Windshield Wiper Forehand or Standard Forehand

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by River Hill, Aug 14, 2008.

  1. River Hill

    River Hill Rookie

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    I know the standard forehand is nothing like the forehand of the 70's, but this has me thinking. I have been really focusing during my instruction on the windshield wiper forehand. I have watched the FYB video and I think it is great. I notice I tend to take my racquet much lower to the ground than I do on the standard forehand and my elbow does not stay as close to my side.

    Do many of you only use the windshield wiper forehand? Heck we almost need 3 definitions of the forehand being windshield, current and the 70's.
     
  2. aptennis91

    aptennis91 Rookie

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    You should definitely use WW forehand.
    Search forums for "Why Windshield Wiper FH" = very good stuff.
     
  3. Noaler

    Noaler Semi-Pro

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    yes, many do use WW forehand
     
  4. tennisfreak15347

    tennisfreak15347 Banned

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    I rarely use WW forehand for winners. Come to think of it, I rarely use WW forehand o_O. maybe I should try to incorporate that into my game.
     
  5. gasquetfan

    gasquetfan New User

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    i use WW forehand for all my forehands..more spin and more angles
     
  6. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    If you just focus on this, you will be well on your way in developing a solid, dependable, repeatable, and scalable WW forehand.

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=2546319&postcount=9
     
  7. River Hill

    River Hill Rookie

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    Bill thanks again for the tip.
     
  8. pondus

    pondus Rookie

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    Hi Bill, the images seem to be missing in the post with the explanation of the WW forehand to you link to.
     
  9. GetBetterer

    GetBetterer Hall of Fame

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    I use Windshield wiper till I hit the winner -- then it's flat to the point you can read the labeling.
     
  10. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    Yeah would be cool to see those photos...

    I personally feel that the WW is harder to hit because your swinging up on the ball - so even a little bit off feels like your going to muff it. But then again I don't have a good WW forehand..
     
  11. ManuGinobili

    ManuGinobili Hall of Fame

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    Even pros have a few variations, we can see most obviously the reverse forehand used occasionally by Fed, Djoko and Murr (I can already tell this short name is not gonna catch on... or is it?)
     
  12. Austinthecity

    Austinthecity Rookie

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  13. eliza

    eliza Guest

    I did it when I was 8, and do it now I came back. It is my FH. Open stance with full shoulder rotation. Racquet low in front, drive and up to the middle between left shoulder and left elbow (for me) most of times......

    Problem: not many Pros teach it, and many discouraged it......
     
  14. Zachol82

    Zachol82 Professional

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    Meh, WW forehands to me is just another stroke, which it is. This means that I don't look at the WW forehand as the end all be all forehand, it's simply just another stroke in my arsenal to use.

    - If I want to keep the ball deep, I don't use a pure WW forehand, since I tend to get too much spin on it and it lands a bit shorter than I would prefer.
    - If I want to focus more on angle and less on depth, I will implement a WW forehand.
    - A WW forehand requires torso-rotation speed and racquet-head speed whereas a "normal" forehand doesn't necessarily rely on the same concept for power. I DO notice that my WW forehand becomes less consistent the longer the match drags on. To constantly keep up that torso-rotation speed AND racquet-head speed is tiring.

    I usually just use a "normal" forehand when I want to conserve energy, step forward, release my racquet from the top, let gravity take it down and end up with the racquet over my left shoulder.

    Also, a correct WW motion requires angular momentum, which means that you're not pushing FORWARD, you're actually rotating your torso. This means that 90% of the times, the ball will have a side-spin toward your left side(if you are right-handed). This can be a wanted or unwanted thing, depending on what you want to do.

    Overall, you should not only have just ONE stroke that you use 100% of the times. It all depends on the situation.
     
  15. esgee48

    esgee48 Hall of Fame

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    +1 Having multiple types of forehands is an advantage since you can't force your opponents to give you back the ball at the ideal height all the time.
     
  16. Wilander Fan

    Wilander Fan Hall of Fame

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    WW seems to rely on legs for power more than the standard fh. At least it did back before 300g rackets and poly strings. It was a harder shot and less productive since you could not generate the spin back then. You could basically hit moonballs or hard short balls so it was hard to hit winners. The only real advantage was against net rushers since the ball would dive down.

    Now, you can hit these heavy pace spinny balls so the ww is a better shot.
     
  17. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    I gotta disagree with the people saying things like "you definitely need to try to use a ww forehand" or that you need to "learn to use the WW."

