How Rafa improved his serve? Coach Oscar Borras suing Team Nadal for recognition

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by XSTF, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. XSTF

    XSTF New User

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    From a teaching professional point of view this is great video watching one of the greatest players of the modern era take a serving lesson. The message here is that you are never good enough to go back to basics.
    Rafa and his camp has denied to the press that Oscar helped his serve. Yesterday 11/3/11 in Spain Nadal was asked about the video and the lesson, he said the only thing Oscar did was to waste his time for 1/2 hr.

    http://youtu.be/GljqJv84tTI
     
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  2. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    3 important facts from the video:

    1. Always make a coach sign a NDA contract before bringing him on, to avoid having inside information made public
    2. The usefulness of video analysis (both in the video itself, and how Isner's serve video is being analyzed by Oscar)
    3. Rafa picks his butt even in practice (around 10:36)
     
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  3. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    In my opinion this video should of never been released and I'm not surprised Nadal doesn't want to give credit. I'm sure he's pretty pissed about it.

    There are good things to be taken and learned from that video such as that even pro's work on very simple and what some might think are basic things. However, that video should of never been made public.
     
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  4. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I will be suing anyone here who reads my tips and goes on to become a famous player.
     
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  5. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    I don't think you have to worry about that one sureshs.

    To go back to my post, I saw the video a few days ago and think its great however I understand Rafa's position and in my opinion Oscar Borras should not of released it.
     
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  6. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I sense collusion between Oscar and the coach who made this youtube video. I think this guy is helping him out and bringing an international flavor to the issue.

    More than Oscar, I question the motivations of this guy. Why? Isn't it just a highly pious sounding video (this is all meant to help you understand how to serve) made with material which should not have been accepted in the first place? A whole lot of deception here. I don't trust this guy at all.
     
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  7. goober

    goober Legend

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    This is the first I have heard of a coach suing to get credit for a stroke improvement. What is the purpose of the lawsuit? To gain noteriety for yourself and to "prove" to the public you are an elite coach? Pretty pathetic...

    Lots of pros show improvement in a stroke or fitness or some other aspect of their game over the course of their careers. Whether they choose to give public credit to a specific person is their personal choice. Whether or not this coach actually helped him is all in Nadal's perception. If Nadal thinks this guy wasted his time and says so pubically, then it doesn't matter what this guy claims.
     
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  8. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    To coax some settlement money out of a celebrity by shaming him
     
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  9. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    Thanks for posting. I've enjoyed many of your videos. Probably my two favorites are the tossing video (keep your tossing arm parallel to the baseline like the pros) and the analysis of the Federer/Henin backhand ("the little L"). This serve video will join them as not just a glimpse at Rafa working on his serve, but how anyone can break down their service motion to work on different parts, then build it back up again.

    julien posted this video yesterday during a discussion of Jim McLennan's kick serve video. I would have missed it except Will Hamilton (Fuzzy Yellow Balls) posted a "thank you" for the interesting video.

    I hope you will continue to bring your insights to us on talk tennis.



    I do remember seeing your analysis of Nadal's serve changes last year:
    Nadal's new serve: It's not just a grip Adjustment! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfA3RlAXpdg

    But some above have questioned your relationship with Oscar Borras. Do you think Oscar gave you the footage of him with Rafa in anticipation of you posting it to help substantiate his claims for changing his serve?

    And what is your take on Oscar's "lawsuit"? Just what is he suing over? Is this a "publicity stunt" to bring attention to himself and his tennis academy?
    A coach sues to recognize that Nadal has improved his serve http://latestsports-update.blogspot.com/2011/10/coach-sues-to-recognize-that-nadal-has.html
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2011
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  10. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Given the amount of money financial advisors get for losing your money, coaches are undervalued and underpaid.
     
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  11. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    I think it's pretty clear that Ralph incorporated some of what was on the video into his serve. Whether it helped much is debatable. But, it's also pretty clear to me that this coach doesn't fully understand the serve, or, how to throw a ball. As a result, he was focusing on symptoms rather than the disease.

