Dinkers/Pushers in junior tennis

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by eeytennis, Jul 10, 2009.

  1. eeytennis

    eeytennis Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2008
    Messages:
    553
    A student of mine has been competing in some junior tournaments and HAS traveled out of state to these events. She is playing in the G10s. in every single tournament i have noticed that most of the girls has very bad form and just chip and slice away at the ball and they actually win quite a few matches this way. This leaves me wondering if they are taught this way? Would anyone teach their students to be dinkers? is this just a northeastern phenomena or is it like this in the South and out West as well? Do these players every "change"...all my students are told by me to hit the ball HARD...because i believe that you should teach power and then control...it's easier that way. What do you all think?
     
    #1
  2. in[k]

    in[k] Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Messages:
    207
    At a young age most kids are just worried about returning a ball. Even if they hit the ball 'hard' in practice, they get nervous.

    If anyone teaches to dink the ball they fail ;)
     
    #2
  3. Jdrizzle03

    Jdrizzle03 Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    Messages:
    107
    Location:
    On a court near your home
    In high school tennis there are some pushers. but when you get to most of the tournaments i play in (b16's) you really cant get away with pushing and dinking, so no one really does it. most good kids hit the ball pretty hard and consistent. keep teaching your students that, you'll be ahead of most kids and they will win even if they are getting frustrated by pushers, eventually kids will hit hard and your set.
     
    #3
  4. beast22

    beast22 New User

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    Messages:
    87
    besides chris evert ;)
     
    #4
  5. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Messages:
    4,338
    Yes, this is a big problem. You see pushers on all levels but the 10s in many sections are loaded with them.

    I see young kids from 4-10 starting out with their parents or even some coaches and they are taught to just plop the ball back and forth to each other. I crack up watching these kids and parents dinking the ball directly to each other all practice long. This is fine if you just want your kid to play on the weekends with you.

    We take the opposite approach. We let our kids blast away against a ball machine, constantly correcting form and encouraging racquet speed. We constantly tell them no 'pop ups' and very soon the kids regulate themselves. We introduce the lob concept so they know that a deliberate 'pop up' in certain situations is great.

    Once they can blast the heck out of the balls, low over the net yet deep into the court with great form, we introduce targets. These kids now have both power and control developes very quickly.

    These kids will be ready for real and exciting tennis as they get older.....but still lose to some pushers along the way. But thats life in juniors.
     
    #5
  6. schap02

    schap02 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    Messages:
    704
    Location:
    City
    Dinks & Pushers - sounds like Men's 3.0 Seniors to me....

    Anyways - I've noticed the majority of parents think their kids are hitting the ball back in play and that's the best thing....People don't take the time to teach the kids the basics....

    My coaches always taught me the little "tactical" sort of things - hit the ball and shuffle back to the center of the court, chip and charge, if you're going to step out on the court, don't be afraid to HIT THE BALL...

    I think today's generation of parents just think their kids are going to "make it".

    Keep on preaching the power and control and I just assume you discuss tactics currently. Also - I see a TON of kids who are OUT OF SHAPE.

    Fitness Fitness Fitness
     
    #6
  7. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    5,997
    I have heard alot of knowledgeable tennis people say the opposite, but I actually disagree with them and agree with you.

    I believe that teaching control first usually means players attempting to avoid overhitting their shots. To me that will lead to them playing nervously and being hesitant and afraid to miss shots. This will lead to dinkers.

    I think its easier to learn to swing full and then gradually incorporate ways to control the shots from there. But I think the most important part of becoming an advanced player is learning to generate alot of racquet-head speed on shots even when going for more conservative shots.
     
    #7
  8. plowmanjoe

    plowmanjoe Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Messages:
    343
    that's why the usta has come up with a solution. it's called quick start tennis, i'm sure some of you have heard of it already. it works like a dream. the results are kind of incredible.

    the next step is to eliminate full size court tournaments for the 10s. and soon they will be using smaller courts and the different balls for tournaments. in that age group.
     
    #8
  9. eeytennis

    eeytennis Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2008
    Messages:
    553
    Are you being sarcastic? Lol, i am not too familiar with this system but doesn't it involve mini nets and foam balls? They do this with a lot of little kids at the club i play at (but don't teach at). And go figure, the kids usually leave the club by the time they are 12 to go take lessons from other instructors that actually teach them to hit the ball harder.
     
    #9
  10. darthpwner

    darthpwner Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Messages:
    2,039
    dude wut do u expect from little 10 yr old girls unless they are prodigies
     
    #10
  11. Claudius

    Claudius Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2009
    Messages:
    1,030
    From my experience, pushers don't hit very hard, but they are excellent passers.
     
    #11
  12. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Messages:
    4,338
    I don't agree. I can't think of one 10 year old girls who is not capable of hitting a hard and low ball. In fact, they are capable of it at 7-8 at the latest. Its how they are taught, not limited by their power. In fact a 10 year old girl has almost 70% of the eventual power of an adult....studies show girls are not much stronger at 25 than they are at 13-14......completely different than guys.
     
    #12
  13. DownTheLine

    DownTheLine Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Messages:
    2,406
    Same with my expirences.
     
    #13
  14. momtogrif

    momtogrif Rookie

    Joined:
    May 7, 2009
    Messages:
    150
    Location:
    where it's hot
    My son beat a kid in an event this weekend who was a pusher. But, to the kid's defense he was brand new to tennis and had only been taking group summer lessons for about 2 months. He was a soccer player so he could track stuff down but he'd just dink it back over. This kid took the number 2 seed to a tie break but lost and then played my kid.

    One of the places where my son plays is VERY hard on pushers. They penalize the kids if they start pushing. Running laps seems very effective! They made the kids run laps the other day b/c they weren't calling the score out loud enough. I thought my son would think the program too harsh, but he loves it.
     
    #14
  15. CourtingYou

    CourtingYou New User

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    13
    In the south they definitely don't teach that. The little girls here are quite beastly. I think an eighth grader won high school districts.

    But I agree with the first comment. They are just trying to get it in the court right now.
     
    #15
  16. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Messages:
    4,338
    True, its kind of frowned on in many places down here.

    Its so easy to teach. We just joke with our 4-5 year olds about "no pop ups". We show them when a lob is appropriate.

    Even the tiny kids start self regulating within 2 lessons telling themselves, "That was a pop up, bring it down". You don't even have to instruct them what to do....they simply adjust their own strokes and eventually its grooved in what stroke produces low and hard shots. Just reminding them a lot to wrap the follow through around is all that is needed. Little kids seem to forget to follow through and need lots of reminders.

    By age 6-7 every kid we have hits hard and low from the baseline, yet can use a lob when we ask them to.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2009
    #16
  17. DownTheLine

    DownTheLine Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Messages:
    2,406
    When do the 6-7 year olds start playing?
     
    #17
  18. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Messages:
    4,338
    It varies, some can pay attention at 3.5 to 4, others a little older. But almost all of them can hit hard and low consistently after a year of practice.

    We have kids who hit deep, low balls at some point between 4 and 5 years old.

    They start out with low compression balls so they can wail away and the balls stay on the court, then graduate to regular balls once they get some control.

    Our philosophy is to save lobs and soft shots for when they are appropriate, but hit hard and low whenever possible. I am sure they will lose to their share of dinkers as they go through juniors.....but in the end I feel this is the better teaching method.
     
    #18
  19. DownTheLine

    DownTheLine Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Messages:
    2,406
    Yea i think that's a great way to teach...
     
    #19

Share This Page