Since the Australian Open and now leading into the French Open many changes have happened in the structure of World Tennis. The changes are necessary (multiple global reasons) and in time the feedback and research/results will develop these to truly reflect our professional game and like all other sports if you are worthy to play at an elite level … it will happen.

Tennis has a number of tiers or tours as the pathway (ladder) to play at the highest level you can and as during a match if you take those chances/opportunities to display your skills with a preparedness to be bold and the courage to back yourself the reward will result in your desired outcome.

That preparedness comes from seeking the chance to receive great training, to acquire an understanding of fitness/diet/mental strength, develop the chance to ‘put your best foot forward’ when that chance comes and to take it … as nothing in this world is given.

Your chance to succeed will require boldness and courage to trust all the hard work and countless thoughts on your game and style that you have put in to be ready to grab that dream and give it a damn good shake.

After over 40 years in professional tennis, both on and off the court, you witness triumph and disaster (ref. Rudyard Kipling poem ‘If’), and as much as you want something if you are not willing or able to do everything you can to take that chance … you may not get another.

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Challenge yourself

As tennis professional coaches working with high performance junior players we are always asking them to challenge themselves … well what about us !

This is where we must also challenge the knowledge we are imparting … is it up to date … do we look forward to the tennis of the future … what does it look like … what will influence the hit, the move, the play … ? Change is one of the things that we are reluctant to do, but we can always learn and we can always re-create ourselves and the things we believe in … even if we come back to re-affirm what we already do !

With the evolution and changing face of this great game, we must also look at the generations that play and how their environment, social awareness and life is different from the past. Gen Y and millennial’s think differently to previous times and are often referred to as the ‘want it now’ group, making them driven and thirsty for success. This will certainly transfer into tennis of speed, power, variety and precision and our challenge is one of which components will this require … I feel all and more of what there is today.

So lets challenge ourselves and re-visit our methods and philosophy and continue to strive for our players and the dreams that they wish for.

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% adds up

Modern sport deals with so many different areas and components to find the edge when it becomes time to perform at your best … and more often than not it is the little things that you do, that individually may mean nothing, but add them up and all of a sudden performance jumps – all through something called 1 %’s.

Here is a few for our tennis players:- make the last 5 minutes at training (on or off court) the best/hardest of the session | get it right before you leave the lesson/session | read your diary from the last performance the night before your next match | set regular targets on your components | ask yourself the question “why is this match important” | stick to your game style/play plan | count to 2 between 1st and 2nd serves | accept the conditions of play – it is what it is | chase one more ball | be ready to play one more shot to win the point.

Ten little things that has just added 10% to your performance eg 13% to your ground shot speed; 19% more on your serve; 10% less unforced errors thus 10% to your winners or forced plays; 10% more opportunities to go offence and 10% more asking your opponent to work harder.

Little things that are always added as you develop and enhance your Technical – Tactical – Physiological – Psychological and Sports Science components.

How many more can you add to your performance !



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Why we do what we do …

Coaching in all forms has multiple benefits to us as people – fitness, health, tangible outcomes, enjoyment, remuneration, success, winning, not winning (strength), values, building character, self satisfaction.

Like most things in life, if you hear nothing then you assume you’re doing okay – then something comes along and as a professional tennis person for just over forty years and still applying my craft you receive a card that really is the reason that … we do what we do

“We would like to thank you for all the ‘wisdom’ and time you have shared with Jeremy over the years. It is because of people like you, that take the time to mentor young country/rural players, that they too can make their dreams come true. Forever grateful.”                                                                                                                                         ~ Heather – Terang, Vic, December 2017 

With the Australian summer of tennis about to get underway may Vintage Tennis wish all tennis’s coaching fraternity – to keep up the good work and to the players out their in the heat and around the country – follow those dreams.

2018 will be a great year !


Tennis 2 U

Tennis 2 U


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2017 – a year of insight

Vintage Tennis  –  Sports thoughts !

Welcome to a new year of ‘sports thoughts’ – during our get-togethers we will cover a number of topics with a view to honing our game and endeavours to the maximum of our skills and thus the levels we wish to attain.

preparation to perform … the ability to execute with diligence the holistic nature of our day to day training, the influences that we make to producing our best effort and where it comes from, to allow our instincts through hard work and talent, to come out on the tournament stage.

