Modern vs. Classic

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Shroud, May 9, 2013.

  1. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

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    Recently I got back into tennis. Was a 4.0 in my twenties. Serve and volleyer but these days I am not in the best shape to play that style so baseline play is what is going on now. Great backhand but I never really had a forehand that was a weapon like my backhand. Lots of top, OK consistency but not as overpowering or versatile as my backhand. Semiwestern and western mostly.

    I just saw a video that compared ATP type forehands to WTA type forehands. I have more of a WTA type take back and follow through.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0uCQBiH2Ko

    I want to move to an ATP type forehand.


    1. Do I need a "modern" racket. Right now I am using the Prince Original Graphite mid customized to 425g (14.95 oz) and very headlight.
    1a. if I need a modern racket what would you recommend?
    2. Don't I need to also develop modern footwork to hit with an ATP style forehand. Any vids you would recommend??
    3. Are there any exercises I should be doing to aid the transition.
    4. Should I even be considering such a change?
     
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  2. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Don't go for more than 12.5 oz and make it 6 pts HL max. For the modern baseline game, you need lighter racket to swing fast with topspin, and less HL than in the past for hitting powerful groundies. You need to rely on fast swings, not the pendulum effect arising from higher weight. Check your grip size too - don't go for more than your recommended size - bigger grips are less conducive to top spin.
     
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  3. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    just enjoy playing tennis again.
    if you want to talk about it, you´ve come to the right place
    if you want to work on your technique, find the best coach available in your area
     
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  4. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    What he said.
     
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  5. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

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    Hi Suresh,

    What do you recommend so I can try a demo. Also how can I get past the different feel. Wont a super light racket get moved around by the ball?

    Also I am a bit confused because I saw a site that was talking about a heavier racket and that there was a misconception about racket speed and F=ma vs. angular momentum. If I read it right it was saying that swing speed was not the main factor. I'll try to find it.
     
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  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    If for some reason you want a more modern backhand, and you already use a SW or W forehand, as you said, just lead your takeback with your elbow, allowing your to hold the racket longer with your off hand.
    Then swing thru forcefully and finish around the other side of your body..don't stop the followthru whatsoever, don't catch the racket with your other hand.
    12.5 oz IS a heavy racket.
    A light racket is 10 oz. Anything in between is fine.
     
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  7. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

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    Great point treblings!

    Do most coaches teach the modern game? If I look at the vids on youtube it seems to be either classic shots or modern ones depending on who does the vid.

    Never been a big fan of lessons. The couple I have had seemed like a waste. Are there any tips you can give to find a good coach and what to do to get something out of the money spent?
     
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  8. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I am using the Dunlop Bio 200 Tour. It has high weight and SW so you will like it:

    http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/Dunlop_Biomimetic_200_Tour/descpageRCDUNLOP-DB2HT.html
     
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  9. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Some of the sites have not been updated for years and tell you to use the heaviest you can handle. Well, I can handle 16 oz, just not very well. Times have changed, but the authors stick to their old views while the game has moved on. It is true that pros use SW of 350+, but these days they have less HL balance. Good rec players and even top juniors are using much less than 12.5 oz frames.
     
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  10. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Usually they are a waste. There is plenty of free stuff available on the internet, including free parts of tennisplayer.net, fuzzyyellowballs, jeff salzenstein's videos, etc from which you can get most of the info. Youtube search for "modern forehand" etc will also produce a lot of good stuff.
     
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  11. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    We had a thread like this recently...

    ...and nobody, at least to my satisfaction, could come up with a decent definition of "modern" verus "classical". If you want to make your forehand more of a weapon, go see a decent pro and tell him that's what you want...and don't even talk about modern or classical.

    And as for rackets, that's a separate topic. A lot of TWers get hung up on what racket they should use. It does make a difference, but a lot of online advice isn't going to help you much. TW has a nice "racket finder" service, and they also have an excellent demo program. Do some research, demo some rackets, and take it from there...
     
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  12. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    OP mentions he has a WTA style forehand and is looking for more power, to use his forehand as more of a weapon.
    First of all, can OP swing faster? That is needed on a modern forehand with power. That question needs to be answered.
    Then, how heavy of a racket CAN you swing faster than before, on every forehand? That depends on strength and conditioning of OP. We can't say, we haven't seen his vids.
    Now, McEnroe and Connors hit old school "WTA" forehands. They use placement instead of power. Is that the real answer?
     
