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BU-Tennis
01-19-2009, 01:51 PM
So my sister is just getting into tennis this year. Last year I coached the high school team and she came out to play and ended up doing really well at four singles. Now she is a senior and will most likely be number 1 depending on the new competition. I have been working on the serve with her and she has a pretty good motion going. The best thing is that she is getting tons of slice/kick spin (don't know what to call it) but struggles with getting any pace and depth, usually the ball doesn't make it over the net because of the lack of power. I know that she isn't snapping the wrist through the shot but I'm not exactly sure how to get her to do it? Any suggestions?

LeeD
01-19-2009, 04:57 PM
First of all, can she throw?
How tall?
Start her out with eastern forehand for pace.
Once she hits too far to go in, have her move grip towards continental.

BU-Tennis
01-19-2009, 05:03 PM
She's about 5'3" and can throw and is currently somewhere between a continental and eastern forehand. She was able to hit a decent eastern grip serve with some ok speed but soon maxed out so we switched her to a continental. The problem is I dont know how to get her to understand the snapping motion at the top of the serve or how to get her to do it.

ThA_Azn_DeViL
01-19-2009, 05:06 PM
Some people actually need to see a visual, give her a video of a pro serving (preferably with her grip) and show her where the pronation occurs on the serve. Just dont try to stick too much on her in too little time, or her mechanics might break down.

BU-Tennis
01-19-2009, 06:36 PM
Trying to get my sister to watch a tennis video is impossible. Another question though. you see a lot of women pros who take the racquet up instead of around the body to get into the trophy pose. This is currently how my sister does it. Are there any problems with this?

BullDogTennis
01-19-2009, 06:45 PM
i think the best way to get her to swing harder would be to imagine throwing the racquet up as far as she canin her swing. if you have a old racquet, tell her to just let go at the top, and see how far it goes. its a good way to get the ball deeper and more spin.

BU-Tennis
01-19-2009, 07:34 PM
i think the best way to get her to swing harder would be to imagine throwing the racquet up as far as she canin her swing. if you have a old racquet, tell her to just let go at the top, and see how far it goes. its a good way to get the ball deeper and more spin.

I recall seeing the williams sisters doing this in the documentary made about them from the early 2000's. I think that will work very well, even for my serve. Thanks

Kevo
01-19-2009, 08:26 PM
Trying to get my sister to watch a tennis video is impossible. Another question though. you see a lot of women pros who take the racquet up instead of around the body to get into the trophy pose. This is currently how my sister does it. Are there any problems with this?

Nope, no problems at all. Some people would argue it's a better choice.

LeeD
01-20-2009, 09:06 AM
Yup, straight takeback is not a hindrance for players learning the service motion. Lots if top level girls do it. JuanIgnacioChela did it, and he was top 10 ranked MENS.
The takeback is not the problem. The goal here is to get a consistent swing that gives some amount of spin coupled with lots of pace on the ball, and still fall in.
At 5'3", she needs an arc to get anything over 80mph into the court. I think you have her grip too far over towards eastern backhand, which is why she spins the ball too much. Move it back towards continental with a slight forehand flavor. She needs to practice hitting her serves 3' over the net, no more, on her first serves. She can practice against a wall, with a line showing correct height.
Why can't you just SHOW her how to pronate? Hold the racket normally out in front of you, then twist your arm inwards, making the racket head go faster than your armtwist.

Bungalo Bill
01-20-2009, 09:40 AM
First of all, can she throw?
How tall?
Start her out with eastern forehand for pace.
Once she hits too far to go in, have her move grip towards continental.

PLEASE DO NOT START HER OUT WITH AN EASTERN FOREHAND!!!!

IF YOU HAVE NO HISTORY OR MUSCLE MEMORY AND IT IS THEE MOST OPPORTUNE TIME TO START HER OUT WITH THE CONTINENTAL.

fuzz nation
01-20-2009, 09:42 AM
I think that throwing an old racquet or even a stick or old broom handle might actually be a good idea.

It might also be helpful to try working a good tempo into that serve by taking practice motions while only gripping the racquet with the thumb and first two fingers (index and middle) on the handle. That sort of super-loose grip encourages good timing since it becomes almost impossible to muscle the racquet over the top too much. With the right tempo though, it can generate terrific racquet head speed.

If it's comfortable enough, try hitting practice serves with the same tempo. One thing to watch for is the motion getting jerky when trying to hit a ball. If that's the case, change the moment at which the toss goes up so that the smoothness in the motion is preserved. Many players make their toss before they're ready to hit it on time and they end up rushing to the ball, even the pros. That's a serve killer at all levels. Find the smooth tempo, then make sure that it can be duplicated when actually hitting a ball.

LeeD
01-20-2009, 09:58 AM
I agree with BBill's advice about NOT starting out with eastern forehand....but....
If she just can't replicate the service motion, can't hit overhead, can't swing overhead, it's the first step to getting an overhand service motion. NO, don't stick with it. Just hit a few with some pace and placment, then change to continental...straight, biased, or whatever.
But she can't swing and contact with continental AS IS! So we gotta make her practice tons, frustrate the heck out of her while her match play suffers, before she gets the hang of serviing semi flat with a continental grip.
She can't hit it because she doesn't understand pronation.
Even after the basic understanding, you MUST know that lots of good women's players serve with a forehandy side of continental, even after they're pretty good.
The service motion is not natural for most women. Give them something to start the point and they're on their way to tennis success.
You and I can argue over the nuances of continental, biased west or east, twist, top, flat, or whatever, but give the public something they can replicate NOW, not after 60 hours of practice.
But I do agree, I hate watching 4.5 level women serve with forehand side of continental grips.....and swing like a girl.

Spokewench
01-20-2009, 10:37 AM
But I do agree, I hate watching 4.5 level women serve with forehand side of continental grips.....and swing like a girl.

Excuse me? But, what does "Swing like a girl" mean? I'm so sick and tired of the many men on this forum putting women and women's tennis down like this. Wake up, guys, there are women on this forum and I've had enough of this bashing.

spokewench

SourStraws
01-20-2009, 11:58 AM
From a personal experience..... Switching to a continental grip will definately help in the long run.... I think it's important to ignore the short term results..... It took me about 3-4 weeks to get used to it..... But there is now a clear increase in power and Im working on placement......

As for getting it past the net..... Once again from personal experience..... Tell her to hit the fence when she serves to help her get used to the idea of actually hitting through the ball.....

Hope it helps


S.S.

Bungalo Bill
01-20-2009, 01:05 PM
I agree with BBill's advice about NOT starting out with eastern forehand....but....
If she just can't replicate the service motion, can't hit overhead, can't swing overhead, it's the first step to getting an overhand service motion. NO, don't stick with it. Just hit a few with some pace and placment, then change to continental...straight, biased, or whatever.

Trust me, teaching the Eastern forehand for the serve to a beginner and a young player is a mistake. This is an instructional direction that was largely based on - nothing. It was just something everyone did without a whole lot of research and understanding.

The issue you have with this is once they get used to using this grip, the Continental is different enough were it will feel very awkward and uncomfortable for them to switch to it. It becomes a struggle.

The hand and fingers have a ton of sensory receptors that sends tons of information to the brain on "what feels right". Not only this, the motion of the arm as it swings the racquet becomes a certain "feel."

But she can't swing and contact with continental AS IS! So we gotta make her practice tons, frustrate the heck out of her while her match play suffers, before she gets the hang of serviing semi flat with a continental grip.
She can't hit it because she doesn't understand pronation.
Even after the basic understanding, you MUST know that lots of good women's players serve with a forehandy side of continental, even after they're pretty good.

You do not have to put a person in a Eastern forehand grip. To teach pronation you would do the things you mentioned above which is throwing a ball. In fact, I have never taught pronation but simply tossed the ball up and had them try to hit the ball. It is that simple.

You can also place a ball in the fence high enough to where they would make contact and in slow motion, teach a person how the arm moves. However, I rarely break it down like this and simply teach a person how to serve much like I teach my daughter how to throw a ball. I never say "okay make sure you pronate now." The arm naturally pronates as it releases the ball in a throwing motion. I simply teach about four positions the arm is in at certain stages and that is it. Forget the darn pronation thing.

The service motion is not natural for most women. Give them something to start the point and they're on their way to tennis success.
You and I can argue over the nuances of continental, biased west or east, twist, top, flat, or whatever, but give the public something they can replicate NOW, not after 60 hours of practice.

If you want to argue with me go right ahead. Quick fixes are not always the right solution. I have provided something for people to replicate, I am not looking for immediate satsifaction, I am looking at player development and to avoid frustration down the road when they need to learn to switch.

Teach the Continental. PERIOD.

Bungalo Bill
01-20-2009, 01:11 PM
So my sister is just getting into tennis this year. Last year I coached the high school team and she came out to play and ended up doing really well at four singles. Now she is a senior and will most likely be number 1 depending on the new competition. I have been working on the serve with her and she has a pretty good motion going. The best thing is that she is getting tons of slice/kick spin (don't know what to call it) but struggles with getting any pace and depth, usually the ball doesn't make it over the net because of the lack of power. I know that she isn't snapping the wrist through the shot but I'm not exactly sure how to get her to do it? Any suggestions?

Power is derived from the legs. Many women do not use their legs properly in the serve or they mistime their rise from the legs and short circuit the arm in the process. In fact, many men also have the same problem. Men and women simply need to be taught how to do it and willing to practice.

It is important that you understand how to draw up power from the ground through your body. It is important for you to develop a "springboard" sensation as your toss goes up and your legs and toes povide the explosive lift you need to send this upward energy into the ball.

Extension, torso/shoulder rotation, non-dominant arm, legs, continuous motion, loose and relaxed hitting shoulder and arm, ball toss height and distance from body, all have contributions to power.

If you teach a relaxed noodle arm for the hitting arm, you really dont need to know more about the arm. If the ball is in the right place, the racquet will come forward and a loose wrist will act like a hinge to bring the racquet face into the ball.

Do not take shortcuts in the serve motion and grip. Use a continental grip. The serve motion is the most difficult of all the strokes, so it should take time and it should have some frustration. All sports have their "things" that require us to practice more in order to "Get it." Musicians know this when they take on a more difficult piece.

I was 8 years old when I tried to learn how to surf. I fell down and fell down. The most I could do was try to ride the whitewater and get up for a second withouth falling down. It took three weeks of trial and error before I could paddle out, sit and turn my board, judge a wave, paddle into the wave, and then get up and ride it. I eventually moved to Hawaii when I got old enough and surfed on the North Shore of Oahu for 7 - 8 years.

The Serve motion is the most complicated motion and although there are indivdual things going on like pronation, rotation, etc...you dont need to necessarily get all scientific about it to teach it. Teach it the right way and although it will require patience and learning, it will payoff.

Bungalo Bill
01-20-2009, 01:21 PM
Excuse me? But, what does "Swing like a girl" mean? I'm so sick and tired of the many men on this forum putting women and women's tennis down like this. Wake up, guys, there are women on this forum and I've had enough of this bashing.

spokewench

I agree. There is no reason why women can't learn a good serve motion. Too often some coaches shrug women off because they "serve like a girl" so they place them in a grip that dooms their serve to mediocrity forever.

The serve motion is the serve motion. Barring any physical or mental limitations, anyone can learn a decent serve motion with a continental grip.

Enough of this nonsense, women just need to be willing to put in the work and training to learn how to serve properly ust like men need to do.

Jonny S&V
01-20-2009, 01:28 PM
Trust me, teaching the Eastern forehand for the serve to a beginner and a young player is a mistake.

