Papa's shifting triangles - Please expand

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by bukaeast, Feb 18, 2011.

  1. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    I can get that and take a look - I've made a note of it. Funny thing is I'm quite sure I know who he is but it seems I know a lot of Hanks.
     
    #51
  2. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Hank was a big hitting Men's pro back in the early '80's or so. Don't know his rankings, as I wasn't into tennis those years.
     
    #52
  3. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, looked him up - tall 6'4'' and played, mostly/all doubles, in the 80's. Born in 53 which would make him 47 - 48 and it looks like he lives and maybe runs a tennis camp in CA - not sure about that.
     
    #53
  4. Tennis_Monk

    Tennis_Monk Hall of Fame

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    I am not sure about what you indicated.

    Any serve can be covered and gotten to if it is predictable. Some of the best servers are successful because their serve placement is difficult to predict. Sure at sub 4.5 level chances are if one has a very good serve they can get away with it even if it is predictable but not always. There are many players that i know at 4.0/4.5 level that can pick up patterns pretty easily and make adjustments and often win matches. if we are to employ element of surprise they can be beaten easily.

    Then there is going to forehand or backhand thingy. Some players are good at returning even the most potent serves when it goes to their forehand Or backhand.
     
    #54
  5. Jamesm182

    Jamesm182 Rookie

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    This thread is really interesting. I am from the u.k and am a coach and tournament player.

    I have never heard of any of these analogies, other than to play into the open court.

    I'm really interested in hoovering up tennis books, and have just purchased "Coaching Mastery" by D.Smith.

    Could someone please explain how these shifting triangles, allow or explain when the opponent is on the move, and employing tactics, such as hitting behind the opponent, if the diagrams are only shown when a player is static, surely the triangle would cover the are you are still hitting to?

    A student of mine has made it onto two squads at a performance centre, and I'm looking to gain as much knowledge as i can about stuff they teach. ie

    Benefits of mid court hitting
    Patterns of play & point construction etc

    Whilst iappreciate these images and new methods can be confusing to some people/players i really think that any method that can change your perception about the way you play/ teach, is worth its weigh in gold. I appreciate there are a lot of "coaches" out there merely interpeting the same old methods with "buzz" words and a slightly different spin on the same old teaching.

    Genuine ideas , and developments like these in my opinion can only improve your knowledge of the game, and thought proccess when playing, enabling you to make informed choices based on correct information.
     
    #55
  6. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Monk,

    I hear what your saying but if you happened to watch the Rodick, Roanic match last night you might see a very big exception to what your talking about - match filled with aces. Primarily because of speed and placement, neither player could effectively cover their service box.

    As you know, good servers don't pound away with just one type of serve to one spot - they change it around but they are looking/probing for areas with the response will be weak or better still, can't be returned. This includes the option of going right at them also.

    The lower the level, the fewer options the server has but, and this is a big but, the receiver doesn't have as many tools either so these triangles are much larger. Footwork, reaction, reach & stroke ability are huge factors in return of serve.

    The point is, we want to reduce our vulnerability with correct court positioning/placement - left, right -- up, back. All of this is dependent on the server and probably influenced by our confidence in one wing or the other, placement of net person (doubles), score, etc. In other words we want the odds to be in our favor - not always possible but there more than you might think.
     
    #56
  7. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    James,

    Certainly nice to have you in the forum and thanks for the comments. Probably the best way to describe this would be to read the many posts I've made in this thread along with the contributions of Julian, Dozu, LeeD and others.

    Basically, its a system that I have been developing for some time now that allows the newer or intermediate player to see the court like most advanced players. Instead of seeing just boxes and rectangles, I want them to see triangles which can represent either opportunity (high percentage), reality or in some cases danger (low percentage). The ball doesn't travel in 90 degree paths similar to court markings (at least most of the time) and I don't want them thinking this way - I believe it really restricts their level of play, growth, enjoyment and increases their frustrations.

