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majordude
11-01-2009, 05:45 PM
I started a thread here (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=294019) and some of the participants received quite a bit of criticism for even bringing up his name of for suggesting his products.

He had a sale on eight of his DVDs so I decided to give them a go to check him out for myself.

First off, I'm not a pro, will never be a pro and have no desire to be a pro. I'm 45 and want a hobby and desire exercise. I used to play recreational tennis back in my late teens so I have an innate feel for the game (I'm not learning it from scratch).

My initial impression of the product is that the quality of the videos are very low. Many of the DVDs seem to be compilations of a show he used to have on the Tennis channel back in the late 80s or early 90s or something and they appear to be recordings of recordings and then digitally converted to DVDs. The audio sucks. The video sucks. They discs don't even play on my Mac or PC, they will only play on my PS3 (and it doesn't even appear to be Blue Ray discs so I don't know what the deal is)!

Regarding his teachings, I'm somewhat shocked in that what feels natural to me is what he appears to teach. Push the ball don't whack the ball, natural stances, runs instead of shuffles...

Let me digress a bit... when I was younger I took guitar lessons. For two years I practiced scales, chords, strings, grips, how to hold the guitar, how to tune it, how to do harmonics... everything but play the guitar what was what I wanted to do!

Then a few years ago I bought one of those cheap assed Estaban guitars from QVC and it came with 10 DVDs. It cost me $200. My old Yamaha guitar cost $600 in 1980.

I'm sure that if this was a guitar forum people would be razzing me saying Estaban is a phoney, a sell out, not a real musician but a hack. Well, he had me playing music (real songs) within an hour.

That was my goal all along. Not to be the next Eddie Van Halen, but to enjoy the guitar.

My wife, who has never played tennis, was hitting balls somewhat accurately over the net, both forehand and backhand, after one viewing of Oscar's Tennis 101.

For that it is a 9/10.

It's like Rosetta Stone for tennis. I tried to learn Spanish, 30 words at a time, for YEARS. I paid college professors a lot of money to try to learn Spanish with memory lessons and drills. For a fraction of the price and within a few hours you can have basic conversations in Spanish after using Rosetta Stone.

People will say that you can't have advanced conversations nor is my pronunciation perfect... but that isn't important to me or to most people. It's about communication not perfection. You've probably had funny conversations with foreigners that require a lot of hand signals and guessing. It's about communication, not perfection.

That's my impression of the anger directed to Wegner. He's teaching thousands of people to play a good game but not a great game and that irritates some. I guess I can undertstand that but I'd rather play music and ask for a beer in Spanish rather than becoming an expert in either.

9/10.

teachestennis
11-01-2009, 09:30 PM
I appreciate your honesty. I am sure Oscar will be flattered by your comments which are pretty interesting. I am not surprised, of course, especially by our wife's experience after watching the tennis 101, which should be handed out with every racket sold in the USA in my opinion and tennis would have a million new players forever. When I suggested you buy them, I knew the review could be bad given your sharing your experience so openly. I do think you hit the nail on the head that Oscar's natural teachings work in a very unorthodox way that is not easily understood. As a beginner, I knew you would find them effective.

The real magic is that if you go to tennis websites like www.tennisinthezone.com or www.noworriestennis.com you will find that these are 6.0 players who credit their level to Oscar. Akiva Lacterman thought he had topped out at 5.0 and after adopting MTM, was rated a 6.0 player. Mark Carruthers noworriestennis.com might be the funniest tennis website on the internet and he just made the finals of the Singapore Open which is a pro tournament. So it works for beginners as well as advanced, though for advanced, it helps by cleaning up misconceptions. Oscar's "secret" that he seems to have might be the very Power of Simplicity and the power of tennis by feel. Okham's Razor tells us that given two competing explanations, the simplest one is usually the correct one. This rule was used by Einstein as well as adopted by the scientific community as a whole.

Oscar's first book in 1989 was panned by Tennis Magazine and he was laughed at. Players like Vince Spadea, #18 in the world, were part of the unknown legions started by Oscar in tennis, Vince actually being coached by Oscar as an overweight six year old as were his two sisters started in tennis and all three became USTA champions. Oscar later coached Vince Spadea Jr when he was in high school as the father, a piano teacher, knew where his bread was buttered and because of MTM, the father was able to coach his son until Vince Jr. parted ways at age 26. But even Vince Spadea Jr said in 2007 that the tennis world was surprised Oscar's book so sold so well, given the USA coaches such as Rick Macci felt Oscar's theories had no merit. Oscar's second book, despite being promoted by Bud Collins who put his picture on the cover and wrote the foreword, has to this day been ignored by mainstream tennis media and you can't find a mainstream review of it. Oscar's 2006 "Play Better Tennis in 2 Hours," was published by McGraw Hill, one of largest publishers in the world, yet has never been reviewed by a mainstream tennis source. I have only found it reviewed by a North Carolina longtime student of tennis who felt it was one of the best five tennis books ever written, and he had a fifty year history in tennis. Weird that you came under attack so much, as I have, but when you tested the data, you found it effective. That is what people on this site need to know. That MTM has a great track record.

Here is the best definition of MTM I have ever read by Akiva Lacterman of tennisinthezone.com and I hope Fuzzy Yellow Balls, Coaching Mastery, BB, and many of the great coaches and old timers on here understand the real magic behind the Power of Simplicity. Bruce Lee, who had such a great influence on the development of MTM when Oscar thought about the power of the one inch punch, really describes the secret of this very simplistic but powerful method.

Akiva Lacterman, 6.0 player and MTM coach: "So the reason I teach MTM is that it works. I love Oscar Wegner's comparisons of tennis to martial arts and I would like to make another comparison when it comes to technique.

Bruce Lee said." One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity. It is merely simplicity;the ability to express the utmost with the minimum. Art is the expression of the self. The more complicated and restricted the method the less opportunity for expression of one's original sense of freedom. Though they play an important role in the early stage, the techniques should not be too mechanical, complex or restrictive. If we cling blindly to them ,we will eventually become bound by their limitations. Remember, you are expressing the techniques not doing the techniques. If somebody attacks you your response is not Technique No.1, Stance 2, Section 4, Paragraph 5. Instead you simply move in like sound and echo, without any deliberation".

Akiva Lacterman: "MTM technique is like this. You learn the important mechanics, they are simple and uncomplicated. You begin,over time, to express these mechanics without thought because of their simplicity and you feel freedom. This is a very joyful state to be in when playing tennis."

TenniseaWilliams
11-01-2009, 09:57 PM
Thanks for the review majordude.

teachestennis, Occam's razor, (or even Ockham's razor) states that the theory with the fewest assumptions is more likely correct. Not the most simple.

SFrazeur
11-01-2009, 10:07 PM
[. . .]

That's my impression of the anger directed to Wegner. He's teaching thousands of people to play a good game but not a great game and that irritates some. I guess I can understand that but I'd rather play music and ask for a beer in Spanish rather than becoming an expert in either.

9/10.

There is a large section of the US teaching population who believe strictly in teaching in a very sterile environment. What I mean by "sterile environment" is they think that students must complete a certain step by step process of hitting structure, in-particular they are this way in regards to footwork. They are strict "Turn, Step, Hit." Others are strict with keeping the feet pointed forward and turning the shoulders all the way, dropping the racquet all the way down to the side; and then cross stepping, making a certain amount of steps before they can step forward and hit. That kind of prevalent mentality can cause people to think that lacking a strict pattern means as you put it "not a great game."

When people fervently believe in something they do not react well to that belief being challenged. I doubt that MTM guys are any better with all the Wegner propaganda that's part of the curriculum. I'm half way through the Wegner e-book I was sent and it does have a certain "cult of personality" to the writing. That said the actual content has peeked my interest enough that I'm going to lay down the $100 for the Wegner set.
So, in a week or so I could become an MTM/Wegner Zealot or a more informed individualist instructor.

-SF

onehandbh
11-01-2009, 10:37 PM
I appreciate your honesty...

... you will find that these are 6.0 players who credit their level to Oscar. Akiva Lacterman thought he had topped out at 5.0 and after adopting MTM, was rated a 6.0 player. Mark Carruthers noworriestennis.com might be the funniest tennis website on the internet and he just made the finals of the Singapore Open which is a pro tournament. tennis."

Are you referring to the Singapore Open pro tournament that ended in
1999?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singapore_Open_(tennis)

There might be prize money, but it's no longer a PRO tournament.

Is this the Mark Carruthers you are referring to?
http://www.itftennis.com/mens/players/activity.asp?player=100082611

Looks like he lost in the 1st round qualifying for a futures tournament
but it was a close 3 setter and the guy is ranked about a 1000.

If he won in Singapore, would his results be here somewhere?
http://www.singtennis.org.sg/trialframe.asp?location=tournament

volusiano
11-02-2009, 02:52 AM
That's my impression of the anger directed to Wegner. He's teaching thousands of people to play a good game but not a great game and that irritates some. I guess I can undertstand that but I'd rather play music and ask for a beer in Spanish rather than becoming an expert in either.

Thanks for sharing your feedback on this.

I don't think people are irritated because the Wegner method teaching a good game but not a great game like you think. Nobody is that petty. I think it has more to do with how it's being portrayed and marketed as the best thing since sliced bread in the tennis world all of a sudden.

If it's been portrayed as "a quick and easy way to learn tennis", or like one of those introductory "tennis for dummies" kind of thing, it wouldn't have irritated people so much. But they differentiate it as "revolutionary" and "modern" and "a better way" than the conventional way, which is why some people feel it's a bit of a hype. It's just ANOTHER way, that's all, with a focus on the natural and obvious approach to keep things simple.

teachestennis
11-02-2009, 03:41 AM
Thanks for sharing your feedback on this.

I don't think people are irritated because the Wegner method teaching a good game but not a great game like you think. Nobody is that petty. I think it has more to do with how it's being portrayed and marketed as the best thing since sliced bread in the tennis world all of a sudden.

If it's been portrayed as "a quick and easy way to learn tennis", or like one of those introductory "tennis for dummies" kind of thing, it wouldn't have irritated people so much. But they differentiate it as "revolutionary" and "modern" and "a better way" than the conventional way, which is why some people feel it's a bit of a hype. It's just ANOTHER way, that's all, with a focus on the natural and obvious approach to keep things simple.

Regarding Mark Carruthers, I meant the Singapore Open a few months ago, he made the finals, and I believe it's a futures tournament but I could be wrong because I did not look it up. He wrote about how it nearly killed him training for it. I was making the point he's still a pretty good player because he's actually a coach now. He grew up playing the likes of Hewitt, Gonzo, and many more famous names in the juniors before he wised up and realized he was not going to beat those guys, lol. I referred to his website www.noworriestennis.com because he makes a lot of funny points about tennis and can speak from an interesting perspective. If you get a chance to read the Letter to Rafa, not only will it leave you in stitches but he's given Rafa the perfect nickname. The letter regarding Davydenko being found murdered on the court is great, too.

And for many players who have been regimented into a robotic attack attack attack style and told that the real secret of tennis is just to hit flat balls within 3 feet of the baseline (and yes there have been top academies where that is the mantra) or told that you had to go through certain progressions to learn to copy the pros, MTM is revolutionary. As a tennis coach who got out of active duty Air Force and settled into teaching tennis in Rantoul, IL in 1991 through 1994 (we had two indoor courts at the old Chanute AFB and I had one of them to teach on), I'm sure I saw Oscar's TV shows at some point but I was told by two very famous names in tennis at a coaching convention that science would prove Oscar's theories had no merit, that he taught a clay court game that had not application to American tennis. So I ignored him and his book which I saw in the libraries where I looked for the next great tennis "secret." I saw his website in the late 1990s appear and change a lot and I remember thinking "overhype" until I got Master Strokes 1 and 2 in 2003 and then my world started to turn upside down as this was the opposite of what we were teaching in Springfield, IL and then I moved to St. Louis area where I found great resistance to the videos until three other coaches started noticing it worked when we tried it. One of the biggest coaching names in St. Louis was Andy Davis, who had a great reputation after working with some of the biggest names in tennis personally (Harry Hopman and his Australian team as well assistant coach to Rick Macci) could not believe the results I got until he got the same results and he and I realized that USA tennis was full of contradictory data and inferior data which explains why this forum is so popular, people want something that works and is sustainable on court, and you get great advice from some of these guys on here that is better than many of the "famous" names. Andy then converted the largest boys program in the city of St. Louis (with my help) and the next year he was hired to work at Newcombe's tennis ranch and the fight was on. I did get too pushy, when the USPTA announced they were phasing out conventional coaching, I said that was proof conventional coaching must go.

Someone has to set the standard. Oscar chose to be that guy. You don't think he knows what he is doing? He's made some mistakes, but the guy sure knows tennis. Read Chapter 19 of that 1989 book and it's essentially the battle cry of Patrick McEnroe and Jose Higueras regarding the importance of clay court play. But you'll never hear mention of Oscar's name though Higueras and Oscar have a history going back to Spain. Why would one coach want to credit another. It's normal to want to be the guy who has it all figured out, that is human nature. I wish I could say I had original thoughts in tennis and I've written extensively on the subject. Oscar will tell you he's borrrowed from countless coaches but he claims to be the first to stress the correct biomechanical strokes in a simplified teaching system for optimal tennis play.

I don't really teach players with MTM as much as I "free them up." I give them room to run naturally and have some success rallying. Then I show them how to add a few finer points and then a few months later, they are split stepping naturally, and they are carioking on the BH slice naturally, and they even shuffle naturally after I remove that silly beginner shuffle which I banned all my coaches from using and they were shocked at how much better students hit (though we often teach a natural shuffle later on).

And yes, Ockham's razor has a common meaning and a scientific meaning which do not match. I have written a long article which I will republish about Occam's razor in tennis (both spellings are accepted). But MTM does make very few assumptions, I write most of these threads with no editing or forethought, often quickly without thinking, I feel like I know this debate so well because I am a true tennis instruction historian, so I need to start reading them before I hit the submit button.

Revolutions are never without spilled blood, even in tennis. The USTA still claims on their website today THERE IS NO OPTIMAL TECHNIQUE. That is a debate worth having. The Russians would disagree. Let's see, they have a half dozen men in the top 100 and have had as many as 19 women in the top 100 this year. The USA should be ashamed given Venus and Serena didn't even come out of the USTA system. Who is more likely right?

5263
11-02-2009, 03:43 AM
Thanks for the review majordude.

teachestennis, Occam's razor, (or even Ockham's razor) states that the theory with the fewest assumptions is more likely correct. Not the most simple.

No need to follow the arrogant definition in Wiki, which calls others wrong in error. Merriam-Webster uses simple in it's definition, as do many other more respected sources.

Main Entry: Oc·cam's razor
Variant(s): also Ock·ham's razor \ˈä-kəmz-\
Function: noun
Etymology: William of Occam
Date: circa 1837

: a scientific and philosophic rule that entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily which is interpreted as requiring that the simplest of competing theories be preferred to the more complex or that explanations of unknown phenomena be sought first in terms of known quantities


Even men of Science quoted further down in the Wiki def use the term, simple, as the catch word to define Occam's razor premise.

5263
11-02-2009, 04:02 AM
Nice honest review. I think some are more influenced by presentation than content. You clearly had the ability to see past that, and I think with time you will find the instruction even more helpful as you and your wife advance as players.

sureshs
11-02-2009, 04:25 AM
My initial impression of the product is that the quality of the videos are very low. Many of the DVDs seem to be compilations of a show he used to have on the Tennis channel back in the late 80s or early 90s or something and they appear to be recordings of recordings and then digitally converted to DVDs

There was no Tennis channel at that time

TenniseaWilliams
11-02-2009, 05:20 AM
No need to follow the arrogant definition in Wiki, which calls others wrong in error. Merriam-Webster uses simple in it's definition, as do many other more respected sources.

Main Entry: Oc·cam's razor
Variant(s): also Ock·ham's razor \ˈä-kəmz-\
Function: noun
Etymology: William of Occam
Date: circa 1837

: a scientific and philosophic rule that entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily which is interpreted as requiring that the simplest of competing theories be preferred to the more complex or that explanations of unknown phenomena be sought first in terms of known quantities


Even men of Science quoted further down in the Wiki def use the term, simple, as the catch word to define Occam's razor premise.


Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.
--Albert Einstein

majordude
11-02-2009, 05:23 AM
Who knows what channel it is. ESPN or something. You can tell it was made for TV or maybe a part of a larger show. My point was that the video and audio quality of some of the DVDs is veeery low. Like downloading a YouTube video and burning it to disc. :)

5263
11-02-2009, 05:28 AM
Who knows what channel it is. ESPN or something. You can tell it was made for TV or maybe a part of a larger show. My point was that the video and audio quality of some of the DVDs is veeery low. Like downloading a YouTube video and burning it to disc. :)

teachestennis has the more exact history on those vids, but they were being made for Tv, then were blocked by tennis politics related to his system.

TenniseaWilliams
11-02-2009, 06:00 AM
teachestennis has the more exact history on those vids, but they were being made for Tv, then were blocked by tennis politics related to his system.

Using Occam's razor I might suggest he couldn't sell them to anyone, and didn't want to pay for the infomercial; it requires less assumptions to theorize that he was ignored.

sureshs
11-02-2009, 06:47 AM
Who knows what channel it is. ESPN or something. You can tell it was made for TV or maybe a part of a larger show. My point was that the video and audio quality of some of the DVDs is veeery low. Like downloading a YouTube video and burning it to disc. :)

Yes I got it. I was just nitpicking because I recall Tennis Channel making a big deal of celebrating 5 years of existence recently.

5263
11-02-2009, 06:55 AM
Using Occam's razor I might suggest he couldn't sell them to anyone, and didn't want to pay for the infomercial; it requires less assumptions to theorize that he was ignored.

Of course Occam's may not really apply here as it only says when all other theories are equal, and in this case, your theory is not close to equal and actually has 0% merit.

Sublime
11-02-2009, 07:06 AM
Of course Occam's may not really apply here as it only says when all other theories are equal, and in this case, your theory is not close to equal and actually has 0% merit.

So theory 1 was that the video series was produced, but that the small handful of potential buyers (espn, pbs, ???) weren't interested or didn't think they could sell ad space for them.

Theory 2 is that the videos were viewed by the tennis equivalent of the Free Masons, who determined them to be damaging to tennis in general. They met and agreed that their content must never be seen by recreational tennis players anywhere. Being the uber-powerful group that they are, with arms that extend up to the top officials at ESPN and even into high ranking positions in the CIA, it was all to easy to black list it.

I agree, theory 2 holds much more merit.

5263
11-02-2009, 07:11 AM
So theory 1 was that the video series was produced, but that the small handful of potential buyers (espn, pbs, ???) weren't interested or didn't think they could sell ad space for them.

Theory 2 is that the videos were viewed by the tennis equivalent of the Free Masons, who determined them to be damaging to tennis in general. They met and agreed that their content must never be seen by recreational tennis players anywhere. Being the uber-powerful group that they are, with arms that extend up to the top officials at ESPN and even into high ranking positions in the CIA, it was all to easy to black list it.

I agree, theory 2 holds much more merit.

Interesting conclusion, given the way you state it.
We know that theory 1 in not the truth, and your version of theory 2 is quite interestingly creative, but as usual by detractors, exaggerated beyond usefulness.

Sublime
11-02-2009, 07:43 AM
Interesting conclusion, given the way you state it.
We know that theory 1 in not the truth, and your version of theory 2 is quite interestingly creative, but as usual by detractors, exaggerated beyond usefulness.

I don't have an opinion on MTM as I've never read or seen any of the material. My comment is simply on the situation.

How do "we know that theory 1 is not the truth"? Who was the series produced for? Were you either one of the producers? Were you the program director at ESPN?

sureshs
11-02-2009, 07:54 AM
Is there any FREE video of Oscar Wegner's serving tips/lessons? I don't want to sign on to any site. Just want to see a free floating video on Youtube or somewhere else.

SFrazeur
11-02-2009, 08:45 AM
I finished the E-book and I did order the DVD set myself this morning. Looking forward to it.
Just one thing. . . If something should happen to me, please remember me as I was. . .

-SF

Dedans Penthouse
11-02-2009, 08:49 AM
I don't really teach players with MTM as much as I "free them up." Appreciate your feedback on this forum. Now about that "feel" thing:
Wegner in his book eschews the whole big backswing windup and all (all well and good) and instead tells the reader to reach out and feel for the ball with the racquet. Though I agree with his contention that the free-flowing "release" of the racquet (i.e. follow through) is what's really important, I'm curious as to how "pointing the racquet tip at the ball," (probing for the ball) can generate enough transferrable energy let alone racquet head speed into the ball. thx

Bungalo Bill
11-02-2009, 09:00 AM
Come on Teachestennis, are you kidding me?

How many times do we need to go around and around about this.

It is your history and the claims that Oscar Wegner is the "father of modern tennis" that is a laugher. Should I repost what Oscar wrote???? He loves being called the "Father of Modern Tennis" it helps him sell more DVD's until someone shows him a photo in 1926 that destroys any inclination of that.

How many times do I need to just provide one picture of evidence that says he is not!

How many times do we need to go around and around countering your false propaganda surrounding to this guy?

We are not dishing the intruction that he has developed. If a player wants to learn it, go for it.

However, he marketing attempts, getting his clones like you in here pumping him up like a god or some person that "discovered" the open stance, western grip, or WW swing is just ridiculous.

He creatred his own instruction, bravo, it isn't rocket science to do a little studying and create instruction!!!!

And his instruction is not perfect nor is it communicated perfectly.

You and your little clones simply want o exaggerate one side of the coin, and pump yours up like it is the Holy Grail.

Maybe for simple-minded coaches it is! However, even your beloved and worshipped Oscar admitted he simply reviewed what was happening and simply created instruction for it.

It already existed. It was already being taught. It was already being learned. He just jumped on the bandwagon and started his own instruction.

And your history of tennis? Should I laugh? You haven't been able to disprove anything I have said with regard to the history of tennis.

Here is what I think. I think you are a smart guy who understands that if you say something enough times, naive people will believe it even though evidence states otherwise.

Well, I will always be here to challenge you and counter your false propoganda.

teachestennis
11-02-2009, 09:27 AM
So theory 1 was that the video series was produced, but that the small handful of potential buyers (espn, pbs, ???) weren't interested or didn't think they could sell ad space for them.

Theory 2 is that the videos were viewed by the tennis equivalent of the Free Masons, who determined them to be damaging to tennis in general. They met and agreed that their content must never be seen by recreational tennis players anywhere. Being the uber-powerful group that they are, with arms that extend up to the top officials at ESPN and even into high ranking positions in the CIA, it was all to easy to black list it.

I agree, theory 2 holds much more merit.

Actually, Theory 2 holds a lot of merit. What essentially happened was Oscar in 1989 self published the book even having Guga Kuerten and other students help him put the first 300 copies together in his living room (he nearly burned up the copier at a local copy store) when he moved to Florida to challenge the tennis establishment and warning in Chapter 19 that things were not looking good for USA tennis, the last words ending with: "Prophecy? Perhaps." He knew after Spain and now much of South America were adopting his techniques that this was likely to be the tennis model of the future and that the USA had to change. In 1991, Tennis Magazine started a TV show (the precursor to the Tennis Channel) that was shown on Prime Ticket. Brad Holbrook was hired as the host and started featuring Van der Meer and a host of others but I want to note that Nick Bollettieri was also not invited. Bud Collins, the games most well known commentator as well as the game's historian, upon discovering from the Russian coaches that they were using Oscar's 1989 book, challenges Oscar to prove his claims on court in a 1991 weekend with all ages and some total beginners. Bud sees with his own eyes that this is likely the future of tennis instruction if the sport it to grow, and when asked by Thomas Nelson Publishers, the largest Bible publisher in the world, to write a foreword for Oscar's second book (essentially a 2nd edition), Bud agrees since he had witnessed Oscar's new style and met Oscar when WEgner was a Junior Davis Cup Captain for Spain in 1973.

Brad Holbrook hears about a coach spending the summer in the Northeast (Oscar had been hired in Maine and then to work in New York City) named Oscar Wegner who astonishes people with his teaching. Brad decides to take a lesson from Oscar on court and is astonished by what he sees. He brings Oscar into the Tennis Magazine Show. Tennis Magazine is furious, and dont' think they just blacklisted Oscar at the time. I think Dorothy Dandridge, the editor of TEnnis Magazine, shorthrifted Nicky B also and essentially ignored him for several years which I find odd, so it wasn't just Oscar. Brad Holbrook was told to get rid of Oscar or else. Brad tells TEnnis Magazine he's backing Oscar and he leaves to start a syndicated tennis show featuring Oscar Wegner. It was these shows that were filmed and virtually unedited, made into the videos in 1992 beginning with Master Strokes 1 and 2. Then came Tennis 101 and Play Like the Pros and then the 10 Amazing Secrets. Brad syndicates the shows all over the USA and from 1992 to 1994, Oscar gets exposure on Prime Sports Network (now Fox Sports). So, yes the powers that be in tennis sought to keep Oscar off the airwaves but Richard Williams admitted it was these shows that the videos were made from that he taped and had Venus and Serena watch everyday which probably accounts for their "ugly footwork" (I wish my players had such "ugly footwork) and open stance off both sides that is their signature still today. Richard even told Oscar his stuff made so much sense that is why he had his girls watch them everyday.

Oscar was then hired by ESPN International to be the Spanish tennis commentator and thus an entire generation of South American kids grew up in the 1990s listening to Oscar point how Graf "stalks the ball" pointing at the ball with her racket tip and how pros never stayed down through the shot when our announcers were claiming opposite tenets.

Oscar becomes so popular overseas during the 1990s that ESPN decides to have him do a series of tennis tips. They were so "weird" and "unorthodox" that for ESPN, they made a business decision more than likely not to bite the hand that bought advertising from them (USTA?) and thus they then hired Jimmy Arias to do conventional tennis tips and thus Oscar's ESPN TV Tips were seen in 170 countries with Billions (with a B) of TV impressions and became very popular, ESPN even being asked to repeat them overseas and people were reported to have cheered in bars when he came on making fun of conventional coaching. The tips were show during Super Bowls, big soccer matches, and big events such as the NBA finals when the Bulls were winning their last three straight, but those famous TV tips have never been seen once on American TV, only on ESPN International, which explains Oscar's lack of media exposure in the USA, where TEnnis Magazine has never once mentioned his name.

So now you have a bit of history explaining the incredible resistance to Oscar's MTM that goes on today, though everyone is now moving his way and all players on both tours all use WWs as their primary shots with the racket butt pointing towards the opposite court just as he first advocated as a 28 year old coach in Beverly Hills working alongside Pancho Segura and Pancho Gonzalez, who used Oscar as a practice partner punching bag, lol.

My History of USA Tennis Instruction is free on my website for all to read. It's fascinating to discover that if you tried to swing a racquet like Federer you were essentially lambasted by the tennis powers in the USA (see the 1975 entry in Part 1) who had no clue as to what the future of tennis would look like.

For those who don't know, Oscar is offering a free ebook of his original book that is in my opinion the best technique book ever written. Email me at eztennisswing@ yahoo.com if you want a copy. No charge.

Bungalo Bill
11-02-2009, 09:29 AM
I started a thread here (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=294019) and some of the participants received quite a bit of criticism for even bringing up his name of for suggesting his products.

His name is assciated with false claims. His name is used to spread false information with regard to other coaches and people in general because of the chip on his shoulder and how he cried when others didnt want to listen to him.

He simply took current strokes and created his own instruction around it. That is all he did. There is no Oscar history. There is no Father of Modern Tennis. There is nothing like that at all.

His clones want you to believe he developed the Holy Grail. They will pump you up with a few players that used his instruction to get better. Nevermind, the many many others that didn't need his instruction to learn the game.

He had a sale on eight of his DVDs so I decided to give them a go to check him out for myself.

Good! It should be discounted after all the false information his little clones promoted!

First off, I'm not a pro, will never be a pro and have no desire to be a pro. I'm 45 and want a hobby and desire exercise. I used to play recreational tennis back in my late teens so I have an innate feel for the game (I'm not learning it from scratch).

My initial impression of the product is that the quality of the videos are very low. Many of the DVDs seem to be compilations of a show he used to have on the Tennis channel back in the late 80s or early 90s or something and they appear to be recordings of recordings and then digitally converted to DVDs. The audio sucks. The video sucks. They discs don't even play on my Mac or PC, they will only play on my PS3 (and it doesn't even appear to be Blue Ray discs so I don't know what the deal is)!

My gosh. Of course they are low quality!!!!! It is how he makes money!!! he pumps his product up through Scientology beleivers and off they go!!! I wouldn't be surpirsed if TeachesTennis wore a short sleeve shirt, a tie, and rode a bike around his neigborhood!!

My gosh man, why does he need to create a quality DVD when he has people like you that will buy it anyway?

Regarding his teachings, I'm somewhat shocked in that what feels natural to me is what he appears to teach. Push the ball don't whack the ball, natural stances, runs instead of shuffles...

Run instead of shuffles? Are you kidding me? That is on the DVD's? Push instead of "Whack"???

You remind me of those TV commercials that sell products. On one scene the person is having a terrible time doing it "the old way." Then in comes the guy using the new product, and he is smiling, and making it look like the product is a miracle for only $19.99!!!!

But wait!! If you call within the next half-hour, we will throw in two BS stories for you to buy!

Let me digress a bit... when I was younger I took guitar lessons. For two years I practiced scales, chords, strings, grips, how to hold the guitar, how to tune it, how to do harmonics... everything but play the guitar what was what I wanted to do!

Then a few years ago I bought one of those cheap assed Estaban guitars from QVC and it came with 10 DVDs. It cost me $200. My old Yamaha guitar cost $600 in 1980.

I'm sure that if this was a guitar forum people would be razzing me saying Estaban is a phoney, a sell out, not a real musician but a hack. Well, he had me playing music (real songs) within an hour.

Dude, maybe you are just bad at guitar? Every musician knows you have to do both. Practice (and sometimes that means scales!!!) and play the darn songs!!!! What are you practicing for?

Maybe it isn't the coaching but your way of looking at what you think you need to do. Have you ever thought it just might be you?

That was my goal all along. Not to be the next Eddie Van Halen, but to enjoy the guitar.

My wife, who has never played tennis, was hitting balls somewhat accurately over the net, both forehand and backhand, after one viewing of Oscar's Tennis 101.

For that it is a 9/10.

It's like Rosetta Stone for tennis. I tried to learn Spanish, 30 words at a time, for YEARS. I paid college professors a lot of money to try to learn Spanish with memory lessons and drills. For a fraction of the price and within a few hours you can have basic conversations in Spanish after using Rosetta Stone.

Wow!! A miracle for only $19.99! If I order within the next half-hour can I get another for my friend? :)

My gosh, Rosetta Stone? You can do your own internet search on the truth of Rosetta Stone, but let me give you one:

"Really, it would be a challenge to find a language software package that does not claim to be based on "immersion". There may be a simple explanation for this. While books are still being published to accommodate traditional methods of language instruction the world of multimedia creates a general sense that some shortcuts can be taken. You just pop a CD in a computer, put on headphones and voil! in a few hours you know French! Does it really work that way? You guessed it, it doesn't. But what does work? How is it possible that Rosetta Stone, one of the methods that claim to be using this "immersion technique" clearly stands out from the crowd and enjoys a growing popularity?


The principles."

It is the fundamentals that work. It is the fundamentals that are taught by many many coaches that Oscar and his follower love to put down, trash, destroy, and put out false information. It is bogus junk spread by a man with a chip on his shoulder.

If instruction is what you want, then stick to that. Just know that it takes more than the coach or instruction to make a good tennis player. It also takes the player and a heck of a lot of practice and discipline.

People will say that you can't have advanced conversations nor is my pronunciation perfect... but that isn't important to me or to most people. It's about communication not perfection. You've probably had funny conversations with foreigners that require a lot of hand signals and guessing. It's about communication, not perfection.

That's my impression of the anger directed to Wegner. He's teaching thousands of people to play a good game but not a great game and that irritates some. I guess I can undertstand that but I'd rather play music and ask for a beer in Spanish rather than becoming an expert in either.

9/10.

Communication? Is that all it is with you? Well, communication is a two-way street. The receiver of communication and the provider of the communication. Short-circuits happen in all instructors and in all instruction. There is not one instructional method that is perfect and not one instructor that is perfect. Even Oscar followers admit they had to go out and "reinstruct" those using his product.

The bottom-line is, you found something that you connect with and since you have no background in tennis instruction, you really don't know what is based on false premise.

majordude
11-02-2009, 09:46 AM
It is your history and the claims that Oscar Wegner is the "father of modern tennis" that is a laugher. Should I repost what Oscar wrote???? He loves being called the "Father of Modern Tennis" it helps him sell more DVD's until someone shows him a photo in 1926 that destroys any inclination of that.

I don't know if I've ever heard Oscar call himself that but he doesn't object when others do!

I will say that he does say on many of the DVDs that this is nothing new, some have played this way back in the 40s or something.

Perhaps he is the first one to market it as a "system". As a capitalist I can't fault the guy for making a living.

SFrazeur
11-02-2009, 09:49 AM
I don't know if I've ever heard Oscar call himself that but he doesn't object when others do!

I will say that he does say on many of the DVDs that this is nothing new, some have played this way back in the 40s or something.

Perhaps he is the first one to market it as a "system". As a capitalist I can't fault the guy for making a living.

I can see why some stand on principal, but to me that's exactly right, this is capitalism and marketing.
It's the zealotry that gets me.

-SF

NamRanger
11-02-2009, 09:52 AM
Actually, Theory 2 holds a lot of merit. What essentially happened was Oscar in 1989 self published the book even having Guga Kuerten and other students help him put the first 300 copies together in his living room (he nearly burned up the copier at a local copy store) when he moved to Florida to challenge the tennis establishment and warning in Chapter 19 that things were not looking good for USA tennis, the last words ending with: "Prophecy? Perhaps." He knew after Spain and now much of South America were adopting his techniques that this was likely to be the tennis model of the future and that the USA had to change. In 1991, Tennis Magazine started a TV show (the precursor to the Tennis Channel) that was shown on Prime Ticket. Brad Holbrook was hired as the host and started featuring Van der Meer and a host of others but I want to note that Nick Bollettieri was also not invited. Bud Collins, the games most well known commentator as well as the game's historian, upon discovering from the Russian coaches that they were using Oscar's 1989 book, challenges Oscar to prove his claims on court in a 1991 weekend with all ages and some total beginners. Bud sees with his own eyes that this is likely the future of tennis instruction if the sport it to grow, and when asked by Thomas Nelson Publishers, the largest Bible publisher in the world, to write a foreword for Oscar's second book (essentially a 2nd edition), Bud agrees since he had witnessed Oscar's new style and met Oscar when WEgner was a Junior Davis Cup Captain for Spain in 1973.

