Do tennis coaches hate coaching adults?

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
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.
On the flip side, as a pro you have to give them something to take home from their first lesson. Something that will help them tomorrow.

J
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
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.
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.
So exactly true. I take lessons, took an intense group of lessons this spring ... and I practiced with serious intent between them (read 1 lesson plus 4 practice sessions plus at least 1 league match per week)

Even with that and the level of determination I have, I found that when I hit the practice court with a hitting partner the day or even a few hours after a lesson I could not duplicate the stroke mechanics as I was during the lesson ... I was better than before but some of the "professional magic" had already worn off.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
On the flip side, as a pro you have to give them something to take home from their first lesson. Something that will help them tomorrow.

J
Also so true ... and I think a lot of that is whether the pro is actually observant. Some are more some are less so.

My best example from a recent lesson experience is a pro noticing that my first step in prep for a backhand was with the wrong foot making it more difficult to load weight to the front foot as effectively. In 3 years of playing with lots of various pros watching, no one had ever pointed that out. That one little nugget made an enormous difference. "that'll be $80 please"
 
Also so true ... and I think a lot of that is whether the pro is actually observant. Some are more some are less so.

My best example from a recent lesson experience is a pro noticing that my first step in prep for a backhand was with the wrong foot making it more difficult to load weight to the front foot as effectively. In 3 years of playing with lots of various pros watching, no one had ever pointed that out. That one little nugget made an enormous difference. "that'll be $80 please"
It’s stunning how few pros are capable of even such a fundamental analysis. EVERYTHING starts with footwork. BASIC STUFF.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 
My nephew, who had UTR 10 at the time, had tennis lessons for 12 weeks, three times a week, two hours session each time at the cost of $145/hr with a former Romanian Davis cup from Romania. The coach demanded the money upfront for 12 weeks and he also demanded that my nephew work out in the gym three hours a day, six days a week to increase the strength and stamina. He also had to practice two hours of tennis on days he has lesson and four hours on days he does not have lessons. He had to eat a strict health diet, no junk food or sugary drink for 12 weeks with lot of fruit and vegetables, fresh seafood and steak/chicken. He also had to sleep at least ten hours everyday. On Sunday, he had 90 minutes of Yoga and saw a massage therapist for two hours and half a day off on Sunday.

The coach reserved the right not to teach my nephew and sent him home if he was deemed not ready, focus or failed to follow what stated above. In other words, it will cost my brother $290 for that two hours. The coach put the responsibility on both the parents and the kid to be ready. Otherwise it would be a waste of time on both sides. This way, both sides were motivated. The coach would get the student full attention and it makes the coach much more interested in teaching the student. The coach said that he has his own reputation to protect. If he is going to charge someone $145/hr, the client will expect results but he will not teach any Jr players that don’t follow this guideline.

My nephew had him for 12 weeks in the summer and once a week during school year and after on-ramp year, his UTR is now 12 and going up.

The coach is also upfront with adults players. He said that it is not worthwhile for him to teach them if they do not practice everyday and that they will be wasting money taking lessons from him. But many of his adult students have money so they don’t mind paying $145/hr
 
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.
Most people have no concept of how insanely complex tennis is.
Even I'd say the majority of lifetime addict players (3.0 and 3.5 and even 4.0) also have no clue what it takes to develop "real" strokes.
 
Also so true ... and I think a lot of that is whether the pro is actually observant. Some are more some are less so.

My best example from a recent lesson experience is a pro noticing that my first step in prep for a backhand was with the wrong foot making it more difficult to load weight to the front foot as effectively. In 3 years of playing with lots of various pros watching, no one had ever pointed that out. That one little nugget made an enormous difference. "that'll be $80 please"
Don't forget taking another 20 lessons to drill it to muscle memory.
Or, practicing it for months, maybe even years.
People have no clue what it takes to learn tennis strokes.
That is why so few have good strokes.
1 in 100 on the courts
 
The coach is also upfront with adults players. He said that it is not worthwhile for him to teach them if they do not practice everyday and that they will be wasting money taking lessons from him. But many of his adult students have money so they don’t mind paying $145/hr
That coach is a smart man. Very smart.

