Forty-Five, Fat and New to Tennis...

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by majordude, Oct 19, 2009.

  1. majordude

    majordude Rookie

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    I used to play tennis in high school but that's it. My last racket was either a Head or Puma (did they make rackets?) white wood and slightly warped. I was told it was expensive when originally purchased.

    Anyway, I've been walking the dog a lot trying to lose weight and every time I passed the tennis courts I thought to myself, hell, I can do that.

    Anyway, two days ago I bought a Wilson Zen 103 Team for $79 on sale at Sports Authority. Maybe a lot of people laugh at "off the shelf" pre-strung sticks but this thing (seems) nice but what do I know.

    I've spent the last two days using an outdoor handball court for practice. If I were to guess I'd say I'm a 4 out of 10 in terms of aiming and 6 out of 10 in terms of actually getting a racket on the ball unless it is far away.

    I have yet to play a game since 1981 or so. :)

    My wife has never played tennis and doesn't have very good eye/hand coordination. I bought her a Prince O3 110 and some of those big T.I.P. foam balls. She's enjoying it but I need to progress her faster.

    Anyway, I was wondering if anyone has any advice as to what to do next. I plan to keep practicing on the handball court until I regain some sort of aiming and consistency.

    Are there any DVDs appropriate for me or my wife?

    I really don't have a lot of free time or money for personal training.

    Any advice would be appreciated.
     
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  2. ZhengJieisagoddess

    ZhengJieisagoddess Semi-Pro

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    Look up Oscar Wegner on the net and get his DVDs. You and I are pretty much in the same situation.

    http://www.tennisteacher.com/

    Don't be discouraged. This is a great game, and you can get better at it.

    For losing weight, try Nutrisystem. It is working for me. (You can email me if you want for more info; I am not a representative, just want to try to help another fellow in the same situation.)

    But Oscar's DVDs will help you a lot. AS THE GREAT JOE NAMATH SAID, I GUARANTEE IT.

    Have fun playing with your wife. Don't demand too much. Remember this: TENNIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE FUN.

    Oscar will give you both some pointers. And, if you want to see more, you can get Jimmy Connors's DVDs (available thru TW). These are not as helpful as Oscar's are for pure instruction, but you will see some of the greatest legends ever -- Tracy Austin and Chrissie-- talking about the game. Priceless inspiration. The instruction is good too, but if you have to choose, pick Oscar.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2009
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  3. majordude

    majordude Rookie

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    #3
  4. ZhengJieisagoddess

    ZhengJieisagoddess Semi-Pro

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    Well worth it, my friend. I wrote Oscar with a queston, and he answered. he's a great guy. Endorsed by none other than Borg himself.
     
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  5. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Outstanding set of DVDs, especially when viewed for technical content.
     
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  6. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    I'd check out FYB at http://www.fuzzyyellowballs.com/ and also the videos of tennis mind game (one word) on youtube. There is a ton of good stuff on youtube and around the web..
     
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  7. goober

    goober Legend

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    There have been many discussions on the Wegner method on this forum. I suggest you read through the discussions with many coaches and teaching pros chiming in. Decide for yourself if you want to spend the money.



    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=210666&highlight=wegner

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=79924&highlight=wegner

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=74791&highlight=wegner

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=273349&highlight=oscar+wegner


    .
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2009
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  8. majordude

    majordude Rookie

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    Thanks for the tips on Wenger. I'll skip him.

    I like the Fuzzy Yellow Ball site! Can't beat the price either!
     
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  9. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    With time and education, you will learn that everyone is moving towards what Oscar has been teaching for over 30 yrs. Too bad you were influenced by uninformed quotes like-

    *i bought the book and it was pretty useless. he claims that you shouldn't worry about footwork or preparing early, which is total nonsense. listen to him and you'll get stuck with a lot of bad habits. there's a reason he hasn't coached anyone notable.*

    Everything in the quote is incorrect.
    Oscar has coached several Notables and more importantly, has coached so many of the international coaches that coach Notables.