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  13. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Oh, classic. 1970 teachings. Turn sideways, lead the takeback with the rackethead, especially at your side, the head of the racket is the first thing to pass to your side as you takeback. Followthru, catch the racket out in front of you with your other hand, or stop the followthru as the racket is pointed at the target.
    Modern. Lead the takeback with your elbow. Followthru fully and don't stop the forward swing until it almost hits the other side of you body.
     
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  14. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    Last edited: May 9, 2013
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  15. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    No doubt, that's a nice forehand, modern style.
    I wonder though. I'll bet on McEnroe over that video forehand hitter. Of course, the forehand is but one shot out of dozens.
    And Crissie's forehand would still work in the WTA, although some younger pros are adopting what appears to be full western modern forehands.
     
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  16. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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  17. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    If you want to make a change, getting a camera which will shoot decent slow motion video will help you a lot.

    Don't trust your body to tell you what you are doing. Instead, trust the video. Then try to associate the feeling you had when hitting properly as proven by video.

    I'd demo a bunch of modern rackets. They're all pretty good. I currently play a Head LM Radical, which still can be had for a good price.
     
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  18. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    you don't have to change your style entirely...

    you can easily go from being a Serve and Volley type player to an all court player. Come in on short balls and after solid approach shots instead of on every point.

    as your fitness improves you will be able to make use of your fast reflexes and skill from all the volleying you did earlier. While it is necessary to be able to rally from the baseline there is no need to camp behind it when you see an opportunity to come in. many of your opponents won't know what hit them and it will put pressure on them to hit longer and take riskier shots.

    work with a good coach. he will spot some flaws.
     
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  19. Velvet Ga el

    Velvet Ga el Rookie

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    You should be given a gold medal for reminding those of us a few decades her junior just how fine Chris Evert was. Ummm, fine tennis player that is.
     
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  20. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    1. 425g is a heavy racquet. Heavy is good to a point, but it's going to be hard to get that bad boy around. A 350g frame, strung, is a pretty hefty racquet now. OTOH, you don't want to go with a sub 300g frame either. It going to be hard to hit through the ball. Small amount of lead at 10 and 2 have a huge effect on how the racquet swings.

    2. Generally you want to hit from an open to semi-open stance if you can. It will be easiest to get your core to turn into the shot if you're open or semi-open, but you can and will hit from any stance as required.

    3. Don't know.

    4. Do it if it's fun. It will take a while to learn it, but you can absolutely rip balls with modern strokes in ways that seemed unimaginable with traditional strokes. If you have a bit of patience to learn and want that result, then definitely do it.

    One other note, you don't need to swing the racquet super fast to create the ATP style stroke. The ATP style allows you to generate tons of racquet head speed, but the basic technique you should be able to execute at any speed. The key is to get that stretch/shortening into your stroke.
     
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  21. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    finding a good coach is a bit like finding a good doctor. might not be easy, take some trial and error, but certainly worth it i would say.
    fortunately coaches work in public, so you can go and watch their lessons.
    look for a coach who has a positive attitude and engages a lot in talking with his/her students.
    a great coach is almost always a great communicator as well

    don´t get to hung up on the whole modern vs classic theme. as one poster pointed out correctly, we here on ttw can´t even agree on definitions of these terms:)

    any change in technique or your game as a whole is a long-term process that benefits tremendously from personal coaching and monitoring.
    a coach can look at your game, your strokes, your footwork and can give you personal advice on what would best help you.
    the internet, especially not free tips on youtube, can´t provide that.
     
    #21
  22. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    Its quite interesting how many people post here that coaches are not necessary. Tennis being one of if not the hardest sport to learn. I don't hear these types of comments in golf. I'm not defending all coaches, but maybe there needs to be a better certification program or something. Maybe stricter like golf for example has, where the coach has to show he can play at a certain level in order to get his card or show experience of what he's done, who he's worked with and better trained coaches and re-training every few years or you lose your certification.

