Do tennis coaches hate coaching adults?

Nothing wrong with a two-handed volley as long as you have good footwork and knee-bend. Frew McMillan and Martina Hingis were two of the best in the business at the net, and it didn't do them any harm.
 
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.
You're actually right.
Until you reach 4.5 men's tennis (1% unicorns of tennis), people simply don't hit with enough pace where a SS comes into play.
In fact, at levels below that, split steps have a negative effect, and make you later, since most n00bs don't time them correctly, including myself.
Watch WTA pros return serves, and you'll see that many don't split step. And they are pros. Not 3.5 rec players returning frying pan moonballs.
 
You're actually right.
Until you reach 4.5 men's tennis (1% unicorns of tennis), people simply don't hit with enough pace where a SS comes into play.
In fact, at levels below that, split steps have a negative effect, and make you later, since most n00bs don't time them correctly, including myself.
Watch WTA pros return serves, and you'll see that many don't split step. And they are pros. Not 3.5 rec players returning frying pan moonballs.
Not certain of the accuracy of this statement (maybe?) BUT if a growth mindset is adopted and the bar set high it will be VERY difficult to suddenly develop a good split step after years of “rehearsals “ without one!”


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 
Yeah, I can see how that would be more difficult, especially the older and less flexible and strong one gets.



I've never studied Hingis' technique. I'm assuming if a coach is teaching the 2hbh volley, they'd use Hingis as a model.
Have you ever seen a 3.0/3.5 woman's 2HBH volley? It is the worst thing ever. And no, @Cindysphinx not baiting you ... I have half a mind to decline partnering with anyone using it. I hate it that much.

Almost entirely choppy, almost always swingy ... greatly limits the ability to properly slice the volley.

It limits reach, it limits proper turn (especially for top heavy women). Often gets the ball popped up or dumped in the net.

And most important, slows any reaction time in a reflex volley situation ... with two hands you just can't volley as quickly.
 
You have said that you hang out on neighboring courts in order to eavesdrop on lessons and pick up free tips.
:rolleyes:
When a teaching pro notices a cheap-skate lurking in the peanut gallery for a freebie lesson --he'll throw in a fake tip that will destroy their arm and game forever like : "GET THE RACKET BACK!" or "SWING LOW TO HIGH!"
 
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Have you ever seen a 3.0/3.5 woman's 2HBH volley? It is the worst thing ever. And no, @Cindysphinx not baiting you ... I have half a mind to decline partnering with anyone using it. I hate it that much.

Almost entirely choppy, almost always swingy ... greatly limits the ability to properly slice the volley.

It limits reach, it limits proper turn (especially for top heavy women). Often gets the ball popped up or dumped in the net.

And most important, slows any reaction time in a reflex volley situation ... with two hands you just can't volley as quickly.
Sometimes its just a matter of not being able to get turned and set properly. Even I've been known to hit a 2HBH volley on a 90 mph fastball coming my way. By the time I turn the shoulders the ball is there. No time to get the hand off the racquet and hit out front. Just reflex it back.

I'm just pleased women have 2 hands on the racquet when up at the net. As opposed to the 3.0/3.5 guys that stand there with the racquet held limply at their side in one hand.

But in general I agree with you because the 2HBH volley encourages hitting late. A one hand volley encourages hitting out front off the front foot and discourages swinging at the ball vs. pushing or slicing it.
 
It always seemed to be a self-selecting thing with me. After a while you get a reputation, so the people that didn't want to work hard just didn't take lessons from me. I always tried to make my lessons mentally and physically challenging. The people that didn't like that didn't come back and word gets around. Once I got established I didn't get tons of new lessons, but I always had the highest retention rate of any of the pros I worked with. I would occasionally recommend another pro for someone if my schedule was full or they were looking for something else though (I just want to hit/don't change anything).
This is my approach and experience with client-building as well. The last time I worked at a club, I was told by the head pro that I was "too direct" with my players. I left there and everyone whom I wanted to continue coaching, along with some club members who had never taken a lesson from me, followed me to the public park. My sched is full and I look forward to my lessons every day.
 
