Coach plays points with student ....and craps all over his shot selection

FiddlerDog

Professional
This coach is the most observant coach I have ever seen. He sees things in real time while playing the student. His feedback is excellent. However, he is not drilling the error, so nothing is actually done to improve the student. Student walks out of the lesson the same exact player. Still a great series to enjoy!

 

ZanderGoga

Semi-Pro
This coach is the most observant coach I have ever seen. He sees things in real time while playing the student. His feedback is excellent. However, he is not drilling the error, so nothing is actually done to improve the student. Student walks out of the lesson the same exact player. Still a great series to enjoy!

Watched a couple minutes. Seemed to be a lesson on smart, high-percentage tennis. If the student walked out of that the "same exact player," he wasted his money on what was some very good coaching, just as you must have wasted your time watching. There was more than enough instruction imparted for instant improvement, and/or improvement with self practice and reflection.

Practical advice doesn't need drilling. It needs elementary comprehension.
 

Fxanimator1

Hall of Fame
Watched a couple minutes. Seemed to be a lesson on smart, high-percentage tennis. If the student walked out of that the "same exact player," he wasted his money on what was some very good coaching, just as you must have wasted your time watching. There was more than enough instruction imparted for instant improvement, and/or improvement with self practice and reflection.

Practical advice doesn't need drilling. It needs elementary comprehension.
I agree....and there’s a video on YouTube for him to go back and revisit in case he forgets something.
 

socallefty

Legend
The student is a 4.5 from the dialogue and has decent technique, but makes poor decisions and tries to end points too quickly. It looks like the coach is teaching him how to make better decisions and it is mental or strategy coaching - I don’t think that needs drilling like an improvement of a physical skill like technique or footwork. Especially since they taped it, the student has the chance to watch the video repeatedly and learn from the advice.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
Practical advice doesn't need drilling. It needs elementary comprehension.
It needs both: if the student doesn't understand something, will he implement it? But just because he understands something doesn't mean he'll be able to do it straightaway. Won't he need some kind of repetition in order to cement it?
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
The title “craps all over” implies the criticism is not fair. It seemed very fair to me. But i would quit that coach in a heartbeat assuming i received similar feedback.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
This coach is the most observant coach I have ever seen. He sees things in real time while playing the student. His feedback is excellent. However, he is not drilling the error, so nothing is actually done to improve the student. Student walks out of the lesson the same exact player. Still a great series to enjoy!

What I like is that after Shamir makes an error, Nicola stops and reviews what happened. I've only watched the first few minutes but the errors are all towards too aggressive; he has yet to make a mistake towards too passive. Thrice already Shamir went for the big shot [2 GSs DTL and 1 passer CC] and he missed. To be fair, he also went big on a CC FH winner and a very aggressive DTL slice while he was at net, again for a winner.

I think your title is misleading: Nicola is giving constructive criticism. He isn't just saying "that shot sucked" with no improvement possible. He's saying why it sucked, what thought process Shamir should be using, and what other options are available. He's also pointing out patterns that perhaps Shamir isn't recognizing in the heat of battle.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
So you would quit a coach who gives 100% correct advice? kk
The way the advice was delivered could seem harsh to some. I'd rather a coach be direct ["You made a mistake. This is what you did wrong. This is what you should have done. This is why."] rather than beat around the bush ["Wow, that was a great try. Maybe next time you should think about doing B instead of A."]. But not everyone is built that way. A good teacher will understand how the student best learns.

So if I could choose between 100% correct advice delivered in a manner that I did not like vs 100% correct advice delivered in a manner that I did like, which do you think I'd choose?
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
This coach is the most observant coach I have ever seen. He sees things in real time while playing the student. His feedback is excellent. However, he is not drilling the error, so nothing is actually done to improve the student. Student walks out of the lesson the same exact player. Still a great series to enjoy!

Early on, Shamir attempted and missed another drop shot. Nicola said "What is it with you and drop shots?" So I do believe Shamir came out of the lesson thinking more about hitting standard shots rather than droppers. Also, at the end of the first video, he was hitting a lot more CC and made fewer errors.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
Another thing Nicola noted: that pros don't set their stance and then wait for the ball to come to them. They are constantly adjusting and only set "inside" the stroke [which probably means after the stroke has begun].

My tendency is to set too soon and wait.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
Like Shamir, I also BH slice "too much": I'm more consistent with my slice than my TS so I'm more confident with it. Also, I have better reach and it takes less energy. It just irks me when I receive a neutral ball and blow a TS BH. For some reason, it bugs me more than if I had missed a slice because I think "If I had sliced, I probably would have made it."
 

socallefty

Legend
If you are a good coach and you are tough with your speaking style, it weeds out all the students who are not serious about improvement and leaves you with only the students who have inner drive that makes them most likely to succeed. If you are a fundamentally sound coach, the progress of your players will likely still get you enough students to be popular especially with parents of top juniors who want results in spite of your brusque speaking style. Many coaches who come from cultures where the communication style is much more direct and blunt than in the US like Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Germany, Holland, China, Middle East etc. deliver constructive criticism very differently than US coaches.

