Most Tennis Lessons Are Useless (video)

Fintft

Legend
Vic Braden filmed me during a 1-day clinic and in the afternoon, he put my 3D "skeleton" video in software next to Agassi's, and pointed out that my forehand technique was lacking.
Players on their own, not on the coach's initiative...
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Players on their own, not on the coach's initiative...
Parents occasionally film their kids, but hardly any adult club player bothers to film and study himself. There must be a few serious ones who do it though, judging from the posts about cameras and tripods/fasteners that show up on this forum.
 

Raul_SJ

G.O.A.T.
Vic Braden filmed me during a 1-day clinic and in the afternoon, he put my 3D "skeleton" video in software next to Agassi's, and pointed out that my forehand technique was lacking.
Did any 3.5 players at the clinic have a skeleton technique video that was reasonably close to Agassi?.
 

Raul_SJ

G.O.A.T.
Video can be a useful tool, no doubt. But first and foremost, the coach must be able to immediately diagnose your 3.5 forehand with his naked eye. Within the first 10 minutes of the lesson.

Video is very time consuming.

Don't see the point of Vic Braden performing a video software skeleton autopsy on the Suresherer forehand.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Video can be a useful tool, no doubt. But first and foremost, the coach must be able to immediately diagnose your 3.5 forehand with his naked eye. Within the first 10 minutes of the lesson.

Video is very time consuming.

Don't see the point of Vic Braden performing a video software skeleton autopsy on the Suresherer forehand.
It is exciting for the participants. Most people were there just for the fun atmosphere.
 

ajspurs

Rookie
Yeah I've started private lessons over the last few months, quite expensive at that (David Lloyd in the UK for those who know) but they've been worth every penny for me personally, I really think it can depend on the person and their personal situation and goals. I've played tennis on and off for over 10 years but had never had lessons, so the first session was spent looking at my whole game and quite a few things were changed for the better such as the racket take-back on my forehand, the correct stance, the weight transfer and swivel of the hips, footwork on the backhand, having the correct stance with that and using my body more to generate the power as I mostly was all arms, simply changing my grip for the serve, correcting my serve posture, ball toss etc. Then had my coach ask me what I really wanted to improve the most and I said first and foremost my forehand and that's gotten so much better from my first lesson until now. I've learnt so much, really corrected my game and have incorporated things I wouldn't have from just playing casually. Went from ball feeds to a few drills and slowly transitioned into match points.

One thing I will say too is not everyone has the luxury of having a hitting partner either, all the people I used to play tennis with have moved out of the city so my lessons are mostly the only chance I get to play, but they've definitely been worth it for me so far.
 

zaph

Professional
As a low level player, the problem with tennis lessons is they badly prepare players for the realities of low level tennis, which they have to work though to progress. A new player gets months of lessons, with a coach who has perfect technique. The coach's feeds are consistent, same power, placement, height every time. The learner does drills, works on technique, maybe even plays a few points against the coach and their fellow learners.

Naturally they are keen to play a real match, they feel confident because they are doing well in lessons. So they end up playing a hack like me. My shots are not consistent, sometimes deliberately to be fair, sadly not always. They are facing balls with no pace, weird spins and varied lengths. They start making errors against me, who they rightly judge to be massively inferior to their coach and they can't understand what is happening.

They get thrashed and lose complete faith in their game and what they have been taught.
 

Dragy

Legend
They are facing balls with no pace, weird spins and varied lengths.
Well interesting, I consider actually that coach is in good position to feed numerous off-pace balls - with hand feeds; backspin balls - from just behind the net; challenging balls - all over the court, pulling the player all directions. As he isn’t obliged to maintain the rally having basket of balls in his disposal.

Based on my experience most struggles with varied shots in match play arise from lots of hitting practice with fellow players, where we strive to maintain longer rallies driving balls back and forth comfortably. Coaching sessions actually allow to dedicate time to practicing what you cannot cooperatively, and what you then face in matchplay.
 

Morch Us

Professional
True. But it is also true that without a long term coaching relationship, it is difficult to incorporate a proper program. For example if you are just taking 2 lessons with a coach before rotating and going to another coach, there is only so much a coach can do.

Coaching sessions actually allow to dedicate time to practicing what you cannot cooperatively, and what you then face in matchplay.
 

Fintft

Legend
As a low level player, the problem with tennis lessons is they badly prepare players for the realities of low level tennis, which they have to work though to progress. A new player gets months of lessons, with a coach who has perfect technique. The coach's feeds are consistent, same power, placement, height every time. The learner does drills, works on technique, maybe even plays a few points against the coach and their fellow learners.

