Why do adults suck at learning tennis?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by BallBag, May 10, 2018.

  1. BallBag

    BallBag New User

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    Playing UTR tournaments has made me realize something. Its not uncommon to see a 12-13 year old kid playing at 6-7 UTR (4.0-4.5 level) level. They practice somewhere around 3 times a week and they probably started around 7-8 years old. Its also not uncommon to see 4.0 - 4.5 player who plays 3 times a week but has been playing at the same level for about a decade.
    Now I understand declining neuroplasticity and bad knees are an issue but the gap is just enormous. Is it the coaching? Is it that they spend more time drilling vs match play? I'm guessing its all of the above but is there anything we learn to get better faster?
     
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  2. Raul_SJ

    Raul_SJ Hall of Fame

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    For the similar reasons that a kid learning piano from age 7-12 will be much better than a guy learning from age 30-35.

    Mind learns things quicker at the younger age.
     
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  3. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo Talk Tennis Guru

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    Maybe the adult is unathletic.
     
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  4. Legend of Borg

    Legend of Borg G.O.A.T.

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    less developed ego and self-image, probably allows them to make mistakes without actually having an inflated sense of self-worth to protect

    more likely to try new things and experiment

    probably more creative and less rigid in their thinking

    having no injuries and being in physically better shape also helps
     
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  5. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo Talk Tennis Guru

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    Recall two adults willing to play lefty after a suggestion of their pro. No homemade strokes
     
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  6. r2473

    r2473 G.O.A.T.

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    It's also not uncommon to see 12-13 year olds that suck and will always suck.

    It's pretty uncommon to see anybody at the 5.0 and above level, no matter how long they've been playing.

    I think what you are doing is starting with the conclusion you want, and looking for only the evidence that supports your conclusions.
     
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  7. nytennisaddict

    nytennisaddict Legend

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    ignoring the physical ability to sustain a consistent workload of tennis exercise, and presuming the adult has the will to improve...
    a junior is playing 1-2h daily junior clinics M-F, 1 lesson per week, tournament per weekend, etc...

    the avg adult is either:
    a) working to pay for the above schedule
    b) too busy managing a household (ie. feeding, cleaning, bussing of kids)
    c) catch 22, either they have the $$ but not the time (working!), or don't have the $$ but have the time (not working!!)
    d) don't have the network, that juniors have, to schedule so much tennis (duh all the adults are working!)
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
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  8. Legend of Borg

    Legend of Borg G.O.A.T.

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    isn't that what everyone does?

    we all want our beliefs to be proven right
     
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  9. r2473

    r2473 G.O.A.T.

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    This post is right on the money. All of the other posts in this thread suck.
     
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  10. Legend of Borg

    Legend of Borg G.O.A.T.

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    fair enough

    i think nytennisaddict has the right answer
     
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  11. BallBag

    BallBag New User

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    The 14 year old junior you are describing is an 11 UTR according to this chart. I'm talking about 1 hour group lessons 3 times per week and a tournament once a month. An adult playing on 2 USTA teams probably gets the same amount of court time.
     
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  12. BallBag

    BallBag New User

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    You might be partially right but I've just never seen 12-13 year old who practices 2-3 times per week for 3+ years who sucks. Maybe they just quit after a couple of years and then pop up in USTA 30 years later.
     
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  13. FiReFTW

    FiReFTW Hall of Fame

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    Adults dont suck at learning tennis, MOST adults suck at learning tennis.

    There are several reasons for that

    Its true that for some things particularly motor skills, kids have a big advantage as these things are engrained at an early age and are much harder for adults to improve, however these things do make a difference, but its not a huge difference either, the reason why some kids who play for 6 years are MUCH better than some (most) adults who play for 6 years that are more critical are:

    1.Kids have better coaching and drilling and working on technique, on shots, on drilling shots, on targeting and accuracy, and they do that at least 4-6 times per week with coaches in groups and individualy, at least serious kids playing tennis.

    Tell me OP, realisticaly, how many adults do you know that train 4-6 times per week with a coach individualy and in groups for 2 hours each and do all that drilling, targeting, technique work etc?

    0.001%???