    IMO, alhtough Ralph does get a good shoulder turn in his windup, the missing element in Ralph's serve is that he doesn't get a sufficient shoulder tilt and spine angle to rotate his upper body around. As a result, his serve is mostly an arm swing with little support from upper body rotation. The focus on Ralphs arm position in the trophy pose without understanding that it was being caused by having level shoulders in the trophy position (aka: Jimmy Connors syndrome), is why the lesson wasn't particularly valuable as far as I'm concerned.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2011
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  12. Ryoma

    Ryoma Rookie

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    Consider he might be the 1000th coach asking Nadal to throw a tennis ball as serve advice, I honestly don't see where his credit is. And Nadal probably had his serve compared with all top servers on tour. I think some of these coaches need to understand that pretty much everyone nowadays has the technology to do that right at the comfort of their own home.

    The key is really where you can provide the "insight" as to how to DO it. Everyone has seen Federer's forehand and there are tons of video analysis. Where's your federer forehand?
     
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  13. Mountain Ghost

    Mountain Ghost Semi-Pro

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    Rafa Serving Lesson

    Fascinating Video. I'm amazed Rafa and his uncle let this video be made. Even more amazed it made its way to YouTube. As for the changes, the early and full elbow bend of 90 degrees is what I see as a major key to his better serve.

    Suing for credit is quite bold, considering there are a thousand pros that could have fixed details in that serve if given the chance. But when I fix Federer's down-the-line backhand, I imagine I might want to be mentioned as helpful too. We'll see!

    MG
     
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  14. Lawn Tennis

    Lawn Tennis Semi-Pro

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    Thanks excellent post
     
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  15. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    I still don't see how suing Nadal makes any sense. Nadal has probably had the same things told him countless times.
     
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  16. purge

    purge Hall of Fame

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    something else thats related here..

    do you think that his new service motion could also be key to the problems hes having with djokovic right now?

    in that part of the video where it was about rafas tossing arm coming too far back and not staying out in front unabling him to fully transfer his weight into the raquet and forward into the court as if he was going to S&V i immediately thought about how much he has struggled with djokovics returns this year.
    the problem usually being that his new service motion is getting him too far into the court and he is not able to take a step back from there in time to get ready for a deep return, which youll constantly get from djokovic this season.
    i lost count just on how many times a deep return from djokovic landed on rafas shoes during the wimby or USO finals forcing rafa to UE or at least give a weak response that novak could take advantage of to get himself into a good position early in the point.

    i think this immediate step back to the baseline after your front foot touches ground at the end of the service motion is something very vital in the pros game (unless of course youre going to charge anyway). cause if you get a short return there will still be enough time to step back into the court but if you get a deep one youre sitting duck at a couple feet into the court.
    if nadal somehow manages to take a faster step back right after he touches ground i think he would get under alot less pressure in his service games against djokovic right now
     
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  17. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Hmmm... Maybe Nadal needs to countersue the coach for messing up his serve? It is an interesting point you raise.

     
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  18. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    It is bizarre. Doesn't a coach's compensation end when he is paid? Can every teacher of Bill Gates sue to get recognition?
     
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  19. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    I agree. It is as if this coach thinks he is what made Nadal win the us open. Weird.
     
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  20. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    So why does uncle toni get paid?

    He seems to be suing for some right to moral/intellectual recognition which must exist under Spanish law.
     
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  21. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    Rafa does have problems with his shoulder tilt.

    But holding his racquet in the old way in his trophy position contributed to this:

    [​IMG]

    It does seem he did improve his shoulder angle by bending his elbow, letting his rear shoulder drop down.