Naturally they are keen to play a real match, they feel confident because they are doing well in lessons. So they end up playing a hack like me. My shots are not consistent, sometimes deliberately to be fair, sadly not always. They are facing balls with no pace, weird spins and varied lengths. They start making errors against me, who they rightly judge to be massively inferior to their coach and they can't understand what is happening.

They get thrashed and lose complete faith in their game and what they have been taught.
Practice more shotmaking or think short term and play like a pusher :)
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
As a low level player, the problem with tennis lessons is they badly prepare players for the realities of low level tennis, which they have to work though to progress. A new player gets months of lessons, with a coach who has perfect technique. The coach's feeds are consistent, same power, placement, height every time. The learner does drills, works on technique, maybe even plays a few points against the coach and their fellow learners.

Naturally they are keen to play a real match, they feel confident because they are doing well in lessons. So they end up playing a hack like me. My shots are not consistent, sometimes deliberately to be fair, sadly not always. They are facing balls with no pace, weird spins and varied lengths. They start making errors against me, who they rightly judge to be massively inferior to their coach and they can't understand what is happening.

They get thrashed and lose complete faith in their game and what they have been taught.
Judging by the success of GSG, someone with strategy, placement and stamina but using almost no topspin and not much power can do pretty well till the 4.5 level.
 

GuyClinch

Legend
Judging by the success of GSG, someone with strategy, placement and stamina but using almost no topspin and not much power can do pretty well till the 4.5 level.
Survivor bias. Because GSG can do something - that doesn't mean other people should. If you look at TT channel - the champions of his league all hit with power - hard serves and decent to strong topspin. The fact that GSG has the talent to go far enough to beat some of the lessor players on the channel doesn't mean emulating him is a smart approach. GSG has far more athletic talent then the 50 year old man who beat him for example.

For most rec players working on technique is the path to success because athleticism is not going to go up nearly as much as technique can. If you run into someone who has hack strokes like you do - but is far more athletic you will lose every time. If OTOH you have better technique you MIGHT be able to beat a better athlete.
 

Morch Us

Professional
You mean some one with a LOT of other skills, but not much topspin and not much power ?
Agreed.

Judging by the success of GSG, someone with strategy, placement and stamina but using almost no topspin and not much power can do pretty well till the 4.5 level.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Survivor bias. Because GSG can do something - that doesn't mean other people should. If you look at TT channel - the champions of his league all hit with power - hard serves and decent to strong topspin. The fact that GSG has the talent to go far enough to beat some of the lessor players on the channel doesn't mean emulating him is a smart approach. GSG has far more athletic talent then the 50 year old man who beat him for example.

For most rec players working on technique is the path to success because athleticism is not going to go up nearly as much as technique can. If you run into someone who has hack strokes like you do - but is far more athletic you will lose every time. If OTOH you have better technique you MIGHT be able to beat a better athlete.
I would normally have agreed with you, but since the rise of the GSG, I have been questioning the emphasis of topspin in the way beginners are taught today. It is no longer about precision, placement and low net clearances as in the wood era. I am wondering if topspin and large frames are masking basic deficiencies in rec players and that is what GSG is exploiting. I play against a 72 year old who hits with almost no topspin but his shots are low, powerful and precise in their placement. When I combine this with the GSG phenomenon, I cannot help wondering what skills we have lost moving from small head woodies to today's frames. Has it become like loss of mental math skills which has given way to (virtual) calculators?
 
Survivor bias. Because GSG can do something - that doesn't mean other people should. If you look at TT channel - the champions of his league all hit with power - hard serves and decent to strong topspin. The fact that GSG has the talent to go far enough to beat some of the lessor players on the channel doesn't mean emulating him is a smart approach. GSG has far more athletic talent then the 50 year old man who beat him for example.

For most rec players working on technique is the path to success because athleticism is not going to go up nearly as much as technique can. If you run into someone who has hack strokes like you do - but is far more athletic you will lose every time. If OTOH you have better technique you MIGHT be able to beat a better athlete.
I don't think it's survivorship bias: pushers at many rec levels do well.

It can be a dilemma if a player pursuing standard technique keeps losing to someone he feels has poor technique. It may lead him to question the payoff of all of the work he's putting in.

