RPT Spanish Training Model

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by tennis_balla, Dec 8, 2009.

  1. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    Ok, so the last thread where I posted this got deleted so I'm gonna try again to put this up for others to see. This is Luis Mediero of RPT Europe doing a seminar on Spanish training methods and philosophies a few years ago. Its not the whole video, just a portion of it. Enjoy :)

    Part 1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Aj8jYfKqio

    Part 2
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHd0kMBdGkE

    Part 3
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfH_KB63k44

    Part 4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCcb_sYn7dA

    Edit:
    Two more videos uploaded, these are a few of the on-court drills presented in the video in connection to what was being discussed/lectured earlier.

    RPT Drills Part 1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xo0ffkh-Z4

    RPT Drills Part 2
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqCfLhWVaAE

    Edit 2:

    Links fixed :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2009
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  2. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Nice posting,
    thanks
     
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  3. VaBeachTennis

    VaBeachTennis Semi-Pro

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    Thanks for posting that. It's going on my blog with credit to you and TW forums.
     
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  4. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    No problem, glad you enjoyed it :)

    =========================================

    I've also added a couple more videos to the original post if anyone is interested.
     
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  5. UnforcedError

    UnforcedError Rookie

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    Great videos thanks for posting that.
     
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  6. Ash_Smith

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    Luis is a legend, the passion the man has is infectious! Was chatting to him last weekend about the state of tennis in britain and spain. He believes the Spanish Federation need to make changes now or in 8 years or so after the current crop of players retire they will have no top players. At least they will be changing in a position of strength unlike britain and the US who will be working from a position of relative weakness.

    The reason the RPT system of teaching works so well is that nearly all spanish coaches are trained by the RPT so there is a unified and cohesive approach. In the UK there is the LTA coach education - (which from the courses i've done is more concerned about how you look and sound rather than giving you the technical tools to teach), the PTR-UK (who don't count really) and the RPT (we are growing rapidly!). Most UK coaches have been through LTA Coach Ed, which has no system for teaching as such.

    The irony is the rest of the world are just catching on to the "Spanish" (RPT) system when they are about to develop it to move it forward for the next generation.
     
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  7. Ash_Smith

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    Also, forgot to add that a big difference in the Spanish (RPT) sytem is that the body is trained as much as the racquet, insofar as movement, positioning, footwork patterns are concerned - it's not just the racquet. When I did some work with Vicente Calvo (verdasco's trainer) he made the point that many Spanish players are not as technically coherent with the racquet as players from other countries but they use their bodies much better - they are much more physical in their approach.
     
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  8. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    I took the RPT recognized Sanchez-Casal coaching course in Barcelona and the drills that were introduced are exactly what you are talking about. Its playing tennis with your feet, not just relying on your racket. Some people I've heard do not like the Spanish X drill patterns but that is the way you move on court. Maybe they misunderstand it but you can see a change in the Spanish system to what people think it is, or was says back in the early 90's. It is much more all-court now, which is an interesting shift from a nation that grows up playing on red clay.
     
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  9. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    The Sanchez-Casal core drills are excellent, in the UK we offer this as a one day CPD course or as part of the full certification programme. The big thing i've found when teaching them to coaches is that many of them don't have the skills to either feed them properly or the knowledge to teach the important points during the drills. Most just use them to fill some time rather than to actually teach.

    Of the 6 core drills at least half involve the volley, which like you say promotes an all-court style. again it's about not putting barriers in your players path - just because Rafa doesn't volley often doesn't mean he can't - in fact when he does volley he nearly always wins the point.

    The only drill of the 6 I'm not keen on is the drive volley drill - because it has the player moving backwards to hit the drive volley (the argument being the player learns to move back and then shift their weight forward into the hit - it needs to be taught really well to make sense).

    Glad you enjoyed the course.
     
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  10. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    I actually love the volley drive drill, when we had to do it in the course it was the one that I enjoyed the most and helped my footwork a lot also.
    It is a tricky one though you're correct. I've done it with a number of people and not only explaining it correctly and having things under control is crucial but also making sure you feed the ball at the right height and speed so the player can execute the drill properly. I did the course with 3 other guys and that was the one some had problems with as well as feeding it deep enough on the baseline to get the player moving back into a defensive position.
    I can't imagine those drills being used to fill time, that's ridiculous. Everyone I've introduce those drills to (players during lessons) have loved them and said its different to what they've ever done before. The one bounce, 2 volleys (starting on service line, move back to hit a groundie then 2 volleys) was actually the most popular.

