Should I take lessons from a coach who teaches traditional strokes?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by MikeyBigShot, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    What a daft debate!!!

    However, if one assumes that "traditional" relates to hitting from a closed or neutral stance, then biomechanically it will be easier to hit straight as opposed to cross-court due to the position of the hips - the front hip will block the rotation of the rear hip (unless the player lifts the rear foot and pivots around the front foot) - therefore making it more comfortable to hit straight.
     
  2. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    It seems that much is "nonsensical" to you. Perhaps if you understood the mechanics of technique better, more would be apparent to you.
     
  3. tennisfan69

    tennisfan69 New User

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    let us add some visuals to the discussion.

    here is Djo and Davy hitting some down the line shots. they look like finishing up near the shoulder for those shots

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQSlTv9sAw0

    please add any visuals of pros to see what they really do during cc and dtl..
     
  4. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    That's not what I'm saying.

    I would still favor modern technique over old school technique on any shot. I just think that modern technique with the more severe grip, and bigger angle between the racquet and the arm, lends the timing of the shot better to hitting dtl and inside out than cc. It's obvious from watching the pros play how much more they favor inside out forehands to cc forehands.

    Conversely, IMO, with old school technique, it's easier to go cc than it is to go dtl because of the grip and smaller angle between the racquet and arm, and because less spin makes court dimensions and net height more of a factor in shot selection.

    The result is the reverse of what "coach Mauro's" advocates. Certainly, it makes no sense to resort to old school technique to hit a dtl forehand.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2012
  5. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    That's not going to be a very meaningful inquiry because if you search enough you can find the pros hitting every possible kind of finish on every kind of shot. Which raises another issue. The finish alone doesn't define modern technique. Coach Mauro conflated finishing over and under the shoulder with old school and modern strokes. As we all know, a modern stroke can finish anywhere from your left knee to your right shoulder blade, and anywhere in between. I basically ignored his "finish" characterization because he raised the issue of old school vs. modern and went with that.

    Anyway, your video is not conclusive by any means, but, here are some examples that refute your premise:

    Federer cc finishing over the shoulder:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TnUOKP88MI

    Federer dtl finishing slightly under the shoulder:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Qxz2Vc0g2I

    Federer inside out finishing under the shoulder:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzkRo_r1k84

    Djokovic cc finishing over the shoulder:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xug87LVFNw

    Djokovic dtl finishing slightly below the shoulder:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGeqfELcQYs
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2012
  6. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    OP: I don't know if you're still looking for real suggestions, but I strongly suggest seeing a teaching pro. It doesn't matter if he or she teaches MTM or trad. Being taught solid fundamentals through one on one instruction is the best thing that can ever happen to your game. You won't learn it on YouTube and you won't learn it through books. After you've developed your strokes, and you're competing regularly (and have seen the fruits of your labor), then you can decide if you want to "switch gears" and try a different technique.


    To everyone else, I'm on the fence regarding what is the "superior" method. I've had lessons with teaching pros that teach both methods. I grew up with traditional and learned the MTM about 6 months ago. I've been playing the MTM way lately and have seen mixed results at best.

    Just for grins, I strung my racquet up really tight (60 lbs, up from 52), and did two hours worth of drills last night. I went neutral stance, traditional method, and switched to Eastern grip (from SW). It was just for fun, and probably just got lucky with all my shots, but all in all I "killed it". I swung as hard as I could every time and the ball almost never sailed long. I hit flat, no top spin, and it was great. UE's went down, and my accuracy went up. I was hitting 50 shot rallies like it was nothing. I could hit my opponents back hand every time if I wanted to.

    In short, I think each tennis method has its strengths and weaknesses. Some people play better with MTM, some with traditional. Some people like a hybrid of the two. If you're a rec hacker (like most of us are), I think you should just play what you want, whatever works best and achieves the best results for your body type/mechanics.
     
  7. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    There ARE 2 opposing camps of tennis strokes here on TT: The Flat Earth Society, and everyone else.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2012
  8. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    The Man of La Mancha is still tilting at windmills.
     
  9. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Let me guess, you're an executive director of the USTA.
     
  10. tennisfan69

    tennisfan69 New User

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    No conclusion in my post, just an example. and your examples also validate that there is not one way the pros hit and there are various depending on the situation.. seeing is better than reading/discussing was my point.. thanks for other examples..
     
