Coaching? What do you think?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by PushyPushster, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. PushyPushster

    PushyPushster Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    Messages:
    311
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    I was playing a singles league match last night against an Italian fellow. Very nice guy - brought his cousin to the court with him. He was way better in pretty much every aspect of the game than I was, but, to be blunt, he was playing dumb tennis. Instead of attacking my backhand, which is just atrocious, he's actually hitting a lot of shots to my FH, which is very consistent. Despite his talent, he loses the first set in a squeaker.

    Suddenly there is a long conversation with his cousin, in Italian, who is sitting just outside the court. Judging by the back and forth I'm convinced they are discussing the match and am thinking about bringing up the 'No Coaching' rule. But ... what can I really say? For all I know he's asking for extra starch in his collar when the guy drops off his dry cleaning the next morning. The 2nd set starts and suddenly he's hitting Every. Single. Shot. at my backhand. Which, to be honest, is what he should have been doing all along ... but still. The more I think about it the more it bugs me. Does anyone know the Italian word for "backhand"? I'm pretty sure I got worked on this one.
     
    #1
  2. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2005
    Messages:
    3,164
    You could have anticipated the shots coming to your bh cheated toward your backhand and hit inside out
    forehands.

    Every. Single. Shot. at his backhand.
     
    #2
  3. rjw

    rjw Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Messages:
    987
    Location:
    Miami
    Better improve your backhand and/or your Italian
     
    #3
  4. kylebarendrick

    kylebarendrick Professional

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,042
    Location:
    Northern California
    ...and that's why players shouldn't be talking to anyone during a match.
     
    #4
  5. Drop Snot

    Drop Snot New User

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Messages:
    7
    To say backhand in Italian you swing your arm in the motion of a backhand :)
     
    #5
  6. PushyPushster

    PushyPushster Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    Messages:
    311
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    I have a strict No Improvement Policy in regards to my tennis game, but will give some thought to your idea about learning Italian.

    ... Ciao.
     
    #6
  7. darrinbaker00

    darrinbaker00 Professional

    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Messages:
    1,015
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    It doesn't matter what they were saying to each other or in which language they said it. Your opponent was is violation of the coaching rule.
     
    #7
  8. rjw

    rjw Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Messages:
    987
    Location:
    Miami
    You could just have been badly beaten from the getgo, if your Italian Stallion had half a brain.......in that a very weak backhand is usually the first thing that people test for. So perhaps a tennis vacation to Italy is in order?

    Kill 14 birds with 26 stones?

    Arrivederci......
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2011
    #8
  9. Caesar

    Caesar Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2011
    Messages:
    765
    You don't let your opponents talk to anyone during the match? Playing against you must be a barrel of fun.

    It's freaking rec tennis. Who cares about the no coaching rule.
     
    #9
  10. autumn_leaf

    autumn_leaf Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    Messages:
    1,928
    Location:
    Taunton, MA
    Technically it's not recreational tennis. It's league tennis. It might actually count for something, year end trip to a competition or something, who knows.

    I wouldn't be that strict about it, I would be there for a good challenging match. If an opponent always avoided my weakness then how would I know it's a weakness.
     
    #10
  11. rjw

    rjw Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Messages:
    987
    Location:
    Miami
    If all your opponents avoided your weakness, then 1 of 3 things would be true.

    1) Your percieved weakness is really your strength

    or

    2) You play with some of the dumbest players on the planet

    or

    3) All your oponents are blind
     
    #11
  12. Caesar

    Caesar Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2011
    Messages:
    765
    #12
  13. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    2,769
    I go with this answer, BUT, life is not fair. Unless there was an umpire there, who are you going to complain to? You could tell your opponent that coaching is against the rules but it may make you appear a bit draconian. You could complain to the league administrator and perhaps get some violation on the guy and they warn him not to do it again. He may not have known of the rule but then why were they talking in Italian, if they weren't pulling a fast one? My mother always taught me it was impolite to speak in a foreign language in front of others who didn't understand it and she was right.

    Illegal coaching happens all the times in the pros and players are warned by the chair about it. I once had a coach who went to a few tournaments with me and was going to secretly give me signs but I wasn't crazy about the idea and so we didn't.