    When they understand the triangle concepts they begin to see things very differently.
     
    #57
  8. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    How to draw a triangle?

    Papa,
    his basic question maybe different.
    Basically one can ask-how do you draw/determine/establish a triangle
    for a returned of a serve.
    One of drawings above gives some pointers.
    I am a bit hesitant to bust in because it is basically your thread.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2011
    #58
  9. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Well, I didn't start this thread, never encouraged anyone else to start it, so I guess anyone can say what they like.

    For sake of simplicity and ease of demonstration my triangles can be shown in one or two ways depending on skill level we're dealing with. If were just trying to get the general point across to the players where these areas exit I can have all the triangles begin and end on one side of the court. Driving home the concept is, in my opinion, the goal of this entire process and keeping it simple seems to stick.

    However, my more advanced approach, which is a little bit more involved has the triangle apex extending to the shot itself. I still keep this all on one side of the net (I do not extend ropes through the net) but have two pivot points instead of the one - not complicated to line up. Still is easy to work but a little more realistic of actual shot projections/possibilities and designates coverage a little better.

    If I can get players to see/understand the triangles/zones than I don't hesitate to get to it. I have it all attached and using the same setup, I can go from one pivot point to two in a matter of seconds. If I'm demonstrating doubles with this approach, I have four moving pivot points - singles I would have two. If I'm just trying to demonstrate the concept I really only need half the pivot points.

    I hope everyone understands that I'm not trying to teach geometry but rather have players understand their own positioning (offensively and defensively), where opportunities exist & their percentages for their own shots and those of the opponents, how the court is constantly changing requiring them to change with it, and so forth. Could you get a transit out and figure out these things perfectly, maybe so but that isn't my goal.

    As I've said before my primary goal is to allow newer and intermediate player to see the court like the better players do. This is not an exact science but rather a concept that I believe allows players to grow & play faster/better, gain confidence in their decision making and enjoy the game more. I've never claimed that very advanced players need to learn this because, whether anybody likes it or not, they already know it and think this way - just that simple.
     
    #59
  10. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    A book

    Papa,
    if you have any questions/comments about a book please let me know
     
    #60
  11. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    Professional courtesy

    There is a lot of different issues related to professional courtesy here.
     
    #61
  12. athiker

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    papa, I have to commend you for the way you have handled and responded to comments in this thread. Actually, the whole thread has been refreshingly even keeled compared to some of late.

    I can only comment that I completely agree that all players do not "see" the court, field, etc. in rec sports. Coach any youth soccer, basketball or football team and you will quickly notice the kids that do and the kids that don't. What is intuitive and obvious to some must be taught to and learned by others.

    Angles, angles, angles...whether it be defending a goal in soccer or cutting off a runner in football. Spacing to know where you are in relation to a soccer goal, your opponent and your teammates is also key and interrelated. It is obvious that for many this is a skill that needs to be taught.

    Without knowing the method beyond what you've shared here, I would guess that it boils down to: Is it simple enough for those that don't intuitively "get it" to begin with, to instruct and learn. I would assume since you've taught it then you know the answer to that question by observing the results!

    These two video series helped me with thinking about a tennis court. They are mostly related to making sure you hit a shot that allows you to get in a good recovery position however. Though some offensive thought in there too re: spotting opportunities. I believe it is quite different than what Papa is talking about, at least in instructional technique, perhaps not in end goal.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4A5xX_vn1I&NR=1

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqpZoZIQkfQ&feature=related
     
    #62
  13. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    #63
  14. eliza

    eliza Guest

    I do not see any copyright notice, can we print and use this?
    Great thread, thank you.
     
    #64
  15. Tennis_Monk

    Tennis_Monk Hall of Fame

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    I didnt see any exception in that match. In fact that was my point. Good Servers are successful because of their ability to place their serve with accuracy and placement (besides obvious pace) and not let opponent guess it easily.


    My question is how do you factor in the "highlighted" in triangles?.
     