Want to fix your strokes? Playing 2x a week won't do it.
https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/want-to-fix-your-strokes-playing-2x-a-week-wont-do-it.591728/


Most adult players are frozen at the same ability for decades. 3.5, etc.
They don't do any drill or practice, so they will never get better.
They will just keep playing their permanent game.

A small percentage of these people will realize tennis strokes are about repetition.
These people figure out that hitting lessons and drills will fix their flaws.

Playing twice a week will never fix your game.
But, even 2 lessons a week won't do it.

I'm now totally convinced that immersion is the key to permanent skills acquisition.
2 weeks ago, I decided to play as many days as physically possible this summer.
This means taking a hitting lesson literally every single day, if I can. ($3500)

I've done this for 14 of the last 15 days. (singles, doubles, rallying, lessons, serve hoppers)
I feel the strokes are finally beginning to creep over the old bad habits.
Each day, the new habit chips away at the old one. My coaches have noticed the difference.

You want your coaches tips to sink in? Drill them every day for 2 months straight.
I bet that will be more productive than one lesson a week spread over an entire year.

2x a week is probably enough to maintain your game.
You will never correct strokes playing 2x a week.
No competitive player on the planet has reached 5.0 by playing 2x a week.
Just casually playing tennis is not going to cut it.
There are countless people who play 5x a week and suck.
And they will die still sucking, and have atrocious looking serves, volleys, and overheads.

I am talking to get to the point where your strokes look like 4.5
Or maybe a 4.0 with inconsistent 4.5 strokes.

Once you have your strokes, then go play 5x a week for consistency.
But, you will never get 4.5 looking strokes without coaching.
Maybe there are exceptions to the rule, but I'll play the odds.
There is just way to much that is simply unnatural that you would never do unless told.
And being told something is 1% of the solution. It takes MONTHS to make a habit.

Oh, I will add another comment most of you will hate.
Even 6x a week is not enough.

At some point, when trying to correct decades old flawed habits,
you will need to hit more than once a day.

Just like the pros.

There were a few days when I played or drilled 3x in a day.
Morning, afternoon, evening.

This is what it takes to build new habits.
New habits are not built in one hour a day.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
Congrats on becoming a low level 4.0 tennis player and a 7.0 internet troll.

I could have done either with a tenth of the effort and money.
We are all different and have different amount of talent and learning process, as long as someone is improving and getting better who cares if someone else might have done it faster, as long as the person is improving he is doing good, don't be a hater now.
 

Badmrfrosty

Rookie
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.
This is also like people that say you can’t learn a serve from a pro. It’s more likely that it just takes a much longer time and lots of work by person to see results as quickly forehand or backhand. Serve is more like playing piano not “it can’t be taught.”

I’m completely shocked by the number of fully grown adults that argue or are know it alls to their coach! This is so bizarre to me. I thought this went away around 20. I also thought that was more of a people on internet thing. I guess it is true what they say......

People that can’t do the thing tell people who can they are wrong.
 
Yup! They instruct the coach on how THEY want to be taught tennis--thus proving they have more money then brains.
Maybe, instead of "familiarity breeds contempt", it's "familiarity breeds the illusion of knowledge". They likely wouldn't argue with their brain surgeon because they have no knowledge of what's involved. But they've been playing tennis for x years and have watched plenty of matches so they think they know how it's played and therefore taught.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
I swear some coaches bring this upon themselves. They allow the student to dictate by "what do you want to work on?" I hate that question.

I don't think most rec players have enough game-awareness or self-critique to even know what they SHOULD be working on unless it is a glaring deficiency in their game.

