Robert Landsdorp as a coach.

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by baseline08thrasher, Dec 28, 2008.

  1. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    And you have misrepresented me, so I'm just not going to worry about it. I'm not here to provide you with links or definitions since you don't have a true interest in the topic. I won't try to represent what your interest may be.
    But, I will always provide info for those who have a sincere interest.
    take care.
     
    #51
  2. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    This is the part of your post I would agree with on RLs instruction from what I've heard him say, and simply disagree with your opinion that it is fundamentally solid. It is fine for us to disagree, right?
    This is not disparaging RL, but just stating the differences and his comments about grips and spins.

    Quote from RL ad on TP.net-
    "Nobody explains to the parents that if you take your 8-year old to a coach who let's the kid hit with an extreme grip, you're already up the creek - you just won't know it for another 8 years. This is what I call the disaster of teaching methods in American junior tennis."

    No need to have a hero or anything, as we are out of High School, at least I am. And why jump to assumptions about who I've coached? You are way off base, but I'm not going to get drug down the path of bragging on my students. Of course you are free to assume as you wish.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2010
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  3. deluxe

    deluxe Semi-Pro

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    Saying that RL teaches strokes that have gone extinct is disparaging RL.
     
    #53
  4. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    since you accuse me of mis representing:
    A mis statement above, get it right.
     
    #54
  5. deluxe

    deluxe Semi-Pro

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    Sorry, did I use the plural of stroke?
     
    #55
  6. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    These are from an article which shows up on google but is from tennisplayer.net. Hope it is OK to post these excerpts from it.

    Lansdorp seems to be very humble about how he came to teach the RF shot.

    Also, how he came to appreciate the lower finish across the body.

    He may have lagged pro players in these two issues, but he admits it.

    Bolds mine.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Hitting the reverse forehand adds options. With the reverse, a pro player can save himself a minimum of 10 points in an average match. That's a huge difference.

    I didn't somehow invent this shot. I learned about it from watching top players. Working with Pete Sampras was when I really started to notice and understand it for the first time.

    I still have a tape of Pete taken in the late 1980s hitting a reverse forehand. I hit him a hard, deep ball and he reverses the finish. And the next one he does the same thing. I'm yelling at him, "Well, what are you doing? Why don't you move your feet?"

    And Pete responds, "Robert, the ball skidded on the line." So he was responding to a fast ball that was skidding and he was reversing his finish. But at that time I didn't understand it. Pete didn't understand it either. But for Pete, it was just a natural reaction to the ball.

    Later on, I didn't complain about Pete reversing it because I was starting to understand what was going on. When you saw Pete play when he was the best player in the world, he hit tons of reverse forehands. People would always say, "I can't believe it! Look how the ball curved back into the court on his running forehand."
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    Finishing across the body isn't something that is totally new, but today it is almost the norm on the pro tour.

    I first noticed it myself around 10 years ago watching pro tennis. I always loved to watch the South Americans and the European clay courters play when I would go the US Open. I love watching guys who just fight. And these guys had that mentality. They would just fight, fight, fight.

    But when they would get shorter balls you would see them rip the shot with this different finish. They would follow through down, across the body, sometimes way down towards the hip. And they'd just rip winners. And I thought to myself, "What are these guys doing?" To me that was fascinating.

    I certainly didn't change my teaching at that time. But as time went on--and I saw more and more players doing it--I started to study this finish, and I experimented with it myself.
    ------------------------------------------------------
     
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  7. chico9166

    chico9166 Guest


    Yep, no need for further discussion.
     
    #57
  8. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    Suresh, no problem as it helps illuminate the basic point regarding the flexibility and evolution in his teaching. And Chico think you are right as well.

    The extension is more critical in the early stages and that is supplemented with the variations. I once heard Robert joking about not telling players when to use which variation...that was a decision that good players had to learn to make for themselves...
     
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  9. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    On Davydenko, 5263 is saying that his technical style is the wave of the future.

    Interesting, because you have a guy with a very moderate grip, who hits about half of his forehands neutral stance in the center of the court, who still finishes over the shoulder on many forehands, but who has incorporated the wiper and the reverse finishes, and who stands up on or as close to the baseline as possible and hits on the rise and tries to hit through the ball relatively flat.
     