Telling him that the standard way has a higher ceiling might be cold comfort.
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
Well interesting, I consider actually that coach is in good position to feed numerous off-pace balls - with hand feeds; backspin balls - from just behind the net; challenging balls - all over the court, pulling the player all directions. As he isn’t obliged to maintain the rally having basket of balls in his disposal.

Based on my experience most struggles with varied shots in match play arise from lots of hitting practice with fellow players, where we strive to maintain longer rallies driving balls back and forth comfortably. Coaching sessions actually allow to dedicate time to practicing what you cannot cooperatively, and what you then face in matchplay.

A coach can feed all he wants and add variety but it will never be the same as playing a match.
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
As a low level player, the problem with tennis lessons is they badly prepare players for the realities of low level tennis, which they have to work though to progress. A new player gets months of lessons, with a coach who has perfect technique. The coach's feeds are consistent, same power, placement, height every time. The learner does drills, works on technique, maybe even plays a few points against the coach and their fellow learners.

Naturally they are keen to play a real match, they feel confident because they are doing well in lessons. So they end up playing a hack like me. My shots are not consistent, sometimes deliberately to be fair, sadly not always. They are facing balls with no pace, weird spins and varied lengths. They start making errors against me, who they rightly judge to be massively inferior to their coach and they can't understand what is happening.

They get thrashed and lose complete faith in their game and what they have been taught.
I have watched this scenario happen many times, the player looks great in practice sessions with no pressure and well fed balls. Then in a match when they have to move more and adjust to different pace and spin shots they become UE machines. They only have their pretty strokes that they do well with in practice with waist high sitters and don’t do well making improvised shots.
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
I don't think it's survivorship bias: pushers at many rec levels do well.

It can be a dilemma if a player pursuing standard technique keeps losing to someone he feels has poor technique. It may lead him to question the payoff of all of the work he's putting in.

Telling him that the standard way has a higher ceiling might be cold comfort.
I agree but the player must be dedicated and put in the work.
 

Dragy

Legend
A coach can feed all he wants and add variety but it will never be the same as playing a match.
I agree. The issue with match play - you don’t get chance to retry after a miss, figure out if you made poor choice or just missed a tad... Matchplay is great when you are already an accomplished player, and you only need to stretch your skill 5% more to cover another base.
Now if you are a developing player, you may play slicer-diver 10 times and still not figure how to play balls he gives you with authority. Of course you may learn to apply some “bunt back safely and hope/run” kind of approach. But you don’t get enough repetition and pressure-free environment to efficiently learn solution.

So the best way is to learn good plays with a coach - believe me, good one may imitate anything you face in 3.5-4.5 competition - and then play matches to apply it, without straight-away winning expectations.
 
D

Deleted member 771407

Guest
As a low level player, the problem with tennis lessons is they badly prepare players for the realities of low level tennis, which they have to work though to progress. A new player gets months of lessons, with a coach who has perfect technique. The coach's feeds are consistent, same power, placement, height every time. The learner does drills, works on technique, maybe even plays a few points against the coach and their fellow learners.

Naturally they are keen to play a real match, they feel confident because they are doing well in lessons. So they end up playing a hack like me. My shots are not consistent, sometimes deliberately to be fair, sadly not always. They are facing balls with no pace, weird spins and varied lengths. They start making errors against me, who they rightly judge to be massively inferior to their coach and they can't understand what is happening.

They get thrashed and lose complete faith in their game and what they have been taught.


You evil, EVIL man
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
I have watched this scenario happen many times, the player looks great in practice sessions with no pressure and well fed balls. Then in a match when they have to move more and adjust to different pace and spin shots they become UE machines. They only have their pretty strokes that they do well with in practice with waist high sitters and don’t do well making improvised shots.
That is why all my "hitting" sessions have 15 minutes of rallying and then pseudo-point play with each of us serving for a while before switching. Pseudo because we play through the point but don't keep score. In 1 hour, we have rallied, served and played points. Only thing missing is the mental pressure of real point scoring. That I get from doubles to a certain extent.
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
That is why all my "hitting" sessions have 15 minutes of rallying and then pseudo-point play with each of us serving for a while before switching. Pseudo because we play through the point but don't keep score. In 1 hour, we have rallied, served and played points. Only thing missing is the mental pressure of real point scoring. That I get from doubles to a certain extent.
That is a good way to practice, I do a similar routine at times.
 

eah123

Rookie
That is why all my "hitting" sessions have 15 minutes of rallying and then pseudo-point play with each of us serving for a while before switching. Pseudo because we play through the point but don't keep score. In 1 hour, we have rallied, served and played points. Only thing missing is the mental pressure of real point scoring. That I get from doubles to a certain extent.
I end hitting sessions with point play but do keep score for games, not sets. No tie breakers, and nobody has to feel that they have won the session since it’s practice.