Brad Holbrook hears about a coach spending the summer in the Northeast (Oscar had been hired in Maine and then to work in New York City) named Oscar Wegner who astonishes people with his teaching. Brad decides to take a lesson from Oscar on court and is astonished by what he sees. He brings Oscar into the Tennis Magazine Show. Tennis Magazine is furious, and dont' think they just blacklisted Oscar at the time. I think Dorothy Dandridge, the editor of TEnnis Magazine, shorthrifted Nicky B also and essentially ignored him for several years which I find odd, so it wasn't just Oscar. Brad Holbrook was told to get rid of Oscar or else. Brad tells TEnnis Magazine he's backing Oscar and he leaves to start a syndicated tennis show featuring Oscar Wegner. It was these shows that were filmed and virtually unedited, made into the videos in 1992 beginning with Master Strokes 1 and 2. Then came Tennis 101 and Play Like the Pros and then the 10 Amazing Secrets. Brad syndicates the shows all over the USA and from 1992 to 1994, Oscar gets exposure on Prime Sports Network (now Fox Sports). So, yes the powers that be in tennis sought to keep Oscar off the airwaves but Richard Williams admitted it was these shows that the videos were made from that he taped and had Venus and Serena watch everyday which probably accounts for their "ugly footwork" (I wish my players had such "ugly footwork) and open stance off both sides that is their signature still today. Richard even told Oscar his stuff made so much sense that is why he had his girls watch them everyday.

Oscar was then hired by ESPN International to be the Spanish tennis commentator and thus an entire generation of South American kids grew up in the 1990s listening to Oscar point how Graf "stalks the ball" pointing at the ball with her racket tip and how pros never stayed down through the shot when our announcers were claiming opposite tenets.

Oscar becomes so popular overseas during the 1990s that ESPN decides to have him do a series of tennis tips. They were so "weird" and "unorthodox" that for ESPN, they made a business decision more than likely not to bite the hand that bought advertising from them (USTA?) and thus they then hired Jimmy Arias to do conventional tennis tips and thus Oscar's ESPN TV Tips were seen in 170 countries with Billions (with a B) of TV impressions and became very popular, ESPN even being asked to repeat them overseas and people were reported to have cheered in bars when he came on making fun of conventional coaching. The tips were show during Super Bowls, big soccer matches, and big events such as the NBA finals when the Bulls were winning their last three straight, but those famous TV tips have never been seen once on American TV, only on ESPN International, which explains Oscar's lack of media exposure in the USA, where TEnnis Magazine has never once mentioned his name.

So now you have a bit of history explaining the incredible resistance to Oscar's MTM that goes on today, though everyone is now moving his way and all players on both tours all use WWs as their primary shots with the racket butt pointing towards the opposite court just as he first advocated as a 28 year old coach in Beverly Hills working alongside Pancho Segura and Pancho Gonzalez, who used Oscar as a practice partner punching bag, lol.

My History of USA Tennis Instruction is free on my website for all to read. It's fascinating to discover that if you tried to swing a racquet like Federer you were essentially lambasted by the tennis powers in the USA (see the 1975 entry in Part 1) who had no clue as to what the future of tennis would look like.

For those who don't know, Oscar is offering a free ebook of his original book that is in my opinion the best technique book ever written. Email me at eztennisswing@ yahoo.com if you want a copy. No charge.






You have to be kidding me if you expect us to believe this story that Oscar was portrayed as an ignorant rebel by U.S. tennis and then paved the way for "modern tennis" in countries like South America and Spain.



Look, you can promote MTM all you want, but trying to portray Oscar as the Galileo of tennis isn't exactly the best way to do it.



Also, I am certain the WW motion existed well before Oscar even started coaching, because I'm pretty sure I've seen the likes of Laver, Newcome, Borg, etc. use it.

Sublime
11-02-2009, 10:00 AM
Brad decides to take a lesson from Oscar on court and is astonished by what he sees. He brings Oscar into the Tennis Magazine Show. Tennis Magazine is furious, and dont' think they just blacklisted Oscar at the time. I think Dorothy Dandridge, the editor of TEnnis Magazine, shorthrifted Nicky B also and essentially ignored him for several years which I find odd, so it wasn't just Oscar. Brad Holbrook was told to get rid of Oscar or else. Brad tells TEnnis Magazine he's backing Oscar and he leaves to start a syndicated tennis show featuring Oscar Wegner.

Why were they furious?

majordude
11-02-2009, 10:05 AM
It's the zealotry that gets me.

Well, it runs both ways I'm afraid. In just this thread alone I've noticed nothing short of three people shouting "HERETIC! HERETIC!" directed at Wegner as if he was Martin Luther posting a letter on the Church's front door.

:)

5263
11-02-2009, 10:09 AM
I don't know if I've ever heard Oscar call himself that but he doesn't object when others do!

I will say that he does say on many of the DVDs that this is nothing new, some have played this way back in the 40s or something.

Perhaps he is the first one to market it as a "system". As a capitalist I can't fault the guy for making a living.

Clearly the US game, even on a rec. basis, is moving in the direction Oscar predicted 40 yrs ago. Some who have jumped on the band wagon in the last 10-15yrs with partial adoption will continue to claim to be the same, but still struggle with understanding and lots of false info included in what they proclaim. Their comments will fade from rants against Oscar, to rants against his claims, later to didn't like his marketing, til finally to "I already knew he was right, but just used different terms". This is already firmly in motion. Some just don't want to see these who are struggling with the change, hold players like you back as they work thru it.

SFrazeur
11-02-2009, 10:12 AM
Well, it runs both ways I'm afraid. In just this thread alone I've noticed nothing short of three people shouting "HERETIC! HERETIC!" directed at Wegner as if he was Martin Luther posting a letter on the Church's front door.

:)

Hmm, yeah. I would agree to an extent. Good point. I need to find a would that means those who call others Heretics.

Suggestions?

-SF

Bungalo Bill
11-02-2009, 10:27 AM
I don't know if I've ever heard Oscar call himself that but he doesn't object when others do!

I will say that he does say on many of the DVDs that this is nothing new, some have played this way back in the 40s or something.

Perhaps he is the first one to market it as a "system". As a capitalist I can't fault the guy for making a living.

Majordude,

There are others. He is just using false propoganda and his army to promote it through false claims and exaggerations. Since I have been around tennis for a long long time, I take a bit of offense to seeing someone take what others have done and claiming it as his own. That is something the recreational tennis player may not care about, but since I have been a former instructor, it is offensive and flat out wrong.

However, you are a cool guy. You took my stuff in stride. I hope you do learn from the system and your tennis grows from Oscars instruction.

However, remember, his instruction is just that, instruction and nothing else. There is no invention, much of it already existed, and he simply packaged it his own way. Most importantly, there are a lot of exaggerations everywhere in tennis. On Oscar's side and the so-called "Conventional side."

In all methods there is good and not-so-good things to learn. And in all methods, players go so far before they need new input or a fresh perspective. Just keep that in mind because there is nothing new under the sun - nothing.

And also remember, always prepare early for the ball.

Good luck to you and your wife.

5263
11-02-2009, 10:30 AM
Well, it runs both ways I'm afraid. In just this thread alone I've noticed nothing short of three people shouting "HERETIC! HERETIC!" directed at Wegner as if he was Martin Luther posting a letter on the Church's front door.
:)

good point.

gzhpcu
11-02-2009, 11:07 AM
I am a bit perplexed by all of these Oscar Wegner threads. I read his "play better tennis in 2 hours" and, apart from the forehand chapter, found nothing particularly new. Here he points out how players like Bill Johnston hit topspin forehands already in the 20's. Lew Hoad did it also in the 50's, and even shaving wood off his rackets to get more of a quick whipping stroke. Later Tom Okker, Laver and his "wristy" forehand...

Wegner, however, is the first I am aware of to give central importance to this topspin stroke in instruction. Not his invention, just his placing emphasis on topspin, as it were the only type of forehand and omitting the flat forehand, and even, "shudder" the slice forehand.

For topspin his "hit up and across" emphasis is a good tip.

The chapter on the serve was nothing special. No modern tennis regarding the serve, IMHO. As I mentioned previously, even a photo showing the player landing on the right foot, which no modern pro does anymore. I thought the idea was to teach students to "play like the pros".

I find the title of his books misleading. Playing better in 2 hours is misleading. It takes a lot of hard work to achieve improvements and change habits, much more than two hours.

majordude
11-02-2009, 11:17 AM
Since I have been around tennis for a long long time, I take a bit of offense to seeing someone take what others have done and claiming it as his own.

Honestly, the funny thing is, he doesn't seem to be stealing the information or claiming it as his own. Granted, you've been around a lot longer than me and might have seen or read about him doing this but in the videos he says, "I teach people to hit the ball like this, which is the way Agassi does it." So far I haven't heard him say that he invented it (but there are more videos to go through).

However, you are a cool guy.

Awww shucks! :oops:

However, remember, his instruction is just that, instruction and nothing else.

Crap, now you tell me! I'm halfway though building my alter to Oscar in my garage! I just need a few more balls, a racket and a park bench for a pew.

teachestennis
11-02-2009, 11:30 AM
Why were they furious?

Maybe Because he taught an unorthodox "play by feel" method rather than the rigid mechanical style taught my the hierarchies. That is why the Bruce Lee analogy was so perfect to describe MTM. Bruce Lee was also hated, but then he kicked everyone's theories out the door and make people look at martial arts differently. I know I read part of Oscar's book in 1993 in a library and went to the ******* USPTA convention where a coach brought up his book before I could and we were told to disregard Oscar, that scientific studies would prove his play by feel methods had no merit.

Cody
11-02-2009, 11:34 AM
Let me ask one question,

Does wegners teachings which i have no idea about contain different fundaments to say fuzzy yellow balls.???

Just want to get an idea about this stuff?

teachestennis
11-02-2009, 11:40 AM
Why were they furious?

If you were teaching The Standard Method and had been the first coach to promote standardizing all instruction, as Dennis Van der Meer had been, but then a guy shows up challenging your basic tenets of "turn, step , and hit through the target line, you might feel challenged. If the accepted methods of most tennis teachers were the opposite of some guy who comes along and claims you are teaching myths that inhibit tennis growth, you might take offense, and I ignored Oscar for ten years trusting my tennis mentors. Bungalow Bill, I am not a scientologist, I am a Christian first and foremost, and my 18 year old daughter and 12 year old son are raised in a Christian church and wouldn't even know what scientology is. What does religion have to do with his anyway?

I've noted that many played this way, but the USPTA and PTR did not teach windshield wipers until the term came into vogue in this century. Sure Borg and people back in the 19th century used windshield wipers, but Borg told Oscar he kept his swing despite coaches trying to change it because it worked.

I've never called Oscar the father of modern tennis, but he does claim to have put together a simplified teaching teaching methodology that gets optimal results for the greatest number of people. If anyone shows me better results, I will push them ahead of MTM, and it states such on my website. Oscar was ignored, maybe because he made coaches nervous that tennis was so simple to teach using his system, that a father like Bob Kirchheimer could use MTM to raise his son to the #2 ranking in 12 and unders when he was not part of the "good old pros network." Maybe it's bothersome to the Tennis coaching hierarchies that a father in the great tennis center known as Thailand orders the videos for his teen son and coaches him to #10 in the world when he's not a "certified coach" and there are very few tennis courts in the entire country. I could see where Oscar's claims that parents can coach their children could be seen as threatening to the "establishment." Who knows why they fight him so much. Seems to me, to paraphrase Shakespeare, "they doth protest too much." MTM and Oscar are just trying to help.

I think I've tried to be fair. I advocate Dave Smith and Will Hamilton and Tomas Menzcinger earlier in this same thread as people I recommend. Oscar is not the final answer, he is for me, however, my foundation because over time he is proven more right than wrong. Landsdorp proved Oscar wrong on the reverse forehand and those are Oscar's words when he (Oscar) told me that he didn't originally think it would become an offensive weapon. I sensed he was kind of disappointed when I discovered Dick Bradlee advocated open stance forehands in a book before Oscar ever did on court, even, though Bradlee did not advocate the WW. I even noted that Tom Stow was the first coach I could find in print in 1948 to advocate copying the best strokes of each pro, that open stance was taught in print over a hundred years ago, but then dropped in favor of the nuetral stance and thus open stance was believed to be something only done at the faster speeds of the game by super athletes who had special athletic powers. I copied Borg's forehand and Connor's backhand (Jimmy grew up blocks from me) and was told I would hurt my elbow and back knee hitting off my back foot and thus I was forced to play like Stan Smith and became a scrub after being scholarship material.

BB, all I've done is provide an alternative viewpoint. It is interesting that a guy with such acclaim as Wegner can almost never be found in mainstream tennis media though the owner of tennisone.com just asked him to start writing for them regularly and Oscar finally agreed. I help certify and train coaches, many of them well respected with resumes that would shame mine, and I can't be a zealot for just Oscar. I am a zealot for the growth of tennis, and why is Oscar giving his ebook out free is all he is concerned with is money and marketing. I have to go teach tennis for three more lessons today given it warmed up here in St. Louis and my phone is ringing like crazy. I make no false claims about Oscar that I know of. My history praises Tom Stow's book of 1948 as far ahead of it's time and he might be the best strategic coach I've ever found in terms of lasting influence (Doug King and the Stefanki's, Brent Abel, Jim McLennan are just a few of his actual on court students as well as Don Budge) I even used press reports to document Borg's second comeback which most people don't know was a lot more successful than his first one. MTM is an alternative way of teaching and learning to play tennis. It has a proven track record and it's interesting that everyone is moving this way.

With Oscar you dont' need false propaganda. He is "known and respected around the world", and that is a quote from Guga Kuerten, yet if it wasn't for his marketing, how many would know of him given the USA resistance to his teachings. I met Andy Rosenberg, who his the Director of NBC Sports and directed every Wimbledon and the French Open the last two decades as well a lot of US Opens for USA Network. He is the guy who filmed Oscar's tennis tips because as he studied the pros closely (every Wimbledon slo mo you see on center court is usually his call) he knew that was being taught in the USA was not working very well. Andy would know, given his prominent role in filming every Wimbledon and French Open the last few decades.

So Oscar has his supporters, Bill, because though you have a great body of experience, and I must state that I was impressed by your recent explanation of the BH slice and your own attempt to improve and work on your own, that you have trial and error on your side, plus a great body of experience. Not all of us in the USPTA or PTR had that, given we were told a specific way to teach normally, and thus afraid to experiment outside the box. I still learn all the time, Bill, which even surprises me sometimes given I do have a tendency to want to feel comfortable with my teaching, but MTM teaches me that the student is the real teacher, something that is a bit scary but I now accept. I just don't think you should portray me as spreading false propaganda. Why would I do that when I have a book coming out next year on the History of USA Tennis Instruction though I might call it Mad Tennis, lol. This MTM stuff sure makes certain people mad when I claim its' just an alternative people should consider and know about before they speak. "Truth withstands any attack" is my overall philosophy. If I'm wrong, when I find out, I admit it.

shanker
11-02-2009, 11:41 AM
Bungalo Bill, I'm going to have to agree with you on one thing and say the Scientology angle makes me nervous. On my second reading of Oscar's book I noticed it. I wish he would have just left that part out. What purpose does it serve other that to alienate the ignorant (like me).

I'm a relatively inexperienced player and I have enjoyed reading his book as well as Braden's and Dave Smith's. Maybe one day I will find the holy grail of tennis????

Greg

sureshs
11-02-2009, 11:43 AM
You remind me of those TV commercials that sell products. On one scene the person is having a terrible time doing it "the old way." Then in comes the guy using the new product, and he is smiling, and making it look like the product is a miracle for only $19.99!!!!


LOL and in the new way, the picture is shown in color and the girl is slimmer too! The product not only did what it was supposed to, it also changed the characters from black and white to color, and made them better looking!

teachestennis
11-02-2009, 11:47 AM
Why were they furious?

If you were teaching The Standard Method and had been the first coach to promote standardizing all instruction, as Dennis Van der Meer had been, but then a guy shows up challenging your basic tenets of "turn, step , and hit through the target line, you might feel challenged and threatened. If the accepted methods of most tennis teachers were the opposite of some guy who comes along and claims you are teaching myths that inhibit tennis growth, you might take offense, and I ignored Oscar for ten years trusting my tennis mentors. Bungalow Bill, I am not a scientologist, I am a Christian first and foremost, and my 18 year old daughter and 12 year old son are raised in a Christian church and wouldn't even know what scientology is. What does religion have to do with this anyway?

I've noted that many played this way, but the USPTA and PTR did not teach windshield wipers until the term came into vogue in this century. Sure Borg and people back in the 19th century used windshield wipers, but Borg told Oscar he kept his swing despite coaches trying to change it because it worked.

I've never called Oscar the father of modern tennis, but he does claim to have put together a simplified teaching teaching methodology that gets optimal results for the greatest number of people. If anyone shows me better results, I will push them ahead of MTM, and it states such on my website. Oscar was ignored, maybe because he made coaches nervous that tennis was so simple to teach using his system, that a father like Bob Kirchheimer could use MTM to raise his son to the #2 ranking in 12 and unders when he was not part of the "good old pros network." Maybe it's bothersome to the Tennis coaching hierarchies that a father in the great tennis center known as Thailand orders the videos for his teen son and coaches him to #10 in the world when he's not a "certified coach" and there are very few tennis courts in the entire country. I could see where Oscar's claims that parents can coach their children could be seen as threatening to the "establishment." Who knows why they fight him so much. Seems to me, to paraphrase Shakespeare, "they doth protest too much." MTM and Oscar are just trying to help.

I think I've tried to be fair. What's really funny is in our MTM Coaching Roundtable only accessible to MTM coaches I quote BB and even credit him for his contributions though I am not sure you understand that I am about growing the game more than I am promoting MTM. I advocate Dave Smith and Will Hamilton and Tomas Menzcinger earlier in this same thread as people I recommend. Oscar is not the final answer, he is for me, however, my foundation because over time he has been proven more right than wrong. Landsdorp proved Oscar wrong on the reverse forehand and those are Oscar's words when he (Oscar) told me that he didn't originally think it would become an offensive weapon. I sensed he was kind of disappointed when I discovered Dick Bradlee advocated open stance forehands in a book before Oscar ever did on court, even, though Bradlee did not advocate the WW. I even noted that Tom Stow was the first coach I could find in print in 1948 to advocate copying the best strokes of each pro, that open stance was taught in print over a hundred years ago, but then dropped in favor of the neutral stance and thus open stance was believed to be something only done at the faster speeds of the game by super athletes who had special athletic powers. I copied Borg's forehand and Connor's backhand (Jimmy grew up blocks from me) and was told I would hurt my elbow and back knee hitting off my back foot and thus I was forced to play like Stan Smith and became a scrub after being scholarship material.

BB, all I've done is provide an alternative viewpoint. It is interesting that a guy with such acclaim as Wegner can almost never be found in mainstream tennis media though the owner of tennisone.com just asked him to start writing for them regularly and Oscar finally agreed. I help certify and train coaches, many of them well respected with resumes that would shame mine, and I can't be a zealot for just Oscar. I am a zealot for the growth of tennis, and why is Oscar giving his ebook out free to anyone who asks me? He told me to give it out because he is willing to put MTM out against any teaching out there. I have to go teach tennis for three more lessons today given it warmed up here in St. Louis and my phone is ringing like crazy. I make no false claims about Oscar that I know of. My history praises Tom Stow's book of 1948 as far ahead of it's time and he might be the best strategic coach I've ever found in terms of lasting influence (Doug King and the Stefanki's, Brent Abel, Jim McLennan are just a few of his actual on court students as well as Don Budge) I even used press reports to document Borg's second comeback which most people don't know was a lot more successful than his first one. MTM is an alternative way of teaching and learning to play tennis. It has a proven track record and it's interesting that everyone is moving this way.

With Oscar you dont' need false propaganda. He is "known and respected around the world", and that is a quote from Guga Kuerten, yet if it wasn't for his marketing, how many would know of him given the USA resistance to his teachings. I met Andy Rosenberg, who his the Director of NBC Sports and directed every Wimbledon and the French Open the last two decades as well a lot of US Opens for USA Network. He is the guy who filmed Oscar's tennis tips because as he studied the pros closely (every Wimbledon slo mo you see on center court is usually his call) he knew that was being taught in the USA was not working very well. Andy would know, given his prominent role in filming every Wimbledon and French Open the last few decades.

So Oscar has his supporters, Bill, because though you have a great body of experience, and I must state that I was impressed by your recent explanation of the BH slice and your own attempt to improve and work on your own, that you have trial and error on your side, plus a great body of experience. Not all of us in the USPTA or PTR had that, given we were told a specific way to teach normally, and thus afraid to experiment outside the box. I still learn all the time, Bill, which even surprises me sometimes given I do have a tendency to want to feel comfortable with my teaching, but MTM teaches me that the student is the real teacher, something that is a bit scary but I now accept. I just don't think you should portray me as spreading false propaganda. Why would I do that when I have a book coming out next year on the History of USA Tennis Instruction though I might call it Mad Tennis, lol. This MTM stuff sure makes certain people mad when I claim its' just an alternative people should consider and know about before they speak. "Truth withstands any attack" is my overall philosophy. If I'm wrong, when I find out, I admit it.

Cindysphinx
11-02-2009, 12:25 PM
OK. I do not have a dog in this fight. I have not read or watched any of Oscar's instructional material, nor do I intend to.

Here is my question, specifically directed to TeachesTennis:

You have written scores of lengthy and detailed posts extolling the virtues of this Oscar fellow and his methods. Can you please tell us any financial or other relationships or other tangible/intangible benefits that cause you to devote yourself to promoting Oscar's web site, DVDs, books etc.?

I mean, I love tennis too, but you don't see me devoting myself to boosting one particular pro, club, method or tennis experience to the extent you do, despite my own personal exuberance over such matters.

Help me understand what's in it for you (in 50 words or fewer!). :)

Cindy -- who has found that the non-stop Oscar worship at TT has made her less, not more, inclined to visit the web site

majordude
11-02-2009, 12:44 PM
Here is my question, specifically directed to TeachesTennis: Help me understand what's in it for you (in 50 words or fewer!). :)

His sig says "MTM Certified". Two words! :)

Bungalo Bill
11-02-2009, 12:44 PM
His sig says "MTM Certified". Two words! :)

Now that is funny.

Bungalo Bill
11-02-2009, 12:49 PM
LOL and in the new way, the picture is shown in color and the girl is slimmer too! The product not only did what it was supposed to, it also changed the characters from black and white to color, and made them better looking!

Yes, for only $19.99 you can be a new you!
* plus shipping and handling. New Jersey residents pay $10.00 extra in shipping. Prices subject to change. ID, MO, MI, CA, OR, MD residents add 6.00% tax. Results may vary.

Djokovicfan4life
11-02-2009, 01:00 PM
Hey, it's Vince with Slap Chop! You're gonna be in a good mood all day, slapping your troubles away!

Uh, never mind. What are we talking about again? :)

Bungalo Bill
11-02-2009, 01:18 PM
Hey, it's Vince with Slap Chop! You're gonna be in a good mood all day, slapping your troubles away!

Uh, never mind. What are we talking about again? :)

We are putting up with the MTM hype again and the never ending sell job they do. The never ending:

We are bad and they are good.

We are wrong and they are right.

They invented tennis and we didn't invent a thing.

We are stupid and they aren't.

Oscar is god and we aren't.

They are modern and we are conventional.

We teach straight back and are stuck in the 60's and they aren't.

They have people learn tennis in an hour and we don't.

We go by the USPTA tennis book and only that, and they don't.

They have told us over and over again, and we didn't listen.

Same old, same old...

Djokovicfan4life
11-02-2009, 01:22 PM
Learn tennis in an hour, that's rich. I don't think I learned to tie my shoes in an hour, let alone master the game of tennis.

boojay
11-02-2009, 01:27 PM
Learn tennis in an hour, that's rich. I don't think I learned to tie my shoes in an hour, let alone master the game of tennis.

Actually, I still can't tie my shoes. :?

tlm
11-02-2009, 01:44 PM
I know that bb+other instructors get mad over the way oscar claims his way is right + the more conventional methods are wrong. He does come on pretty strong, so i can understand him ******* off many teachers.

However i am just a player wanting to get better at this game.I could care less who came out with this or that method first.Or who claims to have taught more modern methods first.That does not mean anything to me.

I do know that oscar wegners teaching methods were different than the lessons i received from usta instructors.About 6 years ago i decided to get serious with tennis, i used to just rally around with the wife once in a while.

Both of us took lessons+ i researched different video lessons+ decided to purchase oscars play like the pros.That is when i discovered his methods were much easier to learn.

I was being taught by instructors to take the racquet back early,keep a closed stance, follow through towards the net.Then oscar was saying the complete opposite,open stance, keep the racquet in front until ready to swing, follow through up+ across the ball.

There was no comparison in the 2 different teaching methods. I learned so much faster with oscars videos.When he said think of brushing the ball not hitting it, that made a huge difference. I was now hitting topspin so i could take big cuts at the ball+ still keep it in the court.

After that i really started working on racquet head speed+ kept getting more+more topspin.I was taking a lesson after that with a usta instructor + he asked me why i was trying to put so much topspin on the ball.He said just the natural stroke of going from low to high will give you enough.

I would try his method but i would hit to many balls long.So i went back to the exaggerated topspin which enables me to swing out with much room for error.

At the tennis club i play at anytime i play someone new the first question they ask is how do i get all that topspin.These guys have been playing for years, way longer than i have.Most use eastern forehands with conventional methods.Most also have no idea how to handle that heavy kicking topspin forehand.

Not to say that their method is no good, many of these guys are really good.But i think it is much more difficult to become consistent with that style.

I really think that the way oscar teaches is different+ easier to learn than a lot of the conventional ways.But if you really want to know try it then see what you think.

Bungalo Bill
11-02-2009, 01:46 PM
Learn tennis in an hour, that's rich. I don't think I learned to tie my shoes in an hour, let alone master the game of tennis.

Hahaha, I know. Real life vs. creative marketing has always fooled a lot of people into thinking they found the Holy Grail.

Learn tennis in two hours. Often this is contrasted with some poor fellow struggling to even hit a ball. Poor guy swings and misses while falling to the ground in obvious pain extending his arm out crying for help. The conventional coach walks by and kicks him and tells him to get up.

These marketers will then switch to someone with a angelic smile and hitting tennis balls in rapid fire mode like nobodies business. Then the MTM coach will smile and a sparkle will come from his teeth. He hits balls with one arm tied behind his back and is on the cellphone at the same time cupped under his ear.

This is how MTM followers have conducted themselves around here. Full media blitz to see who they can collect into their "ways." Who they can fool into thinking that it was all them and only them that came up with today's way to play tennis.

Forget those old teachers of the past. Nevermind that tennis is still one of the more difficult sports to master. No, they won't tell you that and they will drop names like they are falling from the sky.

Bottom-line to this junk, is modern strokes have been modern for years and years. Oscar and his MTM has absolutely nothin on them. They created instruction that they use and so have others.

Tennis is not rocket science. A good student of the game can develop instruction that works easily.

Instead of providing instruction, they provide you with a link to buy their product.

Instead of giving advice, they provide you with propoganda, name dropping, and making Oscar appear as a god to the tennis world.

Not one of them can provide instruction. Not one of them can communicate.

It is all about sending you to Oscar and buying his product.

5263
11-02-2009, 01:57 PM
Clearly these guys either like to complain or are curious about MTM, seeing how this is a MTM thread that not only do they keep reading regularly, but even take time to post.

5263
11-02-2009, 02:08 PM
I know that bb+other instructors get mad over the way oscar claims his way is right + the more conventional methods are wrong. He does come on pretty strong, so i can understand him ******* off many teachers.

However i am just a player wanting to get better at this game.I could care less who came out with this or that method first.Or who claims to have taught more modern methods first.That does not mean anything to me.

I do know that oscar wegners teaching methods were different than the lessons i received from usta instructors.About 6 years ago i decided to get serious with tennis, i used to just rally around with the wife once in a while.

Both of us took lessons+ i researched different video lessons+ decided to purchase oscars play like the pros.That is when i discovered his methods were much easier to learn.

I was being taught by instructors to take the racquet back early,keep a closed stance, follow through towards the net.Then oscar was saying the complete opposite,open stance, keep the racquet in front until ready to swing, follow through up+ across the ball.

There was no comparison in the 2 different teaching methods. I learned so much faster with oscars videos.When he said think of brushing the ball not hitting it, that made a huge difference. I was now hitting topspin so i could take big cuts at the ball+ still keep it in the court.

After that i really started working on racquet head speed+ kept getting more+more topspin.I was taking a lesson after that with a usta instructor + he asked me why i was trying to put so much topspin on the ball.He said just the natural stroke of going from low to high will give you enough.

I would try his method but i would hit to many balls long.So i went back to the exaggerated topspin which enables me to swing out with much room for error.

At the tennis club i play at anytime i play someone new the first question they ask is how do i get all that topspin.These guys have been playing for years, way longer than i have.Most use eastern forehands with conventional methods.Most also have no idea how to handle that heavy kicking topspin forehand.

Not to say that their method is no good, many of these guys are really good.But i think it is much more difficult to become consistent with that style.

I really think that the way oscar teaches is different+ easier to learn than a lot of the conventional ways.But if you really want to know try it then see what you think.

They don't want to hear this. They just want to cover their eyes and cast insults and uncalled for religious references.

majordude
11-02-2009, 02:13 PM
Learn tennis in an hour, that's rich. I don't think I learned to tie my shoes in an hour, let alone master the game of tennis.

A couple of logical errors:

1. When you learned to tie your shoes you were probably just a few years old.
2. In "Tennis in Two Hours" there is never a claim that you will master the game of tennis in two hours.

Sheesh. Where does all this anger come from?

Bowling is a simple game. You roll a ball up to two times and hit as many pins as you can.

But if you don't know how to pick a ball by weight or finger holes you'd be lost. If you didn't know to wear the right shoes you'd be lost. If you didn't know how to throw the ball you'd be lost.

I can show you how to bowl in 20 minutes.

Is there a promise of becoming an expert in that time? No. Am I a heretic because some bowling trainers don't have a website or a catchy phrase like "Bowling in 20 Minutes"? No.

As a matter of fact, I'll probably generate business for trainers because I can never teach someone to be a bowling expert with my DVDs and instead of the beginning bowler getting frustrated or hurt they might just want to pick it up as a hobby.

Djokovicfan4life
11-02-2009, 02:22 PM
Yeah, I know all that. I'm just messing around. I think we've pretty much beaten the Oscar debate to a bloody pulp by now.

majordude
11-02-2009, 02:23 PM
Yeah, I know all that. I'm just messing around. I think we've pretty much beaten the Oscar debate to a bloody pulp by now.

Agreed! :)

tlm
11-02-2009, 02:24 PM
Now maybe oscar is exaggerating, but he claims to have taken people who have never played tennis+ have them hitting 20 shot rallys in a hours time.

Forgive me if i am wrong but i think that he challenged other instructors to take brand new students+ both get to teach their methods for one hour+ then compare the results.He claimed that was when a lot of the naysayers started to listen+ believe him.Now that would be most interesting to witness.

5263
11-02-2009, 02:24 PM
A couple of logical errors:

1. When you learned to tie your shoes you were probably just a few years old.
2. In "Tennis in Two Hours" there is never a claim that you will master the game of tennis in two hours.

Sheesh. Where does all this anger come from?

Bowling is a simple game. You roll a ball up to two times and hit as many pins as you can.

But if you don't know how to pick a ball by weight or finger holes you'd be lost. If you didn't know to wear the right shoes you'd be lost. If you didn't know how to throw the ball you'd be lost.

I can show you how to bowl in 20 minutes.

Is there a promise of becoming an expert in that time? No. Am I a heretic because some bowling trainers don't have a website or a catchy phrase like "Bowling in 20 Minutes"? No.

As a matter of fact, I'll probably generate business for trainers because I can never teach someone to be a bowling expert with my DVDs and instead of the beginning bowler getting frustrated or hurt they might just want to pick it up as a hobby.

Major, you are such a good example here. They almost succeeded in scaring you off trying MTM training, then now that you have and felt it was worthwhile, they will continue to belittle. It's like going back to middle school, but for every story like you (and me for that matter) that get by the bully group, it is worth the effort. Thanks to those who got the word out despite all this childish name calling attempts to harass.

Bungalo Bill
11-02-2009, 02:27 PM
A couple of logical errors:

1. When you learned to tie your shoes you were probably just a few years old.
2. In "Tennis in Two Hours" there is never a claim that you will master the game of tennis in two hours.

But it is implied. Left for people to guess what that means.

Sheesh. Where does all this anger come from?

It comes from those that use questionable marketing tactics and because of the attack on other coaches that do not use nor subscribe to Oscar's techniques.

If you dont really have an vested interest in this sport, except to play on a recreational level, you probably wouldn't understand.

There is no secret to learn tennis in 20 minutes, an hour, or two hours. And I certainly wont put up with people here that say if I dont teach Oscar's ways that I am "conventional" and teach from the USPTA manual.

And I agree with both of you, time to move on.

VaBeachTennis
11-02-2009, 03:16 PM
Actually, Theory 2 holds a lot of merit. What essentially happened was Oscar in 1989 self published the book even having Guga Kuerten and other students help him put the first 300 copies together in his living room (he nearly burned up the copier at a local copy store) when he moved to Florida to challenge the tennis establishment and warning in Chapter 19 that things were not looking good for USA tennis, the last words ending with: "Prophecy? Perhaps." He knew after Spain and now much of South America were adopting his techniques that this was likely to be the tennis model of the future and that the USA had to change. In 1991, Tennis Magazine started a TV show (the precursor to the Tennis Channel) that was shown on Prime Ticket. Brad Holbrook was hired as the host and started featuring Van der Meer and a host of others but I want to note that Nick Bollettieri was also not invited. Bud Collins, the games most well known commentator as well as the game's historian, upon discovering from the Russian coaches that they were using Oscar's 1989 book, challenges Oscar to prove his claims on court in a 1991 weekend with all ages and some total beginners. Bud sees with his own eyes that this is likely the future of tennis instruction if the sport it to grow, and when asked by Thomas Nelson Publishers, the largest Bible publisher in the world, to write a foreword for Oscar's second book (essentially a 2nd edition), Bud agrees since he had witnessed Oscar's new style and met Oscar when WEgner was a Junior Davis Cup Captain for Spain in 1973.

Brad Holbrook hears about a coach spending the summer in the Northeast (Oscar had been hired in Maine and then to work in New York City) named Oscar Wegner who astonishes people with his teaching. Brad decides to take a lesson from Oscar on court and is astonished by what he sees. He brings Oscar into the Tennis Magazine Show. Tennis Magazine is furious, and dont' think they just blacklisted Oscar at the time. I think Dorothy Dandridge, the editor of TEnnis Magazine, shorthrifted Nicky B also and essentially ignored him for several years which I find odd, so it wasn't just Oscar. Brad Holbrook was told to get rid of Oscar or else. Brad tells TEnnis Magazine he's backing Oscar and he leaves to start a syndicated tennis show featuring Oscar Wegner. It was these shows that were filmed and virtually unedited, made into the videos in 1992 beginning with Master Strokes 1 and 2. Then came Tennis 101 and Play Like the Pros and then the 10 Amazing Secrets. Brad syndicates the shows all over the USA and from 1992 to 1994, Oscar gets exposure on Prime Sports Network (now Fox Sports). So, yes the powers that be in tennis sought to keep Oscar off the airwaves but Richard Williams admitted it was these shows that the videos were made from that he taped and had Venus and Serena watch everyday which probably accounts for their "ugly footwork" (I wish my players had such "ugly footwork) and open stance off both sides that is their signature still today. Richard even told Oscar his stuff made so much sense that is why he had his girls watch them everyday.