    #65
  16. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    All the Ex LTA boys in one place! Don't believe the hype about their changing Coach Education in the UK - it's as much a mess know as it's ever been!!!

    That said, Louis cayer is excellent and having done some doubles work on court with him I can see why he has improved the ranking of countless doubles teams.

    Ash
     
    #66
  17. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    Sure, go nuts!

    It's based on theories I picked up from Louis Cayer, i'm just refining it into a logical method which coaches can learn and therefore teach their players.

    Cheers

    Ash
     
    #67
  18. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    Assumptions

    Papa,
    two different scenarios/drawings
    for
    1.no lobs
    2.lobs "allowed"
     
    #68
  19. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Well, I suppose it would depend on which side your judging things from. The match featured a tremendous amount of aces from both players in addition to serves that the opponent mis-played or mis-hit -- I though it was way more than normal which didn't make for too many rally points, actually there were few that I recall. Interesting in one way, kinda boring in another.

    We have to also factor into this the level of play which is about as high as it gets. Both, as returners, positioned themselves well in back of the baseline because of the pace involved but this opened up the triangle targets to a degree. I though it amazing how each, when serving, discovered these spots and took advantage of them.

    My answer to your question would be that these spots represent low percentage opportunities that tests the servers accuracy. Most of us certainly would not be able to pluck them off as easily as those two but then again we wouldn't be serving to such high caliber players and the triangles available to us would be larger. I think you would agree that the target area for a intermediate player would be considerably larger but that lack of pace and spin would shrink them to some extent also.

    The bottom line is that if you put the same server serving to two different level receivers, the triangles would be different. In other words probably none of us would even get a racquet on any of those serves in the match last night whereas Rodick and Roanic were able to get some back in play.
     
    #69
  20. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    OK. Lobs are somewhat different animals because depending on the situation the triangles become greatly expanded because of time - the returner is in many cases at least able to get to the ball. Player(s) get lured in too close and they can't retreat to get these balls - we see that all the time - mainly offensive topspin lobs.

    Defensive lobs involve a great deal more time and for all practical reasons the triangles all but disappear - player(s) can get pretty much to the whole court without problems. But, they now have great shot selection or placement because opponent(s) are probably ill positioned and will find it difficult to effectively cover much of their court.

    Sorry, covered lobs before no lobs.

    Without lobs, the player(s) coverage triangle(s) are smaller but their target triangles are considerably larger - a players ability to react is dependent on the pace of the shot and their own ability to move. Footwork of the individual player along with their ability to move effects the entire process/geometry.

    For instance if you have a doubles team and their skill levels are different - their individual coverage triangles and targets vary accordingly. The same would apply to where the player(s) positions themselves. The principals remain the same but the respective areas are different.
     
    #70
  21. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    No, I don't and it looks like it cost $100 to take a look. Unless its absolutely relevant I think I'll pass although I might be able to find someone who is familiar with it - think it might be a long shot but I'll give it a go.

    Thanks.
     
    #71
  22. Tennis_Monk

    Tennis_Monk Hall of Fame

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    I see your point now. Makes lot of sense. Thank you for taking the time to respond. TW forum isnt the easiest of crowds to please.

    Now comes probably a bit easier question. Do you have your approach documented or offered through a program you conduct or it is more hands on?
     
    #72
  23. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Sorry, I missed this.

    I think most know what my intentions are with this material. My finished material will have credits and footnotes but my responses have been my own words and to the best of my knowledge my concepts - nothing has been copied from anyone. However, as we all know, there is nothing totally new in this sport and I would be absolutely crazy/foolish to have anyone think these concepts have somehow reinvented the wheel - they haven't.

    We all are products of our upbringing, education and life experiences - I'm certainly no different in this regard to anyone else. As a player, coach, teacher and most importantly, a student of the game, my ideas were formed out of what I've been exposed to. Although I have primarily worked alone developing this project, I have been greatly helped, pushed and critiqued by some very knowable tennis people (and some who aren't all that familiar with the game) whose comments/suggestions have been invaluable.

