My Obligatory Oscar Wegner Review...

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by majordude, Nov 1, 2009.

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  1. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    He is a classic bully, and it appears you are the one who looks foolish to align yourself with someone who will lose his temper and spit on you next week; and that is with YOU agreeing with him, but him misreading your post and biting your head off. I've lost count at the times this has happened. The fact that TT tries to be civil to him and give him some credit is really just a credit to TT. I can't think of single interesting thing I've seen from your mentor, just same ole stuff in any conventional book. I think he should wear that as a badge of honor and stick to it.

    I don't write those big posts and will let you judge the advice for yourself- thats fine. This one by you is as big as I've ever done. I mostly do a couple of sentences. I'm happy helping the ones smart enough to recognize quality.
    We don't waste time looking for confirmation, as we have that. We waste too much time responding to misinfo and bluster.

    How BB can have your respect after admitting on this forum that he would conceal evidence and debate to no end to win, is a mystery to me. That's all I need to know about him from his own words. It is VERY clear that he is more interested in guys like you he can buffalo thinking he is right all the time, than searching for truth.
     
  2. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Not directly you haven't. However, did you look at my title below? It says "FORMER USPTA". Whenever you bad mouth the USPTA, their methods, tell me that the USPTA endoreses this old cruddy manual, you are telling me since I was a member of that organization that I fill that bill.

    Not only is that insulting to me (the light you paint USPTA coaches in), but it is false and inaccurate. It is a ploy or a marketing gimmick for you to exalt your method by making someone else look bad.

    You have consistently done this and repeatedly painted Oscar as the guru to the modern tennis world when we have shown you over and over again that you are flat out wrong.

    You have insulted my knowledge, my efforts here, and the evidence put in front of you that you have no silver bullet to instruction nor did you invent anything outside of your own view of instruction.

    You have dismissed other methods of teaching and you have carefully slithered your way with flattering remarks and neasuating BS.

    You are twisting US Tennis history and slanting it towards Oscar and MTM. It is biased, uncalled for, and humiliating.

    You have taken credit or shifted the emphasis of credit towards Oscar making the player even though Oscar never ever coached them.

    You have pulled the rug out from those that have contributed to this game and you are following in the footsteps of your "chip-on-the-shoulder" boss who can't stop crying because someone made fun of him. Maybe he deserves it.

    Over and over again you give credit where it is not due or associate someone elses success to Oscar in some fashion. Whether it is a light emphasis or a strong emphasis, you have always somehow brought your BS back to Oscar and his twisted Scientology junk.

     
  3. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    I dont know, it seems to me that you guys are the ones who are just as bad as whatever you're trying to claim BB is doing. (especially you)

    A couple people show up here and make some positive comments and you guys jump all over it happily even though it makes what you are selling look bad.

    Someone disagrees with you, and you immediately label them as being rude or you accuse them of being aligned with some other person who's "rude".

    But I do agree with you, you waste TOO much time defending yourselves and trying to make yourselves look good.

    Why dont you just stick to giving advice rather then name drop, or trying to label your advise as MTM (when by TT's own admissions is all original, it's been borrowed).

    TT needs to stop going into 500 word essays. When you spend that much thought justifying yourself that makes the advise seem questionable. (if there is any) We know who TT is, it's right on his signature. He's the MTM guy! How many times do we need to see it in a thread where some poor guy is just asking for some simple advice???

    And you need to stop flying in everytime this argument ensues. As far as I know you're merely the MTM defender guy. I dont know what you've done outside of that. Again that shows that you are more interested in defending some general notion of MTM (because you are probably selling it) then you are in actually giving actual advice.

    And I think if you can do that, BB probably wont keep jumping either, and we can go back to having a nice board where people can share and give ideas.

    Most of us do not give a crap if you are MTM, USPTA, traditional, modern, Vic Braden, or Oscar Wegner.

    There are good pros and bad pros. Ultimately if we are taking a lesson that's what it comes down to, it's the individual, not whatever their methods or ideas are.

    Bad pros usually just spout off some general idea (no matter where it came from) and they dont make a good connection with their audience and that's where you guys all seem to sound like.

    I dont know if you guys agree with that. (I think you're a little too busy defending yourself) But plenty of people do, and whether you think that's wrong or not is too bad.

    Stop this nonsense, please. If you are only here to talk about MTM or Oscar then go away. Or just make your own threads (like this one), and stop jumping into all of the other ones.

    (but if you say something that someone disagrees with be aware that they do have a right to say something and you cant accuse them of being "rude" just because of it)
     
  4. majordude

    majordude Rookie

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    Geez! Do you get this worked up over politics too?

    The Republicans get into power and blame the Democrats for the mess we are in. The public soon gets tired of the Republicans and vote the Democrats back into office where they then blame all our problems on the Republicans. Soon the public gets tired of the Democrats and vote the Republicans back into office... and so it goes.

    You can't take that stuff personally.

    The USPTA teaches people to play a certain way and MTM teaches people to play a different way. Either way you end up playing tennis.

    And sure, MTM is going to say vote for me because I can teach you to play tennis in two hours and sure USPTA is going to say, don't listen to him, vote for me and I'll have you playing at a pro level if you elect me!

    It's like getting all worked up over Eastern, Western, Semi-Western and Continental grips. Using one grip doesn't make the other ones wrong.
     
  5. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    Between this statement and the one TT made about how he was going to teach Cindy if he ever taught her a lesson, almost proves my point as to how you guys really make yourselves look bad. (by the way TT conducts himself in the non-MTM threads and how you come flying in)

    So that's what MTM is about? You're just happy to help people that are "smart enough" to realize that you are right?

    I kind of already wondered that about TT because he made this big claim about how he would teach Cindy and she'd be flying around the court like Casper the Ghost of whatever.

