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spiderman123
06-15-2009, 01:24 PM
Watched a video (for the first time) of myself playing tennis.

Not going to do that for at least another year until I work on the billion wrong things that I saw. Gave me nightmares yesterday.

[ On a serious note, I wonder why my teaching pro never pointed out any of these things. They point some general things and are happy with the check. There is returning the ball to the other court and there is returning the ball to the other court when your body is in a correct form, I don't care for the speed of the ball right now.]

Figjam
06-15-2009, 01:34 PM
Watched a video (for the first time) of myself playing tennis.

Not going to do that for at least another year until I work on the billion wrong things that I saw. Gave me nightmares yesterday.

[ On a serious note, I wonder why my teaching pro never pointed out any of these things. They point some general things and are happy with the check. There is returning the ball to the other court and there is returning the ball to the other court when your body is in a correct form, I don't care for the speed of the ball right now.]

cause teaching pros suck! their job is just to basically feed you balls.

You want a good teaching pro??? For starters, find a freelance one, those that work as clubs are just wasting your time. Someone freelance will(hopefully) actually try to improve your game, cause if he doesnt he knows you probably wont come back to him.

Gh0st
06-15-2009, 02:15 PM
Watched one of myself recently. I thought my strokes were decent but at my level any more than a two hit rally is a miracle so it was really hard to get a good feel for it. I did realize that my server needed a lot of work.

I guess it depends on what level you are at. Maybe your pro just wants you to work on stroking the ball and getting it in play. There are quality pro's all over including in the clubs but I would ask around and get a recommendation. I've known people who had ball feeders as well and it doesn't do you much good to practice if your technique is off.

Also, if you have only ever watched pro's or higher level players online, you will definitely be in for a surprise, lol.

subaru3169
06-15-2009, 02:31 PM
i'm not sure what it is, but i personally do not like most private coaches.. don't know if it's just my area or what, but i don't believe in learning the basics from 1 hour coaching sessions.. a good coach, and i mean a REALLY good private coach is meant for ppl to polish up their game like advanced juniors or whatever

if you're simply being fed balls for that long, i would really suggest looking into a tennis clinic/academy where there are actual drills hitting and playing practice sets.. if your mechanics on the basic shots need improving, then this may be your solution

acehole
06-15-2009, 04:29 PM
i'm not sure what it is, but i personally do not like most private coaches.. don't know if it's just my area or what, but i don't believe in learning the basics from 1 hour coaching sessions.. a good coach, and i mean a REALLY good private coach is meant for ppl to polish up their game like advanced juniors or whatever

if you're simply being fed balls for that long, i would really suggest looking into a tennis clinic/academy where there are actual drills hitting and playing practice sets.. if your mechanics on the basic shots need improving, then this may be your solution

as a tennis coach, and soon to be certified uspta pro i will say i agree. i coach hs tennis. i am sort of a specialist though. we have anywhere from 3 to 5 coaches depending on the season (boys or girls)

i consider someone who takes a player from a beginner to a 2.0 a tennis teacher or instructor. truthfully, and this will probably sound harsh, i think people with less talent for true coaching should do this. i like to get players after they are able to keep a ball in play, then i start with proper stroke mechanics, body positioning, foot work......the things that will allow them to soar to a higher level. then i give them back to drill and practice until they are ready for more advanced lessons like strategy, live action drills, and these sorts of things. i do the fine tuning and ALL of the trouble shooting.
i am a high 4.5 and have brought players from 2.0 to beyond my own level.

i also tell it like it really is and when there is doubt i break out the video.

P8ntballa
06-16-2009, 12:17 AM
My coach put a slomo vid of my groundies next to Fed... I looked VERY sloppy lol! And then a slomo vid of me serving next to A-Rod, I looked so robotic and junk!

nhat8121
06-16-2009, 12:52 AM
I agree, watching yourself play is such a downer :(

Bud
06-16-2009, 02:14 AM
My coach put a slomo vid of my groundies next to Fed... I looked VERY sloppy lol! And then a slomo vid of me serving next to A-Rod, I looked so robotic and junk!

Was his intent to knock your self esteem down even further?

