Food for thought: More Practice matches.

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by tennis5, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Messages:
    1,710
    Great post
     
  2. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Messages:
    3,849
    Location:
    A green and pleasant land
    Hmm, from this side of the pond that description sounds like DY!!! :D
     
  3. maggmaster

    maggmaster Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2010
    Messages:
    1,750
    Whats your opinion of DY coach? Can he still pull it together?
     
  4. Soianka

    Soianka Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2009
    Messages:
    1,905

    I'm not sure DY has star appeal, but maybe he would if he were winning all the time.
     
  5. 10ismom

    10ismom Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    Messages:
    450
    What do you guys think about Rayn Harrison and Jack Sock "Star Appeal"?

    I know Ryan kinda messed up with his attitude on court. What if he will metamorph? No more racquet abuse, ref arguing, etc.

    How about Sock?
     
  6. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Messages:
    3,849
    Location:
    A green and pleasant land
    I don't know enough of the DY story and haven't seen enough of him play to fairly judge - have only what I've read on here and seen in Euro press to judge by.

    In respect of a new up and comer for you I really did like the look of Francis Tiafoe when I met him in Tarbes, got to watch a couple of his matches and there's definitely something about him - there seemed to be a real fire in him!
     
  7. 10ismom

    10ismom Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    Messages:
    450
    Tiafoe is still young though. Americans will embrace his Cinderella story. It will take several years from now for him compared to the older and ATP ranked Sock and Ryan Harrison.
     
  8. Tennishacker

    Tennishacker Professional

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2009
    Messages:
    994
    Great observation.

    Harrison has complete game, Sock needs to improve backhand, but has bigger weapons than Harrison.
     
  9. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Messages:
    1,710
    Neither Sock or Harrison is gonna appeal to the whole hip hop culture. Donald Young has no real street credentials Donald is a momas boy these kids see right thru that.I'm not saying Donald is a phony because I really like the guy.I just think if ourgreatest hope has the story,the swag and the me against the world attitude then we can tap into our greatest athletes. I'm not only talking about our African American kids Im talking also about our best white athletes that have posters of Kobe Bryant in their room or Lebron James.Those white kids that are into the hip hop culture. I promise you are not gonna go in a young black kids room and find a poster of Andy Murray and if you did he's not the one.We have to break down doors and make tennis cool and if we do we will DOMINATE!!!!!!!!!!
     
  10. Soianka

    Soianka Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2009
    Messages:
    1,905

    I do agree with TCF, that Jack Sock appears to be the most marketable of the 3 mentioned.
     
  11. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Messages:
    3,849
    Location:
    A green and pleasant land
    ^^^thing is every tennis NGB around the world is trying to make tennis cool!
     
  12. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Messages:
    3,849
    Location:
    A green and pleasant land
    Sure, he's still u14, but he had a spark to him that I liked and I understand his "story" is pretty marketable - jeeze this is turning into X-Factor!!!
     
  13. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Messages:
    1,710
    Yea but NO country in the world has near as many athletes as we do. Ash do you know a good friend of mine named Simon Earnshaw?? He is the head tennis coach at Armstrong Atlantic University. He has been winning lots and lots of national championships since he arrived. He is from England.
     
  14. 10ismom

    10ismom Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    Messages:
    450
    LOL.....We need to improve RATINGS from tennis audience.
     
  15. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Messages:
    1,710
    We need to diversify the audience.
     
  16. 10ismom

    10ismom Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    Messages:
    450
    Yeah.....we just need great results to go along with it.

    My 13 yo just converted to cheer Andy instead of Djoko in the ShiangHai Rolex Final.
    Guess since Andy got the gold and US open title.
     
  17. jigglypuff

    jigglypuff Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2010
    Messages:
    317
    I don't know... the game is pretty long and boring to me. If there was a football, basketball, and tennis game on at the same time, tennis would be last on the list every time. Even if tennis was the only thing on, I would be hard pressed to sit there and watch more than a set.
     