    The on-court materials, which haven't been discussed here, actually are extremely important as well. I'm not going to get into them in detail here but these are my ideas using materials readily available to everyone but with a few significant twists. Although I've had to have a few things made, they can be done by basically anyone.
     
    #73
  24. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    ^^^ I think eliza was refering to the material I posted!

    Cheers

    Ash
     
    #74
  25. eliza

    eliza Guest

    Correct. I printed them and inserted in my tennis file.....
    Very useful tool, I knew the "directionals" but this is "visually" more effective.
    Thank you very much,
    E
     
    #75
  26. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Thanks Monk,

    My approach (I've used that phrase myself) has been documented although certainly not in finished form at the moment. Its also been a hands-on situation as I've tried to test/evaluate various components/ideas at various tennis clubs. Although several pros have seen this system, I'm anxious to present it to others also. It seems every time I present it, there is one thing or another that is suggested that makes it better.

    Even in this forum, posters have raised issues that are valid and need examining - I value these discussions. Julian, as an example, has raised several issues that have not been brought to my attention before - I certainly value his input, he is a very bright man with a significant tennis background (at least that's how he impresses me). I still have not received a book he recommended but it should arrive in the next few days. I have also enjoyed your questions and those from many others on the forum.
     
    #76
  27. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    No worries eliza, that's why i made them. If it makes sense with no explanation then I'm on the right lines for the coaches resource I think!!!

    Cheers

    Ash
     
    #77
  28. eliza

    eliza Guest

    Well, once posted here your words become "prior art"unless a copyright notice is attached. I am learning to discern the true Pros from other posters like me, and I am truly grateful to them for their "presentations".
    You might consider putting them together in a book or video, I do not think Tennis organizations realize there is a public out there, and consequently a market.....
     
    #78
  29. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Yes, I realize that, thank you. I hope the information help you play and enjoy the game a little more.
     
    #79
  30. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    A classic issue of a ball in a middle in doubles and triangles/trapezoids

    Papa,
    a classic issue of of a ball in a middle in doubles via triangles/trapezoids
    can be addressed as well.


    A triangle for an up player will have a "bottom" side like in post #64
    It allows to see what is a percentage of a court covered.

    A two players scenario at a net can be addressed as well.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2011
    #80
  31. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Absolutely, I agree - these triangles can/do go together to form other shapes also. I have tried to stay with one geometric shape (triangle) because most can see it quickly even when two or three come together. However, your very correct in pointing it out.
     
    #81
  32. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    How to play doubles rules

    There is a set of how to play doubles rules by Brent Abel.
    You may see/justify these rules via analyzing triangles as well.
    I am repeating myself a bit.Sorry
     
    #82
  33. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    I'm familiar with Brent although I don't know him personally. We've exchanged some information but not about this.

    Brent, for those that don't know him, was first in the nation in the mens 60's last year (might be a year ago), participated in some World's competition on the USA Team and has his own web site. Seems like a top-notch guy to me.
     
    #83
  34. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    Rules/tips

    I will provide an example tomorrow
     
    #84
  35. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    #85
  36. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    When I first saw the thread title, I thought it was about some weird parts of papa's anatomy which keep moving around.
     
    #86
  37. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    OK, Brent's stuff and I agree. If everything else is equal (positioning is about the same from the net) than the ball on the diagonal is yours unless as he states, it is clearly in the other court. I almost lost a finger (last digit) to this type play, so I'm very much in agreement. However, when partner takes it on his own to start after this shot (which isn't his) he had better put it away and certainly not change his mind and pull back - that's crazy but lots of players do exactly that. Faking out the player who is suppose to take the shot is a good way to get out of a otherwise good partnership - stay where you belong.
     
    #87
  38. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Wouldn't that be something & it might not show up on a MRI.
     
