Revolutionary Tennis


I originally provided three student testimonials on this page when I started this site in 2000, and I mentioned how you should take any kind of positive testimonial with a grain of salt.  Although truth can be relative, simple truths today are clouded over by opportunistic tongues.

I thought I'd reflect the kind of reader Revolutionary Tennis draws and allow us our shared tennis experiences, concerns, and hopes about the game we love.  We all are tennis players, and this bond is worldwide.  You are not alone in your feelings and thoughts about learning how to play tennis, about playing tennis, about tennis in general.  What follows is a small sampling of emails from 2005/2006.  I want to thank you for taking the time to write and share with me, and with all of us at-large, your tennis thoughts and concerns.

No matter how often the powers that-be change the equipment, screw up the t.v. schedule, poorly manage the professional tour, no matter how expensive lessons get even when all you're getting is the same-old same-old, no matter if someone's telling you how to dress or comport yourself while playing, or telling you to "Shh" during a tennis match or to sit down even though you are out of a player's sight line, tennis is our game.

That bears repeating.  Tennis is our game.


Hi Mark, My name is John D., I am an 'A' level player from Hobart in Tasmania (Australia).  Just want to thank you for putting together such a logical and easy to follow explanation of the forehand stroke...Last night I played the best tennis I have ever played, I have total confidence in my forehand now, and it has only been 2 weeks since I first looked at your site.  Thank you so much!!!

item9Mark, I just want to say thank you of yr effort and knowledge about tennis.  Although I am not a good tennis player, I do enjoy the game, playing under sunshine. Yr information impress me very much.
Thank you. Raymond (from Hong Kong).

Mark, Thanks so much for putting together your ideas countering misconceptions and advice I've heard for years.  As a novice instructor (PTR Certified "Instructor")... I feel your advice counters a lot of the advice I've been giving...and I feel your observations are "right on." I'm a little ashamed about much of what I've told novices in the past; but I'm eagerly looking forward to watching more rapid development from my students as I make use of your insights.  After reading your Eleven Steps...I immediately played the best tennis of my life.  Because many of my bad habits (immediate shoulder turn, increased shoulder turn, rotate the hips, move parallel to the baseline, keep the arm rigid on the backhand, and swing out with full arm extension), had been firmly ingrained, I'm astonished that trying to avoid doing some of these things came so easy.  I do attribute these habits to the overall messages I gleaned by trying to teach myself tennis by observing and reading and avoiding close contact with local teaching pros.  In the next few following your expert advice...I may actually become a force to be reckoned with among the local 60 and over crowd.  And if you're at all hostile to the "scientific tennis establishment," I think your hostility is justified.  I can't thank you enough.  Larry S. Las Vegas, Nevada

item10My name Andres I am from Colombia, I am 30 years old... thanks for been so generous... now I feel like all the stuff learned, were wrong, I was suspecting it but now I know the facts.  I am very grateful with you.  Andrés B.

...I also came across a plethora of web sites, books, videos charging hundreds of dollars for instruction.  I am a skeptic and could not get myself to believe in a lot of things these tennis teachers were selling....  When I resumed play this summer... I was getting VERY tired from playing mostly because I was moving inefficiently across the court and was rotating my body for swings just too much.  Then I saw Roger Federer came as a surprise first that a player can hit shots without winding himself like a watch! Then I started thinking and realized that my best Cricket and Ping Pong shots come naturally.  I don't do unnatural movements to get power and precision in those games.  However, there was no theory for me to get an idea about how I would achieve the same in tennis. ... Then, magic happened! I accidentally came across your web site...  my game improved...simply by playing more naturally.  I was spending less energy on wasteful things like wrong movement and body rotation and spending more energy on being there at the ball.  ...My strokes, though felt simple and sometimes even less speedy, were consistent and natural.  That meant that I could produce more of those with greater accuracy and wins came from my opponent making mistakes.  Best regards, Chetan