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  10. chico9166

    chico9166 Guest

    Pretty ironic huh? Accuse Lansdorp of being too "old school", and behind the times, and then choose Davydenko as a model for the future. Most would agree, for the reasons you mentioned, that he possesses more "classic" elements to his game, then most anyone on tour.

    His game would certainly be considered the antithesis of Wegner's approach, which is simply, use any grip you want (but preferably very strong), yank up and acrossed every ball, and always, hit from an open stance.

    The again, maybe 5263 didn't get the memo from headquarters, identifying the company's pro model.

    At any rate, perhaps we should just let him debate himself.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 10, 2010
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  11. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    This is for JohnYandell...

    Is there any way to get Winning Edge on DVD?
     
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  12. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    JY, thanks for this very balanced and reasonable comment, as it address many of the misconceptions of Modern Tennis teaching in MTM. Really shows how those like chic91 who feel their instruction contains modern elements, but don't really understand how it works in unison, along with nearly no understanding of Oscar's instruction.(based his description of it in his previous post)

    Davydenko is such a good model and shows all the fundamentals that are taught in MTM, with a very clear "up and across" swing. While I can't agree that he hits nearly half of his Fhs from neutral, the important thing he shows how MTM is not stance dependent. MTM starts working with an open stance believing it is better and easier for beginners, but the key is balance. Conventional neutral stance is used to step into the ball with momentum, but when Davydenko steps forward it is more for contact point adjustment, but with remaining on balance. Here is a nice vid showing many of the important aspects of how he still hits it like it is open by lifting.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7XsK1qu6Dw&feature=related

    this is his more normal or avg Fh-
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dW7SVLDZeX8

    Extreme grips are not encouraged or discouraged in MTM, as the student finds something that feels natural with their swing. The over the shoulder finish is the standard finish in MTM, and taught at the beginning, but others will evolve from that, like the Lasso which comes from an over the standard over the shoulder finish, but with greater acceleration. (often confused with the Rev Fh)

    As to hitting flat, he does it by just pulling more across in this "up and across" movement at contact and is a great example of how powerful the modern Fh can be to finish while maintaining the basic form, balance, and spin, while not needing to step out into driving linear momentum down range. (opposed to conventional extension out to the target to flatten out shots)
    Good post to show how little is understood about what is really happening in modern tennis when you come at it from a conventional approach IMO.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2010
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  13. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    If both mild and extreme grips are OK in MTM, and both kinds of cross finishes are OK in MTM, then what exactly is MTM? Is it simply an end-justifies-the-means approach where students who turn out good are "defined" to be MTM-compliant?
     
    #63
  14. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    So why does everything have to be a dig or insult? Do you really want to know or was that a platform to set up your insult?
    Do you really want to know where MTM is different?
    Leave out the extra jabber and I'll be glad to answer questions.

    Oh, you left out, MTM is not stance dependent either, lol.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2010
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  15. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    TB,


    Winning Edge on DVD? It's in the pipeline...meaning it's something I've been trying to get around to for about 4 years...2 of the music video segments are on Tennisplayer if that is any help.
     
    #65
  16. bhupaes

    bhupaes Professional

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    Hi 5263, am I correct in saying that Davydenko is approaching the ball with his racquet swinging circularly, but predominantly in the same plane, until it's really close to the ball? Either at, or very close to contact point, he abruptly pulls across and up. It seems to me he's building racquet head speed by swinging in one plane, and then abruptly redirecting it at contact. Let me know if I am off base... thanks!
     
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  17. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Well, I'll bite, what is the difference? I'm a certified teaching pro who has played (still play) and taught (still teach) for quite a while.
     
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  18. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    He will say:

    Not too early takeback
    Use of open stance
    Ball not hit on center of racquet (due to big modern sweetspot)
    Natural footwork, not rigid patterns
    Find the ball by tracking

    Maybe there were new concepts once at the beginner coaching level, but everyone does them now and frankly they are useful only at the beginner level, if at all. Every player who crossed a certain level, in any era, knew this, and the reason they may not have chosen to fully do so was due to limitations of racquets and strings. You did not see Laver run around with his racquet sticking behind him, and yes, he had to hit in the center because he used small wooden racquets. Everyone tracks the ball - all the juniors I see have been doing this for years. Natural footwork really is a myth - it needs to be taught. Watched Lindsay demonstrate the crossover step followed by shuffle step for an overhead last night on Tennis Channel to her co-host (a recreational player). Nothing natural about it - just a myth that people learn footwork naturally.
     