    [​IMG]


    But of course, even with the elbow bent, he can still manage to screw up the steep shoulder tilt by raising his upper hitting arm up higher at times:
    [​IMG]
    (Cincinatti, August 2011)

    It just seems incredible that someone with obiviously the tremendous talent of Rafa, and access to video and coaching wouldn't easily have changed his steep shoulder angle to look more like others, including Djokavic below:

    [​IMG]

    I do agree it looks like he is getting a good shoulder turn in his windup - his old serve often had his back just pointed at the sideline, rather than having his back turned around so much it is practically facing into the court [although the last photo of Rafa may have been for a second "topspin" serve].
     
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  22. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    I'd agree if Nadal and his team hadn't denied that Borras helped and said that his coaching was a "waste of time." That's pretty disrespectful and ungrateful. I'd have done the same thing as Borras.

    "Oh, I didn't help you? Well I just happen to have a video..."
     
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  23. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    He doesn't. It is an agreement where Nadal's father manages a joint business with Toni for him, and in exchange Toni coaches his nephew.
     
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  24. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    You are getting the sequence wrong. It was Borras who started this. His work stopped once his consultation was over. When he approached them again, they had every right to snub him.
     
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  25. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    Exactly, I would of snubbed him as well.

    Think of it this way, you're Donald Trump and just had a hour and a half meeting with someone about a business deal. During this meeting you were presented with a project in the works. You were taken through every detail and possible investment options. This meeting was recorded with a video camera. Once the meeting ended no further contact was made and both parties went their separate ways.
    2 years later the other person releases this private and confidential video to the public.

    Thats how it is for Nadal, just like a business man his training sessions are private and he doesn't want anyone to know what he's working on or has worked on. Have you ever seen a video of Federer, Nadal, Djoko etc training? They are at private courts, especially Fed and do their own thing. What you see at tournaments on the practice courts is a 1/4 of the story.
    There were some clips released of Murray a few years back personally on his YT channel, but it doesn't show anything out of the ordinary. Stuff you'd see at a tournament practice court.

    What I'm trying to get at is this is very personal to these guys, and it should be. Its their profession and they are, just like a lawyer or a businessman, professionals in their field and, to top it off, at the top of the game. Its serious business so I'm not surprised Nadal is pissed.
     
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  26. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    I see your point, but don't we have pretty strong evidence that Nadal made the changes that Borras suggested? So it's not like the guy made some recommendations that Nadal ignored and then never talked to him again. The adjustments Borras suggested were a big part of Nadal's improved serving. It seems only right to give the guy credit.

    For some reason, it seems like Nadal, and probably most other players, never want to admit that they've made any change to their technique.
     
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  27. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    The video was recorded at the end of 2009 if I remember correctly. Nadal's serve didn't improve/implement changes until US Open 2010 which is almost a year later.
     
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  28. Mike Cottrill

    Mike Cottrill Hall of Fame

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    Yes... Not that I agree with the shenanigans,, and some in private setting:

    There was some early career training of Fed using gadgets on court released. They may have been removed by now but they existed. Here is one of them:
    http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Roger+Federer+training&view=detail&mid=E13A60D77E4DF27870F4E13A60D77E4DF27870F4&first=0&FORM=LKVR20

    Here is an intense off court training Nada was doing on treadmills and other off court drills in private setting or maybe a different one not so intense.
    http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Rafa+nadal+workout&view=detail&mid=5F3CC1178358F3D920195F3CC1178358F3D92019&first=0&FORM=LKVR2

    video of Djoko when Todd Martin was working with him on his serve in public setting,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ywm916KQq8


    Personally I do not see the big deal. What is shown in that video can be seen on courts all over the world. I have not read the “stuff” on this. Is the Nadal camp upset with the video? They could have asked for the camera to be turned off if it was a concern to them.. no?
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2011
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  29. Ryoma

    Ryoma Rookie

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    I totally agree. Many players have given credits to many coaches who have helped them. They usually don't bother discrediting the lousy ones. But if you have to ask for it, then the honest feedback is a total waste of time.
     
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  30. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I think the recording was made for the Nadal camp. Oscar might have requested a copy under some pretext.
     
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  31. Avles

    Avles Hall of Fame

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    Actually it looks like a friend of Borras's made the video:

    (During the practice session with Nadal, a friend of Borras's recorded the session on video in order to correct the problems with Nadal's serve.)

