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dozu
10-05-2011, 04:42 AM
you've heard them before.... e.g.

the 7th game fallacy - as if this is really the most important game... that's BS, the 1st thru the 6th games are just as important, so you enter the 7th game up 4-2 instead of 3-3...... actually, pure statistically speaking, 7th game is slightly less important than the 1st thru the 6th, as a set can end with 6-0, which renders 7th game meaningless.

the 'get to 30 first in a game' fallacy.... nothing can sound more silly... so silly I don't even wonna bother with a counter-argument.

what other illogical stuff have you heard?

sureshs
10-05-2011, 05:37 AM
"He needs a huge first serve now" - duh, everyone needs it all the time.

"He needs to work on his first-serve percentage" - yeah, right. He needs to manipulate that percentage number rather than just hit the serves in.

"The momentum has swung back to him after it shifted to his opponent" - that is the same thing as he was winning, then losing, then winning again.

"Today was not his day" - which means he lost.

"Needs to cut down on those unforced errors" - really? Like keeping the ball inside the lines?

Ramon
10-05-2011, 05:56 AM
"Best time to get a break is when you've just been broken." - About as good as the 7th game fallacy.

"The serve is the most important shot in the game." - Haven't heard that in a while, but it was once popular. Dementieva disproved that every time she won.

"The big server has the advantage in the tie-breaker." - Ok, maybe if you're Pete Sampras.

papa
10-05-2011, 07:13 AM
Well, the 7th game, can be important but I would agree that all games are important as dosu says.

However, I do like players trying to get "up" in any game. I don't know the exact odds but think they are very much in your favor if you go up 30-love in any game. As a coach, I always want my players to get ahead in any game.

dozu
10-05-2011, 07:32 AM
^^^ papa, I think 'get ahead in any game' is a fallacy LOL

TennisCoachFLA
10-05-2011, 07:33 AM
An interesting study was done on 17 of these items:

http://arno.uvt.nl/show.cgi?fid=115144

dozu
10-05-2011, 07:44 AM
An interesting study was done on 17 of these items:

http://arno.uvt.nl/show.cgi?fid=115144

excellent read !

so hypothesis 10 (7th game) is indeed complete nonsense.

DjokovicForTheWin
10-05-2011, 08:26 AM
I don't think all games are as important and it has a lot to do with psychology. Getting broken in the 1st game is much different than getting broken in the 7th in terms of mental strength to come back.

papa
10-05-2011, 08:37 AM
^^^ papa, I think 'get ahead in any game' is a fallacy LOL

A fallacy in that you think you should consistently play from behind? You seem rather savvy in terms of tennis, so I'm guessing I'm missing something.

sureshs
10-05-2011, 08:40 AM
"You need to consolidate a break by holding your serve" - I suppose just winning the game should suffice?

sureshs
10-05-2011, 08:43 AM
An interesting study was done on 17 of these items:

http://arno.uvt.nl/show.cgi?fid=115144

Darn why no right/wrong summary for each of them? I don't have the time to read the full article.

sureshs
10-05-2011, 08:50 AM
I am curious about "try to hit one more ball in."

Does it really make a difference as claimed? Or is it usually a foolish waste of energy trying to chase down an impossible shot, or getting it back in only to be put away? What %tage of these chased-down shots actually end up winning the point for the chaser?

purge
10-05-2011, 08:52 AM
in tennis you only have to win one point. the last one

TennisCoachFLA
10-05-2011, 09:14 AM
Darn why no right/wrong summary for each of them? I don't have the time to read the full article.

Ha, it is a lot of reading. Economists are a wordy bunch!

DjokovicForTheWin
10-05-2011, 09:21 AM
in tennis you only have to win one point. the last one

What if you get injured after winning the second last point and can no longer continue? That point becomes the last point for you even though you won it, but lost the match.

dozu
10-05-2011, 10:22 AM
A fallacy in that you think you should consistently play from behind? You seem rather savvy in terms of tennis, so I'm guessing I'm missing something.

not sure.... but this is the closest one I can think of -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circular_cause_and_consequence

what I meant was - asking a player to get ahead is the same as asking s/he to win...

actually I don't think the 'getting ahead' mental cue is useless, it prolly makes the player aware of the score situation and play better.

I am just saying logically speaking this is 'circular' with asking the player just to win the match.

If the above makes sense at all... lol.

papa
10-05-2011, 11:26 AM
not sure.... but this is the closest one I can think of -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circular_cause_and_consequence

what I meant was - asking a player to get ahead is the same as asking s/he to win...

actually I don't think the 'getting ahead' mental cue is useless, it prolly makes the player aware of the score situation and play better.

I am just saying logically speaking this is 'circular' with asking the player just to win the match.

If the above makes sense at all... lol.

OK, see where your coming from.

What I've found is that it (winning first two points) lets them (players) get into the game without having to play from being behind. Being ahead/behind is not an absolute indication of outcome but when we consider that a game is winning four points (assuming no-adds), winning the first two is 50%. Even if you play even from that point on, you'll win.

With kids, they often go for too much on a lot of shots - if they play more conservative for the first couple, its gives them an edge, IMO.

goran_ace
10-05-2011, 12:27 PM
I am curious about "try to hit one more ball in."

Does it really make a difference as claimed? Or is it usually a foolish waste of energy trying to chase down an impossible shot, or getting it back in only to be put away? What %tage of these chased-down shots actually end up winning the point for the chaser?

My coach used to preach 'one more ball in' when I was a junior and I believe it does make a difference. The conversion rate of chasing down these balls may not be very good, but that's no reason to dismiss it. Getting one more ball in keeps the point going when it otherwise wold have ended. Sure most of the time it may result in another putaway shot for your opponent, but it also gives your opponent one more chance to make an error - we've all missed easy putaways in our time. If you let it go, you've definitely lost the point, if you chase it down, maybe you steal a point here and there that your opponent thought he had, and you never know when one point can make a difference.

Another effect of putting in the effort to chasing down every ball you can is that it shrinks the court for your opponent. Even if you don't win that point, you are sending a message to your opponent that you will make the effort toget every ball and that may make your opponent aim closer to the lines or hit harder next time at the expense of control. You can force errors with hustle.

Ptrac
10-05-2011, 12:45 PM
The 12th game is the most important duhhh

tennis_balla
10-05-2011, 03:27 PM
These are all petty...