    Either that or people think they can do it on their own and are a bit ignorant. There are a lot of opinions on here that the 5.0 level is the level to strive for. The chances of a player getting there without at least some form of on court coaching is almost impossible. Watching videos on youtube is good, but how do you know what to look for? How can you relate it to your game? and how do you adapt it to your game? When you take a video of yourself, what are the key things in each stroke that you need to work on? etc etc. That's where someone with the appropriate background becomes useful. Its very difficult for someone who little experience to find all this out because it becomes guessing and trial and error. Instead of getting right to the point.
    The other problem is, most people think taking 1 or 2 hrs of lessons is enough. Then they complain the coach didn't do much for them but its never their fault. Its not their fault they didn't practice what was taught to them outside of the lessons and its not their fault they only play once maybe two times a week, but can't seem to somehow reach that 5.0 or 4.5 level.
     
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  23. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    With the proliferation of web sites run by coaches with questionable coaching skills it makes ttw members think the pro strokes they see in high fidelity is actually how they hit the ball. when a ttw members bh was actually used as a basis for an article I lost complete faith in most of these websites. now rec hacks will take instruction from another rec hack. just shoot me.

    To the op imo the best web coach is jeff salzenstein. Free videos. Great info in pieces small enough to absorb.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2013
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  24. ga tennis

    ga tennis Hall of Fame

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    www.virtualtennisacademy.com ITS FREE!!!!!! He hasnt updated it in years but he was so ahead of his time all the information is still top notch.. I would just demo a few rackets from Tennis Warehouse and see what you like. GOOD LUCK!!!
     
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  25. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    OP, I think we're kind of in the same boat. I just started again a year ahead of you, and I did try to learn the modern forehand. It's still a work in progress, but I do feel it's been worth it. My forehand is much more a weapon than it had ever been, and I have enjoyed the process of learning it. So yeah, go for it!
     
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  26. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    Whew Chris Evert looks good.
     
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  27. jason586

    jason586 Rookie

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    This may be useful:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GiyoprgixTs


    As far as racquets, there are now 4 x 4.0-4.5 guys (35-50 years olds) who have made the switch to the Pro Kennex 7G in the last year in my playing group; because it both plays amazing well and is good for the aging arm that tends to have wrist, elbow, and shoulder issues.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2013
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  28. Velvet Ga el

    Velvet Ga el Rookie

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    As a former collegiate golfer, I don't know that I agree with this. The overwhelming majority of golfers haven't taken a single lesson and are happy to shoot in the 80s. Almost all of the better golfers took lessons, largely because golf is not an intuitive game (with no foot movement, it's different than any other sport out there) and it has the finest gradients between great shot and terrible shot of any sport out there (a quarter inch can mean 30 yards).

    I think at the lower levels of both sports, the game is intuitive to a certain extent and so low level coaches/Internet videos/magazines/etc. are acceptable. But if you move want to move to an advanced level, you need to get coaching and see yourself on video to reach elite levels. And I've seen certified coaches in golf that were poor as well.

    (Fantastic videos of your game BTW. How tall are you?)
     
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  29. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Why do you guys say tennis is one of the hardest sport? Like many many popular sports out there, tennis can accommodate virtually everyone, ie playable by everyone. Come to weekend mornings, everyone, from 70 years to 4.5' women, seems happy to hit the ball.
     
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  30. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    Hitting a tennis ball is easy.

    Actually playing tennis is hard.
     
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  31. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    If you've been around tennis courts very long you'll find that a large number of people try tennis and then quit because it is too difficult. I've seen a lot of decent high school athletes in other sports try tennis and then quit because it was far more difficult to play than they thought.

    Part of the issue may be that for some reason a lot of people think that tennis is an easy game. When they find that they don't have success after a few attempts, they quit. Something about watching good tennis makes some people insane, such that they're convinced they could just walk out on the court and do that!:confused:
     
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  32. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    That is right. Tennis requires less physical ability at club level. Even people who get tired after an easy hike seem to play tennis quite well. OK flame me if you want but that is how it is.
     
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  33. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    mightrick,
    such a pompous statement.
    I like to see how you play tennis.

    WV,

    I haven't seen any statistics or figures about what you said regarding people getting in and quiting. So our discussion is speculation and anecdote at best. What factual is I continue to see many many same odd people at the courts over years and the courts I go to have always been crowded at the predictable time. Tennis is a peculiar activity just like bowling, cycling and many other things, you're either into or you are not. For sure tennis isn't hard or hardest that it's gradually dying, ie seeing less and less players, like a lost language.
     
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  34. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Tennis is so easy that it can even accommodate wheelchair bound players.