    That's from this article, which also mentions Christophe's video:

    http://www.europapress.es/deportes/...n-mejora-saque-rafa-nadal-20111104152959.html

    In that article, Borras claims that although he and Nadal only worked together for two hours, that session was a turning point in Nadal's serve.

    If I understand this part right, he also says that he wasn't compensated for this session, because it was a trial lesson and the Nadal camp didn't follow up:

    I can see why Borras might feel a bit ill-used, but claiming that a two-hour lesson in 2009 was a turning point for Nadal's serve seems like quite a stretch, and releasing a video which was ostensibly made for training purposes as 'evidence' doesn't seem very professional.
     
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  32. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    The video from Federer was taken when he was still a junior, big difference. Have you ever seen a training session with Federer from Dubai in the off season where he flies in 3 top juniors or other players and takes them on one by one in the heat while they drop like flies and he's still going?

    The Nadal video is an official video released by the Nadal camp, again thats different.

    The Djoko - Todd Martin video, geez I'm not surprised he's no longer his coach lol

    This to me is the only real training video that I've seen out there being released and even that doesn't show too much. There's a series of them, about 3 or 4 maybe? Can't remember now http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpNFxnShJ9o
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2011
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  33. Mike Cottrill

    Mike Cottrill Hall of Fame

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    Other than the conditions in Dubai, I don’t think you will find he does anything on court 007 bond secretive or methods held so close only a few know about (off court is a different story for some pro athletes). Not that it really matters. There is a lot to say in “keep it simple stupid”. Anyway, I think I’m getting this off track. This guy Oscar is not the first coach to feel slighted in recognition in this sport and won’t be the last.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2011
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  34. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    The stuff thats 'secretive' isn't how they train. Its all the same, but what they are training. I mean if you were a pro would you want others to know what you're working on your game to make better so others can get an edge on you and know whats coming? Well to me thats kinda Rafa's case in a way.

    The only secret that no one knows about is Djoko's supposed "I'm playing awesome in 2011 because of my gluten-free diet" BS haha
     
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  35. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    The secret to Barry Bond's home run power output was supposedly flaxseed oil.
     
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  36. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Lansdorp openly said Sharapova should have gifted him a Mercedes, but that was sort of a joke. In this guy's case, he really thinks Nadal owes him something beyond his fees.
     
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  37. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    haha exactly.
     
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  38. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Getting paid indirectly is still getting paid.



     
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  39. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    You forgot to mention that Trump steals the idea behind the deal, goes ahead by himself and refuses to give you any credit.



     
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  40. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    Sure maybe I dunno, I don't know Trump. I just used him as an example of a high profile person
     
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  41. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    #41
  42. Tennis_Monk

    Tennis_Monk Hall of Fame

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    So what happened to this Rafa's improved serve in 2011?

    DId this oscar guy went to Rafa with some expectations?. If so, being a coach, he should have had a contract.

    If Nadal doesnt want to give this guy any credit, thats his prerogative. Oscar should have made his conditions clearer.
     
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  43. Sanavan

    Sanavan Rookie

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    Nadal's serves at the US Open final (2011) against Djokovic were very bad! He still needs lots of improvement.
     
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  44. Fay

    Fay Professional

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    having read all of the posts ....

    I agree that posting a video from a lesson was tacky, and suing for recognition is beyond tacky ... so I'm wondering if there is more that we don't know about that led to so much hurt/hard feelings.

    Rafa's serve definitely would seem improved from what I watched during the video.

    If Tony needed convincing as well, then perhaps it was Tony who wouldn't listen if Rafa had actually looked up any serve videos on line .... and if it was Rafa who wanted to change ... but it doesn't appear that way from the video.

    Also, I know being a skating coach someone can be VERY advanced and go to another city to train with a coach to get a FRESH EYE and a new coach will see something that should have been obvious but was not. A different coach CAN make a huge different in one lesson ...

