The Point of the Game

A Proven Approach to Mastering Tennis Fundamentals

Smart Progression

A proven step-by-step approach to developing solid technique for every stroke. On-demand video lessons that allow you to absorb and master each aspect at your own pace.

all-in-one system

Learn every element of tennis technique – from forehand fundamentals and drills used in the USC tennis program, to the competition insights and psychological approach forged over a lifetime of record-breaking coaching.

rapid learning design

Experience a smarter way to learn and win more sets. Tennis video lessons designed to rapidly convert your knowledge into increased confidence, better form, and more enjoyment on the court.

the point of the game

A Proven Step-by-Step Approach to Mastering Every Stroke

“The Point of the Game” is an immersive approach to learning and coaching tennis technique. Gain unprecedented access to legendary two-time ITA National Coach of the Year, Peter Smith and his comprehensive coaching system. The methods shared within are the result of 28 years of coaching, 12 NCAA appearances, 5 NCAA championship crowns and over 600 career wins.

This training series is a close as you can get to a personal lesson with the head coach for USC, the team leading the nation in men’s tennis team titles. Experience world-class demonstrations featuring professional Steve Johnson and learn the techniques to rapidly improve your game.

In tennis you are playing yourself, trying to beat your own highest standard. When you reach that standard, that’s where joy is found. From the basics to pro training methods, this course will redefine your understanding of tennis and provide practical training sessions and drills that have been battle-tested and proven to win matches. Experience a smarter way to play tennis and discover deeper meaning in your game.

Genres: Tennis

Duration: 2 hours 40 minutes

Lessons: 28

Peter Smith

Instructor

Peter Smith has a habit of breaking records. Known for his keen ability to connect players with deeper levels of the game, he is a legendary figure in the world of college tennis. At age 23, he became the youngest Division I men’s tennis coach in the country at Long Beach State. He then spent time at Fresno State and Pepperdine before taking the helm at USC in 2002. Since then, he’s molded the successful program into a record-smashing dynasty with his sage-like presence and personal style of play.    

Easily one of the most successful coaches in NCAA tennis history, Peter’s team championships and coaching honors are evidence of his holistic approach to the game. During his 17 years at USC he has led the team to five NCAA championships and a coaching record of 359-97, leading the nation with 21 national men’s team tennis titles. He is a two-time ITA National Coach of the Year and a five-time PAC-12 Coach of the year.

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Course Details

Technique

Master the fundamentals to realize your potential.

Great players are confident players and that starts with having trust in your technique. This course has been designed to give you confidence in every aspect of your game. You’ll learn the fundamentals of each stroke, broken down into easy-to-follow steps with slow motion visuals. You’ll also learn how to prevent bad habits and injuries with thorough demonstrations of common errors and how to avoid them.

Drills

Making great tennis technique stick.

Learn the drills used by the USC tennis program to develop technique and improve your game. Every technical chapter includes drills that are designed to put what you learn into action. Whether you are a coach looking to make your practices more productive or a player wanting to improve your game, the drills in this course will get you there.

Deep Insight

Learn the lessons of a lifetime from a tennis player and coach who has been where you are.

Go deeper into the technique and develop a true understanding of how it all fits together. These lessons provide additional insight on the style and methodology taught throughout the course. They also cover often overlooked topics such as breaking bad habits, handling pressure, simplifying coaching cues and more.

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The Point of the Game

Lesson Plan

01

The Point of the Game - Intro

Peter talks about the deeper lessons that tennis teaches and sets the stage for the course.

02

Grip, Ready Position & Unit Turn

There are three foundational concepts that set you up for success in the game of tennis. Everything begins with the proper grip, ready position and how you initiate movement towards the ball. These concepts are so vital; they are interwoven throughout each lesson of the course. Coach Smith describes the right way to do these skills and why it’s so important to get them right.

03

Deep Insight - Ready Position, Unit Turn, Grip

Your timing, body position, the way you hold your racket, and how you initiate your shot determine how effective your game is. Issues with these elements will affect every stroke and often lead to injury. Focusing on these elements throughout the course and your practice can lead to great improvements in your game.

04

Forehand - Part 1

A breakdown of the fundamentals that will be taught throughout the course including proper posture, proper mechanics and proper rhythm.

