My Pro Used The Contraption On Me

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Cindysphinx, Apr 22, 2011.

  1. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I had a lesson this morning. When I arrived, my pro left the court and went out to his car. When he returned, he was carrying The Contraption.

    It was a yellow, metal thing sitting on a fixed triangular base. It reached upward, and it had a tennis ball mounted and suspended about three feet over the ground. The tennis ball was on a rubberized appendage so that if you hit the tennis ball the arm would bend forward and then return to its upright position. The tennis ball rotated freely.

    Anyway, pro explained that the contraption was going to help me improve my topspin. He demonstrated his FH, putting the tennis ball in his contact point and hitting/brushing up on it. The idea was to get a lot of brushing and little forward movement. If you drove through the ball, it would whip violently forward on its rubberized appendage, and that is bad. He was trying to get more of a windshield wiper motion out of me.

    He had me hit multiple reps, with him watching closely and making little adjustments until everything was perfect. Then I hit real balls.

    Dang.

    I have been struggling with controlling topspin and producing a ton of it when I need it most -- short angles. I just couldn't get the hang of whatever needs to be done to get sick topspin and really shape the ball trajectory at will, especially when close to the net.

    After a few minutes with The Contraption, I was doing it. From the baseline off of live balls, I could rip short angles that I didn't think possible.

    We then repeated the whole drill on the BH side. This was a little less successful, but there was measurable improvement.

    Has anyone ever used The Contraption as a student or as a teacher? 'Cause I don't know what he paid for it, but that thing is worth the money!
     
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  2. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    maybe you could tell us its real name and link??? that would be much more informative:)
     
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  3. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    Best. Thread. Title. Ever.
     
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  4. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I googled, but I couldn't find it. I'm not sure the best place to look.
     
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  5. Xizel

    Xizel Professional

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    I immediately thought of "contraception" :p.
     
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  6. ondray

    ondray Guest

    LOL!

    Title sounds so morally wrong on first glance.
     
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  7. Sintherius

    Sintherius Rookie

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    It's called the iCoach. Or eye coach. One of those two. :p
     
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  8. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    ok, here's a start on explaining what it looked like:

    [​IMG]

    Now, this thing here isn't nearly as good. The base has to be filled with sand or water -- the last things you want on a tennis court. The Contraption, in contrast, is stable because of its wide base.

    This thing has a foam ball attached. The Contraption had a regular tennis ball with a steel dowel running through it, so it spun freely and had the feel of a regular tennis ball. I assume the tennis ball can be swapped out when it gets old.

    I'll keep looking, but I doubt I can find a picture of it. He said he bought it in Florida.
     
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  9. maverick66

    maverick66 Hall of Fame

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    Man you guys are dirty around here. Just because a womans pro uses contraptions on her doesnt mean its in a dirty manner. This is TW not a sex room. :)


    And this amazing thing helped you hit topspin but you wont tell people the name of it? Thats like saying you discovered how to cure cancer but your not telling anyone.
     
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  10. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    What I should do is copy the design and sell it myself. :)

    It even had little rubber covers on the parts that would touch the ground, so as not to leave scratches. How thoughtful!

    OK, I will text my pro and ask him what it is called. He is going to think I am crazy.
     
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  11. Sintherius

    Sintherius Rookie

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    I already told you what it was called.

    IT IS CALLED THE EYE COACH. JEEZ.
     
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  12. ondray

    ondray Guest

    Apologies. I honestly meant it sounded like a iron maiden-ish device to punish players.
     
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  13. maverick66

    maverick66 Hall of Fame

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    Im just giving you a hard time. I agree the title sounds a little funny.
     
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  14. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    When I google icoach or eye coach, I get nothing useful. Maybe you can try? Jeez.
     
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  15. Sintherius

    Sintherius Rookie

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  16. WinNCash

    WinNCash Rookie

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  17. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Maybe I got the same thing....
    Last week, ordered and this week received a yellow tripod thingy, long slender main body, H shaped RoboCop11 looking arms, tilt adjustment, wheel raising cable capacity, black rubber protectors for me and the floor, locking wheels, 11' max height capabilities, to lift drywall to the ceiling.
     
