My Coaching Story
Oscar Wegner is one of the best known tennis coaches in the world.
After playing internationally in the 1960s, Oscar embarked on a coaching career and began to develop a remarkable teaching methodology that makes tennis an easy sport to learn, a system he calls Modern Tennis, which is still light-years ahead, even today.
Oscar's coaching concepts have had tremendous impact globally, earning him, from Brad Holbrook, host and producer of the Tennis Television Show in the USA, the designation of "the father of modern tennis". Oscar has given the head coach , Mark Cunningham, personal instruction, and Mark has taught the Modern Tennis Methodology to large groups of professional tennis coaches.
Head Coach Profile: Mark Cunningham
As a player, Mark Cunningham is ranked 1 in Kent, top 10 in the UK, top 100 internationally in the ITF seniors tour. (Jan, 2014)
With over 30 years of tennis coaching experience both in the UK and USA, Mark is a qualified coaching professional who has coached other coaches, especially in his role as Director of Coaching for the Modern Tennis Coaching Academy, under the guidance of Oscar Wegner, an internationally recognized tennis teacher of teachers. He is also a fully qualified LTA coach, with up to date CRB Certification.(2019)
Mark’s thoughts on coaching both Modern Tennis and his own teaching method ‘Zennis’:
I call my personal teaching method "Zennis" which is simply a made-up name, and a play on the two words, Zen and Tennis. It's just a fun word and it reflects my main goal on court, which is to try and make sure that we are all having fun when we play...
When I teach Zennis, clients notice that I use a lot of physical props to help guide people towards the best tennis stroke habits. Physical props give visual clues on useful tennis techniques , and place physical barriers in the way of poor habits. This is a very constructive way to learn, and can bring very quick and effective results. What ever we are doing in life, that is what we are learning, so learn the right tennis muscle-memory habits, and you will improve in skill.
Do remember: It’s a very technical sport... Riding a bicycle well is not just 'as easy as riding a bike', nor is kicking a football well, just ' as easy as kicking a ball.' These activities are learned and practiced skills that require dedication, effort and time before they can be mastered, and made to look easy. Nevertheless, fun social tennis is not hard to learn. Remember: a tennis racket is simply a very specialized stick with a small trampoline at the end of it. If you learn how to use the stick well, this game really comes alive.
I have learned from Oscar Wegner that tennis is a "vertical game", where the player is always battling gravity, hitting across the ball. In one word: ACROSS. The essence of tennis is very simple, and the simpler you keep your stroke action, the better off you'll be. Just focus on the 3 "f"s: finding, feeling and finishing...
If in doubt, just focus on the finish!
Key tennis technique can be concentrated down to a few simple statements, but to put these into practice can take a lifetime of practical application. If you understand the fundamentals, and then find a way to apply them, in time, you will become a great player.
The essence of tennis remains the same: get the little, light, slightly fuzzy ball over that net and inside that bounded space, using the most effective means possible. That is it. So simple, yet so complicated. Enjoy!