In a huge, huge, huge, huge funk . . .

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Cindysphinx, Aug 27, 2010.

  1. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Ugh. I was worried this would happen, and it happened. The teaching pro I have used since 2005 when I was a 2.5 player is leaving.

    He's moving away to teach at a supercool tennis academy. He is over the moon about it, and I am very happy for him. I always saw him as a big fish in a small pond, and I thought he was head and shoulders above the other pros around here and deserved better. Now he's moving up to the big leagues for a dream job -- better climate, better compensation, better cost of living, better benefits, better players, better everything.

    Which leaves me without a teaching pro.

    I've considered going without a pro, but I think I'm on the verge of making it to 4.0. I really like the pace of play at that level and the challenges it presents, and I'd hate to stagnate now. But the very idea of auditioning a bunch of new pros in hopes of finding someone good leaves me wanting to curl up in a ball and suck my thumb.

    Dang. I can't say my now-former pro taught me everything I know, but it's darn close.

    Cindy -- bummed at the idea she might be stuck with her current strokes forever
     
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  2. mtommer

    mtommer Hall of Fame

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    That's sucky. Maybe ask your current pro for recommendations?
     
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  3. RogerRacket111

    RogerRacket111 Semi-Pro

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    Tennis pro's are over-rated. In the long run you should learn to understand what you are doing and doing right/wrong and self-correct. This is very useful in middle of the match. The coach wont be around all the time. Especially at a higher levels matches won based on how you can adapt.

    As for strokes you should find a good one maybe a tennis pro you like watching and try to copy the hell out of it and stick with it constantly changing is only going to confuse your muscle memory.

    Use a video camera to record your play or even a swing in front of a mirror. Even have a good friend observe you that can point out stuff that you didn't know.

    Self-Confidence is very important. Even when you go through a bad patch know you will find your game back. Bottom line help me to help myself.
     
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  4. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    “Funk is fun. And it's also a state of mind, ... But it's all the ramifications of that state of mind. Once you've done the best you can, funk it!”

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Sorry. Hope you find a good replacement.

    There's no 'best' way to learn. For myself, I agree with you. I haven't had any formal instruction in years. I tried a couple of lessons recently based on a strong recommendation from a friend, but I didn't find that it helped me. On the other hand, I have friends that do take ongoing lessons, and continue to benefit from it (this is at 4.5 level).
     
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  6. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Just watch the pros on TV
     
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  7. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    change is good

    I think it's actually a mistake to stay with the same teaching pro for so long. I've had a lot of great coaches, they tend to come and go here in S. Florida - and each one has seen my game in a new light and taught me fresh ideas and techniques, so I think that it's best to actually change coaches once in a while if you really want to improve your game. Yes, you have to find someone that you feel really gets you and your goals and suits your personality and game style, and sometimes you take a few lessons before you settle on one person - but keep in mind that every coach can teach you something valuable, so be open to learning at all times, all of them are better tennis players than you. One other piece of advice - ask other students of theirs, their opinions on whether this coach has elevated and changed their games for the better before you take that (expensive) private lesson; or just observe them in a teaching situation.
     
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  8. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    There's a ton of good pros out there...

    ...and in this economy, if they're not the best and marketing themselves, they're not worth considering. As I said to you some years ago, find a local college program, probably Men's, and see if their coaches are interested in coaching on the side...
     
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  9. thehustler

    thehustler Rookie

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    Cindy,

    I started my tennis career about 6 years ago. I took lessons from a pro to just learn the basics and I started playing tournaments and leagues after that. I self rated at 3.5 and made it to 4.5 about 3 years later. I have learned a lot mainly by watching the slow mo replays of the pros. That has helped me developed my strokes. The one thing that has helped me more than anything is the wardlaw directionals. Watching that plus a couple other videos on footwork and serve technique has really helped my game out. It has been more helpful than anything I've learned anywhere else. If you just youtube the info it will make you cry at how simple tennis can really be. It is so motivating to know how to play tennis the easy way, to take thinking out of the process of hitting a tennis ball. It has helped my game out so much. I am very fast and can cover a court like crazy, but using the directionals has saved me energy and worn out my opponents. There's nothing like hitting four or 5 balls cross court to your opponent's forehand and then on the last shot you get a short ball that you can change direction on and hit for a winner. It is just simple and will make you a much happier tennis player. Good luck out there.
     
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  10. polski

    polski Semi-Pro

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    I've never taken a private lesson in my life. Growing up, I would go to clinics at my parent's club while they golfed. That was the extent of my exposure to a pro.

