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Bones08
07-13-2006, 10:38 PM
Bad idea if you ask me, I think the fact that tennis players are on there own make the game more interesting to casual sports fans who arent used to players being totally independent. I think it take away from the appeal.

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/tenn...htm?POE=SPOISVA


WTA to allow coaches to offer in-match advice
Posted 7/13/2006 11:00 PM

With the approval of on-court coaching on a trial basis by the WTA, Amelie Mauresmo, who climbed into the stands to celebrate with coach Loic Courteau after her Wimbledon championship, may not have to travel so far to greet him.


swapContent('firstHeader','applyHeader');By Douglas Robson, Special for USA TODAY
Five months after the debut of instant replay, tennis will experiment with a second significant innovation: on-court coaching.
The concept in which players will be able to summon coaches courtside during changeovers and between sets will be tested next month by the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour at tournaments in Montreal and New Haven, Conn. The tour expects to test the system in singles and doubles.

It is part of a broader push to enliven the sport for television audiences and fans by peeling back the inner workings of the game.

"It gives commentators and producers some more color, another actor in the play, a peek behind the curtain," says WTA CEO Larry Scott, who expects more extensive testing to take place in 2007.

Many sports have embraced fan-oriented modifications, but tradition-bound tennis has been slow to change.

The introduction of electronic line calling to review disputed line calls a system that made its debut in March at the Nasdaq-100 and will be rolled out for the North American hardcourt swing and the U.S. Open was the most dramatic rules change since the tiebreaker came into use in 1970.

"For a sport that hasn't been known for a lot of change, this signals a major shift of culture and energy," Scott says.

With the exception of team events such as Fed Cup and World Team Tennis, coaching during play is illegal. However, competitors have long circumvented the rules with signals and other manners of rule-breaking communication from the sideline.

Under the trial system, players will nominate a coach before a tournament begins. Players can then request to speak to that person once per set during a sit-down changeover, and also in-between sets.

A player could thus receive strategic advice or encouragement a maximum of five times in a three-set match.

In addition, if a player takes an injury timeout or a bathroom break, her opponent can use the pause to talk with her designated coach.

The conversations will be recorded and broadcast for viewers, adding additional insights into the game.

"There are definite seeds of change, and a willingness to try new innovative and creative things," says Jason Bernstein, director of programming and acquisitions for ESPN, which broadcasts more than 600 hours of tennis annually.

Bernstein says some of the details have to be ironed out such as conversations in foreign languages that might be unintelligible to an American audience. Still, he sees it as a positive "baby step."

"We would like to see more of these initiatives come to fruition and bring viewers close to the action," Bernstein says.

The idea of on-court coaching has been bounced around for years by tennis officials and is sure to be a lightning rod for proponents and critics alike.

Scott is aware skeptics will say the change fundamentally alters one of the game's defining characteristics: once a player steps on the court he or she is alone.

But he notes that even sports considered individual have strategic interludes from coaches. Golfers hash over shot selection with their caddies. Boxers receive counsel from their corners between rounds.

"I don't subscribe to the notion that just because there is coaching it takes away from mano-a-mano aspect of the sport," Scott says.

Fairness is another issue, since many rank-and-file players can't afford to travel with coaches.

Following the successful launch of instant replay, players and tournaments seem more open to change.

"Maybe there is always a little risk," says 2004 U.S. Open champ Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia, "but hopefully it will work well."

"We are just as curious as the rest of the tennis world to see how players, fans and coaches will react," says Montreal tournament director Eugene Lapierre, who believes on-court coaching might help eradicate much of the illegal coaching that now goes on.

Anne Worcester, the tournament director for the combined men's and women's Pilot Pen event in New Haven, says that tennis needs to break new ground to stay competitive for consumers' entertainment dollars.

"Even the purists have woken up to the fact that if we don't move forward we will fall further behind," she says.

Shabazza
07-14-2006, 01:21 AM
Under the trial system, players will nominate a coach before a tournament begins. Players can then request to speak to that person once per set during a sit-down changeover, and also in-between sets.

A player could thus receive strategic advice or encouragement a maximum of five times in a three-set match.

In addition, if a player takes an injury timeout or a bathroom break, her opponent can use the pause to talk with her designated coach.