You wanna know whats really BS? Tennis clubs believing that catering only to adults between the ages of 50 and death will help make the club grow. Once a week hit warriors going out there with their slice forehands and feeling all important and getting their panties in a bunch when there are junior lessons going on on the court next to them or they have to play an hour later/earlier cause of junior programs. They're retired anyways, why does it matter so much?
Juniors are the future of the club, and ones that will most likely become members and play the game for decades to come and bring in more members. Yet clubs don't care about that, they'd rather run the easy Adult Round Robins and ignore the kids, then wonder why they're losing members (age) and not getting new ones.

sureshs
10-05-2011, 03:29 PM
My coach used to preach 'one more ball in' when I was a junior and I believe it does make a difference. The conversion rate of chasing down these balls may not be very good, but that's no reason to dismiss it. Getting one more ball in keeps the point going when it otherwise wold have ended. Sure most of the time it may result in another putaway shot for your opponent, but it also gives your opponent one more chance to make an error - we've all missed easy putaways in our time. If you let it go, you've definitely lost the point, if you chase it down, maybe you steal a point here and there that your opponent thought he had, and you never know when one point can make a difference.

Another effect of putting in the effort to chasing down every ball you can is that it shrinks the court for your opponent. Even if you don't win that point, you are sending a message to your opponent that you will make the effort toget every ball and that may make your opponent aim closer to the lines or hit harder next time at the expense of control. You can force errors with hustle.

Fantastic answer.

papa
10-05-2011, 03:46 PM
These are all petty...

You wanna know whats really BS? Tennis clubs believing that catering only to adults between the ages of 50 and death will help make the club grow. Once a week hit warriors going out there with their slice forehands and feeling all important and getting their panties in a bunch when there are junior lessons going on on the court next to them or they have to play an hour later/earlier cause of junior programs. They're retired anyways, why does it matter so much?
Juniors are the future of the club, and ones that will most likely become members and play the game for decades to come and bring in more members. Yet clubs don't care about that, they'd rather run the easy Adult Round Robins and ignore the kids, then wonder why they're losing members (age) and not getting new ones.

Good points and its not just the exclusive clubs that have this attitude/problem - I see/and hear about it all the time.

The problem here is that clubs have to cater to those that buy the membership to keep these places afloat - more often than not, its the people your referring too. They are the ones who keep the money flowing in through by spending in the restaurants, pro shops, special events, etc. etc.

So the question is how do you keep everyone happy and the solution in many cases (not all but most) is the hours (time of day) that certain groups play. For instance, seniors generally prefer mornings whereas younger players are attracted to afternoon or evening play. Works to some extent but unfortunately not always.

You probably have seen the attitude when we have teams involved, especially when we need all the courts. Most are not pleased if courts are not available to THEM for "whatever" reason.

Unlike yourself, unfortunately most players are well, self-centered and not too interested in the future - too bad but that's what were dealing with. Those that pay feel they alone have all the rights while those much younger feel they should be showcased. Somehow there has to be a balance.

sureshs
10-05-2011, 03:58 PM
These are all petty...

You wanna know whats really BS? Tennis clubs believing that catering only to adults between the ages of 50 and death will help make the club grow. Once a week hit warriors going out there with their slice forehands and feeling all important and getting their panties in a bunch when there are junior lessons going on on the court next to them or they have to play an hour later/earlier cause of junior programs. They're retired anyways, why does it matter so much?
Juniors are the future of the club, and ones that will most likely become members and play the game for decades to come and bring in more members. Yet clubs don't care about that, they'd rather run the easy Adult Round Robins and ignore the kids, then wonder why they're losing members (age) and not getting new ones.

I was moved on Sunday to accomodate a bunch of kids playing some league, and did not like it. I make a reservation for a court because I want that court (in this case, close to the changing room and no court on one side), and I am a paying member. It sends the signal that some members are more important than others, and that cannot be allowed.

I like juniors and hit with them whenever I can, because I like the challenge. But, I don't agree with you that they are that much important to the club. Most juniors move on to college and a job, perhaps elsewhere, and many will not play again till they are settled with job and family. The oldies are the life-blood of the club and won't go anywhere else.

We lost a club pro (he moved) and he was never replaced. Oldies don't want pros occupying courts and don't care for lessons. This became a huge issue in the club, but finally the oldies won. They feel that they should have a good chance of finding a court when they want to play, and even with 1 out of the 4 pros gone, I notice an improved availability of courts for myself.

user92626
10-05-2011, 04:07 PM
My coach used to preach 'one more ball in' when I was a junior and I believe it does make a difference. The conversion rate of chasing down these balls may not be very good, but that's no reason to dismiss it. Getting one more ball in keeps the point going when it otherwise wold have ended. Sure most of the time it may result in another putaway shot for your opponent, but it also gives your opponent one more chance to make an error - we've all missed easy putaways in our time. If you let it go, you've definitely lost the point, if you chase it down, maybe you steal a point here and there that your opponent thought he had, and you never know when one point can make a difference.

Another effect of putting in the effort to chasing down every ball you can is that it shrinks the court for your opponent. Even if you don't win that point, you are sending a message to your opponent that you will make the effort toget every ball and that may make your opponent aim closer to the lines or hit harder next time at the expense of control. You can force errors with hustle.


Its effect depends on how successful you are at retreiving and/or how successful your opponent are at hitting. If your opponent is too good and you too suck, then it's a foolish thing to do or even be a fast track to injury and indefinite retirement. Case in point, nobody could say that Nadal is a quitter or even bad as retriever, but you can arguably say that in the last USO final he played like he quit in the 4th set. Live to fight another day.

Be smart, no saying works all the time. All sayings don't work at one point or another. :)

skiracer55
10-05-2011, 07:33 PM
...but you have to have a plan, which doesn't mean it has to be complicated. But most players go out there and just hit balls until the last point is over...usually, not in their favor...and then wonder what happened.

To take the seventh game truism, there probably isn't any good reason, no real data that I know of, for believing in it. Unless, of course, you believe in it enough do the work to get to 3 all, then break in the next game to go ahead in the set...or actions to that effect...in most of the sets you play.

A corollary of the above is that whatever works for me as a game plan or mantra doesn't have to apply to you or all other tennis players. Here's an example of a very simple, straightforward strategy that one of the top ATP pros is being coached to use:

- First serve goes out wide, on both sides.

- Second serve always goes to the backhand.

- The default rally ball is cross court.

- Look for a chance to hit a big forehand on your second shot in the rally.

Would that work for everyone? (Hint: This guy has a 130 mph serve and a big forehand)? Maybe, maybe not. On the other hand, the above game plan has a very neat, compact, easy to remember aspect, doesn't it? Takes a lot of the decision making out of each point. If you wanted to employ such a strategy, what would you have to do? (Hint: work on your serve, most important shot in the game, work on your return, second most important shot in the game, work on your footwork and stroke production so you can hammer a forehand cross court, in the court, 9 times out of ten...)

papa
10-06-2011, 04:05 AM
...but you have to have a plan, which doesn't mean it has to be complicated. But most players go out there and just hit balls until the last point is over...usually, not in their favor...and then wonder what happened.