    The lines are being blurred on coaching now that they are doing it on the women's pro tour and at the high-school level. It's just a small part of the general disintegration of civilization and the moral and ethical cultural decline. The foot-fault debate is another prime example, that we are even having it, of the blurring of the rules. But integrity is it's own reward--but better work on that BH and carry a big stick, (maybe even an oversize one). We'll soon be back to hitting tennis balls off the walls of the cave.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2011
    #13
  14. rjw

    rjw Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Messages:
    987
    Location:
    Miami
    Interesting...I guess they hit to one side and if it keeps coming back, then hit to the other....or perhaps by the sound off the racquet?

    Pretty cool
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2011
    #14
  15. eliza

    eliza Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    Messages:
    130
    Backhand= rovescio

    This said, I see coaching all the time, even in USTA matches (coaches up on gallery making hand signals). It sounds like you played for fun, not ATP points.
    Maybe you can ask a re-match?
     
    #15
  16. PushyPushster

    PushyPushster Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    Messages:
    311
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    I care - it's a league match. And the mental part of the game is just as legitimate as the physical part of the game ... and it's something I'm pretty good with. It helps make up for things I don't do so well. Like serving, and hitting a backhand, and making the ball go over 35mph.

    I would have done it if they were speaking English. Yeah, it might be a bit of a dick move, but there you go. I'm a bit of a dick. :)

    Actually, we got rained out before our last match ended and we play the remainder tonight. Maybe he will forget about that whole "my opponent has no backhand" thing. I can hope.
     
    #16
  17. sphinx780

    sphinx780 Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    1,088
    Location:
    St. Paul, MN
    I heard Rennae Stubbs come out against the coaching rule in the WTA while commentating on a match at one of the majors this year. She said something to the effect of: 'Some players have a great serve or a great forehand, I had my mind. They can't tell a player to stop hitting a forehand so hard so they shouldn't take away my strength as a player either.'

    Until I heard it in that light, I always thought more to the effect of: It doesn't matter if they're coached, they still have to execute.

    At the same time, it's a hard accusation to make when you don't speak the language and he may have just finally put 2 and 2 together on his own after a close first set. It could have been as simple as him thinking he could beat you on either wing because of his talent and after losing the first set, thought, nope, I better just play smart now.

    I think you learn from it, give him the benefit of the doubt and start contemplating: When they hit every single shot at my backhand, how to I counter? If your mind is your weapon, use it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2011
    #17
  18. rjw

    rjw Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Messages:
    987
    Location:
    Miami
    Just get some serious help with yout backhand and move on
     
    #18
  19. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    2,769

    I'm a bit of a dick myself, how big depends on who you talk to. I really don't feel following the rules and expecting the same of others makes one a dick. It's more a matter that the majority of society is rather dickless--but that's what occurs in an environment of moral relativism.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2011
    #19
  20. autumn_leaf

    autumn_leaf Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    Messages:
    1,928
    Location:
    Taunton, MA
    #20
  21. PushyPushster

    PushyPushster Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    Messages:
    311
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Well, I beat him. Not through skill - it was ugly tennis on both sides. He was a young dude and my theory is that Saturday night was spent with booze and women. He wasn't so hung over that he forgot about my backhand, though.

    Well, sure - of course I'll get a nice backhand. And while I'm out on the courts I'll also get one of those 120mph serves I've always wanted. The one that kicks up real high - those are just tremendous.

    And a pony. Definitely want a pony too.
     
    #21
  22. rjw

    rjw Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Messages:
    987
    Location:
    Miami
    A pony could be a lot of work!!

    What I'm getting at is that you know that your bh sucks and your opponents will as well.

    So why not make a dedicated effort to at least make it half way respectable.

    My bh sucks, but used to be a lot worse. I can rip the ball inconsistenlty, but if I establish it early in a match, many opponents won't hit to it very often.

    It can be very frustrating to go down repeatedly due to a weakness that should be your number 1 priority. Ball machine really helps after some instruction. Hit several hundred and within a few sessions, you'll see a big difference..again...AFTER you get some tips, so as to not refine bad technique.

    Then play for $$ and buy that pony
     
    #22
  23. rjw

    rjw Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Messages:
    987
    Location:
    Miami
    Or you could put up some video here and suffer thru the criticism. I've read some excellent advice on this forum that has helped my strokes.