    His methods are the best way to ensure you don't get stuck with bad habits. If you stay with tennis long enough, you will learn how true this is.

    Good luck
     
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  10. teachestennis

    teachestennis Rookie

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    There is a lot of free information out there, but you will find nothing that has the reputation of Oscar's DVDs and if you don't think they are as good as advertised, he'll refund the money. 8 DVDs and a book. I hope you read his site. FYB, which I am very familiar with, is also good, but much of what he says was originated by Oscar and there is value in going to the source that over time has been declared by many of tennis' top names to be proven as correct. Video instruction can only take you so far. I was a tennis coach who watched video of the pros but if the interpretation of the pros strokes has any false data, or you have a misconception about what you think the pros are doing, then you have lost the effectiveness of visual instruction. Oscar's MTM is unorthodox but is proven to work like no other tennis method because it is the foundation of tennis technique. Even tennisone.com paid tribute to Oscar noting that he had been teaching these new techniques that were revolutionary since 1968 and that "History proved Him Right." Bud Collins, the famous tennis commentator and the game's historian endorses Oscar with, "I know people that couldnt' learn tennis in two lifetimes, but only because they never met Oscar Wegner."

    I have never once told someone to get the DVds on this forum before now but this guy just likely did you a disservice and I know from experience. You skip Oscar as a a beginner, you will spend more time and money when you skipped the shortest distance to your goal: playing your best tennis. I know, I am a tennis instruction historian and I assure you, MTM will help you see more value in other sites such as FYB's because it helps you separate the wheat from the chaff. Oscar originally named it Modern Tennis Methodology because when he introduced it forty years ago it was so revolutionary that when he wrote his first book in '89 it still was light years ahead of it's time. Though Oscar Wegner coached Guga Kuerten (later 2000 World Champion who hit 1HBH jumping up and moving backwards just like Oscar advocates in his DVDs) for eight years from age 6 to 14, he also worked miracles with Borg's game which I document on History of Tennis Instruction which you can all read for free at www.moderntenniscoaches.com/forum which is a free collection of thought provoking articles and not a forum like this one. I suppose the little overweight kid with two sisters Oscar started in tennis and then later coached the brother right before he turned pro must mean Oscar can't coach top players also, after all, the two Spadea sisters and their brother Vince all won USTA championships and Vince reached #18 in the world coached by his piano teacher father. Spadea's father also endorses Oscar because he knows where his bread was buttered. I asked Oscar why he does not coach players when he is still asked to coach top players and top juniors, once in my presence when he was asked to consider working with two top Chinese WTA players when Chang pulled out of his agreement in 2007 to coach them (I was working with Chinese National Coach Lin Di at the time who made the request to Oscar who already had plans). I asked why he never focused on players and coached coaches. He reply: "I coach a player, I reach one player. I coach a coach, I coach all their players. My players number countless all over the world and I have to stand at the forefront in protecting the game from false instruction that inhibits the growth of the game. he pros in fo Someone has to be the revolutionary and set the standard.

    At least check out Oscar's site. What Oscar does is simplify the game to its' base biomechanical stroke in a play by feel method that allows you to find your maximum athletic potential. At 45, I was a washed up 3.5 player/coach. At 48, I could rally with pros and had 6.0 strokes off both forehand and 1HBH topspin (I had a decent slice before Oscar, just a great one after). A ton of free info on that site also, but I tell people who have taken lessons those DVDs are worth ten times ($1,000) in lessons and no one who has bought them has disputed that notion after they watched and tested the data. Oscar is also the only coach Richard Williams has publicly credited as he had Venus and Serena watch the videos everyday and they have been to many well known coaches and top academies such as Macci's for instruction but it's interesting Richrad thanked Oscar personally. Read www.tennisteacher.com carefully. You might want to think twice about skipping them.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2009
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  11. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    Welcome back to tennis.

    And it's great getting your wife out there as well.