    The standard, fundamental forehand must be mastered before the ww forehand is implemented into one's game. Trying to switch to a windshield wiper motion too soon can be a disaster.

    Further, the windshield motion will come naturally as a player progresses. I garuntee you that professional players never said to themselves "okay, now I'm going to switch to a windshield wiper forehand." It just happens as you try to increase topspin and racket head speed.
     
  18. CityTennis22

    CityTennis22 Rookie

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    I only use the WW forehand on short balls to rip off angles and keep approaches low. I use a normal forehand follow through other wise.
     
  19. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    I dunno about this. I think its taught purposely by alot of pros. I can link to some - but we will get into stuff about this or that pro is "wrong."

    But Lansdorp is one that talks about various finishes and purposely teaches the WW from what I can tell. Some pros seem to teach the WW from the get go (near as I can tell).

    And with regards to other pro players - they are often so gifted they can pick up their forehand just by watching other players with no coaching at all..

    Anyway not convinced its a 'natural' progression and if you just go out and play tennis you will be hitting one.
     
  20. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    Here's the flaw with that logic, though. If the player is just going out and playing tennis and is not very advanced, then they shouldn't be using the WW motion!

    People who try to "learn" the WW motion and reverse forehand motion should really listen to this podcast by Ian Westermann. He talks about how he, as a former college player and 5.0, never thought "okay, now I'm going to switch to a WW forehand" or "now I'll hit a reverse follow-through forheand" these type of advanced shots happen has a player BECOMES advanced.

    If you have a prominent upward motion on your swing and you get good racket head speed, I can guarantee you that these types of shots will come naturally. If you don't have good racket head speed and an upward motion, then you're probably not ready for the WW motion.

    http://essentialtennis.com/podcast/tennis-lessons/59/152/
     
  21. soyelmocano

    soyelmocano Rookie

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    I think the different forehands may come naturally for some.
    I was not a great player but still pretty good. I haven't played in a few years, so I think I would disappoint myself now. That said, I think I could still hit a decent forehand.
    As I started playing, I did not have anyone to teach me (actually never had anyone as I was learning). Just me a a couple of friends that decided to play.
    However, I knew that like the rest of the world, tennis was nothing more than physics. So, it is a matter of the escape velocity of the ball (the flight forward and up fighting gravity) and a little Bernoulli principle (the pressure above/below/sides caused by the spin you use which creates relative speed against the air on one side greater than the other). I know. I am geeky.
    So, I would kind of see this stuff in my head when I wasn't playing and try to imaging the forces working with/against each other to get the desired effect. Then when you go to the court, the mind guides the body to make it happen. Of course it isn't perfect right away. It still takes practice.

    My point is, understand WHY the ball reacts the way it does when you hit it differently (and how to hit it differently - face angle/swing angle/swing speed/etc) and that will help you to naturally invent/learn shots.

    Also, it is not just different strokes for different folks but different strokes for different shots.
    Find the one that feels most natural to you. Let that be your main forehand. Learn others to complement your main forehand when you need something different.
     
  22. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    I do agree. I think high level players think about what they want the ball to do and adjust their swing appropriately. Much the way you do when you play basketball - you don't have to think about exactly how to change your motion to shoot over a taller player. it becomes automatic.

    That being said I think pros DO teach a WW motion to their tennis players nowadays. You have to teach some kind of swing pattern to a new player. The player will then learn automatically to flatten it out or add more spin..

    http://www.active.com/tennis/Articles/The_Three_Forehand_Finishes.htm

    Here is a top pro explaining how he teaches three finishes. This guy is probably the premiere teaching coach in the entire world so I think you do have to respect his authority on this matter.

    What Lansdorp calls the 'lower finish' is of course a WW forehand. When you hit a WW you are supposed to swing up and then down. The low finish is a natural carryover of the upward path.

    Now that's just one pro - I think different pros use different approaches. Some of the pros I have had are pretty adamant at teaching the basic "OTS" finish and I think you can hit an effective forehand with this.

    I am just not at all sure this is much better or worse then the Lansdorp approach or what someone like Mario Llano teaches.

    This guy seems to be teaching the WW to his students from the get go..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0RndYbEl3s&feature=player_embedded

    This video seems clearly targetted to the beginner and is seemingly teaching a WW Forehand, no?
     
  23. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

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    Maybe because his post is from 2008?
     
  24. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    With the racquets and string used in today's game, you better embrace the so called WW forehand or be left far behind. I don't know what you might thing the "current" forehand is unless your thinking of an "over the shoulder" finish. Although I prefer the waist high finish on the majority of shots (WW) others use basically the exact same shot and prefer the higher finish - I happen to think you get a little more spin with the lower finish but I don't have any science to back up my opinions.
     