I'd have to disagree with you on this one...

When you have girls (and guys for that matter) who you know won't put in the hours needed to develop a "real" tennis game, that are just focused on the short-term results, you teach them something that they know they can get in with decent pace and that they can compete with.

Just my 2 cents... :)

Bungalo Bill
01-20-2009, 01:39 PM
I'd have to disagree with you on this one...

When you have girls (and guys for that matter) who you know won't put in the hours needed to develop a "real" tennis game, that are just focused on the short-term results, you teach them something that they know they can get in with decent pace and that they can compete with.

Just my 2 cents... :)

What qualified the short-term results? What qualified thennot putting in the "hours"? Maybe I missed that.

If a person isnt willing to practice anything then it probably isnt worth teaching them anything now is it? Why even teach them the fricking forehand or backhand for that matter? They arent gonna practice anyway or put in the "hours".

It also isn't a matter of a "billion" hours needed to hit a serve with a continental grip. It is a matter of teaching the serve. When someone is learning the serve, you teach them the Continental. You dont know how long someone will take to learn a serve with a continental. Some learn it fast, others more time. Do you know?

I am not into short-term results or players that aren't willing to practice. If we are talking about these players why even provide them with any instruction. Just go and tell them "do what feels natural". If you feel like taking off your clothes and you think you will serve better, why not!

Spokewench
01-20-2009, 01:45 PM
It isnt a matter or a billion hours needed to hit a serve with a continental grip. It is a matter of teaching the serve. When someone is learning the serve, you teach them the Continental.

I am not into short-term results. It is a coaching cop-out. Period.

Thank you Bungalo Bill. I agree with you. I want a person to teach me the correct form at first so that I can develop into a better player. I do not want to be doomed to never get better cause my grip keeps me from putting spin on a ball, etc. I started working on a topspin serve a while back and while it is not perfect; it gets better all the time. At least when I work on it, I know that if I perfect it, I will have a pretty good serve. Otherwise, I would have just a simple flat serve and at my height of 5'4" isn't gonna get me anywhere. I think that people assume that a person is not interested in getting better or that they do not have the time to put in the practice, but what I have seen is that if you give them the tools, they will more than likely get more interested and start to put the time in!

Bungalo Bill
01-20-2009, 01:59 PM
Thank you Bungalo Bill. I agree with you. I want a person to teach me the correct form at first so that I can develop into a better player. I do not want to be doomed to never get better cause my grip keeps me from putting spin on a ball, etc. I started working on a topspin serve a while back and while it is not perfect; it gets better all the time. At least when I work on it, I know that if I perfect it, I will have a pretty good serve. Otherwise, I would have just a simple flat serve and at my height of 5'4" isn't gonna get me anywhere. I think that people assume that a person is not interested in getting better or that they do not have the time to put in the practice, but what I have seen is that if you give them the tools, they will more than likely get more interested and start to put the time in!

Exactly.

We have this "coach in the park" around here. He asked me to fill in for him.

The women ranged from people who dont care to improve to those hungry for ways to improve their game.

One of the strokes most of the women wanted to improve was the serve. Many of them were in the Eastern forehand grip. So, for a half hour, with the ones that didnt want to improve complaining, I had the women hit in the Continental and learn to simply and competely relax the arm.

Did they struggle at first? Absolutely. However, even if these girls went back to the Eastern afterwards, they at least tried.

Out of eight women, and after several demonstrations and exercises, two of the women hit with the Cntinental with more pace on their serve and a smoother action in the arm and motion. One of them transformed her serve and demonstrated excellent form. She was so excited.

My questions would be? What are we afraid of? A little failiure? A little frustration? Or are we so dumb to think that women because of the so-called "they cant throw a ball" can't learn to serve? And what is this throw a ball thing? I taught my daughters how to throw a ball. A friend of mines wife can throw an NCAA sized football with a perfect spiral better than I can.

It is absolute nonsense. We need to teach the right way to hit a ball and let the brain and body learn.

Nellie
01-21-2009, 10:18 AM
Try to get her to hit in the direction of the shoulders with that continental grip. Too many player used to an eastern grip want to face chest toward the target. If you just change the grip, their serve will still be chest forward, and the serve really be bad. Then you will have to hear endless stories of how the grip change is ruining their games. At times, I have kids throwing a football/baseball with their off (usually left) arm extended and pointed along in the line of the shoulder so they can better visualize the swing path.

With a shorter player, I would start them with a toss more over their head, so they are hitting up and through the ball. Ideally, over time you would want to have the toss move forward, with the body bending into the shot.

I use an old racquet with a cover that does not cover the handle. I have my kids practice softely hitting serves with the cover on, so that the kids are leading with the racquet frame (blading through the air) with the wrist rotation/pronation just prior to contact to get the racquet face open to the ball.

LeeD
01-21-2009, 10:24 AM
I think a good serve needs a prep where the back faces the opponent, like in a mens service motion. Not amateur men, but pro men.
Next, they gotta shorten up the swing so the goal is to accelerate the racket face thru the ball, NOT to swing the arm fast.
Swinging the arm fast is good, of course, but is NOT the goal in a tennis serve.
Racket head speed should be the goal.

Jonny S&V
01-21-2009, 10:38 AM
What qualified the short-term results? What qualified thennot putting in the "hours"? Maybe I missed that.

If a person isnt willing to practice anything then it probably isnt worth teaching them anything now is it? Why even teach them the fricking forehand or backhand for that matter? They arent gonna practice anyway or put in the "hours".

It also isn't a matter of a "billion" hours needed to hit a serve with a continental grip. It is a matter of teaching the serve. When someone is learning the serve, you teach them the Continental. You dont know how long someone will take to learn a serve with a continental. Some learn it fast, others more time. Do you know?

I am not into short-term results or players that aren't willing to practice. If we are talking about these players why even provide them with any instruction. Just go and tell them "do what feels natural". If you feel like taking off your clothes and you think you will serve better, why not!

I wouldn't call it a "cop-out," but it's kinda obvious that I'm not going to get anywhere with you (after reading your posts). So, are Patrick Rafter and company the results of coaching cop-outs? :confused:

P.S. : Unlike other people on the board, I'm not trying to sound all knowing, just wondering how you can be so closed-minded when some have made something work the other way...

skiracer55
01-21-2009, 11:11 AM
...lots of overheads. Once she gets that one wired, standing in one place and hitting a ball that she tosses is a piece of cake...

Bungalo Bill
01-21-2009, 03:26 PM
I wouldn't call it a "cop-out," but it's kinda obvious that I'm not going to get anywhere with you (after reading your posts). So, are Patrick Rafter and company the results of coaching cop-outs? :confused:

You are right, you wont go anywhere with me on this topic. You can bring up Zeus and it woudnt matter to me.

P.S. : Unlike other people on the board, I'm not trying to sound all knowing, just wondering how you can be so closed-minded when some have made something work the other way...

Well, I am not trying to sound all knowing either, just have been there and done that. So, if you consider a person that has experienced something and has determined his direction closed-minded, well you can bleep...bleep...bleep.

I also have been through the Eastern forehand grip process, I have taught the Eastern forehand grip process, and have told people about the Eastern forehand grip process, and was sold on the Eastern forehand grip process. I am not trying to tell you that I am "all knowing" without any background in it. I am telling you my experience and what I consider the right direction. Get it?

And please, spare me on the crybaby talk...

Jonny S&V
01-21-2009, 06:16 PM
Well, I am not trying to sound all knowing either, just have been there and done that. So, if you consider a person that has experienced something and has determined his direction closed-minded, well you can bleep...bleep...bleep.

I also have been through the Eastern forehand grip process, I have taught the Eastern forehand grip process, and have told people about the Eastern forehand grip process, and was sold on the Eastern forehand grip process. I am not trying to tell you that I am "all knowing" without any background in it. I am telling you my experience and what I consider the right direction. Get it?

And please, spare me on the crybaby talk...

Ok, we can differ in opinion, if only just a little... But you didn't answer my question about Rafter and co...

As for the crybaby talk, I just want to prove that I'm not one of these hard nosed enthusiasts who think they know what they are talking about because they read it in an article. My opinions will change if I think it is a good idea, but this is one where I have the differing opinion... :neutral:

julian
01-21-2009, 07:24 PM
Excuse me? But, what does "Swing like a girl" mean? I'm so sick and tired of the many men on this forum putting women and women's tennis down like this. Wake up, guys, there are women on this forum and I've had enough of this bashing.

spokewench

If you have a spare minute please watch/click
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2008/05/26/sports/playmagazine/200805227

WildVolley
01-21-2009, 09:47 PM
I was initially taught to serve with a continental grip and still use it today. I've taught beginners to serve with the continental grip and didn't have a lot of difficulty with it. Many started hitting well right away.

A lot of players already hit a waiter's tray or badminton serve with a forehand grip, and it may be difficult to convince them to hit with a throwing motion with the continental, but it is probably worth the effort.

sukivan
01-21-2009, 10:28 PM
its like a throw EXCEPT the front shoulder stays where it is and the back shoulder comes up and over it. stretch your hitting arm upwards and put a string just below the point where your hand is. then tell them to throw a ball over it but they can only release once their hand is above the string.

CoachingMastery
01-22-2009, 02:12 AM
Learning to serve (or volley or slice backhands or hit overheads etc) with the continental grip is easy IF you teach the right tools, progressions, and advisements.

BB is correct. I have trained 3500 players with only one or two exceptions to use the continental grip. They did not have to "serve 10,000" balls, or spend their waking hours concentrating on it. There are a number of 'exercises' that program and provide a player (of any age) to master the continental grip.

However, I will say that if I were only to show a person a continental grip, and not know how to teach the additional swing components using the continental grip, then my students would probably NOT learn to use this grip and end up using the more rudementary easter forehand grip.

Those who say that everyone should be taught to use the eastern grips is only saying that because they usually don't know how to teach the proper grips and strokes associated with that grip correctly.

And, yes, I agree it is a 'cop out' for pros to encourage the eastern forehand grips for success....because they don't know how to teach the proper grips correctly.

I taught my 8 year old daughter to hit a slice, kick and flat serve using the continental grip...among thousands of others. You can observe her actual development at that age in a series of articles found at TennisOne.com. I include the teaching tools and progressions that we used for her to master these serves with the proper grip.

For those who insist on stagnating players below their ability by insisting they learn to use the eastern forehand grip first for the serve, try learning many of the helpful tools that will help your students or yourself.

Yes, it is usually a little more frustrating for a few days at first! But I have a saying:

"If you avoid that which you are trying to achieve, you will only achieve that which you are trying to avoid."

Spokewench
01-22-2009, 08:16 AM
If you have a spare minute please watch/click
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2008/05/26/sports/playmagazine/200805227

Sorry, julian, that link took me no where - just to a page that does not exist.

Bungalo Bill
01-22-2009, 08:46 AM
Ok, we can differ in opinion, if only just a little... But you didn't answer my question about Rafter and co...

Well sorry for the harshness, but what do you want me to answer? That Rafter is wrong? What era did Rafter learn tennis? Should I say that Becker is wrong? Or should I point out to you that instruction has evolved?

I already told you that I used to promote the Eastern forehand grip process. I even told you that I was trained using the Eastern forehand grip. I even mentioned that I used to coach people to start out with the Eastern forehand grip.

The trouble I had is players tend to move on and get new coaches or just move on for various reasons (move, stop playing tennis, etc...). When an instructor teaches, they have to be responsible to know what the outcome of their teaching could end up being. Players will engrain habits and because they "believed me" and have success with it, I found out that most humans do not want to go through another change later. Some "difficult to pinpoint the source" have arm problems later. Some don't.