    2.Kids train alot on footwork drills, reaction drills, balance, movement, agility...all that, many times a week.

    Again how many adults do that OP?? Similar to point 1?

    3.Kids listen to coaches and just PLAY and put alot if emphasis on feel and how different things and adjustments make the ball do different things, coaches will teach them the technique with drills.

    To many adults (most) focus on extremely small technical details and at ehat angles the arm is with the forehand and how the arm rotates and all those completely irrelevant things and that severely hampers their development

    4.Most kids with the guidance of the parents have an intent to become better and put all their effort into it and work hard on it and have a clear goal aswell as the coaches who know this.

    99.9% adults just play tennis for playing tennis, for recreation purpose and playing with friends

    5.Those kids in groups all get better and improve and challenge each other more and more hence they keep improving

    Most adults play with frienda of same level or lower constantly

    There are many more points but I think these are by far enough

    On one side you have a person (kid) who trains 4-6 times per week for 2 hours in geoups and individualy with cosches and does all sort of drills and practice, and plays a few matches per week aswell in practice and maybe 1 or 2 real match, works heavily on fitness, footwork, agility, balance etc.. with alot of drills, and he and parents and coaches have a firm goal to improve and become better

    On the other side the average adult does no work on footwork, agility, balance etc... MAY or MAY not play in groups or individualy with coach and drill and practice, and if he does its on average here and there or 1 time per week maybe, also never drills or practices alone and works on serve or whatever.
    Most have no goal to become really good but just play.
    And most of his tennis is playing with friends, most likely at their level or lower.

    So OP tell me, what world or universe do you live in where there wouldnt be a MAJOR difference between the 1st and 2nd player?

    Age has some effect yes, but not as much as some people here think, mostly its all this and more points that i didnt go into because my post is already long.
     
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  14. Kevo

    Kevo Hall of Fame

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    A lot of those kids have been taking lessons multiple times per week since they were 6 or 7. I've coached a few in my time. Coached a kid from when he was about 7 - 11. He took academy lessons on the weekend. Quit coming to me around 11 and only did academy training, but I predicted he would be able to beat me once he grew a bit, maybe by age 14. So if I get a chance to see him again I'll have to challenge him to a set, but probably if he sticks with tennis would end up being college level at about 14-15 years depending on physical growth.

    I saw a 12 year old girl once who practiced almost every day and played tournaments 3 weekends each month roughly. She had one of my former USTA team mates for a hitting partner. I think she was ranked roughly 200 in the US.

    There isn't a single USTA team member that I know of that worked at tennis as much as either one of those kids. Those junior players work hard and get coached a lot.

    So if an adult that was not compromised with health somehow, and similarly athletic, trained as many hours and got similar coaching time as those juniors, then I would imagine their improvements would be relatively similar.
     
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  15. Wooly

    Wooly Rookie

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    if its mikrotiming and learning things by repetition, it´s much easier to learn that as a kid. Same with Skiing, a sport thats nearly impossible to learn right as an adult, as it is so easy to learn it when you are 6 years old. I started learning Tennis when i was 8 Years old, and it was just fun and easy to progress ... then i played not a single game from 19 to 42, then picked up tennis again, and it was still there, after a Year a had most of my game back.
     
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  16. FiReFTW

    FiReFTW Hall of Fame

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    100% true, I dont think most people realize just what kind of work these kids put into tennis, and im also talking off court work aswell.

    A 13yo kid I know trains at the club 4-5times per week in groups and with coach, and he also practices at home a ton with agility, footwork etc drills and also his dad feeding him balls (ex player) and playing with him.

    Another girl 17yo, plays everyday in groups and individualy, and also goes out to hit with a friend almost every day in addition to that. And thats only on court work.

    And then tournaments and match play and all that.

    Most of these serious kids playing tennis will have more tennis mileage in 6 years than most adults in 30 years.

    And the crazy thing is that the mileage that most of those adults have is much inferior, since its only basically playing tennis with friends, no coaching and drilling and practicing or very little.

    While for the kids practice and drilling and fitness work is probably like 90% and the rest is matches.

