USPTA player development conference ( the spanish way to develop players)

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by Pro_Tour_630, Jan 18, 2012.

  1. Pro_Tour_630

    Pro_Tour_630 Legend

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    #1
  2. Number1Coach

    Number1Coach Banned

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    I know all the top Spanish players right now (ATP) can you give me a small list of the top 15 spanish junior players in the ITF right now , curious how this style works .
     
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  3. Tennishacker

    Tennishacker Professional

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    Wow, now we need to learn tennis from the Spaniards.

    Bring back the "American Style" of tennis!

    _______________________
    Only one of two on TCF's ignore list
     
    #3
  4. Number1Coach

    Number1Coach Banned

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    First , No we don't need the Spanish to help us , as for the American style its on its way , tennis rolls in cycles, America has had men and women dominate at the same time Pete, Lindsey, Andre, Monica,Courier,Williams both ,John Mac ,Tracey,Jimbo ,Crissy and so on

    The Spanish style does not do that .
     
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  5. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    NC1 - I'm in total agreement with you.
     
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  6. SoCal10s

    SoCal10s Hall of Fame

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    what we should be learning is how to beat the 'Spanish' style of play.. we need some good old Pete Sampras ,serve and volley .. good old Jimmy Conners line drives and American hustle ,good old American Andre Agassi drilling shots from all kinds of situations, or even some Andy Roddick big serve(plus a backhand and put-away volleys,which he doesn't have)and some good old hard nose tennis teacher like Robert Lansdrop to make it all happen again.. American tennis may be dead now,but it's not gone.. we just need the right people to see the light at the end of that tunnel
     
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  7. donnymac10s

    donnymac10s Rookie

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    True...what we need is for someone to teach us proper tennis parenting. The only thing that spaniards do differently is train hard all day every day. here we expect GS champions to emerge with minimal training.
     
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  8. Pro_Tour_630

    Pro_Tour_630 Legend

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    ladies I did not create this thread to find out which way is better nor a P i s s i n g contest. This is only an educational thread.

    This is the USPTA sponsoring this event, nothing wrong from learning different methods
     
    #8
  9. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    You can't be serious. You cannot be serious.
     
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  10. seminoleG

    seminoleG Semi-Pro

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    Agree:)

    Now after we learn those methods what SYSTEM will let ALL players develop:oops:

    From what I'm being told by those in the know (Parents of Juniors) maybe the USTA needs a conference on that.

    We have several kids that used to train at Sanchez-Casal, they work hard and get to lots of balls. Seems like a good system
     
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  11. Number1Coach

    Number1Coach Banned

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    Who won the Junior French this last year , his name is not Spanish from what I can tell ?
     
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  12. tenniscp

    tenniscp Semi-Pro

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    It s not Spanish, you are right. It is Italian
     
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  13. Rina

    Rina Rookie

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    I think it is great to go and hear other perspectives and how different coaches do their job. As to Spanish being better, well, it seems that they are in "vogue" right now. Not so much 10 years ago. I think raising a tennis pro has more to do with parents than national programs. It may be that American parents are too easy on their kids today, or too giving and don't demand as much as parents from other countires. IMO. Also it you look at the parents of some of the US best players(some, not all) they have recent immigrant status. Some are first US born generation. Agassi has an Iranian born father, Sampras's mother born in Sicily, Seles- well she is naturalized talent and born in Yugoslavia. She and her Hungarian coach/father accomplished tons before she even came to us. She grew up in a city 1 hour away from where Djokovic was born in today's Serbia and was even "discovered" by the same coach. Chang-Taiwanese parents. There are of course many US tennis stars that don't have recent immigrant status, but at my son's academy majority of the kids playing have parents that speak English with an accent. Why this is so? No idea.
    It would be great if you give us a recap about that they talked about.
     
    #13
  14. Number1Coach

    Number1Coach Banned

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    Is his first name German or Swedish or Polish ? the point is he is American.

    The Spanish only have one thing right now the guys that are on top but they will be replaced soon by someone else . I just hope the USTA wont chase the next fad but look to America and learn how to recruit.
     
    #14
  15. tball2day

    tball2day Semi-Pro

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    .............................
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2012
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  16. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for the tip. I'm going to start talking with an accent!
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2012
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  17. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    ^LOL!
    This man is not even kidding. In modern junior tennis...De accent, ja, ees worth et least a break per sett. Two iff you from Eastern Europe.