    Even though you've been away for a long time, your hand eye coordination will come back a lot quicker than the progress rate your wife is likely to make.

    Just try to enjoy the time together. Make sure to tell her that she MUST tell you as soon as you get too "preachy" on the court in your zeal to help her. Although well intentioned, guys often are much more goal oriented than their mates, and this can get very irritating.


    Whether it's Fuzzy Yellow Balls or Wegner,
    the concepts are going to be way above your wife.

    The first stage will just be trying to hit the ball at all. The second will be timing a punch motion it so it will just come down by gravity. It takes a tremendous amount of coordination to run to the right spot on the court to hit it, so don't expect her to develop a "correct" topspin stroke right away. You are a genius using those foam balls.

    For you, it will be hard to beat the wall to regain your hand eye coordination. And there has got to be something therapeutic about hitting that ball to help relieve pent up frustrations that occur in our crazy lives.

    If you reconsider Wenger, you don't buy anything but just that first beginner video for now. It does give a different perspective on total body movement and coordination, rather than trying to go through step by step instruction.

    To lose weight, just cut out all junk food and high calorie drinks. Playing tennis and walking are very inefficient to burn off calories unless you are doing for hours a day. That's not to say you shouldn't do it, but it takes an hour of walking or playing tennis at a beginner level to burn off a small order of fries.

    Good luck on your resolve to get younger and more fit. There are way too many people who get "old" at 45 just because they just never get around to getting started on a healthier lifestyle.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2009
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  12. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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    Start playing some tennis with your wife - keep the ball in the court and go for rallies instead of killing the ball. With new kids, they start, for example, by staying within the service boxes. With a foam ball, this can be really fun - kind of like ping pong.

    Once you get the eye hand coordination, you can move back and start trying to rally from deeper in the court. Obviously, you can work on your technique using the various available resources, but for now, focus on having fun and moving around, not drilling. In a few months, reassess your goals - maybe your happy, maybe you want to improve.

    As you spend more time around the courts, (1) you will meet some people; and (2) you will start to be known as a "tennis player" and one of your existing friends is bound to ask to join you.
     
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  13. Camilio Pascual

    Camilio Pascual Hall of Fame

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    Yes, I would think long and hard about that statement if I were you.
     
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  14. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    someone posted in this forum that you get in shape to play tennis and not play tennis to get in shape -- i agree with him.

    so, you need to get in shape :)
     
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  15. volusiano

    volusiano Hall of Fame

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    ^^^ Just be careful when you play. Don't overdo things and take it nice and slow. Tennis can be injury prone if you're not in shape and rush into it too fast and are not informed and overdo things.
     
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  16. Grampy

    Grampy Rookie

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    You need to find a hitting partner (other than your wife). Its great to hit with the wife ocassionally, but if she doesn't have the tennis passion you do, you'll burn her out quick.

    Find out who runs the tourney's in your area and call him/her. That person should be able to give you a name or two of some people to hit with who are at your level. That's what I did when I was new in town.
     
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  17. ZhengJieisagoddess

    ZhengJieisagoddess Semi-Pro

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    This is not true. Oscar's Tennis 101 DVD takes the beginner from learning to hit the ball over the net with their bare hand and progresses forward.
    I am not a teacher; I do not know Oscar personally. But I know that, when I tried to learn to play in college, I got a rather popular book at that time and looked at it. It was like you needed a GPS just to hit a forehand.
    Oscar's method is different. Give it a try...for both of you.
     
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  18. ZhengJieisagoddess

    ZhengJieisagoddess Semi-Pro

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    As an overweight person myself, I have to agree: tennis alone doesn't do it. I go to the gym and do my cardio and strength training as well. Plus exercises to help my core.
    Yes, we need to get into shape. But that doesn't mean we cannnot play tennis until we are all as skinny as Borg was...that's not gonna happen.
     
