Does Modern Tennis Exist?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by JohnYandell, Dec 26, 2012.

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  1. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    i´ve watched a football game from ´77 . soccer for you folks across the pond:) they still play with the same equipment now then they did 35 years ago. it´s a different sport. while you can appreciate the skills of former years, the speed is much different. it´s the same for all sports, tennis is no exception
     
  2. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I think if you took Rod Laver of the 60s and dropped him into the US Open...
    he would likely get destroyed in the 1st rd and have a very tough time... much
    like he did in 63 when he moved to the pro league. Would that great player and
    competitor adjust and evolve? Yes, he would catch on quickly and be at least
    as good a Ferrer or so with time and maybe prove he is the GOAT. That is why
    they play the matches. But the play then cannot compare to today and that
    is without question imo.

    I played and did well with 4.0s and 4.5s in the 70s, but that "me" would get crushed
    by how I played as a 4.5 when I came back to playing in the late 90s.
     
  3. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    instead of discussing whether modern tennis exists or not, should we not be discussing whether modern tennis training exists? i.e. is there a better way to teach tennis?

    i took some (eight) one-on-one lessons last summer. the coach made me do various drills and simulated points sequences, then he rallied with me a bit. he didn't mention how to position myself, how to stand, how to move, how to hit, what angle to keep the racquet, etc...

    instead he would monitor what i was doing and occasionally tell me to finish higher on certain shots, or to keep rotating and not stop my stroke. other times rallying with him he would point to a shot i just made and say "yes, like that. one more time", or would tell me to move back a step then prepare so that the ball is in my hitting zone (this was on clay) on particular shots (high/deep topspin). the idea with the rallying was to get me to feel how to position myself and hit the ball better. with the shot sequences the idea was to get me to have a strategy in constructing points.

    obviously, i know how to hit a ball and it's not the first time i pick up a racquet, but this approach was pretty good in helping me refine my rallying and point play. I'm working on my serve now with another coach and it is more technical. breaking down the movement into parts to work on.

    What do you guys think? Is there a better, contemporary, methodology for teaching tennis, or do the old rules apply?
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
  4. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Great post and yes, there are a lots of ways to teach, but there is a way
    of teaching where the title is Modern Teaching Methodology or MTM.
    It is different than classic of the past and I prefer it. Some instructors don't. :)
    Don't think I've met a student that didn't love it!
     
  5. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    Rel,

    Don't fall for this post above. That there is only one "modern" system and the only other option is classic or the past. This is the one note that these guys hit over and over on their drums, and it's just plain not true.

    Unfortunately on this board there are many people without much knowledge of what some of the great teachers in the world are actually doing. So they fall for this marketing dichotomy.

    In reality there are dozens if not hundreds of working coaches who have produced tremendous results in many cases far beyond the (dubious) claims of Oscar Wegner and his minions. There are researchers who have developed video and quantitative resources that show what is really happening in the game and methodologies for teaching it. They have debunked many of the Wegner claims without any legitimate counter responses--both the teaching claims and the claims of world influence. Many people in the coaching industry are offended by the cult aspect of this and the Wegnerites open proclamations that all problems in tennis stem from the fact that their religion isn't universal and that there is some top down revolution needed with Oscar making the rules.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
  6. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Just more of the regular straw men raised by Jy in his very offensive, name calling
    post. Oscar has never stated they were not coaches out there who have coached
    to tremendous results.
    Most of the rest of the post was too offensive to quote and likely not to last
    on here!
     
  7. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    I think there are hundreds of great coaches who are teaching great players at all levels whom have not heard of john yandel or oscar wegnar. Nobody cares about you or oscar as much as you seem to think.
     
  8. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    thanks for the replies guys.

    that's kind of what i'm looking to figure out. instead of just arguing classical vs. MTM, what are the main approaches, techniques or philosophies of tennis teaching/training that are currently used?

    I mean there are lots of different coaches who have worked with top players (pro, college and junior) and several top academies around the world that churn out players (USA, Spain, UK, etc...). How do their approaches differ? Are they based on players and coaches handing down what works from experience/competition or is it empirical, or a mixture of the two? What about all of the analytics at the various universities? Tennis is pretty heavily researched and modeled isn't it?

    from just this thread:
    - High speed video analysis of pros (ideal hitting) and of the student.
    - statistical analysis of shot selection and game strategy. I know people use this for pros, but have you seen this applied to college, junior or maybe even rec level players who are interested enough? Are the academies using this?
    - the Oscar Wegner school MTM.