Until you reach 4.5 men's tennis (1% unicorns of tennis), people simply don't hit with enough pace where a SS comes into play.
I'm surprised, because you often tout forgoing "winning" for development, that you would suggest split steps are some wasted effort for most players.

That you think split steps only become effective at a high level seems to indicate a misunderstanding in why you do it. By performing a split step you're giving yourself the best opportunity to respond to the opponent's shot. It will provide you a benefit every single time, and that's why every good pro recommends it.

The reality is that you can succeed in tennis without a split step. It's like most things in that it isn't a black or white issue. The question you should ask yourself is why you would avoid one of the technically easiest things that provides such a clear benefit.

split steps have a negative effect, and make you later, since most n00bs don't time them correctly, including myself.
It's like you always say. If something isn't easy then don't do it, and just come up with ways to compensate for your lack of proper technique... wait a minute...

From a "timing" standpoint it's relatively easy. This isn't the involved mechanics of hitting a kick serve. The larger challenge is getting into the habit of doing it.

Now I know from previous threads that some people are going to claim it's a physical fitness issue. And maybe that older players are on their last 50 steps, and they don't want to waste that effort on a split step. Let's not get crazy here though. Part of the confusion of split steps is people thinking you need to launch into the air or something. It's not called a split jump. You don't even really need to "step" higher than normal. The objective here is for you to be balanced and able to go in any direction when the ball is struck.

You may have been told in the past to try and time your split step right as the opponent makes contact. Don't worry about that, error on the side of split stepping before they make contact, so you aren't left with such a tight window. You're going to react as the ball comes off the racket, and that *is* too hard for most of us if you're also trying to split step at the same time. Any split step effort is better than none, so don't write off the idea just because you're not able to do it like a pro.

Watch WTA pros return serves, and you'll see that many don't split step.
You're watching different matches than me apparently.
 
Found myself hitting a two handed backhand volley this past weekend in the final of a doubles tournament. One of my opponents hit his backhand with so much pace that, like Dart mentioned, I found I wasn't able to get my left hand out of the way and hit a proper one handed punch. So I would just slide the left down a bit and hit it two handed. As long as I did a downward chop sort of motion at an angle, I was able to put some balls away or at the very least, give us one more shot. It's when I tried to Serena swing at it with both hands that it was a disaster, lol.
It's not something I plan on doing in most matches, but I didn't know what else to do against this guy.
 
You're actually right.
Until you reach 4.5 men's tennis (1% unicorns of tennis), people simply don't hit with enough pace where a SS comes into play.
In fact, at levels below that, split steps have a negative effect, and make you later, since most n00bs don't time them correctly, including myself.
Watch WTA pros return serves, and you'll see that many don't split step. And they are pros. Not 3.5 rec players returning frying pan moonballs.
For anyone reading and trying to learn, there are two bit of facts in this post - most rec players don't reach 4.5, and most new tennis players do not time the split step correctly. For reference, search YT for "WTA match" and for "4.5 match", "4.0 match", and even "3.5 match" and see split stepping prep for serve and strokes. I actually use Youtube to review matches and specifically watch footwork and movement so well worth checking it out. Overall, pace is irrelevant for the need of a split step, but pay attention more to continuous footwork needed when there is little pace in shots. A split step can be anything from a full athleteic hop, but more times in live action play it is a paused shuffle step and less exaggerated. There is a lot of variation from 3.5 up through 4.5, juniors, college, and pros, but it is always there and worth learning it properly.
 
You're actually right.
Until you reach 4.5 men's tennis (1% unicorns of tennis), people simply don't hit with enough pace where a SS comes into play.
In fact, at levels below that, split steps have a negative effect, and make you later, since most n00bs don't time them correctly, including myself.
Watch WTA pros return serves, and you'll see that many don't split step. And they are pros. Not 3.5 rec players returning frying pan moonballs.
In other words, split stepping badly is bad. :eek:

When you first start attempting to split step you will likely mistime them and have a tendency to stick when you land instead of spring off the balls of your feet and make a quick reaction. This will cause you to actually be slower while split stepping than you are without it. After you practice long enough, it will obviously get better. Eventually you will end up being much quicker off the mark than you were before. This is a common occurrence in learning tennis techniques of all kinds. You often get worse before you get better, because the new movement is totally foreign to you. You can easily use this same line of reasoning to tell people they don't need to learn proper grips, proper hitting stances, proper swing paths, or just about anything really. I could easily win a 3.5 match without any of those things. I'll use a full western grip for everything, use no spins, and face completely towards the net at all times for every shot. Since you can win at 3.5 doing that, then it is useless to learn anything else....

