What is the WORST single piece of advice or coaching you ever received?

sureshs

Bionic Poster
All pros and college players? Federer plays a rather eastern forehand and arguably has the best forehand ever, with heavy spin.

What determines spin and control is not the grip but the technique. Telling me to adjust my grip was a lazy answer to make his job easier with terrible results for me.

This thread is a question for subjective experiences and yields subjective answers. I merely stated the advice which had the worst impact on my game and health. So for me, yes this was the worst advice/coaching I ever got.
Fed also used to play with a 90 sq in frame which he has abandoned, and an 85 before that. For all you know, he would have abandoned his eastern grip also if he had a chance.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
Different advice works for different folkes.
Every "folke" is different.
For ME, going from strong E to strong SW was the best thing I could have done for my forehand. Now, I miss mainly on mishits, while anything going over the net seems to stay IN or close, and swingpath prevents netted balls, an old curse of mine.
This same technique advice is not valid for everyone.
 

SpinToWin

Talk Tennis Guru
Fed also used to play with a 90 sq in frame which he has abandoned, and an 85 before that. For all you know, he would have abandoned his eastern grip also if he had a chance.
ehhh... no? Why change his single best shot which is called the best shot in tennis by many? I play better with my eastern forehand than I ever could with a western or semi-western and that's all that counts for me. Only because it works better for some doesn't mean it works better for all. The eastern forehand requires more technique, but it allows a much more penetrating ball with less effort. It's all about personal priorities and preferences.
 
ehhh... no? Why change his single best shot which is called the best shot in tennis by many? I play better with my eastern forehand than I ever could with a western or semi-western and that's all that counts for me. Only because it works better for some doesn't mean it works better for all. The eastern forehand requires more technique, but it allows a much more penetrating ball with less effort. It's all about personal priorities and preferences.
Pardon?

It's a flatter, less technical swing more akin to natural swingpaths carried over from other sports.

Doesn't mean there is anything wrong with it, look at his Fedness or DelPo, but learning a modern SW FH is a more technically complex process albeit resulting in a shot that is probably 'easier' to reliably complete
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
I hate it when a coach tells me to "stay on your toes", and "never let your heels touch the ground".
Now consider.... I"m 65, the coach is 71. Nobody can stay on their toes, but ball of foot is a possibility for the young and fit. I'm 65, he's 71, we don't qualify for "young and fit".
 

BMC9670

Hall of Fame
I hate it when a coach tells me to "stay on your toes", and "never let your heels touch the ground".
Now consider.... I"m 65, the coach is 71. Nobody can stay on their toes, but ball of foot is a possibility for the young and fit. I'm 65, he's 71, we don't qualify for "young and fit".
"Mandelbaum, Mandelbaum, Mandelbaum!"
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
I'd imagine I've watched over 3/4 of the episodes over it's 9 year span on TV, but never that one.
I"m not much of a TV fan, preferring to read a book in the quiet room instead.
I do think I've seen every episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer though.
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
I'd imagine I've watched over 3/4 of the episodes over it's 9 year span on TV, but never that one.
I"m not much of a TV fan, preferring to read a book in the quiet room instead.
I do think I've seen every episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer though.
Youtube works...try it, Lloyd Bridges is great!
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
Got it! Lloyd the old tough guy, his son bald, same thing.
In the hospital with lower back pain. Me too, but I"m not a tough guy, I was sitting on the stairs working on the side baseboard next to me, twisted for minutes at a time.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
JohnNewcombe used a eForehand grip slightly weakened towards continental.
His slice backhand grip shifted to continental with a slight twist towards eFOREhand, yes FORE for heavy slices, but the other direction to eBackhand from conti for his few topspin 1hbh passing shots.
It was analysed in Tennis Mag around 1974, when he was getting old.
 

caugas

Semi-Pro
The worst was from a YouTube coach and many others that say the two-hander is a forehand with your non-dominant arm. Terrible advice.
I hear and see this all the time on the web. Do you think they are simplfing this for beginners? My recent coach told me the same thing, Jesus did he see me as a novice??? I hope not or I want a refund
 

caugas

Semi-Pro
JohnNewcombe used a eForehand grip slightly weakened towards continental.
His slice backhand grip shifted to continental with a slight twist towards eFOREhand, yes FORE for heavy slices, but the other direction to eBackhand from conti for his few topspin 1hbh passing shots.
It was analysed in Tennis Mag around 1974, when he was getting old.
Lee d, when did semi western become popular or wide spread, just wondering???
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
I think Lil Bill Johnston used a very strongSW back in the '20's?
I'm no tennis historian, not taking up the sport until 1974, while still surfing 5 days a week and wishing I was racing motocross.
TomOkker used a form of SW around 1976, and had a heavy topspin forehand.
 