I think it helps to replicate a lot of match conditions as learning opportunities. For example, the pressure of break point situations that will naturally occur - the server has the pressure of making the serve while the receiver should try to be more aggressive on the return.

Edit: to clarify, this is as a hitting partner, not a coach.
 

Raul_SJ

G.O.A.T.
Judging by the success of GSG, someone with strategy, placement and stamina but using almost no topspin and not much power can do pretty well till the 4.5 level.
GSG is an anomaly... 4.0 is the ceiling for 99% of players with such styles. The majority will not go beyond 3.5.

If you wish to have a higher ceiling and reach 4.5, you cannot go with that powerless style.
 

socallefty

Hall of Fame
In my personal experience, I learned tennis as a kid with coaching and might have been a good 4.5 in my peak junior days:- don’t know for sure as I did not live in the US at that time. Then I didn’t play much tennis for about 20 years, became slightly overweight and when I started playing again regularly in my forties, my technique/footwork had fallen apart. I developed many of the bad technique and footwork habits of adult rec players who are not fit and ended up being stalled at the high 4.0 level for a few years. I tried about 5-6 coaches before finding a coach that I like who helped me improve a lot and progress to a mid-high 4.5 level within 18 months after being stuck as a high 4.0 for almost a decade before that.

All the coaches I tried had good credentials and worked in private clubs - they were pretty good about diagnosing my problems accurately and within 1-2 lessons. In fact, I would say that all of them were consistent in telling me the same things that needed to be fixed. The problem is that most of them couldn’t fix my problems after months of weekly lessons even if they told me exactly what my issues were as my old habits were too ingrained and they mostly tried to fix it with simple handfeeds or by rallying with me. Several of them videotaped me and that didn’t help too much to then fix the issues.

With my current coach, there are two reasons he has helped me improve fast.

- He is an ex-ATP player who went through his National Tennis Academy as a junior and he seems to have experienced a lot more drills and higher-level coaching himself than all the other ex-college player coaches I’ve tried. So, he tries many different kinds of drills including customized drills he comes up with to fix specific issues until we find something that works to make me change. He also worked more on my footwork than other coaches who focused more on fixing the swing - if your body is not in the right spot early with proper spacing from the ball, you can’t have a good swing.
- He has found that telling me directly what needs to be fixed doesn’t necessarily make my mind/body change from years of hitting incorrectly. So, he tries saying different things until it clicks in my mind and then the improvement is fast. For example, all coaches have told me that I hit the ball too close to my body and so, I can’t really swing out and generate a lot of topspin at a good pace. But, I could never change this even though I practiced regularly with ball machines and practice partners in addition to lessons. My current coach told me after a few lessons to hit the ball earlier and more in front than I usually do and magically, this fixed my spacing issue and I started hitting harder and with way more topspin. Another example is that he tried over many weeks to get me to bend my knee more to drive the ball better just like other coaches have and it never stuck outside of the lessons. It is only when he told me to turn my body much more sideways during my takeback that I found that I automatically bend my knee more during my swing - my balance felt stable bending my knee only when I was more sideways. So, different players need different cues to fix an issue and good coaches keep trying different ways to communicate till it clicks finally in the player’s mind.
- I also don’t think that if you have good technique/footwork, you will struggle against low-level pushers who don’t generate pace and hit a lot of junk balls. The problem is that many low-level hard hitters have bad technique/footwork and so, they fall apart when asked to generate their own pace, hit low balls or hit on the move which is what a pusher makes them do. If a coach taught them how to generate their own pace off slow feeds, practice hitting on the move, practice against slices, practice hitting winners off mid court and short balls, they will not struggle against pushers. However to do all these things well, you need be able to hit high topspin consistently so that your margin of error is higher and your unforced error count is low. But, you can consistently generate good topspin only if you have good technique and footwork. Many good 4.0 players still have very unconventional technique generating lower amount of topspin and are poor at the net while these flaws becomes much more of a rarity at 4.5+ levels - that’s why pushers with bad stroke technique usually have their ceiling at 4.0. So, a coach who helps you develop textbook technique and footwork will help you to start winning against pushers, but a coach who doesn’t do that can’t help you just by rallying regularly with you.