  25. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    I don't know, I think more traditional strokes would really help a lot of people. They're easier to "master" and have much more room for error. If your timing is a little bit off with a traditional, long stroke you're still going to be able to hit a decent shot. Using modern technique requires more precision.

    I really don't see rec players being "left far behind" because they're using traditional strokes.
     
  26. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Well, this is always the argument presented but unfortunately when pace and reaction time are essential to compete, the "older" strokes just don't cut it. Can you play the game with those strokes, sure, but not at a very high level.

    With the pace being what it is at higher levels you probably would be hitting into next week with some of the more "traditional" strokes. The lineal approach is very much outdated and has given way, in most instances, to the more rotational approach which is easier on the joints like the wrist, elbow and shoulder. Keep in mind that the rallies are much longer today and its not unheard of to have them at 30 or 40 balls - that's a lot of pressure on the arm and related joints.

    So the bottom line is that yes, you can play with the older methods and you could even use the older equipment but what's the point and you'll probably get injured in the process. Might be easier to change your method(s) which isn't all that difficult.
     
  27. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    IMO the modern strokes take way "less" precision when executed properly and can be way quicker to learn. Traditional strokes may be easier to learn due to there are for more instructors out there to teach them,
    but by NO means, easier to master. Modern strokes make the game easier from nearly all respects.
    The biggest problem with modern strokes is 2 fold.
    One is that most learn them in bits and pieces, rather than the full, correct stroke.
    The second is that when they come from a traditional strokes background, some of the old traditional habits still prevail from the old ingrained stroke.
    Both of these reasons lead to problems with execution of the modern Fh that you allude to.
    Learning fresh with the easier and full modern Fh is the way to go.
     
  28. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    eehh agree to disagree I guess. I just don't see a beginner going out and having an easier time with a semi-western grip, open stance, WW forehand. Too many timing, contact point, and swing path issues.
     
  29. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    A lot of players probably think this way and I think to a certain extent its probably natural. Actually training players using the "newer" methods is easier than you might think but undoing strokes can be somewhat difficult or more time consuming. My concern/point is that the "newer" methods lead to fewer injuries, less demanding on the body, produce more power and consistency.

    I can take players, as I'm sure most instructors can, and within a very short time have them using the methods popular today with the equipment we have today. This process is an ongoing thing and will change again with time.
     
  30. Manus Domini

    Manus Domini Hall of Fame

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    I use windshield wiper. Easiest to choose which spin to use and placement
     
  31. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    This is a very accurate post.
     
  32. dannykl

    dannykl Rookie

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    Isn't it that Nadal does not use ww forehand but has great success with his high finishing follow-through forehand?

    Or isn't it that Graf's non-ww forehand is still widely regarded as the best ever in wta?

    It looks like sometimes Graf and Nadal have the similar follow-through, although they use different grips.
     
  33. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    Nadal uses WW and a reverse forehand. He hits more reverses then most pros but still hits alot of WW as well.. I like the trend on this thread though..I am going to work on my WW this upcoming season..

    I always believed that it would be better to learn the WW but was told by many here you have to learn 'traditional' strokes first and "master' them first. This is so vague actually..
     
  34. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    No, you do not have to learn what you refer to as "traditional" strokes first because they are no longer applicable to the way the game is played and the equipment used.

    I teach kids five and six the WW style stroke so its not difficult or hard to master. Within an hour or two you should be comfortable with the stroke and you'll wonder why you waited so long to use it.
     
  35. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    That's your opinion. The majority of tennis coaches, however, feel that it is important to learn the fundamentals first.

    I think it's important to look at the point of the WW forehand. It's used to allow the player to swing as hard and fast as they want while creating enough spin to bring the ball into the court. Using this technique with beginners, children, and people who just don't have fast swings is going to lead to TONS of balls in the net and short in the court.

    They need to learn timing, extension, and placement before they try advanced techniques.
     
  36. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Of course its my opinion but your talking like one is "advanced" (WW) and the other (traditional, whatever that might be) is "basic". I just don't see it that way - sorry.

    This game has evolved (and will continue to evolve) based on the equipment and players involved. The "lineal" game has been out for years now where players would hit through several balls and has given way to a more "angular" game.

    I guess I don't understand/appreciate why one should learn one way only to have to change it as they progress - it doesn't make sense. We teach kids all the aspects of the game, on and off court - they don't have problems with these techniques at all.

