too much USTA is toxic for tennis development.

FiddlerDog

Professional
I saw another example of players hitting out of their minds for a practice match.
Just confirms that too much USTA is toxic for tennis development.

When it counts, when they get nervous, they must revert to bunty ping pong or something, and must have Jekyl/Hyde versions of their game.

I think this is the #1 reason a lot of people never improve
(too scared to develop a proper 2nd serve, too afraid to swing balls out and trust the topspin, etc)

Too focused on results, and not the process.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
I saw another example of players hitting out of their minds for a practice match.
Just confirms that too much USTA is toxic for tennis development.

When it counts, when they get nervous, they must revert to bunty ping pong or something, and must have Jekyl/Hyde versions of their game.

I think this is the #1 reason a lot of people never improve
(too scared to develop a proper 2nd serve, too afraid to swing balls out and trust the topspin, etc)

Too focused on results, and not the process.
How do you know they revert when they get nervous? Maybe "hitting out of their minds" during practice translates into match play. Would you prefer they bunt during practice? How are they going to develop the stroke?

How is "hitting out of their minds" focusing too much on results? That seems a lot more process to me.

It seems like "hitting out of their minds" is exactly what you want them to do, as long as they are increasingly successful at applying it to "when it counts".
 
What a ridiculous take. No, USTA is not to blame for those type of players not developing. They can only blame themselves for not playing enough match play and playing under pressure to get better and to control their nerves. I "hit" with people for 2 years and my game only improved marginally. It was only when I forced myself to confront my fears and play matches/sets under pressure is when my game really improved. Yeah, I focused on results, and it was ugly at first with my tightness, but thats not a bad thing, it made me hungry, more competitive, and losing made me want to improve even more.
 

socallefty

Legend
Luckily the OP is not a problem for 99% of rec players even in the US who don’t play too many USTA matches. Not too many players are on multiple USTA teams playing more than 15-20 matches in a year.
 

silverwyvern4

New User
I saw another example of players hitting out of their minds for a practice match.
Just confirms that too much USTA is toxic for tennis development.

When it counts, when they get nervous, they must revert to bunty ping pong or something, and must have Jekyl/Hyde versions of their game.

I think this is the #1 reason a lot of people never improve
(too scared to develop a proper 2nd serve, too afraid to swing balls out and trust the topspin, etc)

Too focused on results, and not the process.
I thought you were going to say USTA is bad because people intentionally play worse in matches to avoid getting bumped up.
 

FiddlerDog

Professional
I thought you were going to say USTA is bad because people intentionally play worse in matches to avoid getting bumped up.
I have never personally met this kind of player, but accept that must happen for the same team to keep going to nationals.
What I am describing are people who play on multiple USTA teams, play incredible practice tennis that belies their rating, because they play a totally different game style in matches
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
What I am describing are people who play on multiple USTA teams, play incredible practice tennis that belies their rating, because they play a totally different game style in matches
So let's say this person stops playing USTA league altogether: will this improve their game? And, more interestingly, what is the evidence that they've improved? That usually requires some sort of results-oriented competition, no? If they only play practice matches where nothing counts, how does that simulate reality?

I think the problem isn't playing too much USTA league [unless it means you have no time to practice]: The problem is not forcing oneself [or being forced by a coach] to implement what you've learned/practiced in the "real" thing.
 

FiddlerDog

Professional
Next you will be confirming that poly has more power than multi or something silly like that.
That was last month
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
That was last month
Clueless as usual
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
I saw another example of players hitting out of their minds for a practice match.
Just confirms that too much USTA is toxic for tennis development.

When it counts, when they get nervous, they must revert to bunty ping pong or something, and must have Jekyl/Hyde versions of their game.

I think this is the #1 reason a lot of people never improve
(too scared to develop a proper 2nd serve, too afraid to swing balls out and trust the topspin, etc)

Too focused on results, and not the process.

Erroneously throwing USTA in the title is silly. A person who is focused on results will have the same issues not matter if it is in practices, friendly matches, weekend tournaments, USTA leauges, or whatever. A person who does not play as well in matches and they do in practices is also a separate issue.

NONE of that is predicated on the USTA.
 
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socallefty

Legend
It is probably good to play 1,000 hours of tennis as a beginner without playing matches just working on technique and footwork with a coach or mentor. It takes at least that long under supervision to develop good fundamentals without too many bad habits. Many coaches have this philosophy when they work with young kids.