    I constantly see 4, 5, 70, 75 years old's playing tennis. Do you see that kind of players at a bowling alley or a baseball, football fields?
     
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  35. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    I agree with you that defining a sport as "hard" is subjective.

    However, I stick by my claim that many people quit quickly because they have difficulty maintaining a rally when they first start playing. Also, people under-estimate how difficult the sport is, but perhaps people systematically do this with all sports. I'm just not familiar with the crazies who think they can play in the NFL even though they're 18 and have never played football before. We get plenty of those sorts of crazies with tennis on these boards.

    Tennis is not extremely popular in the US, but I'm not sure it is dying. I'm seeing more young people out on the courts here in 2013 than I saw in 2012. Internationally tennis might be doing quite well. To stereotype, Asians love tennis and as China becomes wealthier more courts will be built and more people will play.
     
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  36. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    At first, I wasn't sure if you were trolling or not...

    Now, I am 100% sure you are trolling. Welcome to my ignore list.
     
    #36
  37. sunof tennis

    sunof tennis Professional

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    I agree with you. I played golf as I kid and it was much easier to learn tennis. If you played little league and learned how to hit and throw a ball, tennis came much easier than trying to hit that stupid little white ball that isn't even moving (sorry for the rant- lol)
     
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  38. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    I see women who can't throw playing recreational softball. I see Obama, who can't shoot a basketball, playing hoops. Adult soccer is fairly common in certain parts of the US. A lot of wealthy men who play golf are horrendously bad.

    You don't see many adults playing American football as the risk of injury is too high.

    I guess your point is that it can be played by people with limited mobility. But I'd guess that also holds true for basketball.
     
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  39. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    rick,

    If anyone trolling, that's you. What the heck does it mean "actual playing"?

    Sounds like you're really looking down on wheelchair people if you're willing to disregard them. Last time I check wheelchair tennis is an actual, organized sport that's going on.

    I don't see even any ATP or WTA players claiming theirs is the only actual tennis.
     
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  40. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Sounds like you start to agree with me that tennis like many other sports can be played by a wide range of people. More than many sports, tennis is played with much more completion and close to its design. Lots of basketball is outdoor, half court, odd numbers. I haven't driven by a baseball or football game for 50ish men or women in semi-complete gears.
     
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  41. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    What you are noting is due to tennis being playable by 2 people.

    Old people could play all those other sports poorly, too. But the organizational issues are more difficult.

    We still don't have a good way to assess relative difficulty of the sport itself, rather than the difficulty in organizing an almost formal game.
     
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  42. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    The "J" curve for tennis gets steep once you reach an advanced level. This is why so many get stuck at the 3.5-4.0 levels. With tennis, you have to constantly train, constantly play. At a high level lack of training results in rapid drop of fitness, footwork, timing, mental toughness, tactics etc. Tiny gains equal big results on court. Tennis is very competitive at the professional level.
    Also, tennis has so many dimensions to it. Footwork, fitness, tactics, mental toughness, technique, tournament management, diet, etc etc. and its only you out there, no one can save your butt like in team sports.

    I will give you an example comparing sports at the top level. A good friend of mine is a top FIS World Cup Downhill and Super G skier. He plays in a band (with live shows) in the off season, and rides his motorbike a lot. Their off season is a heck of a lot longer then what tennis has. Coaches are paid for by the national ski federation, and travel with them of course. Hotels and flights are booked for them. Team has their own physio/massage therapist. He trains in the off season, but he's a hell of a lot more relaxed then a tennis pro is. He might not see a mountain for over a month. Imagine a tennis player not hitting a single ball for a month. Where would his game go? Down the crapper.
     
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  43. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    Getting into tennis is easy. Playing at a standard 4.0 level is not that difficult but the amount of players at the 5.5 and above..... massive drop off. This is one of the biggest problems in being at a high playing level, finding others to train with.
    The other big problem with tennis is timing. Timing is huge in tennis, and its something that can be lost very quickly even if you do train regularly sometimes. Don't play for some weeks, timings off. Easy to lose, tough to get back. This is why you need to play tennis all the time, and hours every day if you want to maintain a high standard.
     
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  44. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for all the great replies, links and racket advice, and encouragement. Especially the poster who is a year ahead of me in the switch.

