My Obligatory Oscar Wegner Review...

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

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  1. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    Ahh so he is a scientologist - that explains alot. As for all these people wanting to see his "teaching" his book is available with mini movies and such..

    Honestly like i said before I have his videos and its about the info you get in 10 minutes of a regular video in his whole series. It's really slow.
     
  2. teachestennis

    teachestennis Rookie

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    Your observations here are astute, at least about players idiosyncrasies, and maybe I have been offputting in a way I did not intend to be, but originally I felt compelled to defend Oscar against claims that are demontrably wrong, such as top teachers teaching the "modern tennis swing" for the last hundred years. Top players played this way for a hundred years, but as of 1995, Tennis Magazine's regular feature instructorTony Trabert was attacking hitting off the back right foot and stepping out with the right foot and hitting across the ball, I have the article right here. FYB's new FH series (I watched it carefully and think it well done) would have likely been attacked by Tennis Magazine back then. Thank goodness tennis is evolving, as you stated.

    I have sought as I mentioned in my previous posts to make it clear that there are two kinds of help, that which simplifies and that which complicates. Oscar's MTM just distills a tennis swing into it's simplest mechanic, from the ball to the shoulder, and then emphasizes martial arts principles of hitting across the ball as much as possible using deflection as the emphasis to increase feel of the senses between the hand and the eye. MTM is a minimalist teaching method, allowing each player, because of their physiological differences, to find their best way through following a few minimalist techniques to power the ball with consistency and control. So I don't teach a "C" in the backswing, though I may demonstrate one if I see the player not finding the ball well and hitting from low to high very well. I leave it to each player to create their own backswing but have them try out the different ones each pro might use as many pros do not hit with a C, some like the nike swoosh movement, that is not for me to determine, respecting each player's ability to create and do what feels right to them. I might suggest to them picture a 5 to 11 (clock) swing (from ball to shoulder) knowing they might actually likely hit best with a 4 to 9 or 10 swing (like Federer) but guiding them trusting their ability to feel what works best for them.

    But above all, I keep it simple, ensure they generate their main force by hitting up and across the ball, and as FYB points out, their is a continuous motion where the racket never stops until after the body wrap. Thus, instead of putting attention on drawing a C with their racket, we put all their attention on the hand and the racket angle, and let them experiment what works best for them. Power of Simplicity and playing by feel are Oscar's real secrets. If a child can't understand an instructino, I usually feel an adult can't either. Just a guideline. I came her to help simplify stoke production which is Oscar's real cause, thus growing the game by reaching more players rather than just the better athletes or the most disciplined.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2009
  3. TenniseaWilliams

    TenniseaWilliams Professional

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    So now we have come full circle.

    You are not "compelled to defend Oscar against claims that are demontrably wrong", you are defending MTM claims that the current state of instruction in the U.S. is characterized by a 1995 Tennis Magazine article.

    MTM is the aggressor, attacking all current non-MTM instruction as not being "modern" or representative of the modern pro game. Implying that modern conventional instruction is ruining players, and you are here to save them, ignoring any evidence to the contrary.
     
  4. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    over and over, right?
    do you have the post ready to cut and paste, to keep using to put someone down?
     
  5. Wegner

    Wegner Rookie

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    Modern or conventional?

    I have heard many discussions about what is modern tennis and what is conventional. An excerpt of an article I wrote some time ago may clarify, for some, the issue:

    Should the USTA’s QuickStart program follow USPTA or PTR?

    1973 - Spanish Tennis Federation (Oscar Wegner, Jr. Davis Cup Captain):
    Forehand Grip: Semi-Western and Western, One-Handed Backhand sideways, Forehand and 2-Handed Backhand Open Stance, finish these two with butt of racquet aimed to opponent’s court. Results, outstanding.

    1982 - Brazil, Florianopolis Program (Oscar Wegner, Coaching Consultant 1982-1989):
    Semi-Western and Western, One-Handed Backhand sideways, Forehand and 2-Handed Backhand Open Stance, finish these two with butt of racquet aimed to opponent’s court. Results, outstanding, including Guga Kuerten.

    1989 - Book “Tennis in 2 Hours”, author Oscar Wegner (given to the Russian Tennis Federation December 1989):
    Forehand Grip: Semi-Western and Western, One-Handed Backhand sideways, Forehand and 2-Handed Backhand Open Stance, finish these two with butt of racquet aimed to opponent’s court.

    1990s to 2009 - I censored this so there is no marketing in this site.