Oscar was then hired by ESPN International to be the Spanish tennis commentator and thus an entire generation of South American kids grew up in the 1990s listening to Oscar point how Graf "stalks the ball" pointing at the ball with her racket tip and how pros never stayed down through the shot when our announcers were claiming opposite tenets.

Oscar becomes so popular overseas during the 1990s that ESPN decides to have him do a series of tennis tips. They were so "weird" and "unorthodox" that for ESPN, they made a business decision more than likely not to bite the hand that bought advertising from them (USTA?) and thus they then hired Jimmy Arias to do conventional tennis tips and thus Oscar's ESPN TV Tips were seen in 170 countries with Billions (with a B) of TV impressions and became very popular, ESPN even being asked to repeat them overseas and people were reported to have cheered in bars when he came on making fun of conventional coaching. The tips were show during Super Bowls, big soccer matches, and big events such as the NBA finals when the Bulls were winning their last three straight, but those famous TV tips have never been seen once on American TV, only on ESPN International, which explains Oscar's lack of media exposure in the USA, where TEnnis Magazine has never once mentioned his name.

So now you have a bit of history explaining the incredible resistance to Oscar's MTM that goes on today, though everyone is now moving his way and all players on both tours all use WWs as their primary shots with the racket butt pointing towards the opposite court just as he first advocated as a 28 year old coach in Beverly Hills working alongside Pancho Segura and Pancho Gonzalez, who used Oscar as a practice partner punching bag, lol.

My History of USA Tennis Instruction is free on my website for all to read. It's fascinating to discover that if you tried to swing a racquet like Federer you were essentially lambasted by the tennis powers in the USA (see the 1975 entry in Part 1) who had no clue as to what the future of tennis would look like.

For those who don't know, Oscar is offering a free ebook of his original book that is in my opinion the best technique book ever written. Email me at eztennisswing@ yahoo.com if you want a copy. No charge.

Do you have any links from the sources themselves: Spanish Tennis federation, Spartak, and South American coaches that specifically credit Mr. Wegner for developing their coach/training methods?
Here's what I found regarding Kuerten:
"He was heavily influenced as a very young player by Oscar Wegner, then teaching in Florianopolis, who coached him for eight years. When he was 14 years old, Kuerten met Larri Passos who would be his coach for the following 15 years. Passos convinced Kuerten and his family that the youth was talented enough to make a living out of playing tennis. The two started traveling all over the world to participate in junior tournaments. Kuerten turned professional in 1995." SOURCE (http://www.all-about-tennis.com/gustavo-kuerten.html)

Did Oscar actually train and work with the Williams sisters? I will note one thing that stood out to me when I watched WTA Dohar and Venus after the match with Wozniaki, said that in the first set, she couldn't "feel the ball".

teachestennis
11-02-2009, 04:51 PM
OK. I do not have a dog in this fight. I have not read or watched any of Oscar's instructional material, nor do I intend to.

Here is my question, specifically directed to TeachesTennis:

You have written scores of lengthy and detailed posts extolling the virtues of this Oscar fellow and his methods. Can you please tell us any financial or other relationships or other tangible/intangible benefits that cause you to devote yourself to promoting Oscar's web site, DVDs, books etc.?

I mean, I love tennis too, but you don't see me devoting myself to boosting one particular pro, club, method or tennis experience to the extent you do, despite my own personal exuberance over such matters.

Help me understand what's in it for you (in 50 words or fewer!). :)

Cindy -- who has found that the non-stop Oscar worship at TT has made her less, not more, inclined to visit the web site

Hi Cindy, I read this forum thoroughly and have enjoyed your own experience and always thought I would love to teach you for one hour so you could tell others the difference being allowed to play by feel and not by the thinking mind would make. I do know the first thing I would do is have you learn to hit the ball and then close your eyes heightening your senses once you learn to hit across it per martial arts. I would put my new Vortex 4 and 1/8 grip racket in your hands and then teach you to move naturally across the court as if you were floating like Casper the Ghost. Okay here goes in 50 words or less.

One sentence would suffice but I'll use the quota:

Help grow a game that should be one of the USA's most popular sports and not have what happened to me and millions of other players forced to learn mechanics that stifled our natural athletic ability to create on court. Simplify and teach correct biomechanics to every level player. (49 words)

VaBeachTennis
11-02-2009, 05:20 PM
OK. I do not have a dog in this fight. I have not read or watched any of Oscar's instructional material, nor do I intend to.

Here is my question, specifically directed to TeachesTennis:

You have written scores of lengthy and detailed posts extolling the virtues of this Oscar fellow and his methods. Can you please tell us any financial or other relationships or other tangible/intangible benefits that cause you to devote yourself to promoting Oscar's web site, DVDs, books etc.?

I mean, I love tennis too, but you don't see me devoting myself to boosting one particular pro, club, method or tennis experience to the extent you do, despite my own personal exuberance over such matters.

Help me understand what's in it for you (in 50 words or fewer!). :)

Cindy -- who has found that the non-stop Oscar worship at TT has made her less, not more, inclined to visit the web site

Here's a sample MTM lesson with a female:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYbQIkNU6zc

teachestennis
11-02-2009, 05:25 PM
Do you have any links from the sources themselves: Spanish Tennis federation, Spartak, and South American coaches that specifically credit Mr. Wegner for developing their coach/training methods?
Here's what I found regarding Kuerten:
"He was heavily influenced as a very young player by Oscar Wegner, then teaching in Florianopolis, who coached him for eight years. When he was 14 years old, Kuerten met Larri Passos who would be his coach for the following 15 years. Passos convinced Kuerten and his family that the youth was talented enough to make a living out of playing tennis. The two started traveling all over the world to participate in junior tournaments. Kuerten turned professional in 1995." SOURCE (http://www.all-about-tennis.com/gustavo-kuerten.html)

Did Oscar actually train and work with the Williams sisters? I will note one thing that stood out to me when I watched WTA Dohar and Venus after the match with Wozniaki, said that in the first set, she couldn't "feel the ball".

Oscar did not work with the Williams Sisters ever personlly. Richard started hitting balls out of basket to the girls when Venus was four, hired Paul Cohen, McEnroes coach when Venus was eight, later taught them Braden's stuff, then started a press campaign when Venus was ten claiming she was undefeated in the ten and unders in the Los Angeles area, the NY Times then did an article on their front page because 13 year old Capriati happened to be tearing up the pro tour, then Richard tried to get Bollettieri to take a look at them but he passed, called up every coach he could think of trying to get someone to look at his daughters, then Macci flew out to take a look at them and admits he didn't see anything special after an hour and was going to pass until Venus went out the gate and started walking on her hands to the bathroom and realized she had great athleticism and decided he could do something with her. Richard told Macci his daughter Serena would be an even better athlete. The girls got full scholarships including room and board in return for portion of future earnings. Richard fired Macci after he got a million dollar sponsorship from Reebok and Macci threatened to sue but settled out of court. It was while at Macci's that Richard Williams, always looking for anything that he could learn to coach his daughters better, discovered the TV shows with Oscar Wegner. I've looked at a lot of videos of the girls at Macci's and don't see Rick teaching them open stance off both sides, which would become their trademark (and coincidentally a hallmark of Oscar's teaching). When they left Macci's, Richard built two clay courts and taught them using a variety of hitting partners for three years before Venus reentered the tour at 17 after a three year absence. Richard has thanked Oscar personally and hugged him in 1999 and then told him he used the TV show videos to help train his daughters since they made so much sense. When Oscar claimed on his sight at first Richard bought the videos, Richard called up Oscar and corrected him, noting that he taped the shows and had his daughters watch them daily. Richard had Oscar in his box at Amelia Island early in 2007 for a private conversation right before Venus went on a tear and recovered her top ten ranking. So they are friendlyand also spoke in Manhattan Beach a year or so ago. This story of the Williams Sisters and more details are covered in my History of TEnnis Instruction on my website. No charge to read anything in the MTM library.

I have many goals which include to force the USTA to look at an optimal biomechanical technique for all level players. To get an on court debate with any coaches who dare to test alternative methods against Oscar for the world to see, which we just proposed to tennisone.com but Shanley (owner) said that is not the mission of tennisone.com though he wants Oscar to write for them. I wanted to be an expert in tennis instruction my entire life. I thought I would be great in it, but never once got real lasting results and quit teaching several times but even while on active duty, I often taught tennis for the MWR program twenty hours a week every warm weather period, such as in Guam, where I spent two years on a tropical island. I watched 20 million people quit the game and I searched for the Holy Grail. I advocate MTM because for years on this forum, I watched nary a single word or idea ever mentioned that MTM might offer a solution. I never hear some very fine coaches who I admire on this site mention to play by feel, to hit up and across the ball, to trust their instincts and clear the mind by focusing on the finish and letting it shape the shot, things that I know are very effective tools.


BB, you think I link to Oscar's site? Check out my www.moderntenniscoaches.com website and tell me where you find a link to Oscar's site. Never once do I have one. I do have a link to mommydaddyandmetennis.com, because I worked with Susan Nardi for six months in SoCal and think she is the best I've ever seen at getting tiny tots to hit. We get players to rally in two hours or less regularly almost every single time, at least I do and most coaches. They look very efficient.

The on court debate I mentioned will happen at some point. We are looking for someone to sponsor it. Oscar claims the Quickstart being taught is based on incorrect technique and will soon publish his reasons why and the USTA will have every chance to challenge his claims. Let's see if they take the challenge. Oscar is 70 and still plays a mean tennis game and is in great shape.

FYI, Oscar will be in SoCal doing a clinic at the Jack Kramer Tennis Club in Palos Verdes area (I think it's Rolling Hills, California near Los Angeles) with Wayne Bryan and Tracy Austin on Nov 14th, a Saturday to benefit Multiple Sclerosis. He will also be doing clinics in Newport Beach area the weekend of Nov 21 and 22 if anyone on here wants to see him in action.

I just don't promote Oscar, but his ideas deserve a public hearing and until I came on here, he was dismissed and discounted unjustly, so I have no problem defending his teachings. I have never known him to claim a falsehood in the five years I have known him, though I might do some things differently, and I have made many mistakes thinking this method was for everyone. I have only insisted it's worth taking a look at and offer a free ebook with video analysis to anyone who wants to test the data. How am I making money with that? I shouldn't even have to defend this method. But I am determined and gratified by the many who have been open and actually discovered these very simplistic ideas actually have merit and help their games. I even send my own players out of my nest for their next progressions to other more prominent coaches and academies. I just remind them to test the data on court themselves when they hear the ever pervasive contradictory data that will be offered to them. If they find something better than find, feel and finish as their base fundamentals (I teach those are the three most important fundamentals), then more power to them. It's what works that matters. MTM is not for everyone. I interviewed Pete Fischer extensively about how he raised and taught Sampras, always having the father involved, having to fight with Landsdorp, but Lansdorp was great at pushing Sampras, according to Fischer, and Fischer, who also raised Amanda Stephenson into one of hardest hitters in women's tennis, never once heard of Oscar Wegner until he started coaching Vince Spadea in his thirties.

teachestennis
11-02-2009, 05:41 PM
Here's a sample MTM lesson with a female:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYbQIkNU6zc

To Cindysphinx: The lady in this video was my student for six months in California in 2007. She started playing tennis for the first time at 49 and then got Oscar's videos seven years later and after six years at 3.0, then got bumped to 3.5 after going 9 and 0. She then contacted me when she heard Oscar and I were doing clinics in Costa Mesa. She was totally trained to turn step and hit by a USPTA P1 during her six years prior to MTM. She hired me to coach her and her USA tennis team and in just two months I took her (in her mid fifties) and her USTA team to the sectionals, and several of those women were very overweight, but I taught them to simplify things, just find, feel, and finish, and then they actually won their first round at the Sectionals against a team with far superior athletes as they gave it their all and stayed in the zone. It was very difficult to break her old habits, but you see the results. Not bad for woman 57 and a half and she can rip the ball even better since this video is a while back. She is ready to jump to 4.0. She swears by MTM totally.

And I don't get one cent for anyone ordering videos off Oscar's website. His sales a few years ago approached a quarter million a year, which is why he charges so little for eight DVDs (ten actual titles) and a recent book that is praised by the likes of Guga Kuerten among others in public statements. He has done well despite the blackout of coverage in the USA and relies on word of mouth and his proven results. Ask him what his goal for the USA? 55 million players. We have a long way to go. Why that number I asked? His reply: "Because 54 million people bowl and that is an insult to a sport that if taught simply and properly should be more popular than bowling."

VaBeachTennis
11-02-2009, 05:49 PM
To Cindysphinx: The lady in this video was my student for six months in California in 2007. I am the one who introduced her to MTM through my old website as she wanted to learn more. She was 3.0 to 3.5 for seven years of clinics and lessons, never getting better, never having a winning record, totally frustrated at her lack of progress. She was totally trained to turn step and hit by a USPTA P1 and she never could even rally well. She hired me to coach her and her USA tennis team and in just two months month, I took her (in her mid fifties) and her USTA team to the nationals, and several of those women were very overweight, but I taught them to simplify things, just find, feel, and finish, and then they actually won their first round at the Nationals against a team with far superior athletes as they gave it their all. It was very difficult to break her old habits, but you see the results. Not bad for woman over 55 and she can rip the ball even better since this video is a while back . She swears by MTM totally.

Wow! This is a little "off subject", maybe my video is not that clear, but she looks GREAT for her age!!! I thought that she was in her 30's at the most! Just goes to prove there's life after 45!!!

5263
11-02-2009, 05:57 PM
Wow! This is a little "off subject", maybe my video is not that clear, but she looks GREAT for her age!!! I thought that she was in her 30's at the most! Just goes to prove there's life after 45!!!

It's Cali for you, eh!
and good hands on those low volleys.

VaBeachTennis
11-02-2009, 06:17 PM
It's Cali for you, eh!
and good hands on those low volleys.

LOL, I'm back East in Virginia Beach, but we have plenty of "talent" here as well. ;) Before I get my *** kicked by my wife, I still will say that I was surprised to find out that that lady was 50+. :)

majordude
11-02-2009, 06:36 PM
He will also be doing clinics in Newport Beach area the weekend of Nov 21 and 22 if anyone on here wants to see him in action.

Can you get me in or a discount at least? :wink: Sunday's best. :)

SFrazeur
11-02-2009, 07:00 PM
Gee, I go to work and the place goes nuts with posts. Reading. . . .

-SF

SFrazeur
11-02-2009, 07:02 PM
Wow! This is a little "off subject", maybe my video is not that clear, but she looks GREAT for her age!!! I thought that she was in her 30's at the most! Just goes to prove there's life after 45!!! So did I. She looks great for her age and in general.

-SF

Bungalo Bill
11-02-2009, 07:09 PM
Help grow a game that should be one of the USA's most popular sports and not have what happened to me and millions of other players forced to learn mechanics that stifled our natural athletic ability to create on court. Simplify and teach correct biomechanics to every level player. (49 words)

This is the lame stuff that you say. Give me a break. There are so many players that don't learn with your garbage it isn't even funny and play excellent tennis. And believe me, just because they don't learn from "Oscar" does not mean they will fail in tennis or lose interest. There were many variables when tennis lost its popularity in the 70's. To say it is simply the coaches faults is just a flat out joke.

What you are also saying is if I don't teach your way, than I am in the same boat as stifling players in this game. You are guilty of sayin John Yandell and a whole slew of excellent coaches are the culprits.

Your arrogance is something I will always counter. How dare you blame others for the popularity or lack of in this sport on coaches that have gone before you. how dare you blame them when much of the foundations that you have even in your own intruction is based on solid research THAT YOU DID NOT PERFORM!

Yet, when I have to come in here and further explain what you can't communicate, you are all in aggrement with me? Did you agree that you have to extend through the ball no matter what swing pattern you use? What about the smile pattern for the onehanded backhand.

What people fail to see is the only real stroke you promote as "modern" is the forehand. However, even that has been shown to not be modern! Volleys, backhands, and all other strokes that you teach all come from fundamentals that OTHER coaches found, not you.

If we are so far out there and have been deterimental to tennis society, then why would you agree with me when I advise here? Why would you jump in to "secure" what I say to players? Are you that arrogant to think you should step in? Like I need you to do that? How many times have I had to reexplain what you have tried to say and have had to add clarification to your advice?

tennis angel
11-02-2009, 08:10 PM
Thanks for sharing your feedback on this.

I don't think people are irritated because the Wegner method teaching a good game but not a great game like you think. Nobody is that petty. I think it has more to do with how it's being portrayed and marketed as the best thing since sliced bread in the tennis world all of a sudden.

If it's been portrayed as "a quick and easy way to learn tennis", or like one of those introductory "tennis for dummies" kind of thing, it wouldn't have irritated people so much. But they differentiate it as "revolutionary" and "modern" and "a better way" than the conventional way, which is why some people feel it's a bit of a hype. It's just ANOTHER way, that's all, with a focus on the natural and obvious approach to keep things simple.

Instead of arguing about and attacking Oscar ad naseum on the internet, why not just go on the court and test out his method for yourselves? Try it and if you find it works then continue with it; if it doesn't feel better to you than you're currrent style then drop it. I personally have never met anyone who has tried it and not been dumbfounded by the phenomenal results, but you may be the first to fail to improve with it.

If any of you live in Southern California you can meet Oscar in person and learn firsthand from him on court this month. Contact me for details if you're interested.

rxs10is
11-02-2009, 08:28 PM
5263, teachestennis, tennis angel, and other MTM enthusiasts - please ingore the attacks and continue posting. It's great you guys are so polite, but please, do not even mention the bungling blunderbuss in your responses, or acknowledge his postings. If you think you are going to win him over with niceness, you are mistaken. He is too twisted for that. And for what? The guy is an unknown nobody, afraid to show his face, and a conceited a-hole at that. Let him yell and scream and throw his tantrums, who cares. Just keep posting the good stuff, fellas.

Ray

majordude
11-02-2009, 08:46 PM
Contact me for details if you're interested.

Hamblame...

tennis angel
11-02-2009, 09:04 PM
Hamblame...

Puede escribirme desde mi website. Escribme ahora mismo y te llamare por telefono con la informacion.

5263
11-02-2009, 09:05 PM
5263, teachestennis, tennis angel, and other MTM enthusiasts - please ingore the attacks and continue posting. It's great you guys are so polite, but please, do not even mention the bungling blunderbuss in your responses, or acknowledge his postings. If you think you are going to win him over with niceness, you are mistaken. He is too twisted for that. And for what? The guy is an unknown nobody, afraid to show his face, and a conceited a-hole at that. Let him yell and scream and throw his tantrums, who cares. Just keep posting the good stuff, fellas.

Ray

It's good to see more recognize his ways, reading it in posts like yours and emails we get from others who don't post here (and some who do) on this due to his bully tactics on this board. What is funny is to watch him try to explain how he already has this modern stuff in his approach as he butchers it with his long drawn out descriptions, each documenting his false data.
And how he discusses MTM as though he were an expert, but then admits never reading his books or watching the vids. Just shows how he is quick to discuss things based on very limited knowledge of the subject.

I still have the post saved he made about how it was about winning for him (not truth) and how he would discredit valid info just to try be considered correct. How would he have any credibility after that?

But yes, we will try not to over react to his antics and keep providing the MTM options open for those who want to use it.

tennis angel
11-02-2009, 09:16 PM
Is there any FREE video of Oscar Wegner's serving tips/lessons? I don't want to sign on to any site. Just want to see a free floating video on Youtube or somewhere else.

http://www.tennisteacher.org/Lucy/Free_E-Book_Chapter%21.html

tennis angel
11-02-2009, 10:00 PM
http://www.youtube.com/user/Angeldetenis#p/a/u/2/RVH3UAWTnKE

chico9166
11-03-2009, 04:51 AM
5263,

Genuine question here. How and why is it impossible to hit up and accross the ball,(hence, the emphasis on open stance) or add varying degrees of hand and arm rotation from a neutral stance. Surely, you've seen literally thousands of examples of neutral stance hitting, with full wiper action.

Djokovicfan4life
11-03-2009, 05:13 AM
5263, teachestennis, tennis angel, and other MTM enthusiasts - please ingore the attacks and continue posting. It's great you guys are so polite, but please, do not even mention the bungling blunderbuss in your responses, or acknowledge his postings. If you think you are going to win him over with niceness, you are mistaken. He is too twisted for that. And for what? The guy is an unknown nobody, afraid to show his face, and a conceited a-hole at that. Let him yell and scream and throw his tantrums, who cares. Just keep posting the good stuff, fellas.

Ray

Looks like someone's still crying themselves to sleep knowing that not everyone has a picture of Oscar tucked under their pillow.

BMC9670
11-03-2009, 05:33 AM
A general observation that may be applicable here:

ANY and EVERY action that is taught through instruction/education has multiple methods. One method does not fit every person's individual attributes, capacity, or style. The most astute instructor/educator has an open mind and incorporates what works best for a given situation rather than adhere to any strict ideology.

NamRanger
11-03-2009, 05:57 AM
A general observation that may be applicable here:

ANY and EVERY action that is taught through instruction/education has multiple methods. One method does not fit every person's individual attributes, capacity, or style. The most astute instructor/educator has an open mind and incorporates what works best for a given situation rather than adhere to any strict ideology.




Oh my goodness isn't that what BB has been saying the whole time?!

teachestennis
11-03-2009, 06:25 AM
A general observation that may be applicable here:

ANY and EVERY action that is taught through instruction/education has multiple methods. One method does not fit every person's individual attributes, capacity, or style. The most astute instructor/educator has an open mind and incorporates what works best for a given situation rather than adhere to any strict ideology.

I agree in that there is no one teaching style that applies one hundred percent across the board. I assure you we MTM coaches all have our own styles, but we are careful to teach what we feel is the optimal biomechanical technique. In sports, there are certain biomechancal principles that apply across the board. In a golf swing, to compete on the pro tour, you must have a certain muscle memory that regardless of how you get there, the club head must be square or close to square at impact.

In tennis, the evidence is substantial that there is one optimal technique used by all players who dominate the game. I coached without MTM for 25 years and did okay at various times at least from my students and the coaches who hired me, especially during four years in the 1980s in Moreno Valley where I was a disciple of Vic Braden.

It is the power of simplicity in tennis instruction that MTM seeks to promote. Oscar essentiallyy only teaches one mechanic, from the ball to the shoulder, emphasizing a WW up and across swing using the formula of acceleration to "deflect" the ball rather than emphasize hitting through the target line. He teaches a "one inch" volley to keep the stroke short as possible, allowing maximum feel and control with minimum effort. It's interesting that even BB noted that the great forehands of Newcombe, Laver, and Okker were all according to these principles of using WWs before the word ever came into tennis lexicon. Yet today, you have coaches all trying to come up with their own really technical sounding explanations for what they claim we must do in order to hit a tennis ball.

I wrote a commentary and submitted several articles using Russia as an example of how they teach one techniques. In Russia, all coaches essentially teach the same way and they all emphasize and I quote the great Larisa P who died last month (techneek ees everything). Russian coaches are trained in biomechanics. If you read the NY Times article by Daniel Coyle in my commentary, you might see why the importance of teaching muscle memory correctly from the first strokes, therefore the importance of teaching a windshield wiper from a child's first strokes and eliminating false progressions such as turn the feet sideways, take the racket back early, and then hit through the target line as the USTA advocates in their 2009 Quickstart manual.

Here is the link to How to Grow A Super Athlete: The Spartak Academy in Russia.
http://www.moderntenniscoaches.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=18

I provide other evidence of how the kids swing from their first strokes. They are being shouted at with words like "feel" and "finish more thoroughly" and they are ages 4-7, and I don't hear those words being taught in Quickstart classes I've seen except the coaches who use MTM tenets.

I have stated elsewhere the Law of Primacy and other educations laws that essentially state you cannot teach a person anything but the correct data from their first impression without causing muscle memory that will have to be unlearned. I will be publishing a book in the next year dealing with this issue is their one optimal technique? When I present at USPTA conferences I will advocate that we look at this important issue of should we all be teaching one biomechanical technique like they do in other countries that dominate the rankings. If current research on "myelin" sheathing building correct muscle memory has validity (and all recent research is pointing in the same direction regardless of tennis or other fields), this will provide evidence that all children must be taught the same Windshield wiper from stroke 1 in order to eventually grow the game and build a large enough foundation to provide top ranked players. After all, Spartak has one indoor court, frozen outside for six months of the year, takes in normal kids off the street, not genetic mutants, and has produced more top twenty players since 2000 than the entire USA. We need to see what they are doing. Look at my articles and the pics carefully.

onehandbh
11-03-2009, 06:59 AM
Hi Tennisteaches,

I went to the site
http://www.tennisteacher.org/Lucy/Video_Clips.html

to try to get a better sense of Oscar's teachings.
Are there any videos with him or someone trained in Oscar's dogmas
that is with a more advanced player that is not a young kid?
youtube or anywhere easily found?

Also, what influence did Oscar have with Venus and Serena? In the
link above they are listed as pros that were influenced by Oscar.
I'm curious what aspects of their games/strokes Oscar had an influence on.

Earlier someone asked for a link on the serve. Are there any sample videos
on it (using Oscar's methods? for a more advanced player and
not a beginner just learning to feel and hit the ball.)

JavierLW
11-03-2009, 07:42 AM
5263, teachestennis, tennis angel, and other MTM enthusiasts - please ingore the attacks and continue posting. It's great you guys are so polite, but please, do not even mention the bungling blunderbuss in your responses, or acknowledge his postings. If you think you are going to win him over with niceness, you are mistaken. He is too twisted for that. And for what? The guy is an unknown nobody, afraid to show his face, and a conceited a-hole at that. Let him yell and scream and throw his tantrums, who cares. Just keep posting the good stuff, fellas.

Ray

You guys really need to look at this Troll's post history. (it's a riot at how foolish he makes himself look)

He has no credibility whatsoever, just a random assortment of useless comments and unnecessary insults.

A good tennis pro that's focused on his students and knows people and not just whatever their mantra is, would realize that and stay away.

Bungalo Bill
11-03-2009, 08:04 AM
A general observation that may be applicable here:

ANY and EVERY action that is taught through instruction/education has multiple methods. One method does not fit every person's individual attributes, capacity, or style. The most astute instructor/educator has an open mind and incorporates what works best for a given situation rather than adhere to any strict ideology.

That is exactly right. The instruction for MTM is not the issue. It is the mantra behind it that implies it is the solution to American tennis. It is a bunch of hogwash. There are good methods and coaches out there that do not use MTM nor care too. MTM must be built on a sound foundation in order for it to be viable. This is also true with any other method of teaching tennis. This foundation is shared and common knowledge.

It is fine for anyone to learn through MTM, no problem with that from me at all. However, when the false marketing comes in, the bashing of coaches and labelling them old if they dont teach MTM and people who don't get it, that is when I speak up.

If offensiveness hurts people around here, maybe you ought to consider the other side of the coin when MTM followers begin attacking or mentioning the USPTA and other organizations in a false light. That is offensive to us!

Bungalo Bill
11-03-2009, 08:07 AM
You guys really need to look at this Troll's post history. (it's a riot at how foolish he makes himself look)

He has no credibility whatsoever, just a random assortment of useless comments and unnecessary insults.

A good tennis pro that's focused on his students and knows people and not just whatever their mantra is, would realize that and stay away.

It started the day he wanted a rating and I rated him lower than his ego would allow. Sorry! :) Now, it is just personal attacks with no substance.

5263
11-03-2009, 08:11 AM
You guys really need to look at this Troll's post history. (it's a riot at how foolish he makes himself look)

He has no credibility whatsoever, just a random assortment of useless comments and unnecessary insults.


Oh really?
I took your advice and read his mere 14 posts on here ( hardly a big trolling history)

He only made 2-4 upbeat posts before he ran afoul with the self appointed moderator of threads ( which is pretty normal it seems unless you want to pander to him). What is a riot is watching so many wet themselves when this bully has something to say.
At least this guy stands up to him and lets him know what he thinks of his antics.

5263
11-03-2009, 08:16 AM
A general observation that may be applicable here:

ANY and EVERY action that is taught through instruction/education has multiple methods. One method does not fit every person's individual attributes, capacity, or style. The most astute instructor/educator has an open mind and incorporates what works best for a given situation rather than adhere to any strict ideology.

sure, you can go to the foul line and shoot your free throws granny style.
And when you make some big shots in big games, you will get some respect for it.

rxs10is
11-03-2009, 08:16 AM
Teachestennis, could you please send the link to Oscar's ebook to me at rxs10is@gmail.com? Thanks in advance.

Ray

rxs10is
11-03-2009, 08:19 AM
Oh really?
I took your advice and read his mere 14 posts on here ( hardly a big trolling history)

He only made 2-4 upbeat posts before he ran afoul with the self appointed moderator of threads ( which is pretty normal it seems unless you want to pander to him). What is a riot is watching so many wet themselves when this bully has something to say.
At least this guy stands up to him and lets him know what he thinks of his antics.

Thank you 5263. I am not going to bother responding to these jerks. Life is too short for that.

Ray

JavierLW
11-03-2009, 08:24 AM
Oh really?
I took your advice and read his mere 14 posts on here ( hardly a big trolling history)

He only made 2-4 upbeat posts before he ran afoul with the self appointed moderator of threads ( which is pretty normal it seems unless you want to pander to him). What is a riot is watching so many wet themselves when this bully has something to say.
At least this guy stands up to him and lets him know what he thinks of his antics.

Well that just proves you are pretty unaware of just what bullying or being civil or uncivil is.

If you two actually gave helpful advice (YOUR ADVICE) without all the name dropping and promotions of MTM, and going into 500 word essays on tennis history everytime someone asked for some simple advice, Im sure BB wouldnt go swooping in everytime you open your mouths.

Maybe Oscar is a great guy and nobody is debating that his work isnt helpful in some way to some people if they have connected with it.

But you guys are making yourselves look like fools to anyone who actually puts any thought into it.

1) By aligning yourself now with this guy who clearly is someone who cant even handle himself or some simple criticism. Even TT has acknowledged that BB gives great advise on here, despite what you think of him in these silly MTM arguments.

2) In this OP, it actually makes MTM look BAD!!!! Dont you realize that? Are you really that stuck in whatever your mantra is that it's not that obvious to you?

The guy's basically going into great lengths to demonstrate how he doesnt really want to do more then merely just "play tennis".

And I wont dispute that, he made a connection and he got what he wants and that's great....

But then he has to make the argument that it's somehow justified because "nobody is saying that it will make you a "Great" player".

So is that what you stand behind? MTM will ONLY make you a good player, but it's not really good enough to make you a great player???

Someone who is honest and actually wants to help would be able to correct an idea like that when they feel it's wrong, but you guys are wasting so much time just looking for confirmation that you're right and your ideas are so holy and great that you cant see it.

It kind of sucks because you're really just making MTM look bad, you're making Oscar look bad and you're making yourselves look foolish.

teachestennis
11-03-2009, 08:32 AM
Hi Tennisteaches,

I went to the site
http://www.tennisteacher.org/Lucy/Video_Clips.html

to try to get a better sense of Oscar's teachings.
Are there any videos with him or someone trained in Oscar's dogmas
that is with a more advanced player that is not a young kid?
youtube or anywhere easily found?

Also, what influence did Oscar have with Venus and Serena? In the
link above they are listed as pros that were influenced by Oscar.
I'm curious what aspects of their games/strokes Oscar had an influence on.

Earlier someone asked for a link on the serve. Are there any sample videos
on it (using Oscar's methods? for a more advanced player and
not a beginner just learning to feel and hit the ball.)

In post #64 above I list Oscar's relationship with Richard Williams. It was Richard who came up and hugged Oscar and thanked him for all he had done for tennis and told him his videos made so much sense he had his daughters watch them everyday. Richard even called and corrected Oscar's quote on the website when Oscar thought he had bought the videos and told Oscar he taped the TV shows that were made into the videos, which means Richard was learning from MTM in the late 1992 time frame more than likely, just before he left Macci's in January of 1993 whereupon he built two clay courts in his backyard and then he hired a series of hitting hitting partners and coached the girls himself from here on out moving from court to court in a golf cart and not letting them play tournaments for the next couple years before he just threw them on tour and they suddenly took off though Venus had a few rough spots early on.

here is a video of Oscar teaching Randy Ardenfriend, a former pro who like so many didn't make it. Oscar just called Randy up a few years ago in 2006 and then did two videos with him demonstrating how to coach a high level player. Randy, after switching to MTM, became one of the most popular pros at Pacific Palisades and last I sent a couple of my inquiries to him for lessons, all three complained that at Long Boat Key in Sarasota Randy has a three month waiting list to get lessons with.

http://www.tennisonevideonetwork.com...8d138f2b4fdd6f

Guga Kuerten was coached by Oscar from age 6 to 14 before Passos got a sponsorship and took him into the pros. Guga is a perfect model of how Oscar teaches, lifting up, pulling back, very free flowing, extremely efficient in his swing even with a huge backswing, waiting and stalking the ball until it's on the ground or very close before his left hand lets go of the racket (like we teach in MTM). Guga's one hander was maybe one of the most beautiful of all time, the guy just looked like he was laughing on the court the whole time, and even before I met Oscar, I thought Guga the most amazing style I had ever seen, always moving off his one handed BH with such tremendous topspin, and then Oscar showed me how he taught Guga, and I have been able to teach this BH style effectively and one of the two 6.0 players I developed (one from his first groundstrokes) looks very much like Guga.

Oscar also started Vince Spadea Jr as a six year old overweight kid and then coached him and his two USTA champion sisters in high school as Vince Spadea Senior prepared Vince Jr. for the pros.

Oscar has never really coached players by choice, instead he has focused on reforming tennis instruction by working with coaches. He has told me there were only a couple players he regrets not being able to coach given he has so many offers few would believe, including an 8 year old Jennifer Capriati's father having Oscar take a look to discuss coaching her as Jimmy Evert could only coach Jennifer three times a week and had other commitments. Stefano was looking for a full time coach even at that age, but Oscar was going back to Brazil to spend the next couple years and thus could not do it. Oscar will tell you his players are all over the world, hitting up and across the ball from their first strokes given he was the first prominent coach to teach what is now accepted as mainstream "modern tennis."

All I can tell you is I've been on court with Oscar an entire summer, most of another summer, and spent countless weeks watching him coach all level players. I've watched him coach high level players, satellite tour players, watched him turn down three thousand to coach a Japanese satellite tour player from a mother who couldn't believe what Oscar did in a lesson with her daughter playing the future's tour. It's interesting that Bjorn Borg sure praised him as an amazing coach given Borg was an elite athlete and had tried many coaches without success before Oscar. How many coaches would be a guest of Tony Roche's and be invited to meet with Roger Federer and Mirka in Europe as was Oscar. Oscar just prior to meeting his old friend Tony Roche had just attended the Mallorca Federer Nadal hybrid court match and revisited his old friends at Sanchez-Casal, where Oscar first worked with many of their coaches when they were players and young coaches learning his system when Oscar was a National Coach for Spain in the 1970s.

Even I am tired of defending the guy, all the emphasis should be on helping players with an alternative method that seems to work for a large portion of those who try it and feel freed up by his minimalist emphasis. I will not, however, let people just make false accusations about him or his method as we are want to help grow tennis, especially given we can really help high school and Parks coaches in a very effective way that will have lasting impact for them and their players. But all this attack and my having to clear up the truth should at least help people understand that Oscar Wegner is one of the nicest guys in tennis but a force worth reckoning with if you want to play your best tennis. I read more of other's coaches writings than I do from him, and I find a lot I can use, but I use MTM tenets to be careful what I choose to teach with biomechanically. And I have never badmouthed BB or Johnny Yandell claiming they were responsible for the dearth of USA tennis players. I credit Yandell with one of the top ten greatest developments in coaching history. I read Yandell regularly still and very much like his recent stuff especially.