After that, it is good to play a lot of matches and learn how to win matches, develop point patterns, play well when behind/ahead, play well on big points, win when favored, win against different styles, serve under pressure, hit winners, play at different times of the day in different seasons etc. You also can’t develop strategy and mental toughness if you don’t play a lot of matches. Ultimately, you also can measure whether your tennis is any good at all only by having a scoreboard and win/loss record which is what matches provide.

Most adult players don’t develop solid fundamentals first and start playing matches too early which leads to many bad habits that detract from developing good technique/footwork. It is easy in matches to get into the habit of just hitting bunt/push/lob/slow-serve shots just to keep the ball in play and this detracts from developing high racquet head speed during your swing to get high pace and topspin. You also end up having wrong spacing when you get to the ball as you have to be closer to the ball to bunt/push/lob and further away to swing hard/fast with arms more extended. Ultimately, you have to be consistent while hitting high pace and spin (top and slice) both on shots and serves if you want to be an advanced player. So, there is an element of truth to what the OP states.
 
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FiddlerDog

Professional
Typical 3x a week for adults is 5 hours a week.
1200 hours comes out to about 4-5 years before playing matches.
That seems about right
 
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Match play is great. Being a US player and forced by the USTA to go to one of their affiliated academies and leave to coach/environment that made you successful in the first place isn’t. Unfortunately they seem to have decided the next American slam winner will either be developed by them or not at all.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
Match play is great. Being a US player and forced by the USTA to go to one of their affiliated academies and leave to coach/environment that made you successful in the first place isn’t. Unfortunately they seem to have decided the next American slam winner will either be developed by them or not at all.
Do tell; I'm ignorant of how the USTA works outside of my league play. How does the system work and how does it compare to other countries?
 

optic yellow

New User
It is probably good to play 1,000-1,500 hours of tennis as a beginner without playing matches just working on technique and footwork with a coach or mentor.
This sounds like a good way to have someone give up on the sport. I can think of very few people with the patience to grind fundamentals for so many hours without ever deploying them to perform the activity itself.
 

PK6

Rookie
I thought you were going to say USTA is bad because people intentionally play worse in matches to avoid getting bumped up.
USTA must must must crack down on this!!! It’s ******** as it’s happening all the time! USTA needs to ban all these types of players for life!!! It’s ruined USTA.
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
I saw another example of players hitting out of their minds for a practice match.
Just confirms that too much USTA is toxic for tennis development.

When it counts, when they get nervous, they must revert to bunty ping pong or something, and must have Jekyl/Hyde versions of their game.

I think this is the #1 reason a lot of people never improve
(too scared to develop a proper 2nd serve, too afraid to swing balls out and trust the topspin, etc)

Too focused on results, and not the process.
Troll attempt noted. Now if you just regurgitate this same stupid garbage 400 more times, you can be a truly annoying troll like Moony.
 

RyanRF

Professional
Hardly stupid garbage. It is the #1 explanation as to why many folks remain stuck at 3.5 for life.
No, the reason is because many folks simply like to go out and have fun once a week and don't prioritize improvement. Also why do you care if people stay at 3.5?


USTA isn't about tennis development in the technical/improvement sense. Sure they've got their national training centers yada yada, but that's all secondary.

USTA is about tennis involvement. They want as many members and leagues and tournaments as possible.

...And you should want these things too. The best way to prevent all your courts being converted to pickleball is to have the maximum people out playing tennis, regardless of skill level.
 
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FiddlerDog

Professional
Basically, the exact opposite of typical USTA emphasis of most beginners


"All the motions," Preobrazhenskaya would tell me. "It is important to do everything, every practice."

The Little Group paired off with rackets and began imitatsiya — rallying with an imaginary ball. They bounced lightly from foot to foot, they turned, they swung, the invisible balls flew. Preobrazhenskaya roamed the court like a garage mechanic tuning an oversize engine: realigning a piston here, tightening a flywheel there. Several times, she grasped their small arms and piloted their bodies through the stroke.

If Preobrazhenskaya's approach were boiled down to one word (and it frequently was), that word would be tekhnika — technique. This is enforced by iron decree: none of her students are permitted to play in a tournament for the first three years of study. It's a notion that I don't imagine would fly with American parents, but none of the Russian parents questioned it for a second. "Technique is everything," Preobrazhenskaya told me later, smacking a table with Khrushchev-like emphasis, causing me to jump and reconsider my twinkly-grandma impression of her. "If you begin playing without technique, it is big mistake. Big, big mistake!"
 

