Talk Tennis

Talk Tennis (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php)
-   Junior League & Tournament Talk (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/forumdisplay.php?f=36)
-   -   Food for thought: More Practice matches. (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=441364)

tennis5 09-27-2012 06:26 PM

Food for thought: More Practice matches.
 
Tennis Recruiting news article -

http://www.tennisrecruiting.net/article.asp?id=1502

500 Sets a Year

by West Nott, USC Women's Tennis, 26 September 2012

I tell parents all the time: take one private a week, and go play matches. Sometimes I tell parents to take one private every two weeks. It's just overkill to do anything more until you reach the higher stages of the game (i.e., professional tennis). Players need to be playing 8-10 sets a week - that's where the real learning happens.


Tennis is a game of trial and error, not about feeding out of a basket and focusing on technique. Players need to learn how to compete and cope with stress. There is nothing stressful about doing crosscourts for an hour, it doesn't get to the essence of what tennis is... a nasty contest between two people where there is a winner and loser. Black and white. You are judged by the bottom line.

Eight to ten sets a week is a great benchmark to set. Play with anyone who will play with you. I'm tired of players or parents saying "I won't play with so-and-so because they push... because they cheat... because they aren't good enough..." All are poor excuses. All you are doing is saving the player from the realities of the world. You will play pushers who will make life miserable, do you want me to ask them to stop missing? You will play cheaters who will cheat you on the biggest point of the match. You will play parents who cheer against your double faults. You will play hackers, net rushers, grinders, counterpunchers, flat hitters, dinkers, rabbits - you can't simulate this through drilling or feeding. Simply impossible.

Take a look at the photo below on the left. ( couldn't post here) .
Djokovic has angled his wrist and changed his grip slightly to somehow, someway, fight his tail off to get this ball back into the court. This can't be duplicated without competing and playing matches where your pride is on the line.


There are no limits on who to play against. Whether you play someone you can defeat 0 and 0, see if you can beat them 0 and 0 coming to the net. Can you beat them 0 and 0 with just a slice? Can you beat them 0 and 0 if you spot them a 30-love lead? There are endless ways to skin a cat, but the point is to build some pressure into the matchplay to make it worthwhile. The reason people hate to compete is because people hate dealing with uncertainty - the small chance that they put their pride on the line and lose. Yes! You need to be able to handle that kind of pressure consistently and never let your guard down. It's an absolutely necessary skill.

For the parents who protect their kids from playing people below them: your child will never reach his/her full potential.
This is the same player who tanks against players equal to their ability. This is the same player who looks at the parent after every sign of poor play. This is the same player who pouts when a bad line call comes their way. The coddling needs to stop.

Imagine if you played ten sets a week for 50 weeks a year? 500 sets! Now compare that to the kid who maybe plays one set a week? 50 sets a year. No comparison. I wonder who will win. It doesn't matter who your coach is. It doesn't matter if you have a world class trainer - or use the best string. It just won't matter. Get out there and compete - it's what makes tennis fun.

aced_Tezuka 09-27-2012 06:55 PM

Very interesting. I should play more sets. And my friends too especially before season starts.

hound 109 09-27-2012 08:46 PM

Thanks for posting this. I tend to agree.

My 13 y/o is playing a men's league match once a week (sometimes twice). You ought to see the fabulous junk these 4.5 guys throw at him. Lots of serve & volleys, one handed backhands, low deep slices, crazy *ss serves....it's great.

One lesson & one little drill a week.... along with lots of match play (with weaker/stronger/boys/girls/men whatever) & a tournament every 2 weeks or so.

Spending about 1/3 as much too. (which is a consideration as well)

ga tennis 09-28-2012 06:47 AM

.........................

TCF 09-28-2012 07:16 AM

================================================

mikeler 09-28-2012 07:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hound 109 (Post 6923551)
Thanks for posting this. I tend to agree.

My 13 y/o is playing a men's league match once a week (sometimes twice). You ought to see the fabulous junk these 4.5 guys throw at him. Lots of serve & volleys, one handed backhands, low deep slices, crazy *ss serves....it's great.

One lesson & one little drill a week.... along with lots of match play (with weaker/stronger/boys/girls/men whatever) & a tournament every 2 weeks or so.

Spending about 1/3 as much too. (which is a consideration as well)


I'm a 4.5 guy with fabulous junk according to many I play.

arche3 09-28-2012 08:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ga tennis (Post 6923959)
I think it depends alot on age. I think that one lesson every two weeks isnt enough for a 10 year old kid. If they are just playing sets everyday then they could be creating bad habits at a young age that will be hard to break. If the sets are supervised with constant feedback then that is a good idea. To just tell a young kid to only get one lesson every two weeks and play sets the rest of the time is not a good idea in my opinion.

Totally agree. Kids need the right tools to compete. You can't learn a proper serve without a lot of repetition and oversight. Play with a pancake and no correction you end up with a junky adult player later on. You need the fundamentals that scale to higher levels of play. Practice and drill when young. After the proper habits are ingrained play more matches. Less matches at first focusing not on results but holes in technique. Use matches improve at first not win. Drill simulating match conditions as well as to groove strokes.

ga tennis 09-28-2012 08:22 AM

..................