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  19. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    I borrowed a VHS copy back a few years ago...hmm late 90's I think it was from a library. Have always wanted to watch it again. It would be great to have a DVD version out, I'd definitely buy it.
    I'll check out Tennisplayer, thanks :)
     
    #69
  20. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I can relate, as I've been teaching over 20 yrs and was USPTA certified as well. Most of that time I was teaching conventional and working with other conventional coaches, so I'm very familiar with both sides of this.
    There are certain fundamentals used in conventional that may be denied, but are common.

    Neither approaches are stance dependent, but first leaned is very important to development.
    1.MTM starts with open instead of Neutral or closed. (very important for balance and court coverage as the game speeds up)

    2.MTM teaches to find the ball from below with timing for topspin, then at contact to accel up and across the ball to an over the shoulder finish.
    Conventional teaches to accel the swing into the ball and finish out thru the ball towards the target. (this maybe too subtle for some, but it is the biggest thing IMO. )

    3.MTM prepares early by moving to stalking positon, then a focus on waiting and timing, but
    conventional talks of getting racket back earlier when the game gets fast.

    4. MTM teaches the slice much the same, but find the ball from above, than at contact to pull down and across.

    5. MTM teaches to point the butt cap at the ball at the start and finish of the stroke, pulling the racket towards the contact, then presenting the strings with the change of direction of pulling up and across.
    You can see RL in his vid, how his racket stays much inline with his forearm, which is why he talks of driving the racket, pushing instead of pulling the racket.

    These are not everything, but just several of the basic differences. The beauty is the lack of compensations that are required by the conventional. Half your time when coaching conventional is teaching how to hit harder, but without hitting in the net or long. This does not happen with MTM as players can hit harder and harder as their feel gets better without problems with the net or long. Even very avg talents blow right thru 3.5 and 4.0. Hitting harder is just about getting more comfortable with the stroke and feel. The technique encourages more control as the swing gets more powerful. Sort of inverse from conventional instruction.

    When a MTM player steps forward/neutral, it is for contact point and usually not to gain momentum (cause none is needed/power is abundant already). IF they continue on in with the shot it will be balanced and just to transition on in, not for momentum.

    IMO, if you are teaching these MTM things you are not teaching conventional and should not be insulted. If you do believe in conventional and teach it fine, do what you believe in, but why get defensive if you really believe. If you are teaching some of both, fine, but realize you have a foot in both boats and have choosen what you believe in.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2010
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  21. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I think you stated it pretty well, although I'm not sure I would use the word abruptly, as it is too much like what some term as yanking or jerking (even though I don't think that is what you meant)
    It should be a very smooth accel up and across, when possible right at contact.
    We also don't really think of building racket head speed to the ball, but just using that part as a timing mechanism to find the ball cleanly just prior to the accel phase.
    It probably tends to happen as you term it to some extent, but that is part of the prob with conventional instruction of building racket head speed into the ball.
    A big part of what helps with MTM is how you think of things.
    So NO, not off base at all.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2010
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  22. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    I appreciate the your prompt response and taking the time to outline some of the "differences" that you see. From what I can see, MTM is probably more into "specific" methods than the USPTA which, as you know, doesn't endorse/require a "one-way" approach to the game - I think you would agree to this.

    As you might remember, I did a review of Oscar's book several years ago and my conclusion was that I couldn't find anything that was wrong and that it "did" contain "many" beneficial tips for players. Many of these things we have been using for years, some are outdated but Oscar surely has to be credited with assembling in book format, a series of methods that seem to work for the newer or average player.

    Are these methods new or revolutionary? Many of us can point to earlier works of many others, including Vic, John Yandell and Dave Smith just to name a few, that utilized many of these concepts. But at this point, nobody seems to care much about who should be credited with creating/starting some of these things and I happen to think this whole process has just evolved due to several factors like racquet and string technology, size and conditioning of the players, etc.