  18. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Messages:
    3,849
    Location:
    A green and pleasant land
    No sorry - do you guys over there think because we are a small country we all know everybody else :D :D :D (although actually the tennis coaching community here is pretty small so it's not uncommon for coaches to know each other, even from different parts of the country :) )
     
  19. Sunbeam

    Sunbeam New User

    Joined:
    May 13, 2011
    Messages:
    19
    I have been loving the Pac-12 Network. So into women's volleyball right now because of the program timing. At this point I know all the faces -- can tell who has the leadership and appeal right away.

    Maybe these college networks that are sprouting up will flush out a few tennis players/teams with that type of healthy appeal, physicality and dominance...

    This is America - it's all about the visual, the story, the youth. We want it put in our face via a screen.

    We are prodded (yes, I am referencing herd mentality) into action by the mass marketing, the commercials, the selling of the dream and of course the heroes ....
     
  20. tennisconsultcom

    tennisconsultcom Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2012
    Messages:
    102
    Jack Sock has a huge potential He may become the next American star after Roddick.
     
  21. MarTennis

    MarTennis Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Messages:
    269
    Correct...

    ...I'm a nut and if not a grand slam I am not going to watch 3 of the 4 top guys grind each other into the ground 3 plus hours. Not going to happen. Not even at Masters 1000 event; unless I'm there;).

    Double down on doping tests. Just sayin', not an attempt to hijack.
     
  22. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Messages:
    1,710
    I hate to say it but I agree with you about the doping. After watching everything unfold with Armstrong it kinda makes you wonder how much of that actually occurs in tennis. It just seems way to easy to cheat and not get caught.
     
  23. 10ismom

    10ismom Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    Messages:
    450
    I guess tennis network concerns about their ratings too.....they often would show matches starting at 4, 4 in 2nd or 3 rd set just for the viewer's sake.
     
  24. MarTennis

    MarTennis Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Messages:
    269
    Re American role model...

    ... will only be a player that makes grinders look bad on hard courts. Barring that, I say there will never, ever be an American grinder champion, much less world class player to defeat the rest of the tennis world. Ever.
     
  25. MarTennis

    MarTennis Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Messages:
    269
    Roddick...

    ...lost to Fed at Wimbledon not because he moved forward, but because his volley was amateur or put another way was not second nature to him, unlike his serve or his early forehand.
     
  26. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Messages:
    1,710
    Do you think there will be another great grand slam champion that serves and volleys and chips and charges and constantly moves forward?It would be great to see!
     
  27. MarTennis

    MarTennis Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Messages:
    269
    I don't know...

    ...I like to think so, but every pro player/coach I talk to says you can't do it fulltime, because of the fitness and strings. Gotta go all court, a la Jimbo with all the modern athleticism with a versatile but big on command serve.
     
  28. hhollines

    hhollines New User

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2012
    Messages:
    60
    Food for thought: More practice matches

    "... will only be a player that makes grinders look bad on hard courts. Barring that, I say there will never, ever be an American grinder champion, much less world class player to defeat the rest of the tennis world. Ever."

    Please clarify when you say there will, "never, ever be an American grinder champion." I guess it also begs the question as to what is a "grinder." Many of the great professionals can "grind" out victories and extend points, sets and the match many hours if required which is directly related to mental strength and conditioning. I think one issue we have in the U.S. is we don't teach how to "grind."

    I often hear parents say "grinders" and "pushers" are the same and that's not a position I agree with. We don't teach patience and discipline for U.S. tennis. We teach power and ending points quickly. We don't teach juniors to grind. If you look at the women's game, everyone would love to play like Serena but good luck as a player with Serena's physical skills doesn't come around often. I love Serena but that's not the model player unless you have a certain physical build & capabilities, much of which may be out of your control (sure, we can do a better job of conditioning/strengthening but everyone will physical limits).

    We also fail to customize to the individual's physical capabilities. We have too many juniors physically trying to do what they are not strong enough or capable of doing. It's players like Errani, Schiavone, Radwanska and the like that impress me by taking what they have and can do and maximizing it and it's not sexy or cool to watch but they are all top WTA players.

    Just watch a high school tennis match and each player will try to hit the ball as hard as possible. They will take 15-20 winners against 30-40 unforced errors and the math just doesn't work. Folks tease Wozniacki and call her boring and a pusher . . . well, she pushed her way to #1 in the world and will make enough $ to retire very comfortably . . . I mention that name to juniors in the U.S. and they laugh at her and call her boring, that's the problem. She isn't boring; she is a hell of a player and she grinds. Sure, she isn't Serena (or Sharapova; yea, it would be nice to be a 6ft. woman) but there's only 1 Serena and without Serena's serve, she wouldn't dominate today.
     