    #88
  39. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    ferrer vs dolgopolov

    Papa,

    I saw a match Ferrer vs Dolgopolov yesterday (Tennis Channel).
    A match was played on a very quick red clay with a small amount of dressing.
    A surface is a bit related to an analysis below.
    I have couple of comments about shifting triangles after watching the match.

    A basic statement Of THIS POST is that shifting triangles description is NOT very helpful in the case of a BACKHAND DIAGONAL shot.
    Let us confine ourselves to a non-return of a serve shot.
    It is more or less what is called in science a negative result.
    It seems to be in contrast with a FOREHAND DIAGONAL scenario.

    Let me describe a scenario of interest.
    Say Ferrer is at an upper right corner of a court (screen wise).

    He has two option(say);
    Inside-in and inside out forehands.
    A triangle analysis allows to understand how much of an
    opponent"s court is "available" to Ferrer for each of these options and how many yards
    Dolgopolov needs to run to touch an inside-out shot by Ferrer.

    A comparison can be made for a scenario of a club player playing against Dolgopolov ( I am NOT joking here).
    Obviously shifting triangles will be different for both scenarios.
    julian

    PS
    I assume a book arrived.
    I will be traveling all the day tomorrow.
    If you have any ideas how to insert/produce hand drawn pictures HERE please let me know.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2011
    #89
  40. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Book still has not arrived as of 12:50 PM Sat. Every time I see the UPS truck going down the street I think "finally" but not yet. Amazon has been pretty prompt before so maybe with the holiday last week there is a backup.

    Just got back from watching Larry Turville beat Jon Shaw in a 55 final - good match but Turville at 6'7" is a tough customer. Have to leave in a few minutes to see Max Wielander (sp?) play in an exhibition match but don't know who else is in it.

    OK, now on to your question. A club player is going to have different triangles, as you point out, than any pro because of being able to effectively defend way less territory and as a result the opponent pros target grow proportionally also. Even if the club player is successful in getting to one shot (say he guesses right), he certainly is not going to get the next. If footwork doesn't fail them then exhaustion will set in fairly quickly.

    However, even though the triangles would be dependent on where Dolgopoloy positions himself, they are always there - maybe not big at any one time but these guys are so accurate they don't need much space to thread the ball into. I would agree that some shots will be more difficult to execute than others from the identical position and that possibly for the scenario mentioned those shots might not be ideal or wise. Without know where each player is and what type of ball Ferrer is playing, its difficult to give a sensible answer. I watched Ferrer play recently but don't recall the match - think he played in Memphis but not sure. Saw some Davis Cup stuff last few days (France - Serbia) and woman's semi's from Qutar also.

    Ferrer is one of my favorite players to watch - very intelligent, great court coverage and tremendous shots. Doesn't seem to get distracted easily and certainly doesn't quit on anything - kinda Nadal like.
     
    #90
  41. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    A continuation of a post above

    Papa,
    as you see an area available to Ferrer for a backhand diagonal
    shot is a full court df Dolgopolv minus a small triangle shaped area close to a net.
    Very difficult to explain without drawings.
     
    #91
  42. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    So, your saying that even though the shot is there for Ferrer it presents a greater opportunity/play right into the hand of Dolgopoly. This does happen especially if the opponent has the footwork/speed to cover the shot.

    By the way I failed to mention that Larry Turville won 1 & 2 and that he is the current USA #1 at 60. Very good player and fun to watch - wicked backhand drive slice.
     
    #92
  43. eliza

    eliza Guest

    60????I am so ignorant, there are championships for 60yrs.olds?
    Gosh, I was feeling sorry for myself, no excuses. Tonight I am going to play 100%!!!!!!!!
     
    #93
  44. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    A little refiment

    Papa,

    there is a conjecture saying that attacking capabilities/success ratio of ,say.Ferrer
    are inversely proportional to a size of an UNREACHABLE triangle on the Dolgopolov's described above.
    Obviously a triangle cannot be too small because some Ferrer's shots will go either out or in a net.
    The word UNREACHABLE refers to Ferrer,not to Dolgoplov.