I also have been on the receiving end of my belief, trying to UNDO the advice and instruction to hit a serve with an Eastern forehand grip. Do you know how hard it was to change these people? Granted, not all of them had it tough, I already mentioned my success with two ladies above.

However, I had to learn to be real patient and cut to the chase regarding this Eastern forehand stuff. Eventually, I learned that I would rather teach it the right way in the beginning (even though it may take a bit longer) than undo it later with no telling how difficult it will be for the player to make the change.

I moved on in other words. Let's just agree to disagree.

Teaching the Continental and having the perception that beginners or "women" cant learn it, is a misconception. Thinking that if they miss or struggle a bit with the serve in a continental grip and fear that they will lose interest in tennis is also a misconception.

larry10s
01-22-2009, 10:58 AM
bungalow bill and coaching mastery are 2 VERY knowledgeable and experienced tennis coaches . people should listen to what they say very closely. often you have to pay for advice from the quality person like them. appreciate them. dont give them a hard time.

Bungalo Bill
01-22-2009, 11:01 AM
bungalow bill and coaching mastery are 2 VERY knowledgeable and experienced tennis coaches . people should listen to what they say very closely. often you have to pay for advice from the quality person like them. appreciate them. dont give them a hard time.

Besides coaching experience, a couple differences between me and Coaching Mastery is he has more patience and tact with you guys. :)

Jonny S&V
01-23-2009, 10:17 AM
bungalow bill and coaching mastery are 2 VERY knowledgeable and experienced tennis coaches . people should listen to what they say very closely. often you have to pay for advice from the quality person like them. appreciate them. dont give them a hard time.

It's not that I want to "question" them per se, but I wanted to know WHY. I appreciate all of BBs posts (haven't really been involved with too many threads with CM, but I digress...) and thank him for putting up with so many people. I just was wondering about this one subject...

wihamilton
01-23-2009, 12:03 PM
I'd have to disagree with you on this one...

When you have girls (and guys for that matter) who you know won't put in the hours needed to develop a "real" tennis game, that are just focused on the short-term results, you teach them something that they know they can get in with decent pace and that they can compete with.

Just my 2 cents... :)

What qualified the short-term results? What qualified thennot putting in the "hours"? Maybe I missed that.

If a person isnt willing to practice anything then it probably isnt worth teaching them anything now is it? Why even teach them the fricking forehand or backhand for that matter? They arent gonna practice anyway or put in the "hours".

It also isn't a matter of a "billion" hours needed to hit a serve with a continental grip. It is a matter of teaching the serve. When someone is learning the serve, you teach them the Continental. You dont know how long someone will take to learn a serve with a continental. Some learn it fast, others more time. Do you know?

I am not into short-term results or players that aren't willing to practice. If we are talking about these players why even provide them with any instruction. Just go and tell them "do what feels natural". If you feel like taking off your clothes and you think you will serve better, why not!

I don't necessarily agree that someone isn't worth teaching if they don't practice often. While I almost always agree that it is a mistake to sacrifice long-term improvement for short-term results, sometimes it's more important for a player to succeed in the short term. This is most often the case with players "on the fence" -- people who may bail on the sport because the learning correct mechanics seems so daunting.

I taught a 20-something woman a few years ago who couldn't serve with a continental grip. She was on her way but her serve wasn't "match ready." She was pretty consistent using an eastern grip and had a league match coming up. I said to her, "look, this is not the correct way to serve and you'll have to change your grip if you want to improve but it makes sense for you to use an eastern in the match. You have to get the ball in."

I think what JSV advocates can occasionally be the correct route put it is one steeped with danger. There's a good chance you create long-term technical problems and let the student get comfortable with them. That said, I don't think coaches have to be so doctrinaire -- so technically pure -- that they can't give a student a shortcut here or there if they have a match coming up. IMO, the key is communication. "Here you go, but...." If students understand that they're not getting a long-term solution -- and they're actually getting something that will cause long-term problems -- hopefully any short-term successes they achieve will motivate them to improve.

BB, perhaps the thing I disagree w/you about is that students automatically have the willingness / passion to practice. In my experience, that passion is partially a product of good coaching. Sometimes a coach has to balance long-term improvements with short-term results so the student stays interested. When you have a student that is passionate regardless then you're in great shape but obviously that isn't always the case. I'm interested to hear your thoughts. Hopefully I've articulated myself clearly.

And I echo Larry's sentiments on BB and Dave Smith.

Bungalo Bill
01-23-2009, 03:53 PM
BB, perhaps the thing I disagree w/you about is that students automatically have the willingness / passion to practice.

I dont know how you can disagree with something I either never said or implied. I already know students dont always practice. This is a common coaching dillema we all face. :)

Passion partially a product of good coaching.

I dont know about passion but certainly motivation.

Sometimes a coach has to balance long-term improvements with short-term results so the student stays interested.

Ummmm...I just dont "do" short-term. I dont mess around with it. I think the better thing to say is "some coaches will go with short-term results" and I dont know if it really benefits long-term improvements. It may or it may not.

There are so many ways and tools we coaches can use to teach the correct way at our disposal nowadays. I just dont go there.

With me, if the player is not interested in learning tennis and improving in the process. I just tell them they have the wrong coach. It ends there with me.

When you have a student that is passionate regardless then you're in great shape but obviously that isn't always the case. I'm interested to hear your thoughts. Hopefully I've articulated myself clearly.

I can motivate a player. I can get them to believe in themselves, get them willing to want to improve, and get them to take their off-lesson practices seriously. I do this because they dont walk on to the court with me without showing me the results of their work. I never look at tennis coaching as a bunch of "lessons". I am a partner to a player that wants to improve themsleves in a sport that is difficult to master. I am a consultant to their goals and desires. They are paying me to get results so they can improve their quality of life and I need to take a genuine interest in them in hopefully all areas of their lives (mentally, spirtually, emotionally, and physically).

Finally, you have articulated your points well but I think you misread my information or I may have mistyped. I understand motivation needs to be there to accelerate improvement, however, I am not the type of coach that heads down the short-term results path to keep em happy and interested. With me, you either are interested already, you're gonna get interested, or you go home.

CoachingMastery
01-23-2009, 04:16 PM
It's not that I want to "question" them per se, but I wanted to know WHY. I appreciate all of BBs posts (haven't really been involved with too many threads with CM, but I digress...) and thank him for putting up with so many people. I just was wondering about this one subject...

The reason I promote and teach ALL players the serve using the continental grip is several fold.

From the simple observance of top players, (not just pros but top juniors, club players, college players and top seniors), the preponderance of the use of the continental grip (we are talking probably close to 99 percent in my experience), should be somewhat of a clue as to why you should learn to serve with this grip. The rarity of exceptions, combined with the obvious use of the eastern forehand grip by a huge percentage of weaker, stagnated players, should also be fairly revealing.

In my teaching experience, the pros who advocate the eastern forehand grip either do not know how to GET players to FEEL comfortable with the continental grip, or, they don't know how to educate students to understand and accept the simple aspect that learning some things can take more time and can be initially a bit challenging. (The continental grip for most beginners on the serve is foreign.) Most people understand that skilled activities can take time. No one ever challenges the piano teacher or the typing teacher who teaches students to use ALL their fingers! (I think we would ALL question those same teachers if they taught "Hunt and Peck" methods of learning the piano or keyboard!) But, using all fingers in those two activities takes a lot of time to feel comfortable and eventually master. Avoiding these methods (of using all the fingers), would simple make mastery of those instruments imposible...at least within our understanding of what a person can do when they DO master all the fingers.

Finally, the most impressive criteria for me is that players will seldom "transition" from the eastern forehand grip to the continental once they start playing tennis as competition. This is because no one wants to lose or perceive they might certainly lose! So, would a student use something that is unfamiliar or uncomfortable in competiton? Of course they don't...because that would make them feel like they will lose. (They don't feel uncomfortable losing using their familiar--but totally mediocre--methods!)

There are those who can recognize that they are not getting any better, recognize how those who serve effectively do it, and then work hard to transition to the continental grip. But this is rare, as BB so succinctly mentioned with his story of his group of women he taught, filling in for another coach.

So many coaches are blatently afraid to tell players the truth. Let's face it, it is hard for individuals to A) be told they are doing something wrong--or ineffectively, and B) to then recognize that they have been doing it wrong for a LONG TIME!

Having taught the large numbers of students I've mentioned, I can say from a first hand experience, that the most difficult and frustrated student are those who learned the more "rudementary" grips first. Many of these find it so frustrating that they honestly believe they can not possibly learn to serve well. (This thinking, of course, will prevent them from learning it altogether!)

The final note on this expanded message is this: IT IS NOT JUST A GRIP CHANGE. Those who say, "heck, we will teach your this easier grip first...then later, we will learn to use the more advanced continental grip," don't understand the other variables the also must change with the grip change. The stance, the swing path, the racquet's position relative to the forearm, the follow-through all have a direct relationship to the girp. This helps explain why it is indeed so VERY HARD to 'transition' to the continental grip.

I hope the helps everyone understand this concept...at least from one pro's perspective. I try never to advise base on personal opinion...but based on extensive research, observations, and, quite frankly, common sense.

wihamilton
01-23-2009, 06:17 PM
BB -- Thx for the response. What would you have done in the situation I described. The woman I gave a lesson to couldn't serve w/out an eastern grip and had a match coming up. Would you have told her to stick w/an eastern for that match (while making it clear that it is a technically incorrect / she needed to switch to a continental if she wants to improve) or had her serve w/a continental immediately?

CoachingMastery
01-23-2009, 07:46 PM
BB -- Thx for the response. What would you have done in the situation I described. The woman I gave a lesson to couldn't serve w/out an eastern grip and had a match coming up. Would you have told her to stick w/an eastern for that match (while making it clear that it is a technically incorrect / she needed to switch to a continental if she wants to improve) or had her serve w/a continental immediately?

Will, I know you asked Bill about this, but I thought I would offer another perspective in addition to what he might add:

In your situation, you must ask the woman this important question: How good do you want to become? If the answer is "As good as I can possibly be" then you must encourage her to use the continental grip immediately...even if it means losing every service point in her next match.

Unless her life depends on winning the match today, then the loss is a win: Every opportunity to use proper stroke mechanics, be it serves, volleys, gs, or playing strategies, in competition brings that player closer to mastering those desired skills and strokes. Everytime a player avoids them, they will avoid them even more the next time.

There are some exceptions to this generality: if the player is in a league match and others are depending on her, then, of course, you try to win any way you can. (short of cheating!) But, a clear understanding and training must be instituted by providing 'competitive' opportunities where the player uses the desired patterns under pressure.

Very few players who are 'trained' to use the eastern forehand grip can make the transition in match play without some level of practice. The perception of failure (with the unfamiliar) will make almost all players revert bact to their comfort stroke patterns and grips. Obviously, if the woman sincerely believes she can't or won't be able to serve using the continental grip, that would be another exception. If there is no clear understanding of the goal of this grip and the resultant swing pattern necessary, the player will almost never transition.

So, in a nutshell, we must educate and help those who are using inferior strokes or grips, understand not just how, but why, using more effective grips and strokes will help them play more effective tennis. If they don't see this connection, you can tell them till your are blue in the face to change...they won't.

wishsong
01-23-2009, 07:49 PM
For me, I'm probably a low 3.5 or a high 3.0 player, it's all in the toss. To get a lot of pace, I throw it a bit in front of me, and bend my knees. When I'm going to hit it I jump forward while hitting it. Be careful not to pass the baseline, or else your serve won't count.

