Boston's WGBH-TV, champion of do-it-yourself programming, thinks it's come up with another beaut for PBS stations -- The concept should have two major benefits: It will encourage viewers of various playing abilities to improve their games and it will provide tennis lovers with a refreshing change from tournament telecasts.
Chronic hackers may be the biggest beneficiaries of 13 half-hour sessions with noted tennis teacher Vic Braden. After all, if "The French Chef" can teach us gourmet cooking and "This Old House" the basics of restoration, "Tennis for the Future" ought to be able to improve our service toss.
On the premiere show (Saturday evening, April 4, check the PBS listings), Braden explains his laugh-and-learn philosphy. "Most people are so scared of looking bad," he says, "that their whole goal is to prevent that, instead of trying to have some fun and hit the ball."
Among the topics he will cover in later lessons are the backhand, serve, volley, overhead, lob, drop shot, and spin.
Eventually Braden gets into court strategy, emphasizing that the most important thing is to get the ball back. "Most beginners love the idea of strategy," Vic explains, "because they want to know how to win without a forehand, backhand, serve , or volley."