  29. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Messages:
    1,710
    Just can't win a grand slam on the women's side grinding.
     
  30. hhollines

    hhollines New User

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2012
    Messages:
    60
    Food for thought: More practice matches

    "Just can't win a grand slam on the women's side grinding."

    We don't know that and that's my point. Obviously the game has changed a lot over the past 20 years since Chris Evert won many majors as a grinder but to say it can't be done is to overlook the fact that we don't expect women to perform like men and that's flat wrong. We don't expect them to be in top condition like the men and that's flat wrong (Stosur hits a man like topspin forehand and did win a major and took our Serena). It takes incredible conditioning to do what someone like Nadal does and we just accept as fact that women can't do it hence why they play a flatter game.

    They players I mentioned as grinders have come real close to winning grand slams having made the finals generally losing to either Serena or Maria but that doesn't mean they can't or won't win a grand slam.

    We expect to little from the women and it's too bad. I've watched the evolution of women in basketball. When I played Div. I, they looked mechanical and today, many women move and play like the guys (they don't jump as high but they are smooth, fit and in exceptional condition). But, in tennis, we just don't expect that from women and it's too bad. Not everyone can play like Sharapova, Serena, Petra, etc. (not everyone is big/tall/strong).

    I think it's flat wrong to say a grinder can't win a grand slam on the women's side when they've already reached the finals & semi-finals of majors. And, furthermore, if the measuring stick is grand slams, that list is very very very small. And, if you take a grinder like Carolyn W. and just add a few dimensions like the ability and confidence to volley and move a tad bit closer to the baseline, it could make all the difference. If women developed a stronger second serve (most young junior women have awful service motions but we let it go and never address it b/c they aren't strong enough to hit a platform serve for example); I don't agree.
     
  31. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Messages:
    1,710
    I just dont see a women winning a grandslam playing defensive or grinding. I think to win a granslam today you have to take it not wait for your opponent to miss.
    Even on the mens side what looks like grinding is not.Those guys like Nadal are knocking the cover off the ball. Wozniaki just doesnt play to win all the time she plays too defensive to win a grand slam.Same problem Monfils has.If Monfils would be more aggressive off the ground i think he could win one.I just think the in the future the women winning grand slams will be attacking every ball.
     
  32. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Messages:
    1,710
    i dont agree that plaform is any more advantageous than pinpoint.
     
  33. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Messages:
    3,849
    Location:
    A green and pleasant land
    ^^^I also wouldn't agree that women aren't strong enough to hit from a platform stance???
     
  34. hhollines

    hhollines New User

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2012
    Messages:
    60
    Food for thought: More practice matches

    "I just dont see a women winning a grandslam playing defensive or grinding. I think to win a granslam today you have to take it not wait for your opponent to miss."

    We may have different definitions of "grinding." Nadal absolutely grinds out victories playing a lot of defense and counter punching (of course, he can hurt you if you make a mistake) but if you study the history of Nadal he played a lot more aggressive (flatter shots) prior to 2004 and made a switch to more spin and consistency and it's worked out pretty well (way more buggy whips post 2004) . . . and, after 2004, many more grand slams since that switch . . . as an example, go back and watch say the 2004 match against Lleyton Hewitt . . . a very different Nadal from back then.

    It will be done (again) on the women's side and it will be the all court player than can grind and play defense and is very strong mentally like Martina Hingis. She surely did not overpower Venus or Serena and I watched so many of those matches as she would be very consistent and would use all the angles (and wasn't scared of the net) and would get everything back and drive Venus and Serena nuts. Radwanska would have done it but for Serena pulling it together in the 3rd set. Hence, my point with Carolyn W. is if she could add a few elements like working the angles and incorporating the volley (net), it could change her game dramatically.

    As for the platform serve, I didn't say it was better necessarily although I look at the best servers of all time in Sampras (and Federer) but the point is it takes strength to hit the platform serve hence why many females go to the pinpoint b/c you can hit it harder with less strength but that's my point, we don't try to develop strong and fit young female tennis players.

