermediate and Advanced, borrow a copy, you'll skim it in 30 minutes.
I was intrigued to see the acknowledgement Oscar gave to Ron L Hubbard the founder of Scientology.