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Old Aug 15th, 2011, 02:56 AM   #1696
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Re: Steffi Graf Admiration Thread Vol 2

Reading Darren Cahill's responses to the readers and Steffi was mentioned in two of the answers.

Scott Shafer- Is it any longer possible to reach the top of the women's game with a slice backhand a la Graf, Navralitova? Or does the primary backhand need to provide power?

Darren Cahill- The slice backhand is still a great shot in the women's game. A lot of the Adidas players come through Las Vegas as a part of the Adidas Player Development Program to train and Steffi hits with them at every opportunity. All of the players STILL struggle to deal with Steffi's backhand slice! The advantages of the double handed backhand has seen the slice disappear to a large extent but it's still a very valuable shot if executed well. Not only can it be an offensive weapon, but it's crucial for staying in points when you are in a defensive position and allows you a little more hang time to recover back into the court. With the power in the game today, if you can keep the slice low, it makes it a lot tougher for your opponent to generate their own power, and it's still the best way to approach the net when that ball drops short and low in the service box. The bad movers in the women's game generally do not have a good b/h slice. The good movers do!

Elizabeth Keller- We are going to state finals this weekend and in districts a few teams were playing mind games during the warm up. What is a good way to deal with that behavior and do you cause trouble back or point it out to them. It was frustrating. Thank you

Darren Cahill- Ignore them. Mind games from your opponent will only work if you bite and they think they are getting somewhere. Let your racket do the talking when you get on court and keep the focus on what you are trying to achieve, and that is simply to WIN.

Engaging in mind games or constant chatter back and forth will only lend itself to confusing your game plan and clouding your thinking.

If your opponents are carrying on with some funny business during the warm up, it's because they are unsure of their ability to win.

Plus, you need to rise above it. Next time it happens, ask yourself how would Steffi Graf handle this situation? She would handle it with class, she would say nothing, she would probably give a little smile that would scare the hell out of her opponent, and then she would go on court and beat the living daylights out of her opponent.

Also, make sure you keep your energy levels up in the first few games to show that you've been anything but intimidated, and that you are there to win. You will be surprised how quickly the bluff on the other side of the net loses belief.

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