Do Coaches tell the truth?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Shroud, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    When I have coached friends it did lie to them but I still corrected their flaws.

    I would compliment them even if they made horrible strokes but still told them in a subtle way how to do it differently ("that was nice but try to...")
     
  2. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

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    Hey TS.

    FYI. My coach let me use his racket for a bit. Yeah I get it, he is supposed to do that so I will say "gee what a racket, where do I get one". Well we were playing points and he was serving. I cranked 2 winners with the racket.

    It was a modern racket strung with modern strings and a tiny grip. It was the Head Youtek Prestige Pro string with poly mains and looked like nylon crosses. In the 50s I think. Also the grip was smaller than 1/2.

    I liked how light it was and how I could whip around with it.

    But man it was like every modern racket I had used. It just wasnt SOLID. It was tiny and hollow and moved a bit on contact. I returned it to him after a few shots and thankfully went back to my Franken Pog. He was still serving and I know was looking for me to have less good shots since I had crushed some really good ones with the Head. Well I crushed the next few just as well. I was a bit slower I must say but funny thing it that my backhand is ALWAYS early. But for me the confident solid feel is worth being a tad bit slower. I hit better with the POG.

    Oh and its funny because I commented how head heavy the Prestige was. He bristled at that saying it was headlight. Its all relative I told him. Mine was REALLY headlight.

    So I have a racket I use for testing things and maybe a 400g racket is a possibility. There has to be a point where I can swing a bit faster but still get the solid feel.
     
  3. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

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    Its worth a bunch. And sadly I think you are correct in this case. I only seem to get some sugar coating. Even when I was point blank not to sugar coat things and tell me what sucks, it was still a positive everything is good reaction.

    Great news it that there was a major advance in my forehand. I have always had a better backhand and while it might not be as consistent (it might be more consistent sometimes) as the forehand, my backhand is a natural weapon. The forehand isnt. It never feels good. But at the lessons after all this time FINALLY. I think I got it to FEEL the way it should, and have the lethality of my backhand.

    Bad news is that the breakthrough came not from the coach, but from a vid I saw on the internet!
     
  4. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    Which video?
     
  5. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

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  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I have hit with Shroud twice now, once played some doubles against him.
    Nothing wrong with his rackets. I have used his rackets, and they hit just fine.
    Shroud is maybe 6' tall and 215 lbs. He doesn't get to play tennis regularly, and is often huffing and puffing even in doubles.
    He can hit most every shot needed in 4.5 and possibly 5.0 levels of play, but fitness and a mental calmness might be needed to PLAY at those levels.
    He likes to hit his shot regardless of what his opponent does, sometimes leading to great winners, sometimes leading to questionable decisions.
    There is nothing wrong with his rackets. His prep is usually timed correctly, he has fast swing speed, sometimes his footwork get's late, and after a few games, endurance and fitness might become a question.
     
  7. sovertennis

    sovertennis Semi-Pro

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    I've found this to be very common, and the pancake serve grip is a very good example. I've had many players ask me to help them with their serve, but who refuse to use a continental grip, so the quality of their serve will be very limited.

    What motivates players to take lessons, and what they do with those lessons, is indeed complicated and varied. As an instructor, I try to ascertain what the player really wants, what the player is capable of, and then try to reach an area at which he/she can succeed and improve.
     
  8. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

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    LOL. I think you got it Lee. I remember when I played with papa Mango. I was breathing heavy in the warm up! UG.

    Getting a bit better...slowly. My lessons kill me. FWIW I walk to them. Its only 1.2 miles. I move around ok and run to pick up the balls, etc. Walk home and then dont really move too much after that! The week I got TE I walked 2 miles to San Pablo, played 3 hours, and walked home. Was in better shape then.

    Lots of work to do. I used to be 5' 10. But now I think I am 5'8". 215 indeed. Weighed 203 this time last year. Year before that was 239, so there IS some progress.

    In life I am a mellow calm dude, but on the court its more like "Hulk smash. Smash is good..."
     
  9. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    I haven't noticed a huge difference yet - and I move to NorCal. Supposedly where I live is one of the biggest league tennis places in the country.

    I don't think its a whole NTRP point. Otherwise the 4.0s around here would dominate and win all the nationals. They do not. It's always some guys from the middle of nowhere that win the nationals.
     
  10. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

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    HMMM. I really dont see any leagues in norcal. I looked a few years ago and just a few weeks ago and couldnt find any.