I believe the blame of tennis being too difficult is owed to poor biomechanical technique taught by the teaching organizations in the past, but that is changing, thank goodness. Would it have changed if Oscar had not written his controversial 1989 book teaching to "touch" the ball, not hit it it, and then swing up and across the ball by bending of the arm?

Who knows, but I suspect we would have two players in the top 100 more than likely, lol. American's are stubborn when it comes to change in tennis. Maybe that is why Oscar felt like he had to promote his stuff so intensely. We've come a long way, not let's just make it simple and easy to progress for everyone.

I'll look for more clips of Oscar's teaching. Hope you saw the 57 year old lady who was my student above. That is Oscar giving her a private lesson she wanted to film as she was proud of how far she had come after being a 3.0 for six years until she got the videos and then I taught her for six months.

onehandbh
11-03-2009, 08:41 AM
http://www.tennisonevideonetwork.com...8d138f2b4fdd6f

I'll look for more clips of Oscar's teaching. Hope you saw the 57 year old lady who was my student above. That is Oscar giving her a private lesson she wanted to film as she was proud of how far she had come after being a 3.0 for six years until she got the videos and then I taught her for six months.

The link above didn't work. Can i find the video from going to the
tennisonevideonetwork? You can just tell me what to click on.

The videos don't have to be of oscar teaching. Just someone who you
think is a good example of someone who teaches oscar's methods
(teaching an advanced player)

GuyClinch
11-03-2009, 08:49 AM
Tennisone has some of Oscar's stuff. Again - as I repeated before its not anything particularly special, IMHO. People here are buying into the holy grail of Oscar.

He is pretty slick - you can't even buy it on Amazon probably because then they couldn't control any average reviews that would trickle in. There are numerous tennis videos out there many of which can be helpful. Before I incur the wrath of the wegnerites there is nothing wrong with his instruction for the most part.

You can find some on youtube if your really interested.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bK4XFVoRsmM

Honestly the videos I have seen are more beginner oriented.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVH3UAWTnKE

Can you argue with such videos - no. Are they anything different then you could find on the web or from other instructors? Not from what I have seen. YMMV.

Here is some anti-wegner style instruction - its far more robotic and regimented. But it would work fine..



Many instructors have slightly different approaches but I think all of them are trying to get players to the same places. Its the imagery and emphasis that varies the most.

Here is some "anti-wegner" type of instruction. Its a totally different approach for a beginner but my gut feeling is that it would work as well if not better then Wegners style..

http://www.playsportstv.com/tennis/tennis-forehand_gilad-bloom-forehand-part-2#tennis-forehand_gilad-bloom-forehand-part-1

Obviously the feet thing is just for emphasis...IMHO.

There are lots of ways to skin a cat..

Bungalo Bill
11-03-2009, 08:57 AM
Oscar did not work with the Williams Sisters ever personlly.

You are exactly right! He never did!

Richard started hitting balls out of basket to the girls when Venus was four, hired Paul Cohen, McEnroes coach when Venus was eight, later taught them Braden's stuff, then started a press campaign when Venus was ten claiming she was undefeated in the ten and unders in the Los Angeles area, the NY Times then did an article on their front page because 13 year old Capriati happened to be tearing up the pro tour, then Richard tried to get Bollettieri to take a look at them but he passed, called up every coach he could think of trying to get someone to look at his daughters, then Macci flew out to take a look at them and admits he didn't see anything special after an hour and was going to pass until Venus went out the gate and started walking on her hands to the bathroom and realized she had great athleticism and decided he could do something with her. Richard told Macci his daughter Serena would be an even better athlete.

You are once again exaggerating. You are making this more than it is.

It is well known that at the age of 4, Richards collected everything he could find on tennis (videos and books) to educate his girls in tennis. The motivation to do this was for him to help his family get out of Compton, CA to have a better life.

The books and videos Richards collected were from various coaches including Vic Braden's books and videos.

History of Serena Williams
- By age 4 1/2, the Serena Williams competed in her first tournament. By all accounts, Serena won 46 of 49 junior USTA tournaments and was ranked #1 in the under ten age group nationally in 1990. She was about age 9 by this time.

- 1991, parents withdrew the sisters from competition to focus on their studies.

- Around the same time Richard Williams asked Rick Macci, a well known tennis coach from Florida to travel to California to see his daughters playing. Macci had previously coached Mary Pierce and Jennifer Capriati, and immediately suggested the family move to Florida so Serena and Venus could attend his tennis academy.

- By this time Serena and Venus had earned enough in endorsements to allow the family to buy a home in Palm Beach Garden close to Macci’s academy.

- From 1991 till 1995 Serena Williams undertook intensive training with Macci, developing her style of play and learning about game strategy.

- In 1995 the Williams family parted ways from Rick Macci with Richard Williams taking on responsibility for the continuing coaching of both Serena, and her sister Venus.

- In the same year Serena turned pro and played her first professional game at the age of 14 in the Bell Challenge, Quebec City.

- Turning pro at 14, two years younger than the WTA allowed for professional players meant that Serena was only able to play in non-WTA events, yet despite lack of contact with other WTA players Serena became known once again for being a formidable player. In 1997, shortly after her 16th birthday, Serena joined the WTA pro tour. Her first major wins came at the Ameritech Cup in Chicago where Serena beat seventh ranked Mary Pierce in the second round, followed by fourth ranked Monica Seles in the quarterfinals, and finally falling to Lyndsey Davenport in the semis.The girls got full scholarships including room and board in return for portion of future earnings. Richard fired Macci after he got a million dollar sponsorship from Reebok and Macci threatened to sue but settled out of court.

THERE IS NOTHING ABOUT OSCAR NOR WILL THERE EVER BE. MACCI'S ACADEMY BUILT THE WILLIAMS SISTERS AND GETS CREDIT FOR THEIR SUCCESS. NONE OF THE CREDIT GOES TO OSCAR, NOT ONE THING. OTHERWISE, SINCE BRADEN WAS INVOLVED IN THE EARLY DEVELOPMENT YEARS, MORE CREDIT WOULD GO TO BRADEN THAN OSCAR COULD EVER DREAM OF.

COLLECTING PLAYERS BECAUSE THEY GLANCED AT YOUR MTM STUFF IS REALLY BAD. COME ON MAN. THAT IS ABSOLUTELY WRONG. GIVE CREDIT WHERE IT IS DUE AND IT IS NOT DUE TO OSCAR.

It was while at Macci's that Richard Williams, always looking for anything that he could learn to coach his daughters better, discovered the TV shows with Oscar Wegner. I've looked at a lot of videos of the girls at Macci's and don't see Rick teaching them open stance off both sides, which would become their trademark (and coincidentally a hallmark of Oscar's teaching).

And conicidentally a hallmark of Oscar's teaching? Are you serious? Well, the open stance was long taught at many academies and training facilities as well as in grass-roots coaching!

And do you think Richards was only looking at Wegner's stuff? of course he wasn't!!! He was simply gathering many perspectives and developing his own! Otherwise, you would see a heck of a lot more endorsements for Oscars methods from the Williams Sisters. However, they can't give Oscar credit for anything because the foundation for their game was already developed.

Further, considering your slandering of other coaches, the Williams Sisters did pretty darn good without Oscar's MTM methods.

You are providing an unbalanced and borderline false information and implying that Macci never taught the William's sister when other evidence states otherwise. Intensive training is not always with the Coach who is named for their academy. They have other coaches with specialties and will be involved in a players development plan.

You are once again twisting things towards Oscar again and this is exactly what I will continually debate you on.

volusiano
11-03-2009, 09:05 AM
Instead of arguing about and attacking Oscar ad naseum on the internet, why not just go on the court and test out his method for yourselves? Try it and if you find it works then continue with it; if it doesn't feel better to you than you're currrent style then drop it. I personally have never met anyone who has tried it and not been dumbfounded by the phenomenal results, but you may be the first to fail to improve with it.

If any of you live in Southern California you can meet Oscar in person and learn firsthand from him on court this month. Contact me for details if you're interested.

I think you totally missed the point. The argument is not about the MTM instruction (whether good or bad or better or whatever, who cares?). The argument is about the method of MTM marketing which seems to throw everything else under the bus and claim the glory for everything.

And how are you so sure that MTM will improve my game when you don't even know what my game is like? Why do you assume that my game is not playing by feel already? I've been playing by feel naturally since day 1 already without needing MTM to teach me that. If you need MTM to teach you that, good for you. But why try to shove it down my throat?

You know, in the beginning, with a few first posts, MTM actually intrigued my curiosity. But after so much heavy pushing for it by now, the propaganda actually kinda turned me off and it just dampened my curiosity. Well, I actually went on the website to download what I thought was an instructional demo, but I found it to be mostly an infomercial video, so it turned me off even more. So now I'm not even interested in learning about MTM anymore. I know, I know, it's my loss and I'm going to miss out on the best thing since sliced bread and so on. That's ok, I still enjoy playing tennis just the same, thank you very much.

onehandbh
11-03-2009, 09:11 AM
^^^ the link tennisteaches posted implied that the williams sisters
learned their game at an early age from oscar b/c the photo shows
then when they were little.

I still want to see an instruction video with advanced players
being taught /coached with Oscar's method though. Haven't seen
any yet. I just want to see how it would be applied. When it
comes to tennis instruction, I'm always curious to see what people
are using and learning.

pondus
11-03-2009, 09:18 AM
Oscar Wegner claims that his method is "Scientifically Proven". By this, he seems to be referring to a student who did a 1st year MIT science project on his method, and he (the student) speaks about it in the video, but no further details or references are provided.

If calling this "scientifically proven" is not far fetched marketing, I'm not sure what is.

5263
11-03-2009, 09:21 AM
Well that just proves you are pretty unaware of just what bullying or being civil or uncivil is.

Maybe Oscar is a great guy and nobody is debating that his work isnt helpful in some way to some people if they have connected with it.

1) By aligning yourself now with this guy who clearly is someone who cant even handle himself or some simple criticism. Even TT has acknowledged that BB gives great advise on here, despite what you think of him in these silly MTM arguments.

And I wont dispute that, he made a connection and he got what he wants and that's great....

But then he has to make the argument that it's somehow justified because "nobody is saying that it will make you a "Great" player".

So is that what you stand behind? MTM will ONLY make you a good player, but it's not really good enough to make you a great player???

Someone who is honest and actually wants to help would be able to correct an idea like that when they feel it's wrong, but you guys are wasting so much time just looking for confirmation that you're right and your ideas are so holy and great that you cant see it.

It kind of sucks because you're really just making MTM look bad, you're making Oscar look bad and you're making yourselves look foolish.

He is a classic bully, and it appears you are the one who looks foolish to align yourself with someone who will lose his temper and spit on you next week; and that is with YOU agreeing with him, but him misreading your post and biting your head off. I've lost count at the times this has happened. The fact that TT tries to be civil to him and give him some credit is really just a credit to TT. I can't think of single interesting thing I've seen from your mentor, just same ole stuff in any conventional book. I think he should wear that as a badge of honor and stick to it.

I don't write those big posts and will let you judge the advice for yourself- thats fine. This one by you is as big as I've ever done. I mostly do a couple of sentences. I'm happy helping the ones smart enough to recognize quality.
We don't waste time looking for confirmation, as we have that. We waste too much time responding to misinfo and bluster.

How BB can have your respect after admitting on this forum that he would conceal evidence and debate to no end to win, is a mystery to me. That's all I need to know about him from his own words. It is VERY clear that he is more interested in guys like you he can buffalo thinking he is right all the time, than searching for truth.

Bungalo Bill
11-03-2009, 09:24 AM
And I have never badmouthed BB or Johnny Yandell claiming they were responsible for the dearth of USA tennis players.

Not directly you haven't. However, did you look at my title below? It says "FORMER USPTA". Whenever you bad mouth the USPTA, their methods, tell me that the USPTA endoreses this old cruddy manual, you are telling me since I was a member of that organization that I fill that bill.

Not only is that insulting to me (the light you paint USPTA coaches in), but it is false and inaccurate. It is a ploy or a marketing gimmick for you to exalt your method by making someone else look bad.

You have consistently done this and repeatedly painted Oscar as the guru to the modern tennis world when we have shown you over and over again that you are flat out wrong.

You have insulted my knowledge, my efforts here, and the evidence put in front of you that you have no silver bullet to instruction nor did you invent anything outside of your own view of instruction.

You have dismissed other methods of teaching and you have carefully slithered your way with flattering remarks and neasuating BS.

You are twisting US Tennis history and slanting it towards Oscar and MTM. It is biased, uncalled for, and humiliating.

You have taken credit or shifted the emphasis of credit towards Oscar making the player even though Oscar never ever coached them.

You have pulled the rug out from those that have contributed to this game and you are following in the footsteps of your "chip-on-the-shoulder" boss who can't stop crying because someone made fun of him. Maybe he deserves it.

Over and over again you give credit where it is not due or associate someone elses success to Oscar in some fashion. Whether it is a light emphasis or a strong emphasis, you have always somehow brought your BS back to Oscar and his twisted Scientology junk.

I credit Yandell with one of the top ten greatest developments in coaching history. I read Yandell regularly still and very much like his recent stuff especially.

[quote]I believe the blame of tennis being too difficult is owed to poor biomechanical technique taught by the teaching organizations in the past, but that is changing, thank goodness. Would it have changed if Oscar had not written his controversial 1989 book teaching to "touch" the ball, not hit it it, and then swing up and across the ball by bending of the arm?

More blame and shame. Since I belonged to "these teaching organizations", I guess I am at fault for teaching old world tennis right?

Nobody paid attention to Oscar dude!!!!! All the other coaches that worked with this stuff day in and day out were already on it!!! Why are you giving credit again to a guy with a chip-on-his-shoulder? He didnt invent anything! He didn't pursuade the teaching organizations!!!!

Who knows, but I suspect we would have two players in the top 100 more than likely, lol. American's are stubborn when it comes to change in tennis. Maybe that is why Oscar felt like he had to promote his stuff so intensely. We've come a long way, not let's just make it simple and easy to progress for everyone.

So Oscar again? American's are stubborn when it comes to change? So now, it is American character flaws that are at fault? Wow, now you insult Americans in the process?

So, everyone but Americans want change? Oscar change? Like Obama change?

JavierLW
11-03-2009, 09:46 AM
He is a classic bully, and it appears you are the one who looks foolish to align yourself with someone who will lose his temper and spit on you next week; and that is with YOU agreeing with him, but him misreading your post and biting your head off. I've lost count at the times this has happened. The fact that TT tries to be civil to him and give him some credit is really just a credit to TT. I can't think of single interesting thing I've seen from your mentor, just same ole stuff in any conventional book. I think he should wear that as a badge of honor and stick to it.

I don't write those big posts and will let you judge the advice for yourself- thats fine. This one by you is as big as I've ever done. I mostly do a couple of sentences. I'm happy helping the ones smart enough to recognize quality.
We don't waste time looking for confirmation, as we have that. We waste too much time responding to misinfo and bluster.

How BB can have your respect after admitting on this forum that he would conceal evidence and debate to no end to win, is a mystery to me. That's all I need to know about him from his own words. It is VERY clear that he is more interested in guys like you he can buffalo thinking he is right all the time, than searching for truth.

I dont know, it seems to me that you guys are the ones who are just as bad as whatever you're trying to claim BB is doing. (especially you)

A couple people show up here and make some positive comments and you guys jump all over it happily even though it makes what you are selling look bad.

Someone disagrees with you, and you immediately label them as being rude or you accuse them of being aligned with some other person who's "rude".

But I do agree with you, you waste TOO much time defending yourselves and trying to make yourselves look good.

Why dont you just stick to giving advice rather then name drop, or trying to label your advise as MTM (when by TT's own admissions is all original, it's been borrowed).

TT needs to stop going into 500 word essays. When you spend that much thought justifying yourself that makes the advise seem questionable. (if there is any) We know who TT is, it's right on his signature. He's the MTM guy! How many times do we need to see it in a thread where some poor guy is just asking for some simple advice???

And you need to stop flying in everytime this argument ensues. As far as I know you're merely the MTM defender guy. I dont know what you've done outside of that. Again that shows that you are more interested in defending some general notion of MTM (because you are probably selling it) then you are in actually giving actual advice.

And I think if you can do that, BB probably wont keep jumping either, and we can go back to having a nice board where people can share and give ideas.

Most of us do not give a crap if you are MTM, USPTA, traditional, modern, Vic Braden, or Oscar Wegner.

There are good pros and bad pros. Ultimately if we are taking a lesson that's what it comes down to, it's the individual, not whatever their methods or ideas are.

Bad pros usually just spout off some general idea (no matter where it came from) and they dont make a good connection with their audience and that's where you guys all seem to sound like.

I dont know if you guys agree with that. (I think you're a little too busy defending yourself) But plenty of people do, and whether you think that's wrong or not is too bad.

Stop this nonsense, please. If you are only here to talk about MTM or Oscar then go away. Or just make your own threads (like this one), and stop jumping into all of the other ones.

(but if you say something that someone disagrees with be aware that they do have a right to say something and you cant accuse them of being "rude" just because of it)

majordude
11-03-2009, 09:57 AM
It says "FORMER USPTA". Whenever you bad mouth the USPTA, their methods, tell me that the USPTA endoreses this old cruddy manual, you are telling me since I was a member of that organization that I fill that bill.

Geez! Do you get this worked up over politics too?

The Republicans get into power and blame the Democrats for the mess we are in. The public soon gets tired of the Republicans and vote the Democrats back into office where they then blame all our problems on the Republicans. Soon the public gets tired of the Democrats and vote the Republicans back into office... and so it goes.

You can't take that stuff personally.

The USPTA teaches people to play a certain way and MTM teaches people to play a different way. Either way you end up playing tennis.

And sure, MTM is going to say vote for me because I can teach you to play tennis in two hours and sure USPTA is going to say, don't listen to him, vote for me and I'll have you playing at a pro level if you elect me!

It's like getting all worked up over Eastern, Western, Semi-Western and Continental grips. Using one grip doesn't make the other ones wrong.

JavierLW
11-03-2009, 10:01 AM
I don't write those big posts and will let you judge the advice for yourself- thats fine. This one by you is as big as I've ever done. I mostly do a couple of sentences. I'm happy helping the ones smart enough to recognize quality.
We don't waste time looking for confirmation, as we have that. We waste too much time responding to misinfo and bluster.


Between this statement and the one TT made about how he was going to teach Cindy if he ever taught her a lesson, almost proves my point as to how you guys really make yourselves look bad. (by the way TT conducts himself in the non-MTM threads and how you come flying in)

So that's what MTM is about? You're just happy to help people that are "smart enough" to realize that you are right?

I kind of already wondered that about TT because he made this big claim about how he would teach Cindy and she'd be flying around the court like Casper the Ghost of whatever.

So I kind of had to wonder. What if Cindy goes there, she has an open mind but she just doesnt connect with whatever TT is doing.

Is he just going to blame her then, because after all he's thought about it for years and looked at many pictures and written 1,225,344,226,264 words about how HIS method SHOULD work.

Or is he going to realize that he just hasnt made a connection with her and get to know her and actually do the work realizing that she actually does want to improve and she will actually take some useful knowledge if he is able to approach it makes sense to her?

If I had to judge TT's ability by his writing style, I would be afraid that he would bombard me with 300 ideas and spend the entire lesson justifying himself rather then actually spending the time to consider where I am and what my motivation is.

Maybe it's not that way (I sure hope not...), but I have to wonder.

(and yes I admit that my posts are long as well, but Im not out there teaching tennis or trying to sell anything, I know that my method of communication is not fit for teaching anything and Im willing to at least admit that)

And you know that's the HUGE difference between you two guys and BB. Once in awhile he'll say something about his past just to back up his argument with you, but I rarely see him talk about himself or how great he is.

Other then when he's arguing with you two guys, he's just been out here giving us advice.

Sometimes I like his advice and sometimes I just dont connect with it or it's more then I want to read. There is not real complaining about it because he's not selling anything and he's not out there trying to promote himself as some sort of big shot like you guys are.

It's a personal choice and you guys seem to be against personal choices, that's why you keep going into the rant how we'd all be better off if we were following whatever you were doing..... (which again is what TT is accomplishing with his long history laden, Oscar, tennis is down since the 70's, etc... posts, and you are doing about the same)

JavierLW
11-03-2009, 10:13 AM
Geez! Do you get this worked up over politics too?

The Republicans get into power and blame the Democrats for the mess we are in. The public soon gets tired of the Republicans and vote the Democrats back into office where they then blame all our problems on the Republicans. Soon the public gets tired of the Democrats and vote the Republicans back into office... and so it goes.

You can't take that stuff personally.

The USPTA teaches people to play a certain way and MTM teaches people to play a different way. Either way you end up playing tennis.

And sure, MTM is going to say vote for me because I can teach you to play tennis in two hours and sure USPTA is going to say, don't listen to him, vote for me and I'll have you playing at a pro level if you elect me!

It's like getting all worked up over Eastern, Western, Semi-Western and Continental grips. Using one grip doesn't make the other ones wrong.

It's not really the same thing....

Most of the time you get some advice from a coach, or you read a book by someone and you make a connection, just like you did with the book you mentioned in the OP.

Nobody's saying that the information is not helpful. (although you yourself made it look bad in showing how it's awesome that it's only for "being good at tennis", not "great". :)

We're tired of seeing the long marketing posts on other threads everytime someone posts a question. We dont care if it happens to be MTM anymore then you do.

(and the basis for that is that most of the advice by their own admission is not new or unique, it's all been around forever. If they were giving you a one-on-one lesson in person maybe some teaching method is there's, and they can claim that's MTM, but to stick that on any advice they give on a message board is a little much.......)

And besides that they wont realize it or acknowledge it, because they are more interested in making themselves look good then they are at helping anyone. (and Im not talking about MTM or Oscar, Im talking about the two people who keep jumping into all of our threads)

5263
11-03-2009, 10:26 AM
(and Im not talking about MTM or Oscar, Im talking about the two people who keep jumping into all of our threads)

Who's jumping in who's thread?? This is a MTM thread in the title and you can't stay out of it.
It is as simple as not clicking or just scrolling down past a poster you don't like. You are the one comes flying in. But that is fine. I know you are really curious, but just can't admit it because you will get jumped on too.

majordude
11-03-2009, 10:26 AM
Nobody's saying that the information is not helpful. (although you yourself made it look bad in showing how it's awesome that it's only for "being good at tennis", not "great". :)

Well, maybe I am judging it too harshly. :) Personally, I don't anyone could become an expert (or even great) from a DVD. I'm sure personal instruction is the best way to take your game to the next level.

Of the DVDs I've gone through, the information is good and the banter that goes between Oscar and the interviewer or student is great.

JavierLW
11-03-2009, 10:32 AM
Who's jumping in who's thread?? This is a MTM thread in the title and you can't stay out of it.
It is as simple as not clicking or just scrolling down past a poster you don't like. You are the one comes flying in. But that is fine. I know you are really curious, but just can't admit it because you will get jumped on too.

Yes but Im not trying to sell a tennis product, or promote myself.

See here you are again, this is your response"

"What do you mean Im doing this???? You're doing the same thing!!!!???"

At least I can maybe admit that you are right, but you cant.....

Spend less time defending yourself and you'll sound better. Just some free advice...

JavierLW
11-03-2009, 10:39 AM
Well, maybe I am judging it too harshly. :) Personally, I don't anyone could become an expert (or even great) from a DVD. I'm sure personal instruction is the best way to take your game to the next level.

Of the DVDs I've gone through, the information is good and the banter that goes between Oscar and the interviewer or student is great.

That's cool.

Did it make you think at all that MTM will solve America's tennis problems or that it will be great if EVERYONE does it that way? Do you care about any of that?

Because that's ultimately what we are wasting time having people promote and debate on this site.

I agree with you, that personal instruction is great if someone really wants to "get to the next level", and it takes a lot of work.

It seems to me that you have a lot of interests and that's cool, I know that's the way life is, if you devote yourself to perfecting only one thing you can miss out on a lot of other fun stuff so it's kind of a personal choice on how you want to spend your time.

Bungalo Bill
11-03-2009, 10:55 AM
The USPTA teaches people to play a certain way and MTM teaches people to play a different way. Either way you end up playing tennis.

Have you ever coached? Become a member? Why are you commenting on something you have no clue about?

Your comment is absolutely NOT true. The USPTA is made up of members that come into the organization with various backgrounds, skills, and playing capabilities across the United State of America. Some of these people are from foreign countries trained under various methods and become certified to be able to market themselves better.

There is no one way to teach tennis in the USPTA organization. Nearly every member will take the good and bad of their own training and learn other methods through various training sessions the USPTA offers or they will be self-studiers. To further show your claim is not true, if the USPTA said to use only one method, then no coach that is a USPTA member would be able to teach MTM. This is again showing your thinking and limited knowledge - FALSE.

These various training classes include:

1. Open stance forehands and twohanded backhands.

2. The latest methods in instruction and communication.

3. The latest advances in biomechanics

4. Various other learnings to help a tennis coach advance in the organization and develop his own instruction that is not even remotely close the "manual" that keeps coming up.

I would suggest one thing. If you are not a coach, nor have played tennis long or well, I suggest you move on to another post before you become way out of your league.

This argument is between TeachesTennis and myself. I am tired of MTM taking credit for things they were not involved in.

And sure, MTM is going to say vote for me because I can teach you to play tennis in two hours and sure USPTA is going to say, don't listen to him, vote for me and I'll have you playing at a pro level if you elect me!

It's like getting all worked up over Eastern, Western, Semi-Western and Continental grips. Using one grip doesn't make the other ones wrong.

There is no USPTA saying don't listen to him!!! He pushes his stuff on people with a flase background on where his instruction came from. He didnt invent anything. They are bad mouthing coaching and taking credit from these coaches because Oscar is bent out of shape for not getting the credit.

Oscar wants one thing. He wants credit for the way tennis is played today. That is what he was laughed at about. He was trying to take credit away from the hardwork of other coaches and disrepected them in the process. Nobody is giving him this credit because he didn't do it!!! He is part of the solution, not the entire solution. He created instruction on what was already known. He is trying to pursuade the public that he was the one that saw it all. He didn't!!

That is why the USPTA laughed at him. He was taking credit away from those that deserve the credit and trying to make it his own. This is the argument. This is the debate.

The other issue is Oscar wants HIS method to be the only method endorsed and taught by the USPTA. This will never ever happen because the USPTA does not force anyone to teach a certain way.

Oscar got hurt when the USPTA said "no". They said no to a man that wanted all the credit and to be the sole provider of tennis instruction for this organization. The USPTA will not do this and even if they do, they can not force one member to use it.

Stop and think? Can you imagine the resources needed to police the members in ensuring that they teach MTM?

Like I said, if you want to use MTM, go for it!! The USPTA or myself are not dishing the instruction, however, we are not going to accept Oscar's media blitz to wrestle credit away from coaches that supported this game and worked hard to improve it.

Djokovicfan4life
11-03-2009, 11:00 AM
Thank you 5263. I am not going to bother responding to these jerks. Life is too short for that.

Ray

He is a classic bully, and it appears you are the one who looks foolish to align yourself with someone who will lose his temper and spit on you next week; and that is with YOU agreeing with him, but him misreading your post and biting your head off. I've lost count at the times this has happened. The fact that TT tries to be civil to him and give him some credit is really just a credit to TT. I can't think of single interesting thing I've seen from your mentor, just same ole stuff in any conventional book. I think he should wear that as a badge of honor and stick to it.

I don't write those big posts and will let you judge the advice for yourself- thats fine. This one by you is as big as I've ever done. I mostly do a couple of sentences. I'm happy helping the ones smart enough to recognize quality.
We don't waste time looking for confirmation, as we have that. We waste too much time responding to misinfo and bluster.

How BB can have your respect after admitting on this forum that he would conceal evidence and debate to no end to win, is a mystery to me. That's all I need to know about him from his own words. It is VERY clear that he is more interested in guys like you he can buffalo thinking he is right all the time, than searching for truth.

http://www.threadbombing.com/data/media/49/dawson_crying.gif

5263
11-03-2009, 11:04 AM
Yes but Im not trying to sell a tennis product, or promote myself.

At least I can maybe admit that you are right, but you cant.....

Spend less time defending yourself and you'll sound better. Just some free advice...

What am I selling? I just give some free advice and read some good stuff from time to time. I don't link sites. I don't even use my name or talk of my history if I can avoid it. I did talk about coaching my kids to a guy who was in sim situation the other day. I try to mention a reference if it is relevant. I share some MTM stuff cause it often seems to be the answer to questions that are asked on here. That is why it comes up so much, cause people write in with problems to solve. I don't even post on 11 of 12 threads that come up. I'm not going to lie though, I really don't like bullys and we have one here. It was much more fun when I was younger and you could get away with showing them how it felt to get bumped around a little. Oh well, things change.

I'll say you are right at this moment. I should spend less time defending, but you have to admit it is hard when there is constant uninformed attacks.

5263
11-03-2009, 11:07 AM
http://www.threadbombing.com/data/media/49/dawson_crying.gif

Nice pic of you. Didn't know you had an acting career.

Bungalo Bill
11-03-2009, 11:18 AM
Macci quote in 2005: “I’ve seen the modern game develop for 20 years, even though it’s just getting talked about now,” Macci said. While he has worked with players who use the newer-style grips, stances and follow-throughs, he also teaches conventional fundamentals. “It’s all situational.”

This is exactly right. If you look at pros today, they hit with reverse forehands, open stances, twohanded backhands, classic backhands, volleys, half-volleys, etc...

Stances are situational and because the game is faster, the open stance is very natural.

However, forcing someone to only teach open stance otherwise it is wrong because the pros do it, is not good advice.

Players can learn to play tennis in 2 hours even in traditional stances.

The credit for the Williams sisters success goes to Macci and not Oscar.

JohnYandell
11-03-2009, 11:23 AM
Ok first I want to say I am reformed and am jumping in here and hoping not to make any comments that could be considered personal or insulting or even to take sides.

Having observed the technical debate on modern versus traditional versus bureaucratic versus the space aliens...I think there are a few interesting technical issues.

One of the biggest problems in debates like these are the unspoken assumptions that aren't necessarily true, again, just in my opinion.

The first is that there is such a thing as "the" forehand. The second is that whatever the "forehand" is at the highest levels, that is what should be taught.

The third is that in developing players who may go on to play elite tennis, that the teaching progressions should be geared to developing the finished product from day 1.

You can guess that I don't think these assumptions are necessarily valid.

When it comes to the forehand, first there are about 6 different grip structures. The players play at radically different depths, with different contact heights. And their forehands differ from ball to ball not just because they use different grips, but because they combine other complex elements such as the stances, the windshield wiper, and extreme torso rotation in an almost infinite number of ways.

There are probably over 10,000 forehand stroke clips on Tennisplayer.net and no two of them are exactly the same.

So, again, my opinion, there is a danger in focusing on an element that definitely occurs--but may be situational--and making that element into a fundamental building block.

I had a fascinating series of exchanges with Oscar a few years ago. We didn't reach a meeting of the minds--that's certain, but I think we did elucidate some differences, at least on the forehand, which is the most controversial stroke without doubt.

So a few thoughts. Stalking the ball, if we mean a prolonged delay on the backswing definitely occurs. My opinion, having viewed all 10,000 of those clips, is that it is a relatively rare occurance.

It happens when the ball is slower sometimes, and for sure on the extreme wide and running balls. On the vast majority of forehands though, the preparation begins with the body turn, followed by the immediate initiation of the backswing, which I believe, in most cases, should be viewed as starting when the hands start to separate. So if the unit turn is stalking the ball then I agree it occurs, but if there is a lag in the movement of the hands after the unit turn, then you are dealing with the exception not the norm. It's a valid exception but an exception.

Now speaking personally, I think the problem with teaching stalking right off the bat is that it leads to an incomplete turn. The full shoulder turn and the left arm stretch is probably one of the very few things virtually all players do.

It's also, in my opinion, a core fundamental to teach players at any level. But if you look at those guys in the MIT video that are Oscar guys, you'll see that they hit the ball beautifully but they don't really have super great turns.

Now as for the windshield wiper. Actually if you look at the motion of the hand and arm and racket they rotate somewhat counterclockwise on EVERY forehand, from Sampras/Henman classic eastern on edge finishes to Rafa and Roger and everyone in between. it is a matter of degree and is also situational. Bill Tilden (the film is on the site--and there was also a great shot of it on TC) used the radical wiper and so I am sure has every good player since the game began.

It's a question of when and how much. But the focus on the wiper has obscured what I think is the other key point after the turn--the extension. How far out does the racket and hand travel toward the target before the elbow bends more and the motion starts to wrap.

And in fact you can see every variation possible. The hitting arm can come into the target quite bent and the radical wiper can occur immediately after contact. And you can see the opposite--the arm almost completely straight and extended out to the target with the hand already at eye level and across the body even with the left side. And with that straight arm you can also see wiper action--the arm, racket, and hand rotating as a unit, but with little or no elbow bend.

And everthing in between. Again the question is what to teach. My study of those clips shows me that when players are hitting deep drives they extend most fully--with or without the wiper. So I believe in teaching this extension point and depending somewhat on the grip adding more wiper later as a variation, but this also depends on level. And here I think recreational and club players often get off track and wiper too much and too early at the expense of power and depth.

Which brings us to the wrap--either over the shoulder or around the shoulder or around the torso. Does the wrap "cause" acceleration? That is hard to argue, because well-accepted biomechanical studies (Brian Gordon, Bruce Eliot, Advanced Tennis) all show that maximum acceleration occurs around contact and that thereafter the racket slows down, with the wrap being the slowest moving part. So on a 90mph forehand the racket might be going 60 at contact, 40 at extension, and 5 in the middle of the wrap.

Should players wrap? Sure, if they swing fast enough. If they are simply relaxed it will more or less happen. And again Tilden and Pancho Gonzales and everyone wrapped or wraps. If a player doesn't, sure encourage him, but the problem is that mechanically forcing the wrap, any wrap, tends to limit extension and probably affects the natural accelerartion and deceleration. In general it's more an effect than a cause.

And then there is stance. There is nothing wrong obviously with open stance, or teaching it. In fact it's a must. Obviously it completely dominates in the pro game, and this is related to contact height and the extreme shoulder rotation. But what do we mean by open? Again if you look at the clips the vast majority are what I would call semi-open, with the left foot in front of the rear and offset around 30 to 45 degrees.

Every player should be able to hit open--and neutral--and you still see plenty of neutral stance in pro tennis when the ball is low. The problem again for the average player is that using open stance exclusively doesn't always corelate with the average contact height they play.

Again, just my opinion, teaching open stance exclusively from day one leads to problems--not because open stance is bad or wrong, but because it makes it more difficult for players to really feel that full turn and the proper sequence of torso rotation. Players are so eager to get the outside foot behind the ball they don't get the torso turned or the arm stretched. And this problem is especially pronounced if they are taught the extreme open stance with both feet parallel, which again is only a variation even in the pro game.