    But what about the other approaches? Bollettieri, Lansdorp, or dare i say Brad Gilbert? What are they doing and what part of tennis do they focus on? What about how all of these top non-USA trained players are being taught and developed? What are they doing differently? What about going beyond just strokes and hitting to strategy and mental toughness?

    Can any of us non-pros benefit from this or should we just put in the hours on the court and have a good time while everyone else argues?

    For me, I try to work on my game by focusing on one area in every practice session and seeking opinions from more than one coach when i need to (a few sessions every 6 months or so). I've had experience with two coaches in two different countries over the past 12 months and have learned a bit from both. They have very different styles.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
  9. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    sorry to spam this thread.
     
  10. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    Arche,

    Nope your wrong, my mom cares. But just not about Oscar--she agrees with me about his work and she was club champion in 1952.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
  11. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    R,

    Not spamish at all. In fact you are asking all the right questions. The simplistic and disengenuous views of the Wegnerites would be that all the guys you mention have nothing to contribute and have destroyed American tennis because they don't agree with Wegner--or even take him and the disciple/worshippers seriously.

    It's just that it would be a life's work to answer those questions--oh wait that's why I created Tennisplayer.net... literally my goal was to learn everything I possibly could from everyone I could find who had real credibility. There are now articles from over 50 coaches and many extended series outlining what and how they teach.

    My other goal was to create something else that had never existed: a video archive where anyone could study all the top players for themselves in high speed video--and not these horrible utube practice clips without frame by frame advance, but strokes in live match play with high frame rates, high resolution, clips that you could advance yourself one frame (or more) at a time... There are about 65 top players there.

    I made the offer to a few people before and suggest you take me up on it to look at the site for a week n/c. Virtually everyone you mentioned and many many more have done extended article series on what they teach.

    If you educate yourself more you can answer some of those questions for yourself--which is the only way it really works.

    email me at: videotennis@metricmail.com

    And I will follow through with you other guys who made the request. Just been swamped. Anyone else that wants to jump in can as well.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
  12. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    Suresh,

    You bet it exists! Just not in the form of some of the people who claim to understand it.
     
  13. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Great video and instruction, clearly shows more hitting across than towards target. Wow I thought that it is wrong to pull back and hit off the back foot. Why are they not stepping in and transferring their weight forward?

    Why does their racket not go towards the target? I thought that this must be done if hitting correctly, they must have been taught the wrong technique.[/QUOTE]

    Hitting off the back foot is extremely common with open stance and neutral stance, not only in tennis but in other sports.

    And it not towards or across. It is both. The racket moves towards the target for some frames before and after impact, and also follows the arc crossing over, as it must. Every portion of an arc can be approximated by a linear segment - the flatter that portion of the arc (the larger the radius of curvature), the more linear it is. Not only that, during the dwell time, the racket can carry the ball more than two ball diameters in the direction of the target before releasing it.
     
  14. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    This is hotly debated in the former pro player section every other day, but I agree. It is not just the actual tennis, but the effect of height (Rod has said that he has no chance in the modern game unless he was 3 inches taller), training, nutrition, exercise etc.

    Wooden rackets and gut were a great equalizer. Tennis was supposed to be a sport where physical attributes would not play a decisive role (I don't have a source to support it). But no longer today.
     
  15. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    great quote to show his confusion. No one is saying perpendicular to the target
    line which this poster seems to equate with across.

    Yes, going perpendicular to the target line would be one of many paths ACROSS
    the target line, but clearly not what any of the modern posters are suggesting.

    There is -out the target line- and across the target line.
    Modern is a clear path across, but
    none is saying directly across on a perpendicular fashion....except
    the classic/traditional or anti modern crowd. They are the inventors of the
    strawman of the directly across on a perpendicular style!
    Given they invented that false paradigm for you or either have that poor of
    understanding of modern....Do you really want to listen to those that misinformed??