Following on – ‘linking’ topic –  goal setting – advancing development the necessary steps to attaining our objective, of being the best we can be as quickly as possible, with a direct path without distractions and hiccups along the way to success, understanding short , long and immediate goals and what they are.

Furthering our attention to feelings v emotions the identification of which is which, the positive and negative side and how we can deal with them to enhance our sporting performance – we cannot control them but we can distract them by using the above topics and adding …

talk the talk – the identification of what is said to ourselves, how it is interpreted and is it positive or negative, the ability to change it and keep us on our path to high performance and success.

Confidence – where is it? … what it isn’t is a magic pill or an element, it is actually undefined, so where is it – it is all that we are and is all around us, the influences of what we respect and what we do to achieve our goals and objectives. We can believe in ourselves, but the overriding factor is trust, in – ability, advice, coaching, method, support, our training incl. diet, body, role models, stories, dreams, all of the above topics.

Confidence is with us all the time, if it wasn’t then we would never try and never think – maybe I can

Do a list of every ‘c’ word you can think of and record it and you will discover where is it!A few examples – courage, create, challenge ……..

 Looking forward to continuing the journey to achieving what we want and how we want to be better in life.

Doug Hill, Director, Vintage Tennis

Doug Hill,




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old head … young shoulders or young head … old shoulders

There is a phrase“you can’t put an old head on young shoulders” … well, at the recently completed US Open Tennis Championships this phrase not only is challenged but also the reverse !

Let us look at the meaning of ‘old’ (head) mature, learnt from life, experienced adversity, job knowledge, clear thinking under pressure, sacrifice, love, support, determination, motivation, acceptance, knowing what you want.

In the case of the Women’s winner, Sloane Stephens, the above experiences have all crossed her path through expectations, injury, influences from many directions, disappointments, self analysis, family, decision making, health choices … a US Open where four of her seven matches were 3 x setters and a final of complete dominance … her shoulders only 24 years.

Now lets have a look at ‘young’ (head) – excited, bullet proof, energetic, fast, powerful, in the zone, emotional, quick, no doubts, go for it, high expectations, single focus, stubbornness, bring it on.

The Men’s winner, Rafa Nadal, typifies the above, in a way re-born to do what he does so well with renewed energy after the past few years of setbacks and after many observers writing him off as a serious contender for major events … oops ! Unstoppable at the US Open on 31 year old shoulders that have no right to do what they do – pushed but no limit.

Tennis continues to defy the norm and at Vintage Tennis we are definitely in line … new tennis is coming from anyone, from anywhere !


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‘Clay’ season

European clay season is well underway with all the attention on some vintage Rafa and his extraordinary ability to take on all-comers and come out on top … a special time for our industry and inspiration to younger players coming through or just starting out with big dreams.

One such player is Vintage Tennis Tournament Performance Program member Nishant Dabas from New Delhi, India – selected in the Asian Federation Team for the ITF under 14 Young Stars Tournament series in Europe, playing in five events (France (2); Germany; Netherlands; Belgium) – the series and his team are sponsored/supported by the Grand Slam Development Fund.

Nishant and Vintage Tennis are very proud of this recognition and selection, he has been working with great diligence over the past two years and is very excited to apply his craft on the clay in an international environment – many notes in his diary 🙂 to come !

We follow the Pro Tour as it moves to grass in July, but keep one eye open as the globes junior talent plays the EJT (European Junior Tour) events throughout July, August culminating in the World Teams Finals (14yrs) and the Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup Finals (16yrs). 

Europe’s clay season could be the centre of dreams, lets hope so for young Nishant !



Clay court

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Destination … Pro Tour

As the euphoria of the Australian Open and it’s vintage climax fades and Melbourne comes alive with  AFL and the upcoming Grand Prix, aspiring Aussie tennis professionals (18 – 22 years) consider their pathway and plans to achieving a pro tour destination and career. So much to learn, as the transition to ‘open’ tennis is a big leap.