    Several of the things you mentioned, like open stance, topspin, buttcap pointing to the ball, "stalking" (Oscar's word) the ball, and so forth, we have been teaching for years. Have all teaching pros been on the same sheet of music - no, and they never will be. Some might see this as a negative but I choose to see as a positive - I am not a fan of a "one way/correct way" to do things.

    I have encountered some (actually quite a few) who for one reason or another, have had a problem with the USPTA and now seem to be on a crusade against the organization. I'm not putting you in that category but there are many who feel they were stung or that the organization was just not sensitive to their particular circumstances.
     
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  23. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    Okay, my turn to bite! (i've tried not to so far but there comes a point...)

    1. Please define "conventional" in this context for me (this is a genuine question) - what does "conventional" consist of.

    2. These "MTM things" are not MTM things, they were not "invented" by Oscar or MTM, they are what pro players have been doing for years. If MTM stopped all the horse**** claims like that and simply said this is our approach, we believe in it then it might get more respect from the sceptical coaches. To denounce everyone who doesn't do "MTM Things" paints your organisation in a bad light.

    Probably enough now before this thread gets deleted for going off topic.

    Ash
     
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  24. bhupaes

    bhupaes Professional

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    I should have used the word "deliberately" instead of "abruptly". I also see your point about timing - thanks for the clarification, 5263.
     
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  25. bhupaes

    bhupaes Professional

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    Ash, I don't mean to answer for 5263 who I expect will respond to your questions in detail, but I have to say that the point I have quoted above is a misrepresentation that has been made on this board for the umpteenth time, and no amount of reiteration seems to drive the point across that Oscar and MTM advocates never ever claimed to have invented any technique. They only recognized what top players were doing and collected these techniques together in the same bag of tricks, as it were. In other words, they created an effective teaching method, not new tennis techniques, IMHO.
     
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  26. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Ash, I can appreciate you position in the general sense. Your experience is pretty broad overall, so this could affect how you see things. You don't want to buy into MTM, but some of us out there suggest you should. You don't appreciate that since you are sure you have more knowledge. That's just how it goes. You favor the Spanish system, but that's odd to me, as I'm convinced that it is based and grew out of the MTM work done there in past years when Oscar was a National coach. I understand you feel different. That's fine and I don't call the Spanish approach horse****.

    Conventional is the predominate way things have been coached in the US.
    I have the certification, books and manuals to back up this idea of it, along with experience at Macci's, Everett's, Nicks and study of RL in past years when I followed their conventional teaching with all it's shortcomings and compensations. Pete even had to admit even though it was clear he was touting RL overall, that he had to adjust to using more TS in the pros.

    I could choose to be like most tennis coaches seem to be and try to grab credit for myself, as I had developed so much of the MTM stuff independently. I went another route and realized that what MTM taught, it had right, and what it didn't gave me room to personalize and be creative.
    At it's core is really just a simple concept with several helpful drills to support the excellent concept.

    As to contrasting with other teaching; That is simply how people learn best, thru compare and contrast. You must illustrate to students what they don't want to do as well. Also, I don't think you can show MTM instruction wrong, although I welcome the attempt, as we all learn from this. I feel it is quite easy to show conventional wrong in many ways, but they don't welcome this.
    Lastly, we use the term conventional so that if you don't feel you are conventional, realize it's not aimed at you, so no need to get defensive on any count.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2010
    #76
  27. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Pretty well said IMO.
    It's actually a pretty minimal system at it's core.

    Find the ball from above or below, the accelerate Up or down and across the ball to a good finish, while staying on balance.
    The rest is mostly info to support how to do this effeciently.
    IF he just said this, the book would be too short, lol.
     
    #77
  28. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Thanks for not putting me in that group. I have no problem with the USPTA and think there is a lot to like. I'm even pretty cool with their "open source" approach to instruction, but when they are showing something in their books or vids that needs to challenged, I don't have a problem with taking that on either, as I'm sure you do too. Difference between us on that is I sometimes show how MTM does better in that case. (not always though)

    I appreciate your comments and tone, as this is the kind of discussion we should have on these issues.

