Feel Tennis [Tomaz Mencinger] - review

Discussion in 'Tennis Travel' started by Hydrocella, Aug 2, 2016.

  1. Hydrocella

    Hydrocella Semi-Pro

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    So I've been in tiny Slovenia for the past month, across coach Tomaz from Feel Tennis.com. I'm coming from a background of no hand/eye sports or activities and about 1-1.5 years of learning tennis. I'd roughly assess myself as a strong 3.5 to weak 4.0 player, with limited match experience.

    Oh yeah, I was born a lefty but converted over to a righty because that's how they did things in boarding school three decades back.

    What I'm saying is I have extremely poor awareness of my body, to arrive at a decent kinetic chain is misery in itself - when I was younger [Toronto] I'd shy away from throwing sports [baseball, football] and veer towards cardio type activities like running, or hockey. Even now, if you ask me to toss a baseball I can barely manage to do it in a straight line.

    So arriving in Ljubljana I came determined to fix my wonky forehand. From the baseline I tend to arm it, like many rec players do. My backhand [single handed] has always been smooth and needed little help except for some basics to generate perhaps some lift. But my forehand is a right mess. It's wristy/arm'ie and generally missing everything that happens before the contact point [legs/hips/shoulders etc].

    Coach Tomaz is in my mind the finest coach for helping you with kinetic chains. He's had years and years of dealing with adults so focuses on biomechanics. His methodology is to isolate different parts of the body so you have a reference "feel" and then gradually stitch them all together in the correct order of the kinetic chain.

    If you haven't already do check out feel tennis.com and his many videos. And if you're an adult, somewhat like myself, and you're determined to learn this awfully frustrating sport, the many coaches out there that tell you to do this or that, without showing you what that feels like, will probably make it an exhaustive process.

    Also, Ljubljana, is a really neat little town. I tend to travel a fair amount, to me this is a better place to play tennis [weather, people, food, cost] than Spain (as an example).
     
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  2. tennisgirl

    tennisgirl New User

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    Just came across this post after watching some great videos from Tomaz on Youtube. He does indeed seem like he'd be a great coach; I couldn't really figure out if he's teaching privates in-person though or whether he's solely running his businesses online these days. Any information appreciated.
     
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  3. Hydrocella

    Hydrocella Semi-Pro

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    Yep, he does private lessons. It's an interesting model because the more challenging you are the more he learns about coaching to plug into his website.

    As it happens, I'm actually back in Ljubljana for my summer months again [April ~ July] - its the perfect little spot right in the middle of Europe if you want to get in a bit of travelling done along with your tennis development with coach Tomaz.

    Lessons with Tomaz are 90% about kinetic chains and the correct sequence of biomechanics - different to most other coaches that care about visual results of the ball over what your body is supposed to be doing.

    Let me know if there's anything else you might need/want to know. If you want any assistance or tips with Ljubljana/Slovenia drop in a line - I've found it to be an awesome spot.
     
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  4. foopus

    foopus New User

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    Hi Hydrocella, I'd appreciate it if you could describe the experience in a bit more detail. I'm thinking of going over in the spring, with a friend, and have already contacted Tomaz, but what is the place like, and what did you do with your time off the court? For example, was there a hotel within walking distance of the tennis complex, is it a very small town, etc. Is there anything to do you'd recommend? Also, how was the instruction set up, in terms of days and hours (we would be going for a long weekend). Any input would be great.
    Thanks.
    F
     
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  5. Hydrocella

    Hydrocella Semi-Pro

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    Hey there Foopus.

    Much of your experience would depend on where the lessons take place. Ideally, you’d want them in Ljubljana itself - this way you could explore around the beautiful city, which is constantly on one of the most underrated cities in Europe for a visit:

    http://www.worldofwanderlust.com/25-secret-small-towns-europe-must-visit/

    Ljubljana being a wonderfully small town with great public transport/mobile connectivity etc, would be extremely convenient for lessons with Tomaz. Most likely your lessons would be at:
    https://goo.gl/maps/QC68jute6Q42 or,
    https://goo.gl/maps/1V3udxoj72q

    Everyone in Slovenia speaks English, they're very warm to foreigners and it's a lovely, lovely quaint city to spend a few weeks in. After a couple of trips the last few years I'm planning on buying a small property there as it's bang in the middle of Europe with easy access to all the awesome countries - Austria, Italy, Germany, Croatia, Bosnia, Hungary are all a few hours drive away from Ljubljana. It's the perfect undiscovered little gem.

    Grab a tourist SIM card from the airport on arrival for 20 Euros/10GB allowance and you're set to go.

    In terms of lodging, you'd probably want to stay right in the centre of the city itself - here are some Airbnb places on my shortlist:
    https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/3643334?s=51
    https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/7313527?s=51
    https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/4115959?s=51
    https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/9823139?s=51
    https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/6152973?s=51

    All the above would be a quick 10-20 minute bus ride from the tennis facilities where you'll be with Tomaz.