    It would be quite hard and extremely expensive for an adult to replicate how serious tennis players play and train in their junior years, I doubt theres an adult like that, if not for anything else like huge money, then certainly time would be a problem.
     
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  17. nytennisaddict

    nytennisaddict Legend

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    comes down to practice with intention to improve... alot of adults just do the same crappy 5m warmup, then play sets.
    the avg junior, in a clinic, is getting a high volume of balls, practicing shots they don't liek hitting, making corrections on strokes, etc...
    i know 3.5's on 7 teams... crappy slice strokes,.... he's not making any moves to actually imrpove, despite getting alot of play time.

    all the reasons above... arguably why i still suck (ie. should've invested more in lessons, clinics, <consistent critical feedback>, as a youth).. .instead, i take a few lessons, and DIY/debug myself.
     
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  18. ChaelAZ

    ChaelAZ Hall of Fame

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    Three things:

    Time.
    Fitness.
    Desire to play at more than a casual recreational level.
     
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  19. nytennisaddict

    nytennisaddict Legend

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    +1

    well, our beloved TTPS was/is actively replicating the junior sched (daily 30m lessons, reinforcing lessons learned in practiced 1h daily, usta/tourneys when they come up, etc...)... and he's made significant progress in only a year.
     
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  20. Curious

    Curious Hall of Fame

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    It takes kids 3 years to speak fluent Sweedish in Sweeden. Go and try to learn it now and see what happens! You're not Sweedish, right?
     
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  21. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    No, it is not common to see 12-13 year olds playing at the 4.0-4.5 level. Those are the better juniors. As someone who has coached a little, I can assure you most children are not gifted at tennis and do not naturally play at a high level.

    Most adults tennis players don't train and have limited time to practice. Also, they are more susceptible to injury.

    I think the biggest issue for adult players is that most have habituated bad form and don't want to take the time and step backwards to rebuild proper form.
     
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  22. FiReFTW

    FiReFTW Hall of Fame

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    Thats also true, most of adult rec players you see have quite bad technique on some or most shots.
    The longer someone plays like that the harder it is to break that because its engrained in ur body and automatic, takes many months probably of focused training to really reprogram that.
     
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  23. Bender

    Bender Legend

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    In no particular order:
    • Time
    • Money
    • Inflated ego
    • Stubborn
    Source: these boards
     
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  24. AdrianC

    AdrianC New User

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    A 13yo Vs an adult who have both only had a few lessons or a handful of games, my money is on the adult.

    That said i understand what your saying, i believe much has to do with the bulk of the brain wiring happening early (cant recall tech terms). Secondly the younger body is way more supple allowing them to get into the correct position more easily and hence develop that muscle memory faster. As kids we're playing most of the day, throwing rocks, jumping across streams, running, climbing and general sports which are all coordination builders while adults get up early, go to work and come home exhausted.
     
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  25. BallBag

    BallBag New User

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    The kids that are putting in those kinds of hours are playing at the 4.5 - 5.0 level. I think there might be a misconception about how good juniors are. My only evidence is my own experience playing against juniors and this chart. If you look at the boys 12 sectionals and mens 4.0 bars, they are exactly the same. Those are not the kids that are putting 40 hours a week into tennis.
     
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  26. BallBag

    BallBag New User

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    That's exactly what I'm getting at. We are all here on this forum because we want to get better. I see this other group of players who are spending about the same amount of time with much better results. I want know if there's anything we can learn from them.
     
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  27. heninfan99

    heninfan99 G.O.A.T.

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    I would add that as one ages most become resistant to change and feedback doesn't get through the ego defenses.
     
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  28. FiReFTW

    FiReFTW Hall of Fame

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    Again, maybe they might not be putting 40 hours a week into tennis, but they are certainly putting alot of hours per week still, and not just hitting around, they do specific practice, specific drills, working on technique, working on specific shots, playing against good opponents, have coaching and feedback, working on fitness, agiliy etc...

    And again, 99.9% of rec players don't come close to that, if you went up to most rec players and asked them their weekly tennis schedule, its absolutely horrible compared to that, and even some players who do get up to the same hours or maybe more than these 12 year old kids, a vast majority does nothing else but hit around with friends and play matches.

