New revelation on tennis skill level

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by zapvor, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    So this occurred to me and i think i am onto something here.

    a huge majority of the posters here (say 78%?) who are constantly posting in the various sections and talking about their game and how their latest string set up is working/ not working out and which shoes are better than which other shoe, and rating other people who post on here, etc are in fact not high level players themselves.

    the exception is for those who post in, say Adult Leagues and tournament section.

    i say this because having come across so many high level tennis players i eventually bring up gear talk, and it seems the better the player the less they know about gear. and to compound this fact, all the posters in this section who go on and on criticizing other people's level, mechanics, technique, what have you, never post a video of themselves. again, there are exceptions to this theory.

    ok am i ready for the blacklash? lol
     
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  2. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    I dunno man - very high level players are very particular about their gear in a competitive situation. Obviously if they are playing a 3.5 - it doesn't matter...

    So sure there are some mediocre gear geeks out there - but pro players care alot of bout their stringing set up and all.
     
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  3. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    sorry to clarify-i am talking about high level players who are not pro. so say someone playing college ball. also this year at legg mason one of the players got here early and needed their racket strung. when i asked him what racket and string he uses he admitted he had no idea.
     
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  4. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    I agree to some extend. A lot of guys are arguing about the kinematic chain, pronation, slight material difference and whether a roddick or federer serve is the best before they have the basics down while most good guys who learned as kids don't care about that stuff because they do it automatically.
     
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  5. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    Common sense. 4,000+ posts in less then 2 years, constantly giving their opinion about everything be it gear, coaching, pro players games, who's playing with what paint job, who's not and so on.
    You don't get good at tennis posting 24/7 on a tennis forum. Also, the amount of analysis on this forum is down right humorous at times especially when arguing coaching terminology.

    There have been some very good players who have posted or are posting here. Some used it as sort of a blog such as Tony Larson and its great to see. However, there is a reason why there aren't more top players and coaches posting and it has to do with the fact that anyone can and most of the time does put in their 2cents even though they are way in over their heads and have no clue. Thats the nature of forums though and I've seen many good posters from other forums (non tennis related) be either driven off or just leave cause it wasn't worth their time. Some call it the power of stupidity in large numbers. If you don't believe me, just check out the threads in General Pro Players Discussion section as a prime example.
     
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  6. dr325i

    dr325i Legend

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    I'm gonna have to hit with this guy ;)
     
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  7. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

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    It is the same way in golf. Most of the real players don't worry about gear all that much, and the percentage of golfers who are knowledgeable about gear is quite small. I think it is the same way in tennis. Most of the players I talk to know very little about gear and how their sticks are strung.

    Gearheads are gearheads--they make up a small percentage of just about any interest group.
     
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  8. Kam2010

    Kam2010 Rookie

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    Just because you don't post on here means that your game is any better than someone who posts here often.
    If tennis is something you have a passion about you will post here nearly everyday or just check the forums. Doesn't mean your not good at tennis just more time on your hands..
     
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  9. dr325i

    dr325i Legend

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    I don't believe he ever said that!
     
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  10. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    You do realize alot of good players have a stringer. So they let that guy pick the set up - and then just complain when it feels off..

    The stringer might know EXACTLY what the guy uses off the top of his head and it might be kinda obscure..
     
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  11. rufusbgood

    rufusbgood Semi-Pro

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    Revelation:

    Zapvor misses dozu.
     
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  12. tennismonkey

    tennismonkey Semi-Pro

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    omg - what happened to that guy dozu? did his arms finally fall off from swinging his human racquet?
     
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  13. rdis10093

    rdis10093 Hall of Fame

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    I am 4.0+, I know alot about my own racuqet. (company and model.) I am know also currently starting to understand more about tennis strings to. Back in high school, I had no idea what string I used, but when I came to college, I had to email my friend, and ask him what strings and tension I used.

    Question to the OP though, what playing level do you think most of the posters are? I would assume the opposite, since everyone knows so much about racquets, strings, and ATP players, that most of the people here are at a very high level. That is just my guess though, ignorance is bliss.
     