    The only words I utter are hi and hallo...and I speak with the halting Christopher Walken Manhattan accent, so it's really nebulous. Most people assume I am either foreign or a little bit...off....and it is worth at least a set per match for my children. This was especially helpful in the 8 game pro sets in 10 and unders, haha.

    I. Hope. to attend. MOST. if not ALL. of Their college. MATCHes, see. And if they are blessed enough to play de circuit. well I will BE there as well. And make it a point. to always SPEAK wid de opponents and they parents.

    EDIT:
    But seriously, Is Luis Mediero speaking? That guy is cool. I went to one of his things a few years ago. I really got a lot out of it as a player, as a coach and as a dad. As a player, i always looked up to Sergio Casal and Emilio Sanchez.
    You know what's funny? The Spanish SYSTEM, as it is called, is really just a lot of hard work, hand-fed balls, and varied, all-court play with spins and angles, and good transitions. Mac and Connors would approve.

    After you've gone, do post a summary or a review, PT630.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2012
    #17
  18. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    Hallo - hilarious.
     
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  19. Rina

    Rina Rookie

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    Why would I have to stop after the first sentence and watch what I am writing when nobody else on this forum does? Double standard much people??
     
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  20. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    Boys

    61 ESTEVE LOBATO, Eduard
    63 TOLEDO BAGUE, Pol
    95 BIOSCA GIRVENT, David
    129 GONZALEZ MUNIZ, Ignacio
    213 BENITO HERGUETA, Carlos
    233 BAUTISTA ENRIQUE, Carlos
    353 PLA MALFEITO, Jaume ESP
    428 ALCARAZ IVORRA, Albert
    431 VEGA HERNANDEZ, David
    439 SALA, Fernando
    467 MARTOS GORNES, Sergio
    468 TAJES ALONSO, Carlos
    483 SALAZAR MARTIN, Jose Anton
    492 AYALA HERNANDEZ, Antonio J.
    498 SANJURJO HERMIDA, Adam

    Of course, you could have just looked this up on the ITF site yourself. Oh, and to put it into perspective Rafa's highest ITF junior rank was 145, Lopez 46, Ferrero 17, Verdasco 294 and Ferrer didn't have a singles ranking at all. So, it doesn't really tell you anything about the 'system' if that's what you are driving at.

    I've hit with David Vega as I know his coach and when he hits the ball it sounds like a canon going off, I could see him being a solid tour player at some point, assuming he has no set backs on his journey.

    Cheers
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2012
    #20
  21. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    In jrs, I rode in a Chevrolet Vega on the way to hitting with with an ITF-ranked player from Germany whose groundstrokes sounded like this canon right here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hydo5gJP22o&feature=related
     
    #21
  22. Mikeadelic

    Mikeadelic New User

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    Many immigrant parents have something to prove, because they usually start at the bottom of American society when they first get here. I say this because my parents are first-gen immigrants (Chinese) so I understand their mindset. They go above and beyond what the average, fifth-generation American parents do with their kids' development, which is simply dropping them off at the local academy then picking them up a few hours later, completely trusting their training to the academy's coaches.

    Immigrant parents make their kids study tennis in a way that no average American parent would, because they aren't usually as well off financially as well-established American families. They expect the same performance without the same financial outlay, and oftentimes they expend a lot more energy and time into actually learning the sport with their kids (see Mike Agassi, Yuri Sharapov, etc). Consequently they know their children's strengths and weaknesses even better than the coaches do, and are extremely quick to create their own drills to either complement the coach's shortcomings or find other coaches who can address the weakness better.

    This doesn't mean that ALL American parents are very hands-off with their children's development (see Pat Harrison, Wayne Bryan, Richard Williams, Donald Young's parents etc), but you can obviously see a correlation between their approach/immigrant parents' approach to coaching vs the average American parent.

    It's like going to school and doing quality, relevant homework when you get home. The best American players' parents and their immigrant counterparts all emphasize "tennis homework" and are very proactive about doing training and drills away from the coach.
     
    #22
  23. Rina

    Rina Rookie

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    Meant to write Pete Sampras mom from Sparta-Greece, not Sicily, sorry about that.
     
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  24. SoCal10s

    SoCal10s Hall of Fame

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    I also like their way of hand-fed balls ... lol.. well that sounded a bit weird ... it keeps the coach right next to the player seeing little things that the player is doing right/wrong for an instant fix.. I just don't like the label
     
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  25. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    The other big part of the 'Spanish System' is that pretty much all coaches are trained by the RPT, so there is a really tight, unified approach to teaching, especially around technique. If players are consistently given the same information, even from a variety of sources it only helps reinforce the important factors.