Zolar

New User
#1: Get your left foot set first on a forehand volley (I'm a righty). The coach would feed me balls fast, from 10' away and expect me to go from ready position to a cross-step with the left foot planted. No one is that fast, and we were both very frustrated. Hitting the volley as you are stepping makes more sense, and he ruined my forehand volley for a year.
 

Ballinbob

Hall of Fame
^Yeah that was actually the tip that really let me take off with my backhand. Practicing lefty forehands made a big difference
 

SStrikerR

Hall of Fame
^ and ^^ same here. I went from no backhand to my backhand being my more consistent shot. Not sure if that says more about my backhand or forehand, but you get what I mean.
 

SpinToWin

Talk Tennis Guru
Pardon?

It's a flatter, less technical swing more akin to natural swingpaths carried over from other sports.

Doesn't mean there is anything wrong with it, look at his Fedness or DelPo, but learning a modern SW FH is a more technically complex process albeit resulting in a shot that is probably 'easier' to reliably complete
To get the same result with an eastern forehand you need more technique and timing. The semi western and western forehands are made for heavy spin and the racquet face is closed most of the time, which makes missing long less likely. In order to play the same consistent and heavy spin shot with an eastern, you need a much more complex technique. Compare Federer's forehand to Djokovic's forehand. The timing of the wrist movement on Federer's forehand is more difficult to get right.

This is the experience I have made playing all three grips at a point.
 
To get the same result with an eastern forehand you need more technique and timing. The semi western and western forehands are made for heavy spin and the racquet face is closed most of the time, which makes missing long less likely. In order to play the same consistent and heavy spin shot with an eastern, you need a much more complex technique. Compare Federer's forehand to Djokovic's forehand. The timing of the wrist movement on Federer's forehand is more difficult to get right.

This is the experience I have made playing all three grips at a point.
Except that's rather missing the point, isn't it?

The eastern grip, as you point out, excels at hard, almost flat counter punching, so why muck about trying to hit heavy topspin with it? I use both Eastern and South Western during a rally, I just switch to whatever I need.

(I know this is not for everyone, especially those coming to the game as adults.)

I do hope you aren't doing it just because Federer does, there is an excellent reason he is virtually the only top Pro using an eastern grip to hit heavy topspin balls. (the guy is a freak, basically)

For the great majority of Eastern grip FH players, such as Juan Martin Del Potro, the stroke is a simpler and less technical motion, albeit somewhat limited in application.

Hence the evolution of the technically more complex but more reliable 'modern FH' as used by the vast majority of touring professionals.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
I hate it when a coach tells me to "stay on your toes", and "never let your heels touch the ground".
Now consider.... I"m 65, the coach is 71. Nobody can stay on their toes, but ball of foot is a possibility for the young and fit. I'm 65, he's 71, we don't qualify for "young and fit".
He probably still thinks of you as a young man.

My parents were once going on and on about a reckless young couple who were not saving money for their future, and how the younger generation squanders money.

It turned out that the "young" couple was recently retired at 60.
 

osutennis24

Semi-Pro
Been playing for 15 years and I'm just now trying to learn a Semi-Western. Because well, no one taught me any grips outside of eastern. Biggest problem has always been not enough top spin.

Probably the worst advice I got was my coach just saying, "more top spin". That's ALL he would ever say, didn't once look at my grip or swing path, just "more top spin."
 

heninfan99

Talk Tennis Guru
Didn't work for me but this did:
http://youtu.be/p1QtQbnqafM

Never got the feel of the weak side forehand...practicing it with one arm as some teach was the worst advice and it's pretty common --for me I had to have the other arm in the mix and know what to do with it.

^Yeah that was actually the tip that really let me take off with my backhand. Practicing lefty forehands made a big difference
 
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SpinToWin

Talk Tennis Guru
Except that's rather missing the point, isn't it?

The eastern grip, as you point out, excels at hard, almost flat counter punching, so why muck about trying to hit heavy topspin with it? I use both Eastern and South Western during a rally, I just switch to whatever I need.

(I know this is not for everyone, especially those coming to the game as adults.)

I do hope you aren't doing it just because Federer does, there is an excellent reason he is virtually the only top Pro using an eastern grip to hit heavy topspin balls. (the guy is a freak, basically)

For the great majority of Eastern grip FH players, such as Juan Martin Del Potro, the stroke is a simpler and less technical motion, albeit somewhat limited in application.

Hence the evolution of the technically more complex but more reliable 'modern FH' as used by the vast majority of touring professionals.
If you really want to hold this debate, open a thread on it. I will say this though: The easy way out is not always the better one. The eastern forehand is very rewarding with good technique and in no way inferior to the semi-western or the western forehand… And I hit spin with the eastern because the modern game requires it and nothing breaks your rhythm and consistency more than having different techniques on the same wing.
 