    2004: Excerpts from the USPTA Player Development Program, “The Modern Game”:
    Forehand Grip: Semi-Western and Western. Grip: The primary forehand grip is now the semi-western, with alternatives ranging as far as the western grip. Forehand: The shot is hit in a loaded, open stance. 2-H Backhand: The loaded, open-stance, two-handed backhand is becoming more widely accepted. Swing styles: “…butt (of the racquet) aimed at opponent’s court at end of follow-through”.

    The Standard Method by Dennis van der Meer (PTR):
    Forehand Grip: Eastern. Forehand and 2-H Backhand Stance, both Closed Stance, Finish with tip of the racquet aimed at opponent’s court at end of follow through.

    2009 USTA QuickStart manual:
    Forehand Grip: Eastern. Forehand and 2-H Backhand, both Closed Stance, Finish with tip of the racquet aimed at opponent’s court at end of follow through.

    Comment: Bear in mind that the first experience influences you the rest of your life. QuickStart still looks too much like baseball.
     
  6. volusiano

    volusiano Hall of Fame

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    I think it's very presumptuous to say that the game has not grown popular because complicated stroke production instructions have stifled the game and turned off the average Joe from enjoying tennis. There can be so many other better legitimate reasons why tennis is not popular in the US in the first place. But to squarely blame it on bad instruction is SO SELF SERVING especially coming from someone in the coaching community no less. Talk about stabbing your own kind in the back.

    Your average Joe already drawn enough into the sport to the point where he's serious enough to decide to invest in lessons will not just leave the sport due to "bad" instructions. If they don't like it, they'll just find other instructions. Even if they settle on MTM, MTM does not get to claim credit for "reaching" to this average Joe, because this average Joe is already in it for his own reason(s) (before MTM) and will not likely leave the sport at this stage anyway, good or bad instruction.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2009
  7. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Who stabbed them? Conventional training, or Oscar for offering what he feels is an improved method?
     
  8. volusiano

    volusiano Hall of Fame

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    TT is stabbing conventional coaches in the back for blaming their complicated stroke production instruction to cause tennis to become an unpopular sport.

    The debate is not even about which method is better. My contention is bad coaching (if any) does not cause tennis to become unpopular. People who seek out coaching already have enough love for the sport that they won't stop playing even if they have bad coaching. Give me any example of anyone who ever said they decided to quit tennis after they got bad coaching.

    I also don't believe that coaching to make tennis look simpler is going to reach out and generate new players. People get drawn to the sport first due to various reasons (no thanks to MTM). Maybe they discover on their own that "tennis is simple" (no thanks to MTM because they haven't received any coaching yet). Maybe they learn to "play by feel" and "find the ball" on their own, because "tennis is simple". Then they enjoy the sport enough to decide to get coaching. By the time they decide to spend the big bucks on coaching, they're already hooked on their own. MTM may make their lesson experience enjoyable, but in no way can MTM get the credit for reaching out to get them into the sport. Only "tennis is simple" gets the credit. But "tennis is simple" does not belong to MTM. At best, MTM stumbles on it, just like thousands of tennis players who never had any coaching but stumble on it and enjoy playing tennis so far because they discover on their own that "tennis is simple".
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2009
  9. mike53

    mike53 Professional

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    Presumptuous maybe, naive probably, self-aggrandizing definitely. Whatever the problems affecting the popularity of tennis in the US, instruction is way down the list.
     
  10. mike53

    mike53 Professional

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    To the extent that MTM provides access to a form that allows people to more closely imitate the stars they see on TV, that is a big positive. But it is still way down the list of the problems facing tennis popularity in the US.
     
  11. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I would have to agree. I have seen numerous studies on the popularity of tennis in the US and this has not been at the top of any list. The only way it showed up was a recognition that very young juniors should play on smaller courts with special balls, etc - hence the Quick Start program. But even that is not yet fully proven. What I have seen is that those who want to play continue to do so, but saturate at some point, but still continue playing at the same level. Those who don't, find the game boring, don't want to run, lack the social circle to find partners, cannot make time, etc. They have enormous choice of teaching pros but don't utilize them fully. All the pros teach the basics, and many teach both juniors and adults. The juniors start looking like pros pretty soon due to sound mechanics, but the adults falter. So the problem is not in the techniques that the pro is teaching, but the receptivity of the student. That is not to say that all pros are the same. Ambitious juniors seek out specific pros to train with.
     
