PDA

View Full Version : Interesting article about why the British are bad at tennis but good at golf...


kiwiconman
06-21-2011, 04:30 PM
... despite both being somewhat bourgeois sports

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-13838432

Bobby Jr
06-21-2011, 04:43 PM
Um... are they that good at golf really? He's the 2nd British person to win a major in how many years? And their high ranking current golfers is not really a reflection of the normal situation in the past few decades for British golf.

Having seen the sheer volume of unrealised or squandered tennis talent in my own country I am convinced that tennis is so hard to be great at not because there is a lack of talent but because even with talent there are so many avenues you can go, most of which squander that potential. In effect top junior programmes around the world serve mostly to blow money on creating coaches. The pairing of talented junior and coach can be the difference between a player being great or nothing at all.

Also, since very few parents or general club coaches actually know much about the finer points of tennis players/parents are at the whim of those coaches who have the gift of the gab - which often has little correlation to their actual ability to coach at the next level. Many also wont admit their shortcomings when it comes time for the player to move on. It is actually a common trend amongst would-be next champion coaches anywhere you go.

A person with heaps of golf on the other hand has a much higher chance of making something of themselves as it seems golf is a sport where talent can be tamed and nurtured much easier than tennis - not least because there are fewer things to screw up. There is a much different mental aspect to golf in terms of reactionary needs - i.e. there is basically none compared to tennis. There is tons more rest and recovery time in peak season, you have a full-time helper next to you giving you advice and easing the potential for misjudgement etc.

Whatever money you throw at tennis programmes you could be burning most of it and feeding back into the failings of the regime (most fit this category). In golf however many, many players have come through from club ranks and are at a much more competent and aware level before they embark on pro-level coaching etc.

Fedex
06-21-2011, 04:54 PM
Um... are they that good at golf really? He's the 2nd British person to win a major in how many years? And their high ranking current golfers is not a reflection at all on the past few decades for British golf.

Having seen the sheer numbers of unrealised talent in tennis in my own country I am convinced that tennis is so hard to be great at not because there is a lack of talent but because even with talent there are so many avenues you can go, most of which squander that potential. In effect top junior programmes around the world serve mostly to blow money on creating coaches.

Britain's a lot better at golf than they are at tennis.
Had several major winners over the past 20/30 years. Maybe 10?
Tennis wise Britain has had none in seventy odd years!
Talking from experience as a fanatic tennis player in my teens, in Scotland, the facilities were practically non existent.
My most common hitting partner was a brick wall.
Dad was my coach.
The snobbery at the club was unbearable. Middle class, clique, tossers excuse my French.
People like Murray had to leave the country to get proper facilities and coaching.
Disgraceful!
In Dundee we have many big public parks. They've created ice hockey and football pitches.
Not one indoor tennis court in the area.
Forget it here. You've got no chance.

Edit: I've not read the article yet btw. Be interesting to see if it ties up with my experiences. Maybe things have moved on?

Just read the article. No they haven't.

kiwiconman
06-21-2011, 05:07 PM
People like Murray had to leave the country to get proper facilities and coaching.
Disgraceful!
In Dundee we have many big public parks. They've created ice hockey and football pitches.
Not one indoor tennis club in the area.
Forget it here. You've got no chance.

Edit: I've not read the article yet btw. Be interesting to see if it ties up with my experiences. Maybe things have moved on?

Just read the article. No they haven't.

Judy Murray echoes your sentiments in the article.

Fedex
06-21-2011, 05:14 PM
Judy Murray echoes your sentiments in the article.

Stirling University specialises in sports. Best facilities in the country.
Dunblane is only a few miles up the road.
If it wasn't for that coincidence, there would be no Murray.

Fedex
06-21-2011, 05:19 PM
Judy Murray echoes your sentiments in the article.

Judy Murray is a good girl.
She came to our tennis club in Dundee a couple of years ago to coach the kids for a day. She was great. Very professional and organised and got the best out of a lot of kids in a limited time. And she's passing on her coaching knowledge and regimes to the club.
Trying her best but you're really p*ssing in the wind here. Relatively speaking.

Mustard
06-21-2011, 05:34 PM
Um... are they that good at golf really? He's the 2nd British person to win a major in how many years?

Just the 1 year (Graeme McDowell) ;)

Antonio Puente
06-21-2011, 05:42 PM
Yes, but McIlroy is only British until his next Masters-style choke. Just ask Murray.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=G3ynYHHH9e0#t=165s

Mustard
06-21-2011, 05:51 PM
Yes, but McIlroy is only British until his next Masters-style choke. Just ask Murray.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=G3ynYHHH9e0#t=165s

Murray hasn't won a major, McIlroy has. Sticking with golf, Greg Norman had chances to win 10 majors or more, but only ended up with 2, yet he's still seen as a legend of the game for his brilliant British Open wins of 1986 and 1993. Colin Montgomerie, on the other hand, never won a major, and only seems to be remembered for all those chances he blew (aside from Ryder Cup, but that's a team event like Davis Cup).

