View Full Version : Stupid Advice from Tennis Magazine???

03-29-2004, 09:14 AM
Did anyone read Eliot Teltscher's advice on page 38 in the April issue of Tennis?

A guy wrote in and said that he can crank his forehand so he sees many backhands during a match. Says he can't hit a backhand that is above his waist and asks for advice.

Teltscher's advice to him: "There's no rule that says you can't run around the shot and hit your forehand. You can spend plenty of time trying to improve your backhand, but it's never going to be as good as your forehand, so you should work on patterns that set up your stronger wing."

If you are going to work on something, why not just work on making your backhand better instead of trying to find ways not to have to hit it?

My backhand used to be 10 times as good as my forehand. Everyone realized this and started hitting to my forehand. After a couple of years having balls hit to my forehand, it is now as consistent as my backhand. If I'm in pressure situations and have the chance, I will probably still try and hit a backhand, but I'm no longer 'scared' of hitting a forehand.

If I would have continuously tried to find ways to avoid hitting my forehand, it (and I) would have never gotten better!

Does anyone else disagree with the advice given by Teltscher?


Camilio Pascual
03-29-2004, 09:28 AM
I'd say it is bad advice for a developing player. It is good advice for a matured player who has discovered he has topped out on improving his backhand no matter how many thousands of balls he hits. And it is good advice for either type of player while actually playing a match.

03-29-2004, 09:44 AM
Think it's bad advice for players looking to improve. I mean, I used to be hopeless at volleying and the only way to improve was to work at it. Now, it has become an effective part of my game. If I were to take his advice, ie work on patterns that set up my baseline strengths, I'd still be a baseliner instead of an all-courter.

03-29-2004, 12:04 PM
Yes, I thought it was bad advice to some degree, unless that person truly believes they can never improve their backhand. But running around a shot either shows you have a big weakness or a big strength, so you better have a big strength or you will be in a lot of trouble.

The guy probably needs to start over from scratch with his backhand but his poor technique is probably to well ingrained now.

03-29-2004, 11:19 PM
i think camilio has it right on. players who have topped out their backhand wing as a dependable shot and not as an outright weapon would be well served to take this advice.

03-30-2004, 07:43 AM
His advice is typical of what alot of pros are teaching to tournament juniors. It's pathetic that I see all these juniors with weak BH's and limited games. Then then come up against all court players and they are dismantled quite easily.

03-30-2004, 09:46 AM
It may be easier to improve speed and running FH than to improve a decent BH, but speed can be going down easily with age or injury.

04-04-2004, 02:37 PM
yea i think its bad advice, not hitting on backhand doesn't "improve" the backhand as it says. That was an incredibly stupid statement.

Mahboob Khan
04-04-2004, 06:14 PM
There is nothing wrong with the advice. What he meant to say was that while you are working on your backhand, find ways and means to use your forehand more such as running around your backhand and executing forehands! For majority of club players, the backhand serves as a maintenance wing anyway.

My advice: See a knowledgeable/experienced/reputable teaching pro, get the backhand fixed and integrate it into playing situations. In the meantime, if you have to play a match, try to shield your backhand flaw by hitting more forehands. That's how insideout forehands are hit. You run around your backhand and hit insideout and insidein forehands. Match time is not the suitable time to work on a flaw. In a match you try to impose your strength over your opponent's weakness! That's what Tennis Magazine's advice was all about.

For me, over the decades, the tennis magazine has proved to be a major source of tennis tips and instructions.

Bungalo Bill
04-04-2004, 07:40 PM
I agree with Mahboob, he also clarified himself and said to setup or work the point so you could favor your best wing.

04-04-2004, 11:07 PM
I agree, you really should play to your strengths, especially if you possess a weapon -- use the Wardlaw directionals.