I find that bad players look uniquely bad in a 1,000 different ways while advanced 4.5+ players generally tend to look very alike in how they move, how they prepare and how they hit the ball - there may be a few exceptions like MEP/GSG or Medvedev, but it is not common. You just need to find a coach who helps you to unlock the secret to moving and hitting textbook-style if you were not trained on it when you started learning tennis. If an adult rec player has years and decades of ingrained bad habits, it is hard for even the best coaches to fix them and so, they are forced to just make the lessons fun so that the adult student will keep going back even if they are not improving. All professions including the teaching ones have a few people who are very good, a small % who are above average and a larger number who are average or below average - tennis coaching for adult rec players is no different and because progressing adult players is so hard, it is a very difficult profession where very few are good at it.
 
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giantschwinn

Semi-Pro
In my personal experience, I learned tennis as a kid with coaching and might have been a good 4.5 in my peak junior days:- don’t know for sure as I did not live in the US at that time. Then I didn’t play much tennis for about 20 years, became slightly overweight and when I started playing again regularly in my forties, my technique/footwork had fallen apart. I developed many of the bad technique and footwork habits of adult rec players who are not fit and ended up being stalled at the high 4.0 level for a few years. I tried about 5-6 coaches before finding a coach that I like who helped me improve a lot and progress to a mid-high 4.5 level within 18 months after being stuck as a high 4.0 for almost a decade before that.

All the coaches I tried had good credentials and worked in private clubs - they were pretty good about diagnosing my problems accurately and within 1-2 lessons. In fact, I would say that all of them were consistent in telling me the same things that needed to be fixed. The problem is that most of them couldn’t fix my problems after months of weekly lessons even if they told me exactly what my issues were as my old habits were too ingrained and they mostly tried to fix it with simple handfeeds or by rallying with me. Several of them videotaped me and that didn’t help too much to then fix the issues.

With my current coach, there are two reasons he has helped me improve fast.

- He is an ex-ATP player who went through his National Tennis Academy as a junior and he seems to have experienced a lot more drills and higher-level coaching himself than all the other ex-college player coaches I’ve tried. So, he tries many different kinds of drills including customized drills he comes up with to fix specific issues until we find something that works to make me change. He also worked more on my footwork than other coaches who focused more on fixing the swing - if your body is not in the right spot early with proper spacing from the ball, you can’t have a good swing.
- He has found that telling me directly what needs to be fixed doesn’t necessarily make my mind/body change from years of hitting incorrectly. So, he tries saying different things until it clicks in my mind and then the improvement is fast. For example, all coaches have told me that I hit the ball too close to my body and so, I can’t really swing out and generate a lot of topspin at a good pace. But, I could never change this even though I practiced regularly with ball machines and practice partners in addition to lessons. My current coach told me after a few lessons to hit the ball earlier and more in front than I usually do and magically, this fixed my spacing issue and I started hitting harder and with way more topspin. Another example is that he tried over many weeks to get me to bend my knee more to drive the ball better just like other coaches have and it never stuck outside of the lessons. It is only when he told me to turn my body much more sideways during my takeback that I found that I automatically bend my knee more during my swing - my balance felt stable bending my knee only when I was more sideways. So, different players need different cues to fix an issue and good coaches keep trying different ways to communicate till it clicks finally in the player’s mind.
- I also don’t think that if you have good technique/footwork, you will struggle against low-level pushers who don’t generate pace and hit a lot of junk balls. The problem is that many low-level hard hitters have bad technique/footwork and so, they fall apart when asked to generate their own pace, hit low balls or hit on the move which is what a pusher makes them do. If a coach taught them how to generate their own pace off slow feeds, practice hitting on the move, practice against slices, practice hitting winners off mid court and short balls, they will not struggle against pushers. However to do all these things well, you need be able to hit high topspin consistently so that your margin of error is higher and your unforced error count is low. But, you can consistently generate good topspin only if you have good technique and footwork. Many good 4.0 players still have very unconventional technique generating lower amount of topspin and are poor at the net while these flaws becomes much more of a rarity at 4.5+ levels - that’s why pushers with bad stroke technique usually have their ceiling at 4.0. So, a coach who helps you develop textbook technique and footwork will help you to start winning against pushers, but a coach who doesn’t do that can’t help you just by rallying regularly with you.