Learning simple square stances makes the fundamentals easier at lower levels and in no way, in my view, impedes learning and hitting the open stance--in fact it will tend to make the open stance fundamentals better.

Having said all that, I would never try to tell another teaching pro that they needed to agree with me or teach the way I teach. The best we can do is share opinion--coaching is an art form in my view--and there may be good art and bad art depending on your preference, but the freedom of the artist is vital.

majordude
11-03-2009, 11:25 AM
I would suggest one thing. If you are not a coach, nor have played tennis long or well, I suggest you move on to another post before you become way out of your league.

I'm the one who started this thread. YOU take your ******** and high horse to another thread.

I posted a review of Oscar's DVD set. You've managed to hijack the last five pages of this thread and turn it into a personal vendetta against Oscar and his students.

You aren't changing anyone's minds against Oscar... and are, in fact, turning people off you and USPTA... because believe me, if the rest of your organization is like you, you can keep your private club to yourselves. :evil:

majordude
11-03-2009, 11:29 AM
Ok first I want to say I am reformed and am jumping in here and hoping not to make any comments that could be considered personal or insulting or even to take sides.

I TAKE OFFENSE TO THAT! :)

5263
11-03-2009, 11:45 AM
I'm the one who started this thread. YOU take your ******** and high horse to another thread.

I posted a review of Oscar's DVD set. You've managed to hijack the last five pages of this thread and turn it into a personal vendetta against Oscar and his students.

You aren't changing anyone's minds against Oscar... and are, in fact, turning people off you and USPTA... because believe me, if the rest of your organization is like you, you can keep your private club to yourselves. :evil:

Very well said. Pretty good example of the twisting that goes on when they try to bully you out of your own thread. Must be time for meds again.

majordude
11-03-2009, 11:58 AM
Did it make you think at all that MTM will solve America's tennis problems or that it will be great if EVERYONE does it that way? Do you care about any of that?

Of course not. There are many different roads to the same place.

VaBeachTennis
11-03-2009, 12:16 PM
Ok first I want to say I am reformed and am jumping in here and hoping not to make any comments that could be considered personal or insulting or even to take sides.

Having observed the technical debate on modern versus traditional versus bureaucratic versus the space aliens...I think there are a few interesting technical issues.

One of the biggest problems in debates like these are the unspoken assumptions that aren't necessary true, again, just in my opinion.

The first is that there is such a thing as "the" forehand. The second is that whatever the "forehand" is at the highest levels, that is what should be taught.

The third is that in developing players who may go on to play elite tennis, that the teaching progressions should be geared to developing the finished product from day 1.

You can guess that I don't think these assumptions are necessarily valid.

When it comes to the forehand, first there are about 6 different grip structures. The players play at radically different depths, with different contact heights. And their forehands differ from ball to ball not just because they use different grips, but because they combine other complex elements such as the stances, the windshield wiper, and extreme torso rotation in an almost infinite number of ways.

There are probably over 10,000 forehand stroke clips on Tennisplayer.net and no two of them are exactly the same.

So, again, my opinion, there is a danger in focusing on an element that definitely occurs--but may be situational--and making that element into a fundamental building block.

I had a fascinating series of exchanges with Oscar a few years ago. We didn't reach a meeting of the minds--that's certain, but I think we did elucidate some differences, at least on the forehand, which is the most controversial stroke without doubt.

So a few thoughts. Stalking the ball, if we mean a prolonged delay on the backswing definitely occurs. My opinion, having viewed all 10,000 of those clips, is that it is a relatively rare occurance.

It happens when the ball is slower sometimes, and for sure on the extreme wide and running balls. On the vast majority of forehands though, the preparation begins with the body turn, followed by the immediate initiation of the backswing, which I believe, in most cases, should be viewed as starting when the hands start to separate. So if the unit turn is stalking the ball then I agree it occurs, but if there is a lag in the movement of the hands after the unit turn, then you are dealing with the exception not the norm. It's a valid exception but an exception.

Now speaking personally, I think the problem with teaching stalking right off the bat is that it leads to an incomplete turn. The full shoulder turn and the left arm stretch is probably one of the very few things virtually all players do.

It's also, in my opinion, a core fundamental to teach players at any level. But if you look at those guys in the MIT video that are Oscar guys, you'll see that they hit the ball beautifully but they don't really have super great turns.

Now as for the windshield wiper. Actually if you look at the motion of the hand and arm and racket they rotate somewhat counterclockwise on EVERY forehand, from Sampras/Henman classic eastern on edge finishes to Rafa and Roger and everyone in between. it is a matter of degree and is also situational. Bill Tilden (the film is on the site--and there was also a great shot of it on TC) used the radical wiper and so I am sure has every good player since the game began.

It's a question of when and how much. But the focus on the wiper has obscured what I think is the other key point after the turn--the extension. How far out does the racket and hand travel toward the target before the elbow bends more and the motion starts to wrap.

And in fact you can see every variation possible. The hitting arm can come into the target quite bent and the radical wiper can occur immediately after contact. And you can see the opposite--the arm almost completely straight and extended out to the target with the hand already at eye level and across the body even with the left side. And with that straight arm you can also see wiper action--the arm, racket, and hand rotating as a unit, but with little or no elbow bend.

And everthing in between. Again the question is what to teach. My study of those clips shows me that when players are hitting deep drives they extend most fully--with or without the wiper. So I believe in teaching this extension point and depending somewhat on the grip adding more wiper later as a variation, but this also depends on level. And here I think recreational and club players often get off track and wiper too much and too early at the expense of power and depth.

Which brings us to the wrap--either over the shoulder or around the shoulder or around the torso. Does the wrap "cause" acceleration? That is hard to argue, because well-accepted biomechanical studies (Brian Gordon, Bruce Eliot, Advanced Tennis) all show that maximum acceleration occurs around contact and that thereafter the racket slows down, with the wrap being the slowest moving part. So on a 90mph forehand the racket might be going 60 at contact, 40 at extension, and 5 in the middle of the wrap.

Should players wrap? Sure, if they swing fast enough. If they are simply relaxed it will more or less happen. And again Tilden and Pancho Gonzales and everyone wrapped or wraps. If a player doesn't, sure encourage him, but the problem is that mechanically forcing the wrap, any wrap, tends to limit extension and probably affects the natural accelerartion and deceleration. In general it's more an effect than a cause.

And then there is stance. There is nothing wrong obviously with open stance, or teaching it. In fact it's a must. Obviously it completely dominates in the pro game, and this is related to contact height and the extreme shoulder rotation. But what do we mean by open? Again if you look at the clips the vast majority are what I would call semi-open, with the left foot in front of the rear and offset around 30 to 45 degrees.

Every player should be able to hit open--and neutral--and you still see plenty of neutral stance in pro tennis when the ball is low. The problem again for the average player is that using open stance exclusively doesn't always corelate with the average contact height they play.

Again, just my opinion, teaching open stance exclusively from day one leads to problems--not because open stance is bad or wrong, but because it makes it more difficult for players to really feel that full turn and the proper sequence of torso rotation. Players are so eager to get the outside foot behind the ball they don't get the torso turned or the arm stretched. And this problem is especially pronounced if they are taught the extreme open stance with both feet parallel, which again is only a variation even in the pro game.

Learning simple square stances makes the fundamentals easier at lower levels and in no way, in my view, impedes learning and hitting the open stance--in fact it will tend to make the open stance fundamentals better.

Having said all that, I would never try to tell another teaching pro that they needed to agree with me or teach the way I teach. The best we can do is share opinion--coaching is an art form in my view--and there may be good art and bad art depending on your preference, but the freedom of the artist is vital.

RIGHT ON THE MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JavierLW
11-03-2009, 12:27 PM
Of course not. There are many different roads to the same place.

Okay then. (although you did just try to lump in all USPTA with one person so either you were joking or you didnt really read that post, there is no USPTA method of teaching, there is no such comparison there with what MTM pretends to be)

You basically gave a product review, that's what this thread is about.

I thought it was a rather awesome review actually. You described it's value honestly both negative and positive, and you had a positive experience with it.

If they employed you to sell their product (to people who actually want it) they could do far better then what they are doing themselves. (even though according to you it's only useful for becoming a "good" tennis player)

But think about it, when you give a product review, do you necessarily need (or want) the people who already support or sell the product to come sweeping in to harp on about how great it was???

Do you really need to them to further justify to you about how you SHOULD like it so much, to the point where they dont even really pay attention to what you're saying about it? (which is obvious because like I said you're not exactly selling it out to be the greatest thing since sliced bread)

That's basically what happened (if you read the 500 word essay which Im sure you didnt because Im sure you dont have that sort of time.....)

But someone did read it obviously so that started an argument. Maybe you are right and it's everyone's fault pretty much but the problem is we're getting roped into this on every single thread, and if a certain two people werent so hell bent on selling their dogma it wouldnt have to be....

I especially loved your argument where you claimed that the book was the equivalent of just knowing enough to be able to roll a bowling ball down the lane.

Forget about actually being a good bowler, if just rolling the ball and occasionally getting the accidental strike is what you want, then this book is for you!!!

See if they would of actually caught that instead of just coming in to bask in ANYTHING that sounds positive to them, they would of said "well, no Im glad you enjoyed it, but it's actually very useful for getting better as well, just read page XXX thru XXX, and here's some secret mamajawama to help you out....

It could be an awesome book for all I know, and it might have a lot of great ideas, but if I had to take your word for it, it sounds like it's not for anyone with an already simple basis of tennis knowledge.

(but like I said if you marketed it right for people who you know are like yourself you could make some money. Im willing to bet someone like you doesnt necessarily respond to 500 word essays, do you?)

majordude
11-03-2009, 12:55 PM
I thought it was a rather awesome review actually. You described it's value honestly both negative and positive, and you had a positive experience with it.

Thanks.

This whole thread reminds me of denominational in-fighting within the Christian community. The Seventh-day Adventists think they are the one true church because they worship on Saturday. The Baptists think they are the ones who have it right because they fully immerse you when you get baptized. The Assemblies of God think that they have it right because they can speak in tongues. And then the Catholics say, no, they are the one true church because the first church was probably Catholic. :neutral:

So, if there is all this controversy over God and He hasn't straightened it out yet, what am I to do about tennis and it's teachers? :)

JohnYandell
11-03-2009, 01:07 PM
Exactly. The myth of orthodoxy, right?

There is one right way--ok there even might be a right way in some cases--but enforcing it on the world never has and never will be possible--though the process of trying has certainly been ugly at times over the course of history...

I've been around long enough to hear multiple visions of what USTA or USPTA should do. Frankly I think it's better that no one has the power to enforce any particularly vision, because the ruling bureaucracy will to a certain extent--and usually to a greater extent--always get it wrong and make it tough on new and different voices.

Mick
11-03-2009, 01:17 PM
Thanks.

This whole thread reminds me of denominational in-fighting within the Christian community. The Seventh-day Adventists think they are the one true church because they worship on Saturday. The Baptists think they are the ones who have it right because they fully immerse you when you get baptized. The Assemblies of God think that they have it right because they can speak in tongues. And then the Catholics say, no, they are the one true church because the first church was probably Catholic. :neutral:

So, if there is all this controversy over God and He hasn't straightened it out yet, what am I to do about tennis and it's teachers? :)

join the atheist, no coach camp ? :)

majordude
11-03-2009, 01:47 PM
join the atheist, no coach camp ? :)

Exactly! That's funny.

By the way, did you ever here the one about the agnostic, insomniac, dyslexic? He would lay awake at night wondering if there really is a dog.

volusiano
11-03-2009, 02:29 PM
OK. I do not have a dog in this fight. I have not read or watched any of Oscar's instructional material, nor do I intend to.

Here is my question, specifically directed to TeachesTennis:

You have written scores of lengthy and detailed posts extolling the virtues of this Oscar fellow and his methods. Can you please tell us any financial or other relationships or other tangible/intangible benefits that cause you to devote yourself to promoting Oscar's web site, DVDs, books etc.?

I mean, I love tennis too, but you don't see me devoting myself to boosting one particular pro, club, method or tennis experience to the extent you do, despite my own personal exuberance over such matters.

Help me understand what's in it for you (in 50 words or fewer!). :smile:

Cindy -- who has found that the non-stop Oscar worship at TT has made her less, not more, inclined to visit the web site
Okay here goes in 50 words or less. One sentence would suffice but I'll use the quota:

Help grow a game that should be one of the USA's most popular sports and not have what happened to me and millions of other players forced to learn mechanics that stifled our natural athletic ability to create on court. Simplify and teach correct biomechanics to every level player. (49 words)

I don't think Cindy is looking for an altruistic answer. It was pretty clear the question is about financial interests.

So in short you don't make any money at all promoting MTM in any way?

Do you have any relationship with the www.moderntenniscoaches.com (http://www.moderntenniscoaches.com) website at all?

5263
11-03-2009, 02:49 PM
Ok first I want to say I am reformed and am jumping in here and hoping not to make any comments that could be considered personal or insulting or even to take sides.

One of the biggest problems in debates like these are the unspoken assumptions that aren't necessarily true, again, just in my opinion.

You can guess that I don't think these assumptions are necessarily valid.

I had a fascinating series of exchanges with Oscar a few years ago. We didn't reach a meeting of the minds--that's certain, but I think we did elucidate some differences, at least on the forehand, which is the most controversial stroke without doubt.

So a few thoughts. Stalking the ball, if we mean a prolonged delay on the backswing definitely occurs. My opinion, having viewed all 10,000 of those clips, is that it is a relatively rare occurance.

Now speaking personally, I think the problem with teaching stalking right off the bat is that it leads to an incomplete turn. The full shoulder turn and the left arm stretch is probably one of the very few things virtually all players do.

It's also, in my opinion, a core fundamental to teach players at any level. But if you look at those guys in the MIT video that are Oscar guys, you'll see that they hit the ball beautifully but they don't really have super great turns.

So I believe in teaching this extension point and depending somewhat on the grip adding more wiper later as a variation, but this also depends on level. And here I think recreational and club players often get off track and wiper too much and too early at the expense of power and depth.

Which brings us to the wrap--either over the shoulder or around the shoulder or around the torso. Does the wrap "cause" acceleration? That is hard to argue, because well-accepted biomechanical studies (Brian Gordon, Bruce Eliot, Advanced Tennis) all show that maximum acceleration occurs around contact and that thereafter the racket slows down, with the wrap being the slowest moving part. So on a 90mph forehand the racket might be going 60 at contact, 40 at extension, and 5 in the middle of the wrap.

Again, just my opinion, teaching open stance exclusively from day one leads to problems--not because open stance is bad or wrong, but because it makes it more difficult for players to really feel that full turn and the proper sequence of torso rotation. Players are so eager to get the outside foot behind the ball they don't get the torso turned or the arm stretched. And this problem is especially pronounced if they are taught the extreme open stance with both feet parallel, which again is only a variation even in the pro game.

Learning simple square stances makes the fundamentals easier at lower levels and in no way, in my view, impedes learning and hitting the open stance--in fact it will tend to make the open stance fundamentals better.

Nicely written opinion on the subject. Seems to be based on a lot of study of students taught from day one to use the extreme open stance, as there are several negative opinions related to that experience. Only problem for me is I don't expect that experience actually took place. Maybe it did. Maybe JY will share info on some of these control groups of "day one extreme open stance students". I'd love to see this kind of results recorded from a study like that. I truly hope that this has actually been done.

And if the worst thing about the MIT group's hitting was that they didn't have super great turns, then they must be doing quite well, even though I'm pretty sure they were not day one open stance students. I don't know that we even have a standard for "super great turns" or how important that truly is for exceptional baseline play.

So if you can accept the premise that learning open stance from the beginning leads to shoulder turn deficiency (I don't) and that the "super great turn" is essential to being an outstanding player (I don't), then this opinion should be very helpful for you.

Mick
11-03-2009, 02:59 PM
Exactly! That's funny.

By the way, did you ever here the one about the agnostic, insomniac, dyslexic? He would lay awake at night wondering if there really is a dog.

haven't heard that one :)

I haven't watched any of oscar dvds either but i have seen john yandell's instructional tape featuring john mcenroe and ivan lendl. that was great stuff. it even has classic rock music from the 80s.

TenniseaWilliams
11-03-2009, 03:22 PM
I don't think Cindy is looking for an altruistic answer. It was pretty clear the question is about financial interests.

So in short you don't make any money at all promoting MTM in any way?

Do you have any relationship with the www.moderntenniscoaches.com (http://www.moderntenniscoaches.com) website at all?

I assume Cindy was being facetious, teachestennis is quite obviously the author of the moderntenniscoaches.com website, (as well as tennisteacher.com), and is listed as the Director of Certification and Testing for MTM.

Many sections of his posts in this thread are copied verbatim from his websites.

VaBeachTennis
11-03-2009, 03:47 PM
haven't heard that one :)

I haven't watched any of oscar dvds either but i have seen john yandell's instructional tape featuring john mcenroe and ivan lendl. that was great stuff. it even has classic rock music from the 80s.

Wait, John Yandell produced that VHS that had John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl? The soundtrack has the Police song called "Walking on the Moon"? I had that VHS when i was 15 or 16. Wow.

Mick
11-03-2009, 03:52 PM
Wait, John Yandell produced that VHS that had John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl? The soundtrack has the Police song called "Walking on the Moon"? I had that VHS when i was 15 or 16. Wow.

Yep, he sure did.
I didn't pay attention to his name when i first watched the tape but about a year ago i re-watched the french open final between lendl and mcenroe and the guy on nbc mentioned about this tape that john yandell had produced with mcenroe and lendl. it was the same one that i had seen, with music from the police, pretenders, etc...

teachestennis
11-03-2009, 03:59 PM
First this debate has been interesting. From here on out, I'll try to limit to 100 words or less. The truth is the debate is over. Yandell states it very well, but we will always have disagreements over what works best. All that matters is we get results on court and don't drive players from the game like we did in the past far too often. It's not how many millions pick up a racket, it's how many millions buy their second and third rackets.

After this, I will start limiting my answers to strictly technique. I've made my point and I think BB now realizes what Oscar is all about. I love great teaching whereever it's at, such as reading FYB's great video analysis. I think Johnny Yandell has come a long way and is coming to many of the same conclusions though we might have some differences in what is stalking, which I tried to clear up on this forum. Stalking is an instinctive thing, it's simply a mechanism used to keep the ball withing striking distance before pouncing on it. It's another way of saying "anticipation" that appeals to the sensory feel mechanisms instead of the thinking mechanisms that make MTM such an attractive teaching method to students, with MTM, you rarely have to think on court, you just learn to react in present time with an optimal response reflexively, often using instincts and non thinking mechanisms.

I did state in my history I admire Yandell for having the guts to openly debate Oscar, something very few coaches will do. Yandell's Visual Tennis is listed as one of the best tennis books (the second edition is better than the '90 version) on my must have list. Every MTM coach gets an article written by Yandell titled the Myth Of the Tennis Tip and I transcribed his video analysis of the backswing for all our coaches as well as his video of the straight arm hitting structure.

I created www.moderntenniscoaches.com in July of '09 in order to gather those coaches who wish to be identified as proficient in MTM. We started charging $50 for a certification. For that, I issue a 60 question test, ten newsletters, grade each test individually, collect bios for each coach and post them online, each coach gets a free webpage, a free subscription to www.hi-techtennis.com. Using Adobe Photoshop, I issue certificates of proficiency after I speak with each coach, often having to grade videos of their teaching on court before I grant them certification. For example, when a Davis Cup coach joins, or a top 70 WTA player joins. But when a guy coaching his 7 year old daughter and 14 year old son gets certified to become a better coaching parent, I have to investigate. I asked for a video of him coaching his kids and find his son was ranked as high as #16 in the state of California and his daughter looks incredible, even better than my near prodigy 7 year old, then I realize he can coach (using Oscar's DVD for 5 years). Top coaches in SoCal want to take his kids to the next level. He decided to go with MTM and when asked about the USPTA, I told him go there before the PTR.

We have nearly 150 coaches signed up by word of mouth, many of them accomplished and having coached top USTA juniors from scratch, such as #1 ranked 14s Kristi Ahn, or #2 12s Strong Kirchheimer, coached by a tennis parent who become a coach due to Oscar's materials. Most of you don't know 5263 had coached two kids from scratch to D1 college scholarships and his son might be the hardest server in college tennis currently. I hope to meet with him in a few weeks. His kids were good enough to go to Macci's and Bollettieri's so he has personal experience with those academies up close as well as having worked with Oscar Wegner personally. We are here to support the USPTA which Oscar is a proud member of, we just hope to help grow the game by providing simplified instruction that gets optimal results. I would send a couple of my kids to Yandell in a heartbeat. I did have the first 4 year old ever admitted to Macci's and let's just say it's interesting that Macci blew the father off until the father saw the video and I have worked closely on court for a year with a coach who was Macci's personal assistant so I knew more about Macci during the early 1990s than people realize.

I'm on a mission to help grow tennis by simplifying tennis instruction to it's correct biomechanical techniques that I think will allow the greatest number of players to play tennis for a lifetime and build good character.

At this point, I have not made any real money with moderntenniscoaches.com. Everything has been poured into benefits and I spend at least two hours on average taking care of each coach's needs, figuring out where to send him to grow (such as FYB, or Coaching Mastery book, or Tomas Menzcinger, or Johnny Yandell's site which as been terrific the last year IMHO..maybe not so humble, lol). Given I make good money on court in a tennis lesson, this site has cost me a lot of money given I make half of what I do on court and then I have to spend countless hours answering emails, many of them from this site as I give out the free ebook and people email me privately. I will have to sign up about 500 coaches before I can hope to see a profit and even then, it might be poured back into benefits and training as we expand. I spent $800 for Photoshop, a small fortune for other programs such at Office Enterprise and things needed to start up the website. I hired a web designer that has been compensated with nearly the cost of every membership alone given we give free web pages to every coach and my site is undergoing a huge overhaul as we are about to go public with our campaign. And I still have to pay for the subscriptions to hi-techtennis.com.

Lucky I have a waiting list of students so I teach as much as I want when the weather is warm but I will soon be out of business locally given the club with 11 courts I used to teach at indoors was closed for business expansion and put a few coaches including me out of winter business. I can say honestly I have not seen anything close to a profit from moderntenniscoaches.com.

I have sold four sets of DVDs off of it, and I get a percentage of the profits, as Oscar will do the same deal for anyone who wants to sell his DVDs on their website. You see no adds for the DVDs on my site. I do hope to sell a lot more eventually, but I have such limited time because I teach tennis so much and I disappear only from here when I'm teaching full time.

Many of those of you who have emailed me (twenty four in the last few days) privately know I will help them in email with any questions they have about their game, just as BB does. I give out the ebook, and there is never a mention about DVDs, only that I will gladly answer any questions. If I wanted to push the DVDs and Oscar's new book, why would I send out a free ebook of the book that I think if the best teaching book ever written, even better than Oscar's recent book (and many coaches have told me they feel the same way).

So from here on out, I will answer questions directly and stick to technique questions, which is the main focus of MTM. I am glad to offer support to other coaches (I really was impressed by BB's slice BH analysis though for most students, they would get lost, if you tried to explain it that way to them on court. I read it several times though because I'm a technical nerd, lol, looking for points I needed to remember or be refreshed about).

I browse every thread posted on here looking for stuff to learn from. Why? Because in MTM, we believe the students are the best teachers. Great coaches in my opinion are curious to see what works with their students, they want to know how their students think, what "eyes" they see the world through, what learning modalities they exhibit, and then they adjust their teaching according. I have found myself recently quoting Johnny Yandell's teaching word for word, just like I quote Oscar or Chris Lewit, who I think has the best serve article ever written (it's on tennisplayer.net but I can send it to anyone who doesn't have a subscription). We send Chris Lewit's serve article to all our MTM coaches also.

MTMCA (Modern Tennis Methodology Coaching Academy) is about providing the best synthesis of all great coaching threads found not just in the teachings of Oscar Wegner, but we send out info from Yandell, Lewit, and yes, in our MTM Roundtable, I use and quote threads from here from BB.

So from here on out, lets see if I can keep it short and to the point and keep it focused on technique.

I've got myself in a long term commitment. I need a secretary as it is but I have two kids to support as a single parent and I have to keep teaching on court as I make good money doing it. I would gladly give up the website to make more money, but in the long run, I prefer to keep pushing this tennis reformation along. Maybe my book will sell a lot, I know it will be controversial but I posted the history timeline to make sure I got the facts straight. No one has stepped in and said USA coaches were publicly teaching open stance 2HBHs before Oscar's books came out, though Spanish coaches were after Oscar's tour there, South American coaches were after Oscar taught them there in the 1980s when Florianopolis started producing great players from Oscar's academy, and of course European coaches who upon the fall of the Soviet Union, looked for an easy way to start teaching tennis, and now the USA is catching up, even hiring a Spanish coach to reform our system and sending our top juniors to Spain for coaching, which is odd if you really think the USA coaches are the best. Ever see how many foreign coaches are at the top academies?

I hope I never have to post a long reply again. Let's call a truce, lol.

JohnYandell
11-03-2009, 04:02 PM
To respond to 5263. As I said it's my opinion based on my experiences and observations. On the site in one of my articles there are some video examples of players with the extreme open stance problem.

Other people such as my old friend Kerry Mitchell who taught with me for 15 years and writes for the site believe in teaching semi open stance from the start. There are different approaches which produce great results, which is one of my points, and it's rare that I haven't learned something from every teacher I encounter and that includes Oscar.

I believe you teach the same set up for both stances, alignment behind the ball, 90 degree plus shoulder turn and left arm stretch. I just think that some neutral stance facilitates this and especially the extension points. The danger going the other way is if the player doesn't get that loaded outside leg position and chases the ball with the front foot. That's a common problem I see with the neutral stance so the set up is critical.

In the modern game now you see all the men (Andy Murray being closest to the exception) and many of the top women in that characteristic turn position with the left arm across. Davenport didn't have that and she had a great forehand. But some players with problem forehands like Sharapova and Venus don't.

Henin actually changed hers based on high speed footage of Agassi. I've seen players at all levels make amazing gains when they really get it.

VaBeachTennis
11-03-2009, 04:04 PM
Yep, he sure did.
I didn't pay attention to his name when i first watched the tape but about a year ago i re-watched the french open final between lendl and mcenroe and the guy on nbc mentioned about this tape that john yandell had produced with mcenroe and lendl. it was the same one that i had seen, with music from the police, pretenders, etc...

Wow................memories. I can't find that original tape for the life of me. It came out when I was REALLY into tennis. That tape was one of my "Bibles".

JohnYandell
11-03-2009, 04:17 PM
And yeah the Winning Edge...that's where this whole visual learning thing got started. There are two of the music segments still on Tennisplayer...

teachestennis, thanks for the good words, and it sounds as if you are really getting some traction. I think the second edition of VT is a little better too--corrected some of my positions based on video analysis of the aforementioned clips.

what the book doesn't show (eventually I hope to do a third edition say in the next 20 years...) is the addtion of the modern elements to the basic building blocks, but I do still believe that for an absolute beginner those stroke positions will give a foundation for unlimited future development.

VaBeachTennis
11-03-2009, 04:42 PM
And yeah the Winning Edge...that's where this whole visual learning thing got started. There are two of the music segments still on Tennisplayer...

teachestennis, thanks for the good words, and it sounds as if you are really getting some traction. I think the second edition of VT is a little better too--corrected some of my positions based on video analysis of the aforementioned clips.

what the book doesn't show (eventually I hope to do a third edition say in the next 20 years...) is the addtion of the modern elements to the basic building blocks, but I do still believe that for an absolute beginner those stroke positions will give a foundation for unlimited future development.

Yep it came out when I was 18 and my Dad sent it to me when I was in the Army. Good stuff, it helped my game out a lot. I see I can by it from Amazon and I still have a VHS. Your site looks great!

JohnYandell
11-03-2009, 04:47 PM
Thanks VA.

VaBeachTennis
11-03-2009, 05:07 PM
Thanks VA.

Not to be corny, but THANK YOU!!!!! I've read your name hundreds of times but I never "put two in two together". Great work Mr. Yandell.

tennis angel
11-03-2009, 05:09 PM
I think you totally missed the point. The argument is not about the MTM instruction (whether good or bad or better or whatever, who cares?). The argument is about the method of MTM marketing which seems to throw everything else under the bus and claim the glory for everything.

And how are you so sure that MTM will improve my game when you don't even know what my game is like? Why do you assume that my game is not playing by feel already? I've been playing by feel naturally since day 1 already without needing MTM to teach me that. If you need MTM to teach you that, good for you. But why try to shove it down my throat?

You know, in the beginning, with a few first posts, MTM actually intrigued my curiosity. But after so much heavy pushing for it by now, the propaganda actually kinda turned me off and it just dampened my curiosity. Well, I actually went on the website to download what I thought was an instructional demo, but I found it to be mostly an infomercial video, so it turned me off even more. So now I'm not even interested in learning about MTM anymore. I know, I know, it's my loss and I'm going to miss out on the best thing since sliced bread and so on. That's ok, I still enjoy playing tennis just the same, thank you very much.

Well, if your point is about marketing then, you are right, I missed it. I thought the point is about plaing better tennis and enjoying oneself more. I never said nor assumed anything about anyone's game, including yourse. I simply said that I hve not encountered one person who did not realize a rapid and significant improvement using MTM. perhap[s your game is just fine as it is. If it's not broken don't fix it, but as Dr. Phil likes to say "How's it workin' for ya?" Players who take the time and effort to try Oscar's method would answer "Great!" If you ever change your mind about trying his techniques, you know where to find them!

There is no infomercial on Oscar's website so I don't know to what you are referring. I will say that the continuous spotlight shined on Oscar here is a marketing executive's dream come true.

tennis angel
11-03-2009, 05:21 PM
^^^ the link tennisteaches posted implied that the williams sisters
learned their game at an early age from oscar b/c the photo shows
then when they were little.

I still want to see an instruction video with advanced players
being taught /coached with Oscar's method though. Haven't seen
any yet. I just want to see how it would be applied. When it
comes to tennis instruction, I'm always curious to see what people
are using and learning.

References to his supposed influence on the Williams sisters from Oscar are based on remarks made to Oscar by Richard Williams himself. That is source. Teachestennis' remarks reference events and opinions gathered from various sources, which he credits in his writings elsewhere, but they do not necessarily represent the opinions of Oscar Wegner.

It's a pity that these forums are so adulterated by false data, wild opinions without basis in fact and emotional outbursts. Perhaps that is fun for some, but for me I prefer not to engage in all of that, but just to set the record straight wherever possible for the benefit of those readers who are actually objective enough to use the site for it's intended purpose and learn about tennis.

teachestennis
11-03-2009, 05:32 PM
And yeah the Winning Edge...that's where this whole visual learning thing got started. There are two of the music segments still on Tennisplayer...

teachestennis, thanks for the good words, and it sounds as if you are really getting some traction. I think the second edition of VT is a little better too--corrected some of my positions based on video analysis of the aforementioned clips.

what the book doesn't show (eventually I hope to do a third edition say in the next 20 years...) is the addtion of the modern elements to the basic building blocks, but I do still believe that for an absolute beginner those stroke positions will give a foundation for unlimited future development.

Oscar is a lot more open minded than people realize. He lets his results speak on court. Someone has to think outside the box and it's time new blood and new viewpoints start being heard in public coaching forums. Too many of the same guys at the USPTA/PTR conferences.

My mission is at the grassroots where we must keep players in the game. Talent is made, I believe, more than it's born, and I hope you read The Talent Code which I wrote about in my Spartak article in the MTM library open to the public to read anytime without even being a member of. I really think the importance of myelin in teaching tennis strokes should be looked at closely because it appears to have merit and explains why Spartaks teaching of the WW from age 4 proves why MTM may be very effective. Shoulder turns and other things such as split steps and graceful footwork can be taught much easier down the line (per MTM) if you have the correct forearm biomechanic stroke burned into your muscle memory from the first strokes in my experience. I taught 25 years "traditionally" and did have some success before MTM though not a lot.

I don't want to start a debating forum on my forum, it's just for posting articles and insights to think outside the box, this form and yours are enough, lol, but I do want to make people think outside the box about biomechanic technique and the importance of muscle memory from first strokes. To judge players as not worthy of supporting at a young age because they might not exhibit "good genes" as Macci says, is ridiculous. Todd Martin did not even make it to Kalamazoo until he was nearly 18. Yet his coach believed in him, and he developed with great coaching and support, not even playing full time tennis, only playing five hours a week with one lesson a week. Champions come from the oddest places, such as Compton, Spartak, or a kid from Mallorca who even the Spanish Tennis Federation does not claim as a product. Did Henin come from great genes or was it her technique and personal will that made her a champion? Macci in the Nov issue of Tennis still keeps mentioning "good genes" in reference to the tennis sisters in the article. I cringe, not that it might not make a difference, but how many players are cast aside unfairly because we judge them too early. We must keep players wanting to play tennis recreationally and not lose them because we don't think them worthy of our efforts and just pick off the best "cherries" before the tree has had time to bear it's full quota of fruit. MTM keeps it simple and natural until they choose to take the next step and make the kinetic chain a very natural sequence but most of all, great coaching ignites a spark in each player to want to do their best, and MTM has a magic all it's own when it comes to making very uncoordinated people look very smooth looking on the court.

Thanks again for your great contributions and I hope we meet someday on court or in a open discussion to consider how best to grow the game. Your last year has been particularly insightful and I don't say that lightly. I was discussing such a panel that would test and analyze on court data with Dave Smith, who I really like, and your name was one of the first ones I would want on such a panel. They blew it in the 2001 panel with the big names and nothing really came of it. I have always wondered why the big media such as tennisone, Tennis Magazine, Peter Bodo, and you never ask Oscar to prove his theories on court like Bud Collins did. Until Andy Davis and I flew him in for a test with top juniors and beginners, we still didn't buy his basic tenets until we had tested the data and we were astonished when he blew away every objection we had, and we had a quarter century of ADD and Tennis Magazines in our office we were tearing through trying to find faults in his system. Andy had worked for some of the best coaches in Australia during the early 1980s including Hopman, who sponsored him turning pro, and later for Macci. He's now at Newcombe's. Oscar proved it to us on court. But as I claim, the proof of a tennis methodology is its' results are repeated by others using the same method. The video posted of the 57 year old lady earlier in this thread, who was my student, says it all.

5263
11-03-2009, 06:20 PM
To respond to 5263. As I said it's my opinion based on my experiences and observations. On the site in one of my articles there are some video examples of players with the extreme open stance problem.

Other people such as my old friend Kerry Mitchell who taught with me for 15 years and writes for the site believe in teaching semi open stance from the start. There are different approaches which produce great results, which is one of my points, and it's rare that I haven't learned something from every teacher I encounter and that includes Oscar.

I believe you teach the same set up for both stances, alignment behind the ball, 90 degree plus shoulder turn and left arm stretch. I just think that some neutral stance facilitates this and especially the extension points. The danger going the other way is if the player doesn't get that loaded outside leg position and chases the ball with the front foot. That's a common problem I see with the neutral stance so the set up is critical.

In the modern game now you see all the men (Andy Murray being closest to the exception) and many of the top women in that characteristic turn position with the left arm across. Davenport didn't have that and she had a great forehand. But some players with problem forehands like Sharapova and Venus don't.

Henin actually changed hers based on high speed footage of Agassi. I've seen players at all levels make amazing gains when they really get it.