    New or Revolutionary?? Geeez, who knows. I don't think those are things you hear from me and I don't see where it matters much. Maybe you can find an old post somewhere if you search, but I don't think so. That sounds like things you see in ads. Folks have to make a living and promote their books and work.
    I will say I'm pretty sure none of those you mentioned pre-dates Oscar, as he was working to get the USTA to adopt his teaching back in 72, shortly after his time on the tour. Was JY even born yet?
    But as you say, it doesn't matter much to us. What I like is MTM's excellent core system that if free of false data, but yet has room for guys like you to express your style on the game.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2010
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  29. deluxe

    deluxe Semi-Pro

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    That's one of the odder claims. One of the biggest distinguishing points of the spanish approach is their focus on racquet head speed. Oscar was a coach there in the '70s. They were playing with 65 sq inch, 14 oz wooden racquets.
     
    #79
  30. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    As folks have stated time and time again, Oscar saw these strokes in the great Fhs and Bhs of his days playing in the 60s. Yes, poly and oversized rackets have affected the game, but not to the extent you seem to think. I use wood rackets in my practices even today using these techniques and my son is threatening to play a tourney with one cause feels so confident with how they work with wood.
    Point is that is not an issue.

    I'm sure the spanish coaches are trying to put their stamp on the training. I said it grew out of it; not froze there. Oscar has concerns they have strayed too far in some areas and notes the effects.
     
    #80
  31. deluxe

    deluxe Semi-Pro

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    I do think things have changed a lot since the '60s. Here's the 1966 wimbledon, and I'm especially looking at forehands:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hO-3LEFOMhs

    ;-)
     
    #81
  32. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I think we can all agree the changes have been amazing, but it is very important to some to note that all of the MTM strokes have been hit by some at various times thru the history of the game.
    And did you see the Fh at 2:18 in your clip!
    I'm not sure why they feel this pt is so important as Oscar explains how he saw players (Santana and Jose Higueras Fhs i believe) and studied their strokes for the key elements.
    Credit is important to some, but I'm interested in providing help on here and to my students. I'm also extremely interested in seeing American Tennis improve and I'm very confident that MTM core would clean up many of our current problems.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2010
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  33. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    What's your feeling about the quality of the strokes in that MIT video?
     
    #83
  34. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Sure I'll look at it again. Got the link handy?
    Didn't come up on search and can't rem where i saw it before.

    I know you stated before that you thought they hit beautifully, but their takeback could be better, so I'd like to look at it again. I'm thinking (not an Oscar quote) that open stance doesn't req as much tkback due to loading of the trunk during rotation and the idea that with MTM you find the ball with a later accel phase right before contact. More convention approach you need more shoulder turn for the long accel into contact.
    In fact this probably accounts for the extra extension, as a long somewhat linear accel and stepping into impact would tend to have more extension out towards the target.

    One prob I always had with the vids on your site, even though I found them an incredible resource, was that we never knew the speed of the shots or the result % for a given way of hitting. Even if he made the Fh on the vid at 95mph, how many did he miss that day hitting that way?

    I played this guy yesterday who had this odd shot at net. He missed 2, made one, missed 5 and made one. When he made the last one, my partner commented on what a great shot it was after it clipped the outside part of the line. I replied that he was 2 of 9 so far with it, and barely got the line on the last one, so I thought the shot was better for us. My point is that I think the extension you cite from you vids is much like this. Players often over extend IMO and do make some of these shots, but it seems to me charting missed shots, that often the culprit to their misses is the over extension out to target. Mostly it causes misses long, but also accounts for misses into net due to compensating and trying to avoid missing long. Big shoulder turn IMO factors in on this as well, as it seems to lead to over extension.

    thanks for the link if you have it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2010
    #84
  35. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    Can't remember where I first saw it but a simple search shows it is now on Oscar's site:

    http://www.tennisteacher.com/MITstudy.htm

    Not the take back. The turn I think is the issue, or one of the issues.

    As regards the Tennisplayer videos, we did some tests between misses and strokes that were in. Until you get a chance to see reactions of the players, you really can't tell the misses from the unforced errors on the vast majority of balls--exception being a ball a player doesn't control at all or just touches it with his racket..