As for two-handed backhand volleys, there are good two-handed volleys and there are bad two-handed volleys. My doubles partner in college would in some situations use two hands on a backhand volley and he was one of the best volleyers I've ever seen. The real question then becomes is it worth it to teach a person to volley properly with their two-handed style, or to transition them to a one-handed volley. The answer will be different depending on the person.

I'd love to see a professional not split stepping on a service return by the way...bless us with some video, please.
 
It's funny. My dog knows nothing of high level tennis, but if I prepare to throw a ball for her to retrieve, first thing she does is split step.

I don't consciously split step when I play yet I know in situations where its important (RoS, times when I've got little time to prep), I will split step as a mechanism to get on my toes, get my knees bent and my muscles ready to fire. It's pretty subconscious but my body knows its the only way I can spring into action. Before I came to this forum I've never heard of split stepping but as someone that's come from multiple sports its kind of innate after a while. You use it in baseball as an infielder when the batter swings. You use it in football and soccer when an opponent is preparing to deak.

it is important to be ready, on your toes, with a wide athletic base when you have to move in a hurray. How you get there is probably less relevant than getting there itself. Admittedly a lot of tennis at my level doesn't require that fast twitch response or sometimes it requires you to be running full out even before the opponent hits the ball.

What I do find is that if I pay attention and over exagerate the split step, I play terribly. The bounce shakes my vision and tracking system too much. If I just let my natural reaction take over, I can focus on the ball much better.
 
You're watching different matches than me apparently.
I'd love to see a professional not split stepping on a service return by the way...bless us with some video, please.
I literally typed "WTA match" and this was the first result.
Neither player is split stepping for serve return.
In fact, neither player is split stepping for even a rally ball.
LMAO, FIRST SEARCH RESULT.
Yea, the #1 ranked WTA player does not split step
Is the typical club female facing harder balls than Osaka is? Doubt it.

 
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It's funny. My dog knows nothing of high level tennis, but if I prepare to throw a ball for her to retrieve, first thing she does is split step.
Nope, your dog is not split stepping.
Your dog is not in the air before the throw the ball.
It's simply reacting by bending its legs, just like any human 3.0 does.
Film it and watch it slow motion.
Reacting is faster than a poorly timed up/down bunny hop
 
I literally typed "WTA match" and this was the first result.
Neither player is split stepping for serve return.
In fact, neither player is split stepping for even a rally ball.
LMAO, FIRST SEARCH RESULT.
Yea, the #1 ranked WTA player does not split step
Is the typical club female facing harder balls than Osaka is? Doubt it.

Ummmmmmmmm...I saw split steps on almost every ball, and all of their service returns. Osaka missed one split step when she was shuffling back from the corner and got wrong footed by a ball behind her. What exactly do you think a split step looks like? Either you don't know what it actually is, or you need your eyes checked.
 
So when they leave their feet, land, and then take a quick start to the ball...that isn't a split step in your view? What constitutes a split step according to you? Describe it for me please.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
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.

Ok, now you're just baiting me.
Ummmmmmmmm...I saw split steps on almost every ball, and all of their service returns. Osaka missed one split step when she was shuffling back from the corner and got wrong footed by a ball behind her. What exactly do you think a split step looks like? Either you don't know what it actually is, or you need your eyes checked.
You realize he has been playing tennis for 2 years, thinks topspin is dumb because it makes you hit the ball in the net, and thinks 3.5s hit harder than Nadal right?

J
 
Well...the first time I played tennis I was convinced the pros must be playing on bigger courts than we were, because I kept hitting line drives into the back fence. I was 8 at the time...but there you go.
 
LOL, it's one of the hardest things to learn.
I disagree with your opinion.

That is why almost no one does it.
Almost all good players do.