Coaches who don’t help their students progress quickly are the ones who typically depend on being ‘nice’ in their communication with students to retain them - usually they are seen coaching adult rec hackers rather than the more talented juniors.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
If you are a good coach and you are tough with your speaking style, it weeds out all the students who are not serious about improvement and leaves you with only the students who have inner drive that makes them most likely to succeed. If you are a fundamentally sound coach, the progress of your players will likely still get you enough students to be popular especially with parents of top juniors who want results in spite of your brusque speaking style. Many coaches who come from cultures where the communication style is much more direct and blunt than in the US like Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Germany, Holland, China, Middle East etc. deliver constructive criticism very differently than US coaches.

Coaches who don’t help their students progress quickly are the ones who typically depend on being ‘nice’ in their communication with students to retain them - usually they are seen coaching adult rec hackers rather than the more talented juniors.
The videos were of an adult rec player, not a high performance junior with college plans. As long as the student is cool with it, no problem. There will be some students turned off by this approach and they'll find other coaches.

This isn't a judgment on any particular style of teaching, just a recognition that different students have different preferences.

And to be fair, adult rec hackers don't have nearly the potential that talented juniors do so it's no surprise that the markets tend to be disparate.
 

tonylg

Legend
Only watched a little, but that looked like the best coaching video I've seen on here to date. The guy looks like an actual coach, not a youtube content creator.

I actually think the guy is a softie. My old coach (now mate of 40 years and still ITF top 100 player for his age) used to be a lot harder on me.

Weak approach? He'd drill me in the chest to get my attention. Poor shot selection? He'd ask WTF I was thinking. Slack footwork? He'd order me to stop being lazy. Best coach ever.
 

socallefty

Legend
Weak approach? He'd drill me in the chest to get my attention. Poor shot selection? He'd ask WTF I was thinking. Slack footwork? He'd order me to stop being lazy. Best coach ever.
My coach is like that and he is the best coach I‘ve had too in terms of getting me to improve fast. He‘s hit me in the chest hard enough with FH lasers to leave me with a 1–day bruise a couple of times. Let’s just say that I am much more prepared at the net with my racquet up earlier in the ready position than before when I tended to watch my approach shot or first volley for too long before getting ready for the next volley.

I try to drill him too during passing shot drills when he is at the net in joking retaliation, but he is more than twenty years younger than me along with being an ex-pro and always gets his racquet up in time to protect himself even against my hardest mid-court FHs. I’m trying to hit my passes earlier on the rise and this is good for my game too - maybe, the day I drill him, I’ll post about it.
 

tonylg

Legend
My coach is like that and he is the best coach I‘ve had too in terms of getting me to improve fast. He‘s hit me in the chest hard enough with FH lasers to leave me with a 1–day bruise a couple of times. Let’s just say that I am much more prepared at the net with my racquet up earlier in the ready position than before when I tended to watch my approach shot or first volley for too long before getting ready for the next volley.

I try to drill him too during passing shot drills when he is at the net in joking retaliation, but he is more than twenty years younger than me along with being an ex-pro and always gets his racquet up in time to protect himself even against my hardest mid-court FHs. I’m trying to hit my passes earlier on the rise and this is good for my game too - maybe, the day I drill him, I’ll post about it.
Love this:


Yes, I drilled my old mate a few times. The first was a golden moment like the above.
 

socallefty

Legend
Love this:


Yes, I drilled my old mate a few times. The first was a golden moment like the above.
That‘s hilarious - probably made McEnroe and many Lendl ‘victims’ at the net happy to see him drilled like that. I can visualize myself mentally doing that to my coach, but it might take some time to make it a physical reality.
 

Power Player

Bionic Poster
I love this coach, there is no doubt he would be a good fit for me if I was still in that area. I had a coach who this guy actually used to play in open tournies and he was fantastic. The Euro style of coaching is very direct and I personally find it better because you improve faster when someone is calling you out for dumb shots. Also, tennis is not a sport for the mentally soft, so it can help there as well.
 

eah123

Semi-Pro
Like most action sports, tennis challenges you with split-second decision, and you will make a lot of wrong decisions in a single match. It is rare to get feedback like this, and I would love to have this sort of coaching.
 

Wurm

Semi-Pro
Coach: You made a terrible decision to hit over there, you should have hit crosscourt and deep to reset the point.
Me: That's what I was trying to do!
"I told you before".
"That's because you kept missing everything".
"Well what was that shot selection?"
"Are you listening to my previous tips? What did I say about dropshots?".