CoachingMastery
01-23-2009, 09:45 PM
One additional analogy I use when trying to convince people of change:

If you lost every match for the next six months, how would you feel? Now, ask this, what if in six months, you not only start winning a high percentage of matches, but you are playing at a higher level than you ever have, how would you feel?

Most will recognize the long-term benefit of working on more effective techniques. And most would be more than happy to lose all their matches for a period of time in turn to have a lifetime of more effective, higher skilled, and more competitive matches.

The problem is the need for "immediate gratification" which so many people put ahead of longterm improvement and, ultimately, reaching a player's true potential.

If a stroke technique is limiting, then it usually will prevent a player from reaching their potential. Yes, some can manipulate a quasi unconventional/irregular form to make it somewhat effective within the context of current levels.

But, remember that as you play 'better' you will end up playing better opponents. These new players' shots may be too effective for your irregular or strange technique...even though that same technique might have been very successful at a certain level before.

There is so much to this argument. But, the bottom line is that the vast majority of players tend to play at levels far below their potential simply because they are still using the basic, mediocre methods that were first taught to them or that they self-generated through self-taught interpretations.

Just a couple more 'cents' from my perspective to try and help others 'get it.'

wihamilton
01-24-2009, 11:33 AM
Will, I know you asked Bill about this, but I thought I would offer another perspective in addition to what he might add:

In your situation, you must ask the woman this important question: How good do you want to become? If the answer is "As good as I can possibly be" then you must encourage her to use the continental grip immediately...even if it means losing every service point in her next match.

Unless her life depends on winning the match today, then the loss is a win: Every opportunity to use proper stroke mechanics, be it serves, volleys, gs, or playing strategies, in competition brings that player closer to mastering those desired skills and strokes. Everytime a player avoids them, they will avoid them even more the next time.

There are some exceptions to this generality: if the player is in a league match and others are depending on her, then, of course, you try to win any way you can. (short of cheating!) But, a clear understanding and training must be instituted by providing 'competitive' opportunities where the player uses the desired patterns under pressure.

Very few players who are 'trained' to use the eastern forehand grip can make the transition in match play without some level of practice. The perception of failure (with the unfamiliar) will make almost all players revert bact to their comfort stroke patterns and grips. Obviously, if the woman sincerely believes she can't or won't be able to serve using the continental grip, that would be another exception. If there is no clear understanding of the goal of this grip and the resultant swing pattern necessary, the player will almost never transition.

So, in a nutshell, we must educate and help those who are using inferior strokes or grips, understand not just how, but why, using more effective grips and strokes will help them play more effective tennis. If they don't see this connection, you can tell them till your are blue in the face to change...they won't.

Hi Dave. I agree with what you said assuming the woman says, "I want to become as good as I can be." However, I think many club-level players would instead answer, "I want to have a good time and socialize." In those frequent circumstances I think a doctrinaire approach to coaching correct technique may detract from that goal. Playing at a high level simply isn't their #1 priority.

I suspect some of the disagreements in this thread have to do with the fact that we are assuming all tennis players / students are monolithic.

CoachingMastery
01-24-2009, 01:06 PM
Hi Dave. I agree with what you said assuming the woman says, "I want to become as good as I can be." However, I think many club-level players would instead answer, "I want to have a good time and socialize." In those frequent circumstances I think a doctrinaire approach to coaching correct technique may detract from that goal. Playing at a high level simply isn't their #1 priority.

I suspect some of the disagreements in this thread have to do with the fact that we are assuming all tennis players / students are monolithic.

I concur with your point. That is why I would ask and not assume the player wants to become a better player.

But, anyone can socialize, even competitive tennis is an exercise in social interaction. And, we also need to look at what people consider a "good time"...

My take is that the vast majority of players WANT to get better...which is why so many come to you and me for lessons! I seriously doubt that too many players really think, "Hey, I think I'd like to play some tennis but I really want to suck at it."

A great number of players, those who are stagnate at lower leves because of inadequate form, tend to 'say' they only want to play for fun or the social element. This is a protective mechinism as they know they are stuck at the same level and basically are "tanking" tennis as a sport because they realize that they are not going to get much better.

And, there is absolutely nothing wrong with these scenarios! The honest answer is based on the honest intent of the student.

My only problem is with those who teach specifically the inferior methods just so the student perceives some success quickly.

If you think about it, tennis is the ONLY sport to adopt a transitional methodology, teaching to "Play tennis fast" but not teaching to reach one's potential.

One other thing too, I think I've mentioned this before: you can teach 5000 players exactly the same way and no two players will end up playing alike. The human condition, personality, character, etc., drives evolution and idiosycracies to the point that players will evolve their game to meet their particular taste, feel, rhythm, style, and personality.

So, while it may seem that teaching an advanced foundation to all players could seem 'monolithic'...(or 'clone teaching') it is absolutely impossible for all those players to become clones.

Now, you can--and should--employ a wide range of teaching strategies to get the foundation across. Analogies, tools, exercises, drills, progressions all are what make great coaches great. The worst coach, in my opinion, is the "used car salesman" coach, who only teaches one way, with only one teaching philosphy, and is ridgid when someone teaches a different way. Case in point: when I was a head pro at a club, the director wanted me to teach his way. (Even as I had taught hundreds of top state and nationally ranked players to his none!) Anyway, I asked him point blank: "If you knew one of your students would hit better using my technique, over your technique, would you teach my technique to him." His answer was, "No, our way is the best way."

Scary.

Bungalo Bill
01-26-2009, 09:22 AM
Hi Dave. I agree with what you said assuming the woman says, "I want to become as good as I can be." However, I think many club-level players would instead answer, "I want to have a good time and socialize." In those frequent circumstances I think a doctrinaire approach to coaching correct technique may detract from that goal. Playing at a high level simply isn't their #1 priority.

I suspect some of the disagreements in this thread have to do with the fact that we are assuming all tennis players / students are monolithic.

So, if I wanted to play social golf, and took lessons, I guess you wouldnt mind me holding the clubs without my hands interlocked somehow or backwards.

Sorry, cant get there. I would still teach the continental serve if they were PAYING me to instruct them. Otherwise, I would send them to you.

junbug
01-26-2009, 09:33 AM
so dave if some guy was telling me to teach the classic way over the oscar wegner way. when most of my student's success was with oscar's method. i should stick with it???

Bungalo Bill
01-26-2009, 09:43 AM
BB -- Thx for the response. What would you have done in the situation I described. The woman I gave a lesson to couldn't serve w/out an eastern grip and had a match coming up. Would you have told her to stick w/an eastern for that match (while making it clear that it is a technically incorrect / she needed to switch to a continental if she wants to improve) or had her serve w/a continental immediately?

Yes, to all of the above.

If a player insists they learn the Eastern from me, I will upfront tell them, I am not their guy. Maybe I just wouldnt teach the serve to them after that.

Maybe that is a fault in me, maybe it is a virtue. However, I personally would have a very hard time teaching the Eastern forehand grip for a serve knowing what potentially lies down the road for that player.

Even if that player said they are only interested in "social" tennis. In a few months, they may change their mind and want to be more competitive. Then what?

I would feel awful and unprofessional if that person went to a different coach and he found out I encouraged the Eastern forehand grip in any way shape or form. I can just hear it now "BB taught what? "What? The Eastern forehand grip for the serve? Who taught you this? Oh no, he was not teaching you the serve correctly...wow, you should get yor money back, he did you a disservice. Now, you have to undo a lot of engrained muscle memory thanks to him." Great, just great.

I just have a hard time taking someones money for something I dont believe in. I would be sick to my stomach everytime the person hit the ball. What would you expect me to say when the player says "so BB, thanks for not letting me go down the path of the Continental, but just so we are on the same page, am I hitting the serve right even though I am using the Eastern forehand?" I wouldnt even know what to say and would largely feel like this inside: :cry::confused::shock::mad:

Bungalo Bill
01-26-2009, 09:52 AM
so dave if some guy was telling me to teach the classic way over the oscar wegner way. when most of my student's success was with oscar's method. i should stick with it???

So long as you understand the following:

1. Oscar is not the Father of Tennis

2. He was not the inventor of the "modern" stroke.

3. That professional players prepare BEFORE the ball bounce.

4. He did not teach nor influence Guga.

5. There are limitations with his teaching and you need to incorporate other coaches ideas to help "round out" the instruction.

6. That ALL other coaches that dont subscribe to Oscar's ways are not in the "old teaching boat" he puts them in.

7. That OTHER coaches that dont subscribe to Oscar that teach good fundamentals are not wrong.

8. That Oscar acknowledges his way is not the Holy Grail. That like any other method of teaching, it has its strengths and weaknesses and success stories and failures.

split-step
01-26-2009, 10:52 AM
PLEASE DO NOT START HER OUT WITH AN EASTERN FOREHAND!!!!

IF YOU HAVE NO HISTORY OR MUSCLE MEMORY AND IT IS THEE MOST OPPORTUNE TIME TO START HER OUT WITH THE CONTINENTAL.

whole heartedly second this.

CoachingMastery
01-26-2009, 11:14 AM
so dave if some guy was telling me to teach the classic way over the oscar wegner way. when most of my student's success was with oscar's method. i should stick with it???

Absolutely. However, your post said "Most of my student's success"...so, I would look at why some are not being successful too. In your example, I have watched a lot of Oscar's methods and believe it to have validity in many situations and can help most achieve success. While my "advanced foundation" might differ in some regards to say Oscar's or Nick's or Robert's or John's or Will's or other proven pros, I think you will see a common ground of sorts and a high percentage of success stories from each.

My main point is not a judgement against proven formulas. (I attend tennis conventions all the time to learn more than I already know!) What I am against is the philosophy of teaching patterns that MUST change for more advanced skills to be attained. The idea of teaching simple patterns first JUST to have the student experience success is a poor teaching philosophy if you want the student to reach their potential.

sureshs
01-26-2009, 12:19 PM
Trying to get my sister to watch a tennis video is impossible. Another question though. you see a lot of women pros who take the racquet up instead of around the body to get into the trophy pose. This is currently how my sister does it. Are there any problems with this?

Some men too (Roddick arguably). It is called the abbreviated takeback. I tried that a few times when my regular serve decided to leave me. I have seen several junior girls do this also. It is a confidence booster for a while, but it has problems with pace or spin generation (unless you are a pro who can swing insanely fast in a short span).

Ivan Morales
01-26-2009, 12:28 PM
PLEASE DO NOT START HER OUT WITH AN EASTERN FOREHAND!!!!

IF YOU HAVE NO HISTORY OR MUSCLE MEMORY AND IT IS THEE MOST OPPORTUNE TIME TO START HER OUT WITH THE CONTINENTAL.

Exactly! It's better If she starts directly with continental grip.

wihamilton
01-26-2009, 12:32 PM
So, if I wanted to play social golf, and took lessons, I guess you wouldnt mind me holding the clubs without my hands interlocked somehow or backwards.

Sorry, cant get there. I would still teach the continental serve if they were PAYING me to instruct them. Otherwise, I would send them to you.

Haha well thanks for the referral :).

Yes, to all of the above.

If a player insists they learn the Eastern from me, I will upfront tell them, I am not their guy. Maybe I just wouldnt teach the serve to them after that.

Maybe that is a fault in me, maybe it is a virtue. However, I personally would have a very hard time teaching the Eastern forehand grip for a serve knowing what potentially lies down the road for that player.

