Cyprus Tennis – Verdict on Intensive Tennis Course

Posted on October 28, 2010

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Roger Federer playing in Cincinnati

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Cyprus Tennis – interviews the participants in the Aphrodite Hills intensive tennis week – 23 October 2010 – Tennis in Cyprus

The intensive tennis week is over at Aphrodite Hills tennis academy.  We were all very sad to say goodbye.  From my point of view as a fairly experienced player that is trying to be competitive in local tournaments, it was definitely worthwhile and I felt I really progressed.  I now have to put it into practice.  My advantage is that I can check in with Wyn about anything I have learnt as I play there regularly as well.  Back to one lesson a month now 😦

So what did the others have to say?

Daniel, from Switzerland, was very pleased with the whole experience.  Both he and his son took a course at Aphrodite Hills. They had been to other European Tennis Academy destinations in Spain so were familiar with the Mental Matchplay approach.  They looked to see where else the European Tennis Academy had courses and contacted Aphrodite Hills directly to organise it.

Daniel found the course at Aphrodite Hills very friendly and interesting .  There were different types of exercises  to maintain your interest and gauge how your skill was improving and he felt he had definitely progressed.  Next year, he is planning to start playing for a club in tournaments and feels he’s been given the tools here at Aphrodite Hills ro advance as he is more conscious of what he is doing wrong and how to correct it.  He really likes to play tennis to the music as it get rid of stress , relaxes you and you play better.  Overall it was a very positive impression and he was very happy with the location, the resort, the course and of course the coaches.  The weather fantastic – wow!  He’d always been away in the snow at this time of year, not in the sunshine, so it was a very pleasant change. 

Jo, from the UK, had heard about the tennis here at her local David Lloyd centre.  She was planning a holiday for her family of 4 and she was the only who played tennis so she wanted to combine this with a more traditional family holiday.  They were actually offered a 4 day hotel break at the Intercontinental  at Aphrodite Hills in a charity auction and her husband bid for it and won.  They then extended it for the family for 11 days, booking a villa on the resort for the rest of the holiday.

Jo loved the course and the Mental Matchplay was a totally new way of teaching for her.  She found it a refreshing change from the standard courses that work on individual shots and technique.  She especially enjoyed the breathing and counting focus points, although she wasn’t sure if she liked the music, which may have something to do with the fact that she is not a music person – she doesn’t listen to music at home, preferring silence.  She did find it fun though. 

 For her, there is a fine balance between being relaxed and playing aggressively to win a point and sometimes she felt she got too relaxed and went all floppy – not so good.  From my personal experience, this is just a factor of being unfamiliar with this approach.  After a while you get used to it and your learning and your performance really accelerates.

Overall she loved it and said it was the best part of the holiday by miles.  She felt that it really helped her wioth what she struggles with – getting too tense in games.  (she’s not the only one)

When I asked Cally how she heard about the course.  She told me that they went to a travel agent and asked where was hot in October and they looked at Egypt and Cyprus.  Aphrodite Hills was suggested and they discussed all the activities they could do including tennis as they wanted things for the whole family to do.  The only activities not on site are water sports, but it’s not far – they did wakeboarding in Pissouri.

Cally loved the course and one of her daughters did it as well – taking the course with Daniel’s son, Nicolas.  Cally really enjoyed the Mental Matchplay method, where you’re not learning a rigid forehand grip, then backhand grip etc.  The non-traditional approach suited her and she liked Jay’s style.  It was much better than “brutal lessons of 1000 cuts”.  Cally felt her game definitely improved and would come again and said it was the best part of the holiday.

The only thing she would have liked to do was be able to do more social tennis in the evenings, when she could have fitted it around her family.

Cally added that the fact that there is a whole complex at Aphrodite Hills where you can do such a variety of things, was excellent.  The course was excellent as well and she came out of it much more positive about her tennis, feeling much more fluid in the way that she plays (see balletic images).  The counting 1 when the ball bounce and 2 when you hit it, as well as the breathing really helped to calm her down.  For her, the music was completely revolutionary.  She found that when you’re listening to the music, everything seems so simple, it’s as if the ball slows down, your mind is cleared and the voice that tells you what to focus on with the music, reminds you what to do.  She said that she never thought she would be able to wakeboard, but she applied the same mental matchplay techniques and it worked!  It’s like using really childish concepts and not the complex stuff that she did in the US and it works.

Naheed was equally happy, finding the music great.  She progressed a lot in the 5 days and is really looking forward to continuing her tennis in the UK.  She also found that the group was great – all of them were fun and it made it very enjoyable, with no pressure.  She’ll be back again!

Further photos can be found at http://en-gb.facebook.com/pages/Pafos-Cyprus/Cyprus-Tennis/107477202629609

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