    I think we should continue the discussion here if you want, we're getting off topic in the other thread.
     
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  11. Ash_Smith

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    true (slaps self on wrist) :)

    Like I said, you've got to teach during the drills to make them worthwile - many coaches i've taught the drills to don't have the feeding skills required either.

    The big thing I noticed when I first learned the drills myself was that the first feed always puts the player in a defensive situation and then the drill develops into offence. Most coaches i've taught make their first feeds "nice" to help the player - not the most realistic way to start a drill.

    Look at how Nadal, Verdasco, Murray etc turn defence into attack so quickly and you can see which approach is better long term!
     
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  12. W Cats

    W Cats Rookie

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    Great info OP. Thanks for the links and exposing me to a new paradigim.
     
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  13. mikro112

    mikro112 Semi-Pro

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    tennis_balla: Please check your email! I've sent you one. :)
     
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  14. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    Yea what I found interesting is after apply the drills myself in lessons I noticed how much trouble players have in moving backwards, yet how many times in a match do you move like that? especially at the club level with those high balls some people hit, quite a lot. Its not always smart to hit on the rise all the time on everything, besides with the spin nowadays you can get a high deep ball and it doesn't need to hit 2 feet from the baseline and you will have to move back to hit it. I also noticed looking back that most places teach unrealistic drills. When I used to teach at Newcombes in Texas, I worked a bit with their adult program but then only with their junior academy (thank god). Their feeding drills (for both programs, including the top juniors) consisted of drills that went something like this: forehand, backhand, short ball, volley, volley, overhead.
    The thing that is wrong with that is 1. you're only teaching players to move forward and not like at S-C where you also learn to move back on a high deep ball, get behind the ball, load on rear foot etc so you can recover faster and 2. its unrealistic cause the player didn't earn that short ball, they could of duffed one into the net, or hit it short yet the next ball was still a short ball from the coach. There were other things, such as mostly going crosscourt on groundies and only hitting down the line in approaches but I wanna avoid writing a novel of a post :)

    Edit:

    Glad you enjoyed it W Cats :)
     
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  15. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    Got it and replied...
     
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  16. EP1998

    EP1998 Semi-Pro

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    That's the big shocker for Americans when they go to play on red clay against people who grew up on it. The clay court specialist works the point and then comes in and hits an angled volley or drop volley winner and wins the point.
     
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  17. W Cats

    W Cats Rookie

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    TB, I can't seem to pull up the Part 1 Drill vid. It was also not in the list of 8 vids that you posted on Youtube. Help.

    Thanks in advance, Gary
     
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  18. 5th Element

    5th Element Rookie

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    Ash_Smith without attempting to devalue your - undoubtedly - strong experience, I'd like to disagree on a couple of points.

    I've done both the LTA DCA course as well as the PTR UK one. None of them are perfect without a shadow of a doubt but I wouldn't go as far as to say that they have no system of teaching!

    LTA is using the game based approach without placing too much emphasis on tehnique, error detection, etc. Agility, balance, coordination (ABC) are extensively covered and tested on. Their method is based around the five playing situations and the five basic tactics.

    PTR is much more technical but doesn't tell you how to run coaching sessions after your initial 30-minute serve/forehand/backhand lesson. You need to attend seminars delivered after the certification stage to fill in the -admittedly - major gaps!
     
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  19. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    Sorry, my mistake I had it set to private. Should be good now, was wondering why no one was viewing that one haha
     
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  20. Ash_Smith

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    No worries, disagreement and discussion is how we get better at this silly game!!! :)

    How recently did you do your DCA - have you done it since the new technical progressions were introduced - did you learn to teach the brand new semi-continental grip which is the cornerstone of the new LTA progressions!

    We (the RPT) have been lobbying the LTA for years that progression based technical teching is the best method and they've finally adopted it - however they cant use RPT, PTR, USPTA, MTM progressions so they had to invent some.