I appreciate your thoughtful response. It does seem you have had some reasonable opportunity to observe open stance beginners thru at least one instructor. While I'm sure he is excellent in many ways, it would seem more likely that the observations are more a look at him than open stance in general though. But that is not to say you didn't see enough to form your studied opinion. The MIT guys had not been using MTM that long in the vid based on my info and it never showed them hitting hard, which is where MTM would call for more shoulder turn.

I still don't get your comments about the 90 degr outstretched arm, as that is part of what I learned about MTM from the start. It seems to have little or nothing to do with stance from what I can see. Is that a change from when you and Oscar debated this area? Is that something from Kerry's students or teaching?

Thanks again for your comments on the site here. I can respect a coaches decision to teach more conventional neutral stance for beginners, but still not agree. I do get confused when they insist teaching it that way is not conventional though and why being conventional would be insulting. I would expect the burden of proof to be on the system that has modernized (or just has a system at all) to demonstrate the improvement desired. If someone had called me conventional 2 yrs ago, I would had said, thank you sir. I would not be ashamed of my ways, just as I'm not ashamed of the adjustments I've added from learning the MTM system. I'm not saying you are ashamed, but many who cite you and share your views seem to be uncomfortable with convention.

JohnYandell
11-03-2009, 06:22 PM
thanks for the gracious offer, and I'll respond if you want to email me at videotennis@metricmail.com

bhupaes
11-03-2009, 09:40 PM
Ok first I want to say I am reformed and am jumping in here and hoping not to make any comments that could be considered personal or insulting or even to take sides.

Hello John, that's a dangerous statement to make on these boards - it could get you disqualified! :)

I would like to counter you on a few points, however. I will just quote the relevant lines.

So a few thoughts. Stalking the ball, if we mean a prolonged delay on the backswing definitely occurs. My opinion, having viewed all 10,000 of those clips, is that it is a relatively rare occurance.

It happens when the ball is slower sometimes, and for sure on the extreme wide and running balls. On the vast majority of forehands though, the preparation begins with the body turn, followed by the immediate initiation of the backswing, which I believe, in most cases, should be viewed as starting when the hands start to separate. So if the unit turn is stalking the ball then I agree it occurs, but if there is a lag in the movement of the hands after the unit turn, then you are dealing with the exception not the norm. It's a valid exception but an exception.

My understanding is that the unit turn is part of finding the ball. The second part of the backswing, that occurs after the hands separate, commences at the bounce. This provides an opportunity to track the ball after the bounce more accurately, and to compensate for unexpected bounce heights and breaks to the left or right. I think we should keep in mind that this instruction applies to the "average" ball - neither a slow sitter, nor a 100 MPH screamer. Let's discount really slow balls, since there are many ways to deal with them. If the ball is really fast, then the second part of the backswing will be really short, as it should be. Thus this principle can even apply to half volleys, IMO.


Now speaking personally, I think the problem with teaching stalking right off the bat is that it leads to an incomplete turn. The full shoulder turn and the left arm stretch is probably one of the very few things virtually all players do.

It's also, in my opinion, a core fundamental to teach players at any level. But if you look at those guys in the MIT video that are Oscar guys, you'll see that they hit the ball beautifully but they don't really have super great turns.

I believe the body will adjust amount of turn based on how hard one intends to hit the ball. If one can hit really hard without a big turn, that would be for the better, wouldn't it?

Now as for the windshield wiper. Actually if you look at the motion of the hand and arm and racket they rotate somewhat counterclockwise on EVERY forehand, from Sampras/Henman classic eastern on edge finishes to Rafa and Roger and everyone in between. it is a matter of degree and is also situational. Bill Tilden (the film is on the site--and there was also a great shot of it on TC) used the radical wiper and so I am sure has every good player since the game began.

It's a question of when and how much. But the focus on the wiper has obscured what I think is the other key point after the turn--the extension. How far out does the racket and hand travel toward the target before the elbow bends more and the motion starts to wrap.

And in fact you can see every variation possible. The hitting arm can come into the target quite bent and the radical wiper can occur immediately after contact. And you can see the opposite--the arm almost completely straight and extended out to the target with the hand already at eye level and across the body even with the left side. And with that straight arm you can also see wiper action--the arm, racket, and hand rotating as a unit, but with little or no elbow bend.

And everthing in between. Again the question is what to teach. My study of those clips shows me that when players are hitting deep drives they extend most fully--with or without the wiper. So I believe in teaching this extension point and depending somewhat on the grip adding more wiper later as a variation, but this also depends on level. And here I think recreational and club players often get off track and wiper too much and too early at the expense of power and depth.

My opinion is that MTM teaches one way to hit correctly - there certainly are other ways also. MTM focuses on the low to high, WW aspects. Of course, there is a forward moving component to the stroke also - but MTM emphasizes the low to high aspect. When one tries to apply more power, resulting in more turn and deeper backswing naturally, I believe there will be more of a forward moving component created naturally. It's a matter of opinion, I suppose, what kind of muscle memory should be created in the student to "remember" the stroke - should it be primarily upwards or forwards? I think MTM leans towards the upward side, and I think that could be the right kind of muscle memory.

Which brings us to the wrap--either over the shoulder or around the shoulder or around the torso. Does the wrap "cause" acceleration? That is hard to argue, because well-accepted biomechanical studies (Brian Gordon, Bruce Eliot, Advanced Tennis) all show that maximum acceleration occurs around contact and that thereafter the racket slows down, with the wrap being the slowest moving part. So on a 90mph forehand the racket might be going 60 at contact, 40 at extension, and 5 in the middle of the wrap.

Should players wrap? Sure, if they swing fast enough. If they are simply relaxed it will more or less happen. And again Tilden and Pancho Gonzales and everyone wrapped or wraps. If a player doesn't, sure encourage him, but the problem is that mechanically forcing the wrap, any wrap, tends to limit extension and probably affects the natural accelerartion and deceleration. In general it's more an effect than a cause.

John, I think this is something right out of your visualization technique - only Oscar said it in words before high speed camera techniques were available. I think this type of visualization helps the body create the right kinetics. Otherwise, the body will sometimes unconsciously anticipate the contact and cause deceleration to begin too prematurely.

And then there is stance. There is nothing wrong obviously with open stance, or teaching it. In fact it's a must. Obviously it completely dominates in the pro game, and this is related to contact height and the extreme shoulder rotation. But what do we mean by open? Again if you look at the clips the vast majority are what I would call semi-open, with the left foot in front of the rear and offset around 30 to 45 degrees.

Every player should be able to hit open--and neutral--and you still see plenty of neutral stance in pro tennis when the ball is low. The problem again for the average player is that using open stance exclusively doesn't always corelate with the average contact height they play.

Again, just my opinion, teaching open stance exclusively from day one leads to problems--not because open stance is bad or wrong, but because it makes it more difficult for players to really feel that full turn and the proper sequence of torso rotation. Players are so eager to get the outside foot behind the ball they don't get the torso turned or the arm stretched. And this problem is especially pronounced if they are taught the extreme open stance with both feet parallel, which again is only a variation even in the pro game.

Learning simple square stances makes the fundamentals easier at lower levels and in no way, in my view, impedes learning and hitting the open stance--in fact it will tend to make the open stance fundamentals better.


I believe Oscar advocates the open stance as the primary one, especially for beginners, but he does say that sometimes other stances are required and happen naturally (I just watched his footwork video). I don't think he prohibits any particular stance. I think this is okay, since the open stance is more prevalent than any other kind of stance. But there are other ways to learn also, and I am not disagreeing with you in any way.

Having said all that, I would never try to tell another teaching pro that they needed to agree with me or teach the way I teach. The best we can do is share opinion--coaching is an art form in my view--and there may be good art and bad art depending on your preference, but the freedom of the artist is vital.

Thank you, John, for letting a tennis nobody like me (but a great enthusiast hoping to get to 5.0! :) ) debate with somebody like yourself.

JohnYandell
11-03-2009, 10:23 PM
You say:

My understanding is that the unit turn is part of finding the ball. The second part of the backswing, that occurs after the hands separate, commences at the bounce.

Nope: the left arm stretch occurs at the bounce at the latest. If you study clips you'll agree.

You say:

I believe the body will adjust amount of turn based on how hard one intends to hit the ball.

Nope: That sounds logical but that's not what top players do. They all turn hard on every ball.

Muscle memory, it has been shown does not really exist--it's more images in the brain.

Obviously you are free to think as you choose. think I have been clear as to my own beliefs.

xFullCourtTenniSx
11-03-2009, 10:53 PM
Muscle memory, it has been shown does not really exist--it's more images in the brain.

Explains why I've been able to perfectly hit shots without even practicing them before just by watching Federer. :shock:

That and a bit of luck of course. :) (okay... maybe the luck of all the Irish people combined...)

GuyClinch
11-04-2009, 02:47 AM
Yeah my coach teaches more the Yandell style - unit turn and the arm stretched across the body. For a rec player it really works well...I can say that.

Don't believe the hype - the US has some good coaches. it's just tennis isn't so easy to master.

5263
11-04-2009, 04:59 AM
You say:

My understanding is that the unit turn is part of finding the ball. The second part of the backswing, that occurs after the hands separate, commences at the bounce.

Nope: the left arm stretch occurs at the bounce at the latest. If you study clips you'll agree.



not sure what you are saying here, as you say nope, then agree that the left arm stretch (essentially same as when the hands separate) occurs at the bounce.

5263
11-04-2009, 05:05 AM
Muscle memory, it has been shown does not really exist--it's more images in the brain.


So you do not buy the idea from the "Talent Code" related to Myelin thickening along nerve fibers to facilitate what many refer to as muscle memory?

The main purpose of a myelin layer (or sheath) is an increase in the speed at which impulses propagate along the myelinated fiber. Along unmyelinated fibers, impulses move continuously as waves, but, in myelinated fibers, they hop or "propagate by saltation." Myelin increases electrical resistance across the cell membrane by a factor of 5,000 and decreases capacitance by a factor of 50.[citation needed] Thus, myelination helps prevent the electrical current from leaving the axon.

TenniseaWilliams
11-04-2009, 05:48 AM
So you do not buy the idea from the "Talent Code" related to Myelin thickening along nerve fibers to facilitate what many refer to as muscle memory?

The main purpose of a myelin layer (or sheath) is an increase in the speed at which impulses propagate along the myelinated fiber. Along unmyelinated fibers, impulses move continuously as waves, but, in myelinated fibers, they hop or "propagate by saltation." Myelin increases electrical resistance across the cell membrane by a factor of 5,000 and decreases capacitance by a factor of 50.[citation needed] Thus, myelination helps prevent the electrical current from leaving the axon.

The wikipedia paragraph you quoted (without a reference) above mentions the difference in signal propagation between myelinated and unmyelinated fibers. It does not make any claim that thickening the myelin layer shows similiar improvements in transmission.

5263
11-04-2009, 06:09 AM
The wikipedia paragraph you quoted (without a reference) above mentions the difference in signal propagation between myelinated and unmyelinated fibers. It does not make any claim that thickening the myelin layer shows similiar improvements in transmission.

and clearly I did not infer or claim that it did say that, as I stated my ref to that info was the talent code.

The excerpt from wiki was just to give some info on myelin if anyone was interested.

Cindysphinx
11-04-2009, 06:34 AM
I don't think Cindy is looking for an altruistic answer. It was pretty clear the question is about financial interests.

So in short you don't make any money at all promoting MTM in any way?

Do you have any relationship with the www.moderntenniscoaches.com (http://www.moderntenniscoaches.com) website at all?

Thank you.

I didn't get an answer, so I am left to assume there is a financial benefit of some sort.

Which explains *a lot.*

Cindysphinx
11-04-2009, 06:36 AM
I assume Cindy was being facetious, teachestennis is quite obviously the author of the moderntenniscoaches.com website, (as well as tennisteacher.com), and is listed as the Director of Certification and Testing for MTM.

Many sections of his posts in this thread are copied verbatim from his websites.

Oh! No, I didn't know that.

Figures.

Why does TT allow this blatant marketing/spamming to continue?

JohnYandell
11-04-2009, 06:58 AM
Re: the Talent Code. Actually Dan and I talked quite a bit while he was writing that--and the article on the Russian academy.

I'm sure there is something to it, or that he is at least describing the process that occurs in athletic learning. Personally I still think that however no matter how much fiber thickening there is it's still not going to turn the average talented player into Roger Federer. There has to be a genetic component to the whole thing.

5263
11-04-2009, 07:05 AM
Personally I still think that however no matter how much fiber thickening there is it's still not going to turn the average talented player into Roger Federer. There has to be a genetic component to the whole thing.

And when you read about the fiber thickening, it makes you think that someone actually thinks that the avg talented player could be turned into Fed, who is maybe the GOAT? Interesting leap of logic.

Or maybe it is an explanation of what is referred to as muscle memory (just a name for what happens), that helps a player to perform closer to "their" potential?

JohnYandell
11-04-2009, 07:12 AM
No I agree with that last sentence "closer" to their potential. But what Dan seems to be arguing is that talent is created--my opinion is that this is only partially true.

Mick
11-04-2009, 07:14 AM
i don't know if muscle memory works in tennis but i know for certain muscle memory does work when playing the piano. without muscle memory, i would not remember how to play some of the tunes.

Bungalo Bill
11-04-2009, 07:17 AM
Oscar is a lot more open minded than people realize. He lets his results speak on court. Someone has to think outside the box and it's time new blood and new viewpoints start being heard in public coaching forums. Too many of the same guys at the USPTA/PTR conferences.

Then why are you so closed minded? You continually make your method look great and anyone elses mthod old and "conventional." I am surprised you agree with me so much on things that I have to explain further for you.

My mission is at the grassroots where we must keep players in the game.

But we don't do it by making other coaches who dont teach MTM look stu.pid. There are many coaches that teach the so-called modern game, they just don't do it your way.

And this United States thing? Please stop. Oscar isn't the Savior.

Talent is made, I believe, more than it's born, and I hope you read The Talent Code which I wrote about in my Spartak article in the MTM library open to the public to read anytime without even being a member of.

I wouldnt agree with you even without opening the book. Talent is not made. Skill is. It takes a person with talent in an area to better accept instruction and turn it into a skill.

Skills are develop in tennis, not talent. Talent is given to each individual and it is what the player brings.

Again, because there is no secret to Oscar's teaching, and because many of it is common knowledge, skill development happens at all instructional lessons.

I really think the importance of myelin in teaching tennis strokes should be looked at closely because it appears to have merit and explains why Spartaks teaching of the WW from age 4 proves why MTM may be very effective. Shoulder turns and other things such as split steps and graceful footwork can be taught much easier down the line (per MTM) if you have the correct forearm biomechanic stroke burned into your muscle memory from the first strokes in my experience. I taught 25 years "traditionally" and did have some success before MTM though not a lot.

I am still trying to figure out what "traditionally" means? Do you mean out of the USPTA manual? Do you mean you put blinders on and did the old fashion racquet straight back and run around? If you say yes to any of this, I would say, you were nuts to do this and just stay with this.

I have never read or watched Oscars stuff. And I teach the open stance, SW grip, and all the other repackaged stuff Oscar teaches.

I don't want to start a debating forum on my forum, it's just for posting articles and insights to think outside the box, this form and yours are enough, lol

Why not? You scared? I would join just for that forum. I would constantly counter anything you say because you are an exaggerater, a false presenter of information, and I would gladly love to counter anything you say and bring up.

but I do want to make people think outside the box about biomechanic technique and the importance of muscle memory from first strokes. To judge players as not worthy of supporting at a young age because they might not exhibit "good genes" as Macci says, is ridiculous.

I think what you do, is take something said, bring it out of context and make it seem so offending that everyone should be shocked when someone says something like that above.

Have you spoken with Macci to get clarification on what he means by that? Or are you just going to use it so that more people will buy your product and make you successful?

Todd Martin did not even make it to Kalamazoo until he was nearly 18. Yet his coach believed in him, and he developed with great coaching and support, not even playing full time tennis, only playing five hours a week with one lesson a week. Champions come from the oddest places, such as Compton, Spartak, or a kid from Mallorca who even the Spanish Tennis Federation does not claim as a product. Did Henin come from great genes or was it her technique and personal will that made her a champion? Macci in the Nov issue of Tennis still keeps mentioning "good genes" in reference to the tennis sisters in the article.

Dude, where are you? You are spinning into an area that has nothing to do with instruction. So what if people have their opinions. It doesn't every coach shares that opinion. I mean look at your opinion about your god Oscar. I don't share the same opinion do I?

Further, there is no question that tennis players who want to go pro need to start out at a very young age. There will always be exception to that because we are dealing with humans and we never know when a prodigy accidentally discovers himself in tennis at an older age. Who knows!!!

However, you are turning the exception into the rule and many many coaches do not think the way you protrayed certain coaches that only feel you need a certain talent level or genes to play good tennis.

I cringe, not that it might not make a difference, but how many players are cast aside unfairly because we judge them too early. We must keep players wanting to play tennis recreationally and not lose them because we don't think them worthy of our efforts and just pick off the best "cherries" before the tree has had time to bear it's full quota of fruit.

Geez, man, come on. Cry me a river! Uh oh, I can sense the marching band is coming in and the man with the megaphone chanting MTM is coming on the scene! Here we go!! More MTM!!

MTM keeps it simple and natural until they choose to take the next step and make the kinetic chain a very natural sequence but most of all, great coaching ignites a spark in each player to want to do their best, and MTM has a magic all it's own when it comes to making very uncoordinated people look very smooth looking on the court.

LOL, I knew it!

Thanks again for your great contributions and I hope we meet someday on court or in a open discussion to consider how best to grow the game. Your last year has been particularly insightful and I don't say that lightly. I was discussing such a panel that would test and analyze on court data with Dave Smith, who I really like, and your name was one of the first ones I would want on such a panel. They blew it in the 2001 panel with the big names and nothing really came of it. I have always wondered why the big media such as tennisone, Tennis Magazine, Peter Bodo, and you never ask Oscar to prove his theories on court like Bud Collins did. Until Andy Davis and I flew him in for a test with top juniors and beginners, we still didn't buy his basic tenets until we had tested the data and we were astonished when he blew away every objection we had, and we had a quarter century of ADD and Tennis Magazines in our office we were tearing through trying to find faults in his system. Andy had worked for some of the best coaches in Australia during the early 1980s including Hopman, who sponsored him turning pro, and later for Macci. He's now at Newcombe's. Oscar proved it to us on court. But as I claim, the proof of a tennis methodology is its' results are repeated by others using the same method. The video posted of the 57 year old lady earlier in this thread, who was my student, says it all.

:)

5263
11-04-2009, 07:19 AM
Muscle memory, it has been shown does not really exist--
.

Isn't this like saying the internet does not exist.

we have done research on several nets- butterfly nets, fishing nets...etc....
and found NO evidence of data flowing thru them to computers or "inter" between these nets. So the internet clearly does not exist and Gore could not have invented it.

Or is Muscle memory something that does exist, but has a name that you don't prefer?

sureshs
11-04-2009, 07:47 AM
Did a little searching now, and the common view seems to be that muscle memory is the building of new neural pathways in the brain. Having said that, wikipedia has an interesting sentence to the effect that muscles are also being developed: "As the brain and muscle adapts to training, the subsequent changes are a form or representation of its muscle memory."

Which makes sense because doing the activity will build up the muscle and make it more capable of repeating the activity the next time.

But the "memory" part of it is clearly the neural paths in the brain. The muscle part of it is the physical development of the muscle, not memory.

JavierLW
11-04-2009, 07:49 AM
Isn't this like saying the internet does not exist.

we have done research on several nets- butterfly nets, fishing nets...etc....
and found NO evidence of data flowing thru them to computers or "inter" between these nets. So the internet clearly does not exist and Gore could not have invented it.

Or is Muscle memory something that does exist, but has a name that you don't prefer?

Al Gore didnt invent the Internet.....

You're argument makes no sense, clearly you dont know anything about the Internet or computers in general.

Internet = Real thing, made up of real actual components that people understand. It's a man made occurance. (maybe you dont because you are not technically inclined but it is an actual real thing)

Muscle Memory = You cant prove it exists or doesnt exist. You have to studys to support a theory either way. You dont do studys to prove that the Internet exists because (not Al Gore) are responsible for the creation of the Internet.....

Bungalo Bill
11-04-2009, 07:53 AM
Al Gore didnt invent the Internet.....

You're argument makes no sense, clearly you dont know anything about the Internet or computers in general.

Internet = Real thing, made up of real actual components that people understand. It's a man made occurance. (maybe you dont because you are not technically inclined but it is an actual real thing)

Muscle Memory = You cant prove it exists or doesnt exist. You have to studys to support a theory either way. You dont do studys to prove that the Internet exists because (not Al Gore) are responsible for the creation of the Internet.....

lol, JavierLw, you are exactly right!

The internet was born in 1969 with its early development beginning in the 1950's. Al Gore was born in 1948. :)

TenniseaWilliams
11-04-2009, 07:58 AM
Wait! I have seen the light!

The key is in this glowing description of MTM by Bruce Lee that appears on the front page:
Bruce Lee said." One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity. It is merely simplicity;the ability to express the utmost with the minimum. Art is the expression of the self. The more complicated and restricted the method the less opportunity for expression of one's original sense of freedom. Though they play an important role in the early stage, the techniques should not be too mechanical, complex or restrictive. If we cling blindly to them ,we will eventually become bound by their limitations. Remember, you are expressing the techniques not doing the techniques. If somebody attacks you your response is not Technique No.1, Stance 2, Section 4, Paragraph 5. Instead you simply move in like sound and echo, without any deliberation".

Without any deliberation... and which one is sound?

Mick
11-04-2009, 08:02 AM
bruce lee also said the highest technique is to have "no form" but all the great tennis players have forms :)

5263
11-04-2009, 08:04 AM
Al Gore didnt invent the Internet.....

...

If you didn't get that sarcastic joke, well..... I don't know a more outlandish claims I could have used than that...
I surely would expect you to get the analogy on muscle memory.

5263
11-04-2009, 08:08 AM
Did a little searching now, and the common view seems to be that muscle memory is the building of new neural pathways in the brain. Having said that, wikipedia has an interesting sentence to the effect that muscles are also being developed: "As the brain and muscle adapts to training, the subsequent changes are a form or representation of its muscle memory."

Which makes sense because doing the activity will build up the muscle and make it more capable of repeating the activity the next time.

But the "memory" part of it is clearly the neural paths in the brain. The muscle part of it is the physical development of the muscle, not memory.

pretty well said, for the most part. Most athletes realize it is just a term to describe a known occurrence. like how weight lifting can affect your free throws if lift a lot, but don't shoot regularly, even though your mental pic of the free throw was not changed.

JohnYandell
11-04-2009, 08:18 AM
Yeah I used that term in my first book and a few people corrected me that it's not memory stored in the muscles. The effect that term is trying to describe though I think everyone would agree exists.

VaBeachTennis
11-04-2009, 08:19 AM
bruce lee also said the highest technique is to have "no form" but all the great tennis players have forms :)

LOL.

My vision of Bruce Lee playing tennis would be like Federer or the other pros who are not bound by one stance or one swing style or one grip and who utilizes whatever stance or swing path that the situation and ball dictated..................with fluid footwork.

Bruce Lee trained in specific footwork patterns until they became natural, just like the pros do and other good tennis players do.

JavierLW
11-04-2009, 08:24 AM
If you didn't get that sarcastic joke, well..... I don't know a more outlandish claims I could have used than that...
I surely would expect you to get the analogy on muscle memory.

That's the point, your analogy didnt make any sense.

All you are claiming here is that muscle memory certainly exists and it would be like saying something that's completely real doesnt exist.

That doesnt prove anything....

Besides being a bad analogy it's poorly written if you actually know that Al Gore didnt invent the Internet.

BravoRed691
11-04-2009, 09:21 AM
lol, JavierLw, you are exactly right!

The internet was born in 1969 with its early development beginning in the 1950's. Al Gore was born in 1948. :)

Sooo..Al Gore started developing the internet when he was 2ish? And then he gave birth to it when he was merely 21?

My oh my...i knew he was a very special person but i didn't know he was this!

Br

Sublime
11-04-2009, 09:36 AM
Sooo..Al Gore started developing the internet when he was 2ish? And then he gave birth to it when he was merely 21?

My oh my...i knew he was a very special person but i didn't know he was this!

Br

The truth is even more astonishing. He didn't start developing the internet when he was 2. He did develop a time machine when he was 18, that allowed him to begin developing the internet in 1948 at the age of 20.

You may ask, "how does he look so young, if he traveled back in time 18 years?"

The answer is simple, he's also a vampire.

Bungalo Bill
11-04-2009, 09:55 AM
Sooo..Al Gore started developing the internet when he was 2ish? And then he gave birth to it when he was merely 21?

My oh my...i knew he was a very special person but i didn't know he was this!

Br

hahahaha, yes, at 2 years old. He was the man or baby?

5263
11-05-2009, 07:03 AM
Yeah I used that term in my first book and a few people corrected me that it's not memory stored in the muscles. The effect that term is trying to describe though I think everyone would agree exists.

Got it. Sure can't please everyone can we? We understand it is a term to describe a known experience.
Thanks for taking a moment to clear that up.

teachestennis
11-05-2009, 07:31 AM
LOL.

My vision of Bruce Lee playing tennis would be like Federer or the other pros who are not bound by one stance or one swing style or one grip and who utilizes whatever stance or swing path that the situation and ball dictated..................with fluid footwork.

Bruce Lee trained in specific footwork patterns until they became natural, just like the pros do and other good tennis players do.

Bruce Lee trained in specific footwork patterns until they became natural, just like the pros do and other good tennis players do.[/QUOTE]

I would agree entirely but I note that regardless of swing styles, or grips. the one thing all pros today have in common that is not taught as a fundamental by all coaches is they hit up and across the ball using feel as their main focus rather than think about generating force against the ball by going through the target line (I'm talking baseline groundstrokes here), not that this phenomenon does not occur, but I teach occurs incidentally more than actively. And that is how I teach footwork through drills and demos, until it becomes natural. Took a 3.0 to 3.5 53 year old student last night and started teaching her the split step for the first time. She liked it and it felt pretty natural as an extension of her natural footwork, but I never once brought up split step in the previous five months as she started as a 2.5 with me and is only 3.5 on her FH and maybe FH volleys. Now we work on making it natural as well as widening her stance, which she also now could do without loss of finding the ball well.

teachestennis
11-05-2009, 07:35 AM
Keep up the good work VA, I believe you are on right path.

Bungalo Bill
11-05-2009, 08:29 AM
Bungalo Bill, I'm going to have to agree with you on one thing and say the Scientology angle makes me nervous. On my second reading of Oscar's book I noticed it. I wish he would have just left that part out. What purpose does it serve other that to alienate the ignorant (like me).

I'm a relatively ineperienced player and I have enjoyed reading his book as well as Braden's and Dave Smith's. Maybe one day I will find the holy grail of tennis????

Greg

Greg,

This subject is deeper than most realize. To the player that is simply here looking for advice and doesn't have a strong background in tennis, tennis history, and tennis coaching, nor has reviewed or investigated Dianetics and Scientology, some people here will take me as a loony. lol, and maybe I am!!

However, I can read between the lines and I do know my history and how to teach tennis. That is something I know I can talk about, teach, and have enough knowledge that I can smell a rat 6 miles away.

When TeachesTennis brought up "gradient learning", that was my cue to see that indeed some form of Scientology has been mixed into Oscar's instruction. Perhaps, this is the real reason why the USPTA ushered Oscar out the door. Perhaps, they felt that although Oscar pacakged his program as something for everyone, the inside story was that Oscar really wanted to place himself as the sole authority of tennis teaching so he can move his beleif system through it.

The key to moving people towards Scientology is to do so with what you like to do most and because you have contact with people. Subtly you can introduce various aspects of Scientology through useful tools like gradient learning. Reading is another area they also teach. If you are the type of person that reads and then dozes off as you read, it is because some of the words that you read were not understood. Scientology or Dianetics teaches people to go back to that word or stop when you come up to a word you dont understand and learn what the definition is before continuing.

To a layperson, this seems pretty easy enough, that is until more and more of their tools begin to convince you that this is a good thing before they pop the question to join. I am talking about Scientology and Dianetic prinicples at the most general level. I am not talking about Black Dianetics or the other issues that seem to be changing within this group.

Scientologists that follow L. Ron Hubbard will not brow beat you into their organization, nor will they ask for your wealth to hand over to them, no, it is a very subtle plodding provided through an appearance of peace and calmness. They will flatter you, talk as if they have all the wisdom in the world, and they will carefully wove into the very subject you like and enjoy their beleifs and mechanisms to eventually and subconsciously convince you that they are a good thing.

Of course, this part of the equation is not what I am really here for and arguing about. It is more about the claims they make and the marketing they continue to deliver to the public on tennis. I also notice their little tag team between TeachesTennis and Wegner. When TeachesTennis is flustered or is proven wrong, in comes Oscar to his rescue. I wonder if it is really Oscar because they have the same flattering stuff that I just love to expose.

MichaelChang
11-05-2009, 08:51 AM
What happened to the other Oscar Wegner thread? (the "Facts of Oscar Wegner"). Deleted?

Mick
11-05-2009, 08:53 AM
The truth is even more astonishing. He didn't start developing the internet when he was 2. He did develop a time machine when he was 18, that allowed him to begin developing the internet in 1948 at the age of 20.

You may ask, "how does he look so young, if he traveled back in time 18 years?"

The answer is simple, he's also a vampire.

actually, Gore meant to say he was involved in passing laws that made the internet possible. even netscape founder marc andreessen acknowledged Gore's contribution. Gore just didn't word it precisely.

Bungalo Bill
11-05-2009, 08:56 AM
Bruce Lee trained in specific footwork patterns until they became natural, just like the pros do and other good tennis players do.

I would agree entirely but I note that regardless of swing styles, or grips. the one thing all pros today have in common that is not taught as a fundamental by all coaches is they hit up and across the ball using feel as their main focus rather than think about generating force against the ball by going through the target line (I'm talking baseline groundstrokes here), not that this phenomenon does not occur, but I teach occurs incidentally more than actively.

Yes, that can be true. However, prerequistes to feel come from recieving instruction in the cognitive realm to learn what to feel. Job aids are a perfect example. In the beginning, often a worker refers to instructions in order to learn to perform their work. Overtime, the worker goes through the learning taxonomy to the point where the become creative with what they do. Through this intuition is developed, the senses, and so on in order to make their work look easy.

A balance of cognitive input and allowing the body to learn to shape thorugh the instruction is what is needed in order for a person to synthsize what they are learning. From there, feel is developed and improved control over muscle movement matures.

And that is how I teach footwork through drills and demos, until it becomes natural. Took a 3.0 to 3.5 53 year old student last night and started teaching her the split step for the first time. She liked it and it felt pretty natural as an extension of her natural footwork, but I never once brought up split step in the previous five months as she started as a 2.5 with me and is only 3.5 on her FH and maybe FH volleys. Now we work on making it natural as well as widening her stance, which she also now could do without loss of finding the ball well.

That is how a lot of coaches teach footwork. One of the main reasons players learn to automate something is through repetition. Over and over again, the brain is gathering information to perform what it is asked to do. The brain has the information to understand that eventually it needs to move on to other things. So, a human through teaching themselves using good parameters (instruction) is able to master something to move on to the next.

Over time and as the player advances, a player can synthesize or receive minimal information to make decisions on based on prior learning and expeirence.

Djokovicfan4life
11-05-2009, 08:57 AM
What happened to the other Oscar Wegner thread? (the "Facts of Oscar Wegner"). Deleted?

Thank God. No, actually I take that back. It was pretty funny, after all.

Bungalo Bill
11-05-2009, 09:01 AM
What happened to the other Oscar Wegner thread? (the "Facts of Oscar Wegner"). Deleted?

I hope so and I thank the moderator for that. We need to instruct here whether we disagree or not on the recommendations. I don't visit other boards except for this one. It just go out of hand with MTM people providing links to take people away from here to selll products.

I am learning to state my opinion without personal remarks. Hopefully, I am doing better at it. If not, then I will keep trying to improve.

I will wave the white flag. Since TeachesTennis and I beleive in the same thing and teach things the same even though he uses Oscars methods and I don't, why dont we join forces, put down our differences and help you guys!!!

I can learn from him and he can learn from me (hopefully) and although I may never grab hold of MTM, I at least teach similar prinicples and we can just focus on helping you.

Isn't that both of ouor goals? To ultimately help the players here on this site and nowhere else?

5263
11-05-2009, 09:05 AM
actually, Gore meant to say he was involved in passing laws that made the internet possible. even netscape founder marc andreessen acknowledged Gore's contribution. Gore just didn't word it precisely.

Thank goodness. someone who actually has an idea what that sarcastic comment was about.

5263
11-05-2009, 09:19 AM
I hope so and I thank the moderator for that. We need to instruct here whether we disagree or not on the recommendations. I don't visit other boards except for this one. It just go out of hand with MTM people providing links to take people away from here to selll products.

I am learning to state my opinion without personal remarks. Hopefully, I am doing better at it. If not, then I will keep trying to improve.

I will wave the white flag. Since TeachesTennis and I beleive in the same thing and teach things the same even though he uses Oscars methods and I don't, why dont we join forces, put down our differences and help you guys!!!

I can learn from him and he can learn from me (hopefully) and although I may never grab hold of MTM, I at least teach similar prinicples and we can just focus on helping you.

Isn't that both of ouor goals? To ultimately help the players here on this site and nowhere else?

Best post I've seen in awhile, and I can accept it. I don't care for holding grudges. It's easy to get sideways with people in print like this, even when you agree, which we mostly do.
I don't agree that anyone was really selling products, but I can see where that was misunderstood. I know I didn't.
Would be nice to move on to a better relations and i would actually prefer it.
I hope this is sincere.

JavierLW
11-05-2009, 09:22 AM
What happened to the other Oscar Wegner thread? (the "Facts of Oscar Wegner"). Deleted?

They probably should just move threads like that to Odds and Ends, or Rants and Raves or something.

It doesnt belong in "Tennis Instruction".

teachestennis
11-05-2009, 09:35 AM
I hope so and I thank the moderator for that. We need to instruct here whether we disagree or not on the recommendations. I don't visit other boards except for this one. It just go out of hand with MTM people providing links to take people away from here to selll products.

I am learning to state my opinion without personal remarks. Hopefully, I am doing better at it. If not, then I will keep trying to improve.

I will wave the white flag. Since TeachesTennis and I beleive in the same thing and teach things the same even though he uses Oscars methods and I don't, why dont we join forces, put down our differences and help you guys!!!

I can learn from him and he can learn from me (hopefully) and although I may never grab hold of MTM, I at least teach similar prinicples and we can just focus on helping you.

Isn't that both of ouor goals? To ultimately help the players here on this site and nowhere else?