Not even top ranked pro coaches.
This is an objectively false statement. There is no fundamental disagreement from most top teaching pros. Depending on your level they might suggest some slight adjustments, that's it. Here's a nice guide for a novice:
https://www.feeltennis.net/split-step/

Neither player is split stepping for serve return.
In fact, neither player is split stepping for even a rally ball.
They're split stepping both on returns and during the rallies. You're wrong, and apparently do not know what a split step is. I already addressed the fact that many uninformed people think split steps require some leap into the air. Again, that's wrong.

Your dog is not in the air before the throw the ball.
The point is that even an animal understands the importance of establishing a base before taking action. It's not a tennis split step, but it is the same concept.

You realize he has been playing tennis for 2 years, thinks topspin is dumb because it makes you hit the ball in the net, and thinks 3.5s hit harder than Nadal right?
I'll be completely honest. I'm not responding because I want to convince him. He's willfully ignorant about a lot of things. I just wanted to make sure there was correct information available to others who might stumble across this thread. Someone new to the board could think he's knowledgeable because he posts constantly.

I was about 32 when I stopped hitting line drives into the back fence.
Wait... why did guys stop?
 
I've played on synthetic turf and the ball does not bounce. Slice is the critical shot. Is that the same for natural grass?
Synthetic grass courts vary pretty widely, mostly based on how old they are and whether they are sanded or unsanded. The older they are, and the more sand you add, the slower and deader they will play. A newer, moderately-sanded court should give you skiddy slice, plenty of pace, and plenty of bite and bounce on your topspin.

Natural grass also varies a fair bit, but in general it is just fast, low and unpredictable. It is the only surface I've played on where topspin is a genuine handicap, because it just makes your shots sit up. Slice and flat shots become critical.
 
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Osaka and Sakkari do split steps on serve return. TTPS doesnt know wtf he is talking about.


You realize he has been playing tennis for 2 years, thinks topspin is dumb because it makes you hit the ball in the net, and thinks 3.5s hit harder than Nadal right?

J
He played tennis 15 years. Only had coaching for 2 years and he is crazy about it.
 
Nope, your dog is not split stepping.
Your dog is not in the air before the throw the ball.
It's simply reacting by bending its legs, just like any human 3.0 does.
Film it and watch it slow motion.
Reacting is faster than a poorly timed up/down bunny hop
The split step does not have to be a bunny hop. if that's what you are looking for then you'll miss it. Graceful athletes like my dog do not have to visibly leave the ground to split step. They can do it more efficiently by quickly widening their base and lowering their center of gravity without hopping up into the air. It's still a split step. Clearly they must leave the ground to do this but it's only enough to get the feet unweighted.

If you watch Osaka and her opponent in that video you see them constantly widening their base as the ball is about to come their way. It's done gracefully without the the bunny hop seen in the non-athletic folks that are "consciously" split stepping. The bunny hop thing is doing it wrong as its an energy waster. Pros get their base wider and their legs coiled more quickly and efficiently than hopping into the air.
 
"Split-stepping" to me means "getting-set"--I stop movement just before my opponent hits the ball, to observe where it is going. No fancy footwork or jumping--just stopping, getting "set" to be able to better move in the direction the ball will be headed as it comes off my opponent's racket--no big deal, no athleticism needed, just stopping. The opposite of "getting set''/"split-stepping" would be "guessing" where your opponent will be hitting to--if you "guess" wrong your body weight will be going in the wrong direction, making it harder to change your momentum to respond. So "getting set"/"split-stepping", whichever term you want to use, it's not a big deal--stop just before your opponent hits the ball, to better react for your next move. It's like they say before you drive onto the train tracks : "Stop, Look and Listen".
 
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You're actually right.
Until you reach 4.5 men's tennis (1% unicorns of tennis), people simply don't hit with enough pace where a SS comes into play.
In fact, at levels below that, split steps have a negative effect, and make you later, since most n00bs don't time them correctly, including myself.
Watch WTA pros return serves, and you'll see that many don't split step. And they are pros. Not 3.5 rec players returning frying pan moonballs.
I guess I left out the rest of the story.

I was *wrong* about the need to split step. It is crucial, especially at the net and for approach volleys.