    You don't vastly improve your tennis game by hitting around and playing matches... you only strenghten your bad habits and technique... do you get better overall in terms of quality of play? sure... you hit thousands of balls and gain match experience.. of course you get better... but its not nearly the same as if you practice, drill, work on stuff, work on fitness... you build a good player no matter what sport in practice and training, not in matches.
     
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  29. zalive

    zalive Hall of Fame

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    That (group of) individuals may be more gifted than you.
    The same group may have been practicing better drills than you do, as well. More time spent duing various drills as well.
    And of course, under a decent coaching (presuming this is the case), they'll never have to fight any acquired bad habits. Learning to do things the right way from the scratch makes them progress faster.
     
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  30. samarai

    samarai Semi-Pro

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    goals are not the same, the kid trains hard because it may lead to a life in tennis or a scholarship to good school. The adult already has a career, gets into tennis to get a little physical and possible find some more drinking buddies. For me
    i really dont want to get much better than my hitting group, then ill have to find new hitting buddies and who wants that stress.
     
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  31. Morch Us

    Morch Us Semi-Pro

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    Have you ever tried to coach a beginner adult (3.0?) Also tried coaching a begginner kid at the same level?

    It is so easy to deal with the kid. No need to frame the right conversations etc. Just say what he is doing wrong/right, give some positive encouragement and practice. The kid will totally accept the coach, even if the coach is wrong, and will put all his effort into following the coach. Also the coach is not usually massaging the words etc to make the kid feel good so that he will come to the next lesson (because it is his parent paying, so kid is going to come in as long as you do coach properly).

    The adult first has to get convinced himself about the coach. So even if the coach points out some big flaw in forehand for example, the adult may not actually have 100% faith in coach (even if he does not express it explicitly). Also coach has to frame his words carefully, and give some easy hitting to fool the adult into coming in for next lesson. If the coach is too hard on the adult, even if that means 100% training targetted at improvement, it maybe an over kill and interest killer for adult, and he may not show up for next class. For example many coaches, mix the lesson with hard part with fun part/confidence part for adults. The fun/confidence part is just feeding easy balls to make the adult hit some good shots to make him feel good. Also probably some "chit-chat" to make him feel good. But these are all time wasted towards "improvement". But obviously there is not going to be improvement if the adult is not going to come to next lesson... also no cash flow for coach.

    Also if you are not careful, you can insult a 3.0 adult pretty bad unknowingly by pointing out his bad technique. But you can never insult a similar level kid doing the same.

    All in all there are so many things going on for an adult, and it is not 100% training time. Only 10% effective training. So you can say the adult gets same amount of training only by spending 10 times the coaching of a kid. (maybe exxaggerated a bit... but you get the point).
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2018
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  32. PMChambers

    PMChambers Hall of Fame

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    Are you sure? There are lots of kids who are useless at sport. Generally you only see or notice the kids who are decent. A lot have poor coordination and mental fortitude. Maybe you just don't notice them..
     
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  33. ptuanminh

    ptuanminh Semi-Pro

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    Kids only suck if they are pushed into doing something they don't like. Adults play tennis because they like doing it but still suck. Also they can't take a criticism fo shizzzzzle.
     
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  34. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Yeah the gap is very enormous (due to declining health, life issues for adults). This gap isn't unlike the difference in vehicle insurance cost between a teen and a 40 years old. It's like 3, 4 times more! LOL

    You're surprised cuz you're still naive. :)
     
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  35. Dan Huben

    Dan Huben Rookie

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    I’m one of those people trying to improve, watch vids, train outside of tennis, etc. I’ve taken lessons from pros that run what I’ve seen to be great clinics for kids but turn into nothing more that a placating basket feeder for me and other adults. Adult clinics are more for overweight adults to feel like they are exercising than anything. If I had the same hands on involvement my trajectory wouldn’t be the same but after 2 full years of eating and breathing tennis I shouldn’t suck.

    Some of it is age and injury and a lot of it is my general unathleticism. But 60% if the time 80% of kids are fat and unathletic too. Their coaching is just better in general because of the interaction.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
     
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  36. bitcoinoperated

    bitcoinoperated Professional

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    Those kids probably get good coaching paid for by parents.