To take the seventh game truism, there probably isn't any good reason, no real data that I know of, for believing in it. Unless, of course, you believe in it enough do the work to get to 3 all, then break in the next game to go ahead in the set...or actions to that effect...in most of the sets you play.

A corollary of the above is that whatever works for me as a game plan or mantra doesn't have to apply to you or all other tennis players. Here's an example of a very simple, straightforward strategy that one of the top ATP pros is being coached to use:

- First serve goes out wide, on both sides.

- Second serve always goes to the backhand.

- The default rally ball is cross court.

- Look for a chance to hit a big forehand on your second shot in the rally.

Would that work for everyone? (Hint: This guy has a 130 mph serve and a big forehand)? Maybe, maybe not. On the other hand, the above game plan has a very neat, compact, easy to remember aspect, doesn't it? Takes a lot of the decision making out of each point. If you wanted to employ such a strategy, what would you have to do? (Hint: work on your serve, most important shot in the game, work on your return, second most important shot in the game, work on your footwork and stroke production so you can hammer a forehand cross court, in the court, 9 times out of ten...)

Interesting and well worded.

fuzz nation
10-06-2011, 04:33 AM
what other illogical stuff have you heard?

Anchovies on pizza... bad idea!!!

Oh, and while I'm at it... decaf coffee. What's up with that?

dozu
10-06-2011, 04:54 AM
Anchovies on pizza... bad idea!!!

Oh, and while I'm at it... decaf coffee. What's up with that?

Can I have a BigMac with extra cheese, and a DIET coke pls.

BMC9670
10-06-2011, 04:57 AM
These are all petty...

You wanna know whats really BS? Tennis clubs believing that catering only to adults between the ages of 50 and death will help make the club grow. Once a week hit warriors going out there with their slice forehands and feeling all important and getting their panties in a bunch when there are junior lessons going on on the court next to them or they have to play an hour later/earlier cause of junior programs. They're retired anyways, why does it matter so much?
Juniors are the future of the club, and ones that will most likely become members and play the game for decades to come and bring in more members. Yet clubs don't care about that, they'd rather run the easy Adult Round Robins and ignore the kids, then wonder why they're losing members (age) and not getting new ones.

Both clubs I play at designate 1-2 courts for lessons/clinics. They may be free to play on, but it's understood that lessons/clinics take priority. This diffuses this situation.

What I find just as annoying, though, is when I'm working with a kid or group of kids doing basket feeding/drills and a guy sets up in the court next to us (courts grouped by twos) and starts practicing serves, then proceeds to get angry when our balls roll (or fly) into his court. What do they expect when walking on to an adjacent court full of 6-10 year olds?

Frank Silbermann
10-06-2011, 05:23 AM
I am curious about "try to hit one more ball in."

Does it really make a difference as claimed? Or is it usually a foolish waste of energy trying to chase down an impossible shot, or getting it back in only to be put away? What %tage of these chased-down shots actually end up winning the point for the chaser? It's hugely important. Back around 1980 I verified that Vic Braden was right -- the average public parks player rarely hits more than three shots in a row without making an unforced error. So every ball you get back, no matter how weakly, carries a significant chance of winning the point. That's why retrievers, who do nothing more than try to get every ball back, are so difficult for us to beat.

TTMR
10-06-2011, 09:28 AM
It's hugely important. Back around 1980 I verified that Vic Braden was right -- the average public parks player rarely hits more than three shots in a row without making an unforced error. So every ball you get back, no matter how weakly, carries a significant chance of winning the point. That's why retrievers, who do nothing more than try to get every ball back, are so difficult for us to beat.

Surely with graphite racquets and larger headsizes, that number has gone up. Though I do agree, the effort is still worth it at low levels.

papa
10-06-2011, 09:37 AM
Both clubs I play at designate 1-2 courts for lessons/clinics. They may be free to play on, but it's understood that lessons/clinics take priority. This diffuses this situation.

What I find just as annoying, though, is when I'm working with a kid or group of kids doing basket feeding/drills and a guy sets up in the court next to us (courts grouped by twos) and starts practicing serves, then proceeds to get angry when our balls roll (or fly) into his court. What do they expect when walking on to an adjacent court full of 6-10 year olds?

I had a guy this summer who really took exception with me using all the courts for kids team practice although I had advised everyone and put up signage regarding the 2 hour period - 3:30 - 5:30 three days a week. He kept up the complaining which was getting annoying to me and embarrassing to the kids. I finally moved the kids around to accommodate his machine and misc stuff he was there with (balls, baskets, folding chair, cooler, tennis bag, etc.).

Would you believe he then just sat in his GD folding chair for the next hour and didn't hit one ball - just sat there.

Had another who was smoking and I reminded him that it was a no-smoking environment around the courts, especially with so many kids around. He preceded to inform me that what "HE" did was none of my business and refused to put it out. I told him it was my business and if he didn't put the thing out or leave, I would have him arrested. He left and I haven't seen him since.

skiracer55
10-06-2011, 11:40 AM
Interesting and well worded.

...it may be a little harsh to call the list of items we've been discussing as out and out fallacies. I prefer to think that a lot of these items have a grain of truth, or are true some of the time, in some situations.

So let's examine a little further the "7th game" dictum. Is there anything to recommend the 7th game of the set as the swing game? I think there's a case for it. My former coach Dave Hodge, was, successively, Men's Assistant at CU Boulder and Men's Assistant at Stanford, and is now one of the coaches for Tennis Australia. He also played on the ATP for about 2 years. Dave once told me that at the Futures and above level, it's not usually the case that both players come to a match primed to go out and play Miracle Tennis and win every point. They both know that they're pretty evenly matched, and that, early in the first set, it's critical to start off well by holding serve and trying to deduce a stategy for breaking your opponent's serve. The idea is to play percentage tennis, lots of first serves in, lots of returns back, accept the fact that it's probably going to be 3 all before you figure out what you need to do to win serve most easily...and, more important, break serve.

Thus, the criticality of the 7th game. Does this have any application at a less-than-ATP level? It certainly should, if you believe in NTRP. I know...there are different levels of 4.0s, especially if sandbagging is a factor, but I'd say that lots of 4.0 matches are, well, pretty evenly matched, to start off. So let's say I'm coaching two 4.0s in a practice match. Here's what I'd say:

"Okay, guys, here's the drill. First game, on your serve, first serve goes heavy right down the middle of the box, right at your opponent. I don't want to see any second serves on the first two points. If you get up 30 love, good on ya. Now I want you to try something different on your serve...maybe out wide to the forehand. If that works and you're up 40 love, do two things: (1) File that information away for later, but don't go back to the well right away. (2) Try something adventurous in the ad court.