I have a group of about 3-4 pros who have seen me play at least weekly each (whether in a clinic, a team practice, matches, etc.), most for years now .. If I then take a lesson from one of them, I far prefer being told what they have noticed I need to work on ... and that is usually what happens. That benefits me much more long term.

(I say this and have to admit my last lesson I went in with what I wanted to drill: Serve plus 1 from Deuce court ... my positioning/footwork was leaving me vulnerable on my BH creating a weak +1)
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
I swear some coaches bring this upon themselves. They allow the student to dictate by "what do you want to work on?" I hate that question.

I don't think most rec players have enough game-awareness or self-critique to even know what they SHOULD be working on unless it is a glaring deficiency in their game.

I have a group of about 3-4 pros who have seen me play at least weekly each (whether in a clinic, a team practice, matches, etc.), most for years now .. If I then take a lesson from one of them, I far prefer being told what they have noticed I need to work on ... and that is usually what happens. That benefits me much more long term.

(I say this and have to admit my last lesson I went in with what I wanted to drill: Serve plus 1 from Deuce court ... my positioning/footwork was leaving me vulnerable on my BH creating a weak +1)
Have you tried looking at this from the pro's point of view?

J
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
I swear some coaches bring this upon themselves. They allow the student to dictate by "what do you want to work on?" I hate that question.

I don't think most rec players have enough game-awareness or self-critique to even know what they SHOULD be working on unless it is a glaring deficiency in their game.

I have a group of about 3-4 pros who have seen me play at least weekly each (whether in a clinic, a team practice, matches, etc.), most for years now .. If I then take a lesson from one of them, I far prefer being told what they have noticed I need to work on ... and that is usually what happens. That benefits me much more long term.

(I say this and have to admit my last lesson I went in with what I wanted to drill: Serve plus 1 from Deuce court ... my positioning/footwork was leaving me vulnerable on my BH creating a weak +1)
Respectfully, IMO it’s a 2 way street. Both you and the coach have a responsibility to figure out what needs to be worked on.

If you come to a private lesson with zero knowledge of what needs attention (or even what you think needs attention) with respect to your game...then you are just as bad as the pro who asks you, “So what do you want to work on today?”
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
I'm of two minds. I often do know what I want to work on. Its whatever I couldn't problem solve on my own in my last match.

Or its whatever I can't easily work on with a ball machine or practice partner.

That said, part of what I'm buying is the pro's ability to look at my game and pick the low hanging fruit.
 

Cashman

Professional
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.
Any decent pro should be able to present a new student with a quick diagnostic of a couple of key problems, and a couple of related drills that will generate tangible improvement.

Personally, it's rare I've had a lesson on specific shot improvement where, under guidance, I haven't started hitting the ball better within the hour. Certainly not consistently - but I've at least hit a few shots where I've 'got it' and the stroke has felt good. Enough to feel like what I am being told is working.

Of course, that's 10%. The other 90% is the hours upon hours of repetition - creating muscle memory, translating the shot to different situations, integrating it into the rest of your game, learning how to use it tactically, and so forth. But the 10% is what you pay for, and you should never come away feeling like you've wasted your money.
 
I'm of two minds. I often do know what I want to work on. Its whatever I couldn't problem solve on my own in my last match.

Or its whatever I can't easily work on with a ball machine or practice partner.

That said, part of what I'm buying is the pro's ability to look at my game and pick the low hanging fruit.
This is exactly why I tend to think of teaching as a callaborative process. I want to know what you're feeling, what's working, what's not, and then figure out together where to go from there. This happens over the course of time and requires building trust. If someone shows up for lesson one and knows what they want to work on, you roll with it and problem solve within that structure. If they have no idea, you do a quick inventory of their game and then do triage and address the most urgent, "easily" fixed issue. When someone takes a series of lessons, I will usually have a general line of progression that I want to follow and will modify that for individual lessons based on the feedback I am getting from the student. I've had adults that took weekly lessons for several years, and they kept coming back because I always had a next step for them, and a way to get there.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
Have you tried looking at this from the pro's point of view?