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  19. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    If you can, maybe find a local clinic your wife can take without you? She will have some catching up to do if she hasn't played before, both on hitting the ball and understanding basic etiquette and how to play a match. I started off taking one-hour/week clinics run through the county at the county facilities. It was great for getting me started without spending a lot of money.

    Then . . .

    Both of you could consider a goal of signing up for league tennis in your area, perhaps for play in April 2010. She can do 2.5 or 3.0, and you can do 3.0 or 3.5, depending on how fast you pick it back up.

    I started out playing USTA as a clueless, self-rated 2.5 after taking those county classes for about nine months. It's the perfect way for your wife to get started as a new player.
     
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  20. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    DVDs and fuzzy yellow balls are great supplements but the truth is there's no substitute for good, personal instruction. I know paying for it is not fun, but if you really want to get better, you're going to have to do it. Think of it as spending it on equipment. If you will spend 80 dollars on a racquet, you should be willing to pay to learn to use it.

    I think a half hour lesson for 20 dollars or so would be easy enough to find. Even taking those once a week, or even once every 2 weeks if you really can't afford it, would hugely improve your game in my opinion.
     
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  21. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Excellent description.
     
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  22. ZhengJieisagoddess

    ZhengJieisagoddess Semi-Pro

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    As long as you get the right instructor. I ran into a woman at the court while I was hitting against the wall, and she tried to change my open-stance forehand to a closed stance, saying that that is what her teacher taught her.
    There's nothing wrong with an open stance, but this woman seemed to think there was.
    In fact, hitting with an open stance is more natural and it's the way virtually every pro plays.
    When I started taking lessons, my teacher told me that he was certified in Oscar Wegner's Modern Tennis Method. I had seen most of Oscar's DVDs already, and I knew I had found the kind of teacher I needed. Time has only proved that initial judgement to be correct.
    It's also, BTW, a mistake to say that Oscar doesn't go into footwork; he does. And my teacher does. But Oscar realizes that you have to learn to get the ball over the net before you worry about footwork. His latest DVD addresses the whole footwork issue.
     
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  23. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    There has been a recent influx of Wegner fan(s) on this board. When I first joined I wondered why more people didn't talk about him. Now I find it annoying that he is pushed like the only game in town.

    There are lots of decent tennis instructional CDs. I have watched alot of them and don't see anything that much better about one set then another. There is no real copywright with regards to videos so most good teaching ideas have been spread around already.

    But every teaching approach can be misconstrued from video - as the person might not understand what the teacher is teaching or it might be explained in such a way that confuses the student (but is perfectly clear to another pro)..

    But honestly the BEST way to improve is to take lessons from a decent pro, IMHO. Why? The major thing is a pro can see what your doing wrong and give you immediate corrections. When you learn from videos (any kind) you may not be doing what you THINK your doing on the court.

    Proprioception varies from athlete to athlete (body awareness) and thus you might imagine your doing everything right and actually be doing alot wrong - even if your learn from a decent video.

    BTW I like the Dave Smith book .. its excellent. I liked his videos on tennis one and I think he is a guy that should consider doing a video..

    totalvid has some videos that you can access free for a month - but you got to cancel afterwards. I liked the Dave Sammel videos (but I imagine alot of people will hate them). He really simplifies things for the absolute beginner I think.

    Pete
     
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  24. ZhengJieisagoddess

    ZhengJieisagoddess Semi-Pro

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    I recommended Oscar because he is what I know. Sorry that if talking only about what I know annoyed you; frankly, I find it annoying when someone talks about something they don't know.
    Not all tennis teachers are worth the price they charge. Indeed, some turn people off of tennis by the way they teach. Teaching is an art; but you also have to offer a decent product that is accurate.
    I have nothing against taking lessons; on the contrary: I think in the final analysis that that is the single most important thing one can do to improve. But who you pick is critical. One teacher is NOT as good as another.
    Oscar Wegner's method is ignored by many tennis pros and sites. But he gets results. So have many others. But his is what I know, and that's why I recommended his DVDs. There are some out there I wouldn't waste my money on.
     
