I Never Had a Lesson Like That!

Jake Speeed

Professional
Jake, there are many ways to interpret "as loosely as possible." No one should suggest gripping the racquet hard either. That would lead to injury and disable any possibility of fluidity in a swing. Most tennis players don't even keep their entire hands on the racquet. If "firmness of grip" were the answer this would not be the case. One should only grip the racquet as firmly as necessary. On the serve, I would suggest the grip is looser than on ground strokes. One is not having to absorb the impact of the oncoming shot, and the full arc of travel is the longest of any swing, putting a premium on fluidity. I'm not suggesting that you believe anyone should strangle the racquet, but I don't have any issue with what he has said.
Not until your playing doubles and you get hit with your partner's racket while he's serving.

I've seen this more than once. Part of an instructors job is to limit liability and prevent injury.

Yes, I hold my racket with only the butt when I serve, however, I'm an advanced player and developed this over a period of time. You don't teach this. You can mention this, generally a player will "grow" into it.

That guy has no idea who he's talking to and doesn't care and you're defending him?

"Racquets?"

Pat your dog. :rolleyes:

JS
 

Raul_SJ

G.O.A.T.
Do some homework, "Firmness of grip" is essential in tennis. This knowledge/science has been known for years.
Let's go with Tom Stow, the famous coach of Don Budge. Stow said to grip it loosely on the serve. He would pull on the racquet and confirm that he could easily pull it out of the student's hand.

If you have a loose grip at the start of the service motion, you will very quickly learn to tighten at contact.

Or else the racquet will fly out of your hands.

Loose grip on the serve is your best friend.

Pancho Gonzalez sometimes removed his pinkie finger from the grip, and other times removed the pinkie and ring finger for a bigger hit. Loosening or weakening the grip relaxes the arm, promotes a more fluid delivery, and creates a whip like hit.​
 

nyta2

Professional
Pros have done a worse job with her than I have. They just do what Jake describes in his story. Most pros won't do the tough love thing of breaking someone's bad habits down and forcing them to practice hard with better habits. They'll just give you tips and then the pupil will never practice them.
IMO you need the following to learn:
* someone technically knowledgeable about the change/vision they want to see
* someone who can break down the progresssions of how to get there (especially if there are habits that need to be unlearned), and someone who'll know when you're ready for the next progression
* someone who'll track your progress: measure/explain the right "metric" (eg. a change that results in hitting the back fence might actually be a good thing... but the student doesn't know that), and show you're making progress (no matter how small), and why (so we stay motivated we're going in the right direction albeit slowly)
* someone who'lll motivate you to work,...
* someone who'll keep it fun
* someone who doesn't cost an arm&leg to do all of the above
 

Raul_SJ

G.O.A.T.
BTW. I'm not a coach
If you are not a coach, what do you consider yourself?
An "instructor"? There is very little distinction. :rolleyes:
You sound like a coach.

I had 4 girls receive full scholarships and two boys and a bunch partial, plus one student made it to Virginia Slims.

This isn't all that bad of an accomplishment seeing I taught tennis only part time.

And it's true.
 
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Jake Speeed

Professional
If you are not a coach, what do you consider yourself?
An "instructor"? :rolleyes:
You sound like a coach.
I don't want to be a Coach. "High end," they have to travel.

I've had opportunities with well to do families, not to just coach but to travel also. I'm a home boy. No thanks, "Take the racket back sooner." :laughing:

Sure, I could call myself a coach. I know enough about the game for that.
What you don't know, you fake. Believe this. I'm not good at faking or misleading for personal gain. Look, every father I bump into at tennis courts say they are their daughter's or son's "coach." There ya go. :love: You cannot even have a conversation with them.

A "Coach" at some levels, would hire an "Instructor" to work with a student, generally a gifted student.

"Coaches," low lever requirements, could work school teams, "instructors," and I can only speak for myself, gravitate towards players who have passed the "Coach" level. Please. Not ATP or WTA!! Why that comes into play all the time I have no idea. I do actually but I better not say it. I'm learning.

I'd rather be an instructor who specializes in improving technique than a high school coach or even a college coach.

I've worked with D-1 college students. Sometimes their coaches couldn't get it done with those students who excelled. You don't call Ghostbusters, you bring in someone who specializes in proper technique.

Look, as far as I know, I was the first person on the planet to teach service pronation. 1972. sure, the planet?

I know of no one else teaching pronation at this time, including famous instructors who dominated the tennis industry with books, clinics and BS. Plenty of BS. They become Gods! It's hilarious. Oh, open stance hitting also.

I said right here in this Forum, I got blacklisted. The best thing to come along in tennis, at that time, and I get blacklisted. People?

I know this game inside and out and extremely well, including match play, the "inner game," strategies, and the how to play the percentages. No one listens. Every Post I put up, I never get real "interest," or "question response." Just criticism and resistance. Comical actually.

I don't know what I am?

I've called myself an instructor since 1972, on my first business card. Today? I would describe myself the way everyone describes me, "Washed Up!" :oops: :laughing::love:

Pat your dog.

