Looking for a tennis coach (SoCal)-USPTA vs USPTR???????

BillyIdol

Rookie
I'm already a 4.0-4.5 player. I'm 42 years old. I want to take my game to the next level. I'm looking for a tennis coach that is a true master. I realized that there are a lot of good coaches out there, but also that there are a lot of "coaches" that have a great Craigslist ad and not much more.

I want to switch to a 2 handed backhand. I want to improve my serve a lot. A brush up on volleys and overhead would be nice too. I'm a counter puncher in the style of Nadal, but 1 handed bh at this time. I want to up my aggression level with the 2 hander.

I respond to lots of specifics like specific grips, swing paths, etc. I also like visuals, maybe even video tape. For example, I want a coach that is definitive. Like, "On 2 hand backhand, we are using eastern/conti". I don't want, "On 2 hand backhand, use whatever grip you want. Grip it, and rip it!!!"

I discovered USPTA and USPTR from David Smith's awesome book, "Tennis Mastery". I am a firm believer in Tennis Mastery. So....why do I need an instructor? Well....I have some problems that may require personal attention. And you can't beat another set of eyes to help you out. I have found that "doing it yourself" usually results in limited success. You need to build a "tennis team" in order to be successful at the higher levels. Almost every pro player has a coach, and I need one too. I'm coachable, and hungry for new knowledge. I'm willing to listen. I'm a school teacher, and to be a good teacher, one must also be a good student.

I sort of liked USPTA website. I was wondering how much validity should I put in their designations of Professional Level 1, Professional Level 2, Professional Level 3? Obviously, they have taken a tests to achieve that level. But how hard is that test, and does it matter. I tend to say yes, in general, it does matter. (I'm a teacher, and not one to knock someone's credentials.)

Also, how is USPTR? Is is better than USPTA? Which would you go with? USPTA or USPTR? Based on websites, USPTA looks better. I wonder which one David Smith is with. I'm thinking he is with USPTR because there seemed to be a Head sponsorship there, and I think he is sponsored by Head if I am not mistaken.

Also, if you know an outstanding coach in SoCal, don't hesitate to pm or post here.


Thanks!
John
 

SystemicAnomaly

Bionic Poster
I'd be tempted to favor the USPTA over the USPTR. The latter seems to be a bit more rigid -- only one way to perform a given stroke is a sense of what I get from USPTR. This is not to say that there are not a lot of very excellent USPTR-certified coaches out there. There are some coaches out there that have both certifications -- best of both worlds?
 

subaru3169

Semi-Pro
where in la are you??

if you're close to rusty miller's tennis academy in arcadia, you may want to check that place out.. rusty coached many many top ranked juniors in my day so he may be a good coach to get training from, especially if you are having doubts about your mechanics
 

BillyIdol

Rookie
Rusty Miller

I'm in Monrovia. Next to Arcadia where Rusty Miller is. I got some real rotten lessons from there about 7 years ago, but hey, things change, and it really depends on which instructor you choose. It was not Rusty by the way.

I was hitting with my friend at Rusty Miller. I overhead a lesson in the next court given by an instructor named Chris Diamond. I like what I heard, he was talking about strategy and footwork, I asked for his card afterwards. I probably going to try some with him, or John Letts from itennis at Whittier Narrows. It is interesting that many coaches that I talked to over the phone actively discouraged me from learning the 2 hander due to my age of 42...whatever. I still pushing through with my vision of being 5.0. I'm weak to medium 4.5 now. I respect coach's opinions, but I need to think for myself. I've seen enough upper level tournaments to know that a 2 hander can be very aggressive, and this is also with guys in their 40s, and 50s, not sure about 60s. Well, actually one hitting partner of mine is 64 and still uses a 2 hander.

John
 

subaru3169

Semi-Pro
at rusty's, only trust what rusty or chris have to say.. chris has been with rusty for well over 10yrs and i'm certain much longer than my junior days.. they're both really smart.. iirc, chris actually lives<or used to> live with a wta pro<probably former pro now>

any other person who are "coaches" there are shams as they just work there to mostly feed balls when juniors get out of school in the afternoons

rusty and chris have seriously worked with really elite juniors tbh.. folks like andrew park, zoran korac, sonya reynolds etc.. i've said this in another thread but it's good you're investigating as many private coaches just feed balls all day long, but those two are really serious coaches

i'm actually playing there tonight until the lights turn off
 
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