    As an adult, I have never taken a lesson and have only done a few clinics, mostly because I hate paying for it. I'm about as self taught as they come & if you saw me play you could see where I developed my technique:
    - Serve & forehand are Agassi inspired
    - Backhand is a Pete ripoff but I'm trying to copy Henin right now
    - Net play is McEnroe'ish

    Obviously, I try to copy player's strengths. However, I have always been a visual learner so that just is easier for me than being walked through it in someone's words.
     
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  11. Big_Dangerous

    Big_Dangerous Legend

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    Well it's not like you're going pro or anything, so honestly I wouldn't worry too much about it.

    Hell, I'm a guy who's been playing for maybe a year, and never taken one lesson with any body, albeit a pro or not. All I did was watch tennis a lot of tv before I tried to play and then watch a ton of videos like on fyb.com and practice a bit.

    I've never met you before, so maybe I'm way off, but I'd say it's not your strokes you need to be worried about, but what you do with them, that and footwork. Footwork can really help you hit so many better shots.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2010
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  12. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    After six years of lessons he should have taught you the technique and grips for hitting all the strokes, there aren't that many of them:

    serve, overhead, f.h., b.h., approach, volley, half-volley.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2010
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  13. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Thanks, everyone.

    There seems to be an assumption that taking lessons/clinics is just about learning to swing the racket or hit certain strokes. For me, there is a lot more going on than that.

    One of my teammates called yesterday. She frequently shares a lesson with me and does the weekly private clinic. We were discussing whether to look for a new pro or just go with what we know.

    Her take on it was interesting. She said, "I have this time blocked out on Tuesdays for weeks to come for our lessons. What on earth will I do when I won't have that to look forward to?"

    Sounds weird, huh? What will she have to look forward to and what can she do with that time? There are many answers. Play social tennis. Go practice. Go to the park. Take a nap. Walk the dog. Run an errand. Clean something. Read a book. The ways to fill the time are endless, right?

    I think the real issue is that we are all stay at home moms with older kids. This means that every weekday from 7 am to at least 3 pm, we are by ourselves and fairly isolated. Having a regular group for a clinic means that we have some social interaction to look forward to during the day. Equally important, we get to *work* on something. There's a part of the brain and the soul that needs setting of goals, working toward improvement, solving problems, having someone to push and challenge you, having someone to commiserate with. People who work outside the home don't fully understand this, because they get many of these things from their jobs.

    Can you get these things by studying video of the pros? No, that is isolating, which is what we want to avoid. Can you get it from bouncing around from one pro to the next in search of new ideas or input? Not really. You need someone who will take you seriously, who will put some effort into putting together drills that are challenging, who will hold you to a high standard. Can you get it by playing socially? No, having everyone play the way they always play is deadly dull and presents no challenge at all.

    So. We're going to look for a new pro. Not because that is the only way to improve at tennis. That's not it at all. It's because that's what we need to stay sane.

    We will probably have our first lesson with Candidate No. 1 on Tuesday. He has a dreamy accent (French? Italian?) and sounded very nice on the phone. Lots of experience, comes highly recommended by a teammate. Keep your fingers crossed for us!
     
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  14. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Maybe consider group therapy or season tickets for the Chippendales.
     
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  15. polski

    polski Semi-Pro

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    That makes sense Cindy. However, if it is simply the time block you're looking to fill with tennis...does it really matter who the pro is? Anyone halfway adequate can give you a workout on the court.
     
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  16. anantak2k

    anantak2k Semi-Pro

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    I wouldn't really know what it's like to have a teaching pro. :p I can't really afford that. The wall taught me everything that I know today. I guess I am one of the lucky few people that are naturally gifted at racket sports. I have excellent hand eye coordination and excellent footwork. I can play ANY racket sport out there at a fairly competitive level. Some better than others. But tennis is by far my favorite out of all the racket sports. I love being out in the sun running and hitting.
     
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  17. Vermillion

    Vermillion Banned

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    You should try my coach, Will Hamilton.
     
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  18. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Oh, it matters tremendously. I'm not looking for a "workout." I already work out. That's not why I play tennis.

    I'm a middle-aged 3.5 woman. It is very hard to find a pro who will take you seriously. All the time, I see pros giving poor advice, ignoring horrid form, with obvious low expectations. They are giving the client what she wants -- praise so she feels good about her tennis. I would hate that. I know, because I experienced it while looking for my former pro.

    Also frustrating is that a lot of pros teach (or allow) 3.0 strategy -- bouncing lobs, staying back, alley hugging. What has been helpful in the clinic is that the participants were all learning to play the same way, so there wasn't a disconnect when we played a match. If the pro is going to teach low-level strategy, we aren't going to do well when we move up.

    Yeah. It's complicated.
     