You're not a pro, don't expect to look like one.

Cindysphinx
06-16-2009, 03:27 AM
Spiderman, I recently taped myself, and I had the same overwhelming sense of nausea you describe. Most jarring was that the shots I *thought* were my best shots were actually the worst.

As for why your pro isn't telling you this . . . . It's hard to say. I mean, I took piano lessons for a long time. I suspect I didn't sound anything like a decent piano player. My teacher didn't put it to me quite that way. She just used the recordings of my playing to help me be more aware of what was going on and improve bit by bit.

On the issue of whether hourly lessons are more helpful than drill classes . . . I think they are. In fact, I think drill classes are a poor way to learn when you are 2.5-3.0. They don't teach technique at all in drill classes, in my experience, and you don't get enough reps to groove anything. Drill classes and clinics are better than nothing, but just barely. If you think your pro is actually helping you improve and you are getting your moeney's worth, then maybe he is doing his job.

My own pro threatened to drag out the video camera again to demonstrate to me that I am not getting around the ball on my FH and approach shots. I am working very hard on this before my next lesson. 'Cause I don't want to throw up! :)

subaru3169
06-16-2009, 04:30 AM
On the issue of whether hourly lessons are more helpful than drill classes . . . I think they are. In fact, I think drill classes are a poor way to learn when you are 2.5-3.0. They don't teach technique at all in drill classes, in my experience, and you don't get enough reps to groove anything. Drill classes and clinics are better than nothing, but just barely. If you think your pro is actually helping you improve and you are getting your moeney's worth, then maybe he is doing his job.


i think it depends on several variables though.. as in the quality of the drills, the trainers and how much feedback they provide, player's motivation and how long the sessions are

personally, i had pretty good luck and i progressed very quickly when i was a junior.. also helped that the trainers had a lot of feedback on form and i was pretty motivated to compete.. many of the other kids during that time just sucked and didn't take it very seriously

but many 1 hr coaches simply can not provide enough input for a player to progress to an elite level in their respective brackets.. players get better when they are constantly working on drills that will mimic match play and if there were several hitting partners to play practice sets with.. i know many many folks on the men and women's tours that practice with each other and it'll be different depending on where they are travelling.. that's the thing though, it absolutely can not take that short of time of 1 hr to get good enough to play serious competition.. thus it doesn't take just 1 hr a week, it should take several hrs on AND off court training for the majority of the week.. i never had private coaching but the tennis academy i was in trained me very well, but i was also very serious about winning

but like i said, there are many variables to consider.. but the main difference i see around my area is that most coaches i've seen simply coach to coach, and others coach to win

Cindysphinx
06-16-2009, 04:43 AM
Oh, I agree that simply taking a 1-hour lesson and doing little else will achieve minimal progress.

The same can be said for a clinic, though. You take a 2-hour drill class and then do nothing else and you won't progress far.

The clinics I took were at one of the better tennis training facilities. Four pros, maximum of 16 women spread across four courts. Two hours. You would think this would make for good instruction, right?

Nope. Not in my opinion. First, the rotated the pros after each drill, so you didn't build any continuity with the pro. The pro fed balls and you hit. You would get at most 3 balls and then to the back of the line, with one tip from the pro ("Watch the ball!").

The biggest problem, though, was that the drills were way too short. It wouldn't be a bad idea to spend the entire 2 hours on one stroke. But no. We would do FH (feed three balls), then BH (feed three balls), then FH volley, then BH volley. And we spent way too much time learning specialty shots when we hadn't mastered the basics. We even learned slice lobs. What the heck?

I didn't get any better because I couldn't execute any of these shots consistently. At least in a lesson (even a shared lesson), I get enough reps to groove the technique.

Lastly, I am not talking about how to get a player to progress to an Elite Level. Honestly, what do I know about that? I'm talking about learning the game and trying to get to 3.5-4.0-ish level only. And of course I'm talking about my own very narrow experiences with drill classes over a couple of years.

Xisbum
06-16-2009, 04:58 AM
The biggest problem, though, was that the drills were way too short. It wouldn't be a bad idea to spend the entire 2 hours on one stroke. But no. We would do FH (feed three balls), then BH (feed three balls), then FH volley, then BH volley. And we spent way too much time learning specialty shots when we hadn't mastered the basics. We even learned slice lobs. What the heck?