  12. maverick66

    maverick66 Hall of Fame

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    I agree. From what i have read on him or seen on his preview vids its nothing new. I have met coaches teaching in a much better manner but were not trying to scam people out of money. The fact that he and wegnerites have all the sudden flooded the tips/instruction section says something about there tactics. They attack anyone who doesnt teach there method or say how great he is and its getting old.
     
  13. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    You are very entitled to your opinion that poor instruction has not hurt the popularity of tennis, as Oscar is entitled to his differing opinion. I don't know that either side would be provable per se, but given his amazing history and successes in the sport over the last 40 or so years, I give his perspective the benefit of any doubt. Can't see why that is so upsetting for some.

    I also can't count the number of people who have shared (mostly women) how they wish they could play tennis, but it was too hard or they were too uncoordinated. Once on the court, they were not uncoordinated at all, but they had felt that way on prior lessons. I don't know how they were taught before, but they tell you pieces of what make it hard before. Some have been too intimated by the first approach that they won't even give it another try, and some fortunately have come out and been surprised how easy the sport can be, becoming fun rec players already.
     
  14. ZhengJieisagoddess

    ZhengJieisagoddess Semi-Pro

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    How do Oscar's personal beliefs ëxplain a lot"? Convince me: and remember, you're talking to an atheist here.

    I have Oscar's book. A mini movie? What in the hell are you talking about? Do you even have the book? Have you looked at it. let alone read it?

    10 minutes of a regular video in his series? Really slow? Have you seen what else is out there???

    Frankly, this ignorant post is ad hominem, irrelevant, grossly mistaken, and that's even before I start suspecting malicious intent...
     
  15. ZhengJieisagoddess

    ZhengJieisagoddess Semi-Pro

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    Exactly.
    Notice how the attacks on Oscar's methods have finally petered down to the claim that he is wrong in maintaining that poor instruction is the reason for tennis' decline in the US. Oh...and his personal beliefs: let's not forget that bright-eyed argument from some numbskull who wants to toss in everything but the kitchen sink....
     
  16. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    This is just a perfect example of the posts that create defensiveness.
    Much better manner?-- says who, what coach??
    scam people?-- why is attacking now?? why say this?
    flooded tips??-- MTM tips are outnumbered 5 or 10 to 1 on here, who is flooding?
    there tactics?--means "their" tactics I guess, but my tactics are mostly just to point out how weak the attacks are, like this very post.
    attack anyone?? I'm not attacking you, but pointing out the ridiculousness of this kind of post.
    ..... etc....as there are 3-5 more wild, biased comment in this post

    If I have time, I'll re-write this message as if it would come from an MTM perspective and you would go nuts.
     
  17. ZhengJieisagoddess

    ZhengJieisagoddess Semi-Pro

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    Also, it doesn't help his credibility that he cannot spell. So it's probably some kid on his recess break hitting on the school computer.
     
  18. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I took Mav's post and changed it so it would read from a MTM perspective, but it was so aggressive and rude, that I could not even print it here due to how offensive it was, as well as, I am aware that several of these attacking posters would not be able to follow the logic of what I was doing.
     
  19. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    What kool aid is that? You are the one who doesn't know all the respected coaches/players that are very supportive of him.
    Do you want TT to give you a partial list that will make your head spin?
    But then you will complain about the name dropping, right? Can't win when your mind is made up.
     
  20. mike53

    mike53 Professional

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    Getting on to (one of the) real problem(s) here, how do these new rec players find someone on their level to practice with? Not an easy task.
     
  21. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Very true, but the more of them we create, the more this can happen more easily.
    I just put 2 of my new 21 yr olds together to hit.
     
  22. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    I have never heard of it, do you have a link?

    From my perspective, instruction is instruction. And excellent instruction can be ruined by a coach that can't explain themselves out of a paper bag or just does not have the talent to coach.

    Then there are those instructors that could teach a student to play tennis with their eyes closed and both hands tied behind their backs. It really depends on how much a coach has the gifts and talents to teach, as well as the desire to improve their skills in learning theory, instructional design, stroke mechanics, biomechanics and all the other areas a coach should know to add knowledge for him to use and move up in Bloom's Learning Taxonomy.

    In other words, you are what makes instruction effective or not effective. If you like the Game Based Approach to teaching, then be the best at it and do not disrespect those that have gone before you to help build this game. They have indeed contributed to tennis and tennis has a lot of information from them they still use today.

