Some people seem to "hate" getting shots towards smart targets

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Hi I'm Ray, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    Nope, the original premise was born out of a thought/premise that the best players didn't hit nearly as close to the lines (especially regarding depth) as most recreational players think they do. 5263 (and i'm not trying to speak for him - but he can't be here to defend his concepts) took that idea and used it to create the triangular target theory that you see in the original thread, which give you a target gate which has margin for error, but can still create an opportunity if the ball is well struck, regardless of your position or intention to go cross or DTL (and based on a trading ball - not necessarily when attacking or creating).

    Whether you like the idea/theory/concept is another thing, and whether you think it has been done before is entirely another, the valid point is that many recreational players may not have considered this as a potential pattern and therefore it may be useful to many.

    As I have said, I have used to concept with world class wheelchair players, to very good effect.

    Cheers
     
    #51
  2. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    I heard Brad Gilbert tell me to aim within 3 feet of the lines on either side on "Sportskool". It's the same idea, just modified with more emphasis on NOT trying to hit deep.
     
    #52
  3. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    Exactly, it is a reference or a guide. It can definitely help develop good hitting patterns that can be effective and also consistent.
     
    #53
  4. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    There is more to it than just don't hit in the middle of the court. Last year there was a shot chart from the AO that showed some of the top matches shot locations. There were not many very deep, the majority were very similar to the smart targets that 5263 suggests.
     
    #54
  5. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    #55
  6. JW10S

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    I'm not going to count them all but I don't know if the majority of the balls do land in the targets described--but if you say so. It just looks to me like a guy trying to move his opponent around--so of course fewer balls are in the middle of the court--although there appears to be more shots hit to the duece side of the court. But you're not going to move anyone much if you're not hitting the ball side to side--which is obvious. BTW, which of those balls depict a return of serve, a volley, a lob, an approach shot, a passing shot, etc? Where in the court was Novak when he hit those shots? Which of those are sliced or topspun? Just marking where balls land and then making conclusions based on that alone is not really useful.

    When I chart matches I do them point by point. I mark where on the court the serve (or return of serve) landed and then mark 2,3,4 etc for where the subsequent balls landed. I also record if the shot is volley, pass, approach, etc. You can gleen far more useful info doing that. You can really see what's going on.

    Finally, years ago I warmed up Jimmy Connors for an exhibition/senior match. He hits hard and flat and had an almost uncanny ability that day to consistently hit within a couple feet of the baseline without missing long. I'm sure it wasn't just by chance. Pro players, as well as good juniors and college players, do indeed practice hitting to deep targets because there are going to be situations where they'll need to be able to do so to win the point. So should you...
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
    #56
  7. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    WTA players consistently hit deep.
     
    #57
  8. WildVolley

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    This is generally true, and probably has something to do with hitting less topspin. It may be that this is a conscious strategy to not hit as much topspin or it may be that they're not getting the racket head speed or spin because of different form.
     
    #58
  9. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    sometimes. i find that discussing what i want to do while rallying helps in these cases, e.g. "let's get the ball in a rally before we try angles, spins or other shots, is that ok?" Some players are more intuitive and don't let their ego get into practice, but a lot of players let their ego mess things.

    i'll often ask my practice partner what it is he wants to work on, he'll say "forehand cross court" or something and we'll rally that way a few times and then work on something else. I think that helps to get them in the rhythm of not trying to crush your drop feeding.
     
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  10. HSCoach

    HSCoach New User

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    TLM, just for kicks I pulled up some Jimmy Connors matches and counted in clips from 3 different matches; since Jimmy is quoted to be uncanny for hitting within a couple of feet of the baseline and is from an era where that was maybe even more possible with the slower shots. If anyone is going to do that well, it would Connors right?

    I tended to be more liberal than the couple of feet that was claimed for him, and counted anything that seemed to be inside 4 ft. Even with that liberal counting, he hit less than 15% of his strokes that close the the baseline and keeping it in play. If I had actually used a couple of feet, that would have been cut in half and it would have been less than 8%. I think 2 of them gave him forced errors and no winners came from the deep shots. A couple of other interesting percentages too.