  11. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    The propaganda has worked.

    Hitting with open stance and top spin should not be referred to as MTM. It is the way every junior has been taught for many many years now. Please do not believe or spread the myth that there is one methodology which teaches it and don't equate modern strokes to this methodology. All pros play that way and they have never heard of this methodology. Also do not believe in the strawman dichotomy created so as to publicize some product as being different from others.
     
  12. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Your initial premise was that Davydenko and Djokovic were finishing at the shoulder on dtl shots. But, your video was inconclusive in that point, IMO.

    Further, if by: "your examples also validate that there is not one way the pros hit and there are various [sic] depending on the situation," you meant to imply that the pros today mix old school and modern technique, then I disagree with that premise as well.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2012
  13. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Sureshs, as you know, because I've seen it explained to you dozens of times, MTM is a teaching method designed to teach modern technique to relative beginners, it's not a playing method. So, even if you don't look like a fool to anibis, yet, if you persist in your silly crusade to discredit Oscar Wegner based on propaganda that you hypocritically criticize, you soon will, as you do to many of us who have suffered your inane posts on this subject for years.
     
  14. tennisfan69

    tennisfan69 New User

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    Are you referring to fh only here, if not then what is modern bh, what is modern volley what Is modern serve....
     
  15. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I agree it can be useful for beginners as you point out. But things like counting till 5 from the bounce before hitting will not even work at the very next level.

    Moreover, the same techniques are taught by many, many coaches all around the world, so it is nothing special to this methodology or that. In fact, thinking about these things as methodology is itself a false premise, designed to package something and sell it. Just teaching something which everyone else is teaching is not a "methodology," otherwise every elementary school math teacher will go around talking about her "math methodology."
     
  16. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    I was responding to the video posted by Daved of "coach Mauro." I think he is wrong, and I explained why.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2012
  17. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Even if you're premise is correct, which I doubt, so what?

    I don't think you know the meaning of the words methodology or premise. In any event, so what?
     
  18. FrisbeeFool

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    Last edited: Sep 25, 2012
  19. NLBwell

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    True, but Oscar Wegner was one of the first to TEACH many of these methods and was important in popularizing them.
     
  20. MikeyBigShot

    MikeyBigShot Rookie

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    This is what I found out this morning. I was mixing traditional and 'modern' forehands, and I was definitely able to hit straight DTL better with a neutral stance traditional type of forehand.

    One thing I've noticed is that I don't have the correct footwork or the speed to pull off a traditional forehand when I need to chase down a ball that's hit wide, but the modern forehand is so much better when on the run. I started calling it my emergency forehand.

    When playing other beginners, they seem to never give enough pace for me to bang out from the baseline, so the best approach against these players is to charge the net. They seem to either run me wide or hit deep slow balls that bounce a foot over my head. I was either waiting for their high balls to drop and using a modern forehand topspin shot to beat the ball in, hitting high forehands, or chopping it back with a volley from the baseline off of my backhand side.

    All-in-all, I didn't have too many opportunities to use a traditional forehand. I was reading on the USTA's Q&A page that they recommend all players to learn modern open stance techniques, and I kind of see why.

    I will learn what I can from the traditional coach, and filter out the things that aren't useful for the type of game I want to play. I want to be an all around player who has the tools to take on any opponent.
     
  21. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Hard to tell when you are serious with your questions, but Costa was very modern:)
     
  22. looseleftie

    looseleftie Rookie

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    Heres my brief thoughts on the matter..

    Background history, had lessons as a kid early 80's, taught old school, played great, strong amateur, big shots big serve, won more than I lost... Had 20 plus yrs off, came back a few years ago, played rec tennis, won most everything.. Played higher level, against high juniors (state based players) who played modern game.. It was like the what the ****!! It was like a different game, took a lesson in the "modern" game, sucked at it, worked at it, then stopped for another few years.. Three months ago, came back, was umming and ahhing about which forehand to go with.. I went with eastern until tonight.... I realised that I can win with old school technique against rec players almost 100% of time, BUT the 18 yr old modern game player would have me figured quickly, assuming he was a smart player.. Yet tonight, played with semi western , more modern technique, and it was so obvious u can win just through the nature of your strokes, deep and high kicking... The rec player will crumble... You just have to keep going at it, a fact that I need to remind myself... If u are a strong rec player then learn a bit of humility as u go, as u will get many defeats and ask yourself how did that happen.. That was my problem, I was result driven , rather than technique when I first switched to the modern game (which really isn't that modern)...