Even if that player said they are only interested in "social" tennis. In a few months, they may change their mind and want to be more competitive. Then what?

I would feel awful and unprofessional if that person went to a different coach and he found out I encouraged the Eastern forehand grip in any way shape or form. I can just hear it now "BB taught what? "What? The Eastern forehand grip for the serve? Who taught you this? Oh no, he was not teaching you the serve correctly...wow, you should get yor money back, he did you a disservice. Now, you have to undo a lot of engrained muscle memory thanks to him." Great, just great.

I just have a hard time taking someones money for something I dont believe in. I would be sick to my stomach everytime the person hit the ball. What would you expect me to say when the player says "so BB, thanks for not letting me go down the path of the Continental, but just so we are on the same page, am I hitting the serve right even though I am using the Eastern forehand?" I wouldnt even know what to say and would largely feel like this inside: :cry::confused::shock:

Well I think the scenario you described -- where the person goes to another coach and said you encouraged them to use an eastern -- is not what I was talking about. There's a difference between encouraging the use of that grip and explaining to a student that it is an option, albeit a technically incorrect one. If that student then decides to hit with an eastern in a match because he / she cannot serve (yet) using correct technique, that is his or her choice. If the student's goal is to improve as fast as possible, he / she will probably try and serve w/a continental. If the student's goal is to have fun and not double fault every time, he / she will probably go w/the eastern. Again, this latter scenario does not preclude learning correct technique when practicing.

I think we're basically arguing club-level vs. high-performance coaching.

wihamilton
01-26-2009, 12:41 PM
I concur with your point. That is why I would ask and not assume the player wants to become a better player.

But, anyone can socialize, even competitive tennis is an exercise in social interaction. And, we also need to look at what people consider a "good time"...

My take is that the vast majority of players WANT to get better...which is why so many come to you and me for lessons! I seriously doubt that too many players really think, "Hey, I think I'd like to play some tennis but I really want to suck at it."

A great number of players, those who are stagnate at lower leves because of inadequate form, tend to 'say' they only want to play for fun or the social element. This is a protective mechinism as they know they are stuck at the same level and basically are "tanking" tennis as a sport because they realize that they are not going to get much better.

And, there is absolutely nothing wrong with these scenarios! The honest answer is based on the honest intent of the student.

My only problem is with those who teach specifically the inferior methods just so the student perceives some success quickly.

If you think about it, tennis is the ONLY sport to adopt a transitional methodology, teaching to "Play tennis fast" but not teaching to reach one's potential.

One other thing too, I think I've mentioned this before: you can teach 5000 players exactly the same way and no two players will end up playing alike. The human condition, personality, character, etc., drives evolution and idiosycracies to the point that players will evolve their game to meet their particular taste, feel, rhythm, style, and personality.

So, while it may seem that teaching an advanced foundation to all players could seem 'monolithic'...(or 'clone teaching') it is absolutely impossible for all those players to become clones.

Now, you can--and should--employ a wide range of teaching strategies to get the foundation across. Analogies, tools, exercises, drills, progressions all are what make great coaches great. The worst coach, in my opinion, is the "used car salesman" coach, who only teaches one way, with only one teaching philosphy, and is ridgid when someone teaches a different way. Case in point: when I was a head pro at a club, the director wanted me to teach his way. (Even as I had taught hundreds of top state and nationally ranked players to his none!) Anyway, I asked him point blank: "If you knew one of your students would hit better using my technique, over your technique, would you teach my technique to him." His answer was, "No, our way is the best way."

Scary.

Great points as always. I particularly liked the following notion:

"A great number of players, those who are stagnate at lower levels because of inadequate form, tend to 'say' they only want to play for fun or the social element."

As I alluded to before, my thought RE: the eastern is definitely a slippery, slippery slope. But if someone really wants to know how to get the ball in because they can't serve with correct technique, I'm inclined to tell them.

junbug
01-26-2009, 12:53 PM
you have explained this a lot better than bill would have.


Absolutely. However, your post said "Most of my student's success"...so, I would look at why some are not being successful too. In your example, I have watched a lot of Oscar's methods and believe it to have validity in many situations and can help most achieve success. While my "advanced foundation" might differ in some regards to say Oscar's or Nick's or Robert's or John's or Will's or other proven pros, I think you will see a common ground of sorts and a high percentage of success stories from each.

My main point is not a judgement against proven formulas. (I attend tennis conventions all the time to learn more than I already know!) What I am against is the philosophy of teaching patterns that MUST change for more advanced skills to be attained. The idea of teaching simple patterns first JUST to have the student experience success is a poor teaching philosophy if you want the student to reach their potential.

Bungalo Bill
01-26-2009, 12:56 PM
Haha well thanks for the referral :).



Well I think the scenario you described -- where the person goes to another coach and said you encouraged them to use an eastern -- is not what I was talking about.

But didnt I encourage the use of the Eastern if I give them the option to do it in my serve lesson? Didnt I give the go ahead? I may not have said it exactly.

There's a difference between encouraging the use of that grip and explaining to a student that it is an option, albeit a technically incorrect one.

I think we are splitting hairs now. Here are some definitions of what encouragment can mean or imply:

encouragement - the expression of approval and support
encouragement - boost: the act of giving hope or support to someone
encouragement - the feeling of being encouraged
promote: contribute to the progress or growth of; "I am promoting the use of computers in the classroom"
inspire with confidence; give hope or courage to

By saying it "is an option" I am not encouraging it especially since the person is looking for me to "approve" it under their circumstances?

If that student then decides to hit with an eastern in a match because he / she cannot serve (yet) using correct technique, that is his or her choice.

But they may choose to use it because they felt I approved the use of it. Or gave them hope that it was okay.

If the student's goal is to improve as fast as possible, he / she will probably try and serve w/a continental. If the student's goal is to have fun and not double fault every time, he / she will probably go w/the eastern. Again, this latter scenario does not preclude learning correct technique when practicing.

I think we're basically arguing club-level vs. high-performance coaching.

No Will, we are not arguing based on the level of a player. We are arguing on the basis of what a coach prefers to teach. It has nothing to do with the player. I will still teach the continental or I wont teach the serve at all. That goes for all players that I come in contact with. If they want to learn the Eastern, I will gladly send them to you. :)

wihamilton
01-26-2009, 01:11 PM
Meh I am not articulating myself as well as I want. A coach shouldn't teach anything other than the continental or eastern backhand (or somewhere in between), as you say. But teaching something -- encouraging a player to do something in a particular way -- is not the same as explaining the various correct and incorrect ways to get the ball over the net.

I suppose the difference between you and I is that you are more doctrinaire than I am. If X club player wants to know how to get the ball over the net, correct technique be damned, I'll tell them. I won't advocate / encourage / endorse / etc. that technically incorrect method, but I'm not going to withhold information.

Bungalo Bill
01-26-2009, 01:39 PM
Meh I am not articulating myself as well as I want. A coach shouldn't teach anything other than the continental or eastern backhand (or somewhere in between), as you say. But teaching something -- encouraging a player to do something in a particular way -- is not the same as explaining the various correct and incorrect ways to get the ball over the net.

I suppose the difference between you and I is that you are more doctrinaire than I am. If X club player wants to know how to get the ball over the net, correct technique be damned, I'll tell them. I won't advocate / encourage / endorse / etc. that technically incorrect method, but I'm not going to withhold information.

Yes, that is the difference. I will tell them how to get it over the net with correct technique.

If I give a person the "option" to do something in my lesson, for me (I am speaking for me now), I feel I am encouraging the use of that grip but not in the way you think.

My rationale is simple. To me, encouragment does not only mean something I endorsed. It also means what I allow the body or subconscious to get used to using or learn. I am not simply just telling the person "it is an option", I am encouraging the nerves, sensations, body movements, muscle memory to adopt this grip if the person continues to use it. I am encouraging the psycho-motor skills of the player to adopt this grip and it could be against the will of the person. What I get the body used to doing, for me is encouragement.

So you see Will, I don't necessarily have to say it or perform some obvious act of endorsement. I am a coach and what I train or allow the body to do is what I am encouraging whether the player knows this or not.

larry10s
01-26-2009, 02:16 PM
first let me start that i am learning to play with proper technique and progressing as my skills improve. i have always been a long term view student and if a pro would say do it this way(simple but not like the pros) since you are a "club player" that was my last lesson with them. so i beleive in pro technique from the beginning and work at getting used to it. here is another case scenario....... 70 year old lady playing 35 years wants help with her eastern forehand serve. what do you do with her? same as a younger person who has time to develop the continental serve?

wihamilton
01-26-2009, 02:25 PM
Yes, that is the difference. I will tell them how to get it over the net with correct technique.

If I give a person the "option" to do something in my lesson, for me (I am speaking for me now), I feel I am encouraging the use of that grip but not in the way you think.

My rationale is simple. To me, encouragment does not only mean something I endorsed. It also means what I allow the body or subconscious to get used to using or learn. I am not simply just telling the person "it is an option", I am encouraging the nerves, sensations, body movements, muscle memory to adopt this grip if the person continues to use it. I am encouraging the psycho-motor skills of the player to adopt this grip and it could be against the will of the person. What I get the body used to doing, for me is encouragement.

So you see Will, I don't necessarily have to say it or perform some obvious act of endorsement. I am a coach and what I train or allow the body to do is what I am encouraging whether the player knows this or not.

I agree with everything you are saying. Obviously, any coach worth their salt teaches someone to get the ball over the net using correct technique. I think the more general / hypothetical question I'm asking is do you give someone a one-time shortcut for an upcoming match if there is zero chance they can execute a shot w/correct technique. Or do you say, "sorry, you're just going to have to miss every shot."

wihamilton
01-26-2009, 02:27 PM
first let me start that i am learning to play with proper technique and progressing as my skills improve. i have always been a long term view student and if a pro would say do it this way(simple but not like the pros) since you are a "club player" that was my last lesson with them. so i beleive in pro technique from the beginning and work at getting used to it. here is another case scenario....... 70 year old lady playing 35 years wants help with her eastern forehand serve. what do you do with her? same as a younger person who has time to develop the continental serve?

Well I think your approach would be different because the 70 year old probably has some bad habits that you'll have to correct. It's "teaching an old dog new tricks" vs. "a clean slate" (the younger player).

Bungalo Bill
01-26-2009, 02:56 PM
I agree with everything you are saying. Obviously, any coach worth their salt teaches someone to get the ball over the net using correct technique. I think the more general / hypothetical question I'm asking is do you give someone a one-time shortcut for an upcoming match if there is zero chance they can execute a shot w/correct technique. Or do you say, "sorry, you're just going to have to miss every shot."

Will, you are trying to back me into a corner I wouldnt back myself into. First off, I wouldnt "give" them anything. I am simply saying, if I am going to hold serve practice, it is going to be with the Continental and nothing else.

If they want to go off and use the Eastern forehand, I would advise them not too. After that, if they want to continue to use it, it is there decision not mine. If I fnd out that they are hitting with the Eastern AFTER teaching the Continental when a "match" is not pressing on them, I will stop teaching the serve. It is of no use to keep going over the same things over and over again with no progress.

However, hypothetically, if a person begins learning the serve with the Continental sooner or later they will be in a match. I guess I should say, I dont allow outside situations to alter my coaching or practice.

Does that make sense?

wihamilton
01-26-2009, 02:59 PM
Yes it does. And I understand your unwillingness to play the "hypotheticals game."

