The Pros and Cons of the Fuzzy Yellow Balls (FYB) Website

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Orson Welles, Jul 7, 2018.

  1. Orson Welles

    Orson Welles Rookie

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    Here is my opinion of the FYB site. I think Will is a very effective marketer and I know that it's been reported in the media that he has made a lot of money with his very effective e-commerce/email /nagging/pestering/baiting Youtube strategy. And, he tries hard and the production values of his videos and the film quality are all excellent. However, I'm almost always disappointed by his tips. A lot of them sound very clever, but they simply do not work if you actually try them. For example, his solution to getting a better racket drop on the serve sounded great: it was something like practice dropping your racket behind your head on the grass. However, this tip does not work in terms of giving you a better racket drop on your serve when you actually try it. That is a very typical experience with the FYB stroke tips.

    I was also extremely disappointed by his kick serve video which I paid for. Again, great production values and the teaching pro he uses for that video and many other videos, Feisal Hasan, has an amiable and dynamic personality and sounds knowledgeable, but again, the tips he advises simply DO NOT WORK when you try them. Just to PROVE that the tips don't work, if you watch the FYB kick serve video, the 3.5 player who they are instructing how to hit a kick serve, simply cannot hit the kick serve despite all this so-called expert instruction. Virtually 90% of the serves he hits after getting all the so-called valuable instruction are slice serves that bounce to the server's LEFT, NOT to the the right. The instruction does not help him so the reality and proof is right there in front of the viewer. It was so bad that I'm surprised that Will did not re-shoot the video because it was so embarassing and proved that the advice does not work. I challenge anyone to prove me wrong. The tennis student is simply incapable of hitting a kick serve that bounces to the server's right and he even has trouble getting the ball to LAND on the right side of the service box; in the video the ball usually lands to the left which was no surprise because the student keeps hitting a slice serve swinging across the outside right side of the ball, and making the ball both move and bounce to the server's left. I invite Will to prove me wrong and show us every serve that the 3.5 student hits in that video and we can count how few were even remotely successful kick serves.

    This is a pattern with FYB. Slick production values, coaches that have impressive sounding credentials (e.g., Hasan was voted coach of the year or something by someone), advice that sounds great and logical, but almost always the tips are virtually worthless and have no practical value when you actually try them out on the tennis court. I think that the viewer gets a little bit fooled and almost brainwashed by all the positive aspects of the presentation, but seems not to realize or forget that the tips almost never work when they try them out on the tennis court. Like a lot of tennis pros, I think FYB figures that if the tips don't work that the student/viewer will simply blame themselves for not listening hard enough or lacking athletic ability or something. But the problem is actually with the flawed instruction. I'm a 4.5 to 5.0 player who once played NCAA Division 1 College Tennis, I can tell tell you that the instructional stroke tips on FYB almost never work for me either, and it's not because I didn't listen or don't lack talent and athletic ability. The dirty little secret is that the tips are usually not helpful or practical, and that includes the tips from the very amiable and dynamic Mr. Hasan, despite how good he sounds on the videos. I don't care what award he received, he doesn't seem to be able to help tennis students with stroke tips like 99% of all the other tennis instructors out there. I think that the only guy on Youtube that has valuable ideas that work is that Thomas guy from the Check Republic who runs "Feel Tennis." And, he doesn't even charge for most of his innovative, original and valuable advice.

    I would be curious to hear if others on this board have had similar experiences to me on the FYB site or whether they've learned a lot of tennis stroke tips that really work? If anyone has learned some tennis instruction stroke tips that work, I would be very interested to hear what those tips were because I hope to learn something. I'm not talking about any strategy tips or statistical tips on the FYB that might be valid, I'm only talking about tennis stroke tips because that's all I'm interested in paying for and learning about, and I believe that, unfortunately, stroke tips are the primary weakness of the site.
     
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  2. rogerroger917

    rogerroger917 Hall of Fame

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    Fyb is lame. All fluff.
     
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  3. S&V-not_dead_yet

    S&V-not_dead_yet Legend

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    I've never paid for any FYB material; I've only sampled the free stuff and I've been satisfied. Because I haven't paid for anything, I guess I haven't been subjected to the nagging/pestering/baiting to which you refer.