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  25. cigrmaster

    cigrmaster Semi-Pro

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    I have been playing tennis for 40 years, and the one thing I do know is that without proper footwork and racquet preparation there is no way you will ever play the game the way it is meant to be played.

    I have never heard of this Oscar guy before I read this thread so I have no opinion weather he is a good coach or a bad one.
     
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  26. teachestennis

    teachestennis Rookie

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    Go to his site, as recommended, it has lots of free info, lots of free tips if you browse around. His free weekly tennis tips are very thought provoking.

    I hope you don't think Oscar doesn't teach "proper footwoork and proper preparation." He just teaches it differently and through the backdoor so to speak. Oscar advocated keeping the racket in front of the body and the swing is essentially taught from the contact point to the finish and I never teach a backswing or a loop yet all my students have very natural looking loops and backswings looking very pro like. I have been coaching for 30 years and I learned from Oscar that proper footwork is best taught through drills and that the longer a student waits to take the left hand off the racket before they swing, the better their strokes get.

    Regarding Oscar's delayed takeback and other weird theories he started teaching as a 28 year old Bevery Hills tennis pro in 1968, where he became known as the tennis pro to the stars before he took of to Spain in search of a larger stage to test his theories, he has been proven correct, and that comes from www.tennisone.com who did a tribute about Oscar noting "History proved him right." Don't take my word. Read his theories and then test them. Email me and I'll send you a ton of free tips. We would love to hear your experience after 40 years of playing if they helped you improve your game. That is all MTM stands for, helping people simplify and improve their game. I went from 3.5 at age 45 to hitting with any level player at age 48 and having no problem hitting (well maybe a little given I'm slow and watched quite a few balls buzz by, lol) with the few satellite tour players I gave lessons to or with 6.0 players I taught in high performance clinics in California.
     
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  27. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    You are very right about that 101 DVD being a real potential help.
    I was referring to the whole set of DVD's being above her head at this time, especially where he mentioned he is trying not to break the bank.
    Also that 101 DVD might help majordude being a better teacher if he watches and takes this approach. But it can be a complicated dynamic whenever you are trying to teach someone close to you anything. Cindysphinx's suggestion is a great one, if such a clinic is available.
     
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  28. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    Well I'm talking about a good, USTA certified instructor. As far as the open stance issue I think the woman's teacher probably had her start with a close or neutral stance (I've heard it called both, basically when you're standing sideways) because it's easier. An open stance is more difficult to time and in my opinion is better to get into once you have a closed stance down correctly.
     
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  29. teachestennis

    teachestennis Rookie

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    blank post, lol. Or should I say I'm speechless at the last quote, which no one on here would believe.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2009
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  30. teachestennis

    teachestennis Rookie

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    This statement that an open stance is more difficult to time is demonstrably false. Players who start with open stance have the ball in front of them and can easily find it with the racket without having to worry about their feet. First of all, why would you want to turn your feet sideways and then try to reach for the ball from behind you. Think about one. It's like trying to shake hands from a closed stance. You have stated the party line of the USTA but now even Jack Groppel in Aug '09 USPTA issue admits some students hit better with an open stance and he's the guy who ruined my great Bjorn Borg forehand in 1975 when he and his staff convinced me open stance hitting off my back foot would cause injuries and by my senior year I no longer was considered scholarship material after I switched to hitting like Stan Smith, the model of that time. At least Groppel is halfway right and I've got him in my sights to prove him wrong on court in a public forum for all to judge the results using the scientific method.

