Do tennis coaches hate coaching adults?

That is exactly what a lot of adult lessons are like: Becky with her EF grip for volleys telling the pro that EF "works for her."

I am loving this. I really am.
A big part of my job would be proving to her that she is wrong and getting her on board for the change. A lot of coaches do teach from a place of total authority...what they say is right, because! That can work for kids, but I find practical evidence to be much more persuasive with adults. Of course, some people just cannot be helped. Becky may take one lesson with me and decide it isn't worth all the trouble. Of course I might also choose to build her confidence in me by pursuing some changes that have a much lower bar to clear to begin being effective. Then when she is already along for the ride you whip the grip change on her!
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
This thread is epic. E.P.I.C.

We have tennis pros posting, saying why they like coaching adults. Saying of course they can coach someone to a better serve. Saying of course lessons help people improve.

And we have rec players telling these instructors that they are wrong.

That is exactly what a lot of adult lessons are like: Becky with her EF grip for volleys telling the pro that EF "works for her."

I am loving this. I really am.
I am with you .... this thread is totally delivering.

I particularly like the argument that older beginners cannot "really" improve, perhaps small increments, but really not worth anyone's time.

Now @Cindysphinx after the coach beats down Becky and gets her into a conti grip for a volley ..... can coach also get her to do a BH volley with one hand? (if there was a single thing I could change about how many women play this would be it ... stop with that ridiculous error-prone 2 handed BH volley)

My take ... I really have had nothing but good experiences with pros/coaches and what they have been able to either tweak or outright change in my game ... I give a few of them a lot of credit for how far I have come.

One who did not give up on me until I eliminated the flat volley and went 100% to the slice volley. It was a painful transition and took a long time, but has helped me win a lot of matches.

Another coach who drilled my bh until my 2HBH is actually solid with TS and my 1HBH slice is a weapon
 
LOL, there are people who think they know more than a coach, yet are taking lessons?
Never met a single person like this.

The fools who think they can learn from YouTube almost never take lessons.
These people do not understand how learning, muscle memory, and mastery works

Those who are big on videos/books, and never take a lesson. (3.0 looking strokes)
Those who know you need to drill 50,000 reps, and tend to take regular lessons, and generally trust the coach and process.
Former juniors who reached 4.5/5.0 and now just play.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
I particularly like the argument that older beginners cannot "really" improve, perhaps small increments, but really not worth anyone's time.
Only the serve. All other strokes can be continuously improved by yourself. That is how my groundies reached the level they are today. It is true that they too plateau, but the plateau is based on fitness and age. No one is hitting a 100 mph forehand once a year and 40 mph ones rest of the time.

The serve plateau should be considerably higher for most people but isn't. Players are hitting one ace with one bounce to the fence once a year - so they can do that. But the rest of the time, it doesn't happen. So it means the ingredients for improvement are there. But no coach can tease it out. That is why most older players regard lessons to be a waste of money. I don't want your warm-up feeds and artificial drills with made-up rules I can't follow and I don't want to pick up the balls. And then you change the rules to another set of made-up rules - I will hit there and then you return here and after 2 exchanges, you can hit where you want. No - I would just like to follow one set of rules which is called tennis. And then of course nothing whatsoever to add to the serve, except hit up and out, place your toss and don't chuck it, serve is like a throwing motion, etc. Hilarious thing is when the student is made to serve and it is a fault - coach says Great keep going. Works for juniors who will eventually learn the technique AND get the serve in. But not for oldies. The correct response should be: Serve is a fault. Is a fault. Is a fault. Again a fault. You are a fool to hit up on the ball and not get it in. Each serve has to be in, fatso - didn't you study the rules? But no it is always "Great job - add more spin next time" And then of course in an actual match, the serve is a fault, and the lessons have actually made the player worse.

Reminds me of the nasty Dad I saw last weekend coaching his son. Gave him a basket of balls, and took the returner's position and started counting. Each time the ball went into the net or was out, count was reset to 0. Poor guy did not make it past the count of 3. That is the kind of tough love that adults really need. But since they don't care for it and the coach is there for the repeat money, why bother with it at all?
 
That is why most older players regard lessons to be a waste of money. I don't want your warm-up feeds and artificial drills with made-up rules I can't follow and I don't want to pick up the balls. And then you change the rules to another set of made-up rules - I will hit there and then you return here and after 2 exchanges, you can hit where you want. No - I would just like to follow one set of rules which is called tennis. And then of course nothing whatsoever to add to the serve, except hit up and out, place your toss and don't chuck it, serve is like a throwing motion, etc. Hilarious thing is when the student is made to serve and it is a fault - coach says Great keep going. Works for juniors who will eventually learn the technique AND get the serve in. But not for oldies. The correct response should be: Serve is a fault. Is a fault. Is a fault. Again a fault. You are a fool to hit up on the ball and not get it in. Each serve has to be in, fatso - didn't you study the rules? But no it is always "Great job - add more spin next time" And then of course in an actual match, the serve is a fault, and the lessons have actually made the player worse.
I'm sorry for whatever that pro did to you to cause so much lingering trauma. You seem to only have received or observed a bunch of crap lessons.