What happens if you're not up 30 love? First, ask yourself why. Did you get both first serves in? No? Did they go right down the middle of the box? Double no? Okay, you are now in the penalty box, and until you can show me that you can walk, you ain't gonna run. First serves in, right down the middle of the box, until you start winning points.

Okay, returner, your job is to get returns in play. Make the other guy play. If you hand him stupid errors on the return, he'll love you forever and start serving better, probably. I don't mean push the ball, it's essential that you find your stroke and your depth on the return. Deep down the middle is just fine. Short down the middle isn't great...but it's a hell of a lot better than into the net. Try to make the guy run, try to make him hit lots of balls, if you break serve, fine. If you don't as long as you're holding serve, you're just finding your stroke and figuring out what you need to pull out of your bag of tricks when you do get an opportunity to break serve.

Players ready? Play."

[A decent interval occurs, ending in a 3-3 score].

"Okay, guys, it's now 3-3, well done! Yeah, I know, neither one of you is going to bagel the other guy, but on the other hand, you're not going to get turfed, either. You've both hit a bunch of balls, and you've got your movement and timing going. I still want you to play smart tennis, but when you see your opportunities, especially to break, I want you to step up and come up with the kind of bold moves I told you to try out, sparingly, while you were getting into the match...remember that part?"

jht32
10-06-2011, 11:56 AM
^ No doubt, the 7th game is very important IF the score is 3-3. But the next game is very important if the score is 4-4 or 5-5 too.

If the score is 5-1 in your favor, the 7th games is not as "important/critical" because even if you lose, you will have other chances to close out the set.

So while there is some truth to it, a more appropriate rule would be something like "the game becomes more important when the score is close and the set is winding down." But of course, that doesn't have quite the same catchiness as the "the 7th game is the most important"

skiracer55
10-06-2011, 01:15 PM
^ No doubt, the 7th game is very important IF the score is 3-3. But the next game is very important if the score is 4-4 or 5-5 too.

If the score is 5-1 in your favor, the 7th games is not as "important/critical" because even if you lose, you will have other chances to close out the set.

So while there is some truth to it, a more appropriate rule would be something like "the game becomes more important when the score is close and the set is winding down." But of course, that doesn't have quite the same catchiness as the "the 7th game is the most important"

...I think the whole idea of 3-3 is that the set is not winding down. It's in midstream, and per the post I made above, it's likely to be the ideal time to make your move and get the break, then ride it out by holding your serve. Absolutely true that if it turns out to be 5-1 instead of 3-3, it's a different ball game. What I was trying to show was a concept of why 3-3 might occur more often than not, and what that means re the 7th game.

One of the the things I believe we don't talk about enough, and is critical to the game of tennis, is rhythm. I once heard someone refer to Ashe's game on grass as "lyrical." A point has rhythm...or, if it doesn't, if it feels ragged and rough, it may be because you ain't got rhythm. It's as important to play cleanly, smoothly, and efficiently, as it is to play powerfully and explosively. As we say in ski racing, "Always quiet, never frozen."

Correspondingly, a well-played set has its own rhythm, and if both players are evenly matched and playing according to the script, I think the 7th game is likely to be the swing game. But if it doesn't turn out that way, guess what? You still have to try to win the set. My philosophy is that you have to try to impose your game, your rhythm on your opponent and the situation. But it's always well to realize, as Peter Burwash once pointed out, that tennis, is, at base, a series of controlled emergencies...

uzzi
10-06-2011, 01:23 PM
These are all petty...

You wanna know whats really BS? Tennis clubs believing that catering only to adults between the ages of 50 and death will help make the club grow. Once a week hit warriors going out there with their slice forehands and feeling all important and getting their panties in a bunch when there are junior lessons going on on the court next to them or they have to play an hour later/earlier cause of junior programs. They're retired anyways, why does it matter so much?
Juniors are the future of the club, and ones that will most likely become members and play the game for decades to come and bring in more members. Yet clubs don't care about that, they'd rather run the easy Adult Round Robins and ignore the kids, then wonder why they're losing members (age) and not getting new ones.

Sounds very similar to the mindset of some members at my club, as well. Luckily there has been an infusion of younger members over the past few years that is changing the demographics at the club.

dennis10is
10-06-2011, 08:42 PM
you've heard them before.... e.g.

the 7th game fallacy - as if this is really the most important game... that's BS, the 1st thru the 6th games are just as important, so you enter the 7th game up 4-2 instead of 3-3...... actually, pure statistically speaking, 7th game is slightly less important than the 1st thru the 6th, as a set can end with 6-0, which renders 7th game meaningless.

the 'get to 30 first in a game' fallacy.... nothing can sound more silly... so silly I don't even wonna bother with a counter-argument.

what other illogical stuff have you heard?

Some of us thought that you can be a tennis player, even a fairly decent one, without having to play USTA Santionced League. However, we were educated that the only thing that matters is the crucible of competition which only the USTA can provide. You are not a tennis player if you've never played USTA.

You must pay the USTA and only then are you considered a tenis player.

When you die, the only thing that matters would be your NTRP rating. I'm shocked that people are writing about Jobs. What NTRP rating did he achieve in his life?

All that CNN or Time or Fox or W. Post need to print is Steven Jobs, unrated NTRP. They should burry him in an unmarked grave for his failure to get a rating.

Timbo's hopeless slice
10-06-2011, 09:01 PM
Some of us thought that you can be a tennis player, even a fairly decent one, without having to play USTA Santionced League. However, we were educated that the only thing that matters is the crucible of competition which only the USTA can provide. You are not a tennis player if you've never played USTA.

You must pay the USTA and only then are you considered a tenis player.

When you die, the only thing that matters would be your NTRP rating. I'm shocked that people are writing about Jobs. What NTRP rating did he achieve in his life?

All that CNN or Time or Fox or W. Post need to print is Steven Jobs, unrated NTRP. They should burry him in an unmarked grave for his failure to get a rating.

someone needs to tell you and Joel that not too many people think you are clever when it comes down to it...

5263
10-06-2011, 09:29 PM
...it may be a little harsh to call the list of items we've been discussing as out and out fallacies. I prefer to think that a lot of these items have a grain of truth, or are true some of the time, in some situations.

So let's examine a little further the "7th game" dictum. Is there anything to recommend the 7th game of the set as the swing game? I think there's a case for it.

I agree that the 7th game can be seen as a pivotal point in a set. In a reasonably close match, the score can only be 4-2, 3-3, or 2-4 when you reach the 7th game.
6-0 is already decided and 5-1 is almost decided.
At 4-2 or 2-4, that 7th game is enormous and will mostly decide if the player behind will be in this set. At 3-3 a player is very much at a point where he knows where to go to get that hold or break if it is going to happen. 7th game is the first one where a tight set has taken shape and is time to bust a move.

papa
10-07-2011, 03:30 AM
skiracer55, if your not already a coach, you should be - I like your approach to the game.

arche3
10-07-2011, 04:07 AM
We get it. You don't play usta. Get over it we don't care. Stop mentioning it.