    The 5 game situations have now changed too I believe - to something slightly less comprehensible than before. Did you have "At baseline/serving/returning/opp at net/you at net" as the 5 game situations

    I did my DCA about 10 years ago and found it next to pointless in terms of technical teaching - the highlight being a tutor (who shall remain nameless) saying that in the first instance you want the the player to "shovel the ball over anyway possible" not exactly what you want to hear when learning to coach for the first time! I didn't really find the CCA much better to be honest. Still little focus on technical development.
     
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  21. W Cats

    W Cats Rookie

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    TB, Thanks I got it. What is the Spanish X Drill pattern? I'm a high school coach and am always looking to expand my knowledge base to be more effective.
     
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  22. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    Here's an example direct from the S-C book
    [​IMG]
     
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  23. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    Bah got there while I was typing!!!...

    Difficult to describe in words...

    Two variations.
    a) Player starts on the service line "T" - recovery to this point after each shot in the sequence.

    First feed - diagonally back and behind the player - player hits forehand groundy
    Second feed - diagonally infront of the player - player hits forehand volley
    Third feed - diagonally back behind the player - player hits backhand groundy
    Fourth feed - diagonally in front - player hits backhand volley

    b)Player starts at baseline "T" - recovery after each shot.
    First feed - diagonally behind player - player hits forehand rally/moonball
    Second feed - diagonally infront of player - player hits attacking short ball forehand groundy
    Third feed - as first but to backhand side.
    Fourth feed - as second but to backhand

    So the pattern looks like... where the player starts at x
    4....................2
    -------X--------
    3....................1

    hope that makes sense? will try to find my illustration from the coaches pack we give out!

    The key teaching points are the movement between shots and the various rotations of the body in the changes of direction.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2009
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  24. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    Direction of student's shots

    A point raised some time ago is whether an insructor enforces
    a higher percentage shots from students.More later
     
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  25. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    That is a good point. IMO a players game should be centered around making the high-percentage shot over the low percentage shot before any shot you take. This helps fufill one of the main principles in tennis and that is to be consistent. When the situation calls for it, a player may take on more risk if they "own" the shot or has little choice. However, if the high percentage shot will give them the point, they should take it.
     
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  26. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    Thats one of the things Luis was discussing in the video about decision making on the court, if the player had enough time and was in position to change direction of the ball and/or go for more and have the coach support or correct the decision.
     
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  27. VaBeachTennis

    VaBeachTennis Semi-Pro

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    I liked those drills in the OP. The way he made them count the points was good as well. In the beginning stages, I can see feeding the ball "nice", just so the students groove their strokes and become more confident and proficient. What I see around here are too many coaches/instructors who just feed and stay in one place. The way the coach on the video mixed the feeds up was very nice as well. What I liked about the drill in "Drills 1" , is that the "feeder"/coach actually moved and gave the student a good mental picture of an opponent and where to hit the ball. Very nice.
     
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  28. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    If a player has the shot and decides the take on more risk (reasonably more risk), then yeah, take it. I would question the player if he didn't.

    Making good shot choices is part of the mental game and mental toughness that needs to be drilled and skilled.

    Players with nice strokes but poor shot selection barely and rarely get past 4.0. They look good, can be competitive, but their poor mental strength lacks and their entire rating drops with it.

    It isn't easy for some people to have the patience and satiasfaction in simply hitting the right shot even though it won't make the ESPN highlights. Some players really struggle with this and would rather lose being flashy then win being rather dull.
     
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  29. 5th Element

    5th Element Rookie

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    Hey Ash,

    Of course I forgot to mention that the PTR is (very) hot on progressions too - so they're pretty good in that respect.

    I did my DCA 4 years ago. It looks like a lot has changed since then. Why can't they use existing progressions? Are they copyrighted in some way or is it just politics?

    They 5 games situations are the ones you mentioned. What are they now?

    I'm still concerned and confused by some of the 'new' courses coming out of various academies/federations as they are in complete conflict with current trends. For example the play and stay initiative does dp a lot of the "shovel the ball over anyway possible".

    Your thoughts welcome...
     
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  30. Ash_Smith

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    Luis talks alot about managing risk and that by using the correct patterns of play for your game style you can hit winners with little risk because the space has been made by good point construction rather than raw pace.