Hi Marc. All I have to say is thank you, thank you, thank you. Your backhand explanations (rotating forearm, wrist thing ...) had resurrected my backhand...  You are a very good teacher because you have ability to literally say what you mean or know in the understandable way to as all...  Please tell me honestly is this footwork (your) working for you and your students. I just cant play with that footwork and it is not that I don't try, maybe I have take you too literally? Are there maybe some things when Im running for the deep groundstrokes (me parallel to the net) that are not so bad? The worst thing is ball coming in my direction and it don't have to be a strong one, this footwork is so logical when reading but on the court I am lost if try to do it. Ok thats it for this time, Best regards from thankful student from Croatia.  Josip B.


item11My name is Akash, I am from a small town in India, where I did not took any formal training. I learned tennis on my own reading books and practicing with a friend of mine...  I came to know about your website through a discussion forum. I highly appreciate your effort in putting up the webpages.  kind regards Akash.

I can't believe you're doing this for FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEe!!! WOWWW!!! Thanks so much, it's 12:20 AM and I'm still reading it.
Sincerely, Hien T.

Hey, I think your site is great. I have been using your tips and have found that my game has really improved. I found that your tips make things much simpler, which makes it easier to play and results in more consistency. The way you apply math to the whole thing is excellent and very practical. Its amazing how everything just makes sense, especially the footwork part. I really dig what you said.
"In everyday life you move your right foot first when moving to the right, your left first when moving to the left, and your feet work in pairs.  It's natural.  Why not do this in your tennis? "
That really rocked my boat because I was always taught the crossover step, but what you said just made perfect sense and I have been trying diligently to apply it and found that just using correct footwork and hitting between my power or in the area between my feet resulted in more consistency and power. Again thanks.  Sincerely Dejan H.

item12Thank you for your great site!  Really proud to find out of your Greek Origin!!  I am sure your tennis tips will help my daughter improve and I will tell all my friends about your site.  Daphne is 12 years and she started tennis with 6 thanks to her father (who teaches tennis)....  Thank you again!  Christina V.

Hi Mark, just wanted to send you a thank you note here. My wife found your site surfing the web the other night. I have read pretty much all of it in one night. I soaked all in. I have taught myself how to play. I want to improve my game to be accepted in the "B" league here in Boca Raton, Florida.  I went to play last night and practiced keeping my back tail down and keeping the target contact between my stand two feet. I also practiced the arm swing keeping the right shoulder as the pivot point. Boy, I can hit it harder without the effort.  Anyway, just wanted to thank you for a great web site. By the way, we are form Caracas Venezuela and learned how to play in Club Puerto Azul in Naiguata edo Vargas.  Let me know the next time you are in Boca Raton, FL, I would love to take a class with you.  Muchas Gracias y saludos, Pedro D.

hi, my name is ron and I just happened onto your site the other day...  I played high school tennis 8 years ago and I'm just now trying to get back into the sport.  I'm currently using a wilson hyperhammer 6.  its slightly head heavy at 2.8 pts and I've been having severe shoulder pain for over a month now.  I try to hit at least one hour daily and I was wondering if the racquet being head heavy could be doing this to my shoulder.  well I'm going to get back to reading the info on your sight.  its really caught my interest.  thanks for your help.

I have been following your ideas on tennis for about two years now. I have to say that your approach to the serve is refreshing...intuitively, I might have picked up the ideas you are suggesting pretty much by chance, but I can tell you my serve has gone from being a liability to a super weapon, even under pressure situations.  While your suggestions on other strokes, especially the forehand ( I have a monster of a forehand. I can hit the ball out of a ballpark...but could never manage to harness my power. That's changed after I taught myself to play according to your rules) were really good, your insights on the serve beats everything. I must tell you - your thinking about tennis strokes is the most original, and thankfully honest.  Keep going, and good luck to you.  Best Regards, Vijay N.