J
In fact I have ... and perhaps I am a rare player as I play almost entirely at one facility ... I take clinics, team practices and private lessons from 3 main pros who have all known me for a few years .....

It is a two way street ... It is my responsibility to be self-aware and critical and know what I need help with ... it is also their actual job to diagnose and help correct my weaknesses and sharpen my strengths.

I am not going to pay for someone to just feed me balls. I can rent a ball machine for that. I am paying for expertise and instruction.

Now random person goes to a club on vacation and gets a private lesson on a lark ... different story altogether.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
In fact I have ... and perhaps I am a rare player as I play almost entirely at one facility ... I take clinics, team practices and private lessons from 3 main pros who have all known me for a few years .....

It is a two way street ... It is my responsibility to be self-aware and critical and know what I need help with ... it is also their actual job to diagnose and help correct my weaknesses and sharpen my strengths.

I am not going to pay for someone to just feed me balls. I can rent a ball machine for that. I am paying for expertise and instruction.

Now random person goes to a club on vacation and gets a private lesson on a lark ... different story altogether.
So when you are coached by one person and take regular lessons from them, they should have a plan for you that is constructed with your input. Remember a lot of people (most) aren't taking lessons to get better so it's always good to ask what they want out of lessons.

You on the other hand take semi regular lessons with a variety of coaches for some reason. You don't seem like the sort of person who says just give me whoever so there has to be some reason you chose to take a lesson with someone today and why shouldn't they ask?

Maybe I think you need to work on your backhand but you are working on your backhand with somebody else?

J
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Also so true ... and I think a lot of that is whether the pro is actually observant. Some are more some are less so.

My best example from a recent lesson experience is a pro noticing that my first step in prep for a backhand was with the wrong foot making it more difficult to load weight to the front foot as effectively. In 3 years of playing with lots of various pros watching, no one had ever pointed that out. That one little nugget made an enormous difference. "that'll be $80 please"
Unit turn is with outside foot out first. It is there in any basic tennis instruction book or video.
 
You don't move your feet in the unit turn you titanic oaf.

J
There's also a bunch of ways to initiate the first step besides a simple step out with the outside foot. Good athletes will tend to naturally use all of them in different situations, but you can actually train people to use them as well.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
You don't move your feet in the unit turn you titanic oaf.

J
I meant that you take the initial step out with the outer leg and maybe even turn the toes to that side. Maybe pros always have a spread-out base, but rec players need to consciously take the first step to plant with the outer leg, and restrict the instinct to cross step.
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
From a coaches perspective, we don’t always have the opportunity to see you play a match. So what you struggled with on the match court - often times a coach will need to hear that from the player (or maybe sometimes the parents, although their feedback is not always as valuable in my experience).

From a player’s perspective, don’t be that coach who comes to a private lesson with no plan in mind. If you do come with a plan (rejoice!) be ready and willing to adjust said plan on-the-fly, based upon feedback from the player, and what you see during the lesson. Don’t be that coach who feeds basket upon basket of balls, and offers constant feel-good accolades to your student. There’s not a direct line between your student feeling good and getting better. And if your students (or their parents) have any brains, they will realize this. Then, that sensation in your pants will be that of your wallet getting thinner.

Regardless of level, there’s always something to work on. And the best way to make that happen is if the coach and player are working together to find whatever those things are. Anything short of that wastes time, money, and resources.
 
Last edited:

sureshs

Bionic Poster
In practice, once rec players saturate, they are better off not taking lessons and just playing matches to develop their endurance and mental skills. Use hitting sessions to focus on tips from the great Internet, and play matches, especially singles matches, even mock 1 set matches, to see where you really stand. That is when you will encounter "pushers", mind-game guys, stamina limitations, ego issues, mind-body negative feedback situations, and the dreaded service yips. I reality, these are the skills which win singles matches below the 4.5 level.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
So when you are coached by one person and take regular lessons from them, they should have a plan for you that is constructed with your input. Remember a lot of people (most) aren't taking lessons to get better so it's always good to ask what they want out of lessons.