    Most coaches here have no concept of a unified approach and will teach the same shot totally different to the next coach. Doesn't help the players, especially if they have one individual coach and a different squad coach for example.

    Cheers
     
    #25
  26. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    Una faca, una raca.

    Yes. hahah.
    Lots of benefits to the hand-feed. Among them: generating pace when there is none on the hand-fed ball, controlling the body with not much time/space to read the ball.
     
    #26
  27. Barca tennis

    Barca tennis Rookie

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    Ash this is very true! and also what i see here on the ground in Barcelona is that the younger players are encourged when they hit a good level is to bypass the junior tournaments and start to learn there trade against men!! Thats why they come straight into the mens game! not years of playing against boys! and are prepared to lose matches to learn their trade! It works very well!!
    Thanks Barca:)
     
    #27
  28. Pro_Tour_630

    Pro_Tour_630 Legend

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    First let me start by saying that Emillio Sanchez and Luis Mediero put on a great conference filled with lots of detail and on court presentation. The slides were very informative and important. The on court drills, exercises and practice sessions were amazing. Luis was very passionate about his research and material. He is very dedicated to developing players. From the three days I was there I knew he was a man who is sincere and very proud of his work. The conference was held at the ClubMed Sandpipper resort where Gabe Jeramillo academy ( who worked at Bollitieri for over 30 years) is training his top Jr. The hosts were very welcoming and professional. There were many coachs attending from throughout the world, many from Argentina and France. It was nice to hear different opinions about developing Jrs from all these coaches.

    I cannot give you all the details of the Spanish way to develop players because I will have to fill up many pages with many slides and I do not have the time. I recorded the on court presentation on my Ipad where Emilo later came up to me and wanted a copy. I promised not to put them up on youtube. The Spanish way to develop Jr is different than other systems say the French and the other organization like the USPTA where there is no common method of teaching a certain way. All RPT are trained the same way and Luis has a very big influence in driving this method. So when a new method comes along, the very passionate coaches who have been doing this for a very long time are not quick to change and I can understand why. It is rather important to note that Emillio and Luis agreed that recently when the French kids come to the sanchez academy they are well trained in technique and they are more conditioned in footwork and shot selection than the other kids that come from other countries. Later on this point will come into question as to why.

    So rather than giving you what we all agree on (importance of technique, philosophy etc…) I will like to jump right into the controversy of developing Jr players, mainly the use of colored balls. Luis has no issue of using foam balls on the contrary he likes it very much. What he does not like is the balls the come after words( mainly red/orange/green) because he can teach Mini tennis using any kind of ball which he demonstrated and I was WOWED and convinced. At first he called the colored balls a cancer. The Spanish way is to quickly go from foam to yellow by say 7 to 8 with no junior competition until the later teens. Juniors are encouraged to play adults if they want to compete.

    Anyway, Gabe was nice enough to let my 9 year old train with his academy kids. My son was on the last few courts and to my complete surprise I saw the kids training and using green dots. I quickly came over to Gabe and asked him about the green balls and he said he was 100% behind it.
    I pointed to his blog where he talks about the importance of colored balls to the future of American players. http://www.gabejaramillo.com/2012/01/10/developing-american-tennis/

    ”Recently I read an article in NY Times newspaper written by Patrick McEnroe where he said that the solution to American tennis is “dirt” (which means clay courts). I believe that this is very far from the solution that we need in American tennis.
    The best country in the world, in terms of junior players, is not Spain as McEnroe suggested. The best country today, without a doubt, is France. It is important to realize that only 20% of the courts in France are clay and 80% are hard courts. If that was the case, the USA would never have a prayer since less than 10% of the courts in this country are clay courts. The solution is very clear, it is not the surface that is going to make the difference it is the training. If you look at countries like Spain, France and Argentina, despite their smaller populations, they each have a very well defined program, philosophy and a unified teaching concept. You can go from one end of these countries to the other and you will see that everybody teaches the same- same terminology, strokes, philosophy and similar styles of play. What the USTA doesn’t have, is the courage to mandate that all high performance coaches, intermediate coaches and tennis teachers have uniform guidelines for instruction.
    The USTA hires very good coaches for the upper level, pre-professional and professional player but they have yet to hire anybody who knows how to develop a player from the ground up.
    For example, the 10 and under juniors, in most of the previously mentioned countries, use the play and stay ball. My team and I have hosted 3 Little Mo tournaments at Club Med Academies. Little Mo tournaments are USTA events which include players from around the globe. Unfortunately, the USTA is still running those tournaments with regular balls. Many players, coaches and parents find this very confusing and frustrating. I will be talking more about this topic in my next blog because I feel it is a very important to the future of tennis in this country.”