    Lessons with Tomaz will be 100% focused on biomechanics. If you're the type that tends to overcompensate with one part of your body [arm/wrist etc] he's your guy. Sort of like a doctor, he'll align your kinetic chain to ensure maximum efficiency. Lessons will involve medicine balls, resistance bands and a fair amount of self-analysis mentally. He takes the subject of tennis quite seriously, and time with him is a privilege, there's a certain amount of pressure at your end to equal his effort. He's possibly the hardest working coach I've been across because after your hour on court, he'll probably spend another hour in the night going through the video footage to isolate the key areas. Lessons will always be on clay, ensure your footwork is up to speed.

    Some random pictures:
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    Areas nearby Ljubljana you will want to visit:

    Lake Bled
    https://www.lonelyplanet.com/slovenia/lake-bled/attractions/bled-castle/a/poi-sig/490150/360706

    Postajana Cave System
    https://www.lonelyplanet.com/slovenia/postojna/attractions/postojna-cave/a/poi-sig/490458/360706

    Personally, Slovenia is probably my favourite country in Europe. If you have an opportunity to visit, do everything to take it. I get that all the people want to go to Spain, Germany, France, Italy etc, and they're all great and lovely, but Slovenia somehow just captured my heart.

    When are you there? I'm going to be in Ljubljana May ~ June.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
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  6. Hydrocella

    Hydrocella Semi-Pro

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    Addendum:

    Ah, I just noticed you mentioned a weekend - in this case you'll likely avoid much of the above. What you want is a short, succinct, visit with the most bang for your time:

    Stay here, if you can get it:
    https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/10159757?s=51

    Above is about 50-100 metres away from the centre of Ljubljana, where you'll be walking/spending time/hanging out/having coffee or gluhwein.

    Good spots within walking distance:
    http://www.falafel.si
    http://vigo-icecream.com/ljubljana/
    https://www.lonelyplanet.com/slovenia/ljubljana/attractions/ljubljana-castle/a/poi-sig/421675/360706

    Right across, underneath the marketplace is a struklji dumpling place, it's delectable and divine.

    For transport to Tomaz, here's the route:
    [​IMG]

    Grab a bus card from any vendor or at a supermarket. Each journey will be about 1.2 Euros, the trip will be about 15-20 minutes each way and its convenient. A bus stop will be about 20-50 metres away from your house if you stay at above, or within the Ljubljana vicinity.

    If Tomaz however says the lessons would be at Kranj [where he lives], then I'd still recommend you stay in Ljubljana but you'd need to take about a 45 minute bus ride over to Kranj. The fare will be about 10 Euros each way. However if there is more than one person, perhaps just rent a vehicle for your visit and you'll be free to move about. Driving in Slovenia is convenient and easy, minimal traffic and quite relaxed. The above Airbnb listing does have a parking spot but you'll need to confirm beforehand with the host Jan. This year I stayed almost three months in this listing and it was near perfect for my visit/journey to East Europe.
     
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  7. foopus

    foopus New User

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    Hydro
    Thank you so much! That's a great help, and I appreciate the time you took with these posts.
    Yes, when I contacted Tomaz he mentioned that the lessons would take place in one of those two locations, and that Ljubljana clearly had more to offer as a travel destination. As it happens, we're already based in Europe, and the trip is meant to be a lot more about tennis than travel. With that in mind, I'd like to impose on you once again, and ask one last question: is there enough (cafe/rest/acc) in Kranj to justify staying there the whole time, in the area of the tennis club, if all we really want to do is play tennis anyway -- or is it simply a residential area?
    Thanks
    F
     
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  8. Hydrocella

    Hydrocella Semi-Pro

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    Kranj is more than enough of a town for a 3/4 day trip I’d say. The one issue in Kranj is they don’t have a shared bicycle system so getting around between tennis and where you likely will be staying will need some walking, or at worst a 3-4 Euro Taxi.

    If you’re looking to stay in Kranj, anywhere near the Kranj postaga (main bus stop) will be fine. Quite likely if you schedule your daily lessons with Tomaz as the last one of his day then he can drop you back to where you’re staying.

    If lessons were in Kranj and I’d planned less than 5 days, Kranj would not be an issue. It’s a cute little town to walk about in with a few coffee shops. Actually lake Bled is nearer to Kranj so if you’re really short on things to do after tennis pop by there.

    Of course if Tomaz can manage it in Ljubljana that’s ideal.

    On the tennis itself yep, if you want to address/problem solve any deep biomechanics with your strokes, there’s none better.
     
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  9. foopus

    foopus New User

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    Hydro
    Okay, fantastic. And thanks again for taking the time.
    F
     
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  10. Hydrocella

    Hydrocella Semi-Pro

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    Happy to have been of assistance. I’ll be popping by Slovenia in May for about a month. Always glad to touch base with Tomaz and revisit the country.

    Regards,
    Mick
     
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  11. haqq777

    haqq777 Hall of Fame

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    Such great info. I dont have any plans to travel but I think such posts are a wondeful way of helping fellow members out. Great stuff!
     
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  12. Hydrocella

    Hydrocella Semi-Pro

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    Haha, I wish the travel bit of this forum were more frequented. I’m dearly looking for good information myself on a few spots:

    Hua Hin, Thailand
    Palm Springs, CA
    Murcia, Spain
    Portugal (anywhere)
    Prague, CZ

    Even a thread with Airbnb listings in tennis communities would be an awesome start. For some inexplicable reason Airbnb has no keyword search function.
     
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