    If a kid isn't good at something they usually don't stick at it very long

    Kids learn in a more instinctual way. Some things just can't be learned after a certain age in the same way eg. try learning a new language. Any technical sport is like this.

    Athleticism declines fast sitting around in offices


    EDIT: there is an amount of legacy stokes too. I'm 34 and the difference in groundstroke technique is huge. Each time it changed I've had to relearn. Kids learned with SW grips, 2hbh and babolats with poly.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2018
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  37. FiReFTW

    FiReFTW Hall of Fame

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    Yeah I think some of the people in this thread should go check some kid training sessions with proper coaching in group and individual lessons to see exactly how hard they work and how many drills and specific things they work on to improve, and also footwork, agility and other things, they seem to not have a clue because they are comparing average rec players.
    I would be suprized if there was 1 adult rec player out of 10.000 that has close to such quality training hours (not just quantity but quality) than these kids.
     
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  38. bitcoinoperated

    bitcoinoperated Professional

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    My experience too. Coaches basket feed laying out adjective praise so people will come back. Like 1% of adults probably want their serve pulled apart and non-functional for months to fix it.
     
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  39. Morch Us

    Morch Us Semi-Pro

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    It is not that bad, coaches usually have an intention to get incremental improvements on adults. But it is true that if you train an average adult like a kid, the chance of he coming back is extremely low. So you cannot blame any coach for making some "presumptions". Usually in the first session itself a good coach will try and make sure, whether he should break his regular "presumptions" about this adult.

     
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  40. tennisjunky

    tennisjunky New User

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    Just couldn't pass up commenting on this.
    The older you get.... the more you will understand.

    In short.... the mind might be strong, but the body lets you down.
     
    #40
  41. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    That's really the whole thread.
     
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  42. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation G.O.A.T.

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    Agree with you and our pal WildVolley. Adults and kids both have plenty of potential to be good or bad at tennis, but kids are more of a blank slate when it comes to learning stronger habits that will help them to play better sooner.

    When I'm working with an adult who wants more than just a brushing up on this or that, I generally try to level with them so that their expectations are realistic. Adults typically start their learning process by unlearning a bad habit ahead of building a better one. Past experience with other sports can sort of "corrupt" the movements of some developing adults, but a number of pursuits can be great for movement and balance. File under "mixed bag" I guess.

    Kids also sometimes need to unlearn bad habits - serving with a semi-western forehand grip is a good one. Without a lot of years under their belts, the kids can also be susceptible to frustration, but it seems to be a different brand of frustration compared with the grown ups. I routinely need to remind the high school kids that I coach to try to appreciate the learning curve they're on after becoming intermediates. After a little work, beginner kids can get a lot better. But after that, it's usually the case where it takes a lot of work to get only a little bit better.
     
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  43. Toby14

    Toby14 Rookie

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    I am an adult who started late and from day one had tennis coaching.

    I talked to my club coaches, and asked them to teach me tennis like they would teach a kid. I told them that I had the time and would like to put in the effort, I had the idea that I would progress faster. At the same time some other friends started to play tennis too, so I had a kind of measurement. My friends also took lessons (clinics) but mostly developed their tennis by them self.

    In the beginning I was almost giving up as my friends progressed much faster than me, and it took me a few years to catch up - more later.

    This is my personal from my journey.

    1. I started playing tennis just like a 7-8 year old kid, being hand feeded, just doing shadow strokes for a long time, playing orange and green balls.

    2. Then slowly progressing and starting to play with yellow balls (normal), but very slowly. Now working on proper footwork together with the stroke (wow that was difficult). ONLY forehand and backhand.

    3. What the coach was doing was building my foundation, and I was not allowed to go out and play tennis outside the coaching sessions.

    4. My coach has build more than 70 national champions, in all age groups and have also coached ATP pros, Davis Cup Team etc. So if I wanted to work with him, I had to do it his way, or he would not work with me. I kind of think that he was using me as a ginnie pig, to se if he could build an adult from the group up. To see if an adult would have the patience.