    So, here is Gabe agreeing that the best Juniors are coming out of France and that they have been training with play and stay since 2005 which is similar to QS in a way. I asked Gabe that I am confused between what Luis was saying and what he was saying. My main point is since we all agreed that the Franch were producing the best Juniors and that France was using play and stay since 2005 it was common sense that this system has been proven effective. I raised this point to all the France and Argentinian coaches that were there and all had somewhat similar hypothesis/theory and stressed that similarity in teaching philosophy is important as well.

    I saw Gabe and Luis talk to each other the following day and on the third day of the conference Gabe opened the conference saying that there is no right way nor wrong way to develop players. It is a difference of opinion and all systems are good as long there is consistency and uniformity in the methods of teaching and the importance of teaching the sameness from the ground up. Luis agreed and went on to say that he has no problems with kids competing in an early stage provided that the age groups are similar, all 5 year olds compete with 5, all six with six etc similar to little Mo.

    Which brings me to my final conclusion and after remembering what TCF has said. That it is possible to combine Luis methods using colored balls ie mini tenis and QS. Teaching these techniques/ progressions is not easy to master. When Luis and I were returning the used yellow balls to the shed I pointed out that the used green dots were not that far off than the used yellow balls we just trained with. He said “that is fine” as he shrugged his shoulder which brought a smile to my face. That evening we all played a soccer match together. My son was playing on Emilios and luis team and I was playing on the French and Argentinian side. We all had fun and realized what a great time we all had together even though we had minor differences on opinion. I cannot wait to find out when the next conference will be. I do hope many coaches and parents attend. I have been playing and coaching tennis for over thirty years and I thought I knew it all until I attended this conference. There are always new things to learn that you are not aware of.


     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2012
    #28
  29. seminoleG

    seminoleG Semi-Pro

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    Pro,
    We competed in LiL Mo Sectional and Regional @ Club Med. My Daughter got a day of Training with the Club Med kids. Yes the Yellow balls are flatter and closer to Green than regulation. I did see the Colored Balls there for the ~5-6s. My daughter was just at the G12s Regional and I was warming her up. Funny a coach came on the court and hit with her and said these balls are dead. So yes in "Theory" we train with balls similar to Green.

    What I suspect is the coaches probably didn't agree that QS should involve Tournaments? Or did you get the feeling that competition with Red/Orange was ok?

    I had a previous commitment, but would have loved to come as a Parent to see where the wind is blowing on this.

    Several parents I talked to in Coral Gables this weekend were from 2 VERY different schools of thought:
    1- Developing a Junior Player. Kids were there to win, get points play national level juniors and go further on the Junior Circuit
    2- Developing a Tennis Player and I was amazed that after my daughter lost to a man they all said this "Don't mean nothing!" This Junior stuff is just killing time practicing and devloping a Tennis game for College and beyond.

    I had no idea my daughter (in there opinion) had strokes that looked like someone developing a Tennis game, and SHE MOST LIKELY will NOT see great success as a Junior!!!!!!

    Go Figure I didn't see this distinction, but looking at the result and having SEEN many of the Girls play, most of the ones that were generating pace, hitting on the rise, and showing agression all were in the back draw. Many of the retrievers, backboards, and moon ballers were still alive!
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2012
    #29
  30. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Has it paid off? I don't see immigrant children at the top of the US ranks now. Isner, Querrey, McHale, Vanderweghe, Sweeting ...........

    Don't know about Vania King - whether she is second generation or not.

    It is about talent. Agassi had amazing hand-eye coordination. Sharapova is 8 feet tall. Would have been a different story if she was 5' 5" - all the immigrant -motivated drills would have gotten her some college scholarship, that is all.
     
    #30
  31. seminoleG

    seminoleG Semi-Pro

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    Yes they are at the TOP but not for the US! That is the point I think folks are making. Some of the Top ranked WORLD Juniors are from the "USA" but compete for various countries.
     
    #31
  32. Pro_Tour_630

    Pro_Tour_630 Legend

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    The green dot was used on the two back courts, kids up to age 10 were there. The youngest kid ( 10 years old) who is the star of the academy was #1 U10 from australia. He was better than my 9 year old son. I interviewed him and asked him about colored balls. He said he has been training/competing with red/orange/green since age 6 and his strokes are perfect.

    Several teens in the academy could go on a scholarship to any college they want but they are choosing the pro path.