    Basically, we do nothing different and the results show it. We don't test assumptions; we don't question the past; and we (in the US) just keep doing it the same way and expecting different results. We are not striving for excellence. The player development system is broken but we'll keep doing the same thing I'm sure . . .

    I'll move on now but I wanted to clarify my point (position).
     
  35. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Messages:
    3,849
    Location:
    A green and pleasant land
    Interesting contention - evidence?
     
  36. MarTennis

    MarTennis Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Messages:
    269
    ..I have none...

    ...but I do think the platform move is a power move. Tsonga is the most explicit with it since Roddick re generate raw power by moving the back leg up and into deep knee flexion.
     
  37. MarTennis

    MarTennis Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Messages:
    269
    An American grinder, today, defined...

    is a player who prefers baseline play, is confortable with receiving power and counter punching until an error is forced or an unforced error by him or his opponent occurs. They do not serve for aces, nor do they return regularly for forced errors or winners. Ultimately, they earn the grinder status by their forecourt skills or mostly lack thereof. If they by pass opportunities or do not recognize opportunities to move forward because of confidence, preference or lack of skill, they are a grinder. Grinders can pound the ball or push in my book. It is their unwillingness to move forward and attempt to pressure opponent that defines the style for me.

     
  38. MarTennis

    MarTennis Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Messages:
    269
    American kids need to reverse the ratio in their development...

    ...if we don't get the ladies and even some the American men serving like Serena, let alone practicing the serve in a way to raise their game, stick a fork in the whole thing. World class ladies serves suck, mostly. If we as Americans can't see that opportunity on our own hard courts to shore up our serves, then might as well just pack it in.
     
  39. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Messages:
    1,710
    I agree. I think Andy's power mostly came from the way he used his arm on his serve. Its the same way Lincecum throws a baseball. I agree his legs were important but I wouldn't sayRoddick used his legs anymore than any other top pro his power came from how he used his serving arm.
     
  40. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Messages:
    1,710
    Please keep posting on this board.I really enjoy reading your post. You obviously know a lot about tennis.I agree with you on a lot of your points.
     
  41. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Messages:
    3,849
    Location:
    A green and pleasant land
    ^^^ga - answered your wheelie question in the other thread
     
  42. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Messages:
    1,710
    Thanks Ash your Awesome! I wonder if their is a way for him to be able to get a chair for low cost he has no money.It is a sad story his 16 year old brother was in a car wreck 6 weeks before he was and lost the use of his legs.Whenever I'm having a bad day I just think about how petty my problems are compared to his mother who had both of her sons put in wheel chairs within 6 weeks.He is in good spirits and quick to remind people I can anything you can do I'm just sitting.He is a great kid tennis will be great for him and possibly his brother.
     
  43. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Messages:
    1,710
    Ash have you ever thought about creating a web site for players in chairs? Im sure it will help lots of players as well as coaches like myself.
     
  44. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Messages:
    3,849
    Location:
    A green and pleasant land
    ^^^Sorry to hijack the thread!

    Over here there are several charities which help massively with the cost of sports chairs (or even provide them foc). You may find something similar where you are?

    As for putting a website or something together, I currently work for the governing body of wheelchair tennis here as a national coach, so I couldn't put something up for myself. As an organisation we are looking to update our website with more information about how to get started and develop some more resources. USTA might have some stuff too, if you contact Dan James (he's your national coach) he might have some useful info or contacts for you? Like I said though, feel free to drop me an email...

    cheers
     
  45. MarTennis

    MarTennis Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Messages:
    269
    Agreed re the excerpt below.

    Basically, we do nothing different and the results show it. We don't test assumptions; we don't question the past; and we (in the US) just keep doing it the same way and expecting different results. We are not striving for excellence. The player development system is broken but we'll keep doing the same thing I'm sure . . .
     
  46. hhollines

    hhollines New User

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2012
    Messages:
    60
    Food for thought: More practice matches

    "...if we don't get the ladies and even some the American men serving like Serena, let alone practicing the serve in a way to raise their game, stick a fork in the whole thing. World class ladies serves suck, mostly. If we as Americans can't see that opportunity on our own hard courts to shore up our serves, then might as well just pack it in."