    In my five years of advocating open stance, I have never seen one person who I have let try both, and there were many skeptics, but since I offer a money back guarantee to all who try MTM if they don't get instant satisfaction, I used to get a lot of skeptical people thinking they would just get a free lesson, and they used to tell me after the lesson they thought no way they would enjoy an open stance since many had tried variations of it due to video and becoming a option for coaches teaching it. But they did not experience it in the simplistic "find the ball and swing begins from contact point to the finish." Not one person who has taken a lesson with me did not think the open stance was easier, even long time players who had never hit an open stance. Even Pam Austin, a pretty good closed stance player and USTA junior champion herself, (sister of Tracy), who I was hitting with in an MTM coaching clinic in Irvine in 2007, said she enjoyed hitting open with MTM, that it was easier, and she quickly became a believer, and told me she was hitting better than she did ten years younger. Yet when I taught open stance sometimes before I knew MTM, I didn't enjoy the success because I didn't know you can't mix conventional with modern. The key is to have a timing mechanism.

    I taught closed stance for 25 years and lots of players hit well with it as did I but I hit many ceilings. I can teach closed stance players now, too, who might have already very fine games and it's not worth it to change their swings, I just add a few things that will help them get better, such as waiting longer and counting to five after the bounce of the ball before they pounce on the groundstrokes. When I teach a 2HBH, I start open stance but then show them how to hit a closed stance as they advance and many of my students hit certain kinds of strokes better from a closed stance better on the 2HBH side but they have all weapons in their arsenal. I allow them to choose and just tell them what I see and ensure when they hit from a closed stance FH or 2HBH that they lift and rotate out of the closed stance finishing in open stance like all pros being sure to focus on hitting across the ball and finishing properly with the racket wrap and butt of the racket having traveled through the target line as much as possible.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2009
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  31. ZhengJieisagoddess

    ZhengJieisagoddess Semi-Pro

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    The way Oscar teaches you to hit, he is increasing the margain for error -- meaning that the open stance with the racquet preparation that he recommends is designed as much as possible to take timing out of the equation -- at least consciously. I have had four lessons with my MTM certified instructor, and not once has the word "timing" come up. But he has worked some on my footwork and cut down on my backswing significantly. The results are palpably better.
    Now if I can just keep my head up when I am serving....
     
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  32. Swissv2

    Swissv2 Hall of Fame

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    Wondering why anyone hasn't even mentioned using these online resources as a complimentary resource to personal training?
     
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  33. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Guess it was just taken for granted.
     
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  34. teachestennis

    teachestennis Rookie

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    I am speaking from a coaches viewpoint, but as a student, you are correct. We never mention the word timing to our students, but by shortening the swing to it's simplest mechanic, from the ball to the shoulder, and then teaching to "wait" until the last second, the student figures out the built in timing mechanism in this method. And we do teach more footwork than people realize, we just teach natural footwork first and then figure out drills to make what might feel unnatural more comfortable and natural. Last night I was teaching a lady to drag the left foot instep as she moved to the right stepping out on he right foot, just like you see in the new Modern Footwork DVD. It worked for her and she was amazed at how the "pause" of not committing her feet to quickly gave her the sense of extra time.
     
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  35. cigrmaster

    cigrmaster Semi-Pro

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    Teachtennis, I will check out his site and will let you know if I pick up some pointers. I have wondered about the open stance and will play around with it tomorrow. I am hitting with a solid 6.0 who used to teach at Bollettieri. He does not use an open stance or the western grip. He is a more classical hitter. I'll ask him what he thinks of Oscar, I am sure he knows who he is.
     
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  36. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    What are you talking about get sideways and reach behind you? You don't make contact behind you. In a closed stance (sideways to net) you're running with your feet are already sideways so you don't have to adjust positioning before swinging. The racquet head speed is lower so beginner shots with not so much topspin are more likely to stay in.
     
    #36
  37. majordude

    majordude Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
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    Damn! I didn't mean to poke the hornets nest! :p

    Thanks to everyone for their input!

    I found out a friend at work is an advanced tennis player (I didn't realize this until this week!) and we went to the handball court and he immediately noticed my grip was wrong and my swing was short and without a lot of follow-through.

    So yes, one on one instruction is best! :)

    I'll go back over to that other site to see what he's got. Thanks again!
     