    Just like the saying goes "be the ball", "be the coach" and no matter what instruction you use, you will make it sing and the student perform.
     
  23. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Last edited: Nov 10, 2009
  24. mike53

    mike53 Professional

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    An admirable objective, like a return to the 70's or the re-creation of Central Park all over the country. But realistically, geography and safety concerns make hooking up difficult. Even the pay-for clubs within 60 miles of me don't have regular league play for beginners.
     
  25. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Don't most players make it to 3.0-3.5 pretty quickly? Everyone I have worked with has. We have plenty of support for that in my area. Maybe it is much different in other areas.
     
  26. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, amazing how players interested in MTM have just flooded threads with MTM in the title. lol
    Even more amazing how folks who don't care for it flood in there too.
     
  27. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    This is absolute nonsense. Nearly every coach I know wants to simplify instruction. There is not a soul that I have ever met that wakes up in the morning, and says, "you know, I need to sell more DVD's on tennis instruction, I am wondering how I can make it more complicated."

    Nine times out of ten, it is the coach or the receiver (student) that makes tennis complicated. Sometimes both make it more complicated. If you have ever studied communication, you would know this. What happens in translation may not be processed correctly. And please, since we are dealing with humans, you are no different when explaining your instruction.

    Sometimes it might be the serve that is hard to explain for a coach. Or it could be that the serve is hard to understand from the player even if the instruction was sound and simplifed.

    Anyone can go out there and just feed a ball and say "now feeeeeel the ball." Geeez, of course that is simple. It is also a simpleton that believe it will work and turn the player into the next Federer. Unless of course, you aren't using the same odds as winning the lotto.

    More selling and promoting? Do you ever stop? I am wondering what will it take for TW to pull your posts and ban you from this site? MTM is not the only one that teaches simplicity in their lessons. Further, you are basing your stuff on your Scientology beliefs which have been largely disproven. Or is it now proven? Because if it is not proven then it is your opinion that something works and my opinion that other things work the same with results to show concerning various players that have worked their way up to advanced and professional levels.

    No kidding, well a lot of people know that good footwork needs to be a staple in someones tennis game. However, as simple as you make it out to be, you do realize it takes extraordinary talent and skills to be a professional tennis player right? Well, maybe extraordinary is an exaggeration, let's just say "good".

    However, what you dont talk about is the hard work that is done on the courts to keep their game up, the tough drills, workouts, eating, and everything else that goes into their game. You fail to tell people that getting better at tennis is hard work and there are no shortcuts.

    More promoting.

    Yandell is learning? Man, help me then. I need help. I admit, I have been a wretched old man trying to stop you, but Yandell is now realizing what YOU have said? So, you are teaching Yandell? Should we call you Master?

     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2009
  28. mike53

    mike53 Professional

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    Geography. Exactly. That's one of the primary disconnects here. If you're in the right place then good things can happen, but it's not right in enough places in the US to get any kind of national movement going. Heck, we offer lessons for almost free and instruction technique is really not an obstacle to getting beginners to a level where they can play. But once they can hit, then what? A big fat nothing. This comment is concerning adults in response to your posts. Kids present a whole different set of challenges.
     
  29. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    I can understand that.

    If MTM teaches what the pros do, they fall short in this category. Which leads to say, "is MTM really about just tennis instruction??" Or is it more. I mean it doesn't take a rocket scientist to discover what John discovered. Get a cup of coffee, piut up some clips and watch it for yourself!!!

    If you followed all of MTM you would remain a beginner for a long time in those areas. Like any other instruction, and what I have been consistently repeating!!! MTM is not the Holy Grail, it has strengths and weaknesses like any other instruction.

    I do too. Good stuff.

    YES! They dont! and therefore, this does not resemble what the pros are doing and MTM can not claim they are teaching what the pros are doing. It is false marketing.

    Yup.

    Like I have told you guys over and over, always, no matter what type of stroke you use, always extend through the shot.

    Also, dont ever worry about a finish. If you swing a certain way the most important part of the stroke is how you make contact with the ball.

    Always extend, always extend, always extend, and crush the ball.

    Good post John. I felt it was very balanced and illustrated exactly what we try to teach and explain here.
     
  30. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, you got it. There is no question that the intent of people in Oscars camp want to sell Oscar products. Of course, they dont come out and say it. So they promote it through their posts on various topics.

    The key word is Promotion OR Advertising. Since TW is in the business of selling tennis products, and so is Oscar and Teachestennis, they both have violated this policy.