Purestriker

Professional
Basically, the exact opposite of typical USTA emphasis of most beginners


"All the motions," Preobrazhenskaya would tell me. "It is important to do everything, every practice."

The Little Group paired off with rackets and began imitatsiya — rallying with an imaginary ball. They bounced lightly from foot to foot, they turned, they swung, the invisible balls flew. Preobrazhenskaya roamed the court like a garage mechanic tuning an oversize engine: realigning a piston here, tightening a flywheel there. Several times, she grasped their small arms and piloted their bodies through the stroke.

If Preobrazhenskaya's approach were boiled down to one word (and it frequently was), that word would be tekhnika — technique. This is enforced by iron decree: none of her students are permitted to play in a tournament for the first three years of study. It's a notion that I don't imagine would fly with American parents, but none of the Russian parents questioned it for a second. "Technique is everything," Preobrazhenskaya told me later, smacking a table with Khrushchev-like emphasis, causing me to jump and reconsider my twinkly-grandma impression of her. "If you begin playing without technique, it is big mistake. Big, big mistake!"
This is for a child super athlete not for an adult recreational player.
 

happyandbob

Hall of Fame
This is for a child super athlete not for an adult recreational player.
It's not really for children either. It reminds me of the Russian music school we had my daughter taking piano lessons at for about 6 months. She had to audition before they'd even consider taking her. Then at her first concert, the old Russian school director berated all the parents before the concert even started -- "You know, ze problem with you Americans is that you believe music is enrichment and music is fun. No! Music is serious bizness!"

Daughter went from loving piano to hating it, drilling the same pieces for months at a time. We pulled her after 6 months.
 

socallefty

Legend
The perfect mix is 1 practice per week and 1 match per week and/or 1 tournament per month.
I play 3 singles matches, 2 doubles matches, take 1 lesson and do 2 practice singles drill sessions per week - have been doing somewhat of a similar routine (except for the weekly lessons which started only a couple of years ago) for a decade when I am not traveling. I’m in my mid-fifties and this is on hard courts.

Is that less optimal? It is a lot of fun and keeps me fit also. After I started focusing on changing strings and shoes fast, I’m rarely injured.
 
I play 3 singles matches, 2 doubles matches, take 1 lesson and do 2 practice singles drill sessions per week - have been doing somewhat of a similar routine (except for the weekly lessons which started only a couple of years ago) for a decade when I am not traveling. I’m in my mid-fifties and this is on hard courts.

Is that less optimal? It is a lot of fun and keeps me fit also. After I started focusing on changing strings and shoes fast, I’m rarely injured.
This is also a good strategy (y)
 

FiddlerDog

Professional
This is for a child super athlete not for an adult recreational player.
Age is irrelevant.
It is for people who want to learn how to play tennis correctly.

"You know, ze problem with you Americans is that you believe music is enrichment and music is fun. No! Music is serious bizness!"
Daughter went from loving piano to hating it, drilling the same pieces for months at a time. We pulled her after 6 months.
He was correct.
Excellence is not for everyone.
 

FiddlerDog

Professional
So you believe a 45 year old can learn how to play and get to the same level as a child that learns at 4?
Yes, I believe a 45 year old can develop correct fundamentally sound strokes.
Granted, it is rare, but a big impediment is playing useless league matches that develop bad habits for short-term results.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
So you believe a 45 year old can learn how to play and get to the same level as a child that learns at 4?
I think the average adult isn't going to get to the same level as the average young learner.

But that doesn't mean some adults won't excel.

That's not the point: the point is that whatever the age, the potential is always there. The probability is a different matter as adults have years of bad habits to unlearn, calcified brains that don't accept new things as readily, time constraints, not wanting to go backwards, etc. That stacks the odds against the adult.
 
I saw another example of players hitting out of their minds for a practice match.
Just confirms that too much USTA is toxic for tennis development.

When it counts, when they get nervous, they must revert to bunty ping pong or something, and must have Jekyl/Hyde versions of their game.

I think this is the #1 reason a lot of people never improve
(too scared to develop a proper 2nd serve, too afraid to swing balls out and trust the topspin, etc)

Too focused on results, and not the process.
Very well put!

I completely agree with proper 2nd Serve and topspin!

This has to be taught. Coaches need to be vigilant with this.

When you say too much USTA, you mean tournaments? Pressure for tournaments and results? If that's the case, I believe that's a problem with coaches and parents not understanding what's best for development by focusing on results/rankings/ratings.
 
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