Originally Posted by TCF
I think I have said numerous times the coach teaches fundamentals and gets out of the way. Then the player's own strokes develop around those fundamentals.
By the way, who are these players with revolutionary strokes that "rule the world". Top forehands have a high take back, racquet drop, contact, follow through. All the top serves have the same basic parts as the other top serves. The variations are stylistic, not fundamentals.
What ruling the world changes do you want a coach to spot in a kid.....a kid hitting the ball with the racquet held by their feet?
I didnt mean revolutionary when I said unconventional. I meant evolutionary. Of course the basic fundamentals are the same and I totally agree with you and thats what my point was - teach the basics and then improvise based on each kids/players strengths. I am not a tennis expert but Nadal's lasso forehand was unconventional 10 years back before Nadal made it popular and if 10-15 years back a kid was trying to hit a lasso forehand in every shot, a lot of coaches would have called it flawed and arm breaking and not natural or whatever. Today its ok to see 8-10 yr olds whipping lasso one after the other. Here is where a coach needs to jump in and analyse whether the lasso is good for a particular kid or not and make amends.
Its interesting that yesterday only I was reading Pete Sampras auto-biography and that at the age of 14 his coach forced him to move from a double handed backhand to the single handed and it took 2 years of beating in the tournaments before it worked for him. His DHBH was not flawed but his coach was convinced that the SHBD was the one for him and together they worked towards it.
Quoting Pete from the book -
"Its an easy thing to overlook, but always remember that everyone is different. There is no one-size-fits-all formula for development; if there was, a dozen or more players would all stand atop the record book, with exactly two Grand Slam titles each. I wouldn't suggest that, say,Michael Chang would have benefited from going to a single-handed backhand, or that he would have won Wimbledon if he had made the change. A lot of other factors would also have to have fallen in place for that to happen.
What I am saying is that its wise to look at your game and take the long view-where can your natural athletic inclinations take you in five, ten, fifteen years? Given Michael's size and the pace he generated, it would have been silly to try to create a power based server-and-volley game for him. It was clear in a dozen ways that he would be most effective as a counterpunching baseliner"