    For years the classic instructors have given you instruction on how to take the
    arc of the swing out the target line as best you can thru stepping forward and
    how the shoulder is used to extend thru 5 balls down the target line.
    Modern instructions say no, you don't need to step forward and over extend
    to try to flatten your swing arc to achieve hitting thru 5 straight balls.
    If these other instructors you are interested in have abandoned the - hit thru
    5 balls- down the target line approach...then they are now modern in that respect....
    and that is the main issue imo. Problem is some have been brought
    kicking and screaming to this across perspective and do want to be modern....
    but just not MTM modern...for whatever reason they have. Just bad for that
    lot since MTM put it in print, books and video decades ago.

    Which seems right to you??
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
  16. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    5263:

    Does this include all the great great instructors you and Wegner give so much credit to? Are they teaching modern tennis or are they just part of the classical losers you guys parody with so little integrity? Who are the one's you respect?

    It's so funny because you have grasped onto the concept of the swing arc--now where did you get that helpful concept?

    But you don't really seem to understand it. An arc you see is curved. So can the racket have an outward or a forward dimension while moving on a curve?

    What is the shape of that arc when you give that real hard yank across?
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
  17. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I read a lot about this stuff (and also play - put in 4 hours today). Some of the main things going on today:

    Under 10 tennis is dramatically changed due to new ITF and USTA formats of smaller courts and bigger, softer balls. John Muir, the outgoing TIA President, reports that while participation grew in 2012 over 2011, the main increase was in the 6-11 demographic, due to the new initiatives.

    School tennis is being targeted as the key to prevent the best athletes in the US opting for other sports. Even Todd Martin has gotten into the action in Florida.

    The number of junior US tourneys on clay has been increased. It is the belief of PMac and the USTA high performance director, Jose Higueras, that the European and South American model of clay court exposure from childhood is the way forward. This is not popular with the other faction headed by Wayne Bryan. European schools like Sanchez-Casal and Henin's academy have now expanded into the US.

    It is being increasingly observed that due to 18 year school in US (as opposed to 16 year secondary school in some European countries) US juniors are disadvantaged (Fed and Nadal are both school dropouts per US standards). So parents are going for homeschool, partial time public charter school, partial time public online school, flex time pricey private school or academy school to come up with a tennis-centric life for their kid. Traditional full-time public school now has increased homework and competitive demands and taking time off for tennis is very costly in terms of school performance.

    The Spanish model is clay court tennis with long points favoring point construction. With the slowing down of courts, the American dominating style of tennis is getting de-emphasized. So teaching these days needs to adapt to this new reality. Endurance, fitness and upper body strength are more important than even before.

    Technology is playing a big role. High speed HD Video recordings, Dartfish video analysis, 3D analysis with sensors, and fitness equipment of all kinds are being used. For example, Gil Reyes and Agassi have developed a custom gym machine which Verdasco uses, but the details are kept secret and he cannot talk about it. Same with nutrition. Latest reports are that after Novak came out about his gluten-free diet, many pros are now giving up carbs, prompting nutritionists to counter this by pointing out the negatives. Point is, technology and information are playing a big role in training, not just the traditional stroke development.

    And about the analytics: no, tennis is not at all researched and modeled. Popular American sports are the ones which have been researched ad nauseum. Physics of tennis has not gone much beyond the book by Rod Cross and the TWU professor. Perhaps the most interesting things are in TWU and this forum.

    Equipment changes include use of polys, hybrids, and lower tensions. Recent claims are that pro tensions are now in the 40s and below.

    As far as fundamental stroke teaching goes: frankly from what I read, not much has changed. Sure, some people still talk about the reverse forehand and the inside out forehand as being "new." And commentators have to say how top spin is now much more than when they were playing. But for the cutting edge folks on this forum, this is old news. So I don't think the teaching of fundamental strokes has undergone any remarkable changes. That viewpoint seems to be unique to this forum only. I don't see it reflected in the tennis literature in the form of magazines or Tennis Channel etc.
     
  18. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Excellent! you have put you finger on the problem of classic instruction above.