    Do you have a link to this tip? I've not seen it and I'm not sure I'm interpreting you correctly by your description.

    What you relate is not proof. It is one example. A failed example, in your opinion, but still just an example.

    The kick serve is an advanced serve so maybe it wasn't appropriate for a 3.5, depending on their athleticism. Was the 3.5 the only example in the course?

    And since it's a paid course, we have no way of verifying your conclusion because we can't see the evidence for ourselves.

    "Virtually 90% of the serves he hits after getting all the so-called valuable instruction are slice serves that bounce to the server's LEFT, NOT to the the right."

    Does that mean the other 10% did kick correctly?

    Assuming you're correct about the serve not kicking, that doesn't mean the instruction was incorrect. What information was the student given? Does it match what you believe to be true to hit a kick serve? Does it match other online teachers out there [Salzenstein, Heite, Top Tennis Training, Essential Tennis, Brent Abel, etc]?

    I'd have to see the course to compare to my own knowledge and understanding.

    Does the instructor demonstrate?
     
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  4. Orson Welles

    Orson Welles Rookie

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    Hi S&V. I watched the video several months ago so I don't remember all the specific details. Unfortunately, one has to pay for the video to view it so I can't give you a link. The focus of the video was on the 3.5 guy and the promise of how these tips will work for him so I don't recall anyone else hitting a kick serve on the video and if there was someone else, he wasn't hitting it based on any instruction. As to whether the advice was correct, the answer is no it was not correct; in other words if a player followed the instruction he/she would not produce a good kick serve unless the player already was hitting a successful kick serve on his own without the instruction. My point was that this was just one of numerous examples where the tennis stroke instruction on FYB is not helpful and I think I was pretty clear about that. I actually don't think that the 3.5 player (who was a very big strong, athletic and relatively young looking guy) hit any kick serves correctly but I was being generous by indicating that perhaps 10% might have looked decent or were hard to tell; I recall that zero serves bounced to the right side of the server. And, the video claimed that it could enable a 3.5 player to hit a good kick serve, so the fact that he couldn't hit the kick serve proves that the instruction would not enable such a player to hit a kick serve. Keep in mind that the 3.5 player was getting live one-on-one instruction from Hasan and Will, and probably had some instruction before the video was filmed if Will is as smart as I think he is, but he still could not hit anything resembling a kick serve. I'm just talking about a serve that bounces to the right of the server; so my standard is not a very high one.

    I forgot to mention that one of the big "teases" of the video was that the key to hitting a successful kick serve is to "skim" not "brush" the ball which led me to believe that this was some sort of gem tip. Then when I paid for the video, the only skimming of the ball was done by Hasan bouncing the ball so there was no emphasis on using skimming vs. brushing to hit the actual kick serve. Also, it became clear that "skimming" the ball is no more effective than "brushing" the ball so this was a false distinction and a fake tease that was not helpful at all.

    To answer your other question, I don't think that there is any excellent instruction for hitting a good and reliable kick serve out there. The best I recall is Dave Smith from Tennisone regarding kick serves, but that was also insufficient. I finally had to figure out how to hit the kick serve on my own and I might develop my own instructional video some day because there was nothing else out there which was any good. Avery's, Able's and Salzenstein's instruction is extremely disappointing. Daugherty is ok but still not sufficient. Everyone mentions the same worthless stuff about treating the ball like the hands of a clock and hit at x Oclock to y Oclock but the instruction is just a start; not sufficient to produce anything good and reliable unless the player does something correctly by instinct or natural ability.
     
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  5. onehandbh

    onehandbh Legend

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    Can you describe/tell us what the correct way to teach a kick serve is?
     
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  6. nytennisaddict

    nytennisaddict Legend

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    agree, that FYB is terrible.
    no chance he's gonna get a 3.5 to hit a kicker, because their fundamentals are typically pretty bad (ie. fundamental #1 a consistent toss, waiter tray serve, etc...)
    that said, i don't think he's bad, because the tip doesn't work, but because it's a very one dimensional way of describing the movement(s),... and that one dimension doesn't (a) resonate with me. (b) pack alot of information

    i do like dougherty, and dave smith... salzi was ok (despite having an ATP level kick :p)
    clock face image imo is good, but needs to be coupled with where the contact point is relative to the server's head... but translating that to the key movements of a kick/top serve can be difficult if say (a) the learner is tossing all over the place (b) already has an ingrained habit from the slice serve, to face the net on the follow through vs. staying sideways (as well as the habit of not letting the ball drop lower)
     
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  7. jxs653

    jxs653 Rookie

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    I don't know if he is the only one but I definitely agree that the "Feel Tennis" Thomas always gives some food for thoughts.
     