Bobby Jr
06-21-2011, 05:52 PM
Britain's a lot better at golf than they are at tennis.
Had several major winners over the past 20/30 years. Maybe 10?
Tennis wise Britain has had none in seventy odd years!
For sure... but tennis is a much harder sport to score a random one-off slam win golf is in majors. And yet British have scores 14 majors in golf in the last 42 years (back to 1970, 168 majors played)

(It is in part because golf gives players too many chances with their multi-day format - you can be 20th best in each of the 1st 3 rounds and still win. In tennis however you have to win every match, every time you play which I think massively reduces the chance of a talented newcomer having a surprise win)

That said. I agree with the "common hitting partner was a brick wall....Dad was my coach.... The snobbery at the club was unbearable" but also add what I said about the paths a talented player can take. Most of them lead to failure and that is definitely down to the talent of spotting talent and the talent of coaching players to the next level. There just are few and far between enough coaches/methodologies which actually deliver the goods. That is where England has historically fallen short imo.

Maybe the Murray family was actually smart enough to recognise this and got Andy out of the English system for that reason. It's hard to argue with the results is it? He's, by far, the best player they've had for decades.

I'm sure there is a lot of pressure on coaches/clubs now where parents are saying "should we send our kid to Spain"... How many coaches will really bite their tongue and say "yes, that would be the best option - I simply aren't good enough in comparison"? Going by many of the supposed elite junior coaches I've met in my time too few are even smart enough to know when they're not up to the task (most are still trying after decades with no real results).

Most tennis systems are actually nothing other than really pricey future coach-making systems if you look at the results.

Antonio Puente
06-21-2011, 06:04 PM
For sure... but tennis is a much harder sport to score a random one-off slam win golf is in majors.

The past 11 slams - 11 different winners.

You rarely see a one-hit-wonder champion in tennis. In golf, it's commonplace.

Mustard
06-21-2011, 06:08 PM
The past 11 slams - 11 different winners.

You rarely see a one-hit-wonder champion in tennis. In golf, it's commonplace.

That's because of Nadal and Federer, and Djokovic to a lesser extent. In the early noughties, it was pretty common to have different major winners. In the 16 majors from 2000-2003, there were 11 different winners. They were Agassi, Kuerten, Sampras, Safin, Ivanisevic, Hewitt, Johansson, Costa, Ferrero, Federer and Roddick.

Fedex
06-21-2011, 06:16 PM
(It is in part because golf gives players too many chances with their multi-day format - you can be 20th best in each of the 1st 3 rounds and still win. In tennis however you have to win every match, every time you play which I think massively reduces the chance of a talented newcomer having a surprise win)

That said. I agree with the "common hitting partner was a brick wall....Dad was my coach.... The snobbery at the club was unbearable" but also add what I said about the paths a talented player can take. Most of them lead to failure and that is definitely down to the talent of spotting talent and the talent of coaching players to the next level. There just are few and far between enough coaches/methodologies which actually deliver the goods. That is where England has historically fallen short imo.

Maybe the Murray family was actually smart enough to recognise this and got Andy out of the English system for that reason. It's hard to argue with the results is it? He's, by far, the best player they've had for decades.

I'm sure there is a lot of pressure on coaches/clubs now where parents are saying "should we send our kid to Spain"... How many coaches will really bite their tongue and say "yes, that would be the best option - I simply aren't good enough in comparison"? Going by many of the supposed elite junior coaches I've met in my time too few are even smart enough to know when they're not up to the task (most are still trying after decades with no real results).


That is where Britain, not England has fallen down, Britain being England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Yes Judy Murray is a professional coach and recognised the need to get her son out of Scotland, Britain.
The stars aligned there. A great talent with a good coach and nearby facilities at Stirling University to kick start things then move him onto better facilities and coaching.

Coaches not knowing they're good enough reminds me of the saying - He who knows not and knows not that they know not. He is a fool. Shun him.

Antonio Puente
06-21-2011, 06:19 PM
That's because of Nadal and Federer, and Djokovic to a lesser extent. In the early noughties, it was pretty common to have different major winners. In the 16 majors from 2000-2003, there were 11 different winners. They were Agassi, Kuerten, Sampras, Safin, Ivanisevic, Hewitt, Johansson, Costa, Ferrero, Federer and Roddick.

Few one-hit-wonder types, though. In tennis, you rarely have a 25th ranked player come from nowhere to win the odd slam, never to be heard from again. Even someone like Roddick was top 10 for a decade.

Mustard
06-21-2011, 06:37 PM
Few one-hit-wonder types, though. In tennis, you rarely have a 25th ranked player come from nowhere to win the odd slam, never to be heard from again. Even someone like Roddick was top 10 for a decade.

Ah, I see what you mean. I think a big reason is that in tennis, you play against opponents and you have to beat 7 different opponents to win a major. With the majors in golf, with them being strokeplay tournaments, you have to play the course and get the best score possible. This makes it harder for the best players to dominate than in tennis, and makes the chances of one off major winners much more likely in golf than in tennis.