The reason to split at the 3.5 level is not because the ball is coming in hot. The reason to split is to be in good balance. The ball is slower, but we 3.5s are also slower. If we are flatfooted or leaning, we will be off balance and miss.

When I am playing the net or the transitions poorly, I focus on the split step. 'Cause it's that important.
 
Have you ever seen a 3.0/3.5 woman's 2HBH volley? It is the worst thing ever. And no, @Cindysphinx not baiting you ... I have half a mind to decline partnering with anyone using it. I hate it that much.

Almost entirely choppy, almost always swingy ... greatly limits the ability to properly slice the volley.

It limits reach, it limits proper turn (especially for top heavy women). Often gets the ball popped up or dumped in the net.

And most important, slows any reaction time in a reflex volley situation ... with two hands you just can't volley as quickly.
You know the worst part?

When we 3.5 women here at TT say how terrible the 2HBH volleys of our partners/teammates are, we hear the same thing every time: "Oh, 2HBH is fine if you bend your knees/turn/resist the urge to swing/set properly/use good footwork."

*That's exactly the problem.* If we 3.5 women had those things, maybe we could compensate for the disadvantages of a 2HBH. But those things are exactly the things we don't do very well.

So when a teaching pro lets Becky hit a 2HBH (assuming Becky really wants to improve), the teaching pro is sentencing her to using a stroke that requires a lot of things that Becky is not good at now and may never be good at.

I swear to God, I am starting to wonder if this is just straight-up sexism. Do you ever see a male league player above 3.0 volley with two hands? I don't think I have seen it ever (or maybe I just blocked it out due to trauma of witnessing something so hideous). But women start off with a 2HBH volley, and no one suggests that they use 1H. Instead, people subscribe to the myth that the little lady is too weak to volley with one hand. I can't speak to 5.0 and up, but I am quite confident that any healthy adult female player 4.5 and below can volley effectively with a 1HBH volley. Happens all the time.

Geez, now you've got me all riled up. I see it all the time. Partner has a 2HBH volley and can crunch a lot of shoulder high volleys (usually crosscourt) while she is standing an arm's length from the net. But that's it. That's all she's got. She can't handle a ball lower than the net without bunting it or popping it up by scooping under it. She can't hit a low transition volley that is not a bunt. Balls to the body might as well be handcuffs. She cannot hit a delicate slice -- at best its a pitiful push that sits up begging to be smacked.

Why do that to poor newbie Becky? Tell the little lady to hit her BH volley with one hand and set her free.
 
When we 3.5 women here at TT say how terrible the 2HBH volleys of our partners/teammates are, we hear the same thing every time: "Oh, 2HBH is fine if you bend your knees/turn/resist the urge to swing/set properly/use good footwork."

*That's exactly the problem.* If we 3.5 women had those things, maybe we could compensate for the disadvantages of a 2HBH. But those things are exactly the things we don't do very well.
If you don't bend your knees, turn, resist the urge to swing, set properly and use good footwork - no matter how many hands you use, your volleys are going to be shithouse.
 
If you don't bend your knees, turn, resist the urge to swing, set properly and use good footwork - no matter how many hands you use, your volleys are going to be shithouse.
See, that's not true.

Using one hand is very helpful in resisting the urge to swing. With one hand, you can and should keep your non-dominant hand on the throat for as long as possible, which limits backswing. Also, players who hit a 2HBH groundstroke are used to taking a backswing, and it is hard for them to break that muscle memory for the 2HBH volley. I think another reason for all of that swinging you see with the 2HBH volley is that players who use that shot are addicted to pace. When you have it in your head that you want to crush those shoulder high volleys, it is very tempting to swing. In contrast, when I hit a 1HBH volley, swinging isn't going to get me any extra power -- I have to get it by moving forward into the shot.

The footwork demands are much higher with a 2HBH volley. Take the high volley. For the same high volley, the 2HBH has less reach and so must use more footwork to reach a ball I can reach with less demanding footwork. There is a marked difference in the consistency and effectiveness of the high BH volley/BH OH smash of 1 handed and 2 handed players. When i have a 2HBH player on the ad side, I need to be very alert to low-ish lobs going over her BH because she isn't even going to try to play those balls with her 2HBH.