CoachingMastery
01-26-2009, 03:25 PM
Guys, (and girls too!),

Let me explain further: In all my students, I believe I've had three people that specifically could not gain the serve with the continental grip, after all my tools, suggestions, analogies, guided movements, patterns, tips, drills and advice failed. In these examples, the students, two adults in their 50's (one man and one woman) and one woman in her late 70's who had never played sports at all, found after a hand ful of lessons that the continental grip just was not going to work for them. I moved them to the eastern forehand and they were able to hit a reasonable serve successfully.

The work we did prior with the continental grip actually helped all three as they did NOT serve with the typical frying pan swing path and were able to apply slice to these serves for the added advantage of spin. So, in essence, the progression to first intro them to the continental grip and swing components helped in all three cases.

Now, 3 out of about 3500 students is a very small sample group. So, needless to say, I've been pretty successful in terms of large numbers of players of all ages in the approach of serving using the continental grip.

That said, there have been a number of long-time players who have used the eastern forehand grip so long that change was simply not going to happen. So, in addition to the three students I've mentioned, there are a number of players who simply would not/could not change. (Thus my ademant view on teaching ALL the continental grip at the start of learning!)

To Larry: if the 70 year old lady understands that her serve is limiting and she WANTS to learn the better grip and understands that there will be frustration mixed with success for a few months, (if she really works at it without falling back to her old habits), then yes why not? She probably has another 5 to 10 years of tennis in her, why not play it at a higher level for most of that time?

Obviously, any youngster is going to be taught the continental grip from the very start. I taught my 7 year old daughter to use it and she is not the most gifted athlete in the world...but she mastered it and serves a slice and kick serve very well with great form and as she is getting stronger, she is now adding pace to this serve. If she could do it, most anyone can. But, I taught her the right grip with the right learning progression and drills and it was actually very easy. Because she plays the piano, she understood that learning the right technique was important to playing at higher levels. But, within a month, she had it down pat.

Bungalo Bill
01-26-2009, 03:44 PM
Guys, (and girls too!),

Let me explain further: In all my students, I believe I've had three people that specifically could not gain the serve with the continental grip, after all my tools, suggestions, analogies, guided movements, patterns, tips, drills and advice failed.

And this is the biggest key for all of us. Coaches must believe they have the tools, analogies, guided movements, patterns, tips, drills, instruction, and advice, if you do, there is little need to sweat a student learning to serve with the continental based your input and insight.

However, many coaches only have a few examples, tips, drills, analogies and give up when they exhaust their limited resources. Or, worse, many coaches really dont understand how to teach the serve.

CoachingMastery
01-26-2009, 04:11 PM
And this is the biggest key for all of us. Coaches must believe they have the tools, analogies, guided movements, patterns, tips, drills, instruction, and advice, if you do, there is little need to sweat a student learning to serve with the continental based your input and insight.

However, many coaches only have a few examples, tips, drills, analogies and give up when they exhaust their limited resources. Or, worse, many coaches really dont understand how to teach the serve.

So true, Bill. Or, they only understand one general approach to serving. When they fail to advance their student, they tend to appeal to the lowering the standard, so-to-speak, and resort quickly to the eastern forehand grip and basically teaching them to "get the ball in" using gravity reliant speed. This satisfies the concept of "success" (getting the ball in) but will stagnate the player for life. (A little tongue in cheek, but you and I both know how hard it is for players to switch after learning the eastern forehand grip on the serve!)

Tomek_tennis
01-27-2009, 02:43 AM
There are few great teaching tools that I use:
1. Learing proper "trophy position".
2. Serving from the "trophy position" from the mid court (or even closer to the net), so that she has to learn proper motion of the hitting arm during finishing part of the motion.
3. Learning proper mechanichs of the toss: with a straight tossing arm and shoulders turn.
4. Smech
4. Different kinds of throws (depending on her weak points)

Common coaching mistakes:
1. Teaching "trophy position" with bent wrist and racquet head down, "scraching your back"
2. Bent tossing arm

OK. these are just some refernece points. Thinking of it now, there is som much more to it...

larry10s
01-27-2009, 08:51 AM
what is smech?

larry10s
01-27-2009, 08:52 AM
i vote for continental teaching with clean slate person or motivated old timer with bad habits

Bungalo Bill
01-27-2009, 09:09 AM
So true, Bill. Or, they only understand one general approach to serving. When they fail to advance their student, they tend to appeal to the lowering the standard, so-to-speak, and resort quickly to the eastern forehand grip and basically teaching them to "get the ball in" using gravity reliant speed. This satisfies the concept of "success" (getting the ball in) but will stagnate the player for life.

Yes, agreed. I sometimes don't know if I am being stubborn or what. I just know that after the lesson is over, I dont feel very good about myself. :)

And it is all about standards. I think tennis and coaching really suffers a black eye in this area compared to other sports.

(A little tongue in cheek, but you and I both know how hard it is for players to switch after learning the eastern forehand grip on the serve!)

I dont even teach my children the Eastern forehand grip. :)

Djokovicfan4life
01-27-2009, 10:41 AM
Yes, agreed. I sometimes don't know if I am being stubborn or what. I just know that after the lesson is over, I dont feel very good about myself. :)

And it is all about standards. I think tennis and coaching really suffers a black eye in this area compared to other sports.



I dont even teach my children the Eastern forehand grip. :)

Don't tell me you taught them the continental forehand grip! :)

Bungalo Bill
01-27-2009, 12:10 PM
Don't tell me you taught them the continental forehand grip! :)

come on DJ, you know what forehand grip I would teach them. ;)

Tomek_tennis
01-27-2009, 02:17 PM
what is smech?

Sorry for mistakes, English is not my primary language. I meant "smash"

junbug
01-27-2009, 04:17 PM
bill, i can't understand why you don't teach anymore when you have all these valid points here in the forum. why spend your time in front of a monitor debating when you can actually show people how it's done?

Bungalo Bill
01-27-2009, 05:27 PM
bill, i can't understand why you don't teach anymore when you have all these valid points here in the forum. why spend your time in front of a monitor debating when you can actually show people how it's done?

LOL, first off, do you understand what you are asking?

Providing information here fits my goals. I want to provide the best possible tennis advice for free. If I taught on court, having a family and a mortgage, I would be gone all the time, my weekends would be taken away, and I am too old to get on court and teach fulltime. I dont like marketing. I dont like hustling for lessons. I just dont. I am a technician and not a business marketer. You got to want to be that if you want to be a full-time on-court instructor. I prefer to just focus on the teaching aspect.

My goals are simple:

1. To find a medium that I can get in and out quick while providing the best possible instruction to players that I can provide for free.

2. To have the flexibility to be with my family at night or on the weekends.

3. To not have to take bodily punishment.

The internet provides everything for this. It is a great medium and I beleive I have god writing and explanation skills.

Ballinbob
01-27-2009, 05:39 PM
wait, is it ok for me to use a continental grip for flat serves but an eastern backhand for all my spin serves? Should I change this, or is it ok? In the long run will I be better off using a continental for spin serves?

wihamilton
01-27-2009, 05:43 PM
wait, is it ok for me to use a continental grip for flat serves but an eastern backhand for all my spin serves? Should I change this, or is it ok? In the long run will I be better off using a continental for spin serves?

You're fine. I rotate between grips depending on the serve I'm hitting.

Ballinbob
01-27-2009, 05:46 PM
You're fine. I rotate between grips depending on the serve I'm hitting.

Alright good to hear. Was worried that an eastern backhand wasn't a legit serve grip

Bungalo Bill
01-27-2009, 05:54 PM
ten characters

Bungalo Bill
01-27-2009, 05:57 PM
wait, is it ok for me to use a continental grip for flat serves but an eastern backhand for all my spin serves? Should I change this, or is it ok? In the long run will I be better off using a continental for spin serves?

Like Will said, you are fine. Try the COntinental also for some of your spin serves as well. Sometimes just using the Eastern gives everything away. Mix it up.

LeeD
01-27-2009, 05:59 PM
Sure, change your grip for each serve and tip off the opposition because they're so bad it doesn't matter.
However, as you get better, everyone you play notices your grip change, your stance changes, and your swing changes to try to pick up your serve.
So whatever, sure, telegrapth to your opponent what serve you are planning to use.
As BBill said, it's never too early to try to do something right. He's talking grip on serve, I'm talking grip for all serves.

Jonny S&V
01-27-2009, 07:42 PM
Sure, change your grip for each serve and tip off the opposition because they're so bad it doesn't matter.
However, as you get better, everyone you play notices your grip change, your stance changes, and your swing changes to try to pick up your serve.
So whatever, sure, telegrapth to your opponent what serve you are planning to use.
As BBill said, it's never too early to try to do something right. He's talking grip on serve, I'm talking grip for all serves.

Ok, now I know you just like to post random nonsense... Your opponent shouldn't be looking at your grip, they should be looking at your toss if they want to figure out what kind of serve your going to hit. If you have any questions about that, just look at my serve videos. My toss gives my serve away, but my motion makes up for it (not advocating my wierd motion in any way/shape/form).

wihamilton
01-27-2009, 07:47 PM
Ok, now I know you just like to post random nonsense... Your opponent shouldn't be looking at your grip, they should be looking at your toss if they want to figure out what kind of serve your going to hit. If you have any questions about that, just look at my serve videos. My toss gives my serve away, but my motion makes up for it (not advocating my wierd motion in any way/shape/form).

Well in LeeD's defense changing your grip will change the angle of your tennis racket when you hold it in your stance. An observant opponent might pick that off. Andre Agassi said that he could tell where Boris Becker was serving based on whether or not he was sticking out his tongue during his wind up. So the details can matter.

Jonny S&V
01-27-2009, 07:51 PM
Well in LeeD's defense changing your grip will change the angle of your tennis racket when you hold it in your stance. An observant opponent might pick that off. Andre Agassi said that he could tell where Boris Becker was serving based on whether or not he was sticking out his tongue during his wind up. So the details can matter.

Mine looks the same anyway you put it, so maybe I'm the odd one out... I turn my wrist so it looks the same (albeit unintentionally...) whether I'm using my twist/kick grip (eastern backhand) or flat (continental, sometimes bordering on eastern forehand).

Ballinbob
01-27-2009, 07:53 PM
I just checked my serve grip, and I actually use an eastern backhand for all my serves. And yeah Lee just posts random stuff sometimes lol. Sometimes it helps, but in this case I dont even see what hes saying. The racket angle doesnt really change when you shift between grips

LeeD
01-27-2009, 08:08 PM
If you play at a level where the opposition doesn't notice your service grips, then it don't matter, dood it?
But try playing at 5 or better, and they notice everything you do, especially for something like the serve, where you stand static for a second, then begin your motion.
Of course, like I said, at your levels, it might not matter because you and your opposition don't know enough to look...yet.
Diff between eastern backhand, which I don't advocate, to a continental is noticeable for anyone short of blind. And they see your wrist position trying to hide your grip too....
Well, IF you have a serve that matters, that is:oops::oops::oops:

Jonny S&V
01-27-2009, 08:11 PM
If you play at a level where the opposition doesn't notice your service grips, then it don't matter, dood it?
But try playing at 5 or better, and they notice everything you do, especially for something like the serve, where you stand static for a second, then begin your motion.
Of course, like I said, at your levels, it might not matter because you and your opposition don't know enough to look...yet.
Diff between eastern backhand, which I don't advocate, to a continental is noticeable for anyone short of blind. And they see your wrist position trying to hide your grip too....
Well, IF you have a serve that matters, that is:oops::oops::oops:

Lol, so you're saying 4.0-4.5 isn't good enough? Hmm, I'll have to talk to my cousin on that one... He's a former pro on the tour (albeit a while ago, but things haven't changed that much in service motions)...