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  14. westside

    westside Hall of Fame

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    I hope there is an exception to those of us who work in pro shops :D
     
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  15. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    The average level on TW, just like everywhere else is USPTA NTRP 3.5, however on the internet everyone is at least 4.5, 5.0 or serves at a 6.0 level.
     
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  16. rdis10093

    rdis10093 Hall of Fame

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    if that is ture, I think I would come up short in a lot of matches against those on the internet.
     
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  17. tennismonkey

    tennismonkey Semi-Pro

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    in my experience:

    folks who play usta leagues know what ntrp they are.

    folks from the USA who don't play usta leagues, you can subtract .5 to 1.0 from their self rating.

    folks from any other country outside the USA, you can add .5 to 1.0 to their self rating.
     
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  18. benjamins_80

    benjamins_80 New User

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    Interesting theory. Although Nadal and his camp made a big deal of adding 3 grams of lead at 12 on his racquet. Seems like he knows a thing or two about his gear.
    I enjoy spending time on the forum just to read other peoples thoughts on the sport. I love the game as do the other people on here. It is a good place to get together and discuss regardless of whether I am talking to a 3.5 or 5.0 player.
     
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  19. j00dypoo

    j00dypoo Rookie

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    Too much generalizing here. I agree to a certain extent, and disagree as well. There are far too many people arguing about petty details here. Too many fanboys. Too many arrogant, inflated egos. But those are all part of any forum. You should expect all these things.

    And I do believe the average skill level around here is 3.5-4.0.

    It's true that some people here are complete gearheads. It's what they love though, so let them be happy. I know the differences that various equipment impart on the game, but I don't freak out at the smallest of margins, if say, I'm using a twisted poly string that gives me 10 extra rpms. I learn to adjust b/c I possess the skill, as do a lot of people here. Some just enjoy discussing and blaming equipment for their failures.
     
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  20. ohplease

    ohplease Professional

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    Saying the average level is 3.5 to 4.0 doesn't tell you anything. Those two levels effectively make up the middle %60 of the league playing population (with the remaining %40 split between 3.0 and 4.5).

    That's a HUGE number of players, and the bottom of 3.5 and top of 4.0 represent a world of difference. It's not hyperbole to say that your standard 4.5 is better than probably 90% of players - because it's true.

    Half the people who are committed enough to tennis to play USTA league have yet to reach 4.0. 85% have yet to reach 4.5.
     
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  21. j00dypoo

    j00dypoo Rookie

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    What are you talking about? Those are such arbitrary, made up numbers haha.

    It does tell you something. It tells you exactly what you think it does - that most people on this board fall in that range, which just happens to fall along the same lines as the general population.
     
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  22. Pet

    Pet Semi-Pro

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    I only know one thing, the less I read this section, better I´am :confused:
     
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  23. ohplease

    ohplease Professional

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    Those numbers are derived from real data supplied by the USTA. There are tons of threads about those numbers every year, especially around the time ratings are updated at year end. Do a search. You might cite your beliefs, but that doesn't mean others do, too.

    And the "average" league player is way better than the "average" player that doesn't play in a league of some kind. That's precisely why non-league players get wake up calls about how good they aren't when they start playing league tennis, instead of just hitting with their buddies or at their club.
     
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  24. j00dypoo

    j00dypoo Rookie

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    No, I'm not sitting here arguing. I don't disagree. I'm wondering why you brought league players up. Original question was about the average player HERE on these forums. We're talking about two completely different entities.

    Anyways, everyone carry on and ignore us lol.
     
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  25. Wilander Fan

    Wilander Fan Hall of Fame

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    Well, I think this is somewhat true. Once a player feels good with a set-up he tends to never look back. The guys trying out various things are usually having some issues like control or creating spin so they tinker alot with strings and tension.
     
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  26. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    He has no idea because his coach probably told him which racket, string, and string tension to use. Gear matters but not all that much as long as your gear is "acceptable" range for your skill.

    There is a Delray Beach Stringing thread here somewhere by the pro stringers who worked the Del Ray event. They said some of the pros would show up with mismatched lead tape where a strip fell off 1 side of the racket. They had no idea anything was wrong with their racket.

    But, some pros pay attention to detail and know everything about their racket. Sampras had to have St Vincent pro staffs and would complain about too much string stencil paint like he could tell a difference in weight.