    At the 10,000 ft. level, I agree. We absolutely need to focus more on the serve, especially for the ladies. However, there are natural limits to ones serving capabilities. For example, Errani could practice her serve 24x7 but sheer physical constraints will prohibit her from serving like Serena so should she pack it in? Heck no. Instead she learned how to grind, maximize the use of spin and defense and construct points and, most importantly, she maximizes her physical and mental gifts. She is barely 5 ft. 2 in. and made it to the French Open finals and U.S. Open semi finals . . . which by the way is hard court for anyone who thought she could only on the red clay :)

    This is where we fall short. We do not customize and individualize the juniors game taking into consideration the natural and individual makeup of the player. We try to rubber stamp everyone and produce players like some type of manufacturing line . . . it doesn't work.

    I would argue that it's not about just owning the hard courts . . . it's about an all-court game that can be successful on all surfaces.
     
  47. hhollines

    hhollines New User

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2012
    Messages:
    60
    "Grinders can pound the ball or push in my book. It is their unwillingness to move forward and attempt to pressure opponent that defines the style for me."

    Thanks for the insight. This is why I asked for the definition of "grinder" because what you describe is not how I define a successful grinder. It's that consistent, mentally strong player with great defensive skills who may be a counter puncher "but" punishes you for making mistakes (Nadal, for example, will put away the soft mid court shot he may get in response to a heavy cross court forehand) but he may take 5-10+ shots as he "constructs" the point.

    Tennis is very similar to chess. Some very physically gifted players can play "quick strike tennis" like Isner or Sernea but most can't and shouldn't try. Instead, they should construct points then end it with the dagger but you don't throw out the dagger until you setup your opponent which takes consistency, patience and mental strength.

    But for Serena's dominance, a few female grinders (under my definition) would have already won majors. That's not a stab at grinders but more about the dominance of Serena who is, in my opinion, the best of All-Time so it's not fair to say grinders can win majors, that is, grinders as to how I'm defining it which is very different than a classic "pusher." However, by the way, I have massive respect for pushers. Instead of complaining about pushers, learn how to beat them. There's a reason they are successful in the juniors and recreational level . . . at the pro level, again, someone like Errani doesn't hit a slew of winners and came within 1 match of a major . . . but she is crafty as hell and incredibly strong mentally.

    It's just like fast food in this country (U.S.) . . . we want instant satisfaction but we don't want to work and earn it . . . it takes work to properly construct a point . . .

    the real problem/issue is 99% of the coaches don't know how to do it either . . . it's only that 1% of the coaching ranks that are truly special and understand how to develop a player and more importantly how to teach . . . this is the real issue underneath everything . . . do the private coaches/club coaches/usta coaches truly know how to develop players?

    here's a poll question . . . ask the local pro or club pro how many juniors did they coach from the formative years through their teens and then went on to the pro ranks? It's a pretty short list at least from my experience. I know I want a coach for my daughter that has been in the trenches at a high pro level who understands tennis at a global level and has played against all styles and types of players and truly understands what it takes to be successful at the pro level (not just what it takes to play Div. I at a mid major; nothing wrong with that but if we are talking about majors at the professional level, then everyone gets called out . . .).

    I've learned pretty quickly that many parents spend a slew of $ with coaches that are average themselves (at best).

    Harry
     
  48. MarTennis

    MarTennis Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Messages:
    269
    agreed regarding developmental coaches...

    ...I'm a community tennis guy, who coached my 10 year old with the help of the community until we could not help him as much anymore, then USTA helped him find Rosie Baries and Wayne Ferriera who are teaching more things than I could ever do on my own. Point being each parent needs to recognize that moment when help or change is needed to help a child take development to the next level. Not an easy task. Thank you for your view and insight.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2012
  49. andfor

    andfor Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Messages:
    4,856
    Ditto^^^There is no system to the pros and no recognized coach of the pros. If there was we'd all know it.
     
  50. coaching32yrs

    coaching32yrs Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    Messages:
    449
    I have not seen the data, but have a strong feeling TCF is spot on. Most coaches of pro players are one and done. They developed one player. The one on one relationship is critical and it is difficult to get that from any program or academy.
     

Share This Page