item13Mark, Tennis has been a part of my life for over 20 years. My wife and children love the game. I am passionate about the game and a student of it as well. I have taken countless classes and talked to many certified teaching pros, many of whom gave conflicting advice. Instead of clarification, they led to more doubts and questions. Something just did not add up.  Then I came upon your site roughly 3-4 months ago and I thought to myself this guy makes sense! I then started applying your methodology to my game. It was rough at first but I kept at it. Now, my game is more fluid, less mechanical, and with more power to boot. Now my son is incorporating your concepts to his game as well.  You have done an exceptional job at explaining and demonstrating the optimum way to play tennis that makes sense biomechanically. I have spoken about your site to my tennis buddies and they all came back to me with grins on their faces and an improved game.  I will continue to spread the word about your site. I cannot thank you enough.  Sincerely, Carl.

Hi Mark, I absolutely love the instruction on your site.  You are far more analytical than most others I've seen in the profession.  And I've been taking lessons, reading and teaching my entire life....Thanks in advance for any other insight you can provide.  Regards [from] Princeton Racquet Club.

item14I think you have great insight and I am trying to incorporate the changes in my tennis game.  I am looking for an instructor for my 10 year old son.  He has taken many lessons over 4 years, has been exposed to lots of different instructors, and is still lacking a reliable offensive forehand.  He is a recreational player but if I am going to pay for lessons, I would rather pay for ideas that work.  Thanks.  Nikki.

Dear Mark, Thanks a great lot for your new serve step.  I've just in the last two weeks added the edge-on racquet service movement (both visualizing and actual) to only two short practice sessions of the racquet-head acceleration drill, and I believe I've upped my service about 10mph to somewhere in the mid to low 90s mph.  My goal of adding another 10-15 mph (to somewhere around 110mph) now actually looks like it might be possible.  Thanks very much for your lesson step, and I have to add that your instruction runs quite counter to how I was taught to "chamber" and swing the racquet on serve—by a very highly thought of college coach/tennis camp instructor many years ago.  No wonder my serve's always been more a liability than an asset.  But not anymore—thanks to you. David S, Minneapolis.

item15Dear Mark - just wanted to say a sincere thank you for your very generous site - I have made a great deal of improvement on the serve thanks to your 'archers bow' approach which makes the whole service seem much more simple; but more than that I have increased my understanding of the game in general. Best wishes Nigel C.

Hello Mark: Congratulations for Revolutionary Tennis.  As I don't dominate English so much, could be possible to get a translation of the work in Spanish? I'm a tennis's teacher, ITF Level 1, and I'll be glad to have your work in Spanish.  Sincerely and thank you Germán.

Mark, I am tennis player and I red your tennis instructions. In my opinion it is great. But I have a question also. Are you lessons available in USA as book or any other printed materials? I live in Poland so I thought about translating you lessons in to the Polish and print as a book. Of course a I remember about you right to this materials and knowledge. I thing about printing it and selling in bookstores, this would be an income for you. As you see this is a business question.  Regards Tomasz Z.

Hello Mark, I´m 34 years, portuguese, and play tennis at 4 years. I study all your theory, and frequently re-read and play tennis (every day ). It's a sintetic theory, supported in linear momentum, and in that way, it's easy to understand and to use. The comparison with other sports and situations it´s too very helpfully, thanks for all.  Miguel C.

Hi, Your suggestions are really quite easy to understand (even for me having some problems understanding all the terms used in the articles). I am not quite good enough player to be sure about all the ideas you are suggesting but after feeling bit down as I was being thrown out of contest after 1st round on clay court tournament last weekend I took the racquet and tried some of the stuff against the wall yesterday.  I am going out for a tennis camp in the mid July and if it is ok with you I would like to present the material and advocate the site there. But I will only do this if you think this is appropriate. I am not coaching there but I think this material has a lots of stuff to raise some discussion. Laurie O.

Dear Mark, I very much enjoyed your web site. I am analytical, have taken lessons for year (starting later in life). And am a 3.5-4.0 player. Your site answered a lot of questions for me.  Larry.

item16Love your website and information.  While reading Volley Instruction Step 10 I noticed the following:
F/H Preparation: Only the hand moves the racquet.......  The arm does not move..... 
B/H Preparation: Unlike the forehand the forearm does not move.....
This implies that the arm moves in the forehand.  Why am I seeing these as conflicting statements?  Thanks, Greg T.
[revolutionarytennis readers are sharp.]

