Why is Watching bad players with bad form hurt your tennis ?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Nostradamus, Dec 29, 2013.

  1. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    This is very odd. but I was watching few 3.5 players the other day. and most of them had really really bad form. Not bending knees, hitting with open stance with NO shoulder turn, moving like sea turtle on Ice, making Edberg's forehand look like beautiful art form. and so on and so on. and I played next day and I played like crap.

    Why is watching bad tennis form affect your tennis also ? and does it work opposite way also ?
     
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  2. shazbot

    shazbot Semi-Pro

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    Probably cause you are bad as well.
     
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  3. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    Well I am not a pro, that is for sure. but I am 4.5 USTA. and I have decent textbook form as most 4.5 guys do. I know in my league, guys are mostly textbook. We all break down on form when we get tired, that is normal.

    but I am talking about 3.5 or low level 4.0 guys with really bad twisted looking form.
    and to make things worse, they get away with these form most of the time since these powerful big graphite rackets are more forgiving than old wood rackets. so they make no effort to change:(
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013
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  4. JohnMartin

    JohnMartin Banned

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    Call me a snob. But this is exactly why I don't play with guys too much below my level
     
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  5. cjs

    cjs Semi-Pro

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    I agree, but only with regards to playing matches.

    Playing matches with worse players drags your standard down. You get lazy and learn bad habits.
     
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  6. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    Agree whole heartedly. I gained some extra pounds and wanted to play some extra matches over summer. and only league that fit my time available to me was low level 4.0. so I said what the heck and played. and at the end of the league, I developed some bad habits and found myself actually playing worse than when I started.

    And these players actually started to think they can hang with me at the end. IN the beginning of the league, I was dominating them
     
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  7. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    then shouldn't rec coaches be the worst players hehehe
     
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  8. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    I don't think it hurts your form at all. I am following that TomT thread - and I guess by the egos in this thread a 3.0 is really awful. But its not hurting my game at all.

    Honestly I side with second poster.. Does your local tennis teaching pro get terrible because he hits with bad players? No..usualy those guys can still play.

    Playing with all levels of players and watching all levels of tennis seems to help your game.
     
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  9. psv255

    psv255 Professional

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    heck, watching myself play hurts my tennis...tbh it's the only thing stopping me from reaching tennis immortality among top tier TTW 3.5s. I need to destroy my camera.
     
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  10. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    I dunno. I like all tennis. Awesomely professional tennis. And horrible train-wreck tennis. Everything in between.
     
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  11. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    A few coaches (about 5.0 level players) have told me that coaching makes their game suffer because they have to feed to beginners instead of getting real hitting.

    they will not get really bad and stay at their level but of course they could play better if they would hit with good guys instead.
     
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  12. Spin Doctor

    Spin Doctor Professional

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    It doesn't hurt my game, but definitely hurts my eyes. Can't stand watching guys hack and slash away at the ball. It makes tennis look ugly.

    But, if anything, watching ugly technique just strengthens my resolve to have good form. I don't want anyone looking at me and thinking the same thoughts I have when I watch those guys.
     
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  13. cjs

    cjs Semi-Pro

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    Every coach I know says this.
     
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  14. Maximagq

    Maximagq Banned

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    I feel like coaching with feeds instead of rallying makes you focus too much on your student's form than your own form when you hit. So translating that into a real match, you will pay more attention to your opponent's side of the net instead of your own side of the net. As a result, your own technique begins to suffer. Just a thought.
     
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  15. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    Teaching affects your game negatively because you are feeding all day from a standing position and you get lazy legs. It has absolutely nothing to do with picking up your students' bad habits through observation.
     
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  16. Maximagq

    Maximagq Banned

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    That's not what I meant. I meant as soon as you start playing a match, you don't really concentrate on your own shot production because you develop a habit of paying attention to how your student performs a stroke instead of focusing on your side of the net. For example, if I have been coaching a lot and decide to play a match, I would naturally tend to pay attention to how my opponent performs a serve, forehand, backhand, volley, etc. and I would want to see what he or she is doing wrong instead of focusing on hitting the ball. Instead of focusing on the ball, I would focus on my opponent performing a shot. Of course, laziness also sets in unless you do rally drills with your student.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013
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  17. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    Sorry, in context of the original post I interpreted your post differently. I get what you are saying now and yes you do find yourself watching your opponent instead of the ball.
     
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  18. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    Yeah I mean if we are talking tournament play hitting all-day with bad players won't sharpen their return as much as hitting against another pro.

    But my point was that clearly observing bad tennis is not detrimental to your game - nor is playing bad playing players..

    It's just LESS helpful then playing other good players. A teaching pro is going to have a pretty big edge at tennis compared to a 5.0 that had to switch to an office job..But he would be at a disadvantage to a guy on his college team (obviously).