    WHere are all these leagues in Norcal?
     
  11. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Hey Shroud....
    Those 4.0 league players are the weekend guys and gals at SanPablo. Half of them play for SanPablo 4.0's, and the rest used to play for some 4.0 team somewhere, like Chabot, Davies, BTC.
    The weekday guys are not league players, but lower 3.5 would be their level. Those are all retirees, like this old fart.
    RoseGarden has a 3.5 team, and most of the guys on the team are about our level.
    The MarinCounty Albert's Park 4.0 team is comprised of 7 of my buds plus 5 guys I never played. I've beaten 9 out of the 12 guys on the team. They practice weekend midmornings at AlbertPark.
    I think PapaMango plays on a 4.0 team, but only in singles.
     
  12. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    Hey, that's my racket! And it isn't that light. :cry:
     
  13. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    It IS that light because Shroud is using a 15 oz racket.
    12.4 oz is light, compared to 15.
    FYI, he also used my stock 4DAero300, hit well with it, and said he liked it. I also liked his 14 oz racket he loaned me.
     
  14. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    I know. But nobody's ever called my racket light before outside of TT.
     
  15. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    haha. i don't have anything against that video. per se. I said "here we go..." the last time you posted it because everytime that video surfaces here on tt it causes a lot of controversy.
     
  16. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

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    Sorry dude. It IS light at least for me. But come one TS if you have been paying attention to TT you need to put some lead on that puppy.:)

    FWIW it is a good racket and maybe with some lead I could play with it.

    But its something about the modern rackets. They just feel tinny and hollow. Even weight doesnt fix that. I brought a Pure Storm Ltd up to my specs and while it was better it still just wasn't as solid as the pog. You could feel it "wiggle" a bit when hitting.

    Oh and when I do switch and let others hit with the Franken Pog, I can HEAR right away the difference in solidity.

    Also its personal too. I cant stand a "ping" sound of any sort. This racket definitely needed a vibration dampner in addition to the one on it. Some dig that sound.

    Also it could have been a slightly different racket. He had 2 heads that looked the same and had the same name but I think one was the pro. I thought I hit with the pro but could be wrong.

    Anyhow, you are one hell of a player to play with that racket!!
     
  17. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

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    Yeah I bet it does. I can't blame people for having issues with it. He is pretty flippant about how other coaches are just wrong. That bugs me. And when he calls out people by name well that is just unprofessional IMHO.

    Anyhow it definitely worked for me and my forehand definitely feels like with some work using that kind of motion it can FINALLY be a weapon.

    Its always good to try controversial things just to see for yourself. Thats almost a lost art these days I think.

    Anyhow my coach seemed to agree with the aspect of the video. Though I still get the "sugar coat" feeling....
     
  18. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Everyone learns differently.
    Everyone absorbs different keys.
    What works for ONE, doesn't automatically work for everyone.
     
  19. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    Yes.

    Worse yet, I've seen teaching pros provide inane advice and engage in terribly dangerous activities on court.

    One pro I tried runs "cardio" tennis clinics during which the court is covered in errant balls. I'm certain the he would never play a tennis match with so many balls underfoot but he fully expects students to take his feeds while surrounded by loose balls. One night he fed me three balls directly over loose balls on which I would have stepped had I tried to hit his feed. I haven't been back since that night.

    A pro popular with our club members (he's cheap) teaches doubles strategies that result in partners being easily split, passed, and lobbed. One night some of us pointed this out to him. He admitted the problem and said he didn't have an answer. And, because he's cheap, those players still hire him for their team.

    To your question specifically, I've seen the second pro mentioned above lavish praise on players who clearly aren't improving after years of taking lessons from him. Some of these people were C-level three years ago and remain C-level three years later. Personally, I've found internet videos, books, and advice from TT members far more helpful than some of the pros I've hired. The good ones are very, very rare.

    Over time I've learned that the system to become a "certified" pro is pretty lame and full of holes.
     
  20. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    Sadly, I know exactly what you're talking about. These pseudo-pros get big clinics together to make money (six people each paying 30 dollars on one court is twice as much money as one person paying 90 dollars on that same court), and they don't teach anything.
     
  21. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    You can't expect private lesson type instruction in a group setting though. You might get some tips here and there - and those are likely going to be obvious fixes.

    But there are additional benefits to group classes..