Give the lady a cigar. Took a doubles clinic regularly in Memphis, and the pro wanted to teach us all this fancy stuff like strategy, trick shots, etc. Since I recruited the other 3 guys and considered it "my" group, I told the pro that we were all primarily singles players who needed to learn how to volley - ONLY. So the next 6 weeks (an hour a week) we did nothing but volley work at the net.

Bottom line was that he worked for us, and we got to tell him what we needed. After we got the basics of volleying down, we let him start teaching us other aspects of the doubles game - one at a time. Seemed to work fairly well, since all of us became decent doubles players.

Gemini
06-16-2009, 05:25 AM
I was lucky..sort of. The first time I was videotaped I looked great but that was also part of my problem. I was the type of player that was so focused on looking good that it forced me to be kind of..well..mental to say the least. I had a hard time getting down and dirty when I was younger and just couldn't scrape out a tough match if my "pretty" strokes weren't up to par. That being said, seeing yourself on video should be used as a motivator. Use it to help clean up your footwork and strokes if possible and don't let it get you down. Just work at it a bit more.

pmacino
06-16-2009, 08:49 AM
IMO, for somebody trying to improve and can self assess well, video is the best thing ever. If you have a good coach, if you can be coached, if you are willing to honestly breakdown your video, and then take it to your coach...you will be in good shape. I've learned to not worry about NTRP and worry about playing the best tennis I can play at any given time.

I do record every practice session I have (Cocahed or just me hitting a wall or serving), and then go back and break it down. I use places like FLB, Hi-Techtennis, or the USTA site to compare to. It has helped so much I invested in a better camera before buying more tennis gear.

This season I started out as a legitimate beginner and seven months later I am playing #2 dubs in our state playoffs this Saturday (3.0 NTRP). I went into the season not worrying about winning, but with a goal to be the most improved. about 2/3 through the season I had my first win and it's been all good since then. I'm now playing in singles tournaments as well.

Here is an example of a video breakdown from last week on my 1HBH that I posted in another thread. My coach was pushing me to move away from a rising socket backhand and work on more spin. You'll see two variations;l topspin and inside out...then slices.

I know my footwork is weak and sloppy, this was way early in the morning, I was just warming up, and I played for a few hours each of the six days before. Enough excuses... :) But, I do find that filming my warmups is some of the most telling video, because I'm at my worst typically.

This is what I go back and look at after every practice.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLtNv4QNGwM

spiderman123
06-16-2009, 08:50 AM
I was lucky..sort of. The first time I was videotaped I looked great but that was also part of my problem. I was the type of player that was so focused on looking good that it forced me to be kind of..well..mental to say the least. I had a hard time getting down and dirty when I was younger and just couldn't scrape out a tough match if my "pretty" strokes weren't up to par. That being said, seeing yourself on video should be used as a motivator. Use it to help clean up your footwork and strokes if possible and don't let it get you down. Just work at it a bit more.

You said one magic word. Footwork. That was the ugliest part. I realized that I am so focussed on getting there and hitting the ball that I do not care how. It looked like it could be so much easier.

I mustered the courage to watch it again and I can now break it down.

The good part:
1. Serve: It has always been decent and I was happy that the motion looked pretty good too.

2. Backhand: Although my backhand is weaker, it is prettier to watch. When I played casually, I avoided hitting backhand so my first two lessons (this *was* a freelancer) I learnt to hit a one handed BH. Lack of bad habits helped here.

The bad part:
1. Footwork: I could see how my shoe soles wear out within four months. I need to learn to easily move towards the ball and back.

2. Racquet position: I could not believe that sometimes I run/move with racquet head pointing down. It looks very ugly.

3. Body weight transfer: No wonder majority of my shots lack the pop I wish they had.

4. Running forehand hitting position: This was hilarious. One of my legs would launch in the air every single time when I hit this. I had to laugh at this one.

