Teaching Tennis to Toads Vic Braden, Coach Extraordinaire, Uses Humor and Physics to Show Nonstars

Courts and Ski Slopes

It's a warm, sunny day in Southern California, and at the Vic Braden Tennis College in Coto de Caza, 60 miles southeast of Los Angeles, a few dozen students are watching a most peculiar exhibition. At one end of a tennis court, a ball machine flings one ball after another across the net. Seated on a chair on the opposite side, a short, chubby man, racquet in hand, rises to meet each one, hitting it squarely with a looping forehand. Thwack. Thwack. The balls whiz back over the net, landing just inside the base line.

Victor Kenneth Braden, 60, has a...

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