    So I kind of had to wonder. What if Cindy goes there, she has an open mind but she just doesnt connect with whatever TT is doing.

    Is he just going to blame her then, because after all he's thought about it for years and looked at many pictures and written 1,225,344,226,264 words about how HIS method SHOULD work.

    Or is he going to realize that he just hasnt made a connection with her and get to know her and actually do the work realizing that she actually does want to improve and she will actually take some useful knowledge if he is able to approach it makes sense to her?

    If I had to judge TT's ability by his writing style, I would be afraid that he would bombard me with 300 ideas and spend the entire lesson justifying himself rather then actually spending the time to consider where I am and what my motivation is.

    Maybe it's not that way (I sure hope not...), but I have to wonder.

    (and yes I admit that my posts are long as well, but Im not out there teaching tennis or trying to sell anything, I know that my method of communication is not fit for teaching anything and Im willing to at least admit that)

    And you know that's the HUGE difference between you two guys and BB. Once in awhile he'll say something about his past just to back up his argument with you, but I rarely see him talk about himself or how great he is.

    Other then when he's arguing with you two guys, he's just been out here giving us advice.

    Sometimes I like his advice and sometimes I just dont connect with it or it's more then I want to read. There is not real complaining about it because he's not selling anything and he's not out there trying to promote himself as some sort of big shot like you guys are.

    It's a personal choice and you guys seem to be against personal choices, that's why you keep going into the rant how we'd all be better off if we were following whatever you were doing..... (which again is what TT is accomplishing with his long history laden, Oscar, tennis is down since the 70's, etc... posts, and you are doing about the same)
     
  6. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    It's not really the same thing....

    Most of the time you get some advice from a coach, or you read a book by someone and you make a connection, just like you did with the book you mentioned in the OP.

    Nobody's saying that the information is not helpful. (although you yourself made it look bad in showing how it's awesome that it's only for "being good at tennis", not "great". :)

    We're tired of seeing the long marketing posts on other threads everytime someone posts a question. We dont care if it happens to be MTM anymore then you do.

    (and the basis for that is that most of the advice by their own admission is not new or unique, it's all been around forever. If they were giving you a one-on-one lesson in person maybe some teaching method is there's, and they can claim that's MTM, but to stick that on any advice they give on a message board is a little much.......)

    And besides that they wont realize it or acknowledge it, because they are more interested in making themselves look good then they are at helping anyone. (and Im not talking about MTM or Oscar, Im talking about the two people who keep jumping into all of our threads)
     
  7. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Who's jumping in who's thread?? This is a MTM thread in the title and you can't stay out of it.
    It is as simple as not clicking or just scrolling down past a poster you don't like. You are the one comes flying in. But that is fine. I know you are really curious, but just can't admit it because you will get jumped on too.
     
  8. majordude

    majordude Rookie

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    Well, maybe I am judging it too harshly. :) Personally, I don't anyone could become an expert (or even great) from a DVD. I'm sure personal instruction is the best way to take your game to the next level.

    Of the DVDs I've gone through, the information is good and the banter that goes between Oscar and the interviewer or student is great.
     
  9. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    Yes but Im not trying to sell a tennis product, or promote myself.

    See here you are again, this is your response"

    "What do you mean Im doing this???? You're doing the same thing!!!!???"

    At least I can maybe admit that you are right, but you cant.....

    Spend less time defending yourself and you'll sound better. Just some free advice...
     
  10. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    That's cool.

    Did it make you think at all that MTM will solve America's tennis problems or that it will be great if EVERYONE does it that way? Do you care about any of that?

    Because that's ultimately what we are wasting time having people promote and debate on this site.

    I agree with you, that personal instruction is great if someone really wants to "get to the next level", and it takes a lot of work.

    It seems to me that you have a lot of interests and that's cool, I know that's the way life is, if you devote yourself to perfecting only one thing you can miss out on a lot of other fun stuff so it's kind of a personal choice on how you want to spend your time.
     
  11. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Have you ever coached? Become a member? Why are you commenting on something you have no clue about?

    Your comment is absolutely NOT true. The USPTA is made up of members that come into the organization with various backgrounds, skills, and playing capabilities across the United State of America. Some of these people are from foreign countries trained under various methods and become certified to be able to market themselves better.

    There is no one way to teach tennis in the USPTA organization. Nearly every member will take the good and bad of their own training and learn other methods through various training sessions the USPTA offers or they will be self-studiers. To further show your claim is not true, if the USPTA said to use only one method, then no coach that is a USPTA member would be able to teach MTM. This is again showing your thinking and limited knowledge - FALSE.

    These various training classes include:

    1. Open stance forehands and twohanded backhands.

    2. The latest methods in instruction and communication.

    3. The latest advances in biomechanics

    4. Various other learnings to help a tennis coach advance in the organization and develop his own instruction that is not even remotely close the "manual" that keeps coming up.

    I would suggest one thing. If you are not a coach, nor have played tennis long or well, I suggest you move on to another post before you become way out of your league.

    This argument is between TeachesTennis and myself. I am tired of MTM taking credit for things they were not involved in.

    There is no USPTA saying don't listen to him!!! He pushes his stuff on people with a flase background on where his instruction came from. He didnt invent anything. They are bad mouthing coaching and taking credit from these coaches because Oscar is bent out of shape for not getting the credit.

    Oscar wants one thing. He wants credit for the way tennis is played today. That is what he was laughed at about. He was trying to take credit away from the hardwork of other coaches and disrepected them in the process. Nobody is giving him this credit because he didn't do it!!! He is part of the solution, not the entire solution. He created instruction on what was already known. He is trying to pursuade the public that he was the one that saw it all. He didn't!!

