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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    THE BOOK CAME, THE BOOK CAME, THE BOOK CAME.

    Although there is isn't an invoice enclosed, it was sent "airmail" (Royal Mail) from Awesome Books Co. UK - I ordered from Amazon (New York?). The other rather strange twist is that it doesn't even have my last name on the label but the book itself and package look brand new so it hasn't been kicking around. So "airmail" from the UK to Florida took 13 days.

    OK, so right to page 22 having only flipped through the book. Server's partner position is exactly where I would place them - in the middle of the service box. Those that prefer stepping forward on serve, I'd start about a step back from center but still centered on service box (diagram 2.8). So, it would appear the advice her is that the server's partner should step at a 45 degree angle from initial position - one way or another. You know I'm not going to agree with that. Why would they automatically take a step toward the alley - I'll keep reading, must be for you calling for a wide serve. How many times does that happen and as net person your kinda hung out there and out of things.

    Not quite sure what diagram 2.7 is but checking. Lots of letter/number designations, dotted lines and arrows. Actually, I'm not sure what its all about even having read it - maybe its me or I'm tired because I'm having trouble following the logic here. I also didn't see the part where your coverage is better the closer you are to net - maybe that's in another section.

    Alright back to the words under "Whole Territory". Little bit on the confusing side here. If I'm server, I don't want partner standing in different locations depending on what type of serve I'm about to hit - kind of gives it away doesn't it? Second thing I don't want anyone doing is looking back after the ball has passed them - bad thing to do and probably the best way I know of to catch a ball in the face. But I guess the point here is that if I call for server to hit up the "T" than I should step toward center at a 45 degree angle and if I call for wide serve, I should step toward alley the same distance. Yeah, maybe - would depend on if the serve actually goes there and how wide the returner might be pulled off court, I might have to take several steps because returner could go down the line in back of me. So, I've got to mirror the returner, not exactly but somewhat.

    Now, just the comment, "Having communicated with server before every point to ascertain serve direction" - this in itself assumes a lot, including skill levels involved. Most Club players don't do this, maybe a few but most don't - I think they should but just watch them.

    Then it goes on to say "at the professional level, the net player wants to be as close to the net ...........". Goes on to say that most professional players don't lob on return of serve and so forth. Ever watch club players - this seems to be a favorite shot. OK, then it says as if in passing, club players can play anywhere they choose between the center of the box and the service line.

    So, we read all this including two diagrams and one sentence basically says, don't play attention to this if your a club player. My words, not his but for almost two pages one is led through this process and then you find out it only pertains to the professional game - little strange. I think I would have started out saying if your not a high level player, don't read this section because its not applicable to your game. For the average club player, this might spell disaster.

    Although I have every intention of reading this book from cover to cover, my initial impression is that its very different that what I've been working on. I've seen many books with similar looking diagrams (actually every tennis book seems to have them) but I'll have to do some reading.

    And by the way, I did find someone this morning that was familiar with Louis Cayer - said he had heard of him, "wasn't he a coach?" Guy is from Canada and a walking sports encyclopedia.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2011
  2. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Larry, I have every intention of reading it from cover to cover. Not quite sure at the moment how it relates to what I'm doing but we'll find out. Thanks.
     
  3. eliza

    eliza Guest

    Disaster? WOW, Papa. True, I did get a ball in my eye while ago; but I am also proud b/c I dislike emulating the lobs that are taught by Pros who think club players are an hopeless disgrace. Please give us a little more credit in wanting to progress.....Oh, I always speak to my partner and she too about intented location of serve, and consequent position at the net (which we try to achieve after the ball lands). That's why I look forward to read more on this and other threads.
     
  4. larry10s

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    papa i have not read every post in this thread:oops:
    your concept of seeing the "triangle " of spaces that are there for winners/forcing shots
    is explained in a different way by steve tourdo unlimited doubles
    http://www.unlimitedtennis.com/doubles_book.html
    where he talks about seeing the spaces
    the book in general is great for begginners /intermediate doubles players as it talks about getting to net and many importatnt double skills.
    cayer uses triangle to explain your positioning to cover the opponents triangle (really a V) of possible shots
    overall for some one learning doubles his stuff is great

    its not your concept of seeing the triangle of open court
     
  5. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Well, it sounds like you guys are on the right track. Its always smart to communicate with partner concerning location of serves and if you intend to poach - some like to wing it which has its advantages also. At the club level, when a good percentage of play involves different partners there isn't a lot of communication going on - at least about the location of serve and poaching. Players playing together quite a few times start it but its generally for the upper level players.