Everything is harder with a 2HBH volley except the swing volley. At the 3.5 level, that swing volley is not worth all of the other limitations of the 2HBH volley.
 
You could make a broadly similar argument for the 2HBH over the 1HBH - the latter stroke is more difficult, more demanding, more limiting, less intuitive - but I don't see you claiming that is a sexist stroke that should never be taught or tolerated.
 
I swear to God, I am starting to wonder if this is just straight-up sexism. Do you ever see a male league player above 3.0 volley with two hands? I don't think I have seen it ever (or maybe I just blocked it out due to trauma of witnessing something so hideous). But women start off with a 2HBH volley, and no one suggests that they use 1H. Instead, people subscribe to the myth that the little lady is too weak to volley with one hand. I can't speak to 5.0 and up, but I am quite confident that any healthy adult female player 4.5 and below can volley effectively with a 1HBH volley. Happens all the time.
I actually used to know a 4.5 man that played in a doubles league with me who would volley two hands on both sides. He could also take the other hand off and volley one-handed when he had to reach for the ball. He didn't have the best volley technique, but he played super tight on the net and was very, very quick.

As for the sexism angle, personally I will always start every beginner out with a one-handed volley from the jump. It's only when a person comes to me already volleying two-handed that I will take the time to assess whether it is worth it to make the change or work with what is already there. I agree that starting someone off with a two-handed volley can be needlessly limiting for them in the long run, and there is nothing that requires women to use two hands if they are taught properly.
 
Synthetic grass courts vary pretty widely, mostly based on how old they are and whether they are sanded or unsanded. The older they are, and the more sand you add, the slower and deader they will play. A newer, moderately-sanded court should give you skiddy slice, plenty of pace, and plenty of bite and bounce on your topspin.

Natural grass also varies a fair bit, but in general it is just fast, low and unpredictable. It is the only surface I've played on where topspin is a genuine handicap, because it just makes your shots sit up. Slice and flat shots become critical.
The ones I played on were sanded.
It was rare to get a ball in the strike zone to tee off with topspin.
It seems like grass is the domain of slicers.
But, that's just my hacker rec opinion.

What is the real difference for expert players?
Why do some pros have trouble playing on grass?
What is the difference from hard courts?
 
A high level player who is not used to grass will mostly struggle with the unpredictability of the bounce - particularly if they grew up on hard courts. You really don't appreciate how much you rely on true bounce until you play on natural surfaces. Clay has variable bounce, but as it also gives you time and space to adjust it is easier to manage. Grass is even worse, and it's compounded by the low skiddy ball trajectory gives you no relief.

Low, fast, variable bounce is a nightmare for your typical modern player, who has long expansive strokes with an aggressive contact point. There is just no time to react, everything is rushed. Then you when you do finally manage it and hit the perfect topspin forehand, at the other end of the court it just dies and sits up for your opponent to crush. Very demoralising.

It really does change the way you learn the game. If I had grown up on nice bouncy, consistent hardcourts there is absolutely no way that I would have two eastern grips, a one-hander, and spend 90% of my time serve and volleying.

I feel incredibly lucky that I live in an area where I can still play about 40% of my tennis on grass, and swing across town for the odd game on clay if I want to torture myself. I firmly believe that natural surfaces are the way the game is supposed to be played.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
You know the worst part?

When we 3.5 women here at TT say how terrible the 2HBH volleys of our partners/teammates are, we hear the same thing every time: "Oh, 2HBH is fine if you bend your knees/turn/resist the urge to swing/set properly/use good footwork."

*That's exactly the problem.* If we 3.5 women had those things, maybe we could compensate for the disadvantages of a 2HBH. But those things are exactly the things we don't do very well.

So when a teaching pro lets Becky hit a 2HBH (assuming Becky really wants to improve), the teaching pro is sentencing her to using a stroke that requires a lot of things that Becky is not good at now and may never be good at.

I swear to God, I am starting to wonder if this is just straight-up sexism. Do you ever see a male league player above 3.0 volley with two hands? I don't think I have seen it ever (or maybe I just blocked it out due to trauma of witnessing something so hideous). But women start off with a 2HBH volley, and no one suggests that they use 1H. Instead, people subscribe to the myth that the little lady is too weak to volley with one hand. I can't speak to 5.0 and up, but I am quite confident that any healthy adult female player 4.5 and below can volley effectively with a 1HBH volley. Happens all the time.

