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Old 12-29-2012, 08:17 PM   #107
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Los Angeles, California
Posts: 113

Originally Posted by JW10S View Post
I guess we have to take your word that you were teaching 'modern' in 1968 since like so many of your assertions there is no empirical proof of it. I have to ask, has your teaching evolved at all since 1968 and if so how has it--if not it can't be called 'modern' can it? Nothing that happened 45 years ago can still be considered 'modern'--nothing. So what exactly is your definition of 'modern'?

FWIW, I went to Segura when I was in college (I played for an NCAA National Championship team, played pro tennis, and currently coach) when he was the pro at La Costa (well after his time with you at the BHTC) and he did not teach like you. Prior to that I took a few private lessons from Pancho Gonzalez, who you claim to base at least some of your teachings on, and again he did not teach like you. And neither of them hit open stance, semi-western, windshield-wiper, 'yank' across forehands (Segura in fact hit his forehand with 2 hands).

So again, what exactly is your defintion of 'modern'? And what exactly are the current crop of Americans doing that is not 'modern' (be specific)? Maybe that would clear a lot of things up.

(I'm going ignore the responses from the minions).

And none of the 'more famous coaches' would ever bother to post here for the simple reason that they just don't have to--their work and their results speak for themselves. I'm actually surprised someone of your 'legendary stature' would find this little forum so important to you. That alone says a lot...
Well, JW, I preached, in 1968, open stance, topspin, stalking the ball, finishing across the opposite shoulder. In 1971 I started putting a string 3 ft. over the net to promote topspin, I used this in Spain in 1973. In Brazil in the 1980s I experimented by putting the string 5 ft over the net, and I emphasized waiting for the ball to emphasize the Zone, always testing, seeing what gave out the best results. In 1989 I published my first book, "Tennis in 2 Hours" (a name that the Germans called me when I coached there in the 80s). I gave a copy of the book at the 1989 Sunshine Cup to the Russian coach, for the Russian Tennis Federation. Bud Collins confirmed the next year, on his first trip to Moscow that coaches there loved it and asked him for more copies. I learned from a Belgrade coach that is now in Australia that my 1989 book was in Belgrade in 1991 and well received by coaches.

Then came the 1990s, and for four years I participated with instruction in more than 100 New Tennis Magazine shows, and we sold DVDs with that instruction through the TV show. From 1994 to 2000 I worked for ESPN International as an ATP, Australian Open and French Open commentator. I started emphasizing hitting on the lower part of the strings for topspin. I then commented for another channel PSN, in 1992 for the whole year, doing Wimbledon.

I retired from broadcasting in December 2000 and dedicated my time to promote my modern tennis videos (the term came up in 1991 as a friend of mine started doing surveys for me in Boca Raton and I started using it, and Brad Holbrook said in a New Tennis Magazine TV show that I was "the father of modern tennis"). In the 2000s I started emphasizing more and more pulling across instead of just swinging across and I added two more videos in 2006 and 2007. Then I started to visit Europe again (where I had played so much in the 1960s), meeting with old friends that were now coaches (Tony Roche in Rome, Angel Gimenez and Pato Alvarez in Barcelona, and in England meeting with David Lloyd and laying out teaching his main Next Generation clubs top coaches the system, plus seminars in Belgium, Holland and Finland, with great reception).

Next, in 2008, 2009 and 2010 producing 4 more DVDs, the series Tennis Into the Future, I just authored a new DVD, The Best of Oscar, a compilation, stroke by stroke of my most salient video segments, and I am on the process of writing a new book. I know my methodology is quite controversial and revolutionary, but it is a real good service to kids and public at large.

This is a long answer to your question, but also need to say that Segura played open stance two-handed forehands which was a bullet, and I did not teach like he taught, neither like Gonzalez, I taught like Segura and Gonzales played, not how they taught, although Gonzales forehand was a bit continental and not his forte. But Gonzalez serve, his slice approach, his volleys were a beauty to behold. I also studied/copied, some of the best strokes of all time, including the modern players. You must have witnessed, being a pro player and now a coach, some of the incredible shotmaking of many champions and I am lucky to have witnessed the evolutions that the game took and proud to be a part of that.

Finally, to answer your question specifically, American coaches stress to play forehands semi-open, which is a bit less efficient than the open stance for pulling across, and, perhaps for that reason, they are not geting that much action on the ball. They are also not tracking the ball long enough. Other than that, the USA has some fantastic prospects. I would say, encourage them to yank the ball up and across. When you get the feel, the harder you hit, the more the ball goes in.

I wish you a very Happy New Year and the best in your endeavors as a coach and in life. I am 73 years old, semi-retired, enjoying life myself, and loving every day. Occasionally I have posted in Talk Tennis, and thought starting my own thread to post tips would be a fun thing to do. I have the time, and a ton of materials to post.

Best, Oscar
Oscar Wegner
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