05

Forehand - Part 2

Through proper technique and footwork you can generate an incredible amount of power. In this chapter, Steve Johnson demonstrates how the pros tap into power with an ideal forehand. This lesson will develop your forehand further by focusing on footwork, movement, and ball spacing of your stroke.

06

Deep Insight - Forehand

Coach Smith shares why the forehand is not only the most important stroke in tennis but also the hardest to master.

07

Backhand - Part 1

The backhand is your set-up shot. It’s the shot that can get you to the finishing point. As with all strokes in tennis, it begins with the proper grip and ready position. These elements as well as unit turn, set-up, shoulder turn and weight distribution (or load) are covered in this lesson on the two-handed backhand.

08

Backhand - Part 2

This chapter builds upon the backhand with step-by-step technique lessons for both the one handed and two-handed backhand. Drills and training tools are demonstrated as wells as common errors.

09

One-Handed Backhand

We dive into the one-handed backhand with a former two-handed backhander demonstrating proper technique. Coach Smith breaks down the steps of this stroke and shares where it commonly goes wrong.

10

Slice Backhand

If you want a complete game, you need a good slice backhand. Body movement is critical to getting this stroke right. The way you move to the ball along with proper grip and technique are covered in this lesson. Coach Smith also shares valuable practice drills for the slice backhand.

11

Deep Insight - Backhand

The backhand is the most natural shot in tennis. Coach Smith reiterates how critical it is to use your whole body with this stroke and how this will help you master the backhand.

12

Volley - Part 1

Do you want to learn to volley the same way Pete Sampras once did? Coach Smith shares the two-step volley system, something both he and Sampras learned from his college coach, Larry Easley.

13

Volley - Part 2

The volley is usually a point ending shot so efficient, technical movement is critical to ending it in your favor. Coach Smith reiterates proper volley technique and demonstrates how to correct common errors.

14

Deep Insight - Volley

The volley separates good players from great players. Coach Smith explains how you can take your game to the opponent and win matches with the volley.

15

Serve

In tennis, you have control over two things – your serve and your attitude. The serve is the only time where you have the ball in your hands and you decide what you want to do with it. It’s not about hitting the ball hard; it’s about RPMs and how the ball lands. Coach Smith breaks down the proper grip, racket positioning, body movement, ball toss and rhythm of the serve.

16

Second Serve

There’s an old saying in tennis, “you’re only as good as your second serve.” Coach Smiths discusses important elements of the second serve and shares drills to help ensure yours is good.

17

Return of Serve

By now you should know the most important components of returning a serve – grip and ready position. If you’re not ready, the ball is going to go right by you. Coach Smith describes how to meet the ball and let the inertia of your movement produce power in your return shot.

18

Deep Insight - Serve

The serve is the easiest to practice but the most complicated stroke in tennis. Coach Smith shares valuable insight on technique, ritual and how to keep your opponent guessing with your serve.

19

Overhead

Many players may not practice the overhead stroke because it’s simple, but the proper footwork, grip and movement can end in you taking the point. Coach Smith demonstrates how to handle a high ball with the overhead stroke.

20

Deep Insight - Refining your Game

Breaking bad habits is so difficult because you have to change the neurological pathways you’ve built over a long period of time. Nobody learns tennis perfectly, so how do you change something you’ve done thousands of times? Coach Smith shares insight into changing bad habits, how to play well even on your worst day and how the pros bring their game to the next level.

21

Tennis IQ - Developing your Game

Coach Smith reveals his approach to the mental game of tennis and why versatility is so important. He also shares the characteristics he sees in the most successful players.

22

Tennis IQ - Handling Pressure

Coach Smith discusses what he’s learned about competition and how he helps athletes perform under pressure.

23

Tennis IQ - The Mental Side of Tennis

Coach Smith reveals his approach of taking one shot at a time, being patient with yourself and how letting go of the single errors between points will make you a much better player. He also shares visualization techniques that can help you do this.

24

Tennis IQ - Developing Confidence

Giving players confidence should be a goal of every coach. Coach Smith shares how important it is to recognize strengths in players and develop trust as a coach.

25

Tennis IQ - Simplifying Coaching Queues

Sometimes more information is not better. Simplifying queues will help athletes focus on specific skills rather than overwhelming them.

26

Tennis IQ - Losing to Win

You can learn a lot from losing. Coach Smith shares how he handled a significant loss and turned it around to later win his 4th NCAA championship. He also describes some of his most meaningful losses and what he learned from them.

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