The conversations will be recorded and broadcast for viewers, adding additional insights into the game.
omg
maybe the bathroom breaks will be cut short then...:rolleyes:

Anne Worcester, the tournament director for the combined men's and women's Pilot Pen event in New Haven, says that tennis needs to break new ground to stay competitive for consumers' entertainment dollars.

"Even the purists have woken up to the fact that if we don't move forward we will fall further behind," she says.
How does coaching players on court is a move forward?! Their reasoning is ridiculous!

norcal
07-14-2006, 05:44 AM
omg
maybe the bathroom breaks will be cut short then...:rolleyes:


How does coaching players on court is a move forward?! Their reasoning is ridiculous!
I think by 'moving forward' she means being more fan friendly, more fan interactive. Hearing what a coach is telling a player to do during a match would be fascinating I think.

Fedexeon
07-14-2006, 05:45 AM
Bad idea. I don't like it.

8PAQ
07-14-2006, 05:53 AM
I guess WTA players are getting dumber and dumber every year. Soon they will need advice after every point. In a few years they will start wearing earpieces where coach will tell them if to slice the next backhand cross court or if to hit it down the line.

silverwingz
07-14-2006, 07:50 AM
Yeah, totally agree: on-court coaching seems like a bad idea. Although it would be very interesting to hear what coaches have to say, I still think part of what makes tennis so intriguing is that players are alone out there and they are the ones who have to figure things out when things aren't going their way.

Arafel
07-14-2006, 07:56 AM
Yeah, totally agree: on-court coaching seems like a bad idea. Although it would be very interesting to hear what coaches have to say, I still think part of what makes tennis so intriguing is that players are alone out there and they are the ones who have to figure things out when things aren't going their way.

I'm just curious why people feel this way. I've never really understood the ban on coaching, maybe because I play other sports as well. For instance, in hockey, every time I come off the ice I get coaching if appropriate. The same applies in most other major sports, such as football, basketball, soccer, and baseball. In golf, the golfer can ask the caddy for advice on the course or lie before every shot.

Why is tennis the only sport that expects the athletes to compete for an entire match with no feedback from the coach?

simi
07-14-2006, 08:55 AM
I like the idea, but not the implimentation. Subject to time constraints, coaching should be allowed at every changeover, as well as verbal "encouragement" and hand signals during a game, (verbal between points, like crowds do now, and hand signals when quiet is normally expected). Only real problem I foresee is the disadvantage that the lower ranked (and relatively underpaid) pros who cannot have a coach travel with them, or those who do not even have a coach. Additionally, there should be appropriate "penalties" for certain behaviour from a coach, such as a arguing a line call. That shouldn't be allowed. Coaching could be of the form of Davis Cup coaching, with the exception that the coach must be glued to his chair while games are in progress.

It's worth trying. What other team or individual sport does not allow coaching? None that I can think of.

mistapooh
07-14-2006, 09:00 AM
What if I don't have a skilled coach in my corner =(?

sureshs
07-14-2006, 09:00 AM
I don't mind coaching per se, but it could turn the sport into a drama akin to other sports. Struggling players will not be able to afford coaches, and those who do will have a rich Daddy backing them up. The richer ones will win more matches and the better ones without coaching will be weeded out.

At least I hope the coaches don't show the same behavior as other sports. I just can't stand them. A serious expression on their faces, an obese physique which makes you wonder whether they exercise at all, let alone play any sport, and a combative attitude towards the opposite coach.

I bet coaches will love it - they can market themselves with their aggressive showing now.

Tchocky
07-14-2006, 09:18 AM
This is a really bad idea. Coaching would totally change the dynamics of the game. The powers that be are opening up a Pandora's Box.

KBalla08
07-14-2006, 09:27 AM
at least sharapovas dad wont be yelling from the players box anymore, he can yell from the court....

i think its a dumb idea, leave it like it is and always has been

Viper
07-14-2006, 09:30 AM
"I don't think it should be allowed. That's the great thing about our sport, once you are out there, it's a matter of doing what you need to do against your opponent and working it out for yourself," - Lleyton Hewitt.