The coach might be right in most of what he's saying but if I, or my child, was his student and being talked to like this I would be stopping the session and asking for a refund. Who let this guy think this kind of belligerence is acceptable?
 

JW89

New User
"I told you before".
"That's because you kept missing everything".
"Well what was that shot selection?"
"Are you listening to my previous tips? What did I say about dropshots?".

The coach might be right in most of what he's saying but if I, or my child, was his student and being talked to like this I would be stopping the session and asking for a refund. Who let this guy think this kind of belligerence is acceptable?
Frankly, you sound like a weak, emotionally unstable little crybaby. If you consider this "belligerence" then you must have had a very sheltered life.

I think this type of coaching is infinitely better than 90% of coaching I see at the courts. You should consider toughening up snowflake.
 

Power Player

Bionic Poster
"I told you before".
"That's because you kept missing everything".
"Well what was that shot selection?"
"Are you listening to my previous tips? What did I say about dropshots?".

The coach might be right in most of what he's saying but if I, or my child, was his student and being talked to like this I would be stopping the session and asking for a refund. Who let this guy think this kind of belligerence is acceptable?
This is nothing for anyone who has played competitive sports at a decent level. You would absolutely hate football.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
"I told you before".
"That's because you kept missing everything".
"Well what was that shot selection?"
"Are you listening to my previous tips? What did I say about dropshots?".

The coach might be right in most of what he's saying but if I, or my child, was his student and being talked to like this I would be stopping the session and asking for a refund. Who let this guy think this kind of belligerence is acceptable?
I've watched the top juniors practice at our club because we are one of the few clubs with clay. They are coached by a crusty Slavic coach who is pretty merciless in his criticism. As soon as you do something stupid he calls you out on it. But he also gives praise when you meet his standard. Everything in between is met with silence. But he's crusty as heck in his approach. but the kids learn they have to work hard to get approval. You can't just show up and get a ribbon.

This was how I learned medicine and it made me a far better physician. I still have some battle scars from shame based learning. But the resilience I learned made it far easier to deal with life and death situations. I've seen nothing that indicates the soft touch is churning out better doctors compared to those that learned in the old school way. I doubt it would churn out great tennis players.
 

golden chicken

Hall of Fame
"I told you before".
"That's because you kept missing everything".
"Well what was that shot selection?"
"Are you listening to my previous tips? What did I say about dropshots?".

The coach might be right in most of what he's saying but if I, or my child, was his student and being talked to like this I would be stopping the session and asking for a refund. Who let this guy think this kind of belligerence is acceptable?
I should say that I hadn't watched any of the video when I made my previous comment. Now I have watched about half of it. I think I understand both sides.

If you're a beginner and still working on fundamentals, you don't need a coach that stops you after every point to tell you what you did wrong. That would be a waste of your court time. You need repetition and minor corrective cues and you probably want a lot of positive reinforcement so you don't get frustrated when you are trying to rewrite your muscle memory.

Shamir seems to be in that intermediate player level where he has the ability to consider hitting any shot off of almost any ball. He relies on his instincts to tell him which shot to select. He isn't able to spare any mental capacity to analyze what's happening real-time, and some of his instincts are overly optimistic given his ability to execute. He probably never had Wardlaws drilled into him either (neither have I). I see a lot of myself in his shot selection. I think a lot of us would.

He needs this coach and his style to help him break his overly optimistic instincts and play more percentage tennis. I hope there is a film session and discussion off the court where Wardlaws can be discussed so Shamir can understand more in-depth why it would be better to continue a crosscourt rally than to try to change direction and go down the line, and then some drilling with feeds out of a basket so he can commit Wardlaws to instinct.

It may be true that at the very end of his session that Shamir was "the same exact player" as @FiddlerDog said. It may take some time for what was said to marinate in Shamir's mind, but at least it's in there somewhere now, and hopefully the coach can build on it with Shamir, maybe the way I just described.
 
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EddieBrock

Professional
I love this coach, there is no doubt he would be a good fit for me if I was still in that area. I had a coach who this guy actually used to play in open tournies and he was fantastic. The Euro style of coaching is very direct and I personally find it better because you improve faster when someone is calling you out for dumb shots. Also, tennis is not a sport for the mentally soft, so it can help there as well.
Where is he located? I would like to get constructive feedback like that and I like a lot of his videos.

The worst is when I'm doing something wrong and no one says anything so as to not hurt my feelings. I'm paying the coach to help me improve and if I do something wrong I want to know about it. My coach does tell me if I do something obviously wrong, but I'm not sure how much it has been drilled into me so I don't do it anymore.
 

FloridaAG

Professional
Where is he located? I would like to get constructive feedback like that and I like a lot of his videos.