    #37
  38. majordude

    majordude Rookie

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    Okay, I bought the 8 DVD special. :)
     
    #38
  39. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Congrats, I think you will enjoy and get a lot out of them. They do a great job of keeping it simple for just starting out, even as they lay a foundation for top notch level strokes.
     
    #39
  40. snoopy

    snoopy Professional

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    I agree with Nellie and Cindy.

    Get out on the courts and have some fun.

    Get in shape, loose some weight. Look at some instructional stuff, keep it basic.

    If you find that you like tennis and want to continue, ask around for a good instructor and then take some lessons.

    As for the racquet you have chosen, it's fine. It's too early to start blaming your equipment.
     
    #40
  41. VaBeachTennis

    VaBeachTennis Semi-Pro

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    All I can say is WOW!!! This "stuff" is getting a little crazy. Good luck Major, I hope it all works out for you.............................
     
    #41
  42. ZhengJieisagoddess

    ZhengJieisagoddess Semi-Pro

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    Congratulations on your purchase; you will not regret it!
     
    #42
  43. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Whatever instruction you get, nothing will help you improve more than losing weight and getting in reasonable tennis shape for your age. The most important thing in tennis is your movement. Nothing surpasses its importannce. No lesson, method, or way to hit a ball comes close. The fastest way to enjoy tennis and to help your steady progression in learning tennis is to lose weight and get in shape.

    I can't stress this enough because it impacts nearly everything you learn and practice.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2009
    #43
  44. Ken Honecker

    Ken Honecker Rookie

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    Personally I find it odd that anyone thinks open stance is easier or more natural or whatever. I'm old school and hit open when I'm too slow to get in a closed position. I sure don't see baseball players using an open stance when batting. Heck even throwing a frisbee is easier closed. Maybe I'm a dinosaur.
     
    #44
  45. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I think you hit on the biggest reason the US is so tied to the neutral stance. Baseball.
    In baseball, the ball comes to you in a very restricted space and on one side of the body. They also don't often hit off the bounce.
    And oddly enough, some batters are opening their stance more these days.

    You also you don't see tennis players try to hit home runs either.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2009
    #45
  46. Ken Honecker

    Ken Honecker Rookie

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    Well I don't see many golfers using an open stance either. I just feel that closed is more natural. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with open stance and I can see at the highest levels where you don't have the time to turn away from the net and it isn't that good of an idea to put half of the court you are defending behind your back but most players don't play at a level where balls are coming back at them 100 MPH.

    I'm afraid with my medieval footwork I don't sidle from one side to the other while keeping my chisled jaw frimly pointed at my opponant, rather do I grunt like a deranged wildebeest and run like a madman to get back into position.
     
    #46
  47. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    And who suggested you point your jaw towards the opp? and why would you want to do that?

    And golfers are not going for the long ball like in baseball? Also notice the ball in golf it already to the side, not coming from the front or even moving, so the issue of finding and tracking the ball is not an issue in golf.
     
    #47
  48. D.Inime

    D.Inime New User

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    Forty Five Fat and New to Tennis

    HI

    I am new to tennis 2 months ago and have had 3 lessons. He seems very experienced and has many students..primarily young students.
    My Question: When he is teaching me the forehand; he tells me that I do not need to bring the racket all the way back when I pivot. He says that it needs to only go 90 degrees ie straight out in front of me. This goes against what I see in many different tennis videos. Is this a big thing? Should I be concerned? Also, how do you pick a good tennis coach?

    Thanks
     
    #48
  49. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    You are exacltly right. Tennis is a sport that has grown a lot in many areas. Teaching an open stance vs. teaching a nuetral stance (I reserve closed stances for onehanded backhands) is not hard or one makes the other bad or taboo.

    They both serve a purpose and both can be taught and learned at the beginner level.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2009
    #49
  50. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    You may be describing the stalking position used to go to the ball with both hands still on the racket, which is used in Modern Tennis. If so, I would consider it a good thing, as I am clearly partial to Modern tennis methods.
     
    #50

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