    Soderling has special molded grips that fit his hand indentations applied to his rackets.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2012
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  27. snowpuppy

    snowpuppy Semi-Pro

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    If this forum is any representation of the tennis playing population out there, where to you thinking most of your answers are coming from?
     
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  28. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    Good to see actual discussion here.now to be sure,I was talking about those that do not play usta. They may be gearheads but they can play at a certain level too I was referring to the ones that are criticizing and offering advice about other peoples games but they never back it up with evidence
     
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  29. j00dypoo

    j00dypoo Rookie

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    Maybe those people don't care to "prove" anything or feel the need to garner internet e-fame. Some of the people here offering advice are indeed very good. Others of course are not. And yes, those people probably do not ever want to reveal their true skill.
     
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  30. Kam2010

    Kam2010 Rookie

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    people talk the talk but can't walk the walk is what zap is trying to say I think*

    j00dypoo^ you will never see me play ever and im going to criticize all your posts lol
     
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  31. InspectorRacquet

    InspectorRacquet Semi-Pro

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    What I've found is that the more knowledgeable the player is about his or her equipment and game, the higher the chance is that he or she has never taken any lessons. The players I've met over the years follow this pattern.

    Those that had lessons that I met usually don't know a whole lot about what they are using, but do know that it works - not necessarily how or even why.

    Those that built their games from the ground up without any lessons, coaching, or anybody telling them to play with this racquet because they have to are usually the ones that are the most knowledgeable about their equipment.

    What I've gathered is that those that generally have had lessons for most of their life just want to play tennis to win, which translates to less care about what they use. Those who played it for sport (as that is what tennis is - a sport for fun) and some competitiveness usually know what they use down to the nearest gram off the top of their head.
     
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  32. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    I think you're getting carried away. For instance, you are better than a 3.5 and you're not the only one here who is. I think that tennis fanatics are probably slightly skewed toward better players versus the overall population. The mode player on TTTW is probably only a 3.5, but I'm sure that 4.5 players post here at a disproportionate level compared to their share of the overall tennis population.

    Also, I see some terrible advice, but just as often I see some good advice. And in any case, people will always like to argue. I've spoken with Robert Lansdorp, who has coached a number of #1s, and I'm not sure I'd agree with all his advice. But, unlike some anonymous internet poster, his advice must be taken seriously.
     
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  33. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    exactly. thank you for putting it better than i did in my gibberish lol
     
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  34. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    right. what i was referring to were those posters here who are always in threads giving critique on people's videos, etc and saying 'oh you are doing x you need to do y' etc etc but as soon as you ask them to post a video or back it up they ignore that post lol

    example: this thread
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=407856
     
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  35. j00dypoo

    j00dypoo Rookie

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    yeah we know. that's obvious the point of this thread. I think you got your point across well. I was just giving a counterpoint or reasons why some people don't post videos of themselves.
     
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  36. rufusbgood

    rufusbgood Semi-Pro

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    I've got an idea. If it's really that frustrating for you, why don't you stomp your feet? Create a fuss? Maybe throw in some hair pulling and some tears? Oh, wait....that's what this thread is, isn't it? Poor you, surrounded by adults who are ignoring you. Gee, I wonder why?
     
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  37. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    Hahhahhaaahah thanks for the laugh.just made my day:)
     
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  38. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    IMO in general there is a lot to your theory, but also plenty of exceptions as well.
     
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  39. Frank Silbermann

    Frank Silbermann Professional

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    I find that people who don't play USTA leagues self-rate accurately, but those who do play USTA leagues under report themselves by about 1.0 (and play in those lower-level leagues).

    Of course, I'm using the USTA Guidelines as the definitive description. That's why they were invented -- so a tennis pro could look at your strokes and set you up in a match with someone whose strokes he saw a day or two ago. If NTRP is merely to be a competition-derived rating, there's no advantage over the old system of "A, B, or C" player (modified with + and - to give narrower categories).
     
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  40. Frank Silbermann

    Frank Silbermann Professional

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    That makes sense. People who talk about gear are thinkers, and people who tend to think tend not to be as athletically inclined as people who prefer to be just there in the moment.
     