Best post of the day for sure. I think it was here I vowed to keep my posts short and to the point regarding technique which I did in a couple posts over there (I stayed out of it, except near end just to answer Mick with an interesting serve tip and Cindy's question to make it clear I'm not paid by Oscar except for when he hired me for an academy for a couple weeks). You are right, BB let's get going on technique. BB, I will add your slice explanation to our MTM roundtable, also because the coaches like all that very precise technical explanation which you have great eyes for, and technical understanding allows us to create ways to simplify it to our student's reality.

teachestennis
11-05-2009, 10:02 AM
I had hoped the Bruce Lee post at start of this thread would help people see how MTM is different if that it is not dogmatic as some think it is except for one principle: whatever works and maybe a second in emphasizing from the ball to the shoulder as the key mechanic. We all use different terminology depending on our student's reality and understanding. For example, "pat the dog" is same as "point the butt of the racket at the ball" except I try never to say neither to a student, I try to make it happen as a natural flow of the stroke rather than as a separate mechanic which I think puts attention behind them rather than where it needs to be on finding the ball with their hand. Small distinction maybe, but sometimes little differences matter a great deal and that is where MTM is very unorthodox. One teacher gives you a mental image picture whereas another lets you feel your way with a loose grip and letting the racket go back, not so much the arm, and the student in my experience, gets it better without the mental image picture which takes him into the "mind" where I try to keep my students out of when learning as I want them to "feel" the experience. That is where MTM is truly different, it's a small but important distinction, it's appeal is to sensory mechanisms of the student, which most great and good players on this forum, learned on their own without any knowledge of Oscar or Yandell or Nicky B, because it's the best way to learn (meaning by feel, and natural movement, another thing we could do better at explaining), though not the only way. The WW is popular today at nearly all levels because it feels right and it is the most efficient way to play your best tennis, especially as the game speeds up. When I was young, I was discouraged from copying Borg. It's great that it's no longer discouraged by most teaching pros. The game will likely grow as a result.

rxs10is
11-05-2009, 10:35 AM
Believe it or not, I am a reasonable guy, and I'm here to get tips to get to the next level. It's a good thing if the attacks have really stopped - I hope they have. Obviously, I have nothing to sell, and nobody will hear a peep out of me as long as discussions are conducted politely. Let's hope for the best.

5263
11-05-2009, 11:09 AM
I know that bb+other instructors get mad over the way oscar claims his way is right + the more conventional methods are wrong. He does come on pretty strong, so i can understand him ******* off many teachers.

However i am just a player wanting to get better at this game.I could care less who came out with this or that method first.Or who claims to have taught more modern methods first.That does not mean anything to me.

I do know that oscar wegners teaching methods were different than the lessons i received from usta instructors.About 6 years ago i decided to get serious with tennis, i used to just rally around with the wife once in a while.

Both of us took lessons+ i researched different video lessons+ decided to purchase oscars play like the pros.That is when i discovered his methods were much easier to learn.

I was being taught by instructors to take the racquet back early,keep a closed stance, follow through towards the net.Then oscar was saying the complete opposite,open stance, keep the racquet in front until ready to swing, follow through up+ across the ball.

There was no comparison in the 2 different teaching methods. I learned so much faster with oscars videos.When he said think of brushing the ball not hitting it, that made a huge difference. I was now hitting topspin so i could take big cuts at the ball+ still keep it in the court.

After that i really started working on racquet head speed+ kept getting more+more topspin.I was taking a lesson after that with a usta instructor + he asked me why i was trying to put so much topspin on the ball.He said just the natural stroke of going from low to high will give you enough.

I would try his method but i would hit to many balls long.So i went back to the exaggerated topspin which enables me to swing out with much room for error.

At the tennis club i play at anytime i play someone new the first question they ask is how do i get all that topspin.These guys have been playing for years, way longer than i have.Most use eastern forehands with conventional methods.Most also have no idea how to handle that heavy kicking topspin forehand.

Not to say that their method is no good, many of these guys are really good.But i think it is much more difficult to become consistent with that style.

I really think that the way oscar teaches is different+ easier to learn than a lot of the conventional ways.But if you really want to know try it then see what you think.

nice review.

SFrazeur
11-05-2009, 11:32 AM
I received 8 DVD set today. Looking forward to diving into it tonight.

-SF

Bungalo Bill
11-05-2009, 11:34 AM
Best post of the day for sure. I think it was here I vowed to keep my posts short and to the point regarding technique which I did in a couple posts over there (I stayed out of it, except near end just to answer Mick with an interesting serve tip and Cindy's question to make it clear I'm not paid by Oscar except for when he hired me for an academy for a couple weeks). You are right, BB let's get going on technique. BB, I will add your slice explanation to our MTM roundtable, also because the coaches like all that very precise technical explanation which you have great eyes for, and technical understanding allows us to create ways to simplify it to our student's reality.

Then I am glad we have reached common ground. We can best serve the people together by offering our assistance to help them improve. In turn, I look forward in learning from you and I hope I can add value to your understanding of tennis as well.

I am sure the posters here will be relieved. :)

Now, my writing style tends to be direct and at times blunt. That can be taken wrong so if there is something that hits a cord wrong with you, just ask me to explain, we probably already agree on it. This board is difficult to show inflection and intent in our posts, so many can be taken wrong even though we meant it with good will.

On the slice post, I am interested in the 3rd one mainly because so much has been written on the others and we probably have heard it till we are blue in the face. I just don't see that much information on that third one. Maybe Oscar has some information we can share and I can add to my notes. I need to get those pictures going though and don't know how.

That clockwise rotation that goes on an angle ooutward from the body before it is brought back in, is interesting. We need to get a sideways view of it. All the elements are there for the L, etc..., however, the third one adds somewhat of a wrist release as it makes contact with the ball to the six o'clock position.

And yes, technical analysis is something I like to do and talk about.

5263
11-05-2009, 01:51 PM
5263,

Genuine question here. How and why is it impossible to hit up and accross the ball,(hence, the emphasis on open stance) or add varying degrees of hand and arm rotation from a neutral stance. Surely, you've seen literally thousands of examples of neutral stance hitting, with full wiper action.

It's not that it can't be done, but that it is not as efficient. I'm not sure what you mean by full wiper action, but if you mean full as in hitting up and across the ball along with the ww finish; no I don't often see that from neutral stance. From closed and neutral, I most often see only the ww finish, but with the contact itself being more out towards the target line.

IMO, a proper ww stroke works best with a version of open stance facilitating the weight shift to the side for a strong pull across.

Cindysphinx
11-05-2009, 05:45 PM
You mean . . .

I watched those five video clips for nothing?

:)

5263
11-05-2009, 06:04 PM
You mean . . .

I watched those five video clips for nothing?
:)

Where there 5 specific clips to see?
Or are you just foolin around?

volusiano
11-05-2009, 07:01 PM
Where there 5 specific clips to see?
Or are you just foolin around?

In the other thread titled "15 facts about Oscar Wegner" that got deleted, somebody posted links to 5 short video clips about MTM instructions when some other poster asked for some free samples of MTM instruction online. I think Cindy watched them and commented on them.

I noticed those links but didn't get a chance to see those video clips before the thread got deleted. I was planning to later on when I have time. So I wonder whoever posted them may not mind repost them here so others like myself can review them. Thanks.

Mick
11-05-2009, 07:19 PM
I received 8 DVD set today. Looking forward to diving into it tonight.

-SF

a short positive review from SF probably would convince the skeptics much better than those 500 word posts ever could.

Bungalo Bill
11-05-2009, 07:22 PM
In the other thread titled "15 facts about Oscar Wegner" that got deleted, somebody posted links to 5 short video clips about MTM instructions when some other poster asked for some free samples of MTM instruction online. I think Cindy watched them and commented on them.

I noticed those links but didn't get a chance to see those video clips before the thread got deleted. I was planning to later on when I have time. So I wonder whoever posted them may not mind repost them here so others like myself can review them. Thanks.

Vols, I hear you but I also I dont know about this. One of the reasons why that post was deleted (as it should have been) was because there was a lot of promotion of someone's product on that thread. Although I can find appreciation in someones passion, selling services and products totally ruins the nature of these boards and what has been an etiquette rule followed by all TW'ers here whether they like each other or not.

Tell you what, if you really want to see them, why don't you go to their website and ask for the videos instead of showing and promoting them here. Or if TW is okay with Osacr and others promoting his DVD's and instruction, maybe take to Odds and Ends or another board more suited for that.

TW provides us an avenue to provide tennis tips and instruction for free rather than posting other peoples videos so others can buy them from somewhere other than TW.

I dont think that is very respectful to TW and the money they spend to keep these discussion boards free of charge.

SFrazeur
11-05-2009, 08:19 PM
a short positive review from SF probably would convince the skeptics much better than those 500 word posts ever could.

Most do not care what I have to say. My constituencies have always been in the silent minority. I just post to please myself. :)

-SF

GuyClinch
11-05-2009, 09:06 PM
His stuff was okay maybe 10 years ago - but I think you can find better quality stuff even from random guys nowadays...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0RndYbEl3s

I mean can anyone tell me that clip isn't MORE useful then Oscars? I don't think so.. Not if your being honest..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVH3UAWTnKE

I mean... Like I said I have his videos but he isn't the best video coach anymore..

His marketing is good though.

5263
11-06-2009, 04:01 AM
Tennisone has some of Oscar's stuff. Again - as I repeated before its not anything particularly special, IMHO. People here are buying into the holy grail of Oscar.

He is pretty slick - you can't even buy it on Amazon probably because then they couldn't control any average reviews that would trickle in. There are numerous tennis videos out there many of which can be helpful. Before I incur the wrath of the wegnerites there is nothing wrong with his instruction for the most part.

Can you argue with such videos - no. Are they anything different then you could find on the web or from other instructors? Not from what I have seen. YMMV.

Here is some anti-wegner style instruction - its far more robotic and regimented. But it would work fine..


If we are going to try and learn from each other and get along, do we need multiple post by the same guy, saying essentially the same thing, every time MTM or Oscar is mentioned? The one above is from earlier in the same thread for goodness sake. Clearly this is just spamming with an axe to grind.
And before some come out and say I have more than one post on this topic, is easy to realize if you care to, that mine are in response to post or question, not just a virtual repeat, over and over in different threads and even the same thread.
Just don't see this as in the spirit of where we are trying to go.
GuyC has made it clear that he owns a most teaching vids on the market and Oscar is not one of his top choices. Over and Over.

He even comments how he has repeated this point of view over and over in this post- and that was even before this latest REPEAT.

teachestennis
11-06-2009, 04:31 AM
[QUOTE=GuyClinch;4082897]His stuff was okay maybe 10 years ago - but I think you can find better quality stuff even from random guys nowadays...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0RndYbEl3s

I mean can anyone tell me that clip isn't MORE useful then Oscars? I don't think so.. Not if your being honest..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVH3UAWTnKE

I am being honest and for a modern style player, that video is very good, even excellent technically. Oscar's first five videos were made from 1992 to 1994. I asked him why he did not make new ones (in '05 and '06 he made two with Randy Ardenfriend and then John Frausto and he made the 53 Drills DVD after Frausto paid me to come to Wisconsin to teach him all the drills given I spent so much time with Oscar on court. Frausto's youtube clips (topspintennis is his name and website) are great examples of how MTM teaches. Oscar's reply which I recorded on paper, knowing I was going to likely write a book someday on the history of tennis instruction: "I set down the correct techniques as the foundation to get them playing well enough so any coach, as long as he knows these tenets, can guide them to playing their best as long as he doesn't violate the tenets (I think his word was data)."

The problem I would be aware of for a student is Mario even if he doesn't admit it in his video, though he does imply at the end (the real problem of mechanic based instruction), is it's too much too absorb for a lower level player, and he notes you have to take it step by step to get there (therefore the need for a simplified methodology). This is a marketing video and I am impressed by RI Tennis Academy that they have such teaching.

There are countless ways to learn the modern swing, and BB is right that MTM is just one of them. There is nothing in Llanos clip I would say is technically wrong visually though to relate this excellent swing I might emphasize things differently visually and verbally such as from "right to left" because it draws a better visual picture for the student than to just state rotate the body (in my experience). He's exactly right when he says to explode into the ball but go UP rather than forward. Your power is UP, though you might go forward. I have seen all these clips before and even I was analyzing my own swing against this video when I watched it and was pleased.

Oscar never tried to put out the best looking videos, they were originally just TV shows filmed until Brad Holbrook and he decided to use them for videos. I'm sure he could have spent money on flashy videos given his sales approached nearly a quarter million a year a few years ago. He felt the foundation had been set and it was up to the market to determine who took it and ran with it with success. I think Mario Llano has done very well. I love FYB's presentations, except for teaching beginners a neural stance FH. I read 240 plus books and watched over 150 videos/DVDs. At least I have tried most every theory on court and can speak from experience.

teachestennis
11-06-2009, 04:45 AM
Guyclinch, be careful what you state. His book was placed on Amazon.com in 2006 when it first came out, his old one until then had at least a hundred reviews on it. This one has customer reviews. I do find it strange that no tennis major media will review his book or DVDs. Many have asked them to, including me, and I contacted Tennis Magazine myself in 2006. They had no problem panning his first book or dismissing Johnny Yandell's 1990 Visual Tennis (I didn't buy Visual Tennis until 1999 to my detriment which I find excellent).

http://www.amazon.com/Play-Better-Tennis-Two-Hours/dp/0071437177

At the top of that link there is a $299 set for pretty much same amount of stuff as Oscar sells for $99. Let's try and keep the misstatements out. I'm here to talk about technique but don't talk of what you don't know. His materials are reviewed on many individual sites, though. See you on other threads where I'm going to go the waiting on the ball thread next and keep it short, lol. I hope to address the slice and have a nice exchange with BB also as we seek to simplify how to teach it to others.

5263
11-06-2009, 04:59 AM
TT,
Do you agree there were several concerns with Llano's vid?

1. he set up to take that extra outside hop on nearly Fhs, even when it clearly was not needed. --extra steps wide on every Fh.
It was sort of required for his swing style, as by trying to stay on the hitting side opposed to pulling across more, it forced the body to have to hop outside the contact to get the proper follow thru. (maybe)
2. his Fh stroke live, looked just like what he warned against when he was talking of coming to the ball from below. His live shots came at the ball very level or flat and looked much more like what he warned against than what he suggested was better.
3. He taught the unit turn, taking the racket back and parking it behind you right off the bat, but when he hit live he stalked the ball with the racket in front of the body til about the bounce, and did not do that unit turn approach.
4. He says the over the shoulder is finished or Over ??

Yes, there was some good stuff like working for balance, but I wanted to check on these clear concerns.

VaBeachTennis
11-06-2009, 05:00 AM
His stuff was okay maybe 10 years ago - but I think you can find better quality stuff even from random guys nowadays...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0RndYbEl3s

I mean can anyone tell me that clip isn't MORE useful then Oscars? I don't think so.. Not if your being honest..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVH3UAWTnKE

I mean... Like I said I have his videos but he isn't the best video coach anymore..

His marketing is good though.

Hey, you forgot clip 5 where all of the instruction from all different videos is put together by a student, here is the result:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wU7tlHB9Rco&feature=related








I kid, I kid. just wanted to add some humor to this thread............. :lol:

5263
11-06-2009, 05:43 AM
Hey, you forgot clip 5 where all of the instruction from all different videos is put together by a student, here is the result:

I kid, I kid. just wanted to add some humor to this thread............. :lol:

good one, we should all keep our humor.

MichaelChang
11-06-2009, 06:01 AM
4. He says the over the shoulder is finished or Over ??


I could be wrong but I think he is talking in the windshield wiper context, where you would not finish over the shoulder.

Bungalo Bill
11-06-2009, 07:51 AM
Most do not care what I have to say. My constituencies have always been in the silent minority. I just post to please myself. :)

-SF


Hahhahaha, now this post is funny.

5263
11-06-2009, 08:03 AM
I could be wrong but I think he is talking in the windshield wiper context, where you would not finish over the shoulder.

Reasonable question you raise, but I don't thing that is the case, as it is labeled as just Fh instruction, and he introduces it as such.
He says it is like the pros hit the Fh, so you could read that into it, but pros still finish over the shoulder at times. Whether they finish down on the arm, at/over the shoulder, or up in the lasso around the head is generally more of a situational thing between their contact point and what they intend to do with the ball. You can hit a WW and finish over the shoulder.
It does look that more and more players are learning to define the WW by a low last part of a finish; so it may become the accepted standard. I don't think we are quite there yet, and I don't feel that is the main aspect of a WW. What is happening at contact is more defining IMO.

MichaelChang
11-06-2009, 08:07 AM
I am actually currently practising WW with a finish over the shoulder. Because I feel that gives me more spin and my shots are still landing inside the court. But somehow I feel this shot might lessen the control of the ball, which I have to experiment more.

5263
11-06-2009, 08:11 AM
I am actually currently practising WW with a finish over the shoulder. Because I feel that gives me more spin and my shots are still landing inside the court. But somehow I feel this shot might lessen the control of the ball, which I have to experiment more.

IMO it is just a higher trajectory shot when finished over the shoulder. (mostly anyway)
And tends to have a flatter trajectory when you finish lower, although you can hit a looper and finish low too. Control should be excellent with both when you have them down.

Bungalo Bill
11-06-2009, 08:13 AM
I could be wrong but I think he is talking in the windshield wiper context, where you would not finish over the shoulder.

Yes, I think so.


Once upon a time, the over the shoulder finish ws in vogue. Many coaches taught players to finish with the racquet over the shoulder and their elbow or butt cap of the racquet pointing towards the opponent for a proper followthrough.

Now, we can package this any way we want. We can put colorful words around this, however, the finish remains the same in form and the racquet goes over the shoulder and is already known as the "wrap around" or the "point the butt cap at the opponent" finish. This is a finish that has been in existance for a long long time.

http://www.revolutionarytennis.com/Modern/modern1.jpg

or

http://www.revolutionarytennis.com/Modern/modern5.jpg

The over the shoulder finish is not unpopular or wrong to teach. What needs to be controlled is the way we explain it. When a coach emphasizes a finish too much, we immediately tell the student that what happens before that is not as important as that finish. We take risk and possibly short-circuit what should happen before that because the brain is only concerned with gettng to Point B and has no compensating controls to ensure that it has taken the right route to get to point B from point A.

What happened was a lot of short-armed strokes happened and lot of people ditched teaching this finish because of the negative things it produced. What was wrong was the emphasis on the finish and the lack of discipline to teach the right swing path to take to get to that finish. Not the finish itself.

When a coach emphasizes the finish over what I consider the most important thing to focus on (contact with the ball), we are asking for trouble and might engrain poor swing mechanics and get poor results.

The most important part of the swing is not the finish. The finish will take care of itself. What is important is the path the racquet takes through the ball. Therefore, whether you swing towards the ball via the classic style or with the Windsheld wiper style, using the right mechanics for either and making clean contact with the ball that is on-time is most important. The finish will happen from whatever stroke path you choose.

teachestennis
11-06-2009, 09:14 AM
In Llano's video he states what is demonstrably wrong in that the "on the shoulder finish is gone", even at the pro level. BB, I think that your point that this finish was abandoned early on in tennis instruction because they didn't get good results might be true. I have thought about this possibility but as you challenge many teaching assumptions (many of them fairly, such as why we emphasize find it, feel it, finish it), you might have given me what I realize is why it was abandoned. Tennis "experts" first of all in the early 20th century adopted a momentum based mass swing rather than hitting up and across the ball emphasizing acceleration to the finish, I think that's a fair assumption. If they never were able to find a methodology that accurately portrayed and allowed students to figure out how to "find" the ball" then feel it (by moving across it...they had always assumed for decades you were to hit through five balls), and accentuate and thus feel "acceleratation" by approaching the ball slowly with the strings, then how could they teach a WW properly, plus the fact Bill Tilden's Ten Commandments of Tennis Instruction rule #4 state "Hit all shots with your feet turned sideways to the net."

No one noted for years that a simple bending of the arm and then pulling up and across the ball might give optimal control and feel because of the other tenets that prohibited such feeling natural, I think because westerners don't understand martial arts very well. Just a thought I plan on doing research more on for my History of Tennis Instruction research. What do you think? If we start with an incorrect premise, as I believe Tilden and other "experts" did, then how can we arrive at todays accepted conclusion that force on a tennis court is best generated by a WW with topspin? I agree with you that the contact point is everything, in the 1992 book, it states "finding" the ball is the most important skill in tennis, but I emphasize the finish because I teach them to feel after first finding and then moving across it with control. The finish at this point becomes vital and helps keep the racket accelerating, even for beginners. Would love to hear thoughts because I think we are on to an important distinction.

teachestennis
11-06-2009, 10:46 AM
I agree that the finish will take care of itself, but I also believe that the correct path will take care of itself if the player is allowing himself to find the ball slowly, then change direction of the force by bending the arm up and across the ball. A few pros find it with a straight elbow arm hitting structure, then bend the arm later as they still move the hand right to left to the finish. This "feeling" the ball from contact with and shaping the shot as you move across it with just a final destination (the finish) happens slowly at first. As you progress, you learn to accelerate the hand faster and faster and use non thinking mechanisms as you learn to trust your swing, essentially gripping it (loosely) and ripping it, to paraphrase John Daley, with the only mental image the finish. If you have to swing more classical style, which does happen, even to me on certain shots such as defensive return of serve or blocks, you still want to "feel" the ball as much as possible, and that is why I believe pros may start with a neutral stance when moving in or in the center of the court, but they invariably finish in an open stance because they are hitting all out to the "finish" allowing the finish to shape itself but invariably with the butt of the racket pointing at the other side. So we who teach to find and hit across the ball, emhasize the finish because it not only builds core rotation but it gives them a destination without having to think about it, just clearing the mind and feeling the ball across the strings.

Cruzer
11-06-2009, 11:15 AM
Certainly one of the most wordy threads in recent memory. I have been to several tennis clinics and have taken many lessons from a few different teaching pros over the past 10+ years and I have never heard of this Oscar Wegner. Considering his web site says "Oscar Wegner is one of the most known tennis coaches in the world." I must be living in a tennis vacuum. I guess I need to get out more often.

Bungalo Bill
11-06-2009, 11:16 AM
In Llano's video he states what is demonstrably wrong in that the "on the shoulder finish is gone", even at the pro level. BB, I think that your point that this finish was abandoned early on in tennis instruction because they didn't get good results might be true. I have thought about this possibility but as you challenge many teaching assumptions (many of them fairly, such as why we emphasize find it, feel it, finish it), you might have given me what I realize is why it was abandoned. Tennis "experts" first of all in the early 20th century adopted a momentum based mass swing rather than hitting up and across the ball emphasizing acceleration to the finish, I think that's a fair assumption. If they never were able to find a methodology that accurately portrayed and allowed students to figure out how to "find" the ball" then feel it (by moving across it...they had always assumed for decades you were to hit through five balls), and accentuate and thus feel "acceleratation" by approaching the ball slowly with the strings, then how could they teach a WW properly, plus the fact Bill Tilden's Ten Commandments of Tennis Instruction rule #4 state "Hit all shots with your feet turned sideways to the net."

In your future experiences in coaching tennis, there are always going to be those that emphasize only one way to play or hit a ball. The #4 commandment from Bill Tilden may have been fine in his era. However, there always needs to be adjustments and revisits to help see if what was written and followed is still viable. Obviously, the Tilden commandment above is not viable and has no chance to viable taken as it is written in comparison to the demands of today's tennis. So now we have to put it in under the light of reason. And reason says there is a place for that especially if you expand on the "turn sideways" and know how to teach the neutral or forward stance and what it is for. Suddenly, you give life to something that should be dead even if it will not be the main stance used in today's tennis.

No one noted for years that a simple bending of the arm and then pulling up and across the ball might give optimal control and feel because of the other tenets that prohibited such feeling natural, I think because westerners don't understand martial arts very well.

The emphasis on bending arm was not made but the finish was and the needed arm shape for that position. Thus, the bending arm for that finish. However, even with the bending of the arm, and instructor needs to be careful that the student isn't only bending the arm just for that certain finish. What happens before that is more important such as managing their rotation and energy through the ball and then finish. This is what short-circuited the wrap around the neck instruction. It placed too much emphasis on a bending arm up and across the ball for the finish instead of ging through the ball first. No matter how MTM presents it or someone else, physics can not be defied or poor results will happen.

Just a thought I plan on doing research more on for my History of Tennis Instruction research. What do you think? If we start with an incorrect premise, as I believe Tilden and other "experts" did, then how can we arrive at todays accepted conclusion that force on a tennis court is best generated by a WW with topspin?

I dont think you should go there. Tennis was very much in its infancy. Instruction, technique, and anything that surrounds tennis was very much scattered with trials and errors happening everywhere.

Teachestennis, the best thing to do is honor those that came before even if some didn't have the complete picture, share the same ideas, may have been a bit adamant, and even if some played politics. The trouble you will run into is even though what was written may have been unfeasible for today to use, we don't know if it was unfeasibe for that era. We can have an idea but we really dont know. Further, with the vast majority of the pictures and media availabe, you wont be able to come accurately to your conclusion because there will be other evidence that states it wasn't followed so why make a big deal about it unless your intent is to make someone look bad so you can look good. Then we go back to our previous disagreements in marketing tactics.

Plus, a lot of grassroots coaches already knew it wasn't feasibe and may have just used it as a guideline to launch themselves into more expanded and useful teaching.

In my growing up playing in the 70's, I never ever heard of those commandments. We were taught open stances, playing the whole court, twohanded backhands, and at the time Eastern grips but nothing strict. I later evolved to the Semi-western grip and stayed.

Paint tennis in a good light. I want to know that the sport I play and love developed through men and women who loved the game and were devoted to it right or wrong. Anyone can be 100% correct in hindsight and the experiments and instruction probably was full of holes that all of us could pick apart. However, those people also didn't have the knowledge we have on biomechanics, conditioning, technique, style of play, internet, and slo-mo video!

In other words, the world was a lot bigger in yesteryear as compared to now. With TV, commentators, etc...we can see what is in vogue much easier than they could with limited media and travel accomodations.

I agree with you that the contact point is everything, in the 1992 book, it states "finding" the ball is the most important skill in tennis, but I emphasize the finish because I teach them to feel after first finding and then moving across it with control. The finish at this point becomes vital and helps keep the racket accelerating, even for beginners. Would love to hear thoughts because I think we are on to an important distinction.

Well that is good. Some instructors use the reverse or mix in things but get to the same point.

MichaelChang
11-06-2009, 11:26 AM
thanks for the posts. man you guys are writing thesis.:)

Bungalo Bill
11-06-2009, 11:30 AM
Certainly one of the most wordy threads in recent memory. I have been to several tennis clinics and have taken many lessons from a few different teaching pros over the past 10+ years and I have never heard of this Oscar Wegner. Considering his web site says "Oscar Wegner is one of the most known tennis coaches in the world." I must be living in a tennis vacuum. I guess I need to get out more often.

LOL!!!! Hilarious!! You have a good sense of humor and a lot of truth in what you are saying.

Bungalo Bill
11-06-2009, 11:31 AM
thanks for the posts. man you guys are writing thesis.:)

Get a couple of techies and good things happen. Knowledge explodes and a lot of useless information is made available. However, to the techy, it is a love language that many don't understand. :)

I would rather have 10 60" monitors going with split views of lowe body and upper body motions in a dark room with wiring from my equipment exposed everywhere. Just feed me from under the door.

It is what makes us "techies" of the sport get up in the morning. I know, "get a life." This is my life.

But you need us don't you. hahahaha


"We don't make the player, we make the player better. We don't make the coach, we make the coach better."

TenniseaWilliams
11-06-2009, 11:43 AM
It seems like we have had great comments about "find", (stalking vs. early preparation) and some good discussion on the "finish", but very little about the "feel" portion of the method.

Specifically, would anyone care to comment on Oscar's hints that MTM trains your ESP to provide immediate feedback and control of the ball?

GuyClinch
11-06-2009, 11:44 AM
The problem I would be aware of for a student is Mario even if he doesn't admit it in his video, though he does imply at the end (the real problem of mechanic based instruction), is it's too much too absorb for a lower level player, and he notes you have to take it step by step to get there (therefore the need for a simplified methodology). This is a marketing video and I am impressed by RI Tennis Academy that they have such teaching.

Of course it's a marketing video. Like I said before I don't think most students can simply learn everything from a video. Videos can give you a mental picture of what to do on the court.

Translating those mental pictures to actual on court results takes time, dedication and almost always professional on court help, IMHO.

I have never hit with a high level player that hasn't had coaching. Watching SOME videos is better then nothing but its not going to turn you into a good player on its own that's for sure. Nor is it correct to claim there is something 'wrong" with a player who has watched alot of videos and isn't great.

I spent my whole life watching basketball and I still can't throw down reverse dunks or sink 20 3 pointers in a row..

Pete

Bungalo Bill
11-06-2009, 11:48 AM
It seems like we have had great comments about "find", (stalking vs. early preparation) and some good discussion on the "finish", but very little about the "feel" portion of the method.

Specifically, would anyone care to comment on Oscar's hints that MTM trains your ESP to provide immediate feedback and control of the ball?

From my perspective, all of your sensory information to "feel" when you need to hit the ball starts in the feet. The toes are an excellent area to feel what your legs need to do in the shot. From there, the feel them moves through the body to the hands and the timing you need to bring the racquet head around to meet the ball on time.

Your eyes and ears are the key areas for sensory input for you to develop natural motion to hit the ball. However, in order to correct minor or major coordination errors to reduce injury or to improve one's efficiency and effectivness, instruction is used to shape the player using their talents and current skills.

When you hit the ball, it shouldn't be something you just ignore and look for the result. You want to feel the ball hit the racquet and you use your senses pior to hitting the ball to help you gather as much information as possibe to do it on time and do it well.

In other words, "BE THE BALL."

tricky
11-06-2009, 12:45 PM
From what I've read on Wegner's stuff so far (thanks Teachestennis), I think Wegner's argument is basically that teaching should be based on something like operant conditioning. Give a general structure, and then enable the person to find the positive outcome for themselves. Once that is done, then move onto the next lesson.

Note that I also think most good tennis teachers do that too.

bhupaes
11-06-2009, 01:31 PM
From what I've read on Wegner's stuff so far (thanks Teachestennis), I think Wegner's argument is basically that teaching should be based on something like operant conditioning. Give a general structure, and then enable the person to find the positive outcome for themselves. Once that is done, then move onto the next lesson.

Note that I also think most good tennis teachers do that too.

This is a great observation, tricky - I think this puts the Wegner method in its right place in the taxonomy of teaching methods. Classical methods - if I may use that term without raising anyone's ire :) - tend to focus more on precedents, I think. Good teachers, of course, would intinctively do whatever's appropriate without being aware of these nuances.

There seem to be more severe differences also between MTM, and say, the prevailing norms on this board. Moving forward vs. moving up or to the side or even backwards, hitting through vs. hitting across, emphasis on feel, and so on. Should make for some great discussion if we don't get too hot under our collars... :)

TenniseaWilliams
11-06-2009, 08:14 PM
From my perspective, all of your sensory information to "feel" when you need to hit the ball starts in the feet. The toes are an excellent area to feel what your legs need to do in the shot. From there, the feel them moves through the body to the hands and the timing you need to bring the racquet head around to meet the ball on time.

Your eyes and ears are the key areas for sensory input for you to develop natural motion to hit the ball. However, in order to correct minor or major coordination errors to reduce injury or to improve one's efficiency and effectivness, instruction is used to shape the player using their talents and current skills.

When you hit the ball, it shouldn't be something you just ignore and look for the result. You want to feel the ball hit the racquet and you use your senses pior to hitting the ball to help you gather as much information as possibe to do it on time and do it well.

In other words, "BE THE BALL."

Another good explanation from the "conventional" camp. Emphasis on a players opportunity for control before impact, with sensory feedback during and after impact for future shot tunings. Not everything has to have a strict scientific explanation, and use of mental images is fine and even necessary, but "conventional" methods by definition attempt to avoid direct contradiction with photographic and other formal data. Conventional methods are changed and/or discredited based on any new, repeatable evidence.

But the Wegner method does not seem bound by such constraints. In absence of any comment by the Oscar nation, I am re-posting this section from a deleted thread:
...
On a more serious note, BB, lets consider the possibility that through the waves exterior to the body (those that can be seen with Kirlian photography), which are dense from inches to sometimes a foot or more around the body, and flow through the chacras and the head, the being (soul, spirit, elan vital, awareness unit, whatever you want to call it), through those waves, could have some more perceptions that are still unexplained by normal medical science. I read a book long time ago (don't ask me how long, you'll think I am Methuselah) from Russian experiments on this aura with Kirlian photography. These experiments showed someone dying and this aura leaving the body. It had a big impact on me at the time, and some happiness. Perhaps I wouldn't be done at death of my present body but somehow continue, a very comforting thought especially now at 70.

Anyway, dear BB (and I don't know your age nor your plans for the future), could it be that there is some more sense of that impact that just through the nerves inside the body? Those exterior waves have been measured, and it turns out that between the foot and the head they are almost instantaneous.
...


E-meter anyone?

DNShade
11-07-2009, 12:22 AM
I prefer the Xenu method myself....

teachestennis
11-07-2009, 04:17 AM
From my perspective, all of your sensory information to "feel" when you need to hit the ball starts in the feet. The toes are an excellent area to feel what your legs need to do in the shot. From there, the feel them moves through the body to the hands and the timing you need to bring the racquet head around to meet the ball on time.

Your eyes and ears are the key areas for sensory input for you to develop natural motion to hit the ball. However, in order to correct minor or major coordination errors to reduce injury or to improve one's efficiency and effectivness, instruction is used to shape the player using their talents and current skills.

When you hit the ball, it shouldn't be something you just ignore and look for the result. You want to feel the ball hit the racquet and you use your senses pior to hitting the ball to help you gather as much information as possibe to do it on time and do it well.

In other words, "BE THE BALL."

This is a great topic to discuss. The topic of whether tennis was first played best using the thinking mind was first addressed by Galwey's Inner Game of Tennis in 1974. I think it one of the best tennis books ever written still.

As for Oscar's ethereal post, he was trying to be light hearted, funny, but also bring up a point that there are many things we don't understand about how the body processes information. I have not investigated this area thoroughly as I am not a scientist though I am a skeptic by nature (do have associate in science and just finished off a Masters in Education and a certification in Mathematics thanks to my year teaching in California), which is why I ignored Oscar for ten years after I listened to Braden, Ray Brown, and Groppel and others who warned us coaches to be "skeptical" and that Oscar's play by feel methods had no scientific merit.

It's accepted by science that we have two systems not one as the aforementioned teaches referred to. My current thought is they simply chose the wrong premise, that it was the cognitive system (the thinking mind) that processed the information. This makes sense but also explains why tennis is not best taught my mechanical or verbal commands, noted by Yandell in his famous Myth of the Tennis Tip Article in which McEnroe, Sampras, and Aggassi admit they have no idea how they hit their forehands (I can post it on here if you like but I've overun my 100 word baseline already but I think we are on to something worth debating).

The cognitive system which is what I think BB speaks of above only sends information along the central nervous systems at about 4 to 6 meters per seconds. This is the system that tennis science had "traditionally" measured, thus they came to a a premature conclusion on imcomplete premises. Galwey was right, though systems like MTM which teach tennis by feel and operant conditioning (an excellent explanation) tend to incorporate the fine motor system which tracks information along the central nervous system at 100 meters per seconds. Galwey, Yandell, his Myth article, and MTM don't speak the same language but all acknowledge (Yandell indirectly not sure if he knows it for sure) that this is where our timing mechanism resides and explains the power of "waiting" and not trying to process information too fast and thus react in present time by instincts and feel.