EDIT: BTW, you still haven't posted any vids of yourself, so as of now your all talk but nothing to back it up with... :)

LeeD
01-27-2009, 08:17 PM
If you don't notice your oppositions grips on the serve, YOU ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH !
I might be 4.0 now, but consider.... I played matches against RussellSimpson and JoaroSoares, both top 100 PRO's.
I hit with RaulRamierez and DickStockton.
They don't pass up anything to find an edge. Should you just ignore my advice? Sure, if you want to stay the same!
I advocate that continental grip where you cheat a bit towards eastern backhand. That's ONE grip for all your serves and overheads. Makes for simplicity, disguise, and you know where it goes because that's your only overhead grip!
But do what you want, I don't care if you discover this in 3 years when your new coach finally discovers it himself. He's your coach, he MUST be right!

Jonny S&V
01-27-2009, 08:24 PM
If you don't notice your oppositions grips on the serve, YOU ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH !
I might be 4.0 now, but consider.... I played matches against RussellSimpson and JoaroSoares, both top 100 PRO's.
I hit with RaulRamierez and DickStockton.
They don't pass up anything to find an edge. Should you just ignore my advice? Sure, if you want to stay the same!
I advocate that continental grip where you cheat a bit towards eastern backhand. That's ONE grip for all your serves and overheads. Makes for simplicity, disguise, and you know where it goes because that's your only overhead grip!
But do what you want, I don't care if you discover this in 3 years when your new coach finally discovers it himself. He's your coach, he MUST be right!

Hmm, interesting, but it really doesn't mean anything to hit with pros. I've hit with an almost current top 300 pro (since retired now) and know him reasonably well, so I'll have to ask him as well:

http://www.atpworldtour.com/5/en/players/playerprofiles/playeractivity.asp?query=Singles&year=0&player=C574&selTournament=0&prevtrnnum=0

What brought my coach into this? That's kinda wierd to talk about my coach, who was the hitting partner for Stephanie Rehe (a former top 15 in the world player) for a while, like he doesn't know quite a bit already...

LeeD
01-27-2009, 08:25 PM
Vids.
If you are too ignorant to understand my posts, you are too ignorant to view a vid and make a decision.
Don't need vid, read and understand what I say!
No, I'm no coach. But I played at levels well above what any of you are going to get to. Except the LawMan, of course.
You are too preoccupied with your school, your work, your schedule, and your life outside of tennis. That will prevent you guys from getting any good.
I say... you live ONCE ! What's to prevent you from practicing on the court, 6 hours a day, 6 days a week.
Serve practice at least twice a week, and return practice with someone who has a stronger serve than you!
You feed your partner 70 low forehand volleys, then he feeds you 70 low forehand volleys..... and it goes for EVERY stroke you use to play a set.
Nah, you'd rather sit and watch TV, play your Nintendo's, text your messages, and play your vids.

LeeD
01-27-2009, 08:27 PM
Since you guys tend to think your coach is god, and no one else knows anything, I thought I'd bring some coaching into this "which grip" thing.
HE should tell you what I tell you. ONE grip for all serves and overheads.
But if he doesn't know, or hasn't read about this yet, he won't be telling you, would he?

Jonny S&V
01-27-2009, 08:31 PM
Vids.
If you are too ignorant to understand my posts, you are too ignorant to view a vid and make a decision.
Don't need vid, read and understand what I say!
No, I'm no coach. But I played at levels well above what any of you are going to get to. Except the LawMan, of course.
You are too preoccupied with your school, your work, your schedule, and your life outside of tennis. That will prevent you guys from getting any good.
I say... you live ONCE ! What's to prevent you from practicing on the court, 6 hours a day, 6 days a week.
Serve practice at least twice a week, and return practice with someone who has a stronger serve than you!
You feed your partner 70 low forehand volleys, then he feeds you 70 low forehand volleys..... and it goes for EVERY stroke you use to play a set.
Nah, you'd rather sit and watch TV, play your Nintendo's, text your messages, and play your vids.

Lol, you're funny... I'm pretty sure every member on this board would love to hit that much, but we either we:

A. Have other interests, such as music and love, etc...
B. Other than the aforementioned, have lives period...

Since you guys tend to think your coach is god, and no one else knows anything, I thought I'd bring some coaching into this "which grip" thing.
HE should tell you what I tell you. ONE grip for all serves and overheads.
But if he doesn't know, or hasn't read about this yet, he won't be telling you, would he?

Which coach are you talking about, you're not making too much sense here...

LeeD
01-27-2009, 08:39 PM
Was talking to BallinBob, but you thought I was directing "coach" to you....
But thank you. Your reply said everything.
You guys have "other lives" !!
Which exactly prevents you from ever getting all the subtle nuances, tendencies, and tips that you COULD get if you wanted to concentrate on tennis. You're focusing on your women, wine, and song, and your brain is too preoccupied to understand tips which might be a reach for you at your level, but tips any GOOD player knows.
Yeah, ask your cousin, then you don't have to thank me for passing on some tips the better players have been employing since wooden rackets were invented.:shock::shock::)

Ballinbob
01-27-2009, 08:40 PM
Vids.
If you are too ignorant to understand my posts, you are too ignorant to view a vid and make a decision.
Don't need vid, read and understand what I say!
No, I'm no coach. But I played at levels well above what any of you are going to get to. Except the LawMan, of course.
You are too preoccupied with your school, your work, your schedule, and your life outside of tennis. That will prevent you guys from getting any good.
I say... you live ONCE ! What's to prevent you from practicing on the court, 6 hours a day, 6 days a week.
Serve practice at least twice a week, and return practice with someone who has a stronger serve than you!
You feed your partner 70 low forehand volleys, then he feeds you 70 low forehand volleys..... and it goes for EVERY stroke you use to play a set.
Nah, you'd rather sit and watch TV, play your Nintendo's, text your messages, and play your vids.

I don't know what your trying to get at saying that we will never reach a high level of tennis. There are alot of us on these boards (Johhny and myself included) who practice alot/play tourneys and have plans for college. I'm pretty sure Johnny said he was trying out for a DII school, and i'm sure he will make it with all the work he puts in. I hope to make it to a DII school when I'm 18 as well, but I have along way to go. But for you to tell us we will never get to a high level of tennis is sending a pretty negative message. I've finally started taking lessons and playing tourneys, so should I just quit because I'll never succeed in tennis?

I'll tell you right now I don't sit around playing Nintendo or play video games. I text message alot, but that doesnt really take away from tennis practice. And how the hell are we going to practice 6hrs a day lol? I get home at 2:45pm and it gets dark at 5:00pm. I often dont do my homework so I can go play tennis, and I often will go play tennis instead of going out with my friends to a movie. Trying to have a life and fit in tennis is harder than you think. If you look at it from Johhny/my view you'll see that.

I don't know if you ever had a girlfriend, but that's something I definitley prioritize. There are some things that are more important than tennis and you got to recognize those. I still prioritize tennis over alot of things, but I still have family/school/friends/relationships with girls above tennis. I have to fit in a life somewhere... I cant be playing tennis 24/7



And that's my speech for you guys lol:)

edit-Lee, I use a little more extreme eastern backhand grip than you advocate. I think I'll live.....

LeeD
01-27-2009, 08:47 PM
Hey, life is hard, then you die!
What's good? I never said I was good. I said I was ranked B, which might be 4.5. But I played Open and always went a few rounds, if not to quarters almost all Opens.
I can't help it if you have more reasons not to get good than reasons to practice more. What, you gotta be home by 11?
Ever hear of parking garages, indoor courts, school gyms, lighted night parking lots? Bus's, bicycles, hitchhiking to courts?
Girlfriends CAN be hard to balance. I dated PeanutLouie and SusanBrown, both A level locals and top 200 women. Tough roe to hoe there.
Hey, didja dink AndreAgassi dated all the LasVegas showgirls when he was training to be pro? Absolutley NOT:confused::confused:

Jonny S&V
01-27-2009, 08:48 PM
Which exactly prevents you from ever getting all the subtle nuances, tendencies, and tips that you COULD get if you wanted to concentrate on tennis. You're focusing on your women, wine, and song, and your brain is too preoccupied to understand tips which might be a reach for you at your level, but tips any GOOD player knows.

I concentrate on tennis pretty well I think, I mean I can't play 5-6 hours a day b/c I don't have access daily to indoor courts, but you should NEVER question my (nor anyone's) dedication to tennis.

Yeah, ask your cousin, then you don't have to thank me for passing on some tips the better players have been employing since wooden rackets were invented.:shock::shock::)

Just did (via Facebook) and I showed him this thread (unfortuanately he doesn't have an account, I should convince him to get one...) and he thinks you're utterly full of it, for the most part. He said the guys on tour focusing on the grips were the ones who couldn't break the top 500, looking at the toss was how you got a lead on the tour. :roll:

EDIT: Talked to the former top 300 pro, same thing said, also added that guys on the tour usually change grips between flat and kick/twist.

Jonny S&V
01-27-2009, 08:53 PM
I don't know what your trying to get at saying that we will never reach a high level of tennis. There are alot of us on these boards (Johhny and myself included) who practice alot/play tourneys and have plans for college. I'm pretty sure Johnny said he was trying out for a DII school, and i'm sure he will make it with all the work he puts in. I hope to make it to a DII school when I'm 18 as well, but I have along way to go. But for you to tell us we will never get to a high level of tennis is sending a pretty negative message. I've finally started taking lessons and playing tourneys, so should I just quit because I'll never succeed in tennis?

I'll tell you right now I don't sit around playing Nintendo or play video games. I text message alot, but that doesnt really take away from tennis practice. And how the hell are we going to practice 6hrs a day lol? I get home at 2:45pm and it gets dark at 5:00pm. I often dont do my homework so I can go play tennis, and I often will go play tennis instead of going out with my friends to a movie. Trying to have a life and fit in tennis is harder than you think. If you look at it from Johhny/my view you'll see that.

I don't know if you ever had a girlfriend, but that's something I definitley prioritize. There are some things that are more important than tennis and you got to recognize those. I still prioritize tennis over alot of things, but I still have family/school/friends/relationships with girls above tennis. I have to fit in a life somewhere... I cant be playing tennis 24/7



And that's my speech for you guys lol:)

edit-Lee, I use a little more extreme eastern backhand grip than you advocate. I think I'll live.....

Wish I was as good as you are at putting things into words... :neutral:

Yeah, I am trying for a DII college, so we both have to put in a lot of work... :)

Ballinbob
01-27-2009, 08:54 PM
hitchhiking to courts?


Wow dude.

Hitchhiking to go play tennis

What has this world come too lol:shock:

edit-english is my best subject johnny, only reason why. Give me a 6th grade math problem and i'll fail it haha

LeeD
01-27-2009, 08:54 PM
Did I say to NOT look at the toss?
And if you're telling me when you serve a top/slice and when you serve a flat to me, I'll beat you everytime.
That's what this part of the thread is about. You DO NOT use different grips for different serves!
It's bad enough they can spot your high strike point for flat serves, your lower strike point for topspin serves, and your behind the head toss for twists, now you want to tell your opponent exactly what you're serving?
And your cousin.... is he truly ignorant enough to NOT pick up clues for direction of serves?
I know we can't comprehend every tip, but this one is pretty basic.
Use the same grip for all your serves and overheads!