Some of us thought that you can be a tennis player, even a fairly decent one, without having to play USTA Santionced League. However, we were educated that the only thing that matters is the crucible of competition which only the USTA can provide. You are not a tennis player if you've never played USTA.

You must pay the USTA and only then are you considered a tenis player.

When you die, the only thing that matters would be your NTRP rating. I'm shocked that people are writing about Jobs. What NTRP rating did he achieve in his life?

All that CNN or Time or Fox or W. Post need to print is Steven Jobs, unrated NTRP. They should burry him in an unmarked grave for his failure to get a rating.

Jracer77
10-07-2011, 05:21 AM
someone needs to tell you and Joel that not too many people think you are clever when it comes down to it...

I think I told them (are they really two separate similarly annoying people?) the same thing a couple of years ago....obviously nothing has changed

rkelley
10-07-2011, 08:09 AM
Surely with graphite racquets and larger headsizes, that number has gone up. Though I do agree, the effort is still worth it at low levels.

I doubt it. At a many levels of tennis if you can get 3 decently hit shots over (decent is a relative term of course), not great shots just decent, you stand a very good chance of winning a rally.

skiracer55
10-07-2011, 09:15 AM
skiracer55, if your not already a coach, you should be - I like your approach to the game.

...I actually do coach, not for money, just to give something back to the game. Summer before last, I did some group clinics for both a 3.0/3.5 and a 4.0/4.5 group in Longmont, CO. This summer, I continued that on a one on one basis, and also coached a couple of Colorado folks I met through TW. So...if you're located on the Front Range of Colorado, send me a PM if you want some coaching...

papa
10-07-2011, 01:30 PM
...I actually do coach, not for money, just to give something back to the game. Summer before last, I did some group clinics for both a 3.0/3.5 and a 4.0/4.5 group in Longmont, CO. This summer, I continued that on a one on one basis, and also coached a couple of Colorado folks I met through TW. So...if you're located on the Front Range of Colorado, send me a PM if you want some coaching...

Unfortunately, I'm on the east coast but think, based on your comments, that you'd be an excellent coach. In addition to giving lessons and clinics, I coach high school & middle school kids myself.

skiracer55
10-12-2011, 09:59 AM
Unfortunately, I'm on the east coast but think, based on your comments, that you'd be an excellent coach. In addition to giving lessons and clinics, I coach high school & middle school kids myself.

...coaching is a good thing to do. You never know, I make it back East once in a while, or you might even get to Colorado!

BeGreat
10-12-2011, 02:10 PM
An interesting study was done on 17 of these items:

http://arno.uvt.nl/show.cgi?fid=115144

this is probably one of the most important contributions on TT.

I remember years ago I posted a link to a study that disproves the fallacy that string tension/material has a significant impact on the outcome and i got stoned for that.

here are other fallacies i'd like someone to study:

1. Footwork pattern drills are important. in my opinion, they're importantly only because they develop muscles and give you strength and endurance to move around. but, the way coaches present these drills is to make it seem like doing the drills will allow you to hit the ball like federer.

2. split step is valuable

3. you have to keep your head still while hitting the ball. i don't know people who move their head around while striking the ball. the ball is on the racket for a fraction of a second, how much can you possibly move your head in that time??


I think a lot of today's fallacies have been passed through generations of "coaches" and "experts" whose theories have gone untested. these coaching academies like the bollittieri place get lucky and produce a grand slame winner every now and then. so, they market on their occasional success by trademarking techniques and giving them complicated names, etc. and then they sell the hype.


no one examines whether there is a CAUSAL relationship between a drill/technique/strategy and the outcome.

tennis drills/coaching lessons rely on a tried and true strategy: correlation. it's no different from selling Air Jordans back in the day or Sprite that makes you dunk better.

this is a great thread topic.

yonexpurestorm
10-12-2011, 03:09 PM
what are gonna do, not split step?

papa
10-12-2011, 04:19 PM
this is probably one of the most important contributions on TT.

I remember years ago I posted a link to a study that disproves the fallacy that string tension/material has a significant impact on the outcome and i got stoned for that.

here are other fallacies i'd like someone to study:

1. Footwork pattern drills are important. in my opinion, they're importantly only because they develop muscles and give you strength and endurance to move around. but, the way coaches present these drills is to make it seem like doing the drills will allow you to hit the ball like federer.

2. split step is valuable

3. you have to keep your head still while hitting the ball. i don't know people who move their head around while striking the ball. the ball is on the racket for a fraction of a second, how much can you possibly move your head in that time??


I think a lot of today's fallacies have been passed through generations of "coaches" and "experts" whose theories have gone untested. these coaching academies like the bollittieri place get lucky and produce a grand slame winner every now and then. so, they market on their occasional success by trademarking techniques and giving them complicated names, etc. and then they sell the hype.


no one examines whether there is a CAUSAL relationship between a drill/technique/strategy and the outcome.

tennis drills/coaching lessons rely on a tried and true strategy: correlation. it's no different from selling Air Jordans back in the day or Sprite that makes you dunk better.

this is a great thread topic.

I'll take a whack at some of these although I don't remember your post about racquet tension or string. Were your stating/arguing (at that time) that both didn't have any effect on either control or pace?

#1 We do footwork drills for the purposes you mentioned

#2 The split step is valuable in that it prevents the player from favoring one side vs the other on most shots - when one knows, with pretty good assurance where the shot will be, then its not important.

#3 Keeping the head quite/still during the hitting process, is very important. We're not talking about just the fraction of time the ball is on the strings. When the head is bobbing/moving as the ball is making its final approach, its very difficult to make clean contact. Try it yourself and see what happens.

Several people and groups have spent a lot of time studying/evaluating many of the things you mention with the use of high speed cameras and other methods. Unfortunately, some myths do get passed down but most have been throughly evaluated and continue to be studied. As the game changes due IMO to equipment improvement/technology, we will continue to see change.

skiracer55
10-12-2011, 05:32 PM
...and here's the way it goes:

- There's a whole lot of...discussion...in this forum where what we appear to be trying to do is to get nuclear physics, or whatever, to prove that successful tennis consists of x, y, and z. Where x, y, and z are typically things like "The only way to hit the Modern Forehand is...[insert 1000 word screed here]. I really like what Peter Burwash said, which is that "Tennis is a series of controlled emergenices." As soon as you concentrate on any specific element as the Holy Grail ("The only forehand worth having is one with an incredibly heavy amount of topspin" or "The only way to hit a forehand with an incredibly heavy amount of topspin is to do a, b, and c."), I can name you fifty instances where that dictum is patently not true. On a tennis court, there always have been, and continue to be, lots of different ways to skin a cat in terms of effective stroke production.