    Over twice that 15% number landed very close to the service line and all the clean winners were nearer to the service line. It was so predictable that I quit having to pause after each shot to mark. I could just sit and count until the rare ball near the baseline, then pause and mark the numbers. Last thing of note was that he also had more misses than balls near the baseline as well, and that is without counting shots that missed wildly off the frame or point enders. I didn't even include those in the count. Very telling information derived from the poster boy for uncanny, deep hitting.
     
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  11. HSCoach

    HSCoach New User

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    Do they all? Just did a real quick count of 36 of Azarenka shots in the finals from her highlights. Only one was inside 6 feet of the baseline and that one was called out, then overturned on appeal since it caught about 4mm of the back of the line. Maybe Azarenka is on to something here. Li Na was noted for hitting deep several times, but anyone who saw that match knows she missed a pile of them long as well and lost.
     
    #61
  12. Ash_Smith

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    hmm...

    1) Not sure exactly how true this is (although it probably depends on your perspective of "deep"

    and

    2)The unforced error count is often significantly higher than on the ATP tour and is more often the defining factor in matches (in my experience).

    cheers
     
    #62
  13. rkelley

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    Just let it go - don't play it. It's going to quickly get pretty boring for everyone if you hit a nice feed and they hit uncontested winners off of them. And moonballs off a feed? Then take it on the rise or in the air and attack the net. Not a recipe for getting a rally going however.

    The general rule with the folks I hit with is to hit a decent feed, then you can nail the feed but back up center, not into a corner, and after that anything goes. I give lots of crappy feeds. Not intentional. Sometimes both me and my partners are just trying to hit the feed hard and we rip it into a corner. Happens - we're not pros - but no one's trying to do that.
     
    #63
  14. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    HSCoach is 5263. That's pretty obvious.

    JW10s is making a lot of sense here to me. I love hitting deep, and I also hit short angles. I play the situation. Hit a deep ball to opponents backhand corner, take weak reply DTL with a slice backhand..one example.

    I do not believe pro tennis players have a targeting system. furthermore, I watched this year's AO, and saw a lot of deep hitting. In fact the finals was an exhibition on how to hit deep down the line shots, as Djoker is world #1 due to being able to hit deep down the line seemingly at will right now.
     
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  15. JW10S

    JW10S Hall of Fame

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    I don't usually reply to posters who have been banned but this one is necessary. Plus I know for a fact they will read this. The banned poster has a reading comprehension problem. In my post I stated very clearly that on 'that day', the day I hit with Connors, that he was hitting within a couple feet of the baseline. Not in every match he ever played. As is typical the banned poster makes a mountain out of mole hill to defend this sophomoric notion. As earlier the banned poster chose to focus on one sentence of my post, rather than the post as a whole. So I'm going to assume that the banned poster agrees with everything else I've said here since they chose not address any of my other points--he could not dispute them.

    A singles tennis court is quite a bit longer than it is wide. Most ATP coaches will tell you it is a bigger mistake to miss a ball wide vs long for that reason. Players hitting CC use different targets than when they hit DTL--for 1 example hitting DTL around the service line could open you up to a sharp CC angle from your opponent. It has been stated that the targets are good for any or all shots--that's ridiculous and shows a naivety about strategy that is surprising to me. The pros have different targets for different shots depending on the situation.

    I think I've made my point--and unlike the banned poster I will continue to do so.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
    #65
  16. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    #66
  17. tlm

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    #67
  18. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Yeah that was the only reason she lost. I suppose all her wins till then don't count.
     
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  19. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Yup that had become pretty obvious. I didn't want to say it out aloud. That clinging to one point of view and inability to look at anything else, and putting down proven players who don't fit into a theory. Same pattern.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
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  20. JW10S

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    tlm^^^balls look pretty well spread with more to Nadal's backhand as one would expect. A lot of balls outside the targets too. I'll let you count all the balls but I don't think you can denote specific targets based on that spread. 2 balls were hit for winners in the 'forbidden' 3' zone, so as I said you need to practice hitting there because there will be times when you'll need to be able to hit there to win the point. You don't know--those could have been crucial points.