    That is why the USPTA laughed at him. He was taking credit away from those that deserve the credit and trying to make it his own. This is the argument. This is the debate.

    The other issue is Oscar wants HIS method to be the only method endorsed and taught by the USPTA. This will never ever happen because the USPTA does not force anyone to teach a certain way.

    Oscar got hurt when the USPTA said "no". They said no to a man that wanted all the credit and to be the sole provider of tennis instruction for this organization. The USPTA will not do this and even if they do, they can not force one member to use it.

    Stop and think? Can you imagine the resources needed to police the members in ensuring that they teach MTM?

    Like I said, if you want to use MTM, go for it!! The USPTA or myself are not dishing the instruction, however, we are not going to accept Oscar's media blitz to wrestle credit away from coaches that supported this game and worked hard to improve it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2009
  12. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

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  13. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    What am I selling? I just give some free advice and read some good stuff from time to time. I don't link sites. I don't even use my name or talk of my history if I can avoid it. I did talk about coaching my kids to a guy who was in sim situation the other day. I try to mention a reference if it is relevant. I share some MTM stuff cause it often seems to be the answer to questions that are asked on here. That is why it comes up so much, cause people write in with problems to solve. I don't even post on 11 of 12 threads that come up. I'm not going to lie though, I really don't like bullys and we have one here. It was much more fun when I was younger and you could get away with showing them how it felt to get bumped around a little. Oh well, things change.

    I'll say you are right at this moment. I should spend less time defending, but you have to admit it is hard when there is constant uninformed attacks.
     
  14. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Nice pic of you. Didn't know you had an acting career.
     
  15. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Macci quote in 2005: “I’ve seen the modern game develop for 20 years, even though it’s just getting talked about now,” Macci said. While he has worked with players who use the newer-style grips, stances and follow-throughs, he also teaches conventional fundamentals. “It’s all situational.”

    This is exactly right. If you look at pros today, they hit with reverse forehands, open stances, twohanded backhands, classic backhands, volleys, half-volleys, etc...

    Stances are situational and because the game is faster, the open stance is very natural.

    However, forcing someone to only teach open stance otherwise it is wrong because the pros do it, is not good advice.

    Players can learn to play tennis in 2 hours even in traditional stances.

    The credit for the Williams sisters success goes to Macci and not Oscar.
     
  16. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    Ok first I want to say I am reformed and am jumping in here and hoping not to make any comments that could be considered personal or insulting or even to take sides.

    Having observed the technical debate on modern versus traditional versus bureaucratic versus the space aliens...I think there are a few interesting technical issues.

    One of the biggest problems in debates like these are the unspoken assumptions that aren't necessarily true, again, just in my opinion.

    The first is that there is such a thing as "the" forehand. The second is that whatever the "forehand" is at the highest levels, that is what should be taught.

    The third is that in developing players who may go on to play elite tennis, that the teaching progressions should be geared to developing the finished product from day 1.

    You can guess that I don't think these assumptions are necessarily valid.

    When it comes to the forehand, first there are about 6 different grip structures. The players play at radically different depths, with different contact heights. And their forehands differ from ball to ball not just because they use different grips, but because they combine other complex elements such as the stances, the windshield wiper, and extreme torso rotation in an almost infinite number of ways.

    There are probably over 10,000 forehand stroke clips on Tennisplayer.net and no two of them are exactly the same.

    So, again, my opinion, there is a danger in focusing on an element that definitely occurs--but may be situational--and making that element into a fundamental building block.

    I had a fascinating series of exchanges with Oscar a few years ago. We didn't reach a meeting of the minds--that's certain, but I think we did elucidate some differences, at least on the forehand, which is the most controversial stroke without doubt.

    So a few thoughts. Stalking the ball, if we mean a prolonged delay on the backswing definitely occurs. My opinion, having viewed all 10,000 of those clips, is that it is a relatively rare occurance.

    It happens when the ball is slower sometimes, and for sure on the extreme wide and running balls. On the vast majority of forehands though, the preparation begins with the body turn, followed by the immediate initiation of the backswing, which I believe, in most cases, should be viewed as starting when the hands start to separate. So if the unit turn is stalking the ball then I agree it occurs, but if there is a lag in the movement of the hands after the unit turn, then you are dealing with the exception not the norm. It's a valid exception but an exception.

    Now speaking personally, I think the problem with teaching stalking right off the bat is that it leads to an incomplete turn. The full shoulder turn and the left arm stretch is probably one of the very few things virtually all players do.

    It's also, in my opinion, a core fundamental to teach players at any level. But if you look at those guys in the MIT video that are Oscar guys, you'll see that they hit the ball beautifully but they don't really have super great turns.

    Now as for the windshield wiper. Actually if you look at the motion of the hand and arm and racket they rotate somewhat counterclockwise on EVERY forehand, from Sampras/Henman classic eastern on edge finishes to Rafa and Roger and everyone in between. it is a matter of degree and is also situational. Bill Tilden (the film is on the site--and there was also a great shot of it on TC) used the radical wiper and so I am sure has every good player since the game began.

    It's a question of when and how much. But the focus on the wiper has obscured what I think is the other key point after the turn--the extension. How far out does the racket and hand travel toward the target before the elbow bends more and the motion starts to wrap.

    And in fact you can see every variation possible. The hitting arm can come into the target quite bent and the radical wiper can occur immediately after contact. And you can see the opposite--the arm almost completely straight and extended out to the target with the hand already at eye level and across the body even with the left side. And with that straight arm you can also see wiper action--the arm, racket, and hand rotating as a unit, but with little or no elbow bend.