    It seems to me that a lot of older players want to hang onto what they know, which is fine, but are too quick to discourage newer players from learning the newer/better techniques.

    There are newer methods used today, for instance, to teach math. Should kids have to learn the methods we used and then go on to the newer/better/easier ways - I don't think so.

    In tennis many strokes have changed dramatically, while others have remained pretty much the same as they were always taught.
     
  37. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    I don't agree that the WW motion is something that has to be re-learned. It just develops as the player's goals change. Beginners' goals are to get the ball over the net with reasonable depth and penetration and decent placement. They don't and aren't capable of taking huge cuts at the ball. For these goals, a traditional over the shoulder kind of shot is best. As they advance, they take bigger cuts and, thus, need more spin. As they try to swing up on the ball more, the WW follow through happens naturally.

    There are many players at my club that have WW forehands and have no idea that it's called a windshield wiper shot. That type of shot has just happened as they tried to swing up more aggressively.

    Again, the goal of the WW wiper forehand is to allow full swings that will still fall into the court. Why should a beginner be using a stroke that is designed to help the ball fall shorter?
     
  38. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I think in the first sentence you mean traditional fundamentals, which can be quite different from the fundamentals of modern strokes. This is why it would be considered having to re-learn. Or you could play for 6-8 yrs till you figure out how to hit more modern and how it helps. Prob about 2% of players get there this way and these are the good players you run across that can tell you how they just gradually picked it up. The other 98% are all these 3.0-4.0 for life players who will never get it and not really improving. They are still trying to get extension out to the target, yet keep it in play while trying to add power.

    One last question. If the young and new players can't get racket speeds high enough for spin to bring the ball down, then how do they end up with a ton of short balls and balls in the net?
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2011
  39. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    I think teaching a beginner the WW forehand is really, really bad. It is synonymous with teaching a beginner a kick serve before a flat serve.

    Advanced strokes should not be learned until a player *advances*. That goes for any sport. In baseball, there is no way my pitching coach was going to teach me a curve ball before a proper fastball or changeup. There is no way the coach would teach me a slider before a curve ball.

    Maybe, I'll go teach my child some algebra before I teach them addition or subtraction. Good idea. (sarcasm)
     
  40. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    No, the fundamentals are timing, taking the racket back, striking the ball cleanly, etc. You really think a player that can't even hit the ball cleanly while trying to do a traditional stroke should start trying to swing up with a WW motion? That's just silly.

    It's not at all a rare breed that picks up the WW motion naturally. Virtually every player at my club under 35, incluing me, was taught with traditional technique and has developed WW motions without added instruction or effort.

    Think about this, guys. You really think the WW motion was developed by one player saying "hey, what if we followed through like this?" No. This type of swing occurs when the player is going for lots of topspin and taking a big cut. That's how it developed.

    Finally, the balls go short because the player does not understand extension towards the target, and the WW motion doesn't provide a penetrating shot when there isn't enough rh speed.
     
  41. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I would suggest that you have not taught near enough students to make your initial comments. So what is silly is you saying that to an instructor who has very good success teaching modern, right from the start, to all students. It's just flat out simpler.

    These players at your club.... they are the 2% of the players in your area that have done better and even many of those have many old habits from traditional training that are holding them back in their progress. What are you, 3.5- low 4.0? and most of the players at your club are probably statistically about the same right? So where is this large group of awesome players that moved from traditional to modern intuitively? they don't exist in any club. I've played a lot in NY, TX, ATL, Miami, Tampa, Chicago, Cali and HI. Very few 4.5 and up players anywhere.

    Your last sentence shows that even though you claim to have it figured naturally, you know little of the ww or modern stroke, based on saying that it is not a penetrating shot. But even if that were true, my student beginners have plenty of head speed from the start because Modern instruction makes a faster swing easy. It's in "traditional instruction" where beginners are forced learn to control shots by swinging slow. Can you explain the benefit of extension to the target?
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2011
  42. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    The problem here is that not many would agree with you - why are you concluding that that these strokes are advanced? Because you and a couple of others don't use/know them, in itself, doesn't make them advanced. Different maybe but not necessarily advanced.

    In today's game, you need a lot of top to keep the ball in and if your using flat strokes your going to loose out, its as simple as that. If five and six year olds can use/learn these methods it might be time for others to have a look. Teaching one way, like learning a patty cake type serve, only to have to change it later just doesn't make sense unless your interested in prolonging the learning process over many years.

