need input...about lessons and coach...

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by finchy, Jun 18, 2004.

  1. finchy

    finchy Professional

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    currently, im getting tennis lessons from my coach from school. i pay $20 an hour for private, and $10 for group. He helps me get the basics down like bend knees, hit ball more out in front of you (i play an extreme full western grip), and to not open shoulders up too much on one handed backhand. the thing is, he is teaching me to be a pusher. i hate pushers and i do not want to be one. He tells me, "at your level, most kids are unpatient and try to finish the point off. If you can hit 5 or more balls in, in a row, you could beat most of those kids." sure, he's helping me with the basics, but right now, im trying to model my forehand after Juan Carlos Ferrero. He isnt really helping me with that. he just says, keep your weight on your front foot. i also learned myself from a website, to put weight on your backfoot on the backswing....so im just wondering, should i stick with him? or go to a different coach? btw, i just gave him a cd with JCF's forehand stroke video. i gave it to him about a week ago, and he hasnt looked at it.

    all he knows about JCF is that he uses an extreme full western grip. nothing else really. i want a coach that can get into detail about the shot. tell me what im doing wrong, and tell me what i can do to improve the most on my shots.

    i think i should stick with my current coach for another few weeks, then switch to a more focused and more concentrated coach. what about u guys? what should i do?

    btw, i will be playing tennis for the sophomore level this upcoming school year.
     
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  2. TwistServe

    TwistServe Guest

    Pretty cheap for only $20/hr... Most private lessons where I live are at least twice that much. Maybe you get what you pay for?

    Most coaches talk about consistency to win... Doesnt mean you have to be a pusher.. Means you play ralley pace and go for it when you feel you have opportunity such as a short ball.
     
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  3. TwistServe

    TwistServe Guest

    Also, sometimes its fun to go for it more often than you should, when you're ahead in the game.. But then you pay the price and you could lose confidence during the match if you spray a few.
     
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  4. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Sounds like a good coach to me. He is fairly cheap, teaching you good fundamentals, and building a good foundation, so when you get the mechanincs correct you do not have to be a "PUSHER".

    Be patient. Remember, pace does not necessarily come from quick arm speed, but rather learning to incoorporate all your body movement (from toes to shoulders) properly to get depth, pace, spin, and placement.

    If you really look at a video of Ferrero you will see he is extremely skilled at all of the above. You could tell he was coached on proper mechanics, and the rest as you know is history.
     
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  5. lelopez

    lelopez Rookie

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    Finchy, how's Stiffler's mom doing? jeje j/k

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but one of the worst things that I found one can do is to try to model a stroke after another player. While you may like the way JCF strikes the ball, you have to develop your own stroke in what works for you. Just because JCF has a great forehand, does not mean that you will too even if you model it after him. You have to find what's comfortable and "natural" to YOU in terms of backswing, grip, stance, etc.

    When I was a junior and learning how to play I tried to model my forehand after Agassi. I even played like that for years before realizing that a more compact backswing and totally different motion was more natural to me. I made this change and my stroke improved by leaps and bounds.

    And although you may be learning how to mold your strokes with an instructor, most of the learning you'll do will happen during matches. Try to play as much as possible against other kids of your same skill level or above. Also, try to play with pushers every once in a while, that way you'll find out how to become patient while still employing your non-pusher game.

    best of luck,
    L.
     
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  6. Camilio Pascual

    Camilio Pascual Hall of Fame

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    If you are unhappy with him, why wait? Switch now. But, consider a few things first.
    Do you really hate pushers or pushing? I think you may be too rigid minded for the limited experience you have had in tennis so far and this will hurt your development. Unless you are some kind of wunderkind, pushing is almost certain to be the best way for you to get the best results you are capable of in high school.
    Have you talked to your coach about your concerns? Be very respectful, but go ahead and challenge him if you don't understand or agree with what he is saying. (I don't understand the keeping your weight on your front foot comment, either. Maybe there is a misunderstanding there.)
    But, if you are some kind of tennis prodigy, dump this coach now, play VERY aggressively, and expect to get whipped for a while by pushers.
    Good luck, whatever you do.
     
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  7. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    What is a pusher? Is your coach teaching to shorten your followthrough? Is he teaching you to just sort of nab at the ball to get it over? If so, he isnt a good coach. But if he is teachign to to take full swings but within your learning abilities and slow it down to make clean contact - he is a good coach.