    5. To see my friends progressing much faster than me was very hard, and made me want to give up many times. I was so bad that they would almost not play with me, even after 2 years of coaching, and they were laughing BIG TIMES. I was kind of wasting my time. But I could see a lot of progression in the coaching session drills, but I could not make this into play (yes I did cheat and went to play with my friends). We all use to be team mates (pro volleyball players) so a lot of competition is going on.

    6. Progressing more, doing more complicated drills, more refined technique, different strokes now slice, volley, overhead. Later approach, dropshots, lob, serve and so on.

    7. My coach later trained me together with the club junior players, and also much stronger adult players. Now doing more match orientated drills.

    8. Friends still laughing, as they would be beating me big time. 3-4 years of training, I had much better strokes than their home made style, I now could blast winners past them, but they would still beat me with a large margin.

    9. I started work with my coach 3 times a week, and played with stronger players 1 time a week. Did not play with my friends for 6 month. Then suddenly I took a big jump, I learned to play 80% being consistant (I had developed good techniques and fundamentals). My coach was now teaching me how to play tennis, shot selections, court positions, how to deal with different opponents etc.

    10. Played with my friends, and suddenly the balance changed, now with a big margin to my side. I had been playing with stronger players 4.5 and up, so I was getting used to heavy balls. I realized that my friends did not have any weapons that could hurt me, and I could just play consistant 70-80 % and out power them. It took 5 years and a lot of coaching !! Yes I realize that I could be very slow :) and not very talented.

    11. My friends are now taking a lot of lessons (clinics), but they dont seem to progress very much. I guess they dont have the fundamentals to build upon, and have to unlearn old strokes.

    12. I am still progressing, and it is amazing that in my mid 50, I am still progressing a lot. Now I see that the key element for me is not so much technique anymore, but fitness and being injury free. Understanding match play and playing different opponents is still a big learning curve for me. A few years back I looked at some of my club players, and if I would ever be a good as them I would be very happy. Now I an passing them, can't really believe this, but they seem to still be on the same level (still plays really good tennis)

    My conclusions:

    - Adults for most parts, dont have the proper fundamentals to build upon (unless they were good junior players). Unlearning an old stroke takes way longer than just building a stroke from the ground up. Then put footwork on top of that. BUT it is possible IMO.

    - Kids learn faster, I must admit that they get it faster, they develop faster. Age matters.

    - IMO if we are talking top national junior players, the breaking point for boys are around 13. They pass me at age 13, difficult to handle but that is my experience. I have more power, but they just roll tha ball back. At 14 not many 5.0 players can keep up - that is just fact of life.


    Cheers, Toby
     
    #43
  44. BallBag

    BallBag New User

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2018
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    74
    That is really interesting and kudos to you for sticking with it. Do you have videos of your progress over the years? What is your current level if you play league or tournaments? Are you still taking lessons from the same pro?
     
    #44
  45. FiReFTW

    FiReFTW Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2016
    Messages:
    2,364
    Amazing post, great job!

    I also agree that you need to learn solid fundamentals and technique and not rush into match play because you just make those bad fundamentals a habit then.
     
    #45
  46. nytennisaddict

    nytennisaddict Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    Messages:
    7,834
    here's another interesting stat... (from using my sony sensor)
    when i drill, i hit ~600 balls per hour (bph)
    when i play dubs, i hit ~150 balls per hour (bph)
    so for all you dubs-only players, your progressing at 1/4 the rate of someone who actually practices.... which is fine...
    but can't compare a dub-only-player who's played for 10y, to a junior who's drill all-the-time-2x-day-for-2-hours-each.
    so 2000bph vs. 300bph... that's 7x improvement rate.

    i'm completely ignoring the fact that a junior is getting constant feedback on like every shot (technique, tactics, strategy, etc...), when they are in a clinic. as well as hitting alot more stretch shots (ie. they are not just rallying from 2ft from the center hash)
     
    #46
  47. ubercat

    ubercat Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2017
    Messages:
    152
    I m reminded of this scratch game I had. Our social League was all messed up and they put me on with a beginner for a hit. He was shanking every which way. Had all these complicated theories. I suggested he just concentrate on watching the ball. By the end of an hour's hitting he d improved an easy 20 %

    I'm a great coach for beginners because I've made every mistake they make and then some.
     
