Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by crash1929, Oct 31, 2009.
Please list video sites where you have found valuable instruction.
The overall best free site has to be Fuzzy Yellow Balls: http://www.fuzzyyellowballs.com/
"The Serve Doctor" has some valuable lessons: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ixx-MCC7D88&feature=player_embedded#
Tennis One is the best subscription service. I've enjoyed the hundreds of tips on all facets of tennis from multiple sources, as well as the slow motion videos of pro's strokes: http://www.tennisone.com/
Free sites with great info are Fuzzy Yellow Balls by Will Hamilton, Tennisteacher.com by Oscar Wegner (sells DVDs but has lots of free info) and Tomaz Menzcinger's Tennis Mind Games .com, which I like because he deals with mental aspect of game in an excellent presentation. Though I consider Oscar the foundation of great instruction, guys like Will Hamilton and Tomas Menzcinger add a lot. Those are the three I recommend to coaches and players to start with though there are more as I get newsletters from over twenty websites. Coaching Mastery has a newsletter also that is very good.
Pay video sites are tennisone.com, www.hi-techtennis.com, and tennisplayer.net. I get all three but like hi-techtennis.com because the owner is an MTM guy like I am and his video analysis is terrific because he shows the pros hitting across the ball and he also allows you to flip every player to the other side (Nadal right handed is a great teaching tool). Hi-techtennis.com also has a thousand high speed videos, easily organized. Problem with pay sites is you get contradictory data. That is why Fuzzy Yellow Balls is a recommendation for me because though I have a disagreement about starting with a neutral forehand stance (what used to be called closed stance) and not focusing on the same biomechanical windshield wiper wrap the racket across the body swing, Will Hamilton knows his stuff pretty well and I have no problem recommending him. He rarely contradicts himself which is very rare in tennis instruction today. Example is Rick Macci has opposite teachings on his own personal court on a huge sign. Very bad for students who don't know how to separate the wheat from the chaff. Will Hamilton is very clean in that he doesn't contradict himself like most pros do. Up and coming star and will be a true master pro in my book if he ever understands why that silly neutral stance FH progression used my many USA pros that I believe inhibits more players than it helps has got to go. It's a useless step given it's proven you can start them with open stance windshield wipers from the first strokes. I had to break a ten year old girl today who took lessons from a very well known pro who taught her that progression and her father was amazed at the difference and how she instantly looked like a pro in form and efficiency and even had huge topspin, I even had her doing the figure eight drill. Just teach them from stroke one to touch the ball and then bend the arm blasting across it to the finish, lol. I hope to meet with Will and Oscar on court in the DC area as we are trying to get up there early next year.
yah fuzzyyellowballs is great. go there immediately for pretty ;m;uch everything
the serv doc looks pretty cool so far...
i like this kid/coach but haven't tried any of his tips yet...
That's some solid instruction. Very nice.
The only thing I would point out about Mario Llano is he throws a lot of information and admits at the end that he has given a lot, too much to try and think of at one time. I disagree with him saying that the FH finish on the top of the shoulder is obsolete because it's not, Djokovic and Agassi (even in his recent exhibition) use it still, as do women often, but for beginner, the finish on top of the collarbone is essential because the use of the biceps is essential to learn how to muscle the ball until the forearm wiper is strong enough to finish down nearer the elbow. As a teacher, I have to finish up on top of my shoulder unless they are 4.0 or 4.5 when it starts to come down, but when I play my 5.0s and the two 6.0s I developed who only come for occassional lessons before tournaments, I finish both on top and nearer my bicep, especially because against them I have to take so many balls early to stay with them.