From my perspective I tend to give more specific feedback when necessary and have exercises to actually affect the movement in a positive way.

I'm also very anti-cheerleader. My adult clients always appreciated that. When they sucked at something, I told them. Then I gave them a plan to get better, which is the crucial part. I still remember how excited one of my ladies drill groups got when I told then they were starting to suck less... said it was the best compliment ever.

Also, you better help me pick up those damn balls. You helped make that mess. Plus if you don't it's just wasted lesson time, and I always have more things to do.
 
F

FRV

Guest
The fools who think they can learn from YouTube
You are saying you can't learn anything from YT? Have you seen my serve and forehand? Definitely not 3.0 looking strokes. I may be a 3.0, but that is entirely due to not practicing enough with higher level competition.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
I'm sorry for whatever that pro did to you to cause so much lingering trauma. You seem to only have received or observed a bunch of crap lessons.

From my perspective I tend to give more specific feedback when necessary and have exercises to actually affect the movement in a positive way.

I'm also very anti-cheerleader. My adult clients always appreciated that. When they sucked at something, I told them. Then I gave them a plan to get better, which is the crucial part. I still remember how excited one of my ladies drill groups got when I told then they were starting to suck less... said it was the best compliment ever.

Also, you better help me pick up those damn balls. You helped make that mess. Plus if you don't it's just wasted lesson time, and I always have more things to do.
You don't think he actually took lessons do you?

J
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
[Q
You don't think he actually took lessons do you?

J
I have taken lessons only when that the was only way to get court time. Like I took one last year just to get on the new red clay courts at the nearby resort at which I am not a member.

But I have observed many people taking lessons.
 
You are saying you can't learn anything from YT? Have you seen my serve and forehand? Definitely not 3.0 looking strokes. I may be a 3.0, but that is entirely due to not practicing enough with higher level competition.
No I have not seen. Please post a video.

The unwritten rule here is that anyone who has not posted a video is a 2.5 bunter who is a 5.0 legend in his own mind.
 
I don't want your...artificial drills with made-up rules I can't follow... And then you change the rules to another set of made-up rules - I will hit there and then you return here and after 2 exchanges, you can hit where you want. No - I would just like to follow one set of rules which is called tennis.
Agree with this.
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
By the by, am I the only teaching pro who, when visiting an unfamiliar club out of town, becomes brutally critical of said club’s teaching pros, programming, etc?
 
F

FRV

Guest
Frv, very nice serve. I would love to see how it holds up in a match. What's your first serve percentage? How's your second serve?
I don't play matches anymore, but right now, I would need to take some speed off the ball to have a decent serve percentage. If I work on the toss, I would probably be at around 50% (at full speed) after taking enough reps. I tend to throw around 50% as the number for first serves on a good day in high school (didn't hold back/served flat at full speed), but I think it may actually be lower than that. I remember one match though where I would add a bit of slice to the ball and I was getting most of my serves in, but they were also coming back.

My second serve is alright. I lost the ability to be consistent with it, but when it was working, I could get it in probably 90-95% of the time when just practicing, 80% of the time during a low pressure match (knew I was going to lose), and I wouldn't use it when I had a chance to win (had a separate/weaker second serve for those matches so I wouldn't double fault). There's actually a video of it in the OP of that thread, which is more or less the same form I used in high school.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Reminds me of the time when I paid $120 for a lesson + $35 court fee in a resort in Arizona just to play on the grass court. The coach said my strokes were very fluid. As a reward for the money spent, the court fee was waived for a second session, but this time no lesson - the office found me a 4.5 player from Boston. When he heard that I had taken a lesson, he literally scolded me and continued scolding me after playing two sets and defeating me, as he walked out. He was like "who in the right mind takes lessons, that too for $120?"
 
F

FRV

Guest
Reminds me of the time when I paid $120 for a lesson + $35 court fee in a resort in Arizona just to play on the grass court. The coach said my strokes were very fluid. As a reward for the money spent, the court fee was waived for a second session, but this time no lesson - the office found me a 4.5 player from Boston. When he heard that I had taken a lesson, he literally scolded me and continued scolding me after playing two sets and defeating me, as he walked out. He was like "who in the right mind takes lessons, that too for $120?"
I don't see anything wrong with lessons if you have the money, but I do think the combination of online videos, serve practice, practice partners of high quality, recording yourself and getting feedback, and matchplay is sufficient to reach a pretty high level of tennis. Probably as high as 5.0, or maybe 4.5 at least. The hardest part of learning tennis is finding other high quality players to hit with/play against.
 
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The better you get, the better your hitting partners become. This is the catch-22 of trying to escape lifetime 3.5 black hole that most players never escape.
 
