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Old 10-23-2012, 03:42 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by slice bh compliment View Post
It's not the racquet. It's the physicality, and the gradual slowing down of the balls and the courts. Though the defensive game has been around for a long time, I agree, the game has changed. Not just college tennis. Tennis.
Thanks for the input, very true.

Let me start with the Babolat statement. I was attempting to make a generalization about the oversized rackets that have infiltrated the game. Especially the college game. I know Agassi used one, I know other players have used them for ages, but it is eerie and almost disturbing to me the amount of players who buy rackets to stay in points longer. Choosing a racket should be able the quality of shots you hit, not the quantity.

On a separate note, I agree that the game is slowing down and movement is becoming a weapon for many players.

Originally Posted by SoCal10s View Post
I have seen this too.. college tennis has turned most players into ''grinders'' ,because grinding wins more matches at this level .. this is in part the maybe real reason why we have less Americans turning pros ... college play now-a-days produce less of an individualistic type of player ,as you say.. the true artistic players are just washed away because they don't win enough .. but college coaches have their jobs to protect so players better win or else .. coaches are not going to care if a great player makes it or not make it to a the next level ,off coarse everyone wishes that,but bottom line,they care very little.. college coaches are not going to improve a player's game,thus sacrificing his agenda,it's just the nature of this animal.. pretty sad to think about it..
Thanks for the feedback, I agree with so much that you're saying SoCal10s... Most of which I highlighted

The grinder mentality is great. In it's correct role. Fighting for every point, putting 100+% effort into the match, and busting your guts to win for your school are all awesome things. However, I see your point. Staying in points longer and maybe frustrating opponents with a technical advantage can win you matches easily, and is the popular way to play. I would rather see a 6-0 6-0 rout by a player with beautiful strokes, than a 5-hour battle between two guys who are scared of the service line.

Great point about coaches. Coaches, especially at the Division III level, that don't have much invested into individual players after they leave school are thinking very short term. They want wins and they want them Freshman year. In my opinion, college coaches should take on players during their senior year of high school and work with them more technically.

Originally Posted by coaching32yrs View Post
I hear what you are saying. I am very familiar with Division 3 tennis. No doubt, a grinding style of play where players camp out at the baseline hitting one ball after another high over the net wins. There are few players at the D3 level that can play quality offense on a consistent basis so the game becomes one of avoiding mistakes. That being said I preach to my players, one of whom is currently playing D3, you have to play more and better defense and more and better offense at the same time. They usually don't understand. But the point is yes, play great defensive grinding tennis. But when you get a ball you can handle- play offense. Attack. Move forward. That is a winning combination. I just told my player last night- the easiest thing in the world is to become a great doubles player, yet so few juniors and college players play doubles well. All you have to do is learn the correct positioning, and perfect your volleys. Not all that hard.
Thanks for the feedback, couldn't agree more with you on this.

I see the lack of offensive development as a huge issue. I don't know about you all, but I would much rather hit 5 winners than wait for 5 errors 10+ feet behind the baseline. The problem is, I am 400+ miles away from my private coach, and developing without working together on court is so hard. I can hear one thing and understand it, but application is an entirely different battle.

Originally Posted by lstewart View Post
Gino, I also agree that you just described tennis in general, and not just college tennis. I've got a 16 year old son that plays tournaments and hopes to play in college. The game you described is what has developed over the years with poly string, grip changes for more extreme topspin, racket development, etc. When i played college and open tennis 30 plus years ago, most of the elite players I went up against were serve and volley, get to the net as quick as you can. These guys came in on every first and second serve. I was more of a grinder then, so I was having to hit a good return and then a passing shot on the second ball, every point, all day. I agree that to many players the serve and volley is a lost art, but it is tough to handle the monster spin dipping returns. Doubles is the place to show more of the touch and variation you mentioned. You can chip, lob, attack, all the things that are difficult in singles. I have found that alot of the modern players have problems with my more classic game. I hit hard low biting slice backhands and approaches. The topspin group can struggle with these shots it they are hit at sharp angles and stay low. But at any time, no mater what the style of play, doing what it takes to do to win has been the goal. You can choose to play a style you prefer, but ultimately if you are not winning, you may not be in the line-up. I played for a strong NAIA program in the day, and I usually felt more pressure to win all the challenge matches on the team than the actual dual matches. We had lots of very good players not getting to play, so our off days from actual events, we had to compete for our spots with teammates. Just play a style you enjoy, do your best, and have fun. Whatever issues you have now, 30 years from now you will probably remember these days as great fun.
Awesome advice, I appreciate this.

Tennis is indeed changing at every level and most likely instruction is changing with the modern game. I think the reason I am referring to the college tennis arena is because that is where I am at in my playing career. But I also believe in the junior game and on the adult circuit that there is more variety, and I did come from a very strong section of our country. At the junior level a coach can acknowledge strength and weakness and formulate playing styles based on these indicators. Furthermore, I also think that there is much more opportunity for a player to have freedom in their tennis outside of the college setting.

No matter what, tennis in college is about winning. Winning is huge - and maybe I got away with not winning all the time in the juniors because my game looks pretty. But, it's not about strokes looking great, it's about the score looking great. I think I can leverage some of the things I do well (like you talk about biting slices) against opponents who like to play stereotypical college ball, but I also think that mentally I am not strong enough to do this consistently. It's pretty damn difficult to hit 30 quality balls, but I think that's a good thing for me to work on as a player. Who knows, maybe in my late 20's I'll be really good at playing a more defensive player.

Again, thanks for the advice. It means a lot to me. I will be working on just playing tennis the way I like it. Hopefully that will yield some W'S.
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