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  18. Sintherius

    Sintherius Rookie

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  19. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    OK, this looks closer, although I'm not sure. The tennis ball holding bit looks right, in that I think it was angled toward me.

    It's weird to see the people taking huge cuts at it. We were using it in a very controlled fashion.
     
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  20. Sintherius

    Sintherius Rookie

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    Trust me it's the same thing. My tennis pro showed it off last summer and said it would help us deploy topspin and also concentrate on the ball more. Said it was called the eye coach. His was also yellow and black, the exact way you described it.
     
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  21. Tennis_Monk

    Tennis_Monk Hall of Fame

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    does this thing even work?
     
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  22. jswinf

    jswinf Professional

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    Can it teach you to put topspin on that drywall?
     
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  23. eidolonshinobi

    eidolonshinobi Professional

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    LOL what will they come up with next?
     
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  24. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

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    All anyone really has to do is to drop a ball to the ground and hit it across the court. That way, you can examine the net clearance and how much the ball jumps off the court. Practicing underspin is practically impossible thou.
     
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  25. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    I think she got the name wrong.

    maybe she should ask her coach again next practice or make a photo.
     
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  26. ProgressoR

    ProgressoR Hall of Fame

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    take a chill pill, your blood pressure is too high
     
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  27. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    The contraption, according to my pro, is called HAL (for Hit and Learn).

    So it is not the same thing.

    I could not find a pic on the internet. Perhaps they do not make it anymore. As I said, he bought it some time ago in Florida.
     
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  28. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    No, this contraption had a lot of value that drop feeding does not. I have spent hours drop feeding, and I never could get the same breakthrough.

    The cool thing about the contraption is that you can freeze or go as slowly as you want, and he is standing 3 feet away able to make corrections.

    I'm a big fan of drop feeding, though, so when the weather clears I will go out and see try to get some muscle memory on what I learned.
     
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  29. dak95_00

    dak95_00 Professional

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    As a teacher (not of tennis), a coach (not of tennis), and a parent; I find teaching devices interesting. This thread led me on a 15 minute search and the results are........

    The HAL!
    http://partners.cardiotennis.com/PDFs/HAL3IN1CTFLYER.pdf

    It is the same thing as THE EYE COACH! Sintherius, you are RIGHT!

    If you need more proof, click on the link in this article for the HAL.
    http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2795274/hal_3_in_1_tennis_system.html?cat=14

    I guess you could also just go to http://www.haltennis.com
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2011
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  30. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Ah, OK. It's odd that they market it under two different names, though. I have to say, eye coach is kind of lame. They should stick with HAL. It's certainly a better name than "The Contraption."

    Anyway, I'm kind of surprised that the Eye Coach video has this little girl whacking at the ball like that. I guess "Parents who like their kids to whack at things" is one target market, I suppose. I'd never buy something like that for my kid to practice with, as it reeks of something the kid would use for 2 minutes before getting bored, requiring me to keep it in the basement.

    I did think it was terrific for working on stroke mechanics with a pro.
     
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  31. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    A year ago or so at one tournament on TV they were talking about some kind of device that the tournament was sponsoring (maybe Charleston?). Seemed like they were saying it was going to be the next big thing and pros or maybe the USTA were talking it up. Never really heard any more about it, though. Is this device (HAL EyeCoach) the same thing?
     
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  32. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Professional

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    Creepy thread. Was wondering when we were going to start hearing about some sort of strap-on or whatever.
     
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  33. weksa

    weksa Rookie

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    Cindysphinx, so is this the old or the new teaching pro? Sounds like the lessons are going well.
     
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  34. Ajtat411

    Ajtat411 Semi-Pro

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    Ohh, it seems that someone could go down to Home Depot and fashion one of these devices with a few springs and such. :)
     
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  35. decades

    decades Guest

    sounds like this lesson had a happy ending.
     
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  36. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    This is New Pro.

    New pro is very interesting. He has another 3.5 female student, and he has been coaching her for a long time. She's a big fan of singles. She has joined my tennis team.

    Well, she and I played singles a few weeks ago. She was whipping me, but good. I look up during the second set, and New Pro is sitting there in the viewing window, watching. She had told him when and where we were playing, obviously.