    #1. You get to work on shot combinations that your practice partners are incapable or unlikely to give to you.

    #2. You get actual practice - instead of game play. This will enable you to develop your strokes in a low pressure environment.

    #3. You get a chance to play and meet other lower skill people. This is bigger then you think because if you are not at least a 4.0 there isn't going to be huge demand for your services. The better you are the more people want to play with you. If you can't sustain a rally you are going to want to take group classes..
     
  22. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

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    Thats great Lee. Where do you find out about this stuff, and it sounds like teams are formed. So how do you get to join?
     
  23. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I don't really know the particulars, as I haven't been asked to join any team, ever. At least not seriously.
    RoseGarden doesn't have a 4.0 team, and they know it's ridiculous to have me on a 3.5 team.
    Albert's Park in SanRafael, they said I didn't belong on their 4.0 team, because I beat most of the guys on the team 2's, and I used to play in A/Open. I've lost to their No.1 4.0 guy maybe 20 straight times, always at night...and I"m blind.
    Fairfax once asked me if I would consider filling in at doubles for the 4.5 team, but I didn't regularly play there and tossed the notion aside when there was some $$$$$ involved.
    But it's something like, the captain makes up a team, pay a fee like a C note for each player, each player pays his part, and they get to reserve a court on weekends and scramble for courttime on weekday evenings.
    The SanPablo 4.0 team is waaay overfilled, with more than half the guys not playing any given match.
     
  24. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

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    Yikes. That is what I thought. No way for me to get into league play. I don't know but In Chicago it was easy. just sign up. Sure they had you hit with a coach to make sure you were the right level, but I just signed up.

    This blows.
     
  25. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

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    Sad lesson today.

    I think I am going to just stop. This guy is giving me nothing outside of just feeding balls.

    Asking me what I wanted to do and then feeding me forehands. Then an approach, volley overhead drill.

    ZERO feedback or advice or tips or anykind of thing to do to improve.

    I was super thrilled when the dude brought out a paper from his bag saying I would like to see it.

    Awesome I thought, some article on strategy, or some study of mechanics, etc. NOPE his dead bosses obituary. UGHHHHH

    Freakin knew this was a bad idea....
     
  26. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Dude, coach can''t improve your strokes. They are fine as is.
    You can beat anyone you can beat with your strokes, if you also learn to tone it down a bit, compromise, and play it a little safer.
    However, you CHOOSE to try to hit the rockin topspin 1hbh sharp angle CC no matter where or how the incoming ball is hit, no matter what the score is, no matter the volleying skills of the opponent.
    Situational awareness? What's that?
     
  27. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

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    Thanks Lee. I think you are right.

    Its tough to hold back. Long story but I had a partner with what you would call the "Asian guy" came I think, and he beat me all the time. ZERO pace major pusher and tons of speed. If I just tried to "get it in" he would suddenly find some pace an crush winners.

    So mentally if i hold back I lose. If I hit out, I lose. And then I see the laver quote about losing hitting out, and well I go for it.

    I think I am finding my range though and the forehand has been much better.

    That backhand comment it dead on. It mostly has to do with my TE. Backhand is one of 2 shots I hold back on. It hurts less to go cross court so I kind of do that.

    But lets say I don't have te. Are you saying go down the line more, hit some slice? Etc.?
     
  28. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I lose to hammerheads all the time.
    But, they also practice more than me, are at a higher skill rating, and even THEY have to moderate on return of serves, to play a good scoring game.
    Without variety, you end up with a game that forces YOU to hit winners all the time, and very few of us can do that.
    Variety forces the opponent to compensate, adjust, or get impatient, which allows for HIM making more errors, so you win the point.
    Now you can say PUSHING can win by allowing errors, but it's not the same as having variety in your game.
    And of course, most rec guys like us can handle almost any kind of power, but have trouble adapting to spins, bounces, skidds, and curves that we don't see all the time.
     
  29. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

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    Wow. Thats a good point ad way to explain it.

    We rallied today and I was just hitting forehands mostly. I have 3. normal top, slice and western grip top. I would alternate between the slice and one of the topspins. Its interesting because the main topspin I used the most and didnt trouble him. But the slice was pretty lethal and he seemed to miss the really loopy ones.

    I have to really think about this tennis stuff...
     
  30. dennis10is

    dennis10is Banned

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    Coaches tell the truth as often as politicians
     

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