    So I personally think the OP is just off base. Playing against bad players might expose your lack of skill but its not going to make you 'bad'. How bout hitting against a ball machine - that thing has terrible form. Somehow it doesn't ruin my tennis either. <g>
     
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  19. bhupaes

    bhupaes Professional

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    The biggest casualty due to playing lower level players is speed. One gets used to not moving fast or split-stepping, getting too many free points with lousy placements or just hitting to the backhand, and this works against you when you have to transition to playing a good player. But what the heck, if you are an amateur, with a low ego to boot, just go and have fun!
     
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  20. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Many of us learn by imitation; particularly when we are young. Observational learning is learning that occurs through observing the behavior of others. A related term, modeling, refers to a a general process in which persons serve as models for others, exhibiting the behavior that is imitated by the others. Modeling (or modelling) refers to both to the behavior of the learner as well as the model/teacher.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observational_learning
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modelling_(psychology)

    Learning thru observational learning or modelling can occur whether the model is inferior or superior. Better to study superior models when you want emulate a tennis skill or behavior. When you watch inferior models, do so without letting it affect your own behavior/tennis. Instead, try to observe and note the flaws -- as an exercise in spotting flaws rather than letting it affect your own play.

    Even with superior models, you need to be selective. Watching Nadal or Federer hitting straight-arm FHs may or may not suit your own game. You might be better off with studying a good FH model that employs a double-bend, if that seems to work better for you. However, there are other elements of the FH of Federer and Nadal that might be useful for you. Watching Nadal hit a lot of reverse FHs might not necessarily be the best thing for your own game -- players who worship Nadal will sometimes tend to overuse the reverse finish.

    You need to be selective about what you allow yourself to adopt. The style that best suits your game will have a lot do do with your own anatomy, abilities, potential and skill set. Some pros have very unique anatomy and skill that will make it difficult for most of us to model. Most of us do not have the incredible flexibility of Djokovic or posses the unique anatomy and skill set needed to copy Roddick's serve.
     
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  21. Maximagq

    Maximagq Banned

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    ^^^ Can't argue with the Psychologist perspective. +1
     
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  22. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    When watching players with Horrible form, I am not trying to watch for anything, flaws or not. I just see the flaws and BAD technique and say,, HEY this guy Sucks big time, I have no idea how this guy doesn't hurt himself hitting like that.

    But then problem is subconsciously, I learn the bad form. it is really Weird. I hate it and hate the player for it, but subconscious mind memorizes it. HOW do I STOP myself from doing that ?????? HELP:shock:
     
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  23. JohnMartin

    JohnMartin Banned

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    hi Mayleen - I believe the answer is in understanding of your own game.

    If you understand what makes consistency and power for your own shots, you will not be influenced so easily by others.

    understanding your own game also helps in analyzing others. when you know why the others games look so ugly, you will be immune.
     
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  24. geepeeone

    geepeeone New User

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    I second this.
     
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  25. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    The good thing about watching bad technique is that as you get better you can spot more and more wrong.

    The problems I see are generally - absolutely no shoulder turn, no use of off hand, no split step, and zero use of spin (groundstrokes). On the serve its no concept of the idea that the racquet can go in a different direction then the ball ultimately goes to generate spin and power.

    A real coach of course will see all kind of problems and issues that I don't - and right away. I find for any players under 3.5 there are gigantic glaring issues (assuming they are not mobility limited) that are really easy to spot. So its instructive watching them for a bit. Under 4.0 usually there are still obvious problems. But for 4.0 and better it gets harder to spot with the naked eye.

    You don't see any of those really awful players posting here though - because everyone here wants to improve.
     
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  26. tkoziol

    tkoziol Rookie

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    This.

    This for sure!

    The difference in pace would be the #1 issue for me. Adjusting the timing from rallies with a 3.0 housewife to a 5.0 ex-college player is awkward at best.

    As for watching strokes and getting worse...I've never had my form get worse because of working with my students. If anything my strokes have gotten better by teaching. I feel like when I'm in a rally with a student I have to be perfect. The right amount of spin, pace, and placement. With my hitting partner I experiment too much and errors build quickly. However, I do feel that my strokes are better after watching ATP matches. I used to think that this was just because it got me amped up to play, but I'm not so sure anymore.

    I'd love to see a study done on a phenomenon that I have noticed. I swear I play better if I watch a few videos slow motion and normal speed of pros who have the closest form to me. I'll watch Wawrinka fh, Safin bh, and either Tanner serve or Almagro serve (sometimes both). This could just be in my head, but its hard to say. My hitting partner notices a difference as well. Can't explain why I'll absorb these strokes, but not the strokes of a 3.0 club player. :confused:
     
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