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backstreetboy
05-07-2007, 07:38 PM
Okay, I have played tennis for about a couple of years but I'm not entirely sure about form and technique and all. I have this friend he just started playing tennis like literally 1 week ago. He has bad hand eye coordination,
and often misses the ball a lot even when I hit it at a slow-moderate pace.
He's thinking of getting lessons but the rate of lessons is highly expensive
(40$/hour), I advised him not to and that I will teach him some stuff myself
but I am growing very impatient, he has no strengths at all, I want him to improve but I'm not sure if I'm the one who should be helping him, I also feel like I am getting worse by playing with him,

have any of you been in this situation? I don't know what to do because he is a very good friend, should I keep playing/teaching him although he is a complete noob?, should I tell him to get lessons to learn how to play before he hits with me and my other friends?

any comments would be grateful thanks guys

zapvor
05-07-2007, 07:41 PM
oh man. i can imagine what the other guys are going to say....i will go first.

its great you are trying to help your buddy out. however, how good are you? i cant tell if you are so good that teaching him is making you real impatient and upset because you have to play so far down, OR you arent that good yourself and unsure how to go about it. if you are real good, you need patience. my coach was very veyr very very patient with me. if you suck, you should have him get lessons. then you two can hit, and maybe he can teach you something new.

Hot Sauce
05-07-2007, 07:45 PM
I know exactly how you feel. You feel like your friend has no potential, and you feel like you're getting worse. I've been in the same position. My advice would be to give him the basics so he can rally and then suggest he take lessons.

backstreetboy
05-07-2007, 07:47 PM
lol i don't think I am good. I really want to help him but at the same time I feel like it's such a burden... the thing is I am no coach I'm just a friend ..
but if i want to be a GOOD friend I guess I should just suck it up and help him out.. I hope my original post didn't come out as " I am too good to play with noobs even if they're my friends" cuz that's not the way I meant it...

shindemac
05-07-2007, 07:58 PM
Hey, it's gonna be tough. You can't expect him to hit like u in a week. Give it to the end of summer if you can stick it out.

ramseszerg
05-07-2007, 08:03 PM
Buy alot of balls and feed them to him. That way he gets more hits than if you guys were rallying and you have no reason to get frustrated or get worse. If your friend is embarassed by you feeding balls then that's the time for him to get lessons.

Vision84
05-07-2007, 08:09 PM
He needs to get lessons to start him off then you can practice with him. The reason for this is that you don't want to teach him the wrong technique as he will get into bad habits.

The other argument is to get him to rally first then take lessons once he gets the co-ordination to hit the ball down. Also how old s the kid as this could be a factor to?

zapvor
05-07-2007, 08:50 PM
lol i don't think I am good. I really want to help him but at the same time I feel like it's such a burden... the thing is I am no coach I'm just a friend ..
but if i want to be a GOOD friend I guess I should just suck it up and help him out.. I hope my original post didn't come out as " I am too good to play with noobs even if they're my friends" cuz that's not the way I meant it...

ah ok. he might be better with lessons then. you can always just teach him the basics and practice rallying. thats how my coach started with me, except we went advanced technique pretty early on.

Mick
05-07-2007, 08:59 PM
tell him to watch many hours of Federer playing on tapes . It may not help much but it can't hurt him :)

noobplayer
05-07-2007, 11:21 PM
just feed him a lot of balls and he'll eventually get the hang of it...thats just how human beings are, they can learn :) only when he learns enough, then get him to take some lessons to hone it

shindemac
05-07-2007, 11:45 PM
Totally agree with the feeding idea. He needs to hit a lot of balls and this is a good way. It would sacrifice you since you can't practice. Maybe he can pick it up quicker, like a couple weeks and then u can switch back to rallying.

kimizz
05-08-2007, 12:22 AM
So often, like today someone started a topic that is so similar to what I was planning to create :)

Im in your situation. Exept my friend doesnt want to get lessons and isnt so serious about tennis. But sometimes he wants to go play and asks for advices. It was hard at first. In the beginning I myself struggled with certain things(FH) so it was really hard to keep the ball alive when my friend was hitting the ball with no control. What Ive learned is that you need to be reallly solid player, no matter where your noob buddy hits you need to get it back to the center of the baseline. My advice is patience, it will improve in time. Also make sure your hitting with better players aswell. Otherwise you get stuck on a low level.

My questions for the pro teachers is about theory of tennis and executing it in practise. Lets say you can explain a lot of theory to a noob player. How long it takes until hes brains and body adapts to this theory in practise? Why I ask. I learned a lot of things after playing one year. And Im wondering would I be better if someone had told me about these things earlier. Things like Double bend, layd back wrist etc etc

Im now explaining some of these things to my friend. It seems hes improving but there is still a lot to learn. Im just wondering how long it takes for him to get better. I try not to tell him too much of theory at once, that would probaply be confusing.

ps60
05-08-2007, 05:39 AM
That's why a "Pro" charge so much.

IT IS BORING ! to teach tennis :D

my nephew is great at sports. Eng Football, table tennis, tennis....
But it is still boring to feed him balls.