    I think his watching me take a beating led in part to his bringing The Contraption to our lesson. He got a chance to see how I play, and he must have seen how much I struggle finding angles on short-ish balls and how my topspin failed me quite often.

    Anyway . . . I went out today and did some drop feeding to work on this WW element of the stroke. When I get it, it is amazing. Gotta keep working on it . . .
     
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  37. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I would be cautious if New Pro quietly starts attaching add-ons to the Contraption with different uses ......
     
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  38. Sintherius

    Sintherius Rookie

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    HAH. VICTORY IS MINE. APOLOGIZE.
     
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  39. TheIrrefutableOne

    TheIrrefutableOne New User

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    the training device was invented by Dr, Ben Aun over 20 years ago. I have seen it used at The Aspen Hill Club in Silver Spring Maryland .

    I helps teach spin.
     
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  40. TheIrrefutableOne

    TheIrrefutableOne New User

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    NO EDIT option ?


    It helps teach spin
     
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  41. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Ok, you win.

    I am sorry that you are so ornery.
     
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  42. Angle Queen

    Angle Queen Professional

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    I'm intrigued. I could see myself using said contraption. Makes a whole lot of sense.

    ~AQ who loves reading "enticing" thread titles
     
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  43. 10ispro

    10ispro Rookie

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    The device has had many names over many years. It was developed by Lenny Schloss who used to own/run Baltimore Tennis and Fitness aka Hilton.

    When I was teaching in Baltimore, I spent a couple years helping the Baltimore Tennis Patrons with their winter and Summer programs and we used this device. Originally it was called something else, then when we had it it was called the Accuhit. Each time, something is tweaked to improve it. Could be as simple as the mounting system or whatever--then the name changes.

    Then It was changed to HAL.

    now apparently its called the Eye Coach.

    Baltimore Tennis and Fitness used (maybe still do) offer free 30min lessons, majority of which would be spent using this device to create muscle memory. Then they would go into dead ball feeding and slowly into rallying.

    It can help develop a feel for topspin bc its a visual as well as a kinesthetic aid. Also helps establish timing.
    there are a ton of drills to use on the device.

    I recommend using an older racquet bc if you mishit, and hit the frame of the device, u can break strings or even a frame.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xe5kSoslVtI

    Its a cool device, just never caught on mainstream teaching
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2011
    #43
  44. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    you can only edit after you have made a certain number of posts (might be 50)
     
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  45. ProgressoR

    ProgressoR Hall of Fame

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    ^^ yes it's 50, and if you post as many pointless posts as I do, it won't take you long to get there
     
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  46. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Interesting to hear that people break strings or frames.

    We did not hit the device hard at all. Instead, he wanted me to go very slowly so he could watch for problems.

    For instance, one problem I had was that I used my LH incorrectly. In my normal stroke, I extend the LH just as we've all been taught. No issues there. For some reason, I wasn't able to extend the LF -- perhaps because The Contraption was kind of in the way mentally. So I had to do the drills with my LH behind my back. After all, we were working on contact point, and at contact you don't have your LH pointing at the ball.

    I would think there would be less value in just whacking the thing as hard as you can, but maybe that would be useful to address different issues than I am having.

    Anyway, I had a match yesterday in very windy conditions. I wasn't able to do a thing with this new tweak to my strokes. Had to go back to my old stroke, which still generates topspin but not as much. Then I went out and did some drop feeding. I'm starting to feel it, but it takes a lot of thought to change the old and install the new . . . .
     
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  47. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    Yep, about 5000 reps!

    Cheers

    Ash
     
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  48. jack crack

    jack crack New User

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    The thing is $159. I saw it demoed at the a recent WTA tournament. Really supposed to help train you to keep your head down and eye on point of contact. They say 10,000 strokes builds habit and muscle memory. I was really interested in getting it but didn't because it seems gimicky. May be I need to reconsider. I like that you can work on your swing indoors. For working folks who just can't always get to a court, maybe it can really keep you strokes tuned.

    Anyone ever use inside?
     
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  49. TennezSport

    TennezSport Hall of Fame

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  50. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    ^^^Thankyou Tennez!!!

    That's the one I remeber seeing videos on and I couldn't find the site again! Some of the vids are hilarious - the footwork ones I seem to remember being a particular highlight!

    Cheers

    Ash
     
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