"Why are you using such a heavy racquet? Don't heavy racquets cause tennis elbow and shoulder pain?"

(He said that while hitting with me with his Head Ti S6 racquet).
 
If you really want to hold this debate, open a thread on it. I will say this though: The easy way out is not always the better one. The eastern forehand is very rewarding with good technique and in no way inferior to the semi-western or the western forehand… And I hit spin with the eastern because the modern game requires it and nothing breaks your rhythm and consistency more than having different techniques on the same wing.
no need for a debate, look at the tour...

whatever, be happy
 

SpinToWin

Talk Tennis Guru
no need for a debate, look at the tour...

whatever, be happy
Yes, there are people using the eastern forehand with success on the tour, also western and semi-western. There is no superior technique as you are suggesting, but there is a technique that is well suited to a player and his playing style.
 

Baxter

Professional
An aging USPTA certified instructor told my daughter she was tossing the ball too high and extending too much on her serve. In other words, he wanted her to serve like an old man with shoulder problems, just like he does. These were cheap group lessons put on by the county, but still...
 

syke

Professional
Doing the Rafa FH follow through is 'useless'.
Yeah, I get that too...

"Don't do that buggy whip shot..."

Yeah right... I don't do it intentionally and the only time I do it is when I am dealt with a low ball or faced with a late shot.
 

Tight Lines

Professional
One time, I was playing doubles with a relative newbie as a partner. I was serving on the ad side and was trying to kick the ball out wide. Just before I tossed the ball, he tells me "aim over the center tape to get the ball in".

He has an eastern grip frying pan serve.

Harry
 

SpinToWin

Talk Tennis Guru
One time, I was playing doubles with a relative newbie as a partner. I was serving on the ad side and was trying to kick the ball out wide. Just before I tossed the ball, he tells me "aim over the center tape to get the ball in".

He has an eastern grip frying pan serve.

Harry
ohh I just hate advice from beginners/newbies :mad:
 

GoudX

Professional
"Why are you using such a heavy racquet? Don't heavy racquets cause tennis elbow and shoulder pain?"

(He said that while hitting with me with his Head Ti S6 racquet).
Heavy racquets regularly cause shoulder problems, and definitely can cause arm injuries.

I say this as a player who is recovering from a shoulder injury which made me move to lighter racquets (luckily it was the year that wilson brought out a few different interesting slightly lighter player racquets/tweeners (spin effect racquets))
 

BMcFarlan

New User
This one is a long running debate I've had with coaches and other players.

'Jump when you serve'.

I'm not contesting that you leave your feet, I'm arguing that it's more of the upward force of your body lunging at the ball rather than actually 'jumping'. For example a volleyball player jumps.

Following this bad advice I saw so many juniors wasting their energy jumping at the ball and then swinging rather than focusing the full motion of the serve upwards. Does that make sense? That coaching always bothered me.
 
you're quite right, actually.

while it does start from the knee bend, a good service motion is indeed about the kinetic chain and the feet leaving the ground is more a consequence of a correct extension than an actual component of the service motion.

and I have seen people trying to 'jump then hit', too
 

BMcFarlan

New User
you're quite right, actually.

while it does start from the knee bend, a good service motion is indeed about the kinetic chain and the feet leaving the ground is more a consequence of a correct extension than an actual component of the service motion.

and I have seen people trying to 'jump then hit', too
Vindicating to hear someone agree with me. Dolgo absolutely takes off when he serves, but he's still not jumping. I've seen a few people tear up their lower back trying to start the rotation while already airborne.
 

Steady Eddy

Legend
"Hit down the middle and deep". So my opponent's moving me all over the court, while he just gets to stand in one place. I think it's better to try to make your opponent do some running.
 

Simon_the_furry

Hall of Fame
Punch the volley. This never clicked for me for some reason
When I assist my coach in lessons I always tell the novices not to swing at the volley, and I always use the term "punch the volley" because I think it translates effectively and points players in the right direction.
I've never seen a new player who's trying to learn how to volley swing too little. I find that they always swing too much. Some try to hit topspin swinging volleys off of everything, some chop at the volleys, some try to swat them all into the ground with a frying pan grip.
I think using the word "punch" is probably the best way to replace these bad techniques with the mental image of the correct ones.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
When I assist my coach in lessons I always tell the novices not to swing at the volley, and I always use the term "punch the volley" because I think it translates effectively and points players in the right direction.
I've never seen a new player who's trying to learn how to volley swing too little. I find that they always swing too much. Some try to hit topspin swinging volleys off of everything, some chop at the volleys, some try to swat them all into the ground with a frying pan grip.
I think using the word "punch" is probably the best way to replace these bad techniques with the mental image of the correct ones.
I don't like "punch" because it implies a short, jerky, abrupt motion. It also is completely inappropriate for touch volleys, especially ones down at your feet. "Guide" is better for me.
 
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