Cindysphinx
05-08-2007, 05:46 AM
I don't see how it could mess up your game. I go and hit with my 9 year old, who is also a noob but is a 4-foot tall noob. He has the maturity of a 9-year-old, so he is easily frustrated.

I think this helps my game. I have to return every ball right to him, and I have to run corner-to-corner and take wild balls out of the air to do it. I need to use my best technique to have the control, and I get a chance to work on my lHBH.

But yeah, your friend needs a lesson. Maybe you could help him by taking a lesson with him?

Tennismastery
05-08-2007, 05:57 AM
It depends on what your friend wants to achieve with his tennis. Even if he has minimal hand-eye coordination at the onset of learning, it doesn't mean he can't become a good player. (I have had many examples of players who initially could hardly drop-hit a ball as freshmen or beginner adults...only to have such players achieve very skilled levels of play, even ranked!)

Treat tennis like how someone would learn the piano: teach the right grips, conventional form and spin, and drill such first from a dead-ball feed or even a drop feed to work on the stroke pattern. (For groundies.)

Using a "PracticeHit" is a grea tool for teaching the stroke mechanics to a beginner.

The one thing I would NEVER do would be rally with a beginner as they will only swing with what they FEEL would make the ball go over the net. They will only use what ever is most comfortable type of swing...and this is seldom, if ever, going to be a stroke that will allow for progression.

Like the piano analogy, work slow within strokes to groove the patterns that are desirable.

However, if your friend could care less about reaching higher levels of skilled play, then go ahead and just rally with him and let him figure out ways to get the ball over the net. While this will make it more difficult for him to reach higher levels of skilled play (if he wants to later), it is the fastest way to get him to learn to paddy cake the ball over the net with the least amount of frustration.

ps60
05-08-2007, 06:14 AM
I think this helps my game. I have to return every ball right to him, and I have to run corner-to-corner and take wild balls out of the air to do it. I need to use my best technique to have the control, and I get a chance to work on my lHBH.

i tried not to do that. i'd ask him (say my nephew, 8 yo, very short :)) to hit right at me.
i like that because it gives him a target and a "more specific goal". He will hit much better and more concentrate. and i don't need to run around. BTW, if the student really hits the balls all over the place, don't rally with him/her, just feed him a new ball, in a more controlled manner. It won't improve your game much (or even break yr ankle :D) and much more difficult for a very beginner to learn.

spot
05-08-2007, 07:15 AM
Get him lessons before he picks up terrible habits hitting with you. The best thing that I did when I first started was taking a few one on one lessons right at the beginning so I had a good base to work off of. After that I could go hit on my own and improve- but those initial lessons were absolutely vital.

armand
05-08-2007, 07:41 AM
Make him hit against a wall.

Cindysphinx
05-08-2007, 07:46 AM
i tried not to do that. i'd ask him (say my nephew, 8 yo, very short :)) to hit right at me.
i like that because it gives him a target and a "more specific goal". He will hit much better and more concentrate. and i don't need to run around. BTW, if the student really hits the balls all over the place, don't rally with him/her, just feed him a new ball, in a more controlled manner. It won't improve your game much (or even break yr ankle :D) and much more difficult for a very beginner to learn.

Heh, heh. No way will my son hit *to* me.

Nope, he enjoys watching his mother run corner to corner while he snickers. I imagine I look pretty silly, what with me pretending his shots are so great. I don't mind. It's good exercise. We leave with me exhausted and him thinking he "won," the little twerp.

backstreetboy
05-08-2007, 05:46 PM
Thanks everyone for your responses !, My friend and I played today and we both decided that we're doing lessons together, it's in a group of like 5 people with one instructor though. I got my friend to also hit against the wall because when we rally, it only lasts 1-2 hits so we spend more time picking up the balls than actually playing. I'm also getting him to make an account here and to read up on all the advice that's lying around here, furthermore, i even told him to watch videos with explanations of the techniques/form, cuz he said watching a match of tennis doesn't really help him(i guess its hard to see how they hit from that angle). but ya hopefully he will improve by the end of summer, thank for your suggestions guys!

benperet
05-08-2007, 07:19 PM
I know someone else just said this, but next time you're out feeding him balls also show him some things he can do against a backboard. Such as easy strokes to concentrate on only forehand, then only backhand, etc. Show him what it means to concentrate on one shot and then suggest he practice it by himself for timing.

That's actually how I built my backhand when i was learning. I just stood about 6 feet from the wall and hit really easy backhands while concentrating on form and putting the ball where I wanted it.

ps60
05-08-2007, 11:03 PM
Nope, he enjoys watching his mother run corner to corner while he snickers. I imagine I look pretty silly ... with me exhausted and him thinking he "won," the little twerp.

Oh, that's why my nephew and his sister don't want to play with me. They always want to win.
:(

Yeah, Now i just ask him to hit the wall, until he's good enough to play in a court.

sapient007
05-09-2007, 07:44 AM
i'd start with different grips. i think it's a important piece of foundation that everyone should focus on when first starting. i think grips should be easy enough for anyone with decent knowledge to teach.