I find that bad players look uniquely bad in a 1,000 different ways while advanced 4.5+ players generally tend to look very alike in how they move, how they prepare and how they hit the ball - there may be a few exceptions like MEP/GSG or Medvedev, but it is not common. You just need to find a coach who helps you to unlock the secret to moving and hitting textbook-style if you were not trained on it when you started learning tennis. If an adult rec player has years and decades of ingrained bad habits, it is hard for even the best coaches to fix them and so, they are forced to just make the lessons fun so that the adult student will keep going back even if they are not improving. All professions including the teaching ones have a few people who are very good, a small % who are above average and a larger number who are average or below average - tennis coaching for adult rec players is no different and because progressing adult players is so hard, it is a very difficult profession where very few are good at it.
So true everything you wrote. Great read! Thanks.
 

Miki 1234

Semi-Pro
I believe in where I’ve been, what I’ve seen, who I’ve coached with etc.
Thats fine but do
you believe others on what they say as coaches? Any coach will shift the truth in their direction. And that is a far cry from the truth.
Thats why I dont expect anyone to believe me because i say so but because of the facts i can see.
I can take any vid from moratouglu and take it apart and show its flaws which most people cant see.
 
I can take any vid from moratouglu and take it apart and show its flaws which most people cant see.
A) No one is perfect
B) How important are the imperfections?
C) What's the differential between how much the student could achieve if the advice were perfect [if such a thing is even possible] vs the currently flawed advice?
 

Miki 1234

Semi-Pro
A) No one is perfect
B) How important are the imperfections?
C) What's the differential between how much the student could achieve if the advice were perfect [if such a thing is even possible] vs the currently flawed advice?
A) thats right not even close , not even 5%
B) depends on the player you coach , can he take that flaws you have and lvl of the flaws. So its already big problem that cant be solved if there is no match between player and coach. ... look at sasha bajin .
C)advice doesnt need to be perfect and flawed advice is not the major problem.
Problem is direction.
In his vid moratouglus direction is on the camera and he is not explaining to the player but to the public.He is trying to impress the public with his tips , not help the player.
His body language is flirting with the camera and customers who are going to watch the vid, parents amd such.
If you had any piece of advice that really has any value what so ever you would keep it to yourself.
If you dont have such advice well then its mostly hard work and letting the player figure out for himself by giving him the right conditions , if the player is up for it.
And most are not up for it.
Then what?
Moratoglou academy says keep positive lol. Like thats going to fix anything.
Having spoiled brats playing most difficult sport in the world and saying to them at a boy lol.
The gap of were the benefits of playing tennis start coming and lvl of the mediocre player is absurdly large. So low lvl players motivation is linked to such coaching in order to gain minor bump or 2 but thats all . Will cost a lot tho.
 
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A) thats right not even close , not even 5%
B) depends on the player you coach , can he take that flaws you have and lvl of the flaws. So its already big problem that cant be solved if there is no match between player and coach. ... look at sasha bajin .
I wasn't talking about the student's flaws. I was talking about the flaws in the coach's advice.

C)advice doesnt need to be perfect and flawed advice is not the major problem.
Problem is direction.
In his vid moratouglus direction is on the camera and he is not explaining to the player but to the public.He is trying to impress the public with his tips , not help the player.
His body language is flirting with the camera and customers who are going to watch the vid, parents amd such.
In order for me to come to that conclusion, I'd have to attend his sessions and see how he is when the camera's not recording.

Also, almost everyone will change how they present things between face-to-face and a broad, anonymous audience; I see that as human nature, not something to be suspicious about necessarily.

Now, if he gives contradictory advice depending on the situation, then I'd be wary.

If you had any piece of advice that really has any value what so ever you would keep it to yourself.
I disagree. I can find all manner of good advice for free on the internet. Some of it came from this forum!

If you dont have such advice well then its mostly hard work and letting the player figure out for himself by giving him the right conditions , if the player is up for it.
And most are not up for it.
Then what?
Moratoglou academy says keep positive lol. Like thats going to fix anything.
It won't fix everything but it certainly is a force multiplier to achieving goals unless things come easily. Its opposite, keeping negative, probably won't help.

Having spoiled brats playing most difficult sport in the world and saying to them at a boy lol.
The gap of were the benefits of playing tennis start coming and lvl of the mediocre player is absurdly large. So low lvl players motivation is linked to such coaching in order to gain minor bump or 2 but thats all . Will cost a lot tho.
I'll agree that the rewards are very skewed towards the top in tennis so if one did a pure cost/benefit analysis, it wouldn't be worth it. But that's not how most decisions are made.
 