    The consitencey comes from the 8/10 principal - a drill doesn't develop until the player can make at least 8/10 into the target area at the required level. A drill starts with single feeds, the player has to make at least 8/10 consistantly before the drill goes live ball and the same again before it goes competitive. The theory being if you cant hit it off a "fed" ball you cant hit it off a live ball.

    The baseline of Spanish tennis is all about consistency - and the ability to maintain consistency over a long period. From there the attacking patterns develop.
     
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  31. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    That's what makes them club players and not Pro's! Changing that mentality is one of the hardest parts of coaching!
     
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  32. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    Yeah the DCA (or Coach award as it is now) is very different and te structure is so much more confusing now than it has ever been - with different strands you can take after the core Coach modules depending on wether you want to go performance or club routes etc.

    The content is now progression based, but the progressions do not map across to what we see the pro's doing. The thing I like about the RPT progressions is that they are mapped off the fundamentals that you see at the top level and that they can be used for all ages. Nothing has to change from when you start teaching them to when they win the French Open! With the new LTA progressions you start with a semi-continental grip for the forehand and an open racquet face - this will need to be changed at a certain point in order to keep progressing. Why teach something now that you need to undo later?

    The game situations are now something like "when attacking/when defending/when in transition" something like that - maybe somebody has done the course recently and can confirm?

    The PTR have always been progression based - last time I did their progressions they led to a very "old-fashioned" classical stroke. This may have changed now - can you update me on them?
     
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  33. W Cats

    W Cats Rookie

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    TB and/or AS The X is an interesting drill pattern and I can envision some of it's application. The example from the manual is from court positions 1,2. If from court positions 2,3 is the middle of the X at the center hash mark on the baseline?
     
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  34. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    Progressions

    Hi,
    I would like to add couple of sentences about progressions.
    Not sure whether it is OK because a post was addressed to someone else
     
    #34
  35. W Cats

    W Cats Rookie

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    Just reaed one of the examples more closely and answered my own question.
     
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  36. Ash_Smith

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    Julian. go for it. all information is welcome. Not that I need to give you permission!!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2009
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  37. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Managing risk is key. Managing risk at a moments notice or in real-time is paramount. Managing risk has a connection with managing a players judgement, emotions, and quick-thinking for improved shot selection.

    This is especially true when a player begins to hone in their stroke technique and starts wanting to go beyond just hitting a ball.

    Executing the correct patterns and managing risk is both science (correct patterns - the rule) and art (knowing when to go beyond correct patterns - the exception). The tennis player that ignores the fundamental principles of correct patterns and only goes with what he feels is right (the exception), runs the risk of reaching a certain level and not advancing because they are using the exception more often thant the rule at times they should be simplifying and going with the correct patterns.

    The individual risk element should be viewed in light of what the player owns. Some players can do things with a certain ball even when they are off-balance or look like they are in trouble that another player can't do.

    Good coaching will consider that when judging the decision making in shot selection the player takes and performs. This is sort of the "art" side of shot selection, risk management, and choices. :)

    Yup, good stuff man! I love it! I am all for it! Glad we are talking about this. I get a bit bored just talking about stroke technique at times.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2009
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  38. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    Glad you got it. A drill like that can be changed in so many ways, especially on the spot thats why I like them so much and like you noticed baseline concept is the same.
     
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  39. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    Regressions

    Regressions are of different types :

    1.minimizing complexity

    2.addressing some time related problems

    3.addressing some space/distance related problems

    4.decomposing footwork from body mechanics

    An example: serve can be taught from a serve line instead of a baseline.
    So it can be classified as type #3 described above
    An abbreviated serve is an example of type #1
    A Bailey method is related to type #4
    PS
    I did pass 3 of 5 PTR tests
    A lot of coaches do regressions without being certified by PTR.
    I will try to expand this post today or tomorrow or answer some specific questions if I am NOT on a court.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2009
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  40. W Cats

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    Interesting thing happened last night when I focused on one of the the RPT concepts, reading the opponent, durring the weekly doubles session.

    But first a little background about my eyes. My vision has gotten progresively worse over the last 3 years. Astigmatisim in one eye is so bad in one eye that I can't get 20/20 correction with contacts anymore. All this has slowed my reaction time down considerably on returns but less so with net play. My guess is that it has more to do with seeing the server from afar than real reaction time as my reaction volleys are still there. To keep it short I've been a bit discouraged about how much further I can progress in my game because of this eye problem.