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  8. bitcoinoperated

    bitcoinoperated Professional

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    Most of these channels fall into the 'quick tips' area probably because that is what gets clicks. Often the players they use in their demo videos need their stroke totally reworking from the beginning.

    He is excellent and has a genuine gift for creating a simple feeling-type cue to make your body do the right thing which is what great coaching is, not giving nth detail biomechanics explanations.

    That said, a couple of his more technical videos on stroke mechanics are a little off, it's clear the ATP pros don't hit the forehand the way he's suggesting.
     
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  9. Tennisanity

    Tennisanity Legend

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    Why did you delete your other thread?
     
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  10. bitcoinoperated

    bitcoinoperated Professional

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    It was too hard to explain and I did a bad job of it.
     
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  11. Keendog

    Keendog New User

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    Agree with your other points, but on the third he is at pains to say that what he proposes for eg forehand technique isn't a pro style but a style which will be more consistent and that a rec player practicing an hour a week is more likely to be able to implement.
     
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  12. r2473

    r2473 G.O.A.T.

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    Dougherty is fantastic for serve fundamentals.

    I also like Dave Smith as will as his buddies from TennisOne (Jim Mclennan, Ken DeHart, Doug King). I also like Brent Abel.

    I like Jim's video for the kick serve:

    https://www.tennis-warehouse.com/Building_A_Kick_Serve_DVD/descpageTENNIS1-VMKS.html

    Dave did a great job on volleys:

    https://www.tennis-warehouse.com/Building_a_World_Class_Volley_DVD/descpageSGTA-VBWCV.html

    And I have a Doug King TennisOne DVD for the forehand and backhand that I like a lot (tennis warehouse doesn't sell that).
     
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  13. Raul_SJ

    Raul_SJ Hall of Fame

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    I don't get why he stops listing stuff on FYB like the Rafter courses.
    Maybe he has an agreement with Pat to stop marketing it after a certain time.

    Also very annoying are those white screen commercials with Will's voice-over.
    Those things go on FOREVER asking you to sign up for the course. Some are like 30+ minutes! Who's gonna sit thru that?

    Make the sell in a few minutes.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
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  14. Moveforwardalways

    Moveforwardalways Hall of Fame

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    You mean a 3.5 was unable to hit a real kick serve? You don’t say. Must be the coaching.
     
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  15. TimeToPlaySets

    TimeToPlaySets Legend

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    What is "waiter's tray"?
    Is that the grandma serve when they hit it flat with backspin?
    I've never met a 3.5 who does that.

    3.5s spin the crap out of their serves, or smash aces down the T.
    3.5's easily have more aces than 4.0 and can hit a kick serve that bounces 6 feet high.
    They are just too inconsistent at it.

    4.0's are more like the dinkPlink Waiter's serve variety
    (Under 4.5, pushing wins every trophy, and makes you advance NTRP
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2018 at 11:13 AM
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  16. TimeToPlaySets

    TimeToPlaySets Legend

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    The most shocking thing about this thread is that someone paid for tennis videos in 2018.
    I remember FYB from like 2012, with his "infomercial" style e-marketing.
    Wait, I paid $25 for Serve Doctor's video, but at least he works at IMG.
    There are a trillion YT videos out there, what sucked you into paying for FYB ?
     
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  17. nytennisaddict

    nytennisaddict Legend

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    re "waiter tray"... even with a conti grip, you can pronate prematurely, in an attempt to square early to contact... robbing you of power, and the inability to spin the ball.
     
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  18. ChaelAZ

    ChaelAZ Hall of Fame

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    Spam and pestering negates any value it might have.


    Probably posting from the court between sets.
     
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  19. ChaelAZ

    ChaelAZ Hall of Fame

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    Then again, Salzenstein was just as bad for a while, but has mellowed a bit.


    Probably posting from the court between sets.
     
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