TCF 09-28-2012 10:50 AM

================================================

ga tennis 09-28-2012 11:34 AM

....................

klu375 09-28-2012 12:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TCF (Post 6924441)

The boys are a different story, but for girls, who can be amazing by 10-12, the USTA tournament route is an epic waste of time and money.

For girls who are not amazing by 10-12 but plan to be amazing by 18 USTA tournaments are not waste of time and money - they are part of the development process. And are part of the Journey. For the vast majority of tennis juniors - Journey is the goal.
But you two have amazing girls so go ahead and repeat Serena's path.:)

Tennishacker 09-28-2012 12:17 PM

This statement is completely wrong.

I tell parents all the time: take one private a week, and go play matches. Sometimes I tell parents to take one private every two weeks. It's just overkill to do anything more until you reach the higher stages of the game (i.e., professional tennis). Players need to be playing 8-10 sets a week - that's where the real learning happens.

Developing young juniors need to have at least 1 lesson per week or better, 2 lessons.
Developing juniors should only be concentrating on developing their strokes, foot work and conditioning.
Practice sets should only be used to practice their strokes under pressure.

That statement will only develop pushers with bad strokes.

tennis5 09-28-2012 12:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tennishacker (Post 6924640)

Developing young juniors need to have at least 1 lesson per week or better, 2 lessons.
Developing juniors should only be concentrating on developing their strokes, foot work and conditioning.
Practice sets should only be used to practice their strokes under pressure.

That statement will only develop pushers with bad strokes.

But, a lot of parents can not pay for 2 lessons a week.
That is over 100 lessons a year.

Alohajrtennis 09-28-2012 12:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tennishacker (Post 6924640)
This statement is completely wrong.

I tell parents all the time: take one private a week, and go play matches. Sometimes I tell parents to take one private every two weeks. It's just overkill to do anything more until you reach the higher stages of the game (i.e., professional tennis). Players need to be playing 8-10 sets a week - that's where the real learning happens.

Developing young juniors need to have at least 1 lesson per week or better, 2 lessons.
Developing juniors should only be concentrating on developing their strokes, foot work and conditioning.
Practice sets should only be used to practice their strokes under pressure.

That statement will only develop pushers with bad strokes.

I don't think there is one right answer here, every player is different. Some kids are naturals at some aspects of the game(maybe a natural swing, great feet), but not so much at others(strategy, decision making, shot selection). or visca-versa. Some kids need to work harder at different things than other kids.

Playing a match and learning how to win is a skill in and of itself, and it comes more natural to some kids than others. Some kids need more matches/sets than others.

Ash_Smith 09-28-2012 01:02 PM

Interesting theory and there may be some merit to it... however, it doesn't match up to the most successful player development models of the last decade or so (spain, russia etc), where repetition of technical and physical skill comes first.

sundaypunch 09-28-2012 01:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TCF (Post 6924441)
Ga....I agree with you so much! I watch USTA tournament after tournament and I am shocked at how bad the play is. I swear only a handful of players in each age group are good. Scary to think the 6-8th ranked players many times are mediocre compared to the top 1-2.

If you have the opportunity, college players, adults are much better. Thats one reason I cringed so much on that Abigail thread. Of course at 11.5 she is kicking tail all the way to the 16s. She will only meet a few good players no matter what level USTA she plays. Talk about a false sense of actual tennis level.

The boys are a different story, but for girls, who can be amazing by 10-12, the USTA tournament route is an epic waste of time and money.

This is true, but you can say that about most any sport. You have a handful of standouts and many mediocre players.

Many kids that play USTA are not looking to become a pro or get a scholarship. Some of them just want to play tennis and have no match play locally. Some just want a spot on their HS team. Some don't even like playing but have parents pushing them.

I suppose it makes sense for some to sit out and just work on technique. For many, playing in the tournament is the end goal, not something grander.

ClarkC 09-28-2012 01:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sundaypunch (Post 6924754)
This is true, but you can say that about most any sport. You have a handful of standouts and many mediocre players.

I think that you are missing the point here. First of all, the boys have a different situation than the girls, so the same statements are not true of both. Second, not every playground basketball player is another Michael Jordan, but there are plenty of them who are good enough competition to develop your game even if you are at an elite level.

Tennis has unique problems. There is no equivalent of the "pusher" in many sports. Girls in USTA tournaments do not have very many of the right kind of opponent to develop their games properly. That is not a statement about the elites being better than the average players, which is true of every sport. It is a statement about the available depth of talent, the steep rather than gradual drop-off as you move down the tennis ladder, and the unique nature of tennis tactics (e.g. the "pusher" phenomenon).

TCF 09-28-2012 02:18 PM

================================================.

TCF 09-28-2012 02:21 PM

================================================.

tennis5 09-28-2012 02:21 PM

Letter from Ross Greenstein
 
Ross Greenstein ( played for the Gators and now does Scholarship for Athletes)

West Nott - Great article..

I try and tell kids to do this all of the time and all I get is excuses from the parents and junior coaches..
It is very simple. 4 players get 2 courts, they play a set of singles, winners play winners losers play losers, then they play a set of doubles..after each set they tell each other what they are doing well and what they need to improve..12 year old kids can do this..

The parents will never make it happen and junior coaches have no reason to make it happen because they lose money..
It is too bad for the kids..


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:13 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2006 - Tennis Warehouse