A select few will receive support and varying resources from Tennis Australia and the opportunities to develop their game through training and overseas travel to ITF futures and challenger events – exposing them to the global environment of professional tennis with some guidance. However resources are limited and players must take responsibility and produce quickly or support is removed … and then another path must be found – history shows that this occurrence is very common.

For those on a second tier they are encouraged to seek scholarships with a USA College, a path that combines tennis with an education, daily training and inter-collegiate matches through the NCAA system against similar standard players. A wonderful experience, however first hand experience over a few decades has me challenging this road to the pro tour, as it is actually an education scholarship that the tennis  allows a player to get a degree for less cost than our Australian Institutes, resulting in a stagnation of required focus and development.

Other alternatives taken up by this tier of player is to travel away to different points of the globe, seeking experience by playing international events, thinking that by introducing themselves to this level (ITF) of events and better players somehow progress is assured. Again, experience tells me that players end up more like tourists and any plans, goals or achieved success is diminished

Like any other professional sport, the next step is a huge one for these post juniors and a certain safety net needs to be in place, together with the hard work and knowledge to go to the next levels – ITF | Challenger | WTA | ATP | Grand Slams.

Thus, the ‘home’ alternative pathway – comfort, care, growth, support, influence, on-line education, mentoring, coaching, training, tournament guidance – multiple benefits,  that also involves these young aspirants with international opponents and a strong level of tournament competition including the opportunity to gain experience and vital ‘world’ points ready to take on the globe.

The Australian Pro Tour series  delivers 17 x futures ($25k each) and 4-6 challengers ($50-$60k each) events per year for men and women. Additionally Tennis Australia sanction 26 x AMT Platinum tournaments ($10-$15k) per year for extra high level play (former pro’s and advanced club players participate), furthering the opportunity to play the required matches (60 to 70 a year) to build ‘tournament intelligence’.

The recent women’s Perth International (ITF) main draw of 32 – contained players from 17 different nations, this week a hardcourt event, with a grass one and two clay futures in Victoria to complete this series evidencing the required diversity of opponents and surfaces.

Vintage Tennis wishes our and all aspirants great success on this journey of their lifetime, whatever path is chosen – keep the passion, keep the love and work smart.

Need a re-string?








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Tennis Enhancement by Design … anything we build has to start with thoughts and ideas that we then translate to a design.

As professional tennis coaches our job is to take this design, draft up plans then implement ‘the build’ to create a tennis player of excellence; able to adapt, sustain and overcome in any environment or against any obstacle.

Arranging the physical components – materials (all the tennis shots), ingredients (physical requirements) together with the planning and process to build this structure – is all based around the design.

So what goes into a design? Knowledge, experience, what has come before and what there is at present. Additionally, understanding progress, evolution, innovation and the important ingredient ‘uniqueness’. This uniqueness emerges, not from the coach, but specifically from the player’s character.

Design bounces to life from within. The tennis player’s life is influenced by genetics, environment, family, friends and cultural background. When we implement ‘the build’ and nurture these design influences, we can enhance tournament performance and rise to the next level and the next, and the next.

Best wishes for the Australian Summer 2017 from Vintage Tennis.

Build by design (Img src:


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Rrrrrr … tennis !

Right time | right decision | right changes | right returns … tennis in Australia has the capacity to add a few r’s to their overall development in light of it’s non – representation in any of the ‘world junior teams’ events this year. Surely with our history, culture, climate and resources this can be addressed for furthering the aspiring players dreams.

Reviews, in all sports are being conducted nation wide as the Olympic year comes to an end, trade and negotiations commence as AFL clubs relook and rebuild and then all will review the reviews.

So too is the national coaching in tennis having some movement (it’s called accountability) and discussion with player (women) focus groups to identify where the pathway stutters and fades. The movement of coaches and new directions and changes to personnel plus the action taken from tennis feedback hopefully will set up strategies and clear bold initiatives to get that boost and belief so evident in the recent major footy codes grand final results.

Resource distribution towards second tier player assistance and training may well be the answer to our development (spread the finance, spread the knowledge, spread the hope) and it is an old saying but ever so true … the bigger the base, the higher the pyramid.

Tennis is gearing itself for another brilliant summer and hopefully we will hear the right plans to return us to our rightful place in world tennis!

Rod Laver in Action 1956 001

US College plan

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