    And everthing in between. Again the question is what to teach. My study of those clips shows me that when players are hitting deep drives they extend most fully--with or without the wiper. So I believe in teaching this extension point and depending somewhat on the grip adding more wiper later as a variation, but this also depends on level. And here I think recreational and club players often get off track and wiper too much and too early at the expense of power and depth.

    Which brings us to the wrap--either over the shoulder or around the shoulder or around the torso. Does the wrap "cause" acceleration? That is hard to argue, because well-accepted biomechanical studies (Brian Gordon, Bruce Eliot, Advanced Tennis) all show that maximum acceleration occurs around contact and that thereafter the racket slows down, with the wrap being the slowest moving part. So on a 90mph forehand the racket might be going 60 at contact, 40 at extension, and 5 in the middle of the wrap.

    Should players wrap? Sure, if they swing fast enough. If they are simply relaxed it will more or less happen. And again Tilden and Pancho Gonzales and everyone wrapped or wraps. If a player doesn't, sure encourage him, but the problem is that mechanically forcing the wrap, any wrap, tends to limit extension and probably affects the natural accelerartion and deceleration. In general it's more an effect than a cause.

    And then there is stance. There is nothing wrong obviously with open stance, or teaching it. In fact it's a must. Obviously it completely dominates in the pro game, and this is related to contact height and the extreme shoulder rotation. But what do we mean by open? Again if you look at the clips the vast majority are what I would call semi-open, with the left foot in front of the rear and offset around 30 to 45 degrees.

    Every player should be able to hit open--and neutral--and you still see plenty of neutral stance in pro tennis when the ball is low. The problem again for the average player is that using open stance exclusively doesn't always corelate with the average contact height they play.

    Again, just my opinion, teaching open stance exclusively from day one leads to problems--not because open stance is bad or wrong, but because it makes it more difficult for players to really feel that full turn and the proper sequence of torso rotation. Players are so eager to get the outside foot behind the ball they don't get the torso turned or the arm stretched. And this problem is especially pronounced if they are taught the extreme open stance with both feet parallel, which again is only a variation even in the pro game.

    Learning simple square stances makes the fundamentals easier at lower levels and in no way, in my view, impedes learning and hitting the open stance--in fact it will tend to make the open stance fundamentals better.

    Having said all that, I would never try to tell another teaching pro that they needed to agree with me or teach the way I teach. The best we can do is share opinion--coaching is an art form in my view--and there may be good art and bad art depending on your preference, but the freedom of the artist is vital.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2009
  17. majordude

    majordude Rookie

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    I'm the one who started this thread. YOU take your ******** and high horse to another thread.

    I posted a review of Oscar's DVD set. You've managed to hijack the last five pages of this thread and turn it into a personal vendetta against Oscar and his students.

    You aren't changing anyone's minds against Oscar... and are, in fact, turning people off you and USPTA... because believe me, if the rest of your organization is like you, you can keep your private club to yourselves. :evil:
     
  18. majordude

    majordude Rookie

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    I TAKE OFFENSE TO THAT! :)
     
  19. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Very well said. Pretty good example of the twisting that goes on when they try to bully you out of your own thread. Must be time for meds again.
     
  20. majordude

    majordude Rookie

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    Of course not. There are many different roads to the same place.
     
  21. VaBeachTennis

    VaBeachTennis Semi-Pro

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    RIGHT ON THE MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  22. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    Okay then. (although you did just try to lump in all USPTA with one person so either you were joking or you didnt really read that post, there is no USPTA method of teaching, there is no such comparison there with what MTM pretends to be)

    You basically gave a product review, that's what this thread is about.

    I thought it was a rather awesome review actually. You described it's value honestly both negative and positive, and you had a positive experience with it.

    If they employed you to sell their product (to people who actually want it) they could do far better then what they are doing themselves. (even though according to you it's only useful for becoming a "good" tennis player)

    But think about it, when you give a product review, do you necessarily need (or want) the people who already support or sell the product to come sweeping in to harp on about how great it was???

    Do you really need to them to further justify to you about how you SHOULD like it so much, to the point where they dont even really pay attention to what you're saying about it? (which is obvious because like I said you're not exactly selling it out to be the greatest thing since sliced bread)

    That's basically what happened (if you read the 500 word essay which Im sure you didnt because Im sure you dont have that sort of time.....)

    But someone did read it obviously so that started an argument. Maybe you are right and it's everyone's fault pretty much but the problem is we're getting roped into this on every single thread, and if a certain two people werent so hell bent on selling their dogma it wouldnt have to be....

    I especially loved your argument where you claimed that the book was the equivalent of just knowing enough to be able to roll a bowling ball down the lane.

    Forget about actually being a good bowler, if just rolling the ball and occasionally getting the accidental strike is what you want, then this book is for you!!!

    See if they would of actually caught that instead of just coming in to bask in ANYTHING that sounds positive to them, they would of said "well, no Im glad you enjoyed it, but it's actually very useful for getting better as well, just read page XXX thru XXX, and here's some secret mamajawama to help you out....

    It could be an awesome book for all I know, and it might have a lot of great ideas, but if I had to take your word for it, it sounds like it's not for anyone with an already simple basis of tennis knowledge.

    (but like I said if you marketed it right for people who you know are like yourself you could make some money. Im willing to bet someone like you doesnt necessarily respond to 500 word essays, do you?)
     
  23. majordude

    majordude Rookie

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    Thanks.

    This whole thread reminds me of denominational in-fighting within the Christian community. The Seventh-day Adventists think they are the one true church because they worship on Saturday. The Baptists think they are the ones who have it right because they fully immerse you when you get baptized. The Assemblies of God think that they have it right because they can speak in tongues. And then the Catholics say, no, they are the one true church because the first church was probably Catholic. :neutral:

    So, if there is all this controversy over God and He hasn't straightened it out yet, what am I to do about tennis and it's teachers? :)
     
  24. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    Exactly. The myth of orthodoxy, right?