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  41. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    lol thats an interesting take. i didnt think of that. i am not a thinker:p
     
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  42. pushing_wins

    pushing_wins Hall of Fame

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    i play in the same b league as davai marat

    but does playing level necessarily mean better analysis?


    but does playing level dictate
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2012
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  43. tenapasi

    tenapasi Rookie

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    Why add .5 to 1.0 for people outside USA ?
     
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  44. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    i think because the club players in europe are much better than those here. for example someone like tommy haas may be a club member there.
     
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  45. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    i was more referring to those that are always criticizing other people and talking about what one needs to do for this and that, but NEVER post any evidence to back it up, especially any video.

    ie: "oh yea my first serve hits the fence on one bounce" but when asked to post a video, never does it.
     
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  46. mucat

    mucat Hall of Fame

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    It is a fact that most of us here can serve 100 mph. For the rest of us, they can serve 120 mph. It is one of the requirements to join TW.

    Anything else is a lie.
     
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  47. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Of course. It's pointless to believe otherwise.
     
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  48. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    damn....noone report me then.....please
     
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  49. BevelDevil

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    I give lots of advice without necessarily being able to execute technique at a high level myself. And I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing.

    For example, I just posted something about the two-handed forehand. I rarely hit one, and probably couldn't hit one well at all. But I know a lot about them having played with and helped two people who had them. For example, I know that the grip the top hand takes has a significant effect on the natural racketface disposition and therefore topspin. I've watched what happened when I told my partner to move her top hand to continental from eastern (more topspin). I also observed that a full-western bottom hand is a pretty decent grip that can give tons of power and topspin. Etc.

    Another recent example was when someone posted a serve volley video. I haven't served and volleyed for a long time, and when I did, I wasn't particularly good. But it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see some obvious flaws-- not propelling into the court on the serve, not bringing the racket up to ready position, not split stepping, etc.


    I think a mediocre player can give useful advice as long as he can explain it well and is open to criticism. I'm here to learn as well, so if someone points out a flaw in my reasoning then that's good for me.

    Rather than complaining that "non-proven" players are giving too much advice, maybe the complaint should be that proven players are giving too little! But even their advice shouldn't be taken as gospel.


    Just because someone is highly ranked or has a great stroke, doesn't mean their advice is always good. This is for at least two, closely related reasons:

    1. They may not fully understand why they can do something well.
    2. They may not understand what the OP is trying to do.

    Example of #1:
    "Proven" Player: "You shouldn't have any problem dealing with topspin balls to your Eastern 1hbh, just watch how I do my Dimitrov-like followthrough."

    But... the reason Proven Player deals well with topspin is because he is 6'3" and uses a "hammer" Eastern grip, both of which help with high balls. Whereas the OP is 5'7" and uses a conventional Eastern.

    Example of #2:
    "Proven" Player: "You need to really open your stance, hit the ball way out front and lay your wrist back more at contact, like I do in my video."

    But... the Proven Player uses a SW grip, straight-arm pull stroke. Whereas the OP uses an Eastern grip, double-bend push stroke. The Proven Player is giving advice for something the OP isn't even trying to do. In which case, this is actually bad advice, despite how well it works for the Proven Player.

    Adjusting to the wants/limitations/style of the OP/student is a key component to good advice, and it is often overlooked.

    Of course, ideally the great teacher is also a great player, but this unfortunately seems to be the exception (either due to different skill sets, unwillingness or, probably, both). Alas, perhaps it is true, those who can't do, teach. But maybe this isn't so bad.


    Here's a related thought experiment: Who do you think could best coach and improve someone's game and stroke production from, say, 3.0 to 4.0 (or even higher) ? Nadal/Federer, or an average tennis coach? Probably Joe coach would do a better job than Fedal.

    Nadal would be like, "Okay, so reverse forehand down the line into the corner. Is easy, no?"

    Federer would be like, "You get lobbed? Just do the tweener pass. And if he gets that, do the flick passing shot around the net post. See my videos from 2005-2007."
     
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  50. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    I guess it depends on what you mean by high level. In my experience, adult league players are generally not high level players. And I do know some pretty good player/coaches who not only know their gear, they actually [GASP!] string their own racquets.
     
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