    You can see that all the winners are to the ad side of the court. They were set up with shots to Nadal's backhand side to open up the court--which is one of Fed's patterns vs Nadal.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
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  21. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    It is very said. At least he is now unable to derail every thread by that kind of selective filtering and comments.
     
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  22. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    That may be because of less spin. That has been discussed many times. It seems the women cannot produce the amount of spin which crosses the threshold of "effectiveness" and harder flatter shots are more effective overall. They often have former ATP players and some of the best as their coaches who can easily teach them otherwise, but obviously they stick with what works.
     
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  23. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    The shots are spread about but a very low % are close to the baseline. My point is not just specific targets, but that the pro players do not hit real deep a very high % of the time.
     
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  24. JW10S

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    ^^^depends on your definition of 'real deep'. I'm not sure where this whole 3' 'forbidden zone' came from but just who claimed that the pros hit a high % of their shots there? I've played pro tennis and have coached pro players--no one told me that. Sounds like someone trying to create a strawman. My point is I'd wager that most of the balls that do land deep were hit there on purpose--how many there were is not important. The original thread was titled 'Practice for smarter targets' (I'm not going to capitalize it--sue me), I say you should also practice to be able to hit anywhere on the court because you will have to at some very important point. Your practice should be more demanding than your matches. You should practice hitting to smaller targets to improve your accuracy--not just settle for safety. I constantly test myself and my students--how small a target can I make before you start to miss? And having automatic shots to different places for certain situations is better than mythical targets.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
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  25. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    Didn't notice the ban until it was pointed out.

    Anyways how about some you guys who are good coaches share something that will help the readers? Most of the coaches on these boards pretty much just make posts about what they think is wrong without offering anything helpful or just argue. How about sharing some of that knowledge in a way that will help improve our game?
     
    #75
  26. JW10S

    JW10S Hall of Fame

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    OK--here ya go. I relayed this in another thread but it applies here. When I finished competing and started coaching and attended my 1st coach's convention 1 of the presenters recognized me and brought me out on to the court. He said 'I've seen this guy play and he has a really good one handed backhand. But I always think one can get better. So what can he do to make an already good backhand better?' He then set up a target area and said 'let's see how many balls out of 5 he can land in this target zone.' I hit all 5 in the zone. The coach then said 'He can practice doing that all day, everyday, and he won't improve--because he can already do it'. He then made the target zone smaller--again I made all 5 shots. He made the zone smaller still--again I made all 5. This went on until finally the zone was small enough that I only made 2 of the 5 shots. He then said 'That's what he needs to practice to improve his backhand--and when he can hit all 5 there make the target smaller.' I use this in my coaching now.

    There are a lot of players who have played several days a week for years and don't improve. Because they do the same things, stay in their comfort zones. It's like doing the same set of math problems over and over, you won't get better at math. When you practice you should practice things to don't normally do. Push yourself, test yourself. How hard can I hit and keep the ball in, how close to the line can I hit and not miss, how many balls can I hit in a row, etc.

    It is, however, important to also stay in touch with the things you do well. But in my experience too many players play safe and stick with what they know they can do too much. So instead of playing safe in practice go for it--test your limits. That way in a match you know what those limits are. Practicing to safe targets will only get you so far.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
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  27. Cheetah

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    You were on the tour? Wow. I didn't know that.
    Respect.
     
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  28. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    I agree that you should be able to hit anywhere on the court, no doubt. But to say that how many that land deep is not important seems strange.

    What I mean is that much of the traditional instruction says that you must hit deep. I still hear coaches and others that have been involved in tennis for years saying this all the time.

    There is no strawman here it is what I have heard coached and stated numerous times. So if this is so true then why do these shot charts not show anything close to that.