    The core technical elements--and the variety of technical elements used by a certain player--do not change radically from ball to ball. The shape of player's turn move stays the same. The shape of the take back as well, although the size and timing can vary slightly. If he hits wiper finishes or reverse finishes, those look the same. The open stances, semi-open and neutral stances, are consistent.

    Errors are a matter, probably, of very slight changes in the racket path or angle or possibly the amount of spin. In general it is easy to describe the shapes of the swings, or more accurately the range of shapes.

    There are core similarities among the players are certain aspects that go across grip styles and even particular shot making.
     
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  36. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I could agree with that in a general sense, but for example with Agassi serves, I got enough vid to be satisfied that on the rare moments when he pumped up his serve into the high 120's/low 130s, that he improved his racket drop and delayed the elbow extension more, as compared to his normal 1st serve in the mid teens. So yes, I agree the adjustments and changes are not large, but I'm convinced they are significant, especially when splitting hairs like we are on the MIT vid. ( i better find it first, but going from memory on this)
    Also on my charting of the mid court ball attacks in pro matches, I've been surprised at how low some grade out. Most often this seems to be from too much momentum into the attack along with over extension to the target IMO.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2010
    #86
  37. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    My search showed that too, but going there it was not listed, but dug around and found it anyway.

    I don't really see much in the MIT vid to judge from or compare to pros, as it has no matchplay and just some plain jane demo strokes. I think the MIT vid is great overall and does a good job of showing that most players out there are very familiar with conventional/traditional instruction and what that means and have experienced it. Nice intro to MTM.

    MIT Coach seemed to have about 90degr shldr turn on strokes which is close to what you see below. Shoulder turn will vary with players, but MTM does not coach against big turn, so it's not a issue really. Funny that Fed's 97 mph Fh at about 37 secs on the vid below, has the least shoulder turn I saw out of him.

    Nadal
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rb3smnR6NSc&feature=related

    Fed
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uo51mYW2DA&feature=related

    Big thing for MTM is that you learn it quick and easy, then don't have to change to get better, but just add style and amplitude to your game. In fact, if you think big shoulder turn is important for your students, that is a great place for you to introduce you style of coaching, but it is not a MTM fundamental or false data either. I don't think MTM assumes everyone, even pros, has to be a big hitter. I think Hengis would have been better to just use her strokes to move and work her opponents and not try to copy the power players.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2010
    #87
  38. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Thanks and I think you provided a good response.

    I'm not sure about who was around first on many of these issues. I know Oscar is probably a little younger than Vic - Oscar is around 70, my guess is Vic is probably ten years older. John Yandell and Dave Smith are younger of course - my guess would be in their 50's somewhere. My guess would be that Robert Landsdorf and Vic are contemporaries.

    I think we can certainly agree that all four have continued to provide a tremendous amount of input for our sport in their own special ways.
     
    #88
  39. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Thanks. It's good when we can debate or discuss the approaches to this in a reasonable or even fun way. I guess it is just too easy throw in that little dig and we all fall for it at times here and there, when we think we have the superior position on things. I'll continue to work not to do that.

    Back to the OP and your comment as well, I agree with what Sampras said in his tribute to RL in that he brought a toughness and work ethic to the training. At the same time, IMO his influence on the focus for the flatter and driving Fh, tended to set American tennis back a bit. Telcher was known for his Bh while Sampras and Davenport's serve and Rev Fh outshined their RL type Fh. I actually see the rev fh as somewhat of a get around for them, that RL would accept. Pete even mentioned that he had to adjust that Fh to get more spin for the pros. Pete made the comment that he knew it was going to be a pretty good day if he was getting good TS on his groundstrokes. I think this is a pretty balanced appraisal speaking of both the positives and my perceived flaw in his focus. RL has so much influence with many that they just accept his opinion that the flat driving Fh with a moderate grip is center piece of a good ground game and I'm just explaining that despite all he has brought to work ethic of game, I don't see the evidence that he has the Fh thing right. IMO he has hurt his legacy by being so outspoken on a technique that won't fair so well in the coming years as we look back.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2010
    #89
  40. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Well said.

    Happened to be teaching a lesson Sat morning with a guy who's been away from tennis for a few years but still a very good player and very fit. Almost 40 but in excellent shape and a lot of drive to boot.