The worst is when I'm doing something wrong and no one says anything so as to not hurt my feelings. I'm paying the coach to help me improve and if I do something wrong I want to know about it. My coach does tell me if I do something obviously wrong, but I'm not sure how much it has been drilled into me so I don't do it anymore.
Somewhere in Palm Beach Florida - I think - looks like South Florida in the videos anyway -
 

golden chicken

Hall of Fame
Where is he located? I would like to get constructive feedback like that and I like a lot of his videos.

The worst is when I'm doing something wrong and no one says anything so as to not hurt my feelings. I'm paying the coach to help me improve and if I do something wrong I want to know about it. My coach does tell me if I do something obviously wrong, but I'm not sure how much it has been drilled into me so I don't do it anymore.
You can post videos here. Plenty of TT posters would be happy to criticize your game. :-D
 

Power Player

Bionic Poster
Where is he located? I would like to get constructive feedback like that and I like a lot of his videos.

The worst is when I'm doing something wrong and no one says anything so as to not hurt my feelings. I'm paying the coach to help me improve and if I do something wrong I want to know about it. My coach does tell me if I do something obviously wrong, but I'm not sure how much it has been drilled into me so I don't do it anymore.
He is in South Fl- Delray beach area.
 

EddieBrock

Professional
He is in South Fl- Delray beach area.
That's interesting. I may be in the area for a business meeting later this year. Maybe I'll try and setup a lesson with him. I think I'd want him to look at my strokes more than just critique my shot selection since that would probably be the only lesson. Especially my backhand and serve
 

Rysty

Rookie
If you are a good coach and you are tough with your speaking style, it weeds out all the students who are not serious about improvement and leaves you with only the students who have inner drive that makes them most likely to succeed. If you are a fundamentally sound coach, the progress of your players will likely still get you enough students to be popular especially with parents of top juniors who want results in spite of your brusque speaking style. Many coaches who come from cultures where the communication style is much more direct and blunt than in the US like Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Germany, Holland, China, Middle East etc. deliver constructive criticism very differently than US coaches.

Coaches who don’t help their students progress quickly are the ones who typically depend on being ‘nice’ in their communication with students to retain them - usually they are seen coaching adult rec hackers rather than the more talented juniors.
I don't mean to derail the thread, but this may be (one of) the reason(s) why ATP top 10 is all European.
 

Wurm

Semi-Pro
Frankly, you sound like a weak, emotionally unstable little crybaby. If you consider this "belligerence" then you must have had a very sheltered life.
My Mum's a (retired) teacher, my sister's a teacher and I married a teacher. By way of my seniority at prior workplaces I've provided coaching for the job to several people. I've taught guitar on the side now and then. I know some pedagogy, though not as much as the experts in my life. I've got a pretty good idea of how people learn and this stream of irritated commentary prefacing what he's about to say is counterproductive and simply not necessary.

Anyway, I advise you to look up the term "projection". HTH.

This is nothing for anyone who has played competitive sports at a decent level. You would absolutely hate football.
The lad I shared a player of the year award with one year in juniors who did go on to play football professionally (I wasn't quite good enough, in the end) has given interviews discussing the sexual abuse of a child taking place in his presence by one of the coaches involved in the national setup at junior level. Yeah, I think I'd have hated that.

I only remember one actual post-match dressing down after a game of football and the team (as a whole) deserved it after the pre-match training session's frivolity. Mid-match there was frequently a lot of angry sounding shouting going on from both coach and players but that's because you haven't got time to have a polite discussion when the game is in full flight. Pointing at an opponent and shouting "pick him up" at your teammate is effective... "I say good fellow, be a delight and pay close attention to the chap on your left who looks rather determined to occupy that space you've left for him?" is not.
 

FiddlerDog

Professional
I love this coaches blunt direct style.
This is what I pay for.

Tennis is not for the mentally soft.
Most people are not wired for improvement
 
"I told you before".
"That's because you kept missing everything".
"Well what was that shot selection?"
"Are you listening to my previous tips? What did I say about dropshots?".

The coach might be right in most of what he's saying but if I, or my child, was his student and being talked to like this I would be stopping the session and asking for a refund. Who let this guy think this kind of belligerence is acceptable?
This is how america will lose many competitive edges on many fronts over the next generation or two.
 

FiddlerDog

Professional
Great lesson...assuming it's part of a progression and not the end state.
Sorry, but that is exactly the mindset of a horrible coach. He is literally training her to arm the ball. He does not even tell her to move her feet.
She has taken 10 steps backwards if she ever wants to be a real tennis player.
The hallmark of terrible tennis instruction is the kind that requires one to take 10:1 more lessons to correct the wrong muscle memory developed by bad instruction.
 
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