Are you looking to level up your tennis game in 2022? Then one option is with USTA Mid-Atlantic’s official e-learning partner, TopCourt. An innovative digital platform, TopCourt offers lessons with top pros to help you maximize your game.
We thought it would be fun to give a member of our local tennis community a chance to test the platform and give us his opinion. We asked Bethesda, Md. player Thomas Pablo to try it out and let us know what he thought.*
Thomas played tennis growing up and rediscovered his love of the game five years ago when his oldest son started playing competitive junior tennis. He has won multiple Level 2 National Doubles Tournaments and three years ago, won the Bronze Ball in Men’s 50s Doubles Grass Court Nationals. Also, Thomas and his son, a Division One College tennis player, regularly compete on the Father/Son National Level. Thomas states “I love the sport and I really want to take my game to the next level.”
Thomas started using TopCourt and gained access to a variety of pro tennis players teaching classes on the platform. Thomas selected lessons with these pros multiple times: player Alexander Zverev, player Venus Williams, coach Brad Gilbert, player Andrey Rublev, and players Bob and Mike Bryan (Bryan Brothers).
Here’s what he says about TopCourt:
TopCourt lessons are full of pearls. The ones that jumped out at me were all the lessons on strategy as well as the lessons that offer little details that are easy for the average player to overlook. Here are the most notable insights that I learned:
BRYAN BROTHERS (Lessons on what you need to know for your doubles game including Volley, Doubles Return position, Doubles Volleying position, Doubles Serve position)
In the Bryan Brothers’ series, they mentioned the danger of serving out wide. They said “great players are all good on the wings and can shape the ball down. Serve tight (i.e. Jam them in doubles) and limit their power.” They also mention that the first serve percentage should be 75%.
ALEXANDER ZVEREV (Lessons on how Zverev approaches the Forehand, the Backhand, and the Return)
The Zverev lessons were quite detailed and a good window into his thought process which clarifies why and how he is executing his game plan. He mentioned what to do as a tall player as well as the importance of hitting with a closed stance. Zverev said a closed stance allows you to “create the most angles and that your shot is hidden from your opponent.” In addition, he broke down the footwork and the stroke so that you could focus on execution if you wanted to practice.
BRAD GILBERT (Lessons on latest drills and tips for club players and aspiring pros including the Dunk Volley and the Swinging Volley)
Another real winner was the Brad Gilbert lessons. A former top-five player in the world with limited athletic gifts, his tennis mind is next level. When he taught the swinging volley, he said “take an aggressive approach to BIG targets.” That was a revelation that I wasn’t expecting.
After watching the lessons, the single biggest positive of the platform is that in every lesson the advice is high quality. What you see on Top Court is different from what you might experience at your local club, because you are gaining inside information from current pro tour players and coaches directly from their own game and training regimen.
Another positive was being able to select the top players who might be more in line with my game style and body type. For example, my son is 6’6” so being able to have him watch Alexander Zverev, who is also 6’6”, was really valuable.
The biggest con for the platform is taking it from your computer to the court. The time between watching the lesson and heading to the tennis court requires you to take really good notes and read through them when you practice. If you are serious about getting better, then it should not be a problem at all – especially if you can partner with someone that has seen the lessons and can help you replicate them.
I think the best use of this platform would be for players who can train together and gather insights from the lessons then keep each other on track when practicing on court. In my case, my son and I have been watching the lessons together, talking about what we liked and didn’t like and then we have tried to take it onto the court and practice. Our next step is to use some of the doubles strategies in actual matches.
Overall, this is a great platform for all ages. Adults are naturally more inclined to think about their game, but juniors are likely more adept at utilizing the technology. The nice part is that this platform is affordable and can reach a wide audience.
Looking forward to lots of TopCourt in 2022. I still have Gold Ball Dreams!
USTA Mid-Atlantic thanks Thomas Pablo for his thoughtful comments on TopCourt. We hope that you found the article useful and will check out this exciting e-learning platform. For more information, please visit TopCourt.
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*USTA Mid-Atlantic provided T. Pablo a Top Court subscription in exchange for his review. USTA Mid-Atlantic is supported by our tennis community audience. This post contains an affiliate link and if you go through the link to make a purchase USTA Mid-Atlantic may receive commission. Keep in mind that USTA Mid-Atlantic links to this website because of their quality. This commission helps our vital work to grow tennis and increase access to the sport for all people in the Mid-Atlantic region