    As to the term arc....Do you want credit for me starting to use it more? I'll gladly
    give you that credit, because I have no problem sharing credit with those that
    deserve a share. Although I'm quite sure I'd used the term well before I picked
    up on your use of it, I did start to use it more here in hopes that using a term you
    favored might help us to reach the common ground that you avoid so hostilely.
    See how easy that is John...to admit what others have contributed.
    I feel that if we can acknowledge the best of what you have with the best of
    other approaches like MTM and Dave Smith's work...with that we can help
    more players who come here for instruction.
    :)
     
  19. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I thought it was 3 balls, and the dwell time itself accounted for 2 of them, as per a calculation I did here once (which may be wrong, who knows).

    I understood it simply as having a proper finish, like John Yandell used to have his finish points in the photos of his book (back in the days of no Youtube). Club players often poke at the ball, instead of finishing properly. It is the same in table tennis. For about 6 months, I once took lessons from a woman who had been on the Chinese Olympic team (and who has produced many DVDs along with a former US champion). She was also all about follow-through and finish. Every student asks "why does follow thru matter when the ball is gone" and I won't bother to give the answer since everyone knows it here. As far as I know, this has been taught by coaches since time immemorial and there is nothing new about this.
     
  20. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Well, for starters, Oscar has credited you on many occasions for your contributions
    to obtain quality video and build your business. I'll let him post if he cares to on
    the guys he has given credit, like Pancho and Dave Smith, but I've often credited
    You, even in the face of
    your harassing approach, along with Coach Gould, Dave Smith, and a host of
    others. I'm sure I've erred at times, but most of my comments have been on the
    actual teaching and not the coach in question, unless there was some context.
    A great coach like Gilbert may be more on strategy and
    and like Nick a Motivator. Even RL must have been a super trainer in drills.
    There are Many aspects to this game and coaching for success.
     
  21. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Sure, I've taken some swings after some of the insults, but I've always tried
    really hard to keep things at least reasonable. Several times I though we had
    some major common ground worked out, but each time you brought on a
    major assault to bust it up. Why??

    The bold above didn't answer your question on arc?
    I realize that Oscar and I discussed arc many times before I noticed you
    using it, but I had already used the term in my instruction prior to Oscar
    as well. Not sure what you are looking for on that.
    Oscar and I discussed how the term "swing" denotes a curve or arc vs
    the classic drive out thru 5 balls which actually can push out relatively
    straight. In fact, the target line of 5 balls is straight, right?
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
  22. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    5263:

    All of those guys except Robert aren't even developmental coaches. My god you are willing to credit "even" Robert? The hysterical thing is his understanding of the modern forehand is far superior to yours or Wegner.

    What about Jose, or Rick Macci, or Nick Saviano, or Jay Berger, or Mike Sell, or Chris Lewit, or Brett Hobden or Peter McCraw or Luis Bruguera? Do you even know who these guys are and what they think or how they coach or are they just all part of the loser classical crowd?

    So no that's a non answer and I don't see anything about the arc either. I don't care about the credit you and I know the truth and it doesn't really matter. You guys have desperately back pedaled and weaseled and double talked about every issue that shows the weakness of your approach--like the preparation with the opposite arm and the floowthrough shapes. When you get called on something like that you just act like that was really what you were saying all along. Classic Orwellian!

    What I am asking is whether a hand or a racket can move forward or outward while traveling on an arc.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
  23. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    5263:

    And if Oscar gives me so much credit why didn't he acknowledge my ball speed studies he loves so much in his book instead of just appropriating it and twisting it to a conclusion I would never have accepted?
     
  24. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    It is just so fundamental that a point (in this case the center of the eventual impact area on the strings) that moves in a 3D arc must have forward, up and across components of velocity! As per video analysis, the forward velocity was about twice that of the upward one, which explains (even including gravity) why the 3D volume of tennis is extended in the horizontal plane, unlike say, badminton (except for lobs) (I wanted to raise this in the other thread when Oscar said tennis is a vertical sport not a horizontal one, but decided not to in the presence of all the name-calling. Badminton is more of a vertical game with the bird often being flighted high).

    There is movement of the ball in the forward direction, and this is the simple meaning of extension. Forward need not be "linear" - it can be angular and cross-court - just into the court is the meaning. And any physical system which provides a force to move in a certain direction must move in that direction at least some moments before and after impact - inertia will not allow abrupt yanks, pulls, etc. There is of course also an upward velocity which produces the top spin.

    This is pretty simple and I don't understand why people split all these up into pieces and claim that no one understands only one of them.
     