- Having said all that good stuff, there are some immutables, like efficient, repeatable stroke patterns, efficient, effective athletic movement, and sensible, thought out games plans that most players totally ignore in favor of considerations like "Do you think Brand X of hybrid strings will automagically turn me into a 4.0? " (Answer: No...not even close).

So here's a general plan for all players, where the third item is maybe the most important and least considered:

- Item number 1, and the base for everything, is stroke production. Remember what I said above about "efficient, repeatable stroke patterns"?
That's the key, not whether you're hitting with a SW or FW grip on the forehand. I generally use a SW grip on the forehand...but McEnroe used a Conti to great effect, as do I when it's called for. If you can hit 8 balls out of 10 in the court and hurt your opponent, I don't give a rat's *** what you're using for a grip or stroke pattern, your stroke production is fine, and it's time to move on and deal with other stuff. If on the other hand, you have a finely tuned SW forehand grip and all you can serve up is a helium ball...well, time to take up shuffleboard, chum.

- Okay, you've progressed past the point where you've got some strokes that can do damage and fall in the court more than once in a blue moon. Next question is, How good of an athlete are you? If I can feed you 20 forehands in the same spot and you can do something with them, I'm semi-impressed. Now, let me run you around a little bit and see if you can still do the same thing. If I can make you dig and you can still hurt me with 8 out of ten, balls, congratulations...you're a tennis player, or well on your way to becoming one.

If not...back to the gym, sparky. It's not just footwork drills, you need to become a better athlete, all the way around. A lot of high-end tennis requires making radical moves to pull off impossible shots in tough situations. So you can spend all day doing footwork drills, but you also need to become more flexible, quicker, more agile, more resilient, so you can improvise on the fly when things get tough on a crucial point.

If you've mastered all that stuff, now it's time to talk strategy. I'll do that as a separate post, entitled "Pattern play."

skiracer55
10-12-2011, 05:55 PM
See my last post. If you've got your stroke production and athletic abilities tuned up, that'll take you a whole lot further down the pike than most of the other folks you'll run up against. But let's say you are a 4.0, and you've subscribed to all this good stuff I just espoused, and you're playing yet another 4.0 who also subscribes to all this good stuff I just espoused...and you're losing. Now what?

Well, the obvious answer is, that you've got to come up with a better game plan. And maybe the answer to that is to take a look at the concept of pattern play. So what is pattern play? Drills are basically a distillation of pattern play. A stock example is, your partner feeds a ball to your forehand, your job is to hit two heavy forehands cross court, then a flat down the line or inside-out forehand to the backhand side. A really stock drill that sounds a whole lot easier than it really is. So fine, you go out and master said drill...and the next time you play a match, you get turfed, 1 and 1, because your opponent failed to feed you the courtesy stroke to start the drill.

So now what? Is the drill just total garbage, or does it have some merit? And if so, how do you make it work? The answer is, it can work, but you have to make it happen. Because, in match play, your opponent isn't likely to give you a courtesy stroke that'll put you in the driver's seat in terms of a pattern that wins for you, the question is...How do you get an entry point into a successful pattern?

The answer is two-fold:

- You can get an entry point into a winning pattern by sheer dumb luck. That is, you can go out there and just smack balls randomly until all of a sudden you see a ball where you go "Golly Bob Ned...sure as God made little green apples, that looks suspiciously like a feeder into the 'heavy cross court forehand' pattern, guess I'll give it a whirl".

Which can work, as long as (a) you're patient enough to hit a bazillion balls back and let it happen and (b) you actually see enough of these occurrences to make a difference in the final outcome. If, on the other hand, you lose 2 and 2 and say "Yeah...I lost, but I still put together a Great Pattern when I was down 1-5 in the second set!"

- You can proactively try to create the entry point...where sooner, not later, is the right answer. And what I mean by that is either off a strong serve or a strong return. Example: I know my opponent is quick and hard to ace, so I'm not going to waste a whole lot of time going for winners on my first serve. On the other hand, I know that although he gets a ton of returns back, they tend to be helium balls to the middle of the court.

So here's what I do: I serve heavy right at him, and lo and behold, the return comes back deep, but it ain't much, and allows me to deal with it. Presto! Entry into the above pattern drill. I hammer the ball cross court, the third ball comes back short, I hammer it inside out to the backhand, wade into the net...but that isn't necessary, because the ball ain't coming back. Next point? I do exactly the same thing, where there are two possible results:

(a) I win the point again, same way, in which case I keep up with this simple-minded (but winning strategy) until the guy says "No mas", or...

(b) I try plan B...but I'll bet you a thousand dollars to a box of donuts that I never get to that point...





Get the joke?

Kaptain Karl
10-12-2011, 07:51 PM
This is an interesting thread. Nice job, dozu.

"He needs a huge first serve now" - duh, everyone needs it all the time.

"He needs to work on his first-serve percentage" - yeah, right. He needs to manipulate that percentage number rather than just hit the serves in.

"The momentum has swung back to him after it shifted to his opponent" - that is the same thing as he was winning, then losing, then winning again.

"Today was not his day" - which means he lost.

"Needs to cut down on those unforced errors" - really? Like keeping the ball inside the lines?I know I've asked you this before. sureshs, do you even play tennis? You have an odd way of expressing your points of view about tennis -- which makes me wonder if you even know the game.


skiracer55, this is worthy of Post Of The Month. Nice work!

... But let's say you are a 4.0, and you've subscribed to all this good stuff I just espoused, and you're playing yet another 4.0 who also subscribes to all this good stuff I just espoused...and you're losing. Now what?

Drills are basically a distillation of pattern play. <snip> So fine, you go out and master said drill...and the next time you play a match, you get turfed, 1 and 1, because your opponent failed to feed you the courtesy stroke to start the drill.I especially liked your last line. Great!

So now what? Is the drill just total garbage, or does it have some merit...?Well done! (Everything; not just the parts I quoted.)

Real life example: In coaching our HS team, I regularly put the Singles players through a variety of drills. Most of the time the kids don't seem to know why they're doing the drills ... other than "Coach tells us to."

In a tune-up tournament a week before the big Regional event, my #3 Singles player came to the fence on a change-over. He had no idea how to play his opponent.

I told him, "Any of [3 of] the drills we do will work against this guy. Which is the one you are most comfortable with?"

He named one. I said "Do it ... until he figures out what you're doing. Then switch to one of the other two drills." My #3 won his match.

Pattern Play (drills) really does work.

- KK

BeGreat
10-13-2011, 06:27 AM
See my last post. If you've got your stroke production and athletic abilities tuned up, that'll take you a whole lot further down the pike than most of the other folks you'll run up against. But let's say you are a 4.0, and you've subscribed to all this good stuff I just espoused, and you're playing yet another 4.0 who also subscribes to all this good stuff I just espoused...and you're losing. Now what?