    Just watch a mens pro match and watch were the ball lands a much higher % land closer to the serve line than the baseline just the opposite of what is always claimed.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
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  29. JW10S

    JW10S Hall of Fame

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    ^^^you're reaching now...'coaches and others'...'all the time'..'what is always claimed'. And you've fallen for the 'traditional instruction' BS. Again, I am involved in the game much more than you and I'm not hearing what you are. My theory is that for the most part you want to keep your opponent away from you so they can't take time from you, produce greater angles, attack, etc. Again those charts you are so fond of posting not only aren't proving your point but they don't show how high the ball was when it crossed the net, how hard they were hit, where they guy who hit the ball was, what kind of spin they had--do they? If I can hit a ball mid court that my opponent can't attack, good for me--but I won't get away with that all the time. I could hit a loopy topsin ball near the service line, or a hard driven ball near the baseline, a low slice, it doesn't matter, if my opponent can't attack I've done what I wanted. But there will be times I will need to hit deep--and the match may depend on me being able to do it at that moment.

    Look, I know people want things to be black or white, right or wrong, they aren't. You paint yourself into a corner and end up looking foolish (or banned) when you try to do that. Unless you play the same guy on the same court everytime tennis is a game of flux. The more flexible and adaptable you are as a player, the better player you are.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
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  30. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    I am not reaching by any means. Are you going to tell me that a lot of tennis instructors do not advise to hit deep? And you can honestly say that this is not promoted by many involved in tennis? If you are that would classify as really reaching.

    I am sure you are involved more than me, but I usually play 5 times a week all year round and play at 2 indoor clubs were there is a lot of tennis instruction going on. So I am around tennis pretty often.

    The charts I show are actual pro match shot charts that show were the ball lands. Nobody said anything about how high the shots are. Who cares about the height of the shot we are talking depth here. Sounds like you are trying to change the subject because you don't agree with it what the charts obviously show.

    I agree that you have to do whatever it takes to keep your opponent off balance. But one of the main points of the smart targets is for players to use angles more than depth so that they can be effective in keeping their opponent at bay without taking the risks of more errors by hitting to deep.

    This gives the player the freedom to swing harder with more power because they have more room for error if their shot carry's a little long there is still enough court to keep a lot of those shots in the court. As opposed to hitting deep were if you are off just a little the shot is out.
     
    #80
  31. JW10S

    JW10S Hall of Fame

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    ^^^Yes, I've seen the vids of you hitting--I won't comment on that here...as I have said before, just being concerned with where a ball lands and ignoring the other aspects of the shot like height, speed, spin, and where it was hit from, etc, tells you very little. Drawing conclusions based soley on where a ball happens to land is just too simple minded for me and really doesn't tell you much and is frankly a bit naive.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
    #81
  32. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    Alright, thanks! That is helpful and something I'll work on. Come to think of it, our college coach used to make us hit cones or tennis ball cans placed in the corners of the service box when practicing serves. I didn't have the fastest serve but I used be able to hit a 1 foot box on the corners and target the body pretty consistently. That was 12 years ago + break, my serve placement sucks now. Time to start practice for smaller targets.
    Anyways, I appreciate the advice. Now if only the other coaches would make some helpful posts from time to time...
     
    #82
  33. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    Now you are talking about my hitting video? Wow are you a politician or something. What in the world does my hitting video have to do with this discussion?

    Like I have already said I don't need a chart, I can just turn on a mens pro match and see were the majority of their shots land. And yes there is more to it than just were the ball lands. But again the standard instruction for years and is still promoted today is that a player should keep the ball deep. Even though the pro players do not hit that deep the majority of the time.
     
    #83
  34. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Need not be tour. Could be college also.
     
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  35. Cheetah

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    He said "I've played pro tennis and have coached pro players"
     
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  36. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    ^^^Yep, can't wait for him to name them! Sureshs only listens to people who are "verified"!
     
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  37. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    "Trust but verify"

    You are too young to remember the author of quotation
    "Trust but verify"
    Can we trust the picture of
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=413112
    post #4 ?
     
    #87
  38. Ash_Smith

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    ^^^too young and from the wrong country I believe!

    Can we trust the picture - if it suits our argument to do so!
     
    #88
  39. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    OK didn't see that. Then probably a challenger/future's player, if not a main draw one.
     
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  40. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    LeeD is not verified.
     