    There is one right way--ok there even might be a right way in some cases--but enforcing it on the world never has and never will be possible--though the process of trying has certainly been ugly at times over the course of history...

    I've been around long enough to hear multiple visions of what USTA or USPTA should do. Frankly I think it's better that no one has the power to enforce any particularly vision, because the ruling bureaucracy will to a certain extent--and usually to a greater extent--always get it wrong and make it tough on new and different voices.
     
  25. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    join the atheist, no coach camp ? :)
     
  26. majordude

    majordude Rookie

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    Exactly! That's funny.

    By the way, did you ever here the one about the agnostic, insomniac, dyslexic? He would lay awake at night wondering if there really is a dog.
     
  27. volusiano

    volusiano Hall of Fame

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    I don't think Cindy is looking for an altruistic answer. It was pretty clear the question is about financial interests.

    So in short you don't make any money at all promoting MTM in any way?

    Do you have any relationship with the www.moderntenniscoaches.com website at all?
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2009
  28. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Nicely written opinion on the subject. Seems to be based on a lot of study of students taught from day one to use the extreme open stance, as there are several negative opinions related to that experience. Only problem for me is I don't expect that experience actually took place. Maybe it did. Maybe JY will share info on some of these control groups of "day one extreme open stance students". I'd love to see this kind of results recorded from a study like that. I truly hope that this has actually been done.

    And if the worst thing about the MIT group's hitting was that they didn't have super great turns, then they must be doing quite well, even though I'm pretty sure they were not day one open stance students. I don't know that we even have a standard for "super great turns" or how important that truly is for exceptional baseline play.

    So if you can accept the premise that learning open stance from the beginning leads to shoulder turn deficiency (I don't) and that the "super great turn" is essential to being an outstanding player (I don't), then this opinion should be very helpful for you.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2009
  29. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    haven't heard that one :)

    I haven't watched any of oscar dvds either but i have seen john yandell's instructional tape featuring john mcenroe and ivan lendl. that was great stuff. it even has classic rock music from the 80s.
     
  30. TenniseaWilliams

    TenniseaWilliams Professional

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    I assume Cindy was being facetious, teachestennis is quite obviously the author of the moderntenniscoaches.com website, (as well as tennisteacher.com), and is listed as the Director of Certification and Testing for MTM.

    Many sections of his posts in this thread are copied verbatim from his websites.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2009
  31. VaBeachTennis

    VaBeachTennis Semi-Pro

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    Wait, John Yandell produced that VHS that had John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl? The soundtrack has the Police song called "Walking on the Moon"? I had that VHS when i was 15 or 16. Wow.
     
  32. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    Yep, he sure did.
    I didn't pay attention to his name when i first watched the tape but about a year ago i re-watched the french open final between lendl and mcenroe and the guy on nbc mentioned about this tape that john yandell had produced with mcenroe and lendl. it was the same one that i had seen, with music from the police, pretenders, etc...
     
  33. teachestennis

    teachestennis Rookie

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    First this debate has been interesting. From here on out, I'll try to limit to 100 words or less. The truth is the debate is over. Yandell states it very well, but we will always have disagreements over what works best. All that matters is we get results on court and don't drive players from the game like we did in the past far too often. It's not how many millions pick up a racket, it's how many millions buy their second and third rackets.

    After this, I will start limiting my answers to strictly technique. I've made my point and I think BB now realizes what Oscar is all about. I love great teaching whereever it's at, such as reading FYB's great video analysis. I think Johnny Yandell has come a long way and is coming to many of the same conclusions though we might have some differences in what is stalking, which I tried to clear up on this forum. Stalking is an instinctive thing, it's simply a mechanism used to keep the ball withing striking distance before pouncing on it. It's another way of saying "anticipation" that appeals to the sensory feel mechanisms instead of the thinking mechanisms that make MTM such an attractive teaching method to students, with MTM, you rarely have to think on court, you just learn to react in present time with an optimal response reflexively, often using instincts and non thinking mechanisms.

    I did state in my history I admire Yandell for having the guts to openly debate Oscar, something very few coaches will do. Yandell's Visual Tennis is listed as one of the best tennis books (the second edition is better than the '90 version) on my must have list. Every MTM coach gets an article written by Yandell titled the Myth Of the Tennis Tip and I transcribed his video analysis of the backswing for all our coaches as well as his video of the straight arm hitting structure.

    I created www.moderntenniscoaches.com in July of '09 in order to gather those coaches who wish to be identified as proficient in MTM. We started charging $50 for a certification. For that, I issue a 60 question test, ten newsletters, grade each test individually, collect bios for each coach and post them online, each coach gets a free webpage, a free subscription to www.hi-techtennis.com. Using Adobe Photoshop, I issue certificates of proficiency after I speak with each coach, often having to grade videos of their teaching on court before I grant them certification. For example, when a Davis Cup coach joins, or a top 70 WTA player joins. But when a guy coaching his 7 year old daughter and 14 year old son gets certified to become a better coaching parent, I have to investigate. I asked for a video of him coaching his kids and find his son was ranked as high as #16 in the state of California and his daughter looks incredible, even better than my near prodigy 7 year old, then I realize he can coach (using Oscar's DVD for 5 years). Top coaches in SoCal want to take his kids to the next level. He decided to go with MTM and when asked about the USPTA, I told him go there before the PTR.