JS
 

Jake Speeed

Professional
Let's go with Tom Stow, the famous coach of Don Budge. Stow said to grip it loosely on the serve. He would pull on the racquet and confirm that he could easily pull it out of the student's hand.

If you have a loose grip at the start of the service motion, you will very quickly learn to tighten at contact.

Or else the racquet will fly out of your hands.

Loose grip on the serve is your best friend.

Pancho Gonzalez sometimes removed his pinkie finger from the grip, and other times removed the pinkie and ring finger for a bigger hit. Loosening or weakening the grip relaxes the arm, promotes a more fluid delivery, and creates a whip like hit.​
Loose tight, loose tight, 101 stuff. Gotta be tight at contact.

But, hang on to your racket! Over time, the student develops a "feel" for what's best for them. Just like grip changing during a match. It comes natural to some. Anyone who teaches any sport knows about evolution with talented players.

I don't use my pinky finger either, but, I didn't start this way. I've mentioned this.

"Every student is the same and every student is different."

FYI.

I have the "Budge on Tennis" book, and know it well. "American Twist, Cannonball," anyone. Those were the days.

"Budge on Tennis." New York, 1939, Prentice- Hall, INC. First edition actually. Wanna buy it?

Mr. Budge makes no mention of grip firmness when describing the service motion.

I sold my Bill Tilden book for $700.00. First addition also, I believe 1926 or 1927.

OH, one more thing, your example is 1939.

JS.
 
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Raul_SJ

G.O.A.T.
"Budge on Tennis." New York, 1939, Prentice- Hall, INC. First edition actually. Wanna buy it?
I much prefer holding a book in my hand but people do not read hard copy books anymore. Everything is being digitized. That is the reality.

You must learn to embrace the technology and change with the times. Find the good online instructors. Filter out the bad online instructors.

Do not be a Luddite.


 
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Jake Speeed

Professional
I much prefer holding a book in my hand but people do not read hard copy books anymore. Everything is being digitized. That is the reality.

"Budge on Tennis"

Do not be a Luddite.


"You must learn to embrace the technology and change with the times. Find the good online instructors. Filter out the bad online instructors. "

I have no idea what you mean buy this, but I do. You're not digesting my words.

There's nothing old school about me, to the contrary. I know a good instructor, online or off. All you have to do is look and listen.

With my life long experience enjoying and teaching tennis, I'm an expert knowing BS when I see it or hear it. It's unfortunate this doesn't come as easily with others.

FYI. I make a living with a computer, have since 1996. It would be pointless for you to think I don't know what's going on with contemporary tennis. The court measurements haven't changed in how many years?

How long have you been teaching tennis?

JS
 

giantschwinn

Semi-Pro
But seriously, you've been around the block since the 70s and have only worked with 6 D-1 players. That's not very impressive.
 

Raul_SJ

G.O.A.T.
How long have you been teaching tennis?
I am a 3.5 rec player. I played a guy yesterday with a knifing low slice. I kept hitting my forehand into the bottom of the net.

How do you teach returning this shot? Buggy Whip?
Don't think players hit Buggy Whip in the 1970s. Do you even know how to teach the Buggy Whip?
:unsure:
 

Jake Speeed

Professional
I am a 3.5 rec player. I played a guy yesterday with a knifing low slice. I kept hitting my forehand into the bottom of the net.

How do you teach returning this shot? Buggy Whip?
Don't think players hit Buggy Whip in the 1970s. Do you even know how to teach the Buggy Whip?
:unsure:
Buggy Whip? Rafa?

Everybody comes up with a name for something, don't they. Confusion? Uniqueness? Attention?

There was a time when dropping or lowing the racket head was a solid no no. Modern tennis proves otherwise, although, you can see players lower "themselves" instead of the racket head to pull off a shot. Common.

About that slice guy? Sometimes difficult for club level players. Hard to critique without seeing "movement on display."

Hey! I just coined, "movement on display." See, anyone can do it. Show Business!

Win your serve and play the game you know. Sure, you can experiment with junk when the slicer serves, but junk don't always get it done. Junking a junker? Ouch!

Ability and a good thought process gets it done.

Learn shots and think.

JS

Edit. I'm going to edit and add something I just thought of.


Nadal takes the ball really late. I do this also but I don't hit his forehand. If I did I would tire easily in no time and probably hit myself in the head with the racket.

I have an unusual technique for hitting really low balls, if and only if I can get to them quick enough to pull of the shot.

I wish I could put up videos. Oh well. :cry:

JS
 
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RiverRat

Professional
As there has been so much talk of grip pressure I want to add that I actually apply my pressure with the finger tip pads, just enough to hold a bird but not crush it. The finger pads give me the best feel for the racquet. I'm one of those players who plays on feel mostly. It's where I start in analyzing my misses. Of course, there were long hours earlier that honed technique. On the serve, it's not the fingertips but the fulcrum I create with thumb and forefinger. Neither my pinky or ring finger have much contact or pressure.
 
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