Mr.Federer
07-14-2006, 09:34 AM
I believe it's always good to try out new things. Remember, this is an experiment. I'm looking forward to seeing this in the rogers cup.

tarheels2323
07-14-2006, 09:37 AM
It's a terrible idea. Tennis is a sport in which you're alone when you step on that court. Traditionalist ideals aside, it's just stupid to allow on court coaching. If a player isn't mentally strong enough or match savy enough to make their own changes then they shouldn't be out there.

HotCarl
07-14-2006, 09:49 AM
I think coaching would change the character of the sport, like lleyton said. Anyway, pros shouldn;t need coaches... by the time you get to that level of the game, with the countless hours of matchplay under your belt, if you can't figure out how to win by yourself, you don't have the right kind of mind for tennis. It's what makes it unique. F*ck what the fans think. Has tennis all of a sudden become unprofitable? Are pros no longer making tons of money? Even if only made $60,000 a year, if my life was to travel the world and play amazing tennis, I wouldn't complain. Neither would most real tennis fans. Coaching ruins the unique nature of tennis.

Shabazza
07-14-2006, 09:52 AM
It's a terrible idea. Tennis is a sport in which you're alone when you step on that court. Traditionalist ideals aside, it's just stupid to allow on court coaching. If a player isn't mentally strong enough or match savy enough to make their own changes then they shouldn't be out there.
I second that.

Virtuous
07-14-2006, 11:02 AM
If this is fully implemented i hope they keep it on the wta tour, and don't taint the atp. I suppose they realize half of the players get illegal coaching during matches anyway and figured they might as well allow it, especially since one of the main offenders is their siberian cash cow. Part of the entertainment value of the game is the psychological aspect, seeing players fold, strategize, fight etc under pressure. A lot of players are infamous on tour for mental strength or lack thereof (nadal, zvonerava, henin....) so much so that it's as much a factor in the result of a match as their techinique. Now all that will be nullified so basketcases can get spoon fed during a match under the guise of fan interaction? I'm sick of the gimmicks.

Ronaldo
07-14-2006, 11:06 AM
I second that.

May miss having a coach get in her grill between rounds, "Elena, you gotta go to the eephus 2nd serve, bring the rain."

Gugafan_Redux
07-14-2006, 11:15 AM
Wow, I'm surprised how many are against it. I like it.

For one, matches could be more competitive. If a player is getting beat, rather than seeing a straight-set match, we might see them try a different strategy on the coach's suggestion, and see a comeback and a third set. So the play itself improves, and thus the match drama.

Furthermore, as a viewer, it would provide another dimension to observe in the match. Is the player doing what the coach suggested? Covering the forehand side? Serving to an opponent's weaker side? Coming in to net? Using slice, dropshots?

Bogie
07-14-2006, 11:26 AM
so women want equal pay even though they:
1. play less (best of 3 instead of 5)
2. bring less $$ in than men's tennis
3. and as of now, are being helped and guided through their matches by their coaches instead of doing it on their own
solid reasoning for their cause:rolleyes:

AirTechChallenge
07-14-2006, 11:37 AM
Also I think the players will lose repect from fans.. Take for example, two equally skilled players playing a match. If they both have about the same skill level, the more mentally tactical player should win. If coaching is allowed, us fans can only think that the coach is the one that helped the player win, not the player.

Ronaldo
07-14-2006, 12:29 PM
Gee whiz, if a boxer can get coached every 3 minutes, why not tennis. Works in Davis Cup..................unless the player blows off the coach, tells em to take a seat and get stuffed!

emcee
07-14-2006, 12:56 PM
I think it's an interesting experiment. It'd cut down on unnecessary breaks by WTA players. And it's not like most coaches are going to give mind-blowing advice, y'know.

So there's going to be instant replay at the US Open? When did this happen?

Max G.
07-14-2006, 01:26 PM
I definitely don't like the overall idea - I would much prefer to see players fight it out, one on one, no interference.