  25. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    You anti modern guys are the only place I see that info misunderstood in the bold above.
    All modern instructors know this and understand that is why you can't extend
    out thru 5 balls on the target line. We say the 5 balls would have to be on a
    curve, but then the idea loses most of what it is about...so we don't use that.
     
  26. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Of course an arc can be what I would call forward. What is your point?
    Both a racket and a hand can do this, but not thru 5 balls on a target line.

    As to your false claims of us always being in cult like lock step. You don't see
    me involved in several of the issues other than the comment to correct mis-info.
    I'm still not clear on the counting or the yanking. I don't currently favor the
    term yank. You have been after me to say that for weeks now, so you should
    be happy, but I would have said it on day one if you would just be nice.
    But notice, I didn't lie and say I liked it...just stayed out of it.
     
  27. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Well I guess Dave Smith will be glad to learn that.
    He thinks he is you know..:(
     
  28. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Is there some reason I should know all their work?
    I do happen to be familiar with most of them, but not enough to judge.
    I don't think I ever commented against any of them, except maybe Macci at
    times, but said good about him too.

    What is this strawman about? :???:
     
  29. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    No, the idea is that of a having a proper finish. It is OK not to use it, of course. But replacing it by yank or abrupt pull back etc is not the solution.
     
  30. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Exactly...just like across need not be perpendicular as only the anti modern
    crowd suggests. That is not from Modern.

    But out 5 balls is from classic and that is linear :)
     
  31. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Then you should ask and find out about it, and then make up your mind. Or are you afraid of the consequences of disagreeing? I have no axe to grind, so I can be honest about what I say.
     
  32. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Because I'm not posting on it, unlike you maybe, does not mean I'm not asking:)

    Also the issue of the yank or not and counting or not ...they are so minor and
    I use as I see fit...like all instruction.
     
  33. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Likewise, all the distinctions about modern and old tennis instruction is a fabrication on this forum. I follow tennis literature extensively, and it is a non-issue in practice. No one is sweating about it. Things evolve naturally and people adapt, keeping the old where it is useful and adopting new changes. There are far more important issues which make a difference than the stuff drummed up on this forum in order to create some false dichotomies and taking of sides. It is fun to argue for a while till it gets boring.

    In fact, that is what JY seems to be hinting with the thread title.
     
  34. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    You might feel different if you had studied many of the available books, developing
    quite a library over 15 yrs while subscribing to TP as well and seeing mostly
    the same classic stuff rehashed...training at Evert, Hilton Head, Macci's etc...
    then discovering MTM and seeing everything
    change and improve dramatically, in a very short time.
    The distinctions can be subtle, but to those that have experienced them, they
    are important.
     
  35. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Good to you see you two working together so well. See what you think of his
    new found site on feeltennis.net. I expect you guys will agree on what you see.

    Speaking of claiming to understand it....What about that Bh piece in Tennis mag
    this month? How do you like John Evert's version of the 2 hander Bh?
    I guess that is modern too?
     
  36. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    5263:

    Let's see you put down the coaching fraternity because they are all teaching "classical" tennis and ruining America etc. But you have no idea what well known, innovative, successful and yes modern coaches are actually doing.

    I give you the names of a few well known guys (at least among knowledgeable industry people) who are leaders in developing coaching knowledge as well as players in the modern era.

    And you ask whether there is any reason you should know what they think or have done? That's pathetic.
     
  37. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    Suresh,

    You got the hint.

    Also that is a hell of an exposition of the state of the tennis world, coaching etc.

    The 10 and Under thing is very interesting. One of the ITF and USTA premises is that it will allow kids to have conservative grips, learn neutral stances, reasonable contact heights, and develop all court play instead of teaching them extreme "modern" elements that don't necessarily lead to a sport for life.

    And let's face it, as Jim Loehr said quite seriously, the statistical chance of being attacked by a great white shark is way higher than making the top 100 on the tour.
     
  38. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Nope and clearly you missed the obvious flaw, :)
    But oh, you know modern so well?
     
  39. TW Staff

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    It is important to stay polite and civil as per forum rules. It's counter-productive if you cannot continue the discussion in a mature manner and it would be a shame if a thread has to be deleted because posters are not following rules. There will be differences in opinions. Please find a way to interact politely.

    TW Staff
     
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