    Lobs are an interesting subject and I've been covering them this week in clinics - different types, when to use them, how to hit them, grips, how to following them in and so forth. We're not talking "moon ball" type playing but meaningful lobs that serve a purpose(s) and should be incorporated into everyone's game. Some pros might take them as a joke but I don't and if you watch/follow any amount of tennis you'll quickly see their importance. So, your right, get on these guys and demand to be taught the correct ways.
     
  6. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    I'm sure I have this book but not here in Florida so I can't answer any specific questions about his approach. Think that was published about eight or ten years ago and my copy is probably the paperback version like most tennis books these days.

    I also can't think of any of his approaches that ring a bell but all tennis books have mention of targets of one kind or another. Although my approach I believe is a little different, I'm certainly not claiming to have invented or be the first to use targets.
     
  7. julian

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    please compare two drawings

    Papa,
    Please make 2 corresponding drawings to see that one triangle is bigger.
     
  8. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I'm always surprised when players don't look back as the ball get past them?
    While I've never been hit when looking back (and have been hit numerous times when not looking), IMO if you are scared about getting hit you should not play doubles.

    The players I see that don't look back, are the one that get noticed for getting back and playing defense at the right times or stepping to the cut off when you go DTL on a net guy. They don't have a sense of how much trouble you are in; or not.
    While lots of folks agree with you on this, I just don't see how less info and receiving this less info later can be a good thing.
     
  9. larry10s

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    yes papa your way is different
    his method was for doubles you have tne 2 alleys the middle and over both net players as spaces to target. he wanted you to see the spaces as targets not the players
     
  10. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    OK, lets take a look at this. Taking a quick glace back as the ball passes is something many of us actually do. However, standing at net and watching partner strike the ball is, IMO, just asking for trouble. If you, as a pro, encourage players, especially at club levels, to turn back or watch the ball so the can "get more information", they will almost all still be watching way too late.

    Its my opinion that the average player can gain more information by watching the opponents as they position/reposition themselves to play their next shot. A quick glance is one thing but that takes training. For the average club player to watch the ball to partner then be expected to refocus on opponents is beyond what most readers here can effectively accomplish and I think it silly/foolish to expect them to try it. I have seen players hit and making the statement that "if your scared of getting hit you should not play doubles" is disingenuous.

    I have witnessed cases, especially in mixed play, where generally the male player, will intentionally go after the opponent female to try and intimidate them which, although different that looking back, is way beyond the spirit and intention of the rules and code of this sport. The point is, you better be mindful of the hazards on court which can come from both sides of the net. Many have become permanently injured and its unconscionable, as professionals, to suggest "everyone" play in similar manners that could bring about tragic consequences.
     
  11. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    No, I'm not going to do that because it doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense - your coming to conclusions based on line diagrams that IMO, are not well founded or applicable for the average club player. Of course the closer you get to the apex of any triangle, the more you can cover - so what? Do you think that in professional tennis, players stand eight or ten feet behind the service line, when receiving serve, just for fun? They stand there, knowing that they are not going to be able to cover as much of the service cone, but realize that they need the reaction time. If you let any good player hit a ball from or inside the baseline and your hanging right at net, my contention is that you'll get beaten more than you'll win. The ball has to be hit right at the net person and even at that, they have to have good, soft hands - the reaction time on a screamer is nil.

    As I mentioned in a previous post, when playing net, we're not hockey goal tenders trying to block a fixed, relatively small vertical goal. I don't know the exact figures on this, maybe I should but I don't, as to what percentages of shots in hockey are either caught, deflected or smothered by the goaltender - I suspect its very high.

    Louis Cayer's book, reinforces my ongoing contention that skilled players look at the court very differently than most players in this sport. I throughly agree with this. However, realizing I've only now gone through "poaching skills" (roughly 20 -25% of the book), I see so many things that are just not applicable to the average or even advanced club play. Have I seen some of these play, yes, of course but to expect the club player to pull them off is very questionable.

    For instance, how many club players have the footwork/speed and shots to execute a wide serve poach where the net man breaks to the middle and the server covers the alley? This is professional type advice requiring very skilled, conditioned athletes. What do you normally see? Net person generally is pretty well grounded, might poach but not likely, seldom changes position, not totally comfortable with the volley, has no idea what to do if the ball comes in their direction, etc.