    #47
  48. kramer woodie

    kramer woodie Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Messages:
    792
    I have found with adults, that they develop bad technique over the years, that dominates their strokes. Just today, I ask a middle age woman
    to shut off her brain and just feel how the body natural moves without trying to hit with spin or power. Just feel how the body natural wants
    to move. While, she managed to do this a little bit and with coaxing found her natural forehand swing. She quit squeezing the grip, relaxed
    the wrist, got her elbow up and away from her side. She was hitting more pace, more depth, more spin, with less effort. The racquet head was
    coming around faster with less muscle effort. The wrist was not actuated to produce spin or power. She rallied with a partner as I stood behind
    her and did a running commentary on her incorrect or correct technique. At the end of the rally I asked her what she thought and felt. She
    said some of her shots were effortless and she could feel the racquet head accelerate and do the work instead of her trying to muscle the
    ball.

    Now come the 64,000 dollar response, she said, "I will have to practice this". Well knowing her. she won't, she will get to busy playing for
    points and games and totally revert back to her bad form. Elbow in against side, lock wrist , and a tight grip. O well I won't give up on her.

    Her rally partner ask me how she could practice the same thing. I said, practice at home in very very slow motion your bodies natural
    movement without your brain telling your body what to do. I placed my hand over her's got her to relax and moved the racquet for her with
    her hand on the grip several times. Then had her shadow swing the same way by herself several times. She got the basic forehand technique.
    With more confidence she thought she could replicate what she felt. Told her to go home and practice Tai Chi shadow swing feeling how her
    body works naturally. Just slow, slower, and slowest feeling natural movement.

    Aloha
     
    treblings likes this.
    #48
  49. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    Mar 24, 2008
    Messages:
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    i really like your post. i see myself very often doing the same thing with adult players.
    unfortunately most people will not be able to practice these things on their own and make them habitual.
    which is why i almost hate to give tips without being able to work with players on a regular basis.
    Giving tips makes you look good and knowledgeable but the player will rarely be able to improve on tips alone.

    many adults rely on their strength and won´t allow the swing to happen naturally and let the racquet do the work.

    i´ve been working with a middle-aged lady who found it very hard to relax and swing the racquet.
    about six months ago she developed a case of tennis elbow. since she is very strong-minded, she decided to keep on playing
    with a brace.
    Something very interesting happened, she has improved considerably though playing less.
    She is concentrating on things she hasn´t concentrated before. Basic things like relax the grip, find the correct contact point and let the racquet do the work.
    and... she gets instant feedback(pain in the elbow) if she doesn´t do things correcty.

    She also gets feedback from her friends who tell her that her form looks much better now.
     
    #49
  50. FiReFTW

    FiReFTW Hall of Fame

    Joined:
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    2,364
    Theres also one big problem with adult players who start tennis, they start playing points and matches and 99% of what they do is play matches and points.

    Most people don't watch youtube videos or read articles or have any coaching, so they have poor technique and they keep playing with the poor technique in matches and it starts to become a part of their body and automatic, which is very hard to change later down the road.

    And some people who do have some coaching or something similar where they get to learn some technique or some fundamentals, they have a problem that @kramer woodie and @treblings said, they go to a lesson and learn something and then they leave the lesson and start playing matches again.

    You can not learn new things and improve your fundamentals and technique like that, in order to do it you need to practice those fundamentals and technique.. whether by non stop coaching, or by 1 lesson with a coach where you learn it and then you go work on it alone for weeks.

    Until you have a solid base and solid technique with solid fundamentals, playing alot of matches is a horrible idea and will lead to poor technique and the body learning poor technique, thats why when kids start training tennis, most of their tennis for a big part of the early development is practice and drills, very little matches, matches start to become more and more prominent once the kid has all the fundamentals in place.

    But sadly people (adults) don't want to waste time with such nonsense, so they just keep playing matches because thats fun, so they develop poor habits and poor technique and fundamentals, and will always be stuck at x level.
     
    ubercat, kramer woodie and treblings like this.
    #50

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