The Painting: Red, white, and blue. Gold splattered everywhere. The American flag not a Jasper John flag of ironic contemplation, but the rippling backdrop for a full-throated patriotic moment at the 2012 Olympic games. The Bryan Brothers, at 34, have just won their first (and only) gold medal, the greatest moment of their career. Their celebration here not their famous leaping chest bump, but one brother supporting another brother, lifting him up. That’s what doubles is about. Communication, support, teamwork. The one brother lifted high seems closer to us with a slightly menacing racquet. Doubles is all about aggression. How to set up your partner so they can put away balls. The twin brothers training and training since the age of 2 to that one thing as well as anyone in the world. Both players always charging forward, attacking the net.
One of the best drills for attacking the net is the famous RDC (Romanian Davis Cup) drill perfected by the Bryan brothers, where you hit hard volleys at one another from the service line while moving back and forth across the court in opposite directions. The drill trains you to hit precise, powerful, controlled volleys at machine-gun intensity without missing. Check out this drill and the Bryan Brothers’ amazing hands in the video above starting at 1:25. Since I am focusing solely on doubles for our Arkansas team’s trip to Nationals in February, I am trying to incorporate this drill into my daily training. Now I just need a temporary twin like a Bob or Mike Bryan–but at my level–to do it with me. Any takers? Guaranteed fun. Guaranteed improvement.
About the Bryan Brothers: One of the greatest doubles teams in the history of tennis, the Bryan Brothers have won more titles and more grand slams than any other men’s doubles team in history. For more on their unparalleled achievements, Wikipedia offers a good overview.
Artist Bio of Jace McTier (from website): The son of renowned portrait artist, Lucy McTier, Jace McTier has held a paint brush in his hand from the age of eleven months. After accompanying his mom to deliver a portrait of Ronald Reagan (atop Reagan’s beautiful stallion, El Alemain) to the Oval Office as a 5 year old, Jace decided then and there to enter the world of art. Combining his portrait skills and his desire to visually interpret motion as well as emotion, Jace has been able to capture not only the likeness of the subject, but the intensity of sport as well.
Jace McTier’s first sporting painting was commissioned following the 1996 Equestrian Olympic trials in Thomson, Georgia. His first lithograph of a hunt scene, complete with twenty hounds and four horses and riders, benefited Easter Seals. Soon he was commissioned to paint a large landscape for the John Deere Corporation with 5000 limited edition prints- and he was well on his way as an established artist. Beginning at the age of 16, Jace was “knocking out” large oil commissions.
Recently hailed as the next Leroy Neiman, McTier’s bold color and powerful use of impasto ranks him among today’s leading sporting artists. With work collected by such clients as Angelo Dundee and George Foreman to corporate commissions, his paintings benefit charities through the sale of his original work as well as print sales. A recent project includes a joint venture with the Press On Fund and Jack Nicklaus to aid in finding a cure for childhood cancer. Jace McTier’s art has been exhibited multiple times publicly along with Leroy Neiman’s original paintings.
To check out more great tennis art by Jace McTier, you can visit the McTier Art Website.
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