    We have nearly 150 coaches signed up by word of mouth, many of them accomplished and having coached top USTA juniors from scratch, such as #1 ranked 14s Kristi Ahn, or #2 12s Strong Kirchheimer, coached by a tennis parent who become a coach due to Oscar's materials. Most of you don't know 5263 had coached two kids from scratch to D1 college scholarships and his son might be the hardest server in college tennis currently. I hope to meet with him in a few weeks. His kids were good enough to go to Macci's and Bollettieri's so he has personal experience with those academies up close as well as having worked with Oscar Wegner personally. We are here to support the USPTA which Oscar is a proud member of, we just hope to help grow the game by providing simplified instruction that gets optimal results. I would send a couple of my kids to Yandell in a heartbeat. I did have the first 4 year old ever admitted to Macci's and let's just say it's interesting that Macci blew the father off until the father saw the video and I have worked closely on court for a year with a coach who was Macci's personal assistant so I knew more about Macci during the early 1990s than people realize.

    I'm on a mission to help grow tennis by simplifying tennis instruction to it's correct biomechanical techniques that I think will allow the greatest number of players to play tennis for a lifetime and build good character.

    At this point, I have not made any real money with moderntenniscoaches.com. Everything has been poured into benefits and I spend at least two hours on average taking care of each coach's needs, figuring out where to send him to grow (such as FYB, or Coaching Mastery book, or Tomas Menzcinger, or Johnny Yandell's site which as been terrific the last year IMHO..maybe not so humble, lol). Given I make good money on court in a tennis lesson, this site has cost me a lot of money given I make half of what I do on court and then I have to spend countless hours answering emails, many of them from this site as I give out the free ebook and people email me privately. I will have to sign up about 500 coaches before I can hope to see a profit and even then, it might be poured back into benefits and training as we expand. I spent $800 for Photoshop, a small fortune for other programs such at Office Enterprise and things needed to start up the website. I hired a web designer that has been compensated with nearly the cost of every membership alone given we give free web pages to every coach and my site is undergoing a huge overhaul as we are about to go public with our campaign. And I still have to pay for the subscriptions to hi-techtennis.com.

    Lucky I have a waiting list of students so I teach as much as I want when the weather is warm but I will soon be out of business locally given the club with 11 courts I used to teach at indoors was closed for business expansion and put a few coaches including me out of winter business. I can say honestly I have not seen anything close to a profit from moderntenniscoaches.com.

    I have sold four sets of DVDs off of it, and I get a percentage of the profits, as Oscar will do the same deal for anyone who wants to sell his DVDs on their website. You see no adds for the DVDs on my site. I do hope to sell a lot more eventually, but I have such limited time because I teach tennis so much and I disappear only from here when I'm teaching full time.

    Many of those of you who have emailed me (twenty four in the last few days) privately know I will help them in email with any questions they have about their game, just as BB does. I give out the ebook, and there is never a mention about DVDs, only that I will gladly answer any questions. If I wanted to push the DVDs and Oscar's new book, why would I send out a free ebook of the book that I think if the best teaching book ever written, even better than Oscar's recent book (and many coaches have told me they feel the same way).

    So from here on out, I will answer questions directly and stick to technique questions, which is the main focus of MTM. I am glad to offer support to other coaches (I really was impressed by BB's slice BH analysis though for most students, they would get lost, if you tried to explain it that way to them on court. I read it several times though because I'm a technical nerd, lol, looking for points I needed to remember or be refreshed about).

    I browse every thread posted on here looking for stuff to learn from. Why? Because in MTM, we believe the students are the best teachers. Great coaches in my opinion are curious to see what works with their students, they want to know how their students think, what "eyes" they see the world through, what learning modalities they exhibit, and then they adjust their teaching according. I have found myself recently quoting Johnny Yandell's teaching word for word, just like I quote Oscar or Chris Lewit, who I think has the best serve article ever written (it's on tennisplayer.net but I can send it to anyone who doesn't have a subscription). We send Chris Lewit's serve article to all our MTM coaches also.

    MTMCA (Modern Tennis Methodology Coaching Academy) is about providing the best synthesis of all great coaching threads found not just in the teachings of Oscar Wegner, but we send out info from Yandell, Lewit, and yes, in our MTM Roundtable, I use and quote threads from here from BB.

    So from here on out, lets see if I can keep it short and to the point and keep it focused on technique.

    I've got myself in a long term commitment. I need a secretary as it is but I have two kids to support as a single parent and I have to keep teaching on court as I make good money doing it. I would gladly give up the website to make more money, but in the long run, I prefer to keep pushing this tennis reformation along. Maybe my book will sell a lot, I know it will be controversial but I posted the history timeline to make sure I got the facts straight. No one has stepped in and said USA coaches were publicly teaching open stance 2HBHs before Oscar's books came out, though Spanish coaches were after Oscar's tour there, South American coaches were after Oscar taught them there in the 1980s when Florianopolis started producing great players from Oscar's academy, and of course European coaches who upon the fall of the Soviet Union, looked for an easy way to start teaching tennis, and now the USA is catching up, even hiring a Spanish coach to reform our system and sending our top juniors to Spain for coaching, which is odd if you really think the USA coaches are the best. Ever see how many foreign coaches are at the top academies?

    I hope I never have to post a long reply again. Let's call a truce, lol.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2009
  34. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    To respond to 5263. As I said it's my opinion based on my experiences and observations. On the site in one of my articles there are some video examples of players with the extreme open stance problem.

    Other people such as my old friend Kerry Mitchell who taught with me for 15 years and writes for the site believe in teaching semi open stance from the start. There are different approaches which produce great results, which is one of my points, and it's rare that I haven't learned something from every teacher I encounter and that includes Oscar.

    I believe you teach the same set up for both stances, alignment behind the ball, 90 degree plus shoulder turn and left arm stretch. I just think that some neutral stance facilitates this and especially the extension points. The danger going the other way is if the player doesn't get that loaded outside leg position and chases the ball with the front foot. That's a common problem I see with the neutral stance so the set up is critical.