    Anyway, I was helping him harness the pace on the FH which was terribly inconsistent although he could hit a ton. The flat drive, although useful at times, does not work well in today's game. The racquets and strings are just too powerful to keep the balls in with flat strokes to say nothing of the fact the net cord catches its fair amount also - just not much margin of error on the stroke. Players who can't keep the ball in play will seldom advance.

    By changing grips, something he was reluctant to do at first and changing the swing path, he was getting a lot more to fall in with good pace. Still has a lot of work to do but I felt we broke the ice and can now move forward faster and more effectively.

    At the same time, two guys were hitting in the next court who had the same type of problem - their skill levels were much less (3.5's +). They seems absolutely content in constantly hitting balls that 50% of the time were out or into net. I don't quite understand this form of playing but it not unusual to see very short rallies.
     
    #90
  41. chico9166

    chico9166 Guest

    Quote, "Shows all the fundamentals that are taught in MTM, with a very clear "up and across" swing."

    This isn't exclusive to you, or MTM. The swing path is an arc.(on the horizontal) As seen from behind (forehand), the racquet is moving from left to right (inside-out) to contact, and then back from right to left, to lessor or greater extent.(turning radius) And of course, the racquet is moving up on the vertical plane. So, there is always and element of "up and across." Extension, in the proverbial/linear since, is a bit of a "red herring". Nobody swings straight.. What the video shows, however, IMO, is that the turning radius, can be longer ( extension), or shorter, (more across), depending on incoming ball characteristics, and what you're trying to do with the ball. I.E. shaping the swing. At any rate, it's not just a matter of extension or across, but how we move into the hitting zone, to make the ball behave. The shape of the swing post contact, will be more a result of how we "worked the ball". No?

    Quote "Conventional neutral stance is used to step into the ball with momentum."

    A bit of straw man here. Most of us "conventional coaches":) know that forward linear momentum, (in a direct since) has negligible effect on racquet head speed.But that it's direct, principle, role is to increase angular output. This can be accomplished by moving the center of mass (LM) in any direction. (forward, backward, up) So no, i don't see coaches getting too caught up into the "stepping into every ball for momentum" concept. It's mostly just a tactical/court positioning issue.

    Quote "As to hitting flat, he just does this by pulling more across, in this up and across movement at contact."

    Sounds to me like you all are just proposing that one should flatten out the swing path to hit the ball flatter. Am I missing something?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 13, 2010
    #91
  42. deluxe

    deluxe Semi-Pro

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    I almost missed your edit.

    Looks like neutral stance, stepping into the ball, like a conventional front foot hop footwork (lands on the back foot slightly before the front foot though), gets good extension through the ball. Looks like he hit it pretty hard with mild topspin.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #92
  43. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I can't agree that this is a conventional neutral stance or stepping into the ball. More like launching up to the contact, almost like a serve IMO. And Clearly up and across at contact.
    Notice how the move to the contact is almost all leg and body driven, and where the arm accel doesn't really kick in till just before contact.

    I was looking more at the stalking position and swing style, along with the lifting aspect of the legs. While we choose to start the teaching from an open stance, remember, MTM is not stance dependent, so his method of adjusting to a good contact point on balance is not a concern. I would say that in all my years, I've never seen any conventional instruction for this footwork. I have seen several guys teaching compensations to conventional footwork that is much like this, as way to augment balance and and free up the hips. You also could get away with moving more into the shot like this with the wooden rackets IMO.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2010
    #93
  44. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    No one claimed up and across is exclusive to anyone. We just teach it. I've never heard Macci, Nick, RL or any conventional coach teach up and across at contact.
    Glad you agree that no swing is straight.

    To hit flatter, I am suggesting that you emphasize the across aspect of the "up and across", and no, IMO that is not the same as saying just swing flatter.
    Yes, I feel you are missing quite a bit (not intended as an insult, please) as you come from an conventional mindset, and using a bunch of add on instruction to compensate for the initial false data of conventional instruction. These adjustments are not required with MTM as it does not contain the false data to work around in various situations, as it is more adjustable from the start.
     