Geez, now you've got me all riled up. I see it all the time. Partner has a 2HBH volley and can crunch a lot of shoulder high volleys (usually crosscourt) while she is standing an arm's length from the net. But that's it. That's all she's got. She can't handle a ball lower than the net without bunting it or popping it up by scooping under it. She can't hit a low transition volley that is not a bunt. Balls to the body might as well be handcuffs. She cannot hit a delicate slice -- at best its a pitiful push that sits up begging to be smacked.

Why do that to poor newbie Becky? Tell the little lady to hit her BH volley with one hand and set her free.
From the pro who teaches 3.5 ladies view there is usually much lower hanging fruit.

You can play 5.5-7.0 level doubles with a 2hbh volley.

I'm definitely not sexist in how I teach. I started my adult beginners with conti grips and one hand, and conti serves. When someone has been playing a 2hbh volley for 10 years as a pro you need to do a cost benefit analysis and changing that is rarely going to give the biggest yield.

J

J
 
Have you ever seen a 3.0/3.5 woman's 2HBH volley? It is the worst thing ever.
A few. But is their BH volley poor because they're using 2 hands or is it poor because they are simply poor volleyers? Would they improve drastically if they switched to 1? That's debatable.

Almost entirely choppy, almost always swingy ... greatly limits the ability to properly slice the volley.

It limits reach, it limits proper turn (especially for top heavy women). Often gets the ball popped up or dumped in the net.

And most important, slows any reaction time in a reflex volley situation ... with two hands you just can't volley as quickly.
OTOH, I have seen 4.0 and 4.5 women and collegiates volleying with 2 hands and they did nicely, even on the reflex volleys.

I even find myself hitting a 2HBH volley on occasion when someone smashes it at my feet and I have to carve underneath the ball to chip it back over: sometimes, I don't have enough time to let go with my off-hand and it slides down and I'm trying to get under the ball.
 
You know the worst part?

When we 3.5 women here at TT say how terrible the 2HBH volleys of our partners/teammates are, we hear the same thing every time: "Oh, 2HBH is fine if you bend your knees/turn/resist the urge to swing/set properly/use good footwork."

*That's exactly the problem.* If we 3.5 women had those things, maybe we could compensate for the disadvantages of a 2HBH. But those things are exactly the things we don't do very well.

So when a teaching pro lets Becky hit a 2HBH (assuming Becky really wants to improve), the teaching pro is sentencing her to using a stroke that requires a lot of things that Becky is not good at now and may never be good at.
Good point: I just assumed the person would be able to do those things you mentioned. When I visualize women I've played in the past with 2HBH volleys, they all execute those elements, mostly with ease. I don't see anyone at the 4.5 level and above and think "geez, she really ought to learn how to hit a 1HBH volley", usually because I'm too busy trying to react to same volley.

I swear to God, I am starting to wonder if this is just straight-up sexism. Do you ever see a male league player above 3.0 volley with two hands?
No. But I've seen plenty with crappy 1HBH volleys where they use way too much wrist and hinge the racquet back way too far and in general go crazy. A 2HBH would be an improvement for them.

Patrick McEnroe used it. So did Frew McMillan [as our Aussie compatriot @Cashman mentioned]. Maybe Santoro did also.

I don't think I have seen it ever (or maybe I just blocked it out due to trauma of witnessing something so hideous). But women start off with a 2HBH volley, and no one suggests that they use 1H. Instead, people subscribe to the myth that the little lady is too weak to volley with one hand. I can't speak to 5.0 and up, but I am quite confident that any healthy adult female player 4.5 and below can volley effectively with a 1HBH volley. Happens all the time.
How much of that is sexism vs the student not wanting to make such a major change?
 
Ummmmmmmmm...I saw split steps on almost every ball, and all of their service returns. Osaka missed one split step when she was shuffling back from the corner and got wrong footed by a ball behind her. What exactly do you think a split step looks like? Either you don't know what it actually is, or you need your eyes checked.
He doesn't know what a split step is and no use trying to help him there.