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  41. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    A question

    There is a better question here.
    Say that you coach a player X and his placement of shots looks like
    in the picture quoted above (somehow I cannot cut and paste this picture).
    Say your player lost.
    Do you blame placement for the LOSS?
    (it is NOT OK to blame the coach,BTW)
     
    #91
  42. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    ^^^hmmm

    based purely on the graphic - no, you cannot blame the shot placement for the loss based purely on the data shown.
     
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  43. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    Very interesting

    If we/I would have data for my player and HIS OPPONENT to compare with
    would I be wiser?
    The question is more or less : how much statistical data does one need?
    We have such a fancy programs for iPhones to calculate 17 different things.
    I come home after a match and have a headache.
    And I am NOT touching potential issues with doubles yet.
     
    #93
  44. JW10S

    JW10S Hall of Fame

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    And just what have you done given all the 'expert' advice and opinions you give here? I'm not going to name them because I'm not going to subject them to the 3.5 'experts' here who will criticize how they play. Unlike others I don't need to drop names to make myself feel important. But I've worked with several ATP players--1 achieved a career high world ranking in the 30's, another in the 60's, I currently work with 3 Challenger/Futures players. The WTA players I've worked with have earned rankings in 70's and another in the 90's--I currently work with a player playing the ITF circuit. I have also coached internationally ranked juniors and college players. I have also been a practice/hitting partner for many ATP & WTA pros. None were coached to hit to the safe targets presented as some groundbreaking system and they've done pretty well. I hold several certifications, accreditations and awards for coaching. How about you? Why should we take anything you say seriously? Your boy is banned--deal with it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013
    #94
  45. Ash_Smith

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    ^^^Slight contradiction up there! You don't want to name names to make yourself feel important, but you throw out some nameless stats to do just that?

    It's brilliant that you have worked with players at that level and it would be great if you could share some of the insights you may have instead of attacking other posters. Did you work with those players from day 1 and stay with them right through to the pro's (if so incredibly rare, I can only think of one or two examples of this in the pro's) - if not, how do you know when they started out they weren't working with a coach who looked at them played smart tennis with their tactical patterns?

    As for me, well I've posted my info enough times around here and you've ben around long enough to have seen some of it i'm sure. But, if you want a recap in the last 12 months I've had a player in 2 Grand Slam finals (Wimby and the Aus open), a player win a medal at London 2012, a junior win the Junior Worlds twice in a row (singles and doubles) and captained my Country to a medal at World Team Cup. But that doesn't mean anything and it certainly doesn't make me a great coach - what makes me a great coach is that I know I don't know everything, so i'll never stop being open to new ideas.

    Oh, and as for "my boy" - again check your history, we've butted heads on here many, many times over different things, but we've always been fair and managed to see each others viewpoints. We've not always agreed (far from it in some cases), but we are able to respect each others perspectives because we are both pretty good at reasoning out our opinions.

    Cheers
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2013
    #95
  46. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    Excellent post here.
     
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  47. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    How to compare JW and Ash?

    Ash has coached juniors to big wins, but his own playing level is probably not that of a pro.

    JW was a pro, and has coached players past the junior stage, in the ATP and WTA.

    It is a tough call.

    Richard Williams and Nick Bollitierri have produced great pros, but themselves probably never crossed the 3.5 level. Vince Spadea has not produced any pro, but his comments indicate he really understands the game due to his own high level of play.
     
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  48. sundaypunch

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    So you are just going to ignore the question about whether you have any certifications? (just kidding....)
     
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  49. Ash_Smith

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    Location:
    A green and pleasant land
    ^^^ oh yeah, forgot about those! Yes I have lots of pieces of paper, LTA, RPT, USPTA P1, MTI etc but again, i've learned much more from working with world class coaches and have word class coaching mentors than I have on any coaching certification course (not to say that the courses I have done have not been informative).

    cheers
     
    #99
  50. arche3

    arche3 Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    Messages:
    5,389
    Both these guys earn ttw respect.
    More than I can say about the wedding singer that was banned. (I dont mean the numbers guy)
     

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