In several videos, Llano then turns around and says practice each technique piece by piece before moving on. I think he is technically very sound but for a lower level player, that is a lot of info to try and absorb given all the mechanics, thus I prefer slower progressions and that is why I think Fuzzy Yellow Balls is better to learn by, especially if you know the correct biomechanics of hitting across the ball and allowing the finish to shape your shot as you move from right to left and learn to load and explode as the USPTA likes to teach these days. Just make sure you explode to the left on the FH and to the right on the 2HBH. Again, before something must feel natural, you have to break it down into little steps. I teach the split step later than most tennis coaches, but it becomes natural like the windshield wiper does if it's taught correctly.
I'll send you or anyone who asks a free ebook from Oscar Wegner if you email me at eztennisswing@ yahoo.com that will break down these progressions and then when you look at Fuzzy Yellow Balls, you will have an idea of what they are trying to get you to feel in the stroke. I teach MTM per Oscar's method but I add a lot of good stuff over it to give my students more clear pictures as they advance, and Fuzzy Yellow Balls is one of the first places I start. For coaches, I then add Coaching Mastery by Dave Smith which has excellent up to date drills also. I still think Tomaz Menzcinger's newsletters are terrific for the mental game, and I read a lot more I bet on the net than 90 percent of the people on this forum. I often read this forum on my Blackberry phone even while picking up balls given I teach so much on court as well as the countless numerous tennis tips I receive from everywhere. I have to in order to be a good tennis instruction historian and the best coach I can be given what I teach is still not accepted as orthodoxy though everyone is moving towards teaching open stance primarily and letting neutral stances happen naturally in the course of finding the ball per MTM. When you come on here, you better know your stuff because the wolves are ready to attack, lol. One wrong statement can get you slaughtered, much less an opinion.
Keep it simple, don't get too much technical stuff, especially in the beginning. That is the value of Oscar's ebook, which though written 20 years ago, is very relevant still and considered by many one of the greatest tennis technique books ever written if not the top five at least. I consider it the best, still, and I have read over 250 books at least. But I'm talking strictly technique when it comes to Oscar Wegner. The ebook has video instruction clips with it, so you can see Agassi and Graf being analyzed by Oscar as to what they do. No charge, what have you got to lose?
Are those videos a progressive break down of a step by step process of how to hit? No. And I really doubt that was the intention. Those videos are marketing, attention getters for potential students.
that is an excellent point and why I don't think Llanos' videos for beginners or lower level players are a good place to start. Any high level player can show what he thinks he is doing, but as we saw from the Djokovic tennis lesson he gave to the reporter, even he was giving not the best explanation of how to teach at certain points, given it's true that most good players just repeat what they were taught when they were little and are not students of learning modalities and such. That is why I admire Will Hamilton so much, a real student of the game at such a young age, he thinks before he speaks and is willing to be challenged and not have a predetermined agenda like so many determined to promote themselves in the dog eat dog world of "I have the secret and you don't" of tennis instruction. He also has ten times the tools I had when I wanted to first write about tennis a quarter century ago. I have crossed the half century mark in age and we had no internet until 1993 even and tennis web sites didn't start appearing until 1995 and 1996 and really didn't get going until 1997-1998.
Even video instruction is all over the map. Tracy Austin on the Jimmy Connors series is teaching the exact opposite of most of the people on videos, she has got be as bad a teacher as I've ever seen, and I shouldn't say that publicly given I have met Pam Austin on court, hit with her, we are both fans of Oscar Wegner, and I know that Pam is a very good instructor and I will likely work with her again at least indirectly. Yet how can her sister, #1 in the world, get no results with kids on every video I've seen of her teaching beginners. But even I thought after 27 years of teaching and reading tennis books that included two years of successful teaching with MTM, I thought I might finally be a master pro. Duh! I went back to college and just completed my Masters requirements in Education and found I learned stuff there that helped my teaching. Now that I'm back on court full time after taking much of the previous year off, this is the first year in my 30th year as a student of the game I actually feel like a Master Teacher because educational principles for teaching students tend to be universal, but I still learn a lot in this incredibly paradoxical yet magical game, and not all I have learned is from tennis books as to how to reach kids in their learning modality: the real secret of a great tennis methodology being great communication of concepts in a manner easily understood by the student, and why MTM and it's Power of Simplicity works so well across a wide range of students, though better athletes can learn from many different methods, just at varying speeds of progression.