    Plenty of people here willing to help, if you want it
     
    #23
  24. PushyPushster

    PushyPushster Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    Messages:
    311
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    rjw - Tennis truly is the most egalitarian of sports. There's a belief that you should always be able to be the equal of the Really Good Guy. All you need is practice. There's no consideration given to athletic talent. When you're on a baseball team there isn't anywhere near that kind of belief. Some people have the natural ability to smash home runs over the fence and some people don't. No one ever looks at the mediocre dude and says,

    "Hey, why don't you learn to hit home runs like Little Barry Bonds Jr? You're kind of stinking up the joint."

    Anyhow, the reason I don't make huge improvements to my backhand is because of Time and Athletic Talent. They are both working against me.

    Heh. It will be a frosty day in Hades before that happens. I already know I don't hit a single stroke properly. Also, I'm okay with being the utility infielder of tennis.
     
    #24
  25. Caesar

    Caesar Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2011
    Messages:
    765
    lol. You've got to be kidding. Tennis is expensive to learn, expensive to play and traditionally the preserve of the upper classes.

    Hard to find a more elitist sport out there, really. Maybe snow skiing and polo.
     
    #25
  26. rjw

    rjw Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Messages:
    987
    Location:
    Miami
    Using your analogy....some might never hit home runs, but still get a lot of short hits.

    Sounds like you are resigned to NOT having a bh.....I take stuff like this as a challenge and a motivation to at least TRY to improve.

    A deep slice that stays lowhan a short ballthat sits up, or a mishit, even though many here might boohoo the deep slice??
     
    #26
  27. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    2,769

    You are living in the wrong century and certainly not in Kalifornia, where there are public courts going begging, instruction at community colleges, and cheap clinics available to non-club members. There are fantastic facilities, even indoors, that offer memberships at no initiation specials and very reasonable rates. Where are you, Iran, Albania, Cuba or Venezuela?
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2011
    #27
  28. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    2,769
    The main reason probably is due to poor instruction by the majority or teaching pros who have no clue how to teach tennis and are only interested in emptying your wallet. If you had a coach who knew how to teach you could vastly improve your game and derive much more satisfaction from it. Coaches who know how to teach the sport are few and far between, but students who appreciate a great coach and are coachable are even rarer.
     
    #28
  29. Caesar

    Caesar Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2011
    Messages:
    765
    Compared to something like soccer, where all you require is a ball, some friends and an open space? Or basketball, where you need a ball, some friends and a hoop that's available in every public park?

    Court hire, racquets, balls, lessons. Face it, it's an expensive sport compared to most. There's a reason you don't see kids with tennis racquets on every corner in Harlem.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2011
    #29
  30. spiderman123

    spiderman123 Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Messages:
    843
    Cue: Rocky theme.
     
    #30
  31. Delano

    Delano Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    Messages:
    184
    This is the bit from the usta rules for league play:

    2.01D COACHING. Coaching will only be permitted during the rest period only if the scoring method is the best of three tiebreak sets and there is a 10-minute rest period between the second and third sets.

    (here's the link: http://assets.usta.com/assets/1/15/2011 USTA League Regulations FINAL.pdf)

    Of course, you can't prove that coaching was going on, and I don't actually know the rules about long, hushed conversations (or conversations in a different language), though I'd guess that if coaching isn't allowed, then extensive, one-on-one conversations with one of the players that nobody can hear are also not allowed. I'd guess that these guys just don't know the rules around coaching. If you don't mind going straight at them, just get their attention and inform them of the coaching rule. If I were doing this, I'd try to be as matter of fact about it as possible - don't apologize for informing them of the rule, but don't accuse them of breaking the rule either. Just state it, and wait for them to respond. They may deny that coaching was going on, but that will often put an end to it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2011
    #31
  32. rjw

    rjw Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Messages:
    987
    Location:
    Miami
    LaLa land, I think
     
    #32
  33. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    2,769
    Free courts at muni parks, playgrounds, and nearly every high school and state and community colleges. Rackets lying unused in nearly every closet or a brand new prince graphite at the Goodwill Store for $5 like a kid I know just scored or millions of sticks for next to nothing at garage sales every weekend.