    #94
  45. chico9166

    chico9166 Guest

    No offense taken 5263. I would like you to explain the flatter concept, though. And do you not see varying extension points/swing shapes?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 13, 2010
    #95
  46. deluxe

    deluxe Semi-Pro

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    [​IMG]

    As the ball approaches he seems to have one foot in front of the other, he takes a small step forward with his front foot, but still has one foot in front of the other. I can't see how that can be anything other than neutral stance. I can't see it's "launching up into contact" much. He doesn't have much knee bend, he doesn't get off the ground very high, and he's playing a ball that's at waist height. How do you hit a topspin without coming up and across? Is that something unique to MTM?

    Which position is the stalking position? It all looks pretty classic form to me. Left arm stays on the racquet throughout the unit turn, extends towards the side fence, highish continuous loopy backswing. Very small lift from the legs, that's more to do with transitioning to the net.

    I don't really follow why you think he's playing neutral stance to adjust to a good contact point. He could perfectly well stay back, hit open stance at waist height and stay in the rally. Are you saying that because that ball is bouncing so high it would be uncomfortable to hit that open stance, so he's stepping in so that he's better able to hit it at a comfortable height? He could elevate just as well in open stance couldn't he?

    I see something different. I see that he's got a slightly short ball down the middle, so he's got plenty of time to set up how he wants, so he steps into the court to drive the ball from neutral stance and is going to follow it into the net. That front foot hop footwork is conventional for that situation. You see it all the time from players on the ATP today. Fed. Skeletor. Berdy. etc

    I've seen it all over the place.

    The bailey method (0:24s): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRV4GhpD4m8
    FYB recent footwork video (~25m): http://www.youtube.com/user/FYB2007#p/u/18/R5CWAwtijVI
    Numerous mentions in various articles at tennisplayer.
     
    #96
  47. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Thank you, I appreciate that. I agree that swing shapes can change some based on positioning and bounce type.

    There really seems to be fair number of folks (mostly coaches I think) that seem to think that conventional way is fine (i almost fell into this group given all my time spent learning all these compensations), and the learning is all in knowing all the workaround techniques (like learning the hop step). But By far IMO there is a far greater number of folks out there who are frustrated by being taught one way, only to learn they have to make some pretty big changes to get better or make certain shots with good %. I can't count the number of times my students have said something like, "so why did my previous instructor always have me step into the Fh and swing out to the target?"
    Maybe you don't teach this, but a great number do.

    About flatter;
    If you learn learn to hit up and across for rally shots, with an emphasis on the up for high topspin, then adjusting to a flatter shot by changing the emphasis to the across part is pretty simple, maybe even natural. I learned conventional, and it was not taught this way and was even warned against my sidespin aspect of my TS shot by a former All-American tennis player/ teaching pro. I've watched many top coaches and been at USTPA events. Granted the training varied greatly as USPTA does not endorse a specific method for attacking short balls, but it did tend to focus around stepping and swinging out more towards the target and driving the shot lower, flatter, and hard.
    For MTM we want to get stable (not carry momentum),
    find the ball (not get big racket speed into a collision), then
    Accelerate up and across to the finish (not out to the target).
    Now you may mix and match any of this
    and that is what you will have,
    a mix and match. It won't be MTM or conventional, but IMO, it is rooted
    in conventional; or why hold on to the previous ways?

    Now sure different things will happen out on the court with athletes making athletic plays, but that mostly springs naturally from a good base. IMO conventional is not a good base and tends to trip up even good players at times. I applaud all of you good coaches that have moved on well past the conventional training of our past, but only ask that you re-examine the parts you have held onto, and see if they really have the value you once thought. When I did this, I found that they did not and it was time to move on to a cleaner approach. I was all prepared to make a few workarounds for MTM when I found the trouble spots, but they never showed up. A couple of times I did think they had, but as I understood more, I found out that each time it was just my understanding that was short, not the technique. That misunderstanding was most often rooted in conventional training.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2010
    #97
  48. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Amongst the current crop of successful US juniors - Oudin, Capra, Harrison, Sock, Klahn, King - who has been trained under MTM?
     
    #98
  49. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I don't have that info, but which King is that? Kevin?

    I'm looking forward to seeing more of Sock.
     
    #99
  50. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Vania. Though she is "old" already.

    How many of them were trained using MTM?
     

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