    So my conclusion is that the lesson did help Rafa but because he didn't want to give credit to anyone else than his Uncle Tony so as to be loyal to the family, this caused Oscar to feel hurt.

    I think it would have been a tad "bigger" of Tony and Rafa to acknowledge that his imput was helpful. I think that's all Oscar wanted if I was to guess. I don't think he expected full credit as the student does the work .... but I think if they blew him off, he probably went off the deep end with a law suit, which to me is sad.

    I have had lots of lessons, stadium jumping, tennis, figure skating, and I can honestly say that I have gotten at least ONE valuable piece of input from every coach, even if I didn't agree with all of it, there was ALWAYS something of value from each person.

    Looking at Rafa's serve when he went in with the lack of racquet elbow bend and a few other things, he could have at least said that Oscar's lesson was helpful and let it go at that ... and that would probably have been the end of it. Just my guess on it.
     
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  45. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    IMO you are right again here. I think Nadal was more wasting Borras's time as his serve clearly could use the work and later he did make many of the changes discussed in the vid. ( only to revert back shortly after it seems)
     
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  46. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    It's a wierd world out there. I had a similar experience with a well known tour coach--filmed his player's serve at the request of a friend who was also on the coaching team. Showed it to him with her side by side with Federer. He took a look but was pretty disinterested. The other coach and I asked him if he wanted to do some work with her on the court and he said no, which was fine.

    A few months later, she changed her motion and incorporated the elements we were talking about. Made me feel good actually, but I wasn't surprised not to be acknowledged. And maybe he forgot about what I showed him or figured it out on his own--who knows.

    But I didn't make a video of the process. I think it's obvious Oscar had an impact but actually doing a mini-documentary of it does show he had a plan for recognition. Not sure if that is good or bad, but on the tour collaborative credit is pretty rare from everything I've seen.
     
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  47. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    maybe. He might have helped him but then he became greedy and wanted to make money/get a free marketing by publishing the video.

    He already got paid for his lesson if you want to advertise with rafa you have to pay more:D.

    Of course tony and rafa were pissed with that. their action was maybe not fair either but I can understand him. If that coach had any class he would not have used rafa as an advertisement and kept the work confidential.
     
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  48. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    Far from suresh's "drying up pool of old farts"
    And I thought Billie was a drop-out !
     
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  49. kiteboard

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    Coaches know how replaceable they are. How rare talent is. Anyone else sniffing around gets ignored or booted psychologically downwards and bad mouthed and controlled as Tony did in the video. Shows just how insecure he is. Just a comment like, "Rafa, most of the power gain you can make in your serve will come from your internal shoulder rotation, by driving up your elbow, and your forearm pronation rotating downwards by that elbow lever.", could have made a big difference, and Tony made sure that lesson failed by literally stepping inbetween Rafa and Oscar, and stunting the lesson! Just another low class move by Tony.

    Who do you think taught Rafa all the cheap psych moves? http://tennishasasteroidproblem.blogspot.com/2011/02/curious-case-of-rafael-nadal.html Also look up operacion puerto. Nadal was on supposedly on the steroid list besides the bikers, (ever see him sucking down the biker gel made in the uk, the skinny orange package), and that list was sealed off by the judge. [​IMG] nadal pic
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
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  50. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    Oh boy, here we go with the Nadal drug controversy again. No mention of Djoko? Going from fainting after the first set in heat to running around like a wound up toy. Must be that magic gluten-free diet, or maybe he's on roids, or they injected horse gene's into his body.

    Anyways, regarding Borras and Nadal. His 'contract' ended after his lesson was over. He was paid for his time and it ends there. He can request recognition verbally with a phone call to Tony. "Yo Tony wazzaaaaaaaaap, just wondering if I can tell all ma homies what I did with Lil Rayray? No? ah ok, well word...stay black" ...or something like that. Be professional about it, but he's hurting his reputation over this to possibly never work with a high profile player again. Gun, point at foot, pull trigger.
     
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