by | Jul 11, 2021 | #Coaching, #Strategy



I cannot take credit for the new word.  To my knowledge, the new word “Wimbledumb” was created by an Englishman.  I know the same gentleman has a clever name for the LTA (Lawn Tennis Association). He calls the LTA, “Lunatics Teaching Abysmally.” Actually, we all should do our best not to allow tennis instruction to be stupid and crazy.

I love Wimbledon, I think all tennis people do. I have not been there in years. Seems like the place has more and more class and Wimbledon has always been the classiest. 

Novak Djokovic now has 20 Grand Slam tournament titles along with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. We are all so fortunate to be living at this time to have had the privilege of watching the three of them play. To me, Wimbledon is the Super Bowl of tennis and I was in the company of some junior players who elected NOT to even watch! Now that seems like a dumb choice for goal-oriented tennis players; to choose to play a video game over watching our most prestigious event. 

The LTA (the British federation) along with all organizations leading tennis should place a major emphasis on their groups realizing how sound Novak is with ball-striking fundamentals. I do think that most tennis players are totally inspired by having watched Wimbledon. I do think that one draws a higher level of understanding of the intangibles after watching a fortnight of tennis from London. On the other hand, I don’t think the tennis public gains a better understanding of the tangibles. For example, the simplicity of Novak’s backhand should be clearly absorbed. 

There’s no such thing as little strokes for little folks. – Vic Braden

The swing of Wimbledumb changing to Wimblesmart needs to happen. There is no substitute for a good beginning. Everyone in tennis needs to do their part.  To progress, one needs to be given the best possible information from the get-go. Little kids should be taught big kid strokes. A statement from the late Vic Braden applies,” There’s no such thing as little strokes for little folks.”

To make sure that serve and volley net-rushing tactics do not become obsolete, we need to make sure that the emphasis is not on ten-year-olds winning the weekend’s two-inch trophy. Ditto for one-up, one-back doubles. Wimbledon is a masterpiece of grace and excellence, so the tennis teachers of the world should take responsibility and not let basic skills become lost arts.

Steve Smith

Steve Smith

Steve Smith has worked with tennis players, parents and coaches for nearly fifty years. Academically, he designed and developed the first accredited comprehensive degree program for students seeking occupational competency as teaching pro-managers. From a clinical standpoint, he studied renowned masters and proven methodologies to form an educational curriculum called GreatBase Tennis. Steve's educational efforts, directly and indirectly, have touched thousands of lives around the world.

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