...however, this does have its good ideas. I would be completely FOR the idea that a player can recieve coaching while the opponent takes a bathroom break or injury timeout. That seems totally fair to me - it seems to me that that would help cut down on the gamesmanship, since players would know that if they take a timeout they'll be giving their opponent a chance to get advice from a coach.

norcal
07-14-2006, 01:32 PM
Well all you guys who think players who can't figure stuff out on their own shouldn't win, then would you agree Courier should give one of his French Open titles to Agassi? Agassi was kicking his *** until there was a rain delay, then his coach told him which adjustments to make (simple things like standing further back on the return) then Courier comes back to win (he even acknowledged his coach made a big difference).

Maybe during delays the moron players should be sequestered away from their coaches lest they get some advice 'they couldn't figure out themselves'.

I personally want to see coaching on the ATP. If the TW wannabee coaches had any say this is how it would go:

Fed: Tony, Rafa's giving me hell, what should I do?

Tony: *rummages around in his bag for a 105 sq inch stick* Here Rog, this should do the trick!

Ronaldo
07-14-2006, 01:51 PM
Fed: Tony, Rafa's giving me hell, what should I do?

Tony: rummages around in his bag for a lead pipe. Here Roger, worked for Tonya!!!

Ronaldo
07-14-2006, 01:54 PM
Fed: Tony, Rafa's giving me hell, what should I do?

Tony: rummages around in his bag for his special water bottle. Worked for Aaron Pryor!!!!

whistleway
07-14-2006, 01:56 PM
Tennis is one of the few sports, like chess. it's intense one-on-one and nothing else. no crap. i am sad these are going to be messed up soon :(

simi
07-14-2006, 01:58 PM
Fed: "Tony, Rafa's giving me hell, what should I do?"

Tony: rummages around in his bag for a banana. "Here, give 'em this. No guarantees that it'll work, but worth a try. No?"

foetz
07-14-2006, 02:22 PM
Bad idea. I don't like it.


yeah sux :(
actually i think tennis lost parts of the classy and traditional way. today only a very few are still holding the old standard. guys like fed or blake e.g.
might sound snotty but i'm not keen on seeing those rednecks on a pro-court. on any court.

Mr.Federer
07-14-2006, 03:11 PM
3. and as of now, are being helped and guided through their matches by their coaches instead of doing it on their own
solid reasoning for their cause:rolleyes:


Dude, this is only an experiment with 2 tournaments. It's not a permanent rule change. It can only help the game, is it better or worse with coaching? We'll have to wait and see.

Tennis guy from NorCal
07-14-2006, 03:13 PM
Dude, this is only an experiment with 2 tournaments. It's not a permanent rule change. It can only help the game, is it better or worse with coaching? We'll have to wait and see.


So it's not a for sure thing that this will contine?

I wonder what will happen on the men's side

Mr.Federer
07-14-2006, 03:18 PM
So it's not a for sure thing that this will contine?

I wonder what will happen on the men's side


It will continue if it's a sucess, it will not if it's a flop.

kooyah
07-14-2006, 03:31 PM
Yeah, totally agree: on-court coaching seems like a bad idea. Although it would be very interesting to hear what coaches have to say, I still think part of what makes tennis so intriguing is that players are alone out there and they are the ones who have to figure things out when things aren't going their way.

Exactly. If this becomes widespread, then I'm not sure that having a really great mind for tennis - like Graf, Navratilova, Evert, Seles, etc. did - will really matter as much in the future.

arosen
07-14-2006, 03:43 PM
I donno about spectators, but life as a coach would get a lot better because a good coach would be able to argue that it was him/her who tipped the scales and helped win the match/matches. Salary increase big time.

looseswing
07-14-2006, 04:02 PM
I think its worthwhile to give it at least a shot. It could turn out intersting. Plus, the worse that could happen is that it stops because it is a bad idea.

Ronaldo
07-14-2006, 04:59 PM
Fed: "Tony, Rafa's giving me hell, what should I do?"

Tony: You can't win, Roger! This guy will kill you to death inside of three sets. He ain't just another player! This guy is a wrecking machine! And he's hungry! Hell, you ain't been hungry since you won that Wimbledon. He'll knock you to tomorrow, Roger! The worst thing that happened to you, that can happen to any player: you got civilized. If you stand toe-to-toe with this bum, he'll kill you. It doesn't take a man to stand there and get your head beat off...! He's just a man, Roger, so be MORE man than him! Go get him; Eye Of the Tiger!

uxnaitoahz
07-14-2006, 05:26 PM
By doing so, they are going to totally the mental aspect of the game. Dumb idea.

