Here are a few of my favourite tennis online resources and what I use them for. There are many, many other sites out there that are informative, entertaining, or both, but to keep things efficient I’m trying to put together a list of sites that I visit most frequently and that cover the range of what I’m looking for to help me limit the random “Googling” that I do. I could literally read about tennis all day, but there’s so much to learn and so little time! (And a house to vacuum).
While these resources are generally listed in no particular order, I have to give top billing to Jeff. His free YouTube videos that I found a few years ago were so clear and informative that I purchased a few of his courses, and I’ve purchased many more since, with no regrets. I credit Jeff with igniting my passion for tennis by providing high level coaching to regular people and helping us enjoy the game so much more.
Jeff’s product have evolved over the last few years into Tennis Evolution, which is a subscription site, and various levels of membership give you different things like weekly lessons, discounts on courses, a private Facebook group which is very active and even access to all of his courses, past and present. With Jeff you feel like you have a tennis coach right there with you.
Yes, there is a lot of free instruction available on the net, but finding the good and filtering out the bad is difficult and time consuming. I trust that Jeff is basing his teaching on what the top pros are doing and what science is uncovering and isn’t stuck teaching what he was taught himself as I find many coaches do. I love that Jeff’s courses cover all aspects of the game, including off-court activities, and that he’s continually adding more as he learns more himself. He’s a student of the game and loves helping others succeed. He’s also a nice guy and motivational which I like too!
Tomaz has great insights into the game and an ability to explain subtleties in a clear manner. I found Feel Tennis a little later on in my tennis research so didn’t use it as much for learning technique basics, and can’t really comment on it’s usefulness there, but I have found that his articles and videos have helped me make small adjustments to how I’ve looked at something or to a movement that have had huge impacts on my game. If you’re a tennis nerd like me or want to understand some stroke complexities you’ll likely love Feel Tennis.
I’m a little newer to Essential Tennis, but so far love what I see. Ian Westermann has lots of free coaching videos and articles and paid courses as well. I love his attitude – that everyone can improve no matter their age or ability. He’s relatable and genuine – two important characteristics in a coach. See the discussion about the Essential Tennis Podcast lower down on the page for a bit more detail about why I like Ian’s approach to tennis coaching.
This site is also a subscription site – $15/month or $60/year – but again, a great investment in my opinion. The site uses extremely high speed video to instruct on technique. I use it for the awesome library of videos of the pros that has been so helpful for me in seeing what they do (or don’t do or shouldn’t do). You can take videos of yourself and compare to these videos to look for areas to improve.
This is an 11-part series of articles on the blog, Tennis Speed. The site is a little hard to navigate, so I found the easiest thing was to just Google “road map to hall of fame forehand part 1, …part 2”, etc, to go directly to each part. The blog is written by a guy who is, as he calls it, “a high-performance tennis specialist with a hard science PhD from one of the world’s leading universities.” The articles break down the forehands of tennis pros into 2 primary types (a third less common category exists) and explains why they work and don’t work. It also gives insights into the complexities of topspin like I haven’t seen anywhere else. This is the best resource I’ve seen for a detailed explanation of the “ATP style” forehand (called “FHT-2” in the series) and why it works and how to tell which pros use it and which don’t. This is where I learned that my racquet should be angled slightly forward rather than perpendicular to the court at contact – different than what most coaches tell you. I made this small change to my stroke with big impact. I haven’t looked around at the rest of the site much but am hoping to find some time to soon.
I’ve read some opinions on forums that the series is way too complicated, but I’m a tennis nerd and love trying to understand the scientific principles that make some strokes work better than others. Also I think that if you’re struggling with an aspect of your forehand you might learn why by reading through the articles in this site. The reality is that the forehand moves too fast for the naked eye to see exactly what’s going on, and I think a lot of amateurs (i.e. me) fall into the trap of imitating the players we see on tv. If we can’t actually see what they’re doing we can think we’re doing the right things when we’re actually not. So it’s worth a read in my opinion.
Similar to what I’d like my blog to be, this is a site chronicling the research and progress of PJ Simmons, a recreational adult who learned tennis later in life, became passionate about it, and is working hard to get better. PJ doesn’t post often, but his articles are well-researched and thoughtfully written and I find them to be informative and inspiring. PJ also founded the Tennis Congress, an annual weekend conference/academy for hardcore amateur tennis enthusiasts who want to improve that is taught by some amazing coaches.
I’ve only recently discovered this podcast (not sure how I missed it), and now have some serious binge-listening to do. Ian, the awesome online coach behind the massively popular site Essential Tennis, shares crucial information for tennis players in this easy-to-digest audio format. The reason I love it so much is that there’s a huge focus on the mental game. At least recently, he’s been covering topics like short-term success vs long-term growth, the learning and improving process, and why players experience so much frustration. If you’ve read this blog at all you know this is right up my alley!
I listen to the Tennis Files Podcast regularly. Mehrban is a former Div I collegiate player who interviews a wide variety of tennis industry members from players to coaches to trainers and more. Examples of episodes that I liked were #33 with pro trainer Dr. Mark Kovacs (author of Complete Tennis Conditioning books) and #6 where Mehrban interviews Tomaz Menninger. I like how Mehrban often interviews people involved in college or pro tennis, but with an emphasis on what players at any level can learn from them.
Kim is an avid recreational player who, like me, loves researching and thinking about tennis. She shares what she’s learning in a podcast that’s designed for players to listen to while driving to the courts. She covers everything from strokes to strategy to product reviews to little-known tennis etiquette. I love her attitude and her curiosity about the subtle aspects of the game.