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  19. Annika

    Annika Semi-Pro

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    Try to remember to focus on playing tennis, Cindy! :twisted: JK
     
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  20. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    I agree that a high percentage of the people teaching tennis really aren't very good at making you a better player. However, there are a lot of pros out there, so I'm sure there are a couple other good ones, probably in the same situation as your first pro when he started. There are only two pros around here that I would think about going to for lessons (well, three if you include me). Most don't really help you improve. I guess the main thing I would look for is what they demand from you. If they aren't stretching you out of your comfort zone you aren't going to get any better. Think of it like being a parent - the ones who try to be their children's friends may be popular, but don't end up with good kids.
     
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  21. gopokes

    gopokes Rookie

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    I think you're on the right track - take some lessons from a few different pros and analyze their perceived strengths and weaknesses. If you find the perfect replacement, great, but if not, you can cycle through different pros when you want to emphasize different things. Maybe one pro has particularly good drills, whereas another might offer more insightful feedback. Maybe alternate between the two depending on what you think your game needs.
    Alternatively, you could get a job...I find that mine does a nice job of eliminating any pesky spare time that might arise on occasion - it just might eliminate your problem altogether!..:) I'm just ribbin' ya -
    Good luck in your search!
     
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  22. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    I think Cindy just likes to develop crushes on her tennis instructors. :) I am going off her judgement of the new guy's voice over the phone here as evidence.
     
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  23. BounceHitBounceHit

    BounceHitBounceHit Legend

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    So true, so true.

    And of course you are having a GRIEF reaction Cindy. You have a long term relationship with this pro and are very emotionally invested in learning tennis from HIM. It is completely natural and understandable.

    Good luck finding a new pro. I am really lovin' your journey. :)

    BHBH
     
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  24. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Truth be told, a new pro may be EXACTLY what you need right now. IME, it never hurt to get a 2nd opinion. Working with the same set of eyes can sometimes overlook something in your game. Were it me, and it has been, I'd take one from several different pros just to see who you "mesh" with.

    My favorite pro left and came back. In the interim, I worked with three different pros. And, I never regretted it.
     
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  25. BounceHitBounceHit

    BounceHitBounceHit Legend

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    Agreed! There is ALWAYS more to learn.............Fed just hired Annacone, after all. ;) BHBH
     
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  26. MNPlayer

    MNPlayer Semi-Pro

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    Holy crap, with that kind of free time I would play all day. You'll be a 4.0 in no time if you play hard 3-4 hours every day.
     
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  27. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    Learn to hit with more spin and also start working hard in the Weight room with machines and add Yoga for flexibility and some jogging for cardio work. do all these things to improve your body then you are Pretty much 4.0, right then.
     
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  28. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Ha!

    Just because I am by myself at home doesn't mean I don't have stuff to do.

    The kids went back to school today. I need to find the warranty information for the garage door because the massive header spring snapped. I need to get a massive branch removed from the 50-year-old maple before it falls and kills someone. I am months behind on massive insurance reimbursements. The weeds in the front flower bed are massive and have sprouted flowers.

    And the US Open is making it awfully difficult to stay away from the TV and get anything done!

    Cindy -- who thought her pink dress looked rather fetching on Hantchuchova
     
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  29. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    Sounds like you are a happily married man :)

    Is your wife available for counseling sessions. My wife needs to understand these things.
     
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  30. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I think Cindy found her new coach cum trainer now ....
     
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  31. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    hmmmmmmmmmmm
     
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  32. Spokewench

    Spokewench Semi-Pro

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    Cindy, just ignore the poor fools in this thread who want to criticize instead of give constructive criticism! Yikes, there sure are a lot of judgmental posters on this forum.

    Last year, I quit an instructor that I liked very much and who had been my instructor for about 4 years. I've used a couple of pros since then and what I found is that each has something different to teach me which is quite refreshing and also quite helpful. There have been a few things said that I thought was way off base and so I chose to ignore that.

    I would say, overall, my first instructor was the best overall, but it is good to get different perspectives. Have fun trying out different pros.

    spoke
     
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  33. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    An interesting topic. How many of you learn from a pro by watching him/her rather than what he/she teaches you?

    As for myself, I am too cheap to take lessons, though might do so this december during a vacation just to get some tennis in. Right now, I watch two pros at two different places I play at. One used to be on the tour a long time ago, and one was a low-level pro in Mexico before he came over. The difference between them and the other club-grown pros are that they came top-down from a high level to the 5.0 level they are now, while the club-grown variety has reached the 4.0/4.5 level bottom-up. It is a pleasure to watch the former pros (or at least semi pros) hitting and they act as great visualization aids for serves etc. With the other ones, the advice may be sound but frankly I do not care for it because they themselves never ever played at a high level.
     
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  34. decades

    decades Guest

    I think women like tennis pros for a variety of reasons, some not even related to tennis.
     