    It is important to note that the Spanish Jr girls are in trouble. The Spanish are not developing their Jr's Girls like the girls in France or here in the US. The Spanish are producing boys but not girls. Why:confused: The US system has produced the most Jr girls than any country, go figure. The girls travel with their coaches solo, they are loners. While the boys/men players and coaches interact with one another. One is not better than the other, they are just different.

    As for competition with colored balls, I got the feeling that stroke production was more important than competition overall. But Luis said if they have good strokes at a young age, the competition age wise should be similar within one year of one another. The spanish Federation does not have the money like the USTA has from US open to organize all these tournaments The French federation does have some money from RG. They have $ plus a unified method of teaching plus Play and stay. So their Jr results ( boys and girls) are a factor.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2012
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  33. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Who other than Sharapova?

    Rest are probably at IMG and other places for training (like Nishikori).

    Again, those are probably the best globally.
     
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  34. ChiefAce

    ChiefAce Semi-Pro

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    Agreed completely when talking about the lack of a unified approach or system. I attended a high performance workshop for the USTA back in August with PMac and Lubbers was there; the information was pretty good, but there were only 30 coaches in attendance. The USTA high performance program now has guidelines for each stroke etc etc, but there is definitely not a unified system in place. The guidelines are also too vague in general.

    The best thing for this country would be to have just 1 certification, preferably by the governing body (USTA) and to get rid of the USPTA and USPTR. There are too many coaches in this country who are certified, but couldn't produce even a decent junior player if their life depended on it. You have an excess of coaches who want to teach things however they feel like instead of with proven results or methods.

    Get everyone on the same knowledgeable page and you get results, let everyone do whatever they feel like and not only will your number of elite players dwindle, but your player level from the bottom to the top will also be weaker. The certification and training process should also be much more difficult, IMO it should be a mandatory 1-2 year educational and on court process to become a certified teaching professional in this country.
     
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  35. Number1Coach

    Number1Coach Banned

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    When I was at Mikes house he put DB inside the baseline at the hash mark , then wheeled the ball machine right up to the net, raised it to 6 feet up and proceeded to fire the balls at about 70+mph at him on each side and said "short backswing short backswing " Hit ball Hit ball" this is no joke.

    I sat there and thought no wonder Andre attacked serve coming from the other baseline , His hand-eye was built and I witnessed how it was done.
     
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  36. jigglypuff

    jigglypuff Rookie

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    Hmm.. got to try that. Hope nobody accuses me of child endangerment.
     
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  37. Number1Coach

    Number1Coach Banned

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    This little old guy is crazy , I loved him though ,the part that worried me is DB and him got along well seems they were on the same wave. Old Mike was showing him all these different rackets to hit with , one had weed-eater string in it!

    If you try it your kids reflects will get fast look at Andre.
     
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  38. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Sorry, but who is DB? I assume it was earlier in the thread, but I couldn't find it.

    Mike Agassi also trained his daughter, isn't it? The one who married Pancho Gonzalez? Why did she not rise to the top?

    I saw Andre hit back a Roddick serve in a WTT exo. Sitting in the first row, it was an incredible experience - a humongous serve returned at the same speed by a small swing of the racquet, leaving Roddick speechless. There has to be genes behind it.

    Remember that Mike was a boxer in his country. Genetics is definitely at play here.
     
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  39. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    DB is Deiton Baughman, one of the best 16u players in the US.
    Number1Coach coaches him and serves as a massage therapist for him.

    Mike (Emanuel Agassi) raised Rita, too. But, I remember Rita, and let's just say he was tough on her, but never, ever as tough as he was on his boy. Rita liked guys, liked food, liked life. Andre was a lot more TENNIStennisTENNIS.
     
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  40. SoCal10s

    SoCal10s Hall of Fame

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    hey hey hey .. easy on Rita... she's my friend.. Rita was a fine player.. 2HBS hit the crap out of the ball too.. taking the ball early was not invented by Mr. Agassi .. he used to take Rita for lessons with Pancho Segura .. that's where it all came from.. same as Jimbo C. and countless of others..
     
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  41. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    But you cannot deny that Mike was a boxer in Iran. I think he even tried to continue that here in Vegas. In tennis, delayed reaction means you can lose the point. In boxing, it means you can fracture your skull. Andre must have those genes.
     
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  42. SoCal10s

    SoCal10s Hall of Fame

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    genes ?? get past horse racing.. it's all about hard work and discipline ... living right,eating right,and doing the right stuff... everything takes desires hard work and discipline ...
     
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