    Now back to last night. I felt like I had one of those breakthrough moments. It wasn't that I played particularly great or was in the zone, but reading my opponent seemed to give me much more time. Time to move , time to prepare, time to execute. I felt less of using my court and opponent knowledge to guess where the shot might go but actually knowing more where it will go a greater percentage of the time based on really seeing how they are setting up for the shot. As a matter of fact a few tiems I got so caught up in "reading the opponent" that I forgot to move - a little embarassing. When I was at net with my partner serving I decided not to focus at all on where the serve bounced but soley on the returner and again was surprised at how much visual info there was about where the ball was going before it was struck. The few times I was surprised then where mainly due to mishits.

    Good stuff. Thanks again.:):)

    Gary
     
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  41. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    progressions

    I have posted couple of sentences about progressions.
    Walking on thin ice a bit :)
    You may try to read between lines if you want to.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2009
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  42. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    I've had emails from several people asking me to upload the whole video onto a file sharing site. I've posted these videos which are copyrighted onto YouTube for TW and had some doubts doing so, but I am glad I did it and also that this thread has turned into a healthy discussion about tennis, coaching philosophies and even helped some people.
    I own the DVD and yes have it also on my HD as a backup and to view anytime. I understand people wanting to view the whole video and I don't blame you but I'm sorry guys I'm not comfortable uploading the whole 4GB DVD onto a file sharing site for obvious reasons.

    Hope everyone understands :)
     
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  43. Ash_Smith

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    Balla, no probs - I don't think we'd be too happy with you posting the whole course video on the internet either!!!
     
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  44. Xenakis

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    Anyone have any links/info about the 'mirrors' thing rpt teaches for forehand and backhands?. Similar to the 'windshield wiper' technique?.
     
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  45. Ash_Smith

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    I think you're right in what you say. I use the RPT progressive teaching model from start to finish when working with a beginner or mini-tennis player. Where the progs work really well also is, as you say, regressing a player - for example breaking down the serve. Most club players have a full service action but have certain elements which are missing - pronation, extension etc - regressing the player back to just working on the missing element helps them isolate the correct feeling and then rebuild the full swing.

    I do this with my ITF players, we isolate and practice the pronation/extension on the serve every session before putting the full serve together.
     
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  46. everett

    everett New User

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    Is there a book or quide you can buy detailing the RPT training methods etc.?If so where do you get it?
    Do you have to take the course to get the info?
     
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  47. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    Creating a progression is NOT a simple matter

    Creating a progression is NOT a simple matter
    Think about a group lesson at which we teach forehand.
    You have four intermediate students-
    two of them have a continental grip,one western and one semi-western.
    Assume that you are NOT going to change their grips to HAVE ONE UNIFORM grip for 4 of them.
    Try to write down a detailed progression for them.
    You have 20 minutes to work on forehand.
    Try to discuss a location of a contact point without confusing one of students.
    Try to see how many commonalities you will see
    I expect that you would respond that you do NOT run group lessons :)

    PS I USED to post at www.tennisplayer.net
    using two aliases:
    uspta146749877
    and
    julian
    If you have an access to www.tennisplayer.net you may read some of my posts.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2010
    #47
  48. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

    Joined:
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    Please see a post #47 below

    Please see a post #47 below
     
    #48
  49. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    11,885
    When teaching group lessons I oftened did not create progression type lesson plans especially considering your example above. However, I would create progression plans from a general sense (i.e. footwork, patterns, ball movement, ball recognition, etc...). If a an issue came up, I would address it in an ad-hoc manner and then continue the general lesson using the students ability to correct himself or coach himself with the proper information. If he still could not get it, I would recommend a private lesson or practice if I sensed it was only repetition that was needed.

    Well location of contact can be individualize based on grip used and taught in a group lesson when that individual is ready to perform the drill. However, I wouldn't create my lesson plan around that specifically. I would work on contact point indirectly by having them hit to various places on the court.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2009
    #49
  50. 5th Element

    5th Element Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2009
    Messages:
    163
    Ash, can you please tell me what the prerequisites are for attending the RPT Advanced Coaching course? I have the LTA DCA and am a PTR Professional. Is there an exam at the end?

    Cheers!
     
    #50

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