    Actually, come to think of it, this thread itself was huge for Oscar and he knows it. No matter if it was negative or positive, it still got his name out and they still were able to introduce Oscars' teaching methods and videos on this site.

    Oscar actually won, but I wish TW would ban the three people that have consistently promoted Oscar's products for good.

    You know the old saying, if one likes it they will tell 11 people. :) Oscar isnt a dumb person. He knows exactly what he is doing. Engineers will know that there is always going to be resistance in a certain flow. The key is controlling the resistance.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2009
  31. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Oscar it can be constructive, however, are you willing to admit some of the things you hold on to are not happening at the pro level? Have you read John's post?

    So I guess, it is okay for your people to come in here and plaster posts on MTM and we are just suppose to sitback and accept it with no challenge? No looking under the hood? No information about your background and how what possibly influenced your instruction????

    I think if it were true that you do not have a Scientology bent towards this and you were here to teach people tennis rather then introducing your product in hopes people will buy it, you would be open and honest about it. Like Scientology beleives, let people discover the truth and discover for themselves if they want it.

    However, when there is little instruction coming from you and more promotion, and this being a tennis instruction site, I question your motives.

    You are now running Oscar? What at the slightest challenge? Why dont you teach here instead of promoting your product.

    Why dont you admit you are wrong and violated policy yourself. Your intention is not to help people ON THIS SITE. Your intention is to help people through buying your product and nothing else.

    Isn't that true Oscar.

    Personally Oscar, I respect you for what you have done. However, I dont respect you for how you are going about getting your name out and product known. You get an "F" for that.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2009
  32. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Wow, what a post!!! I love it!! And it is so true!! Perfect response.

    If everyone reads John Yandell's post and this one, you have read all you need to know about how tennis is taught and played.

    The fact is pros hit the ball with varying strokes and finishes. Rodger himself finishes multiple ways depending on what he is doing with the ball. They also hit the ball with various stances and grips.

    MTM teaches "their" way to play tennis and will point to, take credit away, and isolate a few pictures of pros using their way to play tennis. However, what people dont know is the other ways pros hit the ball and that includes the very same player used to promote MTM!. They won't show you that.

    Pros prepare well before the bounce and there is hundreds or thousands of video evidence for that. The pros DO NOT stalk the ball, it is hogwash. However, you can stalk the ball like Oscar says if the ball is going slow.

    So the trouble with Oscars teaching is it really helps jump start a beginner, but so does other instruction.

    Have you ever seen that commercial promoting professional baseball caps? "Wear what the pros wear?" Have you seen that guy go out to the mound, gives advice to the pitcher, and the pitcher asks, "who are you?" Well that cap may make you feel like you are a pro but you are still not a pro.

    The same is for Oscars instruction. It may make you feel like you are doing what the pros are doing, however, you are far from it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2009
  33. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    In this thread, it's you who is coming across as a 'know-it-all'. We all know your 'position' on Wegner.

    If you've read a single thread on TT you'd realize that people in the forum love learning new information. So, your assessment is way off base.

    Many of us are simply sick of Wegner disciples coming in here shamelessly pushing his system, uninvited.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2009
  34. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Okay, enough of this. MTM'ers are gone. They have been put on trial and found guilty of promoting a product.

    Their leader has left because he indeed mixes in Scientology in his teaching system.

    Now, let's get er done.

    The Oscarites and MTM'ers who are left, put your money where your mouth is.

    Start teaching here if MTM is so good. DO IT FOR FREE and let's see it, make me a believer.

    Offer your services here for free. Stop pointing to a video that Oscar did and do it yourself.

    Do not promote the DVD's. Just put up the instruction and let it stand. My instruction and tips have stood up for years here because I dont use any one persons teaching. I teach what works and can explain what works. Can you? Can you explain what you know?

    I provide advice from a variety of resources that I determine fits the bill. So, what do you got? Is MTM all I need? I think not and have shown you why I think not.

    Afterall, if simplicity is the name of the game for MTM, then I would think anyone (5263, tlm, Teachestennis, Goddess) can help people with it here.

    Stop marketing and start teaching. There are a couple of threads that players have asked for advice. I can also bump up my post on providing advice on strokes.

    I haven't hardly seen jack from any of you. Nothing. Put up or shut up.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2009
  35. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    more false info for you.

    "So the trouble with Oscars teaching is it really helps jump start a beginner"
    -so when is this a problem?
     
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