For books, I do love Winning Ugly by Brad Gilbert regarding strategy. The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle is a must read for anyone in coaching, especially tennis coaching, I believe. Any book that draws accurate comparisons between the greatest bank robber in history and John Wooden as to what had in common as to why there were both so great is fascinating reading.
VideoJug have lots of tennis instruction vids and also there is that IntoSport channel on youtube that have quite a lot too.
Videojug e.g. (one on 'high deep spin') http://www.videojug.com/film/tennis-high-deep-spin
Intosport channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/intosport
i learned may things from hi10spro on youtube. he may not look like the best but i still learned so many useful things. like the kick =D
I really don't see the big deal or deficit with the "neutral stance" for the forehand.
Here's one of Roddick doing it:
Here's one of Federer rallying, you will see him rallying with an open stance, semi open stance, and neutral stance, you will also see the ball traveling with nice speed, pace, and spin. He is hitting with what I call "relaxed power".
Here's another one of multiple players executing forehands from the aforementioned stances................
Didn't Oscar quote Bruce Lee about being formless? If so, then I'd think that he would frown upon the rigidity of hitting only from an open stance.
think this might be a new one yipee.
yes he did. MTM emphasizes open stance Forehands for beginners because it emphasizes finding the ball as the primary skill, and it's much more difficult to find the ball from a neutral stance. We don't teach tennis from a neutral stance but we don't forbid it, but my players are shown that when they approach a ball in the middle of the court or going forward or even wide on the run, they may have to hit from a neutral stance. We then show them how all neutral stance FHs then end in an open stance. If a student can hit a ball naturally from a closed stance, and any truly well coordinated athlete can, we show them the open as being a better option at higher speeds and let them feel the difference. No player on the WTA or ATP, who can obviously hit from open or neutral, chooses to hit primarily from a neutral stance, even though world champions like Stan Smith hit primarily closed stance forehands, though he does not today as a senior, I was surprised. I suspect they have felt the difference and tested the results. That is why MTM teaches neutral and open on 2HBHs but we start with open unless they are more comfortable with neutral 2HBHs, which is possible because you can find the ball well from a 2HBH neutral stance because your two hands on the racket allows your hands to stay close to your body where you can then bend and pull across.
MTM does not forbid neutral stance, but we forbid teaching beginners a progression that does not emphasize the correct biomechanical form that will be their primary tennis swing, and that swing is a windshield wiper with an up and across move with the butt of the racket pointing to the opposite court at the finish. The Law of Primacy in education theory tells us that anything you learn from the start will have a lasting impact and will be what you revert to under stress, this is rule in aviation and even military training. Anything you teach to beginners that is not biomechanically correct will have to be undone as it builds muscle memory, therefore emphasis in MTM on never teaching a position that does not build the proper muscle memory. How can you ask a player to start moving his feet to a neutral stance when he can't even find the ball well? I find if I teach him to find the ball well, his feet will start adjusting naturally and then I can guide him how to hit from a neutral stance after he has learned first how to hit up and across and finish the swing with butt near his shoulder associated with the target line, something that is very difficult to do from a neutral stance in the beginning, which is why I claim FYB does not show a proper FH finish on his first FH video. I have emailed FYB a long discussion we are having behind the scenes as it's too long for this forum given we have space limitations. I find him very engaging and knowledgeable. But he has much to learn also, or otherwise he will teach me I am misleading people. The proof will be on court as we are looking to start a real discussion of a debate on is there one optimal biomechanical technique? The USTA says no. The USPTA says no but they teach load and explode now from an open stance and admitted they are phasing out conventional tennis teaching. Even the PTR now is teaching open and neutral stances. The Russians say yes, it's all about technique, and all their coaches teach one technique (I even quote the Russian Tennis Fed President) which I document in my Spartak commentary on my website in the MTM Library. In Spain, they all teach one technique. In the USA, many claim that beginners should not start with the same biomechanics as the pros. The evidence that myelin is an important part of building correct muscle memory circuitry to program the body to perform the same under high periods of duress is I believe, why we fail in building tennis players. We teach contradictory data.