You on the other hand take semi regular lessons with a variety of coaches for some reason. You don't seem like the sort of person who says just give me whoever so there has to be some reason you chose to take a lesson with someone today and why shouldn't they ask?

Maybe I think you need to work on your backhand but you are working on your backhand with somebody else?

J
It is not quite as schizophrenic as it sounds. As you know my club has about 8 full time pros.
Each has a particular standing drop-in clinic time they run, some I have used for team clinics, etc. How I have gotten to know so many.

I have only taken a private lesson from 2 pros. One is all about mechanics, the other about positioning/match strategy ... patterns, etc.

I agree that if someone is just randomly taking a lesson out of nowhere that the "what do you want to work on" question is totally needed.

Why would someone take a lesson for anything other than to improve?
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Why would someone take a lesson for anything other than to improve?
That is a very loaded question. I guess it is literally true but "improve" has many connotations. Some people use group lessons as a launching pad for socialization. Some do it for fitness and keeping in touch with tennis so that they don't stop playing due to a busy life schedule. Some just like the reassuring feel of a pro looking after them. And some do it because they have taken a liking for the pro, quite frankly.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
You don't move your feet in the unit turn you titanic oaf.

J
I'm pretty sure my unit turn happens irrespective of what my feet are doing and what my brain is thinking. And generally just as the ball arrives. I am the master of the "fade away" FH topspin dipper. Works surprisingly well in doubles. ;)
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
I swear some coaches bring this upon themselves. They allow the student to dictate by "what do you want to work on?" I hate that question.

I don't think most rec players have enough game-awareness or self-critique to even know what they SHOULD be working on unless it is a glaring deficiency in their game.
Most people can recognize a problem. They often don't know the root cause of it. They say, "My FH is trash". Well it may turn out that their footwork and spacing is trash but their stroke is fine. Or their grip is all wrong. Or they are not keeping their head down. Not every rec player can recognize when a fundamental is out of kilter.

When I watch rec players I think that's the stuff I notice first - the late preparation, the poor footwork, the wrong grips, the hitting late and into the body, the lack of a unit turn, etc. Probably because those things are easiest to correct. Trying to produce Racquet lag and beautiful kinetic chains is beyond most rec players skill set. But get them at least set up properly so the stroke starts from the right prep.

I'm no pro but I think you can teach someone to be adequate at tennis if you a) focus on basics first and get them solidified and b) work on their serve and RoS. Those things alone will elevate most players substantially.

Then if they are primarily doubles players, drill them in proper doubles strategy and forecourt play.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
It is not quite as schizophrenic as it sounds. As you know my club has about 8 full time pros.
Each has a particular standing drop-in clinic time they run, some I have used for team clinics, etc. How I have gotten to know so many.

I have only taken a private lesson from 2 pros. One is all about mechanics, the other about positioning/match strategy ... patterns, etc.

I agree that if someone is just randomly taking a lesson out of nowhere that the "what do you want to work on" question is totally needed.

Why would someone take a lesson for anything other than to improve?
Lots of people just take lessons to hit with somebody good or for exercise.

J
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
There's also a bunch of ways to initiate the first step besides a simple step out with the outside foot. Good athletes will tend to naturally use all of them in different situations, but you can actually train people to use them as well.
Who was talking about the first step?

J
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
I meant that you take the initial step out with the outer leg and maybe even turn the toes to that side. Maybe pros always have a spread-out base, but rec players need to consciously take the first step to plant with the outer leg, and restrict the instinct to cross step.
What does that have to do with a unit turn?