    The trouble that rec players have in handling high loopy balls, and then faster kicking balls is HUGE!! I have seen the light!! Amen...

    You want to be the best u can be, rather than the best at beating rec level players only...

    On a side note, there is nothing more satifying than hittng a big loopy ball, that falls short of the bassline by 3ft, then to kick around 6-7ft up, its tooooo goood!! Your opponent hates u for it, esp at the rec level..
     
  23. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Thanks for sharing. This is what I've been telling the OP (and the legions of doubting Thomas's on this board), from the beginning.
     
  24. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Really a normal perspective for one who is willing to work a little to make the
    switch. Nice job and good comment about how ..while modern is the name used,
    these strokes have been used to some extent for quite awhile by top players.
     
  25. MikeyBigShot

    MikeyBigShot Rookie

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    Thanks for sharing!

    I will try to make the coach conform to what I want to learn, and tell him not to touch my forehand.
     
  26. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Quick question that should have been asked earlier. Why do you think that this particular coach teaches old school technique? I ask because I know some very good coaches who were high level players with old school technique, but, today they teach modern technique to their junior students, and they're very good at it even though they don't play that way themselves.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
  27. MikeyBigShot

    MikeyBigShot Rookie

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    I saw him teaching a junior player a forehand that looks exactly like what Brent Abel teaches.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLYCZJRb0IM
     
  28. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I have seen the video before and refreshed my memory. It is OK for an adult, especially one who is focused on minimizing injuries, but the topspin shown in the video is very little and I doubt if it can even be called topspin. I have not seen any juniors being taught like this or playing like this, even the girls who hit somewhat flatter. I would not recommend your coach to a junior if the goal is to compete in school and college.

    For an adult beginner, it is a completely acceptable starting and even ending point. If you don't want to end there, there are plenty of videos showing how to generate more spin.
     
  29. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Oy! Well, if that's all he knows, then IMO, you're better off not taking lessons from him. I am a huge advocate of personal one-on-one coaching. But frankly, there are some outstanding online resources that you can access for free, or very little cost, that will do you more good than live lessons with a coach who teaches obsolete technique.

    You've recieved lots of conflicting advice on here. It seems to me that those who are still using old technique advocate taking lessons with this coach, and those who use modern technique advise not to because, in our experience, it doesn't make sense to pay for, and practice, obsolete technique knowing how much more effective modern technique, with modern frames, is. Ultimately, you'll have to decide for yourself.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
  30. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Brent is such a good example of how mixing up the classic and modern can be
    such a mess, lol. He's advocating the looser modern grip, which forces him to
    have to work more across the contact in a more modern fashion, but he shuns
    the sw grip, which would allow him to have a much better contact point.
    Why???
    Because he states that with a SW or W grip you ALWAYS have to step back and
    ALWAYS give up court position???
    What??
    The little bits of misinfo that folks like he and sureshs share keeps them so confused
    on what they are doing.
     
  31. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Then there's JohnMcEnroe, a older school game than anyone still playing tennis, and still able to play in the higher 5.5 range, something nobody his age can come close to doing. He doesn't hit with lots of topspin, he slices almost as often as he tops his backhands, but he target's corners extremely well, still moves pretty well, and knows the game upstairs.
     
  32. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    When did I say anything about this??? You have just become so paranoid with your obsession that you are getting confused.
     
  33. TheCanadian

    TheCanadian Semi-Pro

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    Federer is as traditional as it gets (except for the frequent open stance but he still turn his shoulders) and most would say he hasn't done badly.
     
  34. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    Brent Abel said this?
     
  35. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    We never like the "ALWAYS" .... whether said by Brent or PowerPlayer.
    There are no "ALWAYS" in tennis.
     
  36. MikeyBigShot

    MikeyBigShot Rookie

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    I've never paid too much attention to his forehand lessons, but my volleying and drop shot immediately improved after watching his videos.

    You can't deny his personal results as a player.
     