    I'll be demoing some new rackets in a few weeks and I will try some lighter ones too. My un modified POG with just 3 wraps of grip tape was 372g and I hit for hours with that with no problems. Been hitting with the heavier one and I still get tons of spin and was able to rip some forehands on thursday using the take back in the videos and mentioned by Lee D. Worked great, but if I can get the solidity from a lighter racket it just makes sense. Though I still have it in my head that added weight helps with shock and stability.

    Oh and about demoing. I find that to be a daunting challenge. For instance my current racket has kevlar/syngut at really low tension 28/30lbs. I am pretty sure that the demo rackets wont show up like that. So how do I compare? Also I buy 4 5/8 sticks and put 2-3 overgrips. I can tweak the demos by adding over grip but the bevels wont be right with 4+ over grips. It would be nice to be able to buy and return if needed, but I am guessing that wont happen either.

    For coaches I see their value more in strategy and point construction than mechanics. Its personal but give me a visual example of a stroke whether live or on vid and a bucket of balls fed to me and I'll get further that way then breaking down the stroke into parts I have to think about, etc. Hate that kind of instruction. Like this video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X37qJfKoPVc

    There was a book called the "inner game of tennis" or something that talked about your body figuring out things and getting your head out of the equation so I guess that colors my opinion of info in that vid.

    Its a great point about being an all court player vs. serve and volley. Great advice. Fitness is something that needs work.

    If there is a link to a thread about HOW to do a video. Super basic things like what to shoot the video with, how to secure the camera, how to edit, how to put it on the web, etc, would really help, at least for me.
     
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  45. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

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    Update.

    I hit yesterday and think I am getting the hang of the modern forehand.

    Also I hit with my partner's Dunlop Aerogel 4d 300 tour (I think it was that after looking on TW. black, red and white racket) anyhow it was strung with what appeared to be "silver" syn gut at the top of the range. Looked like the prince stuff just whiter.

    Anyhow it was insteresting. I can see what some posters were talking about. It was stiff without being hard on the arm. Had potential. THe weight was the problem. It got pushed around on shots especially off center ones. I could mod that racket to be pretty good.

    I'll be getting the biomimetic 200 and another modern racket to play with soon.

    Oh, and the guy hit better with my POG. I had let him try 2 of them. One was stock with 2 overgrips with kevlar/gut strung at 63/65. That was the racket that gave me tennis elbow recently; that, playing alot and a 2 week spray painting project was a perfect storm.

    The other one had the added weight and was strung with kevlar/syngut at 28/30. Much easier on the arm! Anyhow he thought the heavier racket with ELT was the better one.

    THanks for all the help!
     
    #45
  46. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    Yes the 4d 300 tour is a great racket, but definitely has to little swing weight. It needs 5-10 grams more in the head. And perhaps some in the grip for balance. Perhaps changing to a leather grip + over grip can do most of the job...
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2013
    #46
  47. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Also try the 4D 200 and the Bio 200 Tour
     
    #47
  48. canadad

    canadad Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2010
    Messages:
    461
    I completely agree, well put.
     
    #48
  49. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,409
    Imo there is a ton of merit to this post.

    Learning to hit the ball well with good coaching is pretty easy, but

    Playing will always be challenging for most because that is what most seek
    in a match; a challenge!
    Players want to get out there with players their level and higher and see what
    they can do.
    When players are not challenged, they don't usually even consider it a worthwhile
    outing.
     
    #49
  50. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Messages:
    3,410
    Location:
    Bay Area
    Hi Suresh.

    I bought one, and stock it was pathetic. I just couldnt hit well with it.

    I modded it to match my Prince Original Graphite in weight and balance. Ended up at 425g and 11 1/2" balance point strung with Problend at 30lbs.

    Was OK I could hit with it if I had to. It was better than a similarly weighted Prince White racket. My POG was just much more solid. It is just a much better racket. More spin and a bit more powerful than the Dunlop.

    Let me try to explain what I mean by solid. The racket commands the ball. It is not phased by an off center shot where the Dunlop was phased a bit by the ball on off center shots.

    ALso I like a "board" feel I hate the "ping" of the string bed. The POG doesnt have a "ping" if you put in any kind of vibration absorber. I used the gamma shock 2 or whatever the one is with the 2 strips. The Prince White would ALWAYS ping no matter what the hell I did. I heavily modded it tamed the ping over stock but it was always there.

    I guess I just like old school.

    Any other rackets to try??
     
    #50

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