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Ash_Smith

Legend
Problem is direction.
In his vid moratouglus direction is on the camera and he is not explaining to the player but to the public.He is trying to impress the public with his tips , not help the player.
His body language is flirting with the camera and customers who are going to watch the vid, parents amd such.
I mean, he's literally creating content for social media in those social media videos, of course he is addressing the camera, that's kind of the point!
 

Miki 1234

Semi-Pro
I mean, he's literally creating content for social media in those social media videos, of course he is addressing the camera, that's kind of the point!
This is the best stuff his got .
And its nothing new , hes just very good at it.
All im saying its low lvl coaching for low lvl players.
His coaching can work on high lvl players.
If you want results in tennis and you are mediocre player this doesnt scratch the surface.
 
This is the best stuff his got .
And its nothing new , hes just very good at it.
I'd be thrilled if I was "just very good at" something that was important to me, regardless of whether it was novel.

All im saying its low lvl coaching for low lvl players.
What would high-level coaching look like?

His coaching can work on high lvl players.
If you want results in tennis and you are mediocre player this doesnt scratch the surface.
Are you saying a mediocre player would be better off with a different coach who would scratch the surface? Or that academies are not a good deal for mediocre players?

if the latter, I'd agree. But who wants to admit that their kid is mediocre in these days of "everyone is a winner"?
 

GuyClinch

Legend
I don't think it's survivorship bias: pushers at many rec levels do well.

It can be a dilemma if a player pursuing standard technique keeps losing to someone he feels has poor technique. It may lead him to question the payoff of all of the work he's putting in.

Telling him that the standard way has a higher ceiling might be cold comfort.
See - I don't really think they do. GSG is the only one I have seen at the 4.5 level. THE ONLY ONE.

I suppose the question is what really is a pusher at the 3.0/3.5/4.0 level? Is a pusher distinguishable from someone who is not trying to ball bash? If it is how do we define it?

Here is how I define the styles.

1) Aggressive. They can turn balls that are in the neutral and sometimes defensive zones into straight one shot winners - even when the opponent is only slightly out of position. They can do the same thing with balls that are in the offensive positions on the court (and when the opponent is really out of position) - and they can do that with decent efficiency.

The ball basher of course is someone who tries to play aggressively but lacks the tools and then misses so much that it is actually hurting him.

2) Counter Puncher. They have the tools to play aggressively but feel that the percentages do not work out for them. So instead of playing aggressively they simply work the point until their opponent is somewhat out of position and the ball is an offensive or neutral position. Then they strike - hitting an aggressive shot. But because tennis has a lot of errors - you might not get to this point that often. In working the point one or the other player ends up missing anyway..

So how do counter punchers with mediocre tools look like? They look pretty much like pushers.

3) Pusher. Only have the tools to hit winners when the opponent is badly out of position - and the ball is in a fairly offensive spot. But if given this opportunity will gladly do so. If given multiple opportunities - they will keep hitting winners. But because of their limited shot making ability this is the best they can do. Slow slices or mediocre flat groundstrokes are all they can hit.. Like the counter puncher they wait until the opponent makes a mistake instead of trying to attack at all.

Basically if we define everyone who isn't a ball bashers as a pusher - then sure pushers do great - because that is basically all the players we have at the lower levels. But in reality I think most of the people doing well at the lower levels are counter punchers and some are ball bashers who have an effective stroke - often a forehand.

Guys like GSG are the exception - not the rule, IMHO. In mindset alone most people want to hit winners - whether the counter puncher biding his time - setting up the point or the aggressive player who is simply going to smack balls for winners off anything not awesome.
 

tennis_balla

Hall of Fame
When you finally make it as a coach, or player, you join a secret society. The drills are way different, stuff no one else has seen except those at the top. There’s even a secret handshake to let everyone know you’re part of the club. But you don’t talk about the club.
 

Miki 1234

Semi-Pro
I'd be thrilled if I was "just very good at" something that was important to me, regardless of whether it was novel.



What would high-level coaching look like?



Are you saying a mediocre player would be better off with a different coach who would scratch the surface? Or that academies are not a good deal for mediocre players?

if the latter, I'd agree. But who wants to admit that their kid is mediocre in these days of "everyone is a winner"?
Moratoglou is probably the best in the world at what he does.
But what exactly does he do?
He manages very high end tennis academy were he gives for free great working conditions for top players and place were you can drop of kids and no need to wory about them for average ones. In fact that is their official moto on youtube.

