Originally Posted by fuzz nation
Gotta ask... what did those coaches actually do for your game? Hard for me to believe that all they did was miss that grip change, right?
Did either of them try to encourage a different swing path to contact with your serve? If they did, then they were doing something right. I point this out because I've never been confronted with a mid-swing grip changer such as yourself in my teaching experience... yet!
By altering your grip in the middle of swinging at the ball, you were unconsciously sabotaging your own serve with something that would be virtually impossible to spot without knowing the "circumstantial evidence" that would diagnose it. Dave Smith has huge teaching experience and probably numbers among the relative few who would be able to isolate that serving gremlin in short order - we're truly fortunate to have him pitching in around here on a semi-regular basis.
I sympathize with your frustrations, but I think it's reasonable to offer that the "hitch" in your serve was among the trickiest things to figure out. Fortunately for the rest of us, Dave's "been-there-done-that".
According to Dave Smith, grip shift is a common problem that usually happens either during the takeback/racquet collapse position or near the contact point.
The new coach spotted the service flaw immediately -- within the first 5 minutes of lesson.
Within a week I was getting 10mph+ more power and more spin on the serve.
The other coaches did help me the service motion, toss, spin, swing path, etc. and my serve did improve.
But I think they were amiss in not spotting a glaring service flaw that the new coach *immediately* picked up on and from which I got immediate noticeable improvement.
I think this new coach will fully develop my service potential but I wish I had discovered him earlier as I have spent time practicing the wrong swing.
The lesson here for me is that not all coaches (even with the equivalent college level playing and teaching experience and certifications) are equally skilled in spotting a problem.
I even asked the new coach why my previous coach (now the club's tennis director) didn't notice the problem. He just shrugged and smiled. I guess he doesn't want to criticize his boss.