    When you compare yourself to Fererro, you keep forgetting how many years it took Fererro to get where he is at. There is no way you can get around physics in tennis. Clean contact, followthrough, stepping out, meeting the ball in front are all critical before you apply your style and fenesse on how you want to hit the ball.

    Just the other day, John Yandell and I were talking about the misconception of club players wanting to emulate their professional idols strokes. What most people fail to mention is that the pro game is a completely different game then what is played at the club level.

    It is not to say you cant want to be Ferrero on the courts but there has to be YOU in the stroke and what is right for your game. All of the players on tour right now probably idolled Sampras, Agassi and others. But most of the players on tour play the way they want to play and have their own way of hitting the ball. They perfected the basics and then develooped their style and character in the shots they hit.

    To me a pusher is someone that does not hit with a complete stroke and does not hit with a lot of spin nor pace. If your coach is making you contact the ball cleanly, develop a long stroke, followthrough properly etc. I say you best listen and learn.
     
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  8. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

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    Getting 5 balls in each point is good advice in my opinion. I usually say the same thing to others looking to improve. Tennis is a game of progression and you don't go from A-Z overnight. Instead of just hitting hard and going nowhere, learn to keep balls in play and you will discover many tennis nuances that will make you a better player.
     
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  9. Anonymous

    Anonymous Professional

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    Good post Bungalo Bill,
    I tried to model my serve after Sampras and kept trying. It became decent. But when i changed it to be a mix of Safin and Roddick it has gotten much better. About 2 feet more kick, more consistency and about 15 mph faster
     
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  10. finchy

    finchy Professional

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    ill stick with him. thanks alot u guys. especially you bill. i just need to change my mentallity. im kinda bummed that my parents only started to get me into the sport right now. i just got into tennis very very seriously lately and realized its way way too late for me to become very good. very good meaning, pro like. but i guess i just gotta accept the fact im normal. ill keep sticking with him.

    he is teaching me to put more pace a depth though. you see, you put weight on your front foot when u swing through the shot for more power. your whole body moves through the shot allowing for less stress on the top part of your body.

    btw, im also trying something new. im not staying on the ground like ferrero does, but im pushing myself off of my back foot on my forehands for more power. it really feels kinda good when i do this, very rarely though. i play recreationally with my cousins and friends.

    thanks alot for the advice you guys. i really appreciate it. i also need to get into shape. about 20 minutes into the lesson, im already sweating like a pig. im starting to jog and run more though.
     
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  11. Anonymous

    Anonymous Professional

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    Younes and Gaston both started relatively late in thier lives.
     
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  12. finchy

    finchy Professional

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    thx for the spark of hope salman, but i dontn think that there are any coaches around here that could work with what i have...
     
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  13. TwistServe

    TwistServe Guest

    Maybe you can't be pro material but you can still be pretty darn good.. One of my coaches started at 15, he's a 5.5 tornament player, and completely self taught until he played in college division II.
     
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  14. goober

    goober Legend

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    I agree. You probably would not have been pro if you started at age 5 anyways. Very few people make to that level regardless of when they started. I know a lot of people who were pushed at a very young age and got burned out. Many of them as adults don't even play tennis anymore even for fun.

    You could probably get to a very high level even starting late if you are dedicated enough. as long as you get enjoyment out of the game that is all that really matters in the long run. 8)
     
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  15. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Beleive it or not, a lot of pro players on tour were late bloomers or got into tennis late in their lives. Most where cross-sport athletes before choosing tennis. Pick one and do some research on them. You will see other sports played like baseball, soccer, skiiing, etc.
     
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  16. Mahboob Khan

    Mahboob Khan Hall of Fame

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    With western grip, the natural stance to go with the western forehand is open stance and in open stance there is no back or front leg. Both feet are placed side by side open to the net. In the take-back (early part of backswing) the weight is on the right foot (for r-handed players), as you swing forward the weight shifts onto the left. Weight on the front foot is applicable more if you have eastern fh grip. However, it is possible to hit western forehand with square stance, and it is possible to hit eastern forehand with open stance. The stance is generally dictated by the situation. Having said, open stance is more natural with western grip!
     
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