    In the modern game now you see all the men (Andy Murray being closest to the exception) and many of the top women in that characteristic turn position with the left arm across. Davenport didn't have that and she had a great forehand. But some players with problem forehands like Sharapova and Venus don't.

    Henin actually changed hers based on high speed footage of Agassi. I've seen players at all levels make amazing gains when they really get it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2009
  35. VaBeachTennis

    VaBeachTennis Semi-Pro

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    Wow................memories. I can't find that original tape for the life of me. It came out when I was REALLY into tennis. That tape was one of my "Bibles".
     
  36. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    And yeah the Winning Edge...that's where this whole visual learning thing got started. There are two of the music segments still on Tennisplayer...

    teachestennis, thanks for the good words, and it sounds as if you are really getting some traction. I think the second edition of VT is a little better too--corrected some of my positions based on video analysis of the aforementioned clips.

    what the book doesn't show (eventually I hope to do a third edition say in the next 20 years...) is the addtion of the modern elements to the basic building blocks, but I do still believe that for an absolute beginner those stroke positions will give a foundation for unlimited future development.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2009
  37. VaBeachTennis

    VaBeachTennis Semi-Pro

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    Yep it came out when I was 18 and my Dad sent it to me when I was in the Army. Good stuff, it helped my game out a lot. I see I can by it from Amazon and I still have a VHS. Your site looks great!
     
  38. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    Thanks VA.
     
  39. VaBeachTennis

    VaBeachTennis Semi-Pro

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    Not to be corny, but THANK YOU!!!!! I've read your name hundreds of times but I never "put two in two together". Great work Mr. Yandell.
     
  40. tennis angel

    tennis angel Guest

    Well, if your point is about marketing then, you are right, I missed it. I thought the point is about plaing better tennis and enjoying oneself more. I never said nor assumed anything about anyone's game, including yourse. I simply said that I hve not encountered one person who did not realize a rapid and significant improvement using MTM. perhap[s your game is just fine as it is. If it's not broken don't fix it, but as Dr. Phil likes to say "How's it workin' for ya?" Players who take the time and effort to try Oscar's method would answer "Great!" If you ever change your mind about trying his techniques, you know where to find them!

    There is no infomercial on Oscar's website so I don't know to what you are referring. I will say that the continuous spotlight shined on Oscar here is a marketing executive's dream come true.
     
  41. tennis angel

    tennis angel Guest

    References to his supposed influence on the Williams sisters from Oscar are based on remarks made to Oscar by Richard Williams himself. That is source. Teachestennis' remarks reference events and opinions gathered from various sources, which he credits in his writings elsewhere, but they do not necessarily represent the opinions of Oscar Wegner.

    It's a pity that these forums are so adulterated by false data, wild opinions without basis in fact and emotional outbursts. Perhaps that is fun for some, but for me I prefer not to engage in all of that, but just to set the record straight wherever possible for the benefit of those readers who are actually objective enough to use the site for it's intended purpose and learn about tennis.
     
  42. teachestennis

    teachestennis Rookie

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    Oscar is a lot more open minded than people realize. He lets his results speak on court. Someone has to think outside the box and it's time new blood and new viewpoints start being heard in public coaching forums. Too many of the same guys at the USPTA/PTR conferences.

    My mission is at the grassroots where we must keep players in the game. Talent is made, I believe, more than it's born, and I hope you read The Talent Code which I wrote about in my Spartak article in the MTM library open to the public to read anytime without even being a member of. I really think the importance of myelin in teaching tennis strokes should be looked at closely because it appears to have merit and explains why Spartaks teaching of the WW from age 4 proves why MTM may be very effective. Shoulder turns and other things such as split steps and graceful footwork can be taught much easier down the line (per MTM) if you have the correct forearm biomechanic stroke burned into your muscle memory from the first strokes in my experience. I taught 25 years "traditionally" and did have some success before MTM though not a lot.

    I don't want to start a debating forum on my forum, it's just for posting articles and insights to think outside the box, this form and yours are enough, lol, but I do want to make people think outside the box about biomechanic technique and the importance of muscle memory from first strokes. To judge players as not worthy of supporting at a young age because they might not exhibit "good genes" as Macci says, is ridiculous. Todd Martin did not even make it to Kalamazoo until he was nearly 18. Yet his coach believed in him, and he developed with great coaching and support, not even playing full time tennis, only playing five hours a week with one lesson a week. Champions come from the oddest places, such as Compton, Spartak, or a kid from Mallorca who even the Spanish Tennis Federation does not claim as a product. Did Henin come from great genes or was it her technique and personal will that made her a champion? Macci in the Nov issue of Tennis still keeps mentioning "good genes" in reference to the tennis sisters in the article. I cringe, not that it might not make a difference, but how many players are cast aside unfairly because we judge them too early. We must keep players wanting to play tennis recreationally and not lose them because we don't think them worthy of our efforts and just pick off the best "cherries" before the tree has had time to bear it's full quota of fruit. MTM keeps it simple and natural until they choose to take the next step and make the kinetic chain a very natural sequence but most of all, great coaching ignites a spark in each player to want to do their best, and MTM has a magic all it's own when it comes to making very uncoordinated people look very smooth looking on the court.