Yeah, watched the first and second points, both with split step on ROS. Then scrubbed in and watched more points. All split steps on ROS.
 
Maybe it's just the private lessons I've had but I always get the impression coaches really only want to coach juniors. Is this the case? Seems tough to find a coach that is invested in improving adult rec play.
Badmrfrosty

It is not that coaches don't want to work with adults. It is coaches who don't want to work with adults who know it all. How can you teach someone
who knows every thing about tennis or won't change or attempt to change their flat take back and then pull the racquet forward flat. Try as you might, they are never going to develop a low to high swing path brushing the ball. Ain't gonna happen.

I told one client I could not help him. He ask why. I told him to forget everything he thought he knew about tennis and follow instructions and learn. If he could not do that he needed to fine another coach.

I am happy I don't have to deal with a know-it-all, who fights constantly to remain an old school terrible tennis player. Plus, I don't need him to tell people he takes lessons from me. If you give lessons your students need to show improvement, otherwise you won't have any students. If my only
failing is I push them too hard to become better, I can live with that.

Aloha
 
Badmrfrosty

It is not that coaches don't want to work with adults. It is coaches who don't want to work with adults who know it all. How can you teach someone
who knows every thing about tennis or won't change or attempt to change their flat take back and then pull the racquet forward flat. Try as you might, they are never going to develop a low to high swing path brushing the ball. Ain't gonna happen.

I told one client I could not help him. He ask why. I told him to forget everything he thought he knew about tennis and follow instructions and learn. If he could not do that he needed to fine another coach.

I am happy I don't have to deal with a know-it-all, who fights constantly to remain an old school terrible tennis player. Plus, I don't need him to tell people he takes lessons from me. If you give lessons your students need to show improvement, otherwise you won't have any students. If my only
failing is I push them too hard to become better, I can live with that.

Aloha
I'm curious what the breakdown is of your students over the years:
- know-it-all
- doesn't practice
- lacks enough athleticism to execute the concepts
- always argues; rarely listens/accepts
- doesn't want to be there [only is doing at someone else's request]
- receptive, practices, listens, implements, maps out a plan, etc
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
I'm curious what the breakdown is of your students over the years:
- know-it-all
- doesn't practice
- lacks enough athleticism to execute the concepts
- always argues; rarely listens/accepts
- doesn't want to be there [only is doing at someone else's request]
- receptive, practices, listens, implements, maps out a plan, etc

I'm curious what the breakdown is of your students over the years:
- know-it-all 10%
- doesn't practice 20%
- lacks enough athleticism to execute the concepts 10%
- always argues; rarely listens/accepts 20%
- doesn't want to be there [only is doing at someone else's request] 25%
- receptive, practices, listens, implements, maps out a plan, etc 15%

J
 
I'm curious what the breakdown is of your students over the years:
- know-it-all 10%
- doesn't practice 20%
- lacks enough athleticism to execute the concepts 10%
- always argues; rarely listens/accepts 20%
- doesn't want to be there [only is doing at someone else's request] 25%
- receptive, practices, listens, implements, maps out a plan, etc 15%

J
And how long do students in every category except the last stick with the program? For example, I'd guess that students who don't practice can persist for years.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
And how long do students in every category except the last stick with the program? For example, I'd guess that students who don't practice can persist for years.
Know it alls usually take 1 or 2 lessons only.

Doesn't practice will continue indefinitely because lessons are practice to them.

Lacks athleticism usually gives up within 6 months.

Always argues either quits within 1 or 2 lessons or continues indefinitely.

Doesn't want to be there quits as soon as the external onus is lifted which could be years.

The thing is that everyone isn't in one category, it's a dash of this and a bit of that.

J
 
You know what is interesting to me about adults who take lessons?

I have had people admire something about my game, ask me who my pro is, take a lesson, and then say that they didn't get much out of it because their [fill in name of shot they struggle with] didn't improve.

How bizarre. No one goes to a piano teacher, takes one lesson, and then quits the following week because they didn't master Chopin.

Learning tennis is a long road, and coming to lessons with a backpack full of bad habits that need fixing makes it take that much longer. That people expect a pro to fix what ails them in one hour is astonishing to me.
 
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