Yes exactly that, to get high lvl coaching for average kid is very very difficult.
There is no simple solutions and if you dont know what you are doing its next to impossible or just luck.
That is just the way tennis is set up.
No need to wory if your kid is good or not haha. Problem will get solved on its own.
That kind of delusions cost a lot.
In other words its your own fault.
Imagine putting your kid in a ring with monsters and then say i didnt know....
Well your bad mate. Competitive tennis is not a joke.
Good coaches know , in fact that is all they need to know in order to monkey branch to a better player if possible.
 
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Ash_Smith

Legend
When you finally make it as a coach, or player, you join a secret society. The drills are way different, stuff no one else has seen except those at the top. There’s even a secret handshake to let everyone know you’re part of the club. But you don’t talk about the club.
The first rule of coaching club is...

P.S. Meet you at the coach club later for a pint or 2 of Gin and some Czech fish and chips.
 
See - I don't really think they do. GSG is the only one I have seen at the 4.5 level. THE ONLY ONE.
He's not like the Highlander; there are more than one.

I personally know of 2 1/2 in my league; I played against 1 1/2 but not the other. The "1/2" is an ex-pro soccer player who can and will run everything down, has non-textbook strokes, but is more aggressive than the typical pusher. If you give him the opportunity, he will take it; otherwise, he's happy as a clam scampering from side to side.

I suppose the question is what really is a pusher at the 3.0/3.5/4.0 level? Is a pusher distinguishable from someone who is not trying to ball bash? If it is how do we define it?

Here is how I define the styles.

1) Aggressive. They can turn balls that are in the neutral and sometimes defensive zones into straight one shot winners - even when the opponent is only slightly out of position. They can do the same thing with balls that are in the offensive positions on the court (and when the opponent is really out of position) - and they can do that with decent efficiency.

The ball basher of course is someone who tries to play aggressively but lacks the tools and then misses so much that it is actually hurting him.

2) Counter Puncher. They have the tools to play aggressively but feel that the percentages do not work out for them. So instead of playing aggressively they simply work the point until their opponent is somewhat out of position and the ball is an offensive or neutral position. Then they strike - hitting an aggressive shot. But because tennis has a lot of errors - you might not get to this point that often. In working the point one or the other player ends up missing anyway..

So how do counter punchers with mediocre tools look like? They look pretty much like pushers.

3) Pusher. Only have the tools to hit winners when the opponent is badly out of position - and the ball is in a fairly offensive spot. But if given this opportunity will gladly do so. If given multiple opportunities - they will keep hitting winners. But because of their limited shot making ability this is the best they can do. Slow slices or mediocre flat groundstrokes are all they can hit.. Like the counter puncher they wait until the opponent makes a mistake instead of trying to attack at all.

Basically if we define everyone who isn't a ball bashers as a pusher - then sure pushers do great - because that is basically all the players we have at the lower levels. But in reality I think most of the people doing well at the lower levels are counter punchers and some are ball bashers who have an effective stroke - often a forehand.

Guys like GSG are the exception - not the rule, IMHO. In mindset alone most people want to hit winners - whether the counter puncher biding his time - setting up the point or the aggressive player who is simply going to smack balls for winners off anything not awesome.
My definition of a pusher is someone who
- wants to play very low-risk tennis: few winners and even fewer UEs
- hits conservatively [could mean flat or slice; almost never TS] to very large targets
- he wins by keeping it in by any means necessary and letting his opponent make the first mistake

These people are not counter-punchers, in my book. They're not taking your power and redirecting it back at you with aggressive intent. They are more likely absorbing it and sending back a lesser-paced ball that requires you to generate most of the energy for the next shot. This has the fringe benefit of tiring you out.

I agree that pushers are the exception. I also think that the lower the level, the more pushers you'll find. I have yet to see one at 5.0.
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
Coaches dissing other coaches ... no honor among thieves. 8-B { that’s a joke ;) }

Original premise “bad coaches out there just doing cookie cutter yada yada yada” seems like more “getting eyeballs” than any “secrets revealed”. It’s like a custom home builder saying all spec home builders are just mailing it in ... and all spec home buyers would buy a custom home if they knew they were being ripped off.

I was a DIY tennis stroke home builder and it shows ... should at least gone spec.8-B
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Coaches dissing other coaches ... no honor among thieves.
Yeah good coaches who are confident of themselves, like good tennis touring pros, do not get a kick out of putting down their colleagues in a tennis forum. It is usually the failed ones who thought they could make it on the tour but could not and resent it that gloat about the failures of others.
 
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