    Thanks again for your great contributions and I hope we meet someday on court or in a open discussion to consider how best to grow the game. Your last year has been particularly insightful and I don't say that lightly. I was discussing such a panel that would test and analyze on court data with Dave Smith, who I really like, and your name was one of the first ones I would want on such a panel. They blew it in the 2001 panel with the big names and nothing really came of it. I have always wondered why the big media such as tennisone, Tennis Magazine, Peter Bodo, and you never ask Oscar to prove his theories on court like Bud Collins did. Until Andy Davis and I flew him in for a test with top juniors and beginners, we still didn't buy his basic tenets until we had tested the data and we were astonished when he blew away every objection we had, and we had a quarter century of ADD and Tennis Magazines in our office we were tearing through trying to find faults in his system. Andy had worked for some of the best coaches in Australia during the early 1980s including Hopman, who sponsored him turning pro, and later for Macci. He's now at Newcombe's. Oscar proved it to us on court. But as I claim, the proof of a tennis methodology is its' results are repeated by others using the same method. The video posted of the 57 year old lady earlier in this thread, who was my student, says it all.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2009
  43. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I appreciate your thoughtful response. It does seem you have had some reasonable opportunity to observe open stance beginners thru at least one instructor. While I'm sure he is excellent in many ways, it would seem more likely that the observations are more a look at him than open stance in general though. But that is not to say you didn't see enough to form your studied opinion. The MIT guys had not been using MTM that long in the vid based on my info and it never showed them hitting hard, which is where MTM would call for more shoulder turn.

    I still don't get your comments about the 90 degr outstretched arm, as that is part of what I learned about MTM from the start. It seems to have little or nothing to do with stance from what I can see. Is that a change from when you and Oscar debated this area? Is that something from Kerry's students or teaching?

    Thanks again for your comments on the site here. I can respect a coaches decision to teach more conventional neutral stance for beginners, but still not agree. I do get confused when they insist teaching it that way is not conventional though and why being conventional would be insulting. I would expect the burden of proof to be on the system that has modernized (or just has a system at all) to demonstrate the improvement desired. If someone had called me conventional 2 yrs ago, I would had said, thank you sir. I would not be ashamed of my ways, just as I'm not ashamed of the adjustments I've added from learning the MTM system. I'm not saying you are ashamed, but many who cite you and share your views seem to be uncomfortable with convention.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2009
  44. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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  45. bhupaes

    bhupaes Professional

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    Hello John, that's a dangerous statement to make on these boards - it could get you disqualified! :)

    I would like to counter you on a few points, however. I will just quote the relevant lines.

    My understanding is that the unit turn is part of finding the ball. The second part of the backswing, that occurs after the hands separate, commences at the bounce. This provides an opportunity to track the ball after the bounce more accurately, and to compensate for unexpected bounce heights and breaks to the left or right. I think we should keep in mind that this instruction applies to the "average" ball - neither a slow sitter, nor a 100 MPH screamer. Let's discount really slow balls, since there are many ways to deal with them. If the ball is really fast, then the second part of the backswing will be really short, as it should be. Thus this principle can even apply to half volleys, IMO.


    I believe the body will adjust amount of turn based on how hard one intends to hit the ball. If one can hit really hard without a big turn, that would be for the better, wouldn't it?

    My opinion is that MTM teaches one way to hit correctly - there certainly are other ways also. MTM focuses on the low to high, WW aspects. Of course, there is a forward moving component to the stroke also - but MTM emphasizes the low to high aspect. When one tries to apply more power, resulting in more turn and deeper backswing naturally, I believe there will be more of a forward moving component created naturally. It's a matter of opinion, I suppose, what kind of muscle memory should be created in the student to "remember" the stroke - should it be primarily upwards or forwards? I think MTM leans towards the upward side, and I think that could be the right kind of muscle memory.

    John, I think this is something right out of your visualization technique - only Oscar said it in words before high speed camera techniques were available. I think this type of visualization helps the body create the right kinetics. Otherwise, the body will sometimes unconsciously anticipate the contact and cause deceleration to begin too prematurely.

    I believe Oscar advocates the open stance as the primary one, especially for beginners, but he does say that sometimes other stances are required and happen naturally (I just watched his footwork video). I don't think he prohibits any particular stance. I think this is okay, since the open stance is more prevalent than any other kind of stance. But there are other ways to learn also, and I am not disagreeing with you in any way.

    Thank you, John, for letting a tennis nobody like me (but a great enthusiast hoping to get to 5.0! :) ) debate with somebody like yourself.
     
  46. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    You say:

    My understanding is that the unit turn is part of finding the ball. The second part of the backswing, that occurs after the hands separate, commences at the bounce.

    Nope: the left arm stretch occurs at the bounce at the latest. If you study clips you'll agree.

    You say:

    I believe the body will adjust amount of turn based on how hard one intends to hit the ball.

    Nope: That sounds logical but that's not what top players do. They all turn hard on every ball.

    Muscle memory, it has been shown does not really exist--it's more images in the brain.

    Obviously you are free to think as you choose. think I have been clear as to my own beliefs.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2009
  47. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    Explains why I've been able to perfectly hit shots without even practicing them before just by watching Federer. :shock:

    That and a bit of luck of course. :) (okay... maybe the luck of all the Irish people combined...)
     
  48. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    Yeah my coach teaches more the Yandell style - unit turn and the arm stretched across the body. For a rec player it really works well...I can say that.

    Don't believe the hype - the US has some good coaches. it's just tennis isn't so easy to master.
     
  49. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    not sure what you are saying here, as you say nope, then agree that the left arm stretch (essentially same as when the hands separate) occurs at the bounce.
     
  50. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    So you do not buy the idea from the "Talent Code" related to Myelin thickening along nerve fibers to facilitate what many refer to as muscle memory?

    The main purpose of a myelin layer (or sheath) is an increase in the speed at which impulses propagate along the myelinated fiber. Along unmyelinated fibers, impulses move continuously as waves, but, in myelinated fibers, they hop or "propagate by saltation." Myelin increases electrical resistance across the cell membrane by a factor of 5,000 and decreases capacitance by a factor of 50.[citation needed] Thus, myelination helps prevent the electrical current from leaving the axon.
     
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