Hi there Mark ! I'm Gianmarco from Italy, I'm 40 years old and I still like play tennis with willing to improve.  I found your web site very interesting and useful an I really want to thank you...  Gianmarco

Your tips have been a great help to me.  I had indeed been trying to follow the teachings of tennis establishment and really spinning my wheels for many years.  In a short amount of time using your method my strokes have improved dramatically.  My forehand especially is much better and much easier to generate topspin, and yet I don't feel like I am having to swing very hard, it's like the ball jumps of the racquet with very little effort.  Malcolm M.

Hi Mark, just a few lines to let you how impressed I am in your method but, at the same time, how shocked and silly I feel for having wasted the past 25 years following and studying Vic Braden's Tennis for the future book to the word and image !!! When I was 15 yo I got hold of that book and I truly felt privileged for owning what I thought was a unique and invaluable piece of work…how wrong have I been.  Now I have to wholly re-program my muscle memory and basically re-start tennis from scratch (almost). The good news is that at least my 2 sons will be able to benefit from your "course".  I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for making your instruction available for free and if you don't mind I plan to come back to you with a couple of questions and comments.  Best regards Marco C.

item17I stumbled upon your website and have to tell you that I was amazed.  I have played tennis for 25 years and taken a number of lessons. Much of what you have put down on print is very consistent with what seems to work best for me. The sad part is that I wasn't smart enough to ignore the "experts" and kept trying to swim upstream because they were the "experts".  I recently took up tennis again after a six year hiatus (lower back injury and surgery) and thought I would get some instruction tips, which is how I found your site.  My best shot was my volley, which was hit in a manner which is somewhat similar to how you recommend.  Although I had taken lessons to improve my volley, (get sideway, hit down on the ball…etc) …I now realize those lessons actually had set me back, as my volley was already pretty good.  My other strokes are struck in a more conventional manner and are not as good…duh…well at least now I know why.  I finally believe that I have now a blueprint from which I can work from to improve my game…thanks to you. Best Regards, Eric B., Norcross, GA

Hi Mark, I just wanted to let you know how much my game has improved since I started reading Revolutionary Tennis.  It took a while, at first I got discouraged but I stuck with it and now I'm beating people regularly that I could never beat before! All of your tips have been tremendously helpful, thanks so much!! Carol, Ontario, Canada

Mark, This is the absolute best tennis approach I've seen on the Web.  You write and express yourself very well.  Thanks for sharing this wonderful work.  I recently attended a coaches seminar with Juan Nunez and Brenda Shultz.  Juan was showing videos of top pros using the forearm move on the forehand, and then would demonstrate with his racquet.  Your description on the forehand of pronating and the wrist flexing gave me a much better picture of how it should work.  Thanks again.  Regards, Tom B. USPTA

item18Great Website.  I am a third year university student and have found your website useful for one of my essays, as well as a great read! Keep up the good work! All the best Craig D. (England, UK)

Dear Mark, I have accidentally found your website last night through Google and I am delighted. Thank you so much for your generous sharing and thought provoking analysis on tennis. ...I like your detail analysis and explanation with diagrams very much; It takes the guess work out, which I have to do ever so often when I read tennis magazines. Even if I don't play tennis, your instructions and explanation are a fascinating read. Thank you, Mark!!! Regards, Burney

I live in Japan, loved your site for a long time… But your last article on service, the archer bow theory is absolutely fantastic…it is genius in the teaching ! Do know a lot of people admire your work around the world.  Floran "Ivanisevic" D.