    I think this might, in a nutshell, showcase what's wrong with a great deal of instruction these days. I want to emphasis that I have NOT read the entire book yet.

    We're trying to show players things that aren't realistic or applicable to their level of play. Very few players IMO are playing at the level where this advice is relevant. If you have a long standing partnership and play tournament tennis, you might want to investigate these plays. What percentage of player fit this category? A very small percentage and guess what, they aren't taking lessons. They might be coached (most don't even have that) but their not taking lessons as most who read these boards are familiar with.

    Maybe some of this is applicable to college tennis but I certainly wouldn't teach it to most HS players. Some yes, but not many.

    So, my bottom line so far is, that if your a pro and want/think your going to introduce some of this to the folks that pay your way, you might consider really modifying it or check to see if you have a wealthy uncle somewhere who will support you. Expecting most players to adopt some of these plays is, IMO, aiming way too high. If we have players who can't hit a consistent ground stroke or volley, what brings us to the conclusion they can run these wet noodle patterns or even remember them.
     
  12. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Well said here, I get your point better from this.
     
  13. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    You mean baseline instead of svc line here right?
     
  14. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    OK. The players (opponent(s)) certainly define/determine where these target areas are along with the size. I don't want anyone thinking that I'm advocating that the opponent is the target. Sure, in cases its appropriate depending on the level of play. Teaching players do this as a routine tactic at the club level "probably" will get you your walking papers. Lets not make any mistake about it, a tennis ball can (potential), will and has hurt many players. Many others are leery of taking certain positions on court because they don't care to become targets which is unfortunate. I think the code and rules are clear on this subject and its probably not necessary to expand on the subject very much.

    If another player (opponent(s)) is deliberately head hunting, they should be specifically warned that is inappropriate behavior. If they fail to heed the advice, I think we all have our ways to curb the behavior flaw.
     
  15. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Yes, your correct - sorry.
     
  16. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I expect if someone is looking at Cayer, or often when taking lessons for that matter, they are looking to explore some more advanced plays. It is up to the instructor to find the appropriate level of instruction. Sounds like your work will be helpful with this goal.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2011
  17. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Yes and I agree with your assessment.
     
  18. eliza

    eliza Guest

    Sorry, Papa, I disagree again. Unless you are teaching 65 and over, players should be taught that.
    The opponents are not the Bryan bros, but people of the same level.
    I will make a statement that will get many angry here.
    Oscar Wegner does not treat club players like mummies; he gives them the same tools that professionals have. And I stand by this.
    I am writing all your arguments, and will (as a personal test) put at work what it is said to be "reserved to higher powers".
    If I get hit or hurt, I will let you know.
    Have a great week-end, everybody!!
     
  19. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    pap im 57 and have to disagree
    im playing 9-10 years and am a dedicated student of the game
    ive taken lessons from the beginning and from the beginning wanted to learn "the right way"
    so it was coninental grip for serves volleys and overheads from the beginning
    even when i was 3.0-3.5 i wanted to try hand signals ,I formation,australian stuff in doubles but didnt always have partners the were agreeable.
    the last 2 years or so ive gotten into a 4.0-4.5/5.0 group (im 4.0 ish)
    and the 4.5 guys for sure all use hand signals with me.
    both when i serve and when they serve. and they will humor me when i want to go to the I formation on there serve.
    many of my fellow 4.0s will also use hand signals and try I formation
    our 4.0 and 4.5 USTA team gets to regionals and state quite often
    so it is doable at the "club level"
    if its not introduced from the beginning it makes longer to "get it"

    ive had teaching pros tell me not to try a sharp angled "dipper" or angled volley. just hit the ball in the middle because you are just a club player and that shot is too advanced. i stopped taking lessons from those people

    yes you will hit down the middle most of the time but if i didnt practice and be allowed to fail in my lesson i wouldnt be able to hit the angled dipper and angled volleys now

    maybe im not your typical student
     
  20. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    OK, that's why this forum is here so everyone can voice their individual opinions - I certainly have no problems with that.

    The position I take is something like this. If you have a couple of players taking a class and say one is a 3.5 (which up to and including that level probably represents a very high percentage of players) and a 5.5 player (which probably represents less than 1% of players or less). Would you expect them both to be taught the same thing using the same approach? Do you think that both would get the same out of the session? Would you expect both to be able to execute the same shots at the same pace for the same period of time?