Well, the obvious answer is, that you've got to come up with a better game plan. And maybe the answer to that is to take a look at the concept of pattern play. So what is pattern play? Drills are basically a distillation of pattern play. A stock example is, your partner feeds a ball to your forehand, your job is to hit two heavy forehands cross court, then a flat down the line or inside-out forehand to the backhand side. A really stock drill that sounds a whole lot easier than it really is. So fine, you go out and master said drill...and the next time you play a match, you get turfed, 1 and 1, because your opponent failed to feed you the courtesy stroke to start the drill.

So now what? Is the drill just total garbage, or does it have some merit? And if so, how do you make it work? The answer is, it can work, but you have to make it happen. Because, in match play, your opponent isn't likely to give you a courtesy stroke that'll put you in the driver's seat in terms of a pattern that wins for you, the question is...How do you get an entry point into a successful pattern?

The answer is two-fold:

- You can get an entry point into a winning pattern by sheer dumb luck. That is, you can go out there and just smack balls randomly until all of a sudden you see a ball where you go "Golly Bob Ned...sure as God made little green apples, that looks suspiciously like a feeder into the 'heavy cross court forehand' pattern, guess I'll give it a whirl".

Which can work, as long as (a) you're patient enough to hit a bazillion balls back and let it happen and (b) you actually see enough of these occurrences to make a difference in the final outcome. If, on the other hand, you lose 2 and 2 and say "Yeah...I lost, but I still put together a Great Pattern when I was down 1-5 in the second set!"

- You can proactively try to create the entry point...where sooner, not later, is the right answer. And what I mean by that is either off a strong serve or a strong return. Example: I know my opponent is quick and hard to ace, so I'm not going to waste a whole lot of time going for winners on my first serve. On the other hand, I know that although he gets a ton of returns back, they tend to be helium balls to the middle of the court.

So here's what I do: I serve heavy right at him, and lo and behold, the return comes back deep, but it ain't much, and allows me to deal with it. Presto! Entry into the above pattern drill. I hammer the ball cross court, the third ball comes back short, I hammer it inside out to the backhand, wade into the net...but that isn't necessary, because the ball ain't coming back. Next point? I do exactly the same thing, where there are two possible results:

(a) I win the point again, same way, in which case I keep up with this simple-minded (but winning strategy) until the guy says "No mas", or...

(b) I try plan B...but I'll bet you a thousand dollars to a box of donuts that I never get to that point...





Get the joke?

excluding the condescension and excessive italicizing, there are some good points. You're actually the first person on this board who's admitted that dumb luck in matches plays a part in using previously practiced patterns.

i'm still against pattern plays because it's comparable to memorizing solutions from the back of a calculus exam hoping the teachers picks those very questions.

i learned tennis without a coach, without drills, without instruction, and only through match play. I did spend an entire summer playing tennis against the wall; not because i was being strategic, but because i was too nervous to be seen on a tennis court looking like an idiot. After that summer, I'd spend less than 10 minutes rallying/practicing and the remaining time (about 2 hours) just playing matches. I played mostly with people better than me, and some with people as good or worse.

I think pattern play is silly and inefficient and will continue to be fallacy. It's great for endurance, but is easily substituted by any other exercise that targets those very muscles.

BeGreat
10-13-2011, 06:32 AM
#3 Keeping the head quite/still during the hitting process, is very important. We're not talking about just the fraction of time the ball is on the strings. When the head is bobbing/moving as the ball is making its final approach, its very difficult to make clean contact. Try it yourself and see what happens.


who the heck moves/bobs his/her head before hitting the ball???? unless you have a bug flying around you, who does this?? it's natural to concentrate on what's coming towards you to try to whack it instead of moving your head around. i have never seen anyone move his/her head before hitting the ball. ever.

arche3
10-13-2011, 07:30 AM
i learned tennis without a coach, without drills, without instruction, and only through match play.

I think pattern play is silly and inefficient and will continue to be fallacy. It's great for endurance, but is easily substituted by any other exercise that targets those very muscles.

You do realize that pattern drills are what all the high level coaches employ to teach percentage tennis, strategy and shot making right? All the way up to the pros. there is a purpose to it and it is way beyond simple endurance.

What is your tennis level? advanced? If you reached an advanced level by hitting against walls and only match play I would say your a super natural player.


below posted by tennisCJC in another thread. This is a pattern of play based on the serve.

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

sureshs
10-13-2011, 07:44 AM
I know I've asked you this before. sureshs, do you even play tennis? You have an odd way of expressing your points of view about tennis -- which makes me wonder if you even know the game.

- KK

I really don't care what you think, sorry, and if you forgot what I said the last time, or don't read other posts, it is really your problem. Please feel free to ignore my posts and mind your own business, instead of cultivating an unhealthy obsession about me. I don't wonder about you and you need not wonder about me.

Thanks.

dozu
10-13-2011, 07:56 AM
to me, the biggest fallacy on TT is a bunch of faceless guys discussing about technicals as if anything can be taken at face value.

from my own experience, there are people here who

- have been around so long and posted so much, they have grandfathered to a 'faced' status
- have shown face
- I have met personally.

these guys I know what they mean.

a lot of times it feels to me like professionals and beginners talk to each other as if the other side can

a) say what they mean, and
b) understand what was said to them.

to me, THIS is the biggest fallacy.

papa
10-13-2011, 08:21 AM
who the heck moves/bobs his/her head before hitting the ball???? unless you have a bug flying around you, who does this?? it's natural to concentrate on what's coming towards you to try to whack it instead of moving your head around. i have never seen anyone move his/her head before hitting the ball. ever.

Lots of players bobs or move their head during the hitting process - I see it daily. Your right, one should be concentrating on the ball but movement is a major problem in being able to strike the ball cleanly. In many cases, just the head reacts to the incoming ball and the rest of the body is either slow to move or in some cases doesn't move at all.

If your hitting the ball cleanly and not framing too many, then you probably are keeping your head steady.

sureshs
10-13-2011, 08:40 AM
Lots of players bobs or move their head during the hitting process - I see it daily. Your right, one should be concentrating on the ball but movement is a major problem in being able to strike the ball cleanly. In many cases, just the head reacts to the incoming ball and the rest of the body is either slow to move or in some cases doesn't move at all.

If your hitting the ball cleanly and not framing too many, then you probably are keeping your head steady.