I have spoken with Russian tennis coaches as has Oscar who stated that prior to 1990 if you didn't turn sideways on the FH early, you were swatted with a stick. Then things changed. In the 1990s, if you took your racket back too early or turned sideways on a baseline shot you were then swatted because the Russians have adopted one biomechanical technique.
So the answer is we don't only teach to hit from an open stance. That would be unnatural trying to get your feet into an open stance position every time, but we teach that the best way to play your best tennis is from a base open stance and then move your feet accordingly as you have to find the ball. You can have perfect footwork and your feet in the correct position everytime but if the biomechanics of your stroke in bending your arm and moving from right to left to a complete finish are incorrect, footwork won't matter one bit, and that is why Oscar claimed the USA put the cart before the horse in too much emphasis on footwork for beginners especially. When a ball goes long, it's usually because of the wrong racquet angle and not the correct amount of spin, not because of where your feet are. This also explains why players can hit great shots without their feet on the ground, as can young juniors as seen in the Kim Cliister at age nine video, she hit's totally open stance and hits exactly as MTM teaches though I have no idea if her coach used Oscar's book which had been out for three years when the video was made. I work closely with a Belgian top coach (he visits with Oscar fairly often who a couple years ago was given a personal guided tour by Nicky B himself of NBTA, even being allowed in the war room morning meeting) who totally teaches MTM and certifies coaches in MTM in Belgium so I know it's popular there. He was part of our founding membership. We should be teaching out 9 year olds to hit that way, not turn, step, and hit. So that is why MTM is so popular with students who first are allowed to run naturally why they develop their find, feel, and finish skills and then we help them develop better footwork when it's time to step it up to the next level. I started teaching a split step to a girl yesterday who needed one. First I taught her to bend her knees more and now I am teaching her how to split step and move lightly and take fewer steps and be more efficient in her movement. She doesn't get lost or discouraged now becauses she can hit the ball fairly well and is not distracted by learning new footwork patterns now which in the beginning would have destroyed her eye hand coordination. It's unorthodox, but it works.
MTM also teaches to stalk the ball and keep it in front of you so you can blast across it as much as possible. This forum has come a long way. I"m shocked how many people finally admit that the weight has to be on the back foot and that the back foot (the right foot) is the foundation of the modern tennis swing. It was not this way a few years ago. Even when Fed blasts the ball from a neutral stance moving forward, he lifts up and spins out of it into an open stance because the emphasis is his rotation from right to left, not going through the target line, which is an incidental passive thing which I posted an explanation from Kelly Jones on another thread, and I don't think anyone would want want to argue with a man who has likely coached more ATP players than anyone on this forum and just took over James Blake and I have discussed such issues with Kelly and learned a few things from him also, and he is a supporter of MTM and Oscar.
FuzzyYellowBalls fo sho
Yup, and anything by Doug King on Tennisone.
I love the Videos but i wish the site was Free...
I agree that finding the ball from a neutral stance may be easier for some people, just like finding the ball from an open stance may be easier for some people. In my opinion "finding the ball" from all stances should be taught. Each stance has it's own merits in my opinion. So why not teach them all of the stances instead of seemingly emphasizing only the open stance?