Jonny S&V
01-27-2009, 08:59 PM
Did I say to NOT look at the toss?
And if you're telling me when you serve a top/slice and when you serve a flat to me, I'll beat you everytime.
That's what this part of the thread is about. You DO NOT use different grips for different serves!
It's bad enough they can spot your high strike point for flat serves, your lower strike point for topspin serves, and your behind the head toss for twists, now you want to tell your opponent exactly what you're serving?
And your cousin.... is he truly ignorant enough to NOT pick up clues for direction of serves? I know we can't comprehend every tip, but this one is pretty basic.
Use the same grip for all your serves and overheads!

Lol, I think you are an old man who doesn't like to be shown up by teenagers...

As for my cousin, he played in the main draw of Wimbledon. As for the top 300 pro (Tyler), he's beaten Luis Horna, who won the Roland Garros doubles title last year. Both agree in that most pro's they saw switched their grips for different serves, but you couldn't always notice it so they focused on the toss.

Same grips on serves and overheads? Hmm, do you use a continental to volley?

Ballinbob
01-27-2009, 09:01 PM
Lee, so now your arguing with a pro ranked in the top 300. This guy is a 7.0 player.

But somehow he is the ignorant one?

First we hitchhike to go play tennis, then we argue with 7.0 players.

this thread is starting to make more and more sense as it goes on:?

Jonny S&V
01-27-2009, 09:03 PM
Lee, so now your arguing with a pro ranked in the top 300. This guy is a 7.0 player.

But somehow he is the ignorant one?

First we hitchhike to go play tennis, then we argue with 7.0 players.

this thread is starting to make more and more sense as it goes on:?

Well, formerly ranked in the 300's, but the point stands. :)

Bungalo Bill
01-28-2009, 07:45 AM
Ok, now I know you just like to post random nonsense... Your opponent shouldn't be looking at your grip, they should be looking at your toss if they want to figure out what kind of serve your going to hit. If you have any questions about that, just look at my serve videos. My toss gives my serve away, but my motion makes up for it (not advocating my wierd motion in any way/shape/form).

I think the trouble here is LeeD is a passionate tennis player that trly wants to provide good information to all. Sometimes I think if he took the time to consider how he says things he might get a better response.

So, I am not going to dish you on this response because I think LeeD is trying to tell us something. I think you are trying to tell us something. Hopefully, I can be a referee on both responses amd both of you wont dish me for trying. Yes, I know it is unusual to see me "calm" down people who are in a debate. Normally, I get my popcorn out, watch the debate, while shouting from the audience.

So, I think you are both right.

Good tennis players do look for an edge because they are facing players with good ear popping serves. Barely do they have a chance to react before they have to do osmething to get that ball back.

So, good players will find every edge they can get PRIOR to the serve happening.

For instance, if I am playing someone, I go through a mental checklist as the serve progresses.

1. Body language (droopy shoulders, ****ed off look, frustration, etc...)

2. What side of the serve box is he erroring more on.

3. What grip are they in (if Easter backhand, I can be pretty sure that some kind of spin serve is coming, Continental, will tell me to look more at the toss.)

4. How they lined up for their serve. Did they shift over some, get closer to the center mark, etc...

5. Toss and motion.

When the server is about ready to make contact with the ball, I move into a cadence such as HIT-BOUNCE-HIT, or 1-2-3.

6. I make sure I breathe and I am not holding my breath too much with all the analysis I am doing.

The above is cyclical. I try to do this all the time. Sometimes I can skip steps because it is obvious what will happen no matter if they are in a continental or Eastern. It is something I have to revisit in case I get sidetracked or distracted during the match.

LeeD
01-28-2009, 08:37 AM
Sorry I got teed off with you "younger" players.
Advice is free, meaning you can take it or leave it.
My tips came directly from ColinDibley in 1978, while our head stringer was stringing up some special MaxPly's for the serve contest. Col was having GERMAN beer, Heineken's, and rambled on as Aussies often do while enebriating with fellow tennis players. He got to his 4th before Primo finished the first of two rackets. I was spectating trying to pick up tips.
Maybe that's one advantage I had over lots of other players. First of all, I was 24 when I first started tennis. Full grown, stronger than I'll ever be, skilled in high school varsity football and basketball, and mentally ready to receive ANY tips which could help my game against better players.
And playing over 5 hours a day, 6 to 7 days a week didn't hurt, and having practice partners who were a couple levels above mine sorta helps some too.
Anyway, sorry for my attitude, it's amazing what you can discard that can be valuable to you later in life.

Kevo
01-29-2009, 12:44 PM
I like to use the same grip and toss for everything if possible. If I'm having an off day with the continental grip on spin serves I'll actually switch to a backhand grip and hit both flat and spin serves with that. I've had several opponents comment to me that they could not read my serve before, and this was mostly at the 4.0 level, so I know that good 4.0 players are at least trying to read serves.

junbumkim
01-29-2009, 02:46 PM
Hey, life is hard, then you die!
What's good? I never said I was good. I said I was ranked B, which might be 4.5. But I played Open and always went a few rounds, if not to quarters almost all Opens.
I can't help it if you have more reasons not to get good than reasons to practice more. What, you gotta be home by 11?
Ever hear of parking garages, indoor courts, school gyms, lighted night parking lots? Bus's, bicycles, hitchhiking to courts?
Girlfriends CAN be hard to balance. I dated PeanutLouie and SusanBrown, both A level locals and top 200 women. Tough roe to hoe there.
Hey, didja dink AndreAgassi dated all the LasVegas showgirls when he was training to be pro? Absolutley NOT:confused::confused:


Wait, you play at a level equivalent to 4.5, but you went "A FEW ROUND" on Open?

Hmm...I doubt any Open level players would lose to 4.5 players.
Also, didn't you say you might just be 4.0 a few posts before that?

LeeD
01-29-2009, 03:25 PM
Unlike most of you on these forums, not all of course.
Your ranking is what the USTA had you for your last year playing in their tournaments. In my case, that would be "B" player, mid pack, 1976.
My last couple years in tennis, I didn't play ANY B tournaments, entering Opens, A's, and a couple of Pro qualifiers.
Both pro qualifiers, I won 3 rounds first time, 4 rounds second time.
Most A or Open tournaments, NOT including the one's with 95+ degree heat, I'd always go 4 rounds at least, usually losing to a top Div1 player or a high ranked (top 5) A player for NorCal.
NO, this doesn't mean I'm 4.5 or whatever you want to call it. I"m still officially ranked a B player in NorthernCalifornia.
Remember, if I brag about anything, it's my lefty serve, faster than 90% of 6.0 players, and a spin that makes the ball go oval, hisses audibly, and out wide would take you easily 3' off your court even if you stepped inside the baseline.
That was 30 years ago.

herosol
01-29-2009, 09:03 PM
*alert*

Trolls On The Prowl. Please Evacuate Yourselves And Possibly Your Families!!!

Bungalo Bill
01-30-2009, 12:25 PM
*alert*

Trolls On The Prowl. Please Evacuate Yourselves And Possibly Your Families!!!

LOL, very funny.

Bungalo Bill
01-30-2009, 12:29 PM
...Remember, if I brag about anything, it's my lefty serve, faster than 90% of 6.0 players, and a spin that makes the ball go oval, hisses audibly, and out wide would take you easily 3' off your court even if you stepped inside the baseline.
That was 30 years ago.

My dad once told me he walked 5 miles in a blizzard in sub-zero temperatures all uphill. He wore nothing but shorts and a tee-shirt. He also wasn't wearing any shoes. :)

I think you have found your calling. You should be a comedian. Remeber, we all think we are better than we really are and you have had 30 years of self-talk to get yourself to believe this.

Are you hearing voices LeeD?

LeeD
01-30-2009, 03:09 PM
Possibly before you continue, you might try to check out the serve.
I don't think it's the fastest or hardest I"VE FACED, heavens no, RussellSimpson hit harder and more spin, DickStockton hit flats with better accuracy, and a couple Div1 singles players, at 6'5 or so, hit harder and more spin. But they're abberations. I'm a 5'11" average guy.
But consider....when the Dad of Harvard's #2 guy asks me to hit serves to his son.
Then the Dad of two Girls 18's from the recent ArizonaJrNats ask me to hit serves at his girls.....
Does your serve warrant that? Mine does. Not the rest of my game, I'd be triple bagelled foreever in sets.

Bud
01-31-2009, 10:28 AM
So my sister is just getting into tennis this year. Last year I coached the high school team and she came out to play and ended up doing really well at four singles. Now she is a senior and will most likely be number 1 depending on the new competition. I have been working on the serve with her and she has a pretty good motion going. The best thing is that she is getting tons of slice/kick spin (don't know what to call it) but struggles with getting any pace and depth, usually the ball doesn't make it over the net because of the lack of power. I know that she isn't snapping the wrist through the shot but I'm not exactly sure how to get her to do it? Any suggestions?

She's about 5'3" and can throw and is currently somewhere between a continental and eastern forehand. She was able to hit a decent eastern grip serve with some ok speed but soon maxed out so we switched her to a continental. The problem is I dont know how to get her to understand the snapping motion at the top of the serve or how to get her to do it.

First, to get more pace... tell her to concentrate on hitting more forward though the ball rather than brushing up the back. You can brush up too much and the ball has lots of spin but no pace.

Next, have her stand at the service line (as opposed to the baseline) and serve into the opposite service box. Standing this close forces a strong wrist snap or the ball will always go long. Trust me... even with a severe wrist snap... it's not easy to place it into the opposite service box.

Remember to use the same service motion and speed/force... don't serve at half power because you're standing half the distance. Again, it's about strong wrist snap. You'll notice the ball will go into the opposite box and take a large hop because of the much shorter distance.

Once she starts putting the ball consistently into the opposite box... then move back a few feet until she's back at the baseline. If she starts losing the wrist snap again... repeat. I guarantee it will work and will let her know what a strong wrist snap feels like.

Bud
01-31-2009, 10:51 AM
PLEASE DO NOT START HER OUT WITH AN EASTERN FOREHAND!!!!

IF YOU HAVE NO HISTORY OR MUSCLE MEMORY AND IT IS THEE MOST OPPORTUNE TIME TO START HER OUT WITH THE CONTINENTAL.

whole heartedly second this.

Third it... or fourth or fifth if previous slots are taken. There is nothing worse than learning and/or repeating a bad habit.

If she has an upcoming match... compromise and tell her to try the first serve with the continental and if she misses than go to the eastern on the second serve. At least she'll experience (during a match) what it's supposed to feel like.

Once back in practice... she uses continental only. Then, next match do the same (continental first serve and if miss eastern second serve) until she's hitting all continental serves during practice and matches.

julian
03-03-2009, 07:41 AM
Sorry, julian, that link took me no where - just to a page that does not exist.

Try
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2008/05/26/sports/playmagazine/200805227_IVANOVIC_GRAPHIC.html#

julian
03-06-2009, 09:57 AM
There are few great teaching tools that I use:
1. Learing proper "trophy position".
2. Serving from the "trophy position" from the mid court (or even closer to the net), so that she has to learn proper motion of the hitting arm during finishing part of the motion.
3. Learning proper mechanichs of the toss: with a straight tossing arm and shoulders turn.
4. Smech
4. Different kinds of throws (depending on her weak points)

Common coaching mistakes:
1. Teaching "trophy position" with bent wrist and racquet head down, "scraching your back"
2. Bent tossing arm

OK. these are just some refernece points. Thinking of it now, there is som much more to it...

Please try to check your spelling