The article on Braden also shows that a humanitarian spirit is compatible with an interest in precise mechanical analysis of sports skills.
M. L. JOHNSON
Thanks for the article on Vic Braden, a super guy and totally committed person. I completed his Tennis College in March and look forward to returning for some "postgraduate" work.
Santa Monica, Calif.
Maybe expounding Vic Braden's tennis philosophy wasn't the purpose of Frank Deford's article, but why can't there be further articles giving details of this new approach to the game? Wouldn't everyone benefit, including Braden?
The article was a good character study, but I certainly didn't learn anything more about how to play tennis than I knew when I started reading it.
I agree with Vic Braden that there probably is much that can be learned concerning the mechanics of tennis strokes.
Your caption to the wonderful multiple exposures of Braden hitting a forehand and backhand drive, which begins: "Ideally hit, backhand and forehand are mirror images," continues to bother me, however. It seems to me that the shoulder movement is entirely different in the two strokes. In the forehand the shoulder rotates basically counterclockwise and the swing is "up and around" from 3 to 12 o'clock. In the backhand the body turns around, but the shoulder rotation is still counterclockwise and thus "down and up," or from 9 to 6 for a slice backhand and from 6 to 3 for the top spin that you show.
At any rate, my backhand improved greatly when the above thoughts occurred to me.
Ron Fimrite has given us a fresh taste of truly objective reporting (VIEWPOINT, May 17). The regional stereotype, as Fimrite points out, is invalid. But let it be said that at times SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, too, has been most instrumental in perpetuating these stereotypes. I hope other writers and editors will heed Fimrite's incisive commentary. As for the Newsweek article and similar pieces, may they be put to use lining the bottoms of "regional" birdcages.
KEVIN J. MALLOY
Like Ron Fimrite, I read the piece in Newsweek concerning California. As a former Californian (I lived there for 11 years), I agree wholeheartedly that "the regional stereotype is invalid." However, Fimrite is a victim of his own criticism. There exists an ill-conceived idea that the cities of Boston and San Francisco are bastions of sophistication and culture while Miami and Los Angeles are sun-baked careless nowheres. Fimrite's statement that San Francisco "has as much in common with Los Angeles as, say, Boston has with Miami" evokes those stereotypes and is as unfair and untrue as the opinion in Newsweek.
That opinions are often based upon clich�s is an unfortunate truism. How many of your readers will believe that I do not clear hayseed from my ears before I go to the theater in Kansas City?
Overland Park, Kans.