F

FRV

Guest
The better you get, the better your hitting partners become. This is the catch-22 of trying to escape lifetime 3.5 black hole that most players never escape.
Actually I am from a town that lacks good tennis players. I quickly became better than everyone around me (there was one kid who some may argue was better than me (he wasn't imo), but he was an available hitting partner and was a master slicer so I couldn't improve my game much off of him) and I was not friends with the kids in other towns who grew up playing tennis. But they always gave me respect even when destroying me on the courts.

If I was a more social person, I probably would have improved much more quickly. But these kids probably would have been more than happy to practice with me, as I would be great for return practice. I am not even that talented in terms of physical capabilities, but I can study video and work hard.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
By the by, am I the only teaching pro who, when visiting an unfamiliar club out of town, becomes brutally critical of said club’s teaching pros, programming, etc?
You're not the only one, but it's not a good habit to be in. I'm more critical of my own program.

J
 

Raul_SJ

Legend
I have taken lessons only when that the was only way to get court time. Like I took one last year just to get on the new red clay courts at the nearby resort at which I am not a member.

But I have observed many people taking lessons.
You have said that you hang out on neighboring courts in order to eavesdrop on lessons and pick up free tips.
:rolleyes:
 
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am1899

Hall of Fame
You're not the only one, but it's not a good habit to be in. I'm more critical of my own program.

J
Yep, the more I caught myself doing it, the more I realized it’s a bozo move. Thus, I came to TTW to confess my sins. Thank you Father Jolly for setting back on the straight and narrow.
 
Speaking of self taught serves, this is a great example of the stuff you see.
This is also a good example that if your coach is not using video, you are not getting coached.

 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
I don't have an issue with coaches who rebuild strokes with obvious technique problems, like using an EF for volleys. I have a little bit of an issue with coaches who rebuild strokes simply because they are old-fashioned.

Not everyone wants to be playing the latest version of modern tennis. That doesn't mean they don't want to or can't improve the game they've got.
I have a problem with pros who don't make an effort to convince Becky to use a Continental grip for volleys. In other words, I would consider it malpractice to teach Becky volleys and drill her on them and the like and say nothing about that grip.

I mean, that sort of thing is not that hard to explain. I remember being a 3.0 player with one year of tennis experience. Our team was being coached by a "pro" who was terrible. Just some league player making a few bucks by teaching beginners. Did I mention he was terrible?

Anyway, one of the ladies was using EF to volley, and he convinced her to switch to Continental in five minutes. He showed her that with EF her racket face on low balls was facing straight into the net, so any low ball she hit with that grip would go straight into the net. Simple.
I don't know whatever happened to that lady, but if she is somewhere on the planet volleying with EF and frustrated that she is finding the net, she can't say no one ever told her about Continental.
(if there was a single thing I could change about how many women play this would be it ... stop with that ridiculous error-prone 2 handed BH volley)
Ok, now you're just baiting me.
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
I used to be like that-- being unwilling to accept things I was told by my pro. I remember telling him that split steps are unnecessary.

I know this because my pro LOVES reminding me of some of the things I said back in the day. He never gets tired of it!

In my defense, i had just enough information from the internet to be a danger to myself and others. And I bought in soon enough.

But when a student argues, it really just means the student doesn't fully understand what is being taught and why. It is quite literally a teaching opportunity

I doubt they think they know more than the coach. Rather, they are so reluctant to make a major change that they insist on sticking with their current stroke. They sincerely want to improve but they don't want it enough to start over.
 
..... can coach also get her to do a BH volley with one hand? (if there was a single thing I could change about how many women play this would be it ... stop with that ridiculous error-prone 2 handed BH volley)
What's wrong with a 2hbh volley? It worked for Hingis and plenty of others as well as those lower on the ladder. I've been dismantled at net by a Div I woman with a 2hbh volley.

I don't think there's anything inherently wrong: just like the groundstroke, there are tradeoffs. I believe the extra reach tips the scales towards the 1h as I've had to test that reach plenty of times. But there's an argument to be made for stability also and I can see how the 2h would provide that, especially for those that might need the support.

I think my #1 would be the OH: Turn sideways, coil, and take a healthy swing at it!
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
The two hand volley makes it hard to be in good balance for low approach volleys. Very awkward.

It also deprives you of one thing that has helped me on all volleys: the ability to keep the LH on the throat in the ready position through to contact. Helps avoid backswing, discourages reaching, controls the racket face, and supports the dominant wrist until impact.
 
The two hand volley makes it hard to be in good balance for low approach volleys. Very awkward.
Yeah, I can see how that would be more difficult, especially the older and less flexible and strong one gets.

It also deprives you of one thing that has helped me on all volleys: the ability to keep the LH on the throat in the ready position through to contact. Helps avoid backswing, discourages reaching, controls the racket face, and supports the dominant wrist until impact.
I've never studied Hingis' technique. I'm assuming if a coach is teaching the 2hbh volley, they'd use Hingis as a model.
 
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