Mr.Federer
07-14-2006, 06:53 PM
By doing so, they are going to totally the mental aspect of the game. Dumb idea.


Strategically a bit, but remember the players have to convert the shots and keep their nerves under control. Plus, it's not like the player can call a time-out in the middle of a game and ask for advice. It's only in between sets and once a set you can call the coach during a change-over.

mctennis
07-14-2006, 07:33 PM
Every other sport allows coaching. Why not? The player still has to make the shot(s) their coach tells them to use.

Koaske
07-15-2006, 01:59 AM
I think it would be nice to try that for one tournament or so and seeing how it works...
But I'm a bit sceptical on this thing. I don't think it will be so great... I mean, players who have a good coach get a clear advantage in this so the matches aren't actually played by the players but their coaches too.

Shabazza
07-15-2006, 03:11 AM
If it would be implemented on the atp tour - would it force ARod to get a good coach?? ;)
Seriously, what I like about tennis is, that it is as much a game of the mind as of the talent you have. Like someone said it's like chess on the court and you can see the character of a player by the way he handles the pressure and works out a way to win!
If coaching was allowed from the beginning, would we talk about how mentally strong Nadal is, how weak Roddick is in constructing a point, how great a tactican and strategist Nalbandian is on court or how fragile mentally and selfdestructing Gaudio and Safin can be, if Safin could get Lundgren on court, for example?! I don't think so.
It would take away a lot of the fun and display of different characters on court! Imo, to know what coaches say to help their player isn't a step forward as the article suggest!

Ronaldo
07-15-2006, 05:37 AM
OMG! Seriously hope Myskina gets into these tourneys. Cannot wait to see her call her coach over for advice. And how she does it. Or Zvonareva during a meltdown calling her coach out.

mctennis
07-15-2006, 12:27 PM
Who has such a great coach that would be able to help them win more matches than normal. Look at Davis Cup and the Fed Cup. does it actually help to have the coaches there, really? I say it doesn't help that much except as a cheerleader for them.

Shabazza
07-15-2006, 12:29 PM
Who has such a great coach that would be able to help them win more matches than normal. Look at Davis Cup and the Fed Cup. does it actually help to have the coaches there, really? I say it doesn't help that much except as a cheerleader for them.
It did help Gasquet winning against Haas this year he was outplayed the first 2 sets!

chiru
07-15-2006, 05:23 PM
okay you guys, i think the thing i remember most about sampras wasn't his phenomenal serve, it wasn't running backhands, it wasn't ridiculous half volleys from the shoestrings. it was mental toughness, and tennis is the premier show case of mental toughness in a mainstream sport. No team, no support system. just you, your opponent, rackets, balls, a net and a court. and you figure it out. what i remember about sampras wasn't winning 7 wimbledons, it was remembering how he started crying for minutes on court about his coach, and then coming back from 2 sets to love down to win one of the biggest matches ever. i remember sampras having that sense of what to do to break his opponent mentally, knowing when that tipping point was where he could capture the win. a good soccer player once told me "i kinda wanna get into tennis, you know, learn how to rely on myself athletically." thats the beauty that you'll lose if you allow coaching in the game.

Ronaldo
07-15-2006, 06:31 PM
okay you guys, i think the thing i remember most about sampras wasn't his phenomenal serve, it wasn't running backhands, it wasn't ridiculous half volleys from the shoestrings. it was mental toughness, and tennis is the premier show case of mental toughness in a mainstream sport. No team, no support system. just you, your opponent, rackets, balls, a net and a court. and you figure it out. what i remember about sampras wasn't winning 7 wimbledons, it was remembering how he started crying for minutes on court about his coach, and then coming back from 2 sets to love down to win one of the biggest matches ever. i remember sampras having that sense of what to do to break his opponent mentally, knowing when that tipping point was where he could capture the win. a good soccer player once told me "i kinda wanna get into tennis, you know, learn how to rely on myself athletically." thats the beauty that you'll lose if you allow coaching in the game.
Beauty is Brad Gilbert on the mic LIVE pumping up his playa on the changeover. Doing a Teddy Atlas