Here's an example from the Sanchez-Casal Academy, I like this style of teaching, please take note of the different stances this student is utilizing:
You are correct. I guarantee you I have seen every Sanchez Casal video of of Youtube in order to see if anything is worth stealing that I do not currently use. Notice that their footwork is natural and they have to find what works best for them by putting them under stress and letting them create. I use these very same cone drills that you saw Rehan using and he looks very much like the majority of my students. We do teach finding the ball from all stances, but we ensure that they do not get stuck in a neutral stance and know how to spin out of it properly, that is different than many 3.5 and 4.0 players who don't know how to hit across the ball and let the finish shape the shot...they just get caught standing with the back to the inside of the court. But in a learning gradient, when we are teaching the exact biomechanic stroke of the windshield wiper, that is almost hard to accomplish from a neutral stance for the beginner. We start players with their toes facing the net and teach independence of the arms from the body before we start putting the kinetic chain together. That is why we teach them to walk softly backwards (no split step, no turning of the feet) from the net to the baseline while we build their finding, feel, and finish fundamentals. The best kid on those links hits his best strokes open stance. He goes semi open and neutral as necessary, but it's natural, he's not trying to do it thinking of it. No matter where you are on the court, and from almost any position, finding the ball means you blast it and allow your hand and finish to shape the shot.
If you don't think that the neutral stance forehand that is recommended by the USTA in Quickstart is hard to do with the correct windshield wiper across the ball swing with a proper over the shoulder (racket in the backpack) finish, then stand in a neutral stance and try to do it. It hurts the back and makes the ball harder to find for beginners who often have no developed sense of eye hand coordination. Tennis is simple when you start open stance from the beginning and let other stances develop naturally. It's been proven to be difficult and the sport in the USA has nearly died from teaching a neutral stance and the through the target line finish. Insanity is doing the same thing you did (keep the old neutral stance teaching progressions) and expecting different results. Just my opinion. I have been asked to consider coming back as Head Pro of a very prominent and large tennis facility I was assistant pro at in 2004 and 2005 which I left to become Head Pro at Dwight Davis TEnnis Center. I'll have the same two rules I had for my coaches at Dwight: don't teach anything the pros don't do and if I catch you teaching a closed stance forehand to beginners as their first progression you are fired. Every program I've ever taught has boomed with that as my only two rules for coaches. When I went to California they loved my natural emphasis on footwork, whether it was the three months in Laguna Beach working with many of their best juniors (I gave the program I was offered to another coach so I could work with Oscar up north), or when I got hired by Lin Di, a National Coach for China to teach his best students. Lin Di, the Pete Sampras of China, wanted me to work for him full time but I had to come back to St. Louis because I have two children here and still have a 12 year old son here since daughter just went to college. So I've had some experience with five years of teaching MTM around the country. I'm now being asked to give a presentation at a USPTA conference and being asked to write a regular column so I'll have other forums to push for simplified natural style teaching and correct biomechanical strokes per MTM. Or any method that teaches correct biomechanics. It's not about MTM, it's about the students learning the correct techniques that enable them to reach their athletic potential.
Cool man! I will gladly admit that when I am "off" or trying to get into a "groove", I use the phrase from MTM; "find the ball, feel the ball, and finish the ball", **** being conscious the backswing, just find it, feel it, and finish it!! Then when I get my timing dialed in, I employ a larger backswing (forehand).
I agree with those stances being natural, each one has it's own purpose. That's why I was concerned with the perceived prohibition against stances other than just open stance, because that would be the same mental "brake" as sticking with only the "neutral stance".
For instance in those videos and the others I posted, the open stance was great for hitting "side to side' from the back court and the "neutral stances" seemed to be good for advancing forward and into the shot, angular momentum vs linear momentum. In my opinion, there should be no "fight" between the above aforementioned momentum types, there should be an integration of the two. Let's use boxing as an example; a hook could be considered angular momentum and a cross or a jab could be considered as linear momentum. The best fighters utilize both. I'd also suspect that the best tennis players utilize and employ both.
Mario Llano put up the video covering an overview of the one handed, topspin backhand:
Separate names with a comma.