And that is why so much has been said about Federer keeping his head still.

skiracer55
10-13-2011, 09:16 AM
excluding the condescension and excessive italicizing, there are some good points. You're actually the first person on this board who's admitted that dumb luck in matches plays a part in using previously practiced patterns.

i'm still against pattern plays because it's comparable to memorizing solutions from the back of a calculus exam hoping the teachers picks those very questions.

i learned tennis without a coach, without drills, without instruction, and only through match play. I did spend an entire summer playing tennis against the wall; not because i was being strategic, but because i was too nervous to be seen on a tennis court looking like an idiot. After that summer, I'd spend less than 10 minutes rallying/practicing and the remaining time (about 2 hours) just playing matches. I played mostly with people better than me, and some with people as good or worse.

I think pattern play is silly and inefficient and will continue to be fallacy. It's great for endurance, but is easily substituted by any other exercise that targets those very muscles.

...not condescending. Playing tennis well is tough stuff, and one piece of advice I have for all of us is to lighten up and have a few laughs out there. It is a game, right? And it turns out that if you're enjoying the game, you generally do better.

Pattern play works, it's that simple. I can say that from a lifetime of tournament tennis and coaching. It does have its caveats and limitations, which I talk about in my previous post. As Kaptain Karl points out, in his excellent example re his #3 player, pattern play is a way of structuring points and structuring matches, which generally gives you a better chance of winning versus just randomly whacking a bunch of balls and hoping good things happen.

But you're making a good point in that pattern play has its limitations. A perfect example would be the 2011 Djokovich versus Nadal series of matches. Most of them were close, competitive matches, but Nole won largely because Rafa continued to stick to very predictable patterns, while Nole used patterns when they worked but also showed much more variety than Nadal.

The simplest version of variety is to change patterns as needed. Many years ago, Gene Scott wrote an excellent article where he basically reworked the old truism which is "Never change a winning game, always change a losing game." The example was that in a match against a specific opponent, he decided he could best get the upper hand through the simple design of chipping the second serve return and coming into net. It worked until the middle of the second set...Scott was up a set and a break...until his opponent caught wise. Scott was then forced to stay back on his return and wait for a better opportunity to come into net...which he did, and wound up winning the match.

For each of us, then, the time to come up with an initial pattern is during the pre match warmup. You're trying to warm up, but you're also trying to deduce what your opponent does well...and does not do so well. So maybe I start off by hitting heavy to the guy's backhand, because his backhand looks relatively weak, and lo and behold, he gives me a bunch of unforced errors and opportunities to hit winners and/or come into the net...for a while. Then, because I keep pounding his backhand, he actually gets into a groove on that side, and it's no longer a liability...so I try hitting short angles to his forehand...or something else.

Anyway, you get the idea: Come up with a plan, no matter how simple, at the start of the match. Try the plan out, if it works, keep doing it. If and when it doesn't bear fruit, look elsewhere.

Variety also has another connotation, and, for me, it's a real siren song. And that is the aspect of variety which is "I can hit any ball from anywhere, anytime." To me, that's Federer's (and to a large extent, Nole's) great strength. The French, in general, and somebody like Simon or Matthieu, in particular, are known as shotmakers. From the past, McEnroe, of course, and let's not forget the great Fabrice Santoro.

So, to me, there's an incredible allure to playing (let's admit it...) what could be called flashy tennis. But we all know the downsides...namely, your matches can degenerate into a bazillion silly errors, or the other guy isn't fazed by all of your chicanery because he's got enough power to blow you off the court, regardless.

But, to wind up this sermon, I do think there's a case for variety of shot, as well as variety of pattern. Not so much these days, but in his prime, you'd see Federer break open a close, hard fought matches with two or three brilliant shots that not only won a crucial point or game but put the stamp of his authority on the match. When I was growing up on a tennis court, you were expected to have every shot. It was a given that you would not only have a backhand, you would have both a topspin and a slice backhand. It was assumed that you could put away a backhand overhead, hit a half volley, hit a slice or topspin lob. You might favor one style over another, but you were supposed to know how to play serve and volley as well as baseline tennis.

Particularly if you plan to spend any time at the net...and you should, IMHO, be spending time at the net, you need to seek out variety and improvisation and incorporate it into your game. The fundamentals...stroke production and athletic ability...are still the building blocks. And I believe that you have to start with sensible patterns. But the deal maker is often your ability to do something unexpected in a tough situation, to improvise. Besides...isn't variety the spice of life?

papa
10-13-2011, 10:27 AM
And that is why so much has been said about Federer keeping his head still.

Well some of this probably dates back to how Federer probably learned to hit but keeping the head quiet/still is important. Federer does it to an extreme compared to most players but all of them keep the head movement to a minimum.

papa
10-13-2011, 10:58 AM
Well, I must admit that I'm not a pattern type coach - assuming/making conclusions based on the prior post. I think it works at lower levels because of observed weaknesses but as the level/skill increases, these weaknesses go away.

I like what skiracer55 says to a certain degree and see where he's going here or think I do. I guess I like my players to work each point using sound tennis techniques like keeping the ball out of the middle in singles, keeping the ball deep, mixing up shots, moving the opponent, etc. The problem I see with fixed plays is when they don't work, the player quickly seems lost. We spend a lot of time during every practice on what particular kids shy away from like coming to net, hitting overheads, developing & hitting particular serves and locations, etc. IMO, the way you get these kids to play better and more complete games is by working on what they cannot do or are uncomfortable doing. Some are afraid to play net because they don't want to get hit, as an example. By having them take a ton of balls at net, they get used to it and incorporate it into their game.

Now, having read many of KK posts over the years, I suspect there is a lot more to play #1, #2 or #3.

dozu
10-13-2011, 11:00 AM
here is a tough question - who has the more crazy head movement, alisa kleybanova's BH or lorena ochoa's golf swing? LOL

I feel dizzy just by watching them.

the intent, for 'keeping the head still' is really to maintain a steady axis of rotation, aka the spine.

but some players can do crazy things with their heads while still maintain a steady spine.... that is good enough.

toly
10-13-2011, 12:36 PM
here is a tough question - who has the more crazy head movement, alisa kleybanova's BH or lorena ochoa's golf swing? LOL

I feel dizzy just by watching them.

the intent, for 'keeping the head still' is really to maintain a steady axis of rotation, aka the spine.

but some players can do crazy things with their heads while still maintain a steady spine.... that is good enough.
There is nothing wrong with Alisa Kleybanova’s BH!:)
http://i54.tinypic.com/2n1b7rm.jpg

dozu
10-13-2011, 12:47 PM
^^ these pics don't quite do justice :)

sureshs
10-13-2011, 01:23 PM
^^ these pics don't quite do justice :)

Compression in the vertical dimension?

toly
10-13-2011, 03:29 PM
^^ these pics don't quite do justice :)
The life is unfair and there is no justice in the world, right?:(

dozu
10-13-2011, 03:35 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ntx5c1-4ka8

this one should do.... notice especially when she goes for a put away winner, both wings.