Hola Mark Papas, la información que presentas es realmente completa y me gustaría saber si está disponible en español, para que mis menores hijas, que son fervientes jugadoras de tenis, lo puedan leer y aprender mucho más... Saludos Raffo, Guadalajara Jalisco México

item19Hello Mark, My name is Josh, I'm a highschool student playing varsity.  Your site is wonderful, the concepts and techniques are all very practical and make a lot of sense.  For some of the older concepts that have been taught, I could always understand that something was amiss in the teachings and it's good to have them corrected in a way that is written down.  It provides a better set of guidelines for stroke fundamentals and such.  Thanks for your time, Josh

Hello Mark I am 38 years old and play tennis regularly since more than 28 years (mostly 1 - 3 h a week). In younger days I also played a lot of tournaments on a regional level. Nowadays its only up to about 15 - 20 competitive matches a year.
I found your revolutionary tennis because I started to teach my son who is now 8 years old and loves to play tennis. Although he progressed very fast, I became more and more unsure if I was really teaching him the right things, because despite my long experience (and my wife, who is a tennis teacher here in Switzerland) there where some details I wasn't really sure about, namely on the forehand-side. Thats why I looked up in Google for some help on a "modern" forehand.
I am very glad I found your homepage!
It showed me clearly, that it wasn't just some details that missed in my understanding of the game, it was a whole lot more. I read your whole theory and tried to adopt it on the court since about 3 months. Quickly I felt the difference in my strokes and I started to hit much harder without losing control (which was always my strong point, since I had learned to place and control the ball with a long movement in the shot direction out of a sideway position).
After some weeks of practice I really feel that it all comes into place and I was able to rise my game on a higher level thanks to better approaching and better hitting the ball. After some long discussions my wife also started to adjust her strokes and she to feels, that she is playing a lot better now.  Greetings from Switzerland.  Martin.

item20This is an incredible site! if you ever produce any videos please let me know.  My son is a very good junior and your instruction has been awesome for his game.  Todd


Congratulations, I read your website and I agree on all of them.  This is really helpful for me.  ALVIN

Hi can I say it is so wonderful that you have shared your knowledge with club players like myself.  Like so many players slogging it out on a Sunday morning in mens surrey doubles league, putting snow on the ball, chipping , slicing, blocking the ball back into play and after four hours being told you are difficult to play only to lose.  You have given me the basics that I have believed in since I was 15 years old. I have been told that I have good hands and a keen eye, yet I could not do the simple things. Even today I have either a good backhand or forehand but not normally in the same match.  Thank you.

Hello, Mark, Just wanted to say that after 10 years away from the courts... I stumbled upon Revolutionary Tennis and it has completely changed the way I look at the game. ...I can say with 100 percent certainty that your approach to hitting the ball is accelerating my learning curve beyond my expectations.  With appreciation, David L., WA

Good day Mr Pappas, First I'd like to say thanks for the great info and ideas. I have observed my son during tennis practice and find that his coach also uses certain unnatural stances during "stroke" practice. I hope to help him by sharing your ideas and using your techniques to help my son become a champ! Thanks, Peter L.

I love the stuff I read on your site.  I'm a former college player who's looking to get back into so teaching after about twenty years.  Thanks, Kevin K.

item21hello mark, below is what I wrote to the suggested links,,,but to you I simply and deeply say thank you....for sooo much! natasha 
[to the tennis mags:]  I had given up as the memory of tennis was such an emotional fun in the least, Then I happened upon this site that outlined a sensible rational approach to this much-loved game....I cannot tell you how thankful I am to the information presented on this site for providing the necessary adjustments in my game and thus bringing the fun and mechanics back into my game.  natasha

Mark, Thanks for the free info.  I have been taking lessons on and off for a couple years and all they harp on is turn your shoulders more, keep your wrist stiff, and follow through. Thanks, Bill H.