So though I don't know if I would explain it like Oscar did I do think he's trying to make the point that "paralysis by analysis" is the product of any teaching system that tries to create too many mental image pictures for the student. Athletes play in the zone. I have to take off for the day as I have six hours of lessons as it's 60 degrees in St. Louis so excuse me, but I've been teaching with the weather so good. Let's address this further as truth will withstand any attack, and I do think we are on to something key. I'll put myself out there as I know BB and others do. Tennis is evolving and I think this forum is part of that evolution.

crash1929
11-07-2009, 09:26 AM
Thanks for posting about Oscar I 'd never heard about him and would never have skimmed through his book "2hrs" because it looks like it is for people just learning how to hold a racquet.

Howver I like the style of writing and learned some things like hitting deep balls toward the baseline isn't necessarily the best option. He points out that 80 percent of the pros rally balls are closer to the service line than the baseline.

I also like his description of acceleration!

Thanks to this site I feel like I am taking my understanding of tennis to another level! better late than never I guess. -)

Bungalo Bill
11-07-2009, 10:08 AM
This is a great topic to discuss. The topic of whether tennis was first played best using the thinking mind was first addressed by Galwey's Inner Game of Tennis in 1974. I think it one of the best tennis books ever written still.

I never really liked that book. I thought it was a bit pie-in-the-sky at times and implied that players should play tennis without any thoughts and their heads in the clouds.

It also was a bit religious and slanted a person to Eastern stuff. I like to think in my matches, analyze what is happening and make decisions on what to do. If my forehand sucks, I will use my god given brain to figure out what the heck is going on based on my training and understanding. I do this to make adjustments to my game plan or my technique.

Like I said, everyone is different. There is no superior way over another.

Every part of the body including the mind is used in tennis. The mind should be active in every point.

As for Oscar's ethereal post, he was trying to be light hearted, funny, but also bring up a point that there are many things we don't understand about how the body processes information. I have not investigated this area thoroughly as I am not a scientist though I am a skeptic by nature (do have associate in science and just finished off a Masters in Education and a certification in Mathematics thanks to my year teaching in California), which is why I ignored Oscar for ten years after I listened to Braden, Ray Brown, and Groppel and others who warned us coaches to be "skeptical" and that Oscar's play by feel methods had no scientific merit.

I always get the feeling that we are going to take every conversation to MTM or sympathize over poor ol Oscar. Please, can we stop doing this!!! All MTM does is borrow information from other bodies of study like other tennis teaching methods do!!

This forum isn't about Oscar or MTM. It isn't about promting this crap also!! It is about tennis instruction and different learning methods are applicable in tennis teaching.

It's accepted by science that we have two systems not one as the aforementioned teaches referred to. My current thought is they simply chose the wrong premise, that it was the cognitive system (the thinking mind) that processed the information. This makes sense but also explains why tennis is not best taught my mechanical or verbal commands, noted by Yandell in his famous Myth of the Tennis Tip Article in which McEnroe, Sampras, and Aggassi admit they have no idea how they hit their forehands (I can post it on here if you like but I've overun my 100 word baseline already but I think we are on to something worth debating).

Okay, I got a feeling we are not going to get along. If you think after my mentioning of how the body feels and aborbs information and how the mind processes information is only limited to the cognitive region, then you are sadly mistaken and now twisting what I have written about and have explained over many many posts.

The cognitive side of learning is just as important as the way we receive and understand other information. You first have to have thought and the ability to process this information in different ways. It isn't just feel and it isn't just thinking. And some people use one area more than others which is why it is important for an instructor to be able to use multiple methods of delivering instruction to teach the same thing. An instructor has to be able to monitor how the student is receiving information and be able to switch gears to help them understand.

A good instructor does not talk bad about a tool in his tool bag. A good instructor may lean towards one method of delivering instruction over another but understands that a mthod he may not use often is more appropriate for a given situation. Or he may combine several tools and place emphasis towards one or the other during his delivery.

The cognitive system which is what I think BB speaks of above only sends information along the central nervous systems at about 4 to 6 meters per seconds. This is the system that tennis science had "traditionally" measured, thus they came to a a premature conclusion on imcomplete premises.

How do you know it came to a premature conclusion? Where is the study, the subjects, and the information at?

If you do not think that the mind is not processing received information you are absolutely kidding yourself. Whether what is received also activates the emotional, psychomotor, or senses it all starts in the brain and how it receives and processes information. Everyone is different, you can not say one works better and that is that. A good instructor will ebb and flow using a variety of methods whether he knows it or not to transfer knowledge so a student can process this information and take action.

Without knowledge transfer in some form, nothing happens.

Galwey was right, though systems like MTM which teach tennis by feel and operant conditioning (an excellent explanation) tend to incorporate the fine motor system which tracks information along the central nervous system at 100 meters per seconds. Galwey, Yandell, his Myth article, and MTM don't speak the same language but all acknowledge (Yandell indirectly not sure if he knows it for sure) that this is where our timing mechanism resides and explains the power of "waiting" and not trying to process information too fast and thus react in present time by instincts and feel.

If you are teaching by operant conditioning then you will be accessing the mind to provide information so that it can learn and grow. All operant conditioning is utlize one side of how people learn. They also learn other ways through classical and gradient learning.

A good tennis coach is going to be familiar with all learning methods and use them skillfully to transfer knowledge to the student to improve performance. At times it will be general and at times it will be specific.

When I teach, I use all methods to learn. When I am drilling someone hard I am using a variety of teaching methods or just one!

Bloom's Taxonomy of learning is and always will be a fundamental source on how people move through the learning curve. There is no one right or wrong way. There is no superior way. They are tools and all tools are used for a specific purpose. A layman in this area says "my hammer is more important than my screwdriver."

So though I don't know if I would explain it like Oscar did I do think he's trying to make the point that "paralysis by analysis" is the product of any teaching system that tries to create too many mental image pictures for the student.

Paralysis by Analysis??????

If a skilled instuctor knows how to involve the brain whether there is overload or not, an instructor at this level is going to know how to adjust and integrate good knowledge transfer over someone who doesn't.

Again, you are swinging to the extreme again and removing any consideration that even your instruction can go to an extreme and be misused.

All of these are man-made system and there are no perfect systems. Everyone one of them can be flawed, misused, overused, underused, and said to be the ideal. A good instructor will ignore this comment and focus on what is available to him, gain the knowledge for it, and utilize what he knows and understands for different circumstances to improve knowledge transfer.

Athletes play in the zone.

Yes, athletes do play in the zone. However, they are playing in the zone according to the level of skills they have developed. Skills are learned. And learning starts in the mind and through knowledge transfer, experience, and analysis.

I have to take off for the day as I have six hours of lessons as it's 60 degrees in St. Louis so excuse me, but I've been teaching with the weather so good. Let's address this further as truth will withstand any attack, and I do think we are on to something key. I'll put myself out there as I know BB and others do. Tennis is evolving and I think this forum is part of that evolution.[/quote]

TenniseaWilliams
11-07-2009, 10:29 AM
...
which is why I ignored Oscar for ten years after I listened to Braden, Ray Brown, and Groppel and others who warned us coaches to be "skeptical" and that Oscar's play by feel methods had no scientific merit.

It's accepted by science that we have two systems not one as the aforementioned teaches referred to. My current thought is they simply chose the wrong premise, that it was the cognitive system (the thinking mind) that processed the information.
....


I think almost everyone uses the terms unconscious mind, muscle memory, etc. as valuable metaphors to refer to trained responses, and in some cases undisciplined or undesirable emotions and thought patterns. I don't know of many that would insist that it was a literal "other".

Science does not accept that we have two actual systems. Does the MTM method philosophically require some sort of "reactive unconscious"?

5263
11-07-2009, 11:19 AM
Maybe this explains a little about feel, nerve speeds and how feel is developed over time with Myelin?

How Fast are Nerve Impulses?
Action potentials can travel along axons at speeds of 0.1-100 m/s. [B]This means that nerve impulses can get from one part of a body to another in a few milliseconds, which allows for fast responses to stimuli. The speed is affected by 3 factors:
*
Temperature - The higher the temperature, the faster the speed. So homoeothermic (warm-blooded) animals have faster responses than poikilothermic (cold-blooded) ones.
*
Myelin sheath - Only vertebrates have a myelin sheath surrounding their neurones. The voltage-gated ion channels are found only at the nodes of Ranvier, and between the nodes the myelin sheath acts as a good electrical insulator. The action potential can therefore jump large distances from node to node (1mm), a process that is called saltatory propagation. This increases the speed of propagation dramatically, so while nerve impulses in unmyelinated neurones have a maximum speed of around 1 m/s, in myelinated neurones they travel at 100 m/s.

rxs10is
11-07-2009, 12:22 PM
This is a great topic to discuss. The topic of whether tennis was first played best using the thinking mind was first addressed by Galwey's Inner Game of Tennis in 1974. I think it one of the best tennis books ever written still.

Definitely one of the better books I've read. The importance of having a quiet mind applies not only to sports (including tennis) but also to other aspects of life, as we know.

As for Oscar's ethereal post, he was trying to be light hearted, funny, but also bring up a point that there are many things we don't understand about how the body processes information.

<snipped>

Yeah, that thread was butchered. Oscar looked like he was having fun.

It's accepted by science that we have two systems not one as the aforementioned teaches referred to. My current thought is they simply chose the wrong premise, that it was the cognitive system (the thinking mind) that processed the information. This makes sense but also explains why tennis is not best taught my mechanical or verbal commands, noted by Yandell in his famous Myth of the Tennis Tip Article in which McEnroe, Sampras, and Aggassi admit they have no idea how they hit their forehands (I can post it on here if you like but I've overun my 100 word baseline already but I think we are on to something worth debating).

I agree totally. Do you know of anyone who learned to ride a bicycle by thinking? lol... Just because tennis lends itself to analysis more easily, we shouldn't fool ourselves into believing that we can learn all aspects of tennis (or other sports) by mind power alone. Thinking, as in strategizing, is best done between points, not in the middle of a point.

Galwey was right, though systems like MTM which teach tennis by feel and operant conditioning (an excellent explanation) tend to incorporate the fine motor system which tracks information along the central nervous system at 100 meters per seconds. Galwey, Yandell, his Myth article, and MTM don't speak the same language but all acknowledge (Yandell indirectly not sure if he knows it for sure) that this is where our timing mechanism resides and explains the power of "waiting" and not trying to process information too fast and thus react in present time by instincts and feel.

Regarding waiting: I think it just quietens the mind. Hurrying creates a sense of panic, and the antidote is waiting. At least, this is my simple view.

So though I don't know if I would explain it like Oscar did I do think he's trying to make the point that "paralysis by analysis" is the product of any teaching system that tries to create too many mental image pictures for the student. Athletes play in the zone.

+1! I totally agree.

Maybe this explains a little about feel, nerve speeds and how feel is developed over time with Myelin?

<snipped>

Maybe we are laboring over something that's really simple. I always thought feel was relating the sensation of hitting the ball to the result in a predictable fashion. So if I can reproduce the feel, I can reproduce the result. No?

Take hitting through (flat) versus hitting across (spin). It's easier to control the ball with spin, so I have more "feel" when I hit across - the results are more predictable. If I hit perfectly flat, I would probably get a different result every time unless I were Sampras. Of course, I can get a better feel for hitting flat by repeating it a million times, but at some point one starts growing old... ha ha!

TenniseaWilliams
11-07-2009, 01:23 PM
Maybe this explains a little about feel, nerve speeds and how feel is developed over time with Myelin?

How Fast are Nerve Impulses?
Action potentials can travel along axons at speeds of 0.1-100 m/s. [B]This means that nerve impulses can get from one part of a body to another in a few milliseconds, which allows for fast responses to stimuli. The speed is affected by 3 factors:
*
Temperature - The higher the temperature, the faster the speed. So homoeothermic (warm-blooded) animals have faster responses than poikilothermic (cold-blooded) ones.
*
Myelin sheath - Only vertebrates have a myelin sheath surrounding their neurones. The voltage-gated ion channels are found only at the nodes of Ranvier, and between the nodes the myelin sheath acts as a good electrical insulator. The action potential can therefore jump large distances from node to node (1mm), a process that is called saltatory propagation. This increases the speed of propagation dramatically, so while nerve impulses in unmyelinated neurones have a maximum speed of around 1 m/s, in myelinated neurones they travel at 100 m/s.

I believe the above was copied verbatim from:
http://www.biologymad.com/NervousSystem/nerveimpulses.htm

The following was copied verbatim from:
Part 3: The Real History of USA Tennis Instruction (on the MTM site)
http://www.moderntenniscoaches.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=17

From this point onward, Braden, Groppel, Brody, and later joined by Ray Brown, PHD, join a chorus of coaches who claim that science has proven that the tennis ball stay on the strings for 3/1000ths of a second and the nervous system won't register that experience we define as feel in the brain until the ball is 22 feet away in a 60 mile an hour shot; therefore, science, according to these "experts", has measured that the player does not feel the impact until the ball is well on it's way to the other side. Here is the exact quote, this time cited by Dr. Ray Brown (it has been quoted by countless other "experts" in media) in 2008 trying to refute Oscar's claims of tennis by feel, "Neurological point. The human body cannot feel the ball until over a quarter of a second after the ball has left the racquet. If the ball speed off the racquet is 60mph (88fps) then the ball has traveled 22feet by the time you feel the impact of the ball on the racquet. After the ball has been struck, not much else is important except to get ready for the next shot."

Oscar continues to claim to this day, when asked about this study, that "feel" from the players viewpoint is perceived by awareness mechanisms not measurable by the science used in the decades of studies done by Braden and others and claims this misconception is one of the lasting barriers to tennis instruction.

teachestennis
11-07-2009, 01:36 PM
Rx10is: "Maybe we are laboring over something that's really simple. I always thought feel was relating the sensation of hitting the ball to the result in a predictable fashion. So if I can reproduce the feel, I can reproduce the result. No?

Take hitting through (flat) versus hitting across (spin). It's easier to control the ball with spin, so I have more "feel" when I hit across - the results are more predictable. If I hit perfectly flat, I would probably get a different result every time unless I were Sampras. Of course, I can get a better feel for hitting flat by repeating it a million times, but at some point one starts growing old... ha ha!"

This is very astute in that we are trying to complicate something that is simple. BB, I do think we can get along, you are one of the most observant technicians I've ever seen, particularly in regards to what each players does technically, but what each player does is because they reproduce the feel and thus the results. I've stated elsewhere that Brown, Braden and others all claim you cannot "massage" the ball, and they cite the above study cited by Tennisea. This statement is contradicted by every player I've taught to play by "feel" who I teach to "feel" the ball move across the strings. It's not their brains that are experiencing the feel, that much I know. I personally believe tennis is played by the spirit or that part of us that does not use the mind as our main motor. Can't prove it to anyone because how can I measure a "spirit." Who cares as long as it works from the players point of view?

MTM defines modern tennis as "deflecting" the ball, increasing the feel by moving across it, allowing forces of topspin and sidespin and underspin (any ball rotation) to force the ball down into the court and put stress against your important. That is a huge difference in teaching using "deflecting by moving across the ball" versus emphasizing "stepping into and hitting through the target line." Both methods may work, but if tennis is played best by feel, then players aren't thinking of a whole lot of things when they play, and this is demonstrated by the players themselves time after time when asked. They are playing by muscle memory which is ingrained in them. Dementieva was asked what she was thinking with two match points against her by Williams in a recent Grand Slam. She replied she was singing some childhood songs. She was playing on instinct, on pure muscle memory. Serena, asked about getting revenge in the next Grand Slam this year, was asked what was she thinking by Carillo (I tivo'd it and watched her reply five times fascinated as I hear it over and over again from pros). Serena's reply, "Thinking. You guys give me too much credit. I try never to think. On court, thinking is a bad thing." I should go find it and post it on Youtube.

I don't know why find it, feel it, finish it works so well except that when I teach it as the three core fundamentals, players somehow start getting better and figure out how to swing and accererate their rackets through the hitting zone which we teach is across their body. Even CharlieFed above notes something "feels" right about this way of playing. When players don't believe it, Oscar has us close our eyes at contact and feel out senses heighten and it's a great on court drill I use often. It also keeps the head still after contact and keeps them from looking up too soon for the ball which causes a spin out and loss of balance.

Today I gave my last lesson to a 5.0 player I developed from scratch. I pushed him to the Miller Tennis Academy where he just started week. He wanted to get one more lesson just to go over a few fundamentals in case he got contradictory data in the clinics. I assured him Mike Miller is a very good coach, someone who I send all my good players to when possible given I push them out of the nest as I don't have a full time academy though that might change next spring. Miller uses the same system I do (with a bit more technical explanation), but my student was concerned about his coaches. I told him to listen intently and just test the data and see how each suggestion "felt" on court and to observe the results. I told him if it felt right and got good results, stick with it. He is not an athletic person but his form is very good with a huge western grip per Ferrero that gives players fits with so much top spin that he can now hit the fence after hitting inside the baseline. My point is he plays totally by feel and he "massages" the ball spin very well or "flatter" on his BH when he needs to take it early against better players. Kelly Jones, a great player and coach (now trying to fix Blake), calls it "holding" the ball, waiting until the last second. Are we to believe the players who play by feel and consider the statement above cited by the "experts" ridiculous given their own experience?

I have collected nearly forty top players mentioning tennis by feel. Aug 2009: The shorter the swing, the better the service; that is new strategy of Ana Ivanovic. Quote from Ana: "In the past two months, I changed it five or six times, trying to figure out what feels most natural.”

RX, if you think Sampras hit flat, think again, regardless of what you read. Pete Sampras in 1995 analyzing his swing frame by frame in Tennis Mag. "When I'm hitting well, I put just enough spin on the ball so it's a hard shot but I'm careful to control it. The actual whipping action of my arm, wrist, and contact is just natural--I can't explain it. When I have a bad day....it's often because I'm hitting too flat. If I'm having a bad day I'll try to hit more topspin." (Contrast this with Robert Landsdorp's claims in 1992 that Sampras hit a flat ball consistently. In addition, the Advanced Tennis Project would prove that Sampras hit with a lot of spin on his groundstrokes, much more than Andre Agassi.)

Compare Sampras' response to Rafael Nadal, in the May 2005 Sports Illustrated, when Jon Wortheim tells Rafa, "People ask, 'Who did you model your game after?'" Rafa's reply , "I never thought like that. I just played the way I was comfortable playing." Or Oct 09 Tennis mag when McEnroe says he never had an injury because he played a 'natural' style. Thank goodness JMac played what felt right to him. Another world champion that did not come out of the USTA system. There are lots when you count them. Connors never did. The Williams Sisters never did. Why do they send all our top juniors to train in Spain these days? If you can't beat them, join them?

No one can process very many thoughts during a tennis shot is my claim. I have built up a lot of muscle memory by experience and just react instinctively when I play well. If I think, I get lost. I do think between points what I need to attack, then I just do it without thinking while it happens, I just feel the shot and shape it with my hand and with my finish I do vary a lot of my shotmaking but it happens instinctively from having experience as to what works on court. I don't even have to think about it while I do it, it just comes natural. I can't overpower these young guns who blast it, so I just finesse them and keep them moving up and back. Keeps it simple. Yet I was a 3.5 player when I relied on my mind. When I was young, I played by feel until the experts ruined my game with mechanics. I go have to get that chip off my shoulder, after all, I'm over 50 now, lol. I guess that grudge comes out, as BB points out.

rxs10is
11-07-2009, 02:17 PM
Hey TT, I did read that statement by Sampras where he said he relies on spin to get back in the zone. I have also seen him play many times, and the spin on his forehand and backhand is phenomenal. What I meant is that unless you're a tennis prodigy, you're better off relying on spin, and even the prodigies hit across more often than not.

Ray

nabrug
11-07-2009, 02:24 PM
To the better teachers here. I recently heard off the Game Based Approach. Should I consider teaching like that? They say it is much more effective!? Or is it also a commercial trick?

teachestennis
11-07-2009, 03:19 PM
To the better teachers here. I recently heard off the Game Based Approach. Should I consider teaching like that? They say it is much more effective!? Or is it also a commercial trick?

http://www.acecoach.com/main/spage/gamebased/ is from Wayne Elderton's site, one of the best known Canadian coaches along with Louis Cayer, whose doubles book I use and who has worked with Andy Murray in 2007, I think, among others.

It's a good site. Wayne has a good section on myths also, and some clear explanations, particularly regarding the role of the racket face at contact as being the main factor as to where the ball goes, not your feet lined up a certain way or being in a certain position. I don't think it's a commercial gimmick at all. I've used it with success and still use a lot of it in my coaching as to who I teach players to play out. I think I reccall Brett Hobden used a lot of this when he formed System 5 which I used to think was the Holy Grail of Tennis.

VaBeachTennis
11-07-2009, 03:43 PM
Compare Sampras' response to Rafael Nadal, in the May 2005 Sports Illustrated, when Jon Wortheim tells Rafa, "People ask, 'Who did you model your game after?'" Rafa's reply , "I never thought like that. I just played the way I was comfortable playing." Or Oct 09 Tennis mag when McEnroe says he never had an injury because he played a 'natural' style. Thank goodness JMac played what felt right to him. Another world champion that did not come out of the USTA system. There are lots when you count them. Connors never did. The Williams Sisters never did. Why do they send all our top juniors to train in Spain these days? If you can't beat them, join them?

No one can process very many thoughts during a tennis shot is my claim. I have built up a lot of muscle memory by experience and just react instinctively when I play well. If I think, I get lost. I do think between points what I need to attack, then I just do it without thinking while it happens, I just feel the shot and shape it with my hand and with my finish I do vary a lot of my shotmaking but it happens instinctively from having experience as to what works on court. I don't even have to think about it while I do it, it just comes natural. I can't overpower these young guns who blast it, so I just finesse them and keep them moving up and back. Keeps it simple. Yet I was a 3.5 player when I relied on my mind. When I was young, I played by feel until the experts ruined my game with mechanics. I go have to get that chip off my shoulder, after all, I'm over 50 now, lol. I guess that grudge comes out, as BB points out.

What is the "USTA System"?
I thought McEnroe came out of the Port Washington Tennis Academy and NCAA? I thought that Connors was taught by his Mom who was a "teaching pro". what system did she come out of? Besides their Dad, didn't the Williams sisters get taught by Macci? Isn't he USPTA? What about Bollettieri isn't he USPTA? Doesn't the USPTA have Spanish Method seminars and videos these days? I have no dog in this fight, I just want to see what the truth is.

As far as thinking of too many things at once when playing tennis, yeah that will mess people up in almost an endeavor they do, because it clouds the mind and doesn't let it focus on the task in my opinion and in my own personal experience. But people are different what works for me, may not work for someone else who has a different mental make up than I do.

I find slowing my mind down works best for me, maybe that's because I am somewhat of a "Type A personality" when I compete, so I try to move to a balance between "Type A & Type B". Some people are "Type B" when they compete so they may need a spark to move them a little further to "Type A" and find their own individual balance.

VaBeachTennis
11-07-2009, 03:52 PM
To the better teachers here. I recently heard off the Game Based Approach. Should I consider teaching like that? They say it is much more effective!? Or is it also a commercial trick?

Are you referring to Dinoffer? I'll give you a link so you can check it out, at least it's this guy's interpretation of it. I think all you have to do is provide an email address and you can get a free trial, there are plenty of other tennis videos there as well. Just scroll down a little on the link and you will see videos based on "Game Based Learning" Here:
http://totalvid.com/searchResults.cfm?intProducerIdnt=572

Good luck! All I can say is try out the techniques and see how it works for you and your student.

MichaelChang
11-07-2009, 04:05 PM
rxs=nabrug=tennis_angel

teachestennis
11-07-2009, 05:03 PM
What is the "USTA System"?
I thought McEnroe came out of the Port Washington Tennis Academy and NCAA? I thought that Connors was taught by his Mom who was a "teaching pro". what system did she come out of? Besides their Dad, didn't the Williams sisters get taught by Macci? Isn't he USPTA? What about Bollettieri isn't he USPTA? Doesn't the USPTA have Spanish Method seminars and videos these days? I have no dog in this fight, I just want to see what the truth is.

As far as thinking of too many things at once when playing tennis, yeah that will mess people up in almost an endeavor they do, because it clouds the mind and doesn't let it focus on the task in my opinion and in my own personal experience. But people are different what works for me, may not work for someone else who has a different mental make up than I do.

I find slowing my mind down works best for me, maybe that's because I am somewhat of a "Type A personality" when I compete, so I try to move to a balance between "Type A & Type B". Some people are "Type B" when they compete so they may need a spark to move them a little further to "Type A" and find their own individual balance.

The current coaching mission statement of the USTA is "To elevate the level of High Performance Coaching in the United States with the intent of facilitating the development of world-class American tennis Champions."

The USTA a few decades ago decided to attack the idea that tennis was an "elitist" sport and so began a USA membership program to track player levels and encourage growth in every persons' tennis game. They set up a system of tournaments to develop players and then pick off and provide high perfomance training to those they feel are good "investments." Lindsey Davenport was a product of the USTA "system" I would say, though she was a late bloomer by then women's standards which I atttribute to learning to hit across the ball and open stance more when she broke through given as a young junior she hit through the target line a lot and got away with it because she was a head taller than everyone else. They also send me very impressive High Performance Coaching Manuals with frame by frame analysis, many I keep on walls or in binders to show my players ala Yandell's Visual Tennis suggestions. I then show them how to try out different players styles which are dependent or a result of their their physical build and idiosyncracies in order to help them find what feels best for them.

Gloria Connors was a very fine player herself, I think she played in the old US Championships a few times. She was not a teaching pro, she just decided before birth, like Richard Williams did, that her second child would be a pro though her older son John (who I have worked alongside quite a bit) tried to play also. Gloria was a housewife by trade, did not really push Jimmy to play that much protecting him from burnout. Did you know Jimmy modeled his game after a woman. Here is Jimmy in his own words (I'm a tennis instruction historian, can't help it lol) “I was taught a woman’s game,” Connors says. “Very compact and easy, no excess motion — the way she played. The racket goes back and through like a swinging gate. At first I was too small to hit a one-handed backhand, so she told me to use two. A two-handed backhand was nonexistent in tennis, and that turned out to be my signature weapon along with my return of serve.” His mom taught him to play like a tiger and when Jimmy asked what that meant, she told him a "crazed animal." Jimmy took that suggestion to heart obviously, his legacy of great heart continued by Rafa, the John Rambo of tennis.

I grew up six blocks from the Connors family, they had the only court in their back yard in East St. Louis outside of Jones Park next to Holy Angels School until the moved to Belleville to put him in a better school. He did his freshman year at Assumption (Catholic school) in East St. Louis and the rest of high school at Belleville East, where my father taught, so I was inspired by Jimmy to take up tennis since he was our local hero, beating #5 player in the world at age 18 when I was 11. Jimmy didn't even take a set from his mother until he was 16, he was not exactly a "strong" kid, and she hit all out against him until he actually beat her. After that, she took him to Segura and to Gonzales at the Beverly Hills Tennis Center in 1968 and she was his sole coach most of his entire pro career, only 5' 1" tall.

So the USTA is different than the USPTA and the PTR. The USPTA develops coaches with the latest science and developments. The USTA currently is focusing on grabbing "prodigies" at a younger age and ensuring their coaching is high grade. It is the USTA that has set up new regional training centers throughout the USA versus the few locations they had in the past that families had to move to or send their children to.

Richard Williams convinced Macci to take both his daughters at 11 and 10 to Macci's for three and a half years where they trained everyday coached my Macci personally while given free room and board and schooling until Richard got a million dollar sponsorship with Reebok when Venus was 14 and had played one pro tournament He promptly fired Macci and built two clay courts in his backyard to coach the girls for the next few years. Macci later threatened to sue until Richard paid a settlement. It's in the History of Tennis on my site.

TenniseaWilliams
11-07-2009, 06:06 PM
... I've stated elsewhere that Brown, Braden and others all claim you cannot "massage" the ball, and they cite the above study cited by Tennisea. This statement is contradicted by every player I've taught to play by "feel" who I teach to "feel" the ball move across the strings. It's not their brains that are experiencing the feel, that much I know. I personally believe tennis is played by the spirit or that part of us that does not use the mind as our main motor. Can't prove it to anyone because how can I measure a "spirit." Who cares as long as it works from the players point of view?

MTM defines modern tennis as "deflecting" the ball, increasing the feel by moving across it, allowing forces of topspin and sidespin and underspin (any ball rotation) to force the ball down into the court and put stress against your important.
...

I'm not asking you to prove that tennis is played by some other "spirit" part of our minds. (I agree that would be unreasonable)

I am asking why you persist in labeling these methods and theories scientific, when you obviously know better.

5263
11-07-2009, 06:54 PM
Action potentials can travel along axons at speeds of 0.1-100 m/s. This means that nerve impulses can get from one part of a body to another in a few milliseconds,



The point of this seems to be lost on some ( or maybe I just don't understand what I'm reading here),
This seems to be in line with speeds that I found in all the med refs I looked at. (8-10 of them)
This clearly states that impulses can get thru the body in just a few milliseconds, which would not jive with the info that the ball would be 22' away.

I also I didn't need this info to know that the 22' away before I feel the ball is bad data, but it is good to see other data that seems to confirm my experience.

teachestennis
11-07-2009, 07:28 PM
I am asking why you persist in labeling these methods and theories scientific, when you obviously know better.

Groppel and Braden are the ones that did the scientific studies measuring the cognitive nervous system responses. All I said is I believe they used the wrong premise, just like tennis hierarchies used the wrong premise that a neutral stance momentum based forward step into the ball was the best way to play your best tennis for the masses (though it's just my opinion). I have never labeled MTM theory as scientific. I do believe that there is sound science behind his theory of why you must bend the arm to find the ball pulling up and across the ball to the finish using a gradient scale of learning (BB pointed this out that most pros use one, though I know of many who don't know the progressions as well as someone like FYB understands very well). I teach four year olds the same mechanics of the FH stroke that I teach top level players. They just do it at slower speeds. It looks the same otherwise except I don't worry about split steps for tiny tots or beginners of any age until they know how to find the ball well. I have however, said that the credibility of any teaching theory is that when others apply the theory under the same set of conditions, they get repeatable results. A theory that was not accepted by the masses with success when applied (tennis in the boom area with traditional classic swing methods) may not in of itself mean the theory was wrong. Maybe tennis is really just too difficult to learn to play well in a short enough time for the masses to think it's worth playing. That premise could be true. But my experience says differently. Therefore my alliance with MTM which has been more work than it would be worth except for the joy I have brought to ugly duckling kids who can't tie there shoes who then learn by tennis that they can actually dream of doing something athletically well. Their smiles are why with my level of education and talent outside of tennis I could make more money probably than I could ever dream of in tennis, but I choose to make a difference and tennis is a great vehicle to ride in.

I have allied with Oscar Wegner's primary goal to make tennis instruction so simplified at the grassroots level that it can be taught at a fairly high level for beginners to enjoy a high degree of success in rallying (not winning) and understand the beauty and challenge this game offers which is representative as an allegory or metaphor of life's journey itself.

All that matters is on court results. That is the only "science" that matters. I believe the real danger with science is the more complex we make tennis instruction, the more likely more players don't advance and consistently get better. I gave a lesson to a 68 year old man today who I had not taught in 5 years since I left Triple A TEnnis club (14 clay courts) in 2004. He said he had not taken a private lesson (he's taken doubles clinics) since I left but if I become Head Pro next Spring he'll be there every other week for a private. He loves the fact how simple I made it for him and got rid of his tennis elbow by showing him how to use his bicep and large muscles to generate force against the ball. He never forgot it.

TenniseaWilliams
11-07-2009, 08:23 PM
Action potentials can travel along axons at speeds of 0.1-100 m/s. This means that nerve impulses can get from one part of a body to another in a few milliseconds,

The point of this seems to be lost on some ( or maybe I just don't understand what I'm reading here),
This seems to be in line with speeds that I found in all the med refs I looked at. (8-10 of them)
This clearly states that impulses can get thru the body in just a few milliseconds, which would not jive with the info that the ball would be 22' away.

I also I didn't need this info to know that the 22' away before I feel the ball is bad data, but it is good to see other data that seems to confirm my experience.

It takes time for the impact vibration to travel through the strings and distort the frame. The frame vibrates, which must travel back to your hand. Even with a few ms nerve transmission delay, there is no time left for even simple analysis necessary to fire nerves controlling muscles, or the time it takes to propagate that signal back to the muscles, or the time it takes for the accelerations produced by the muscles to effect the racquet, which must still indirectly effect the ball through the stringbed.

Since the sensory data received from your eyes is subject to many of the same perceptual and analytical delays, you do not realize the extent to which you live in the past, filling in the gaps as necessary.

rxs10is
11-07-2009, 09:27 PM
rxs=nabrug=tennis_angel

Mysterious, isn't it... :twisted: I take it google is not your friend. lol!

5263
11-08-2009, 06:55 AM
you do not realize the extent to which you live in the past, filling in the gaps as necessary.

You are right, people don't "realize" the extent that the mind is dealing with the past; or the anticipated future for that matter. Our ability to fill in the gaps is phenomenal and that is our true experience. Yes, we can alter that experience thru chopping things up and coming up with some partially understood measurements, and then training to alter perceptions. But so far it doesn't appear that method has made much ground on changing tennis as it is related to hitting (opposed to fitness where it has helped more). Science is almost always left scrambling to explain what players have created by feel.

TenniseaWilliams
11-08-2009, 07:46 AM
Perhaps a simple metaphor will communicate my feelings better.

I understand that as a consumer of modern food products, a certain percentage of everything I eat or drink contains some amount of dirt, bug, and rat.

I would assume that if anything I was being sold contained a large percentage of intentional, known rat, (but it used on 100% of Russians, is high in protein, and tastes great!) that it should be listed as part of the ingredients. Or at least that the packaging should avoid use of the word vegetarian.

5263
11-08-2009, 11:07 AM
Perhaps a simple metaphor will communicate my feelings better.

I understand that as a consumer of modern food products, a certain percentage of everything I eat or drink contains some amount of dirt, bug, and rat.

I would assume that if anything I was being sold contained a large percentage of intentional, known rat, (but it used on 100% of Russians, is high in protein, and tastes great!) that it should be listed as part of the ingredients. Or at least that the packaging should avoid use of the word vegetarian.

thanks for making your lack of objectivity even more clear.

nabrug
11-08-2009, 11:19 AM
From my perspective, all of your sensory information to "feel" when you need to hit the ball starts in the feet. The toes are an excellent area to feel what your legs need to do in the shot. From there, the feel them moves through the body to the hands and the timing you need to bring the racquet head around to meet the ball on time.

Your eyes and ears are the key areas for sensory input for you to develop natural motion to hit the ball. However, in order to correct minor or major coordination errors to reduce injury or to improve one's efficiency and effectivness, instruction is used to shape the player using their talents and current skills.

When you hit the ball, it shouldn't be something you just ignore and look for the result. You want to feel the ball hit the racquet and you use your senses pior to hitting the ball to help you gather as much information as possibe to do it on time and do it well.

In other words, "BE THE BALL."

To the better teachers here. I recently heard off the Game Based Approach. Should I consider teaching like that? They say it is much more effective!? Or is it also a commercial trick?

BB, I think you are one of the leading teachers here. Can you answer my question? Thanks.

TenniseaWilliams
11-08-2009, 07:31 PM
thanks for making your lack of gullibility even more clear.

Fixed it for you. You're welcome.