    Its not a matter of holding back information which will enable the player to develop. Its trying to make it relevant to their skill levels so they can understand and improve. I've been around coaches when they have been working with pros - other than being entertained and probably impressed, I don't think you would get much out of the session because they are focusing on very tiny aspects of the players game.

    So, I'd delighted you want to improve but I'd be disappointed to learn that you became frustrated/injured because of the demands of a coach simply because you simply are unable, because of age, conditioning or skill, to perform at a level significantly higher than possible.

    If you think you have the tools, go for it - I'm not trying to hold anyone back.
     
  21. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Not that papa needs my defense, but last statement is the key and explains the difference in what papa is saying.

    Congrats on things you are doing and learning
     
  22. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Look, if you can do this stuff at a higher level, go for it as I've said before. I'm not trying to hold anyone back from anything. I don't teach or suggest you go for the conservative approach all the time. If you can poach like Cayer suggests without injuring yourself or partner, than by all means go for it.

    I do know players like yourself, that seem capable of doing this stuff but they don't represent a high percentage of club players - most move onto tournament play.

    In reading further into Cayer's book (Part ll Serving Team), I couldn't help but be impressed with the first paragraph which emphases "training" as a doubles team. It say "They must play hundreds of matches or be involved in a systematic training environment that accelerates their learning of doubles patterns."

    If this is available to you and you've had that type of exposure than it sounds like you might be ready to attempt these moves on a regular basis. I don't think most club players are in this category. Maybe your area is different or your club has exceptional players - don't know.

    He also says in the Preface, "this book is geared toward advanced doubles performance". To me that means tournament players - teams at the 9.0 or open category.

    So, it boils down to this, are you being taught these advanced skills and are you specifically training as a doubles team? If you are, I wish you continued success.
     
  23. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Look, I'm not trying to pick a fight with anyone here or hold anything back - here or anywhere else, that's just not my style. However, when I see the questions being asked in this forum and see some of the responses, I've come to the conclusion that most participants are not advanced players. Blame it on whatever you like but that's my opinion.
     
  24. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    papa
    you are correct most of the posters are not advanced players but want to be
    imo
    at 4.0 im not an advanced player either
    most of the questions are not the type an advanced player would ask
    they have already found those answers
    many here have alot of book knowledge and share it
    some such as yourself are truly a professional who is willing to give up his time, knowledge and experience for FREE:)
    i hope i have not added to any other posters to whom you feel offended or defensive
    i for sure am not looking to pick or to fight:)
    i enjoy reading your posts and have learned alot
    you get me thinking
    thats a good thing
    i also think its a good thing to hear about the experiences of others
    we can agree or agree to disagree
    thats not fighting
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2011
  25. eliza

    eliza Guest

    And I am not interested in a fight, neither. However, I believe that the assumption that there are two kinds of tennis, one for the lay person, one for the true player, is false. Moreover, it destroys players.
    I learned about I formation and diagonal switches when I was a 2.5. We had an "historical"night, when our then captain and her partner (2.5s!!!!!) were attacking the net, together, with the same confidence of a professional. The pace/spin must have been very different from a top 10, but they looked just like them.
    I mean no disrespect, but tennis is not that difficult. Maybe I am not the common tennis student, but I do not see (and as said before, I will test this on myself) why I should not be taught the very same things as a 5.5.
     
  26. larry10s

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    i only disagree that tennis is a difficult sport:shock:
     
  27. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    OK, you've made some good points. I've never said there are "two types of tennis". What I've said is that there are many factors to take into consideration and that conditioning, footwork and skill level are significant. I have never labeled anyone as a "common tennis student" - if you knew me you wouldn't come to that conclusion.

    Now, as far as the example I asked you about, do you honestly think a 5.5 player would need/get the same level of instruction as a 3.5? With a 5.5 you might spend significant time on just being able to get the service toss a inch or two this way or that way or reducing/increasing the number of rotations of the toss by a few. You might spend thirty minutes on drills that would exhaust most players in a fraction of the time. You'd be trying to get the serve into not only one side of the box but having a shot configuation of thirty balls in a hula-hoop sized area. You might be hitting 50 or more ball, machine gun style, as the player was at net. And it goes on and on.

    I'm not trying to be critical of you or anyone else playing style or ability - I'm just trying to be realistic.
     
  28. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    I'm sure you've heard the phrase that "tennis is easy to play but difficult to play well".
     
  29. larry10s

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    :)
    i have not heard it but its accurate:)
    no question you have to modify your lesson to the skill level of the student
     

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