Hi! I love your website.  I have been teaching tennis for close to 10 years now, and I agree with you completely.  In fact, it was funny when I read your articles on the backhand and forehands.  I knew having a bent arm was right, but I did not know why, until now.  Many of your ideas I agreed with and have used.  I wish I found your site earlier in my career when I was playing.  I am a high school tennis coach and a part-time tennis pro at a resort off the coast of North Carolina.  I am also a teacher, so the instruction part comes easy to me. ...I enjoyed reading your website, and am interested in reading more.  Sincerely, Mike S.

mark, my name is ty and I am the head pro of a rather large tennis camp in the northeast.  first of all, I think some of your thoughts on teaching this game are simply outstanding and thought provoking. should know that I have been trying to apply some of your techniques with my kids and have found them to be quite successful. it is truly amazing the difference in their ball striking when linear momentum is applied, and your thoughts on balance, the power zone etc are truly point on.

item22Wow!  I have learned more from your articles than I have from my 43 years of lessons and reading "how to" articles.  Your instructions are amazingly helpful, as I see immediate improvement after every step I read. Talk about instant gratification! Please continue the research and writing as you make tennis so much more fun for me.  Thanks a lot, Ed

I'm in the early stages of putting this into action, but it makes a whole lot of sense! Thanks for sharing! It was so interesting, I'm late to go out and put it into practice! Blessings from Tennessee! Dr. George

Hi mark.  I stumbled by accident really on your website.  I have an open mind and always like to learn new things.  I have been practicing for a few months... your teachings... made a huge difference to my game.  The biggest difference has been to quiet the upper body, which has improved my vision, timing, and rhythm of my strokes.  This in turn has effected my consistency, and moved me on to a higher standard of play.  A friend of mine has a 7-1 win loss record over me.  Recently I played him again for the first time this year and we shared two sets, it's the first time I felt like he wasn't controlling matters.  In fact he complemented me afterward saying my play was very pleasing to the eye.  This was rather a lavish comment, so I am writing you now to say thank you for changing my game and allowing me to play in some small way like the players I admire.

item23Hey Mark, I taught at a tennis club for seven years and when I went back to college, I decided to teach tennis on my own. I began to teach at public courts, high schools, colleges, and people's houses. I had a teaching style that was a combination of many pros that I have seen over the years. When I left the club, I came across your website. I began to read and it was amazing. I had finally found a philosophy that really made sense. I was a huge Vic Braden fan, but when I started understanding your ideas, everything that I had learned seemed very out dated. I just wanted to thank you for your putting your ideas on the internet where teachers like myself can read them.... Your ideas have helped so many of my students and my game improved also. I always am telling my friends and students about your website.
Oh, I forgot to mention my 57 year old father. He went from being a pusher to a revolutionary tennis advocate. It is funny, because all of his buddies don't want to hit with him anymore. I have given them all your website, but sometimes people aren't up for a little change. Thanks.  All the best.  Sean H., Tennis Teaching Pro

Hi, This is such a great site, I can't believe how much I've learned.  Thank you so much, Vish P., Sandhurst, England

Hi Mark, Thanks so much for being "revolutionary"!  Frankly, I was in a rut about my forehand, until reading just 2 steps of your article.  They specifically were step 3, and step 8. Having read just those 2 steps provided me with enough information to allow me to beat a very good player I had not beaten in quite awhile and he had played very well during the match. Your concept of how to pronate over the ball for topspin and when, has cleared up a lot misconception on my part. And finding my power zone and how it's done (front stance, and hit between the feet) was quite a revelation.  Your explanation of the misconceptions of a "firm wrist" and "hitting the ball out front" simply gave me more clarity of how to hit the tennis ball.  I look forward to reading the rest of your article and improving even more.  Sincerely, Al D.

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Steps: Contents S 6: Stroke Commons 1 S 12: The Serve 1 Wrist Use:  Go Natural S 1: Geometry S 7: Stroke Commons 2 On Rotation: A Compilation Hand Use: Activate S 2: Feetwork S 8: Forehand 1 Grand Unification Theory Modern Tennis Not S 3: Power Zone S 9: Backhand 1 Head-On Rebuttal Wrist Snap Evidence Serve S 4: Power S 10: Volley Myth of the "Myths" S 5: Balance S 11: Returns/Approaches Federer Vision Technique