5. Shape: Spare tire coming out. This is the first thing I need to work on. I absolutely hate that.
--------

I do plan to tell my pro what I want to improve on now that I have a fairly good idea. I hope he does that otherwise I will buy a ball machine and put an MP3 in my iPod that keeps on saying "Turn your shoulders, bend your knees, that's a home run, good shot, ha ha ha (after he gets me with his exquisite drop shot), watch the ball, let's pick them up."

And btw the only reason I finally got myself videotaped was because we bought this cool, simplistic, cheap and a very small form factor video camera. I don't want to sound like a salesman but anyone wanting to do this should take a look at google search results for "Flip Video".

Gemini
06-16-2009, 10:15 AM
You said one magic word. Footwork. That was the ugliest part. I realized that I am so focussed on getting there and hitting the ball that I do not care how. It looked like it could be so much easier.

I mustered the courage to watch it again and I can now break it down.

The good part:
1. Serve: It has always been decent and I was happy that the motion looked pretty good too.

2. Backhand: Although my backhand is weaker, it is prettier to watch. When I played casually, I avoided hitting backhand so my first two lessons (this *was* a freelancer) I learnt to hit a one handed BH. Lack of bad habits helped here.

The bad part:
1. Footwork: I could see how my shoe soles wear out within four months. I need to learn to easily move towards the ball and back.

2. Racquet position: I could not believe that sometimes I run/move with racquet head pointing down. It looks very ugly.

3. Body weight transfer: No wonder majority of my shots lack the pop I wish they had.

4. Running forehand hitting position: This was hilarious. One of my legs would launch in the air every single time when I hit this. I had to laugh at this one.

5. Shape: Spare tire coming out. This is the first thing I need to work on. I absolutely hate that.
--------

I do plan to tell my pro what I want to improve on now that I have a fairly good idea. I hope he does that otherwise I will buy a ball machine and put an MP3 in my iPod that keeps on saying "Turn your shoulders, bend your knees, that's a home run, good shot, ha ha ha (after he gets me with his exquisite drop shot), watch the ball, let's pick them up."

And btw the only reason I finally got myself videotaped was because we bought this cool, simplistic, cheap and a very small form factor video camera. I don't want to sound like a salesman but anyone wanting to do this should take a look at google search results for "Flip Video".

For me, footwork is THE key. If I'm moving well, I find that my movement is sort of an ebb-and-flow process where I explode to the ball but know exactly how fast to move to the ball and how much to decelerate when getting there. All of this is kind of subconscious and just comes from lots of practicing my movement.

beernutz
06-16-2009, 10:19 AM
cause teaching pros suck! their job is just to basically feed you balls.

You want a good teaching pro??? For starters, find a freelance one, those that work as clubs are just wasting your time. Someone freelance will(hopefully) actually try to improve your game, cause if he doesnt he knows you probably wont come back to him.

Nice generalization (which I totally disagree with). I'm curious, how mature are you?

spiderman123
06-16-2009, 10:35 AM
This is what I go back and look at after every practice.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLtNv4QNGwM

That was pretty good. you have a nice backhand. Good luck for the state playoffs.

[ I wrote about how one of my legs launches on a running forehand. I thought it was interesting that I saw something very similar in your video at 1:11 mark. :) I do something very similar. ]

Cindysphinx
06-16-2009, 12:41 PM
4. Running forehand hitting position: This was hilarious. One of my legs would launch in the air every single time when I hit this. I had to laugh at this one.



Heh, heh. I too noticed certain quirky things that happened every time I hit a certain shot. Had I not had tons of video to watch, I would have dismissed it as a freak occurrence.

Then again, perhaps I should think of it as a freak occurrence, with me starring as The Freak.

P8ntballa
06-16-2009, 09:30 PM
Was his intent to knock your self esteem down even further?

You're not a pro, don't expect to look like one.

No, he wanted to show me what a pro does (prep, swing, folow-thru) to show me how i could improve my game and technique. My serve motion is a mirror image of Roddicks, but there r slight differances that could give me more power.

Knightmace
06-17-2009, 12:32 AM
Teaching pros in my club was absolutely useless when I started playing I was holding the racquet up at the throat and only 8 months later my friend told me it waswrong! it's pathetic