  37. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Got to work on your reading comprehension there sureshs. I never said you stated this particular misinfo...just said this is misinfo like you often have that leads to your confusion.
    Sounds like you are the paranoid obsessed one, lol. :)
     
  38. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    He has done quite well and studies the game intently of course, but is far more
    of a tactics guy than a top hitter. In his age group he doesn't face a lot of
    consistent big hitters either I don't expect.
     
  39. Off The Wall

    Off The Wall Semi-Pro

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    I don't know Limp. I've seen a good number of self-taught modern stroke videos on this board that are complete slop.

    IMO, just take lessons. Modern if possible, but otherwise, traditional. I mean, there are plenty of other strokes that will need professional guidance as well.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
  40. FrisbeeFool

    FrisbeeFool Rookie

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    I was being serious, I am a huge fan of his strokes, in my opinion, he has amazing technique and would be a good player to emulate. Same goes for Corretja. I just didn't know what the modern tennis police thought about their games since they're not 2 names you see bandied about on talk tennis.

    Now 5263, what about the transition from Lendl to Sampras to Federer? That is a comparison I find interesting. I know every poster has their own heros who they see as exemplars of the modern game. For some it's Nadal, Agassi, djokovich, maybe Safin, obviously a lot of federer fans too. I think everyone defines the modern game a little differently.

    I know you personally think topspin, and open stances, and groundstrokes that clear the net with a lot of height and margin for error are part of the modern game. For other posters it might be two handed backhands. For some it might be the increased height and speed of players. Players like Safin and Berdych, remind me of modern American football players like Tony Gonzalez and rob gronkowski who have the big size to do damage but also the speed of the smaller guys. Everybody defines modern a little differently.

    I always think it's interesting to know what the modern tennis police think of older players who influenced the the current generation. I like to look at the transition from 3 number 1 players in the world. Lendl, to Sampras, to Federer. Are they all modern? Is Lendl traditional? Is Sampras? If you do some reading about these guys you'll see how Lendl influenced Sampras, and Sampras Influenced Federer. If you look at these guys groundstrokes, you'll see a lot of similarities. If you consider federer the height of the modern game, I think you can argue that Lendl is the father of the modern game. But to most people on these boards he's a forgotten champion that played traditional tennis.

    If I consider djokovic the height of the modern game, then maybe Agassi is the father of modern tennis. It all depends on your perspective. I don't think it's very productive grouping people into one of 2 categories modern vs traditional. In fact, categorizing people this way is reductive.
     
  41. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    paraphrased from the vid in ref above, but basically yes and I think it's almost
    an exact quote.

    He also makes a crazy comment in his updated version of that vid
    on how the sw and w grip cause you to back up and
    then you racket speed goes down????
    Say what??

    and they keep you from coming in and attacking short balls??
    lol, don't know where he gets these ideas.
    must be looking a 3.0 players only or something.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
  42. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Hey, we can have very polite and interesting discussions on what we each see
    about the game and I don't hold grudges because I am here to try to help anyone
    I can, but it would help if we dropped the
    jabs like, "modern police". The rest of your post seems sincere and very reasonable.

    You are quite correct that many think differently about the use of the term
    modern as it relates to today's game, strokes, and instruction. It is sort of
    unfortunate that Oscar's method was named Modern since the word tends to be sort
    of generic and lends itself to this type confusion. None the less, that is the name
    and there are the books written as reference. Given this, the term will have
    definitions inline with Oscar's method along with many other opinions on the
    subject, so it's what we have to work with....the good, the bad and the confusing:???:

    As to the MTM modern perspective, all the players you mention ( I think, but
    may have missed one) have a lot of modern in their game. Very few will have all
    the modern elements all the time, as has been pointed out many times...Oscar
    worked more with instructors and didn't spend much time focused on any one
    player's development. The coaches that Oscar worked with many times used
    much of what he taught, but as all coaches, they also held on to many of their
    own ideas from other coaches and personal experience.

    MTM modern is really pretty basic and simple, which is the thrust of the teaching.
    What you see with many of those top players is how they develop
    their own style within the modern context. They all find the ball from below,
    use the "up and across" to build acceleration and control as they finish strongly for
    topspin shots.
    More often the key is in what they DON"T do, like extend down the target line.
    There is more to it and also the other strokes, but hopefully
    this helps with the basic idea.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
  43. FrisbeeFool

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    Wow, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree, because I thought the three guys I picked Lendl, Sampras, and Federer did this better than anyone. Remember Sampras was taught this technique on his groundstrokes, by Robert Lansdorp, a coach you, 5263, view as traditional.