J
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
In practice, once rec players saturate, they are better off not taking lessons and just playing matches to develop their endurance and mental skills. Use hitting sessions to focus on tips from the great Internet, and play matches, especially singles matches, even mock 1 set matches, to see where you really stand. That is when you will encounter "pushers", mind-game guys, stamina limitations, ego issues, mind-body negative feedback situations, and the dreaded service yips. I reality, these are the skills which win singles matches below the 4.5 level.
I dunno. I scaled way back on lessons and fell a whole ntrp level.

Now I've started back with lessons and have moved up after a couple of sessions.

Lessons aren't just about making massive change quickly. It can be about arresting "bad habit creep." Tm
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
I dunno. I scaled way back on lessons and fell a whole ntrp level.

Now I've started back with lessons and have moved up after a couple of sessions.

Lessons aren't just about making massive change quickly. It can be about arresting "bad habit creep." Tm
You are a teaching pro's dream. I remember years back you announced that you are a 2.5 who would be taking lessons and moving up to a 4.0, and you actually did, documenting everything all the way. Very few people are that mentally strong.
 
In practice, once rec players saturate, they are better off not taking lessons and just playing matches to develop their endurance and mental skills. Use hitting sessions to focus on tips from the great Internet, and play matches, especially singles matches, even mock 1 set matches, to see where you really stand. That is when you will encounter "pushers", mind-game guys, stamina limitations, ego issues, mind-body negative feedback situations, and the dreaded service yips. I reality, these are the skills which win singles matches below the 4.5 level.
I agree that at 3.5 and 4.0, correct technique means virtually nothing and predicts zero about the winner.
In fact, at 3.5 and 4.0, my money is that the one with uglier strokes will win (@Curious vs Auresh videos)
Dink serving and hack bunt slices can easily will the trophy at these levels.

But, simply playing and playing is not the way to develop correct strokes.

This is the default path of 99% of rec players
And almost no rec players reach 4.0

People play matches with their broken garbage strokes and develop muscle memory that will never be corrected.
The more they play, the deeper into the vortex they go.
They will never have correct strokes in this lifetime since they played too much with wrong mechanics that are now permanent.

The right way is to immerse into lessons almost daily until you have correct 4.5-ATP level strokes.
Then you can use those strokes in match play.
 

kramer woodie

Professional
Do you teach "the loop"?
tennis tom

I have been thinking about your question, ("do you teach "the loop"?), for a couple days. First off I don't really know or understand what you mean by the loop. I have watched many students who use the whole arm, moving the racquet back using their shoulder joint (wrong motion). So I will do my best to describe in words what I teach. I will call it a Tilted Circle! So before you or everyone else jumps down my throat about every minor little detail, please refrain from doing so, until you have a complete visual picture of the words I use to explain a modern forehand stroke.

First, being right-handed, I will explain for a right hand viewpoint. Now to start. First, take video of the student hitting forehands. Then show student their elbow traveling behind their back, plus the racquet head behind their back with the racquet face pointing toward the net. Explain why
this is wrong; too long a swing path, prone to making mistakes, too slow in getting to the contact point.

Now, use an analogy of basketball. When you rebound a ball in basketball you come down with the ball held by both hands holding the ball at
shoulder height with the elbows up and pointing out to defend the ball. Nothing like using your elbows to keep someone from taking the ball away
from you. The more pointy they are the better. Plus now your set to make a quick two handed pass.

So, how does this correspond to tennis? The student learns to keep the elbows up and the racquet up at shoulder height. The offhand is supporting the racquet upfront near the hoop. In my case using an eastern grip (index knuckle on 3rd bevel) the thumb of the offhand is touching the hoop where the hoop and the throat connect, the index finger same position on the other side. The racquet is almost parallel with the court surface. Big hands. The right arm is bent at the elbow with the arms away from my body. Lets say the offhand elbow is pointing at the net, the righthand elbow is pointing at 5 o'clock. Using a semi-western grip (index knuckle on 4th bevel) the racquet face is titled slightly open to the side fence. I do not teach western grip period, too many potential arm issues and causes hitting with a bent elbow. I want the hitting arm to go straight giving the student a long lever. The longer the lever, the more power, basic physics.