    Most, if not all, teachers/instructors have embraced the so called "modern-game". The USPTA uses it as well at the PTR so lets not jump to the conclusion that just a few are teaching it. Those that stick with what you probably are referring to as "traditional" methods need to catch up and get with it - I suspect in most instances "they" are the sand-lot bunch who strut around with their half-baked ideas and methods, trying to impress the locals with their wealth of knowledge.
     
  43. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    Not going to discuss this any further with you if you're going to sink to these levels of debate. I have my doubts about your competency as a coach, but I did not bring them up because I was under the impression that we were discussing a topic and not each other. Do I notice the obvious bias that a Modern Tennis Instructor will have about the topic? Certainly, but again, I thought this debate was about ideas, not individuals. I have not been disrespectful enough to "quiz" you about tennis topics, so why are you doing that to me?

    This isn't just my opinion. Well known coaches like Andy Zodin, Ian Westermann, Will Hamilton, Brent Abel and every tennis pro I have been associated with teach with these methods.
     
  44. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    I respectfully disagree. The WW forehand is a more difficult stroke than a traditional forehand. It isn't just "different". It requires more in the mechanics department than a traditional forehand.

    Understand. I do agree with you that the WW forehand is essential to get to the higher levels. No question on that. I am only saying that I believe teaching fundamentals before teaching more advanced strokes is a better approach.

    Also, keep in mind that 99.9% of tennis players are never going to make it to the levels where WW makes a difference. If I had Agassi's or Sampras' traditional (non-WW) forehand stroke, I'm pretty sure I could beat a lot of 6.0s.
     
  45. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Alright, I guess we're not going to see eye to eye on this. I probably don't quite understand your argument on this and would bet that because you come from a pretty good tennis state, most of what is being taught today in and around Austin would be the WW. The only real big difference between what Agassi used and the WW is the finish so I guess your concluding that anything by finishing low is "traditional". This doesn't make a lot of sense to me but to each his own.
     
  46. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    That is fine and i respect the notion you are trying to represent here in not wanting to sink to low levels with a debate. That is commendable. Of course you would be much more convincing if you did not take the pot shots at me as you step out of the debate.

    Also I'm not sure where I sunk to a level. Was it mentioning that most players are statistically 3.5- low 4.0? or asking what is good about traditional extension? I was just asking because I'm quite convinced that traditional extension is a fundamentals flaw.

    As far as being a MTM coach and being biased. The term biased means that someone has made a decision in spite of evidence to the contrary, but in my case, I was a VERY traditional coach for years before learning about modern technique. Once I saw the overwhelming evidence of how modern strokes were better, I was not too proud to admit their superiority and given the evidence, switched to the better system. That would be the opposite of Bias. Bias would be closer to the coaches you mention, if they, like Wil, see how the modern strokes are better, but try to cling to some of the old ways, it's probably due to not being able to admit that the old stuff they always believed in was just not up to par. It is tough on the ego to admit all of what you were doing was in a not so good direction, so holding on to the idea that there was some value for beginners helps the ego. Otherwise, I can't see why many coaches are holding on the the old stuff despite the all the evidence.
     
  47. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    That's not what bias means at all. Not sure where you got that definition.

    "Bias is an inclination to present or hold a partial perspective at the expense of (possibly equally valid) alternatives"

    A partial perspective. Examples would be a democrat judging the performance of a democratic president, the coach of Roger Federer judging Roger Federer's place in history, or a Modern Tennis Coach commenting on the value of modern tennis instruction.
     
  48. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Oh, thats easy...just a couple of lines down from where you got it.
    Wiki

    In judgment and decision making
    Main article: Cognitive bias
    "A cognitive bias is the human tendency to make systematic errors in certain circumstances based on cognitive factors rather than evidence."

    So what you did here would be a ok example of your bias (or just not reading more) because you were so inclined into your perspective (like you possibly are about traditional instruction) that you made a decision on the first sentence you read as the only reasonable perspective on bias; even though there was more perspective or evidence just a couple of lines down the page in your own chosen source. In this case, I don't see any significant difference in our definitions or application as you seem to, and find your definition very acceptable as well.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2011
  49. dlk

    dlk Hall of Fame

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    Never tried the WW, just learning to finish over the shoulder (going from flat shot to topspin). Should I question my pro/instructor about this follow-thru?
     
  50. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    No, not really but ..............

    The over the shoulder thing is ok and still frequently used by many top players. Its just that many of think/believe that you can get more spin when you finish lower, ie WW. Everything is "basically" the same, its primarily just the finish. Although some think that its an entirely different stroke, it really isn't.
     

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