    I've given loads of my sticks and equipment away for free to kids tennis non-profit groups. Tennis balls, on sale for $1.50 to $1.99 and I can't give my hardly used ones away for free. The reason you don't see kids in Harlem with tennis rackets is because it would be like carrying a violin, you would kid your azz kicked for being a sissy. Free lessons by non-profits like YTA or NJTL.

    Caeasr, your assertion doesn't hold water at all. Maybe you need to get out of Harlem and move to Long Beach, or Compton. There's plenty of shovel ready, TARP and gov money available for tennis lessons and equipment and I believe it comes under the solar energy give away program too. Maybe you could rangle some money away from Charlie Rangle or borrow some from some drug dealers or pimps on the corner. They have coin to spare since they are too poor to qualify to pay taxes.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2011
    #33
  34. Caesar

    Caesar Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2011
    Messages:
    765
    Seriously, get a clue. You can walk down to the park and learn to play basketball or soccer by feel, and by watching TV with your mates. You only need to own one ball between you. Tennis requires courts, nets, racquets, balls, which all come at a cost, even if you can get them cheaply. You can't learn to play properly without coaching, and free coaching in thin on the ground. A child who learns to play tennis without formal instruction will never be plucked out of the slums for a pro career.

    The irony is that you're using US examples to show how tennis isn't an elitist sport. How popular is it in the barrios in Argentina? Why is it that the successful pro tennis players from Europe and South America almost all come from very affluent families? Heck, even most US players are from very comfortable backgrounds. The socioeconomic background of pro tennis players is miles above most other sports.

    Get your head out of your arse and take a look around.

    Toddle off back to talking about racquet tension, little man.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2011
    #34
  35. rjw

    rjw Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Messages:
    987
    Location:
    Miami
    Tom, don't bother , this guy's a total whacko

    He's too caught up in commenting on other men's facial hair....
     
    #35
  36. PushyPushster

    PushyPushster Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    Messages:
    311
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Pretty much. Don't get me wrong, I'd like to spend a lot more time on the courts than I do. In the end, though, time is a finite resource. Kids, in particular, tend to eat up that resource very quickly.

    Btw, I hope I'm not coming off as a total pessimist. Over the last 5 years I've gone from 2.5 to 4.0, but from a purely "athletic talent" standpoint, I just can't see myself getting much better than 4.0 ... even with a decent backhand.

    I was talking more about the concept that everyone could be equal in talent rather than monetary resources. Having said that, it's not expensive where I'm located. For $75 you can sign up for a season at the local tennis center which not only gets you on a team and pays for your court fees, but also gets you 7 group lessons with the team. That's a fantastic value. If you don't want the group lessons it's significantly cheaper.

    Nope, can't blame the pros. After my first two seasons I quite the group lessons at the local tennis center. That's on my head. They were probably just about to teach me how to hit a proper backhand, too. :)
     
    #36
  37. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    2,769


    Caear, I replied to you with NO personal attack, or name calling but since you are so care-free with them, I have no qualms replying in kind, but want to make the record clear--I didn't start the name calling and personal attack, you did! Your argument is so weak that you must resort to them.

    I appreciate RJW's heads and his correct assessment of your mental state but YOU have attacked a game and sport that the people who post here enjoy and love. You're biting the hand that feeds you. Why are you here dropping your bombs and personal attacks instead of at a soccer or basketball forum where you could contribute something positive? Since you feel tennis is such an elitist activity only for the privlidged, why do you participate in it and where do you play?

    In fact it is the opposite, it's great champions in the past and the present for the most part, came from humble or middle-class roots and not from the wealthy--Paris Hilton has never won a sanctioned tennis tournament to my recollection nor many from the royal families of the planet.

    You're totally inaccurate assessment of the people who participate in the sport of tennis and the costs of equipment and venues, needs answering and I will (and I hope others will also) when I have the time. Since I need to go to work now, and am not able to play polo today as I would much prefer. My rebuttal to your ignorant and unfounded assertions will have to wait until later and at my leisure, which is very limited.

    Your ignorance, founded in your misguided social politics, and personal anger is so deep, it would take a book to reply to, more time than I can afford at this moment.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2011
    #37

Share This Page