Now to get into a coiled hitting position, most all the weight is centered over the back right foot with the knee bent. I won't mention percentages
because every student does not have the same degree of athletic ability, but the majority of weight is on the back foot. The front foot, the heel is off the court with the ball of the foot touching for balance, plus having the ability to step forward into the ball for weight transfer into the shot. We will start from a neutral stance.

So now the racquet needs to move back, this is accomplished by pushing with the right foot into the court and snapping the right hip around towards the net. The racquet moves back on edge with the elbow straightening. The elbow is still at 5 o'clock, only the arm is straight now and the
racquet head is moving out in a circular movement away from the body and down pre-cocking the wrist in a natural lag position. When the shoulder
starts its' ISR the wrist lags back even further. Thus it looks like the wrist lags twice.

So now comes contact and the follow through. Many things come in to play here. First I want a controlled racquet take back with the ability to adjust the forward motion (getting into the proper slot) for the bounce up off the court. Second I want maximum racquet head speed slightly before contact with the ball. Not too soon or after contact. Depending upon the height of the bounce, the type of shot you want to hit, the follow through will finish at the elbow or the back of the hitting hand will finish along your jaw line. High bounce at shoulder or above finish at elbow to pull the ball
down. Lower bounce finish above the off hand shoulder.

This method creates a very short, quick, powerful return. The motion ends up being away from the body in a circle back and down and a throw forward and out away from the body. There is no stress on the shoulder, elbow, or wrist. Everything is powered by the legs, torso, and shoulders, the arm is relaxed and just along for the ride. It is like throwing the racquet at the ball.

Now I am going to quit with the above, but tomorrow I will add more detail. I call this a "Tilted Circle", the highest point of the circle is out away from the body, the lowest point of the circle is with the racquet back and starting to come forward. The finish back out and up completing the circle.

Aloha
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
^^^ Nike Swoosh was how I learned it. Or Pat the Back. Or Up Down Up. That is how I got to have high-level groundies. Don't need a coach for that.

Serve is still the bottleneck. But haven't found a single coach who can teach or correct that. Closest was an old guy, a former college tennis and baseball player, and not a coach, who grabbed my arm and made it go through the ESR and throwing motion behind my back. I need a hands-on coach like that but these days he may be arrested for assault if he does that. Female coach might be safer.
 

sovertennis

Semi-Pro
Yup! They instruct the coach on how THEY want to be taught tennis--thus proving they have more money then brains.
Among my favorite type of lesson takers! They arrive and proceed to spend the next 10 minutes telling me how they are able to learn ("I'm very visual") and also how their previous coach(es) had failed them. Then, for example, they want me to help them improve their volley but refuse to use a conti grip ("My other coach(es) tried to teach me that but it just does't work for me").
 

sovertennis

Semi-Pro
^^^ Nike Swoosh was how I learned it. Or Pat the Back. Or Up Down Up. That is how I got to have high-level groundies. Don't need a coach for that.

Serve is still the bottleneck. But haven't found a single coach who can teach or correct that. Closest was an old guy, a former college tennis and baseball player, and not a coach, who grabbed my arm and made it go through the ESR and throwing motion behind my back. I need a hands-on coach like that but these days he may be arrested for assault if he does that. Female coach might be safer.
Suresh, if not "a single coach has been able" to help you improve your serve, perhaps you should look inward to find a solution.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Suresh, if not "a single coach has been able" to help you improve your serve, perhaps you should look inward to find a solution.
I look outward on the Internet.

BTW, it is not just me. What I meant was that no adult player has improved his serve with lessons. If someone had, I would have run to that coach.
 
Top