Wow, hats off to Jimmy and Melissa (and her friend Lauren, who ran the drills) for organizing a nice little tennis clinic for beginners last Thursday. And every feedback so far emphasized the FUN those new players had, and the desire for more social tennis. Hey, it can't get any better than that, folks. And as soon as those players realize that tennis is a sport that can be competitive or just social, or both (it's up to the individual), and that you can play the sport until you are super senior level or beyond, a whole new world of fun is opening up for them.
My suggestion: Start a mentoring program where experienced players mentor a beginner.
I have a few words of wisdom for all of you. But not from me, of course, rather from people who made a name in tennis and know (or knew) what they were talking about. Go ahead and smile when you see players like Suzanne Lenglen and the seemingly yesteryear but obvious advice she gave. But this woman really knew what she was talking about. I'll quote from WIKIPEDIA:
Suzanne Rachel Flore Lenglen (24 May 1899 - 4 July 1938) was a French tennis player who won 31 Grand Slam titles from 1914 through 1926. A flamboyant, trendsetting athlete, she was the first female tennis celebrity and one of the first international female sport stars, named La Divine (the divine one) by the French press.
Here it goes:
Your feet are the point from which the footwork is done. You must be easy upon them. Do not allow them to hold the ground flatly, for then movement in any direction will not be instant - never run too fast, run with short steps.
Suzanne Lenglen (The Right Set)
31 Grand Slam titles 1914-1926
A good player never misses easy ones. Remember that if you do miss a simple shot you should have made, you are giving your opponent two points. The difference between plus one and minus one.
Bill Tilden (Big Bill Tilden)
24 Grand Slam titles 1913-1935
Your game is only as good as your second serve.
John Newcomb (Ken Rosewall: Twenty Years at the Top)
17 Grand Slam titles 1953-1974
There's always more to learn in this game, no matter how long you've been playing.
Roy Emerson (The Tennis Lover's Book of Wisdom)
28 Grand Slam titles 1960-1971
A tennis match is a thousand little sprints.
11 Grand Slam titles 1974-1981
You must come on the court with five game plans and be prepared to use all of them.
John McEnroe (Winning Tennis)
17 Grand Slam titles 1977-1992
In a match, visualize the times you were on the practice court in the same situation. Remove all the other elements. Then hit the ball the way you did in practice when there wasn't any pressure.
Chris Evert (Tennis)
21 Grand Slam titles 1974-1986
It boils down to watching the ball and executing.
8 Grand Slam titles 1992-2003
Sometimes you must make errors in order to make progress.
7 Grand Slam titles 2003-2007
And finally I want to repeat a word of wisdom from my good friend and teacher Vic Braden, spoken when he visited us at Active.com in San Diego:
I've never seen a tennis player bend his knees too low!