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  35. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    [​IMG]
     
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  36. polski

    polski Semi-Pro

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    This is definately me:

    Cheap? Yes
    Steal ideas that I watch? Yes

    Until they black out the fences at my club, I'll always watch the clinics and lessons going on. I learn much more by watching than by being told something.
     
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  37. RogerRacket111

    RogerRacket111 Semi-Pro

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    If you really want to watch a pro why not just turn on the TV and watch the real pros rather than some washed up pro. Also pick one pro so you can model your strokes after. You wont have to pay a dime.
     
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  38. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Hard to do on TV because it is hard to see things in enough detail (except once in a while they do super slow motion) but Youtube can give you a good view of them so you can analyze the strokes. You can stop, back up, etc. and there is a lot of slow motion available.
     
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  39. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Cindy, sounds like there is something MASSIVELY subliminal going on in your life. I can empathize because I also recently lost my coach of many years and it left MASSIVE voids in my calendar. Remember, it's the job of the student to kill the teacher, (allegorically speaking that is).

    Fortunately, he taught me well and I'm enjoying working on putting into practice what he taught me. I haven't felt the need yet to seek a new coach for new tennis knowledge, I've got plenty to work on. But, someday I hope I will feel that I need coaching or my that old coach returns. Even Federer, has finally gotten a coach because the competition is gaining on him and he has to step up his game another notch.

    I could see Paul Anacone's influence on Roger's USO match tonight when he came to the net much more and at times looked awkward. As he ages, he needs to end the points quicker to preserve his body. I'm looking forward to the changes coach Anacone will bring to his game.


    Hey, easy there, without us poor fools there would be NO internet--just ask Al Gore.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2010
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  40. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Oooh, yes, I saw that. Roger was trying much harder to attack the return. And he came to net.

    Sure, he volleyed like . . . well, like me. But that will get better. It sure was weird watching him dump all those volleys and trip over his own feet like that.

    Well, I have some matches this week. Let's see just how much I've learned from the old pro . . . .
     
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  41. mlktennis

    mlktennis Semi-Pro

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    Cindy,

    The tennis journey is often a lonely one (if you are serious about the game... which you are). Few can really understand your game and what you are TRYING to accomplish. It's nice to have someone share the burden of trying to get better. Good luck on finding another coach.
     
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  42. mlktennis

    mlktennis Semi-Pro

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    oh forgot to mention, that the low periods...what you call THE FUNK, is often followed by a period of growth. I think of it as my game 'marinating' till I'm ready to cook :) Unfortunately, the marinating process takes a while and can sting a bit.
     
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  43. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I do that too, but my TV viewing time is limited by work. Also I cannot observe them closely. These pros I watch when I am waiting for my regular slot.
     
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  44. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    hehehe that is a great philosophy. I also watch the lessons they give to juniors because the juniors are good too.
     
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  45. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Okey Dokey
     
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  46. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    From other thread:

    I'm sure both Colorado and you are the better for it. If you were in Colorado, I had a couple names for good pros.
     
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  47. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    ^Ha! No, I am not in Colorado. I have a relative there, and I flew out for a visit. We entered the tournament for doubles, and I also played the 2.5 singles.

    In the meantime, neither pro I have contacted has returned my phone calls. This is not gonna be easy . . . .
     
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  48. BounceHitBounceHit

    BounceHitBounceHit Legend

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    Is there a college team nearby? If so the assistant coaches are often underpaid! AND they usually know their stuff! ;) BHBH
     
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  49. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    The college idea is a good one. Univ of MD is a good distance away (45 minutes if no traffic), so that stinks. I'll look into it, though.

    I have a semi-private lined up with a pro from a local club.

    I also have another pro who came recommended who has now chosen not to call me back after one personal conversation and two subsequent voice mails. He is officially scratched off the list. Too bad for him. Our little group spends a bundle on lessons . . . .
     
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  50. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    That kind of pressure on a coach will often result in not the best results as far as genuine technical, strategic, and tactical improvements in one's game. The pro feels the pressure of not offending an individual or the group, and fears losing that "bundle" of moolah. Therefore he can't coach and say what needs to be said out of fear of offending. The student's tell the coach how they want to be taught and the coach complies with their instructions.

    I've seen the results in almost all clinics, drill, drill, drill, make the ladies thoghtlessly run around mimicing movements and situations that never occur in match play. Afterwards everyone says what a good sweat they had and share a chardonnay or an Amstel Light.

    In the final result there's a lot of sweat but little if any real imprvement. Tennis like real yoga is taught one teacher or guru and one pupil--but the exigencies of the market place and paying the mortgage (or rent) doen't much allow for this except in very rare insrances with the very rare coach or Guru.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2010
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