    I thought of a better example maybe, to make my point. Let's compare Richard Krajicheck and Gaston Gaudio. Now I am a huge fan of players with one-handed backhands. I have a one hander myself, and they're a bit of a dying breed. I like to watch players with great one-handed backhands.

    Krajicheck and Gaudio: They played at around the the same time. Their heydays were maybe 10 years apart. To a lot of people Krajicheck would be more traditional. He hits his grounstrokes a little flatter with less margin for error. Gaudion Has a great one-hander as well. He uses more topspin. Their styles are a little different but the they both get the job done.

    They played at around the same time period and had similar levels of Success. Krajicheck won Wimbledon. Gaudio won Roland Garros. Gaudios forehand grip is a little more extreme maybe. They have similar backhand grips. Gaudio uses more topspin. I see two players with the same fundamentals. Both have great extension, and a long follow through on their groundstrokes.

    Maybe to some one player is more traditional, one is more modern. I see two players with great fundamentals, that everyone can learn from and emulate.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
  44. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, there is no harm in us disagreeing, but

    None of those players hit past contact and continued down the target line on tour
    with a normal stroke. Maybe the confusion is how they swung down the target line
    before contact to a large extent, giving them a long extension into the ball, but
    even JY and others here have conceded they don't continue down the target line
    after contact and tend to get some diagonal side-spin on their shots as proof.
    As Jy says, the swing is an arc with cuts across that extended target line.
    Current players do it to a greater extent in many cases.

    Yes, RL appeared to focus on the improper extension down the target line after
    contact, but his players developed work-arounds like the rev to deal with it and
    they adjusted the technique on tour. Pete mentions in his book how one of the main
    adjustments he had to make on tour was to work to get more topspin on this
    shots and that when he was able to do this well, he then played his best tennis.
    He speaks of how this was his biggest adjustment needed for tour. Suggesting he didn't
    have it before and when he didn't get his TS working well, he struggled. They way
    he got more TS was to hit more "Up and across" the ball than he'd been taught.

    I do agree those are great players with excellent fundamentals.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
  45. FrisbeeFool

    FrisbeeFool Rookie

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    What about Krajicheck and Gaudio? Is Krajicheck too traditional of a player, for us to emulate?
     
  46. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I'm sure they are excellent, but don't have good vid to study them. Do you?

    Neither are traditional in any way I'm aware of. You can hit hard and flat with
    modern.
     
  47. FrisbeeFool

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    I've read Pete's book and I've read Wegner's history of modern tennis on his website. The account you're giving is the way Wegner's website presents the story. In Pete's own book, he spends a lot of time giving credit to Lansdorp for developing his groundstrokes, credits Lansdorp for preparing him for the heavy shots he saw on the pro tour, and says if he had a kid, he would send the kid to Lansdorp for lessons, to learn the game.
     
  48. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I read the book as well and that is where I got the info about his needing more
    spin. If I wrote a book, I would give as much credit as I could to my friends and coaches
    who tried to help. Usually you can find something good to say. That all makes sense to me.
    He has a good relationship with Lansdorp, so why not put in a good
    word for him related to his success. The heavy ball aspect was also very important
    in Petes game, but he did not dominate rallys with top baseliners either way.

    I was influenced more by RL back in the day when I read Pete's book and was actually thinking
    it was light on praise towards RL imo for what I was expecting. Seemed more of a strained
    ck in the box more than a strong endorsement, but I guess we can all read it our way, but
    those were my thoughts back then before I learned modern.

    Are you saying Oscar gives an account of Pete's game on his site? ref for me?
    Never noticed anything on that, but I don't spend much time reading the history there.
    thanks
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
  49. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
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    San Diego
    Yea, i don't get where he was talking about how sw/w will cause you lose rhs. That's completely incorrect. I like how he said '... and you are locked in the sw grip...' haha

    He has updated his fh swing quite a bit from 2007 though. Looks like he has some ssc going on in there now.
     
  50. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
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    10,409
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?annota...&feature=iv&src_vid=XLYCZJRb0IM&v=-oVh-dcEFnE

    this one from 2010...same general info
    weird
     

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