    Whether one teaches conjectures like that is an absolutely different issue.

    PS The word refinement is misspelled in a title of a post but I do NOT have a way to correct this typo.
    Sorry.

    Once more-my life is difficult without a book at YOUR end and with a current climate in MA.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2011
    #94
  45. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    A drop shot scenario

    It comes without saying that shifting triangles do NOT address very well
    an issue of drop shots which were used multiple times during a match of
    Ferrer vs Dolgopolov.

    Let us talk about singles only.

    Say that in your formulation we have a PENTAGON on a Dolgopolov's side.

    I would say that a middle point of a left sideline
    should one of vortices of a pentagon on a Dolgopolov's side for a SAFE attack by Ferrer.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2011
    #95
  46. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    Please see above

    Please see a post above with the word refinement in a title.
     
    #96
  47. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Yes, there really are and these players are pretty good - better than you probably could possibly imagine. Some are former pros while others have been nationally ranked for many years - some have even won tournaments that you might be familiar with.

    For example, although he's not quite as old, I saw Mats Wilander play this afternoon - not 50 yet but close. These guys can still bring the thunder and play well - might have lost a step or two but its amazing to see the shots and how well they still move.

    These guys know the positioning routine and have all the shots - granted its doubles. The match this morning (different place) was singles. Some former players have gotten badly out of shape while others have remained fit and can play very well.

    He (Wilander) was playing against a recent graduate of the USNA (Captain of the team for two years and played #1) who is now a pro plus a couple of other guys I know - both teaching pros. Actually, it was a good doubles match. Mats won but in a tiebreaker.
     
    #97
  48. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    4,071
    Well, I can't do anything about the climate which I'm very familiar with (grew up close to where you reside and went to graduate school close to you also). I'm trying my best with the book that I ordered from Amazon but it still hasn't arrived and I've even checked a couple of places to see if they had a copy - no luck. I know its miserable there, and that you guys have had a tough winter.

    I'm not concerned about misspelled words either. I might be the worst speller that ever matriculated the hallowed halls of Harvard. So, I'm certainly not trying to avoid your questions.
     
    #98
  49. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

    Joined:
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    I have an undergraduate degree in engineering but I'm having problems in following some of this. First, we can't say in my formulation we have a pentagon because I only use one geometric shape - triangles, might be two or more together but they are still triangles and not five sided figures. I visited the "Pentagon" a couple of times while on active duty and realize that car people love this shape but to me its never balanced and certainly one that most players would have trouble visualizing on the court - or at least I think they would.

    I've had players ask questions like "are these straight line triangles or do the sides bend a little?" However, I've never had someone say, "that looks like a trapezoid or pentagon to me". After one response used trapezoid, I asked a group that I was giving this demo to if any of them knew what a trapezoid was. One guy thought he knew - "like a square but the lines don't meet at 90 degrees", another thought "something to do with a door", yet another, although convinced he knew, couldn't draw one on the Har-Tru court. The others "seemed" to acknowledge they knew the word but we somewhat hazy as to what it was.

    Everyone know what a triangle is and that's why I use them. They might not be able to articulate the different kinds of triangles but I've never had to explain to anyone what a triangle is.

    Vortices, (is that spelled correctly?), your probably a lot smarter & better educated than me but I thought that had something to do with wind. Or, is that the middle line of a triangle separating it into two equal parts - getting me all confused now.

    I'm formulating a system that allows players to see the court like better players see it. Its not an exact science that works in each and every situation that some might like. These triangles change quickly throughout a point (assuming players move) and there isn't time to go into great detail - its the concept that matters to me and that's what I'm trying to put across. When they see these area, it opens up a totally new way to view the court both offensively and defensively.
     
    #99
  50. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,398
    do any of these post actually explain or describe the triangles?
    If so, can someone give me the post number? thanks : )
     

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