I have already made some points about OW's advice about tennis elbow on other threads, so now I'd like to concentrate on the "racquet research" site info.
I have already made some points about OW's advice about tennis elbow on other threads, so now I'd like to concentrate on the "racquet research" site info.
Lucy, Caught on from your other threads that you were at Indian Wells. I was in the neighborhood also staying at the Desert Springs Marriott for the weekend! Got to play a little tennis on the grass courts there-first time for me. Weather was glorious wasn't it?
I wasn't in Indian Wells, but I did check the results on USTA Tennislink (advanced drilldown). Lucky puppy anyone who was there. Let us know your impressions!
I used to like large grips, but on Oscars advice went to a smaller size when I bought my new racquet. It did not take long to get used to it and really like it. My old racquets now feel like I am gripping a telephone pole! I try to relax my grip even on a hard 1st serve. I have really shortened my back swing and try to finish over the shoulder. I do it fine in practice, but have trouble in a doubles match. Old habits die hard!
Sounds like a lot of you'll are in CA. Indian Wells is a great place. Looking forward to going there in March for the tournament.
Tennislucy - How is the racket testing going? Samller grip is a good idea. When you are looking at rackets look at the string pattern. Something else to consider is the string pattern of the rackets. The more dense the pattern.... it is the more control, less dense is more power (trampoline effect). Weight is the fun thing. You want to get what you can handle effectively. If it's to heavy it want work well and your arm will be sore. I personally play with very balane rackets, maily for my style of play...serve & volleyer. That type of racket is more effective for me (and feels good) when I need to move my hand around quickly at the net. If I was a baseliner, I would want a slightly heavy racket (head heavy). Hope this helps.
Cannondale - How's the new grip coming?
So far I seem to prefer the slightly head-heavy small grip. I get more whip action on my forehand and can hold the racquet looser with more control. The other thing that is proving important is being able to adjust from one grip position to another smoothly ie: continental on serve and volleys and eastern on foreohand groundstroke. The backhand depends if I go one or two handed, but in either case I am letting the grip rotate in my right hand to position the butt toward the ball (I am right-handed). The small grip definitely feels more comfortable and learning to let go of the death grip and be loose really makes a huge difference in having the racquet follow behind the hand and not feel elbow pain.
I agree that smaller grip is the way to go so you can easily make a grip change. You can only image how many folks I see hold on with a "death grip". That's one of first things that goes.
Now that you have discribe a bit of what you like racket wise it's not so tough. In general, Wilson rackets are head heavy (Hammer or PWS is what that use to call it. I'm with Head so I'm not that up on Wilson product at the moment). But, it is really easier to add a bit of lead tape to any racket to adjust any racket to suit your needs. But once you get something your happy with I would have 2/3 of them in my bag especially since you play a lot (I notice your USTA leagues posting). Do you have a tennis shop you like to go to?
Hi everyone, Been busy teaching so haven't had time to get on the net. Tennisparent apparently figured out who I am. I couldn't remember my login so I got a new name now that I'm in SoCal to get on this forum. Tennislucy, I find your passion contagious. Also, Tennisparent, it's time for us to meet now that somehow we wind up so close to each other. I have something special for you to consider besides my offer below.
It's time you can observe in person the magic of MTM by a certified coach and tell others what you saw in person. The fact I moved near you means it's time. I had no idea when we corresponded this would happen or that you would suddenly come into the forum right after me when I hadn't been on in eons. Something is drawing us together and your daughters and the game of tennis will be the beneficiary, I believe. Let me know when you are ready. Please check out my website if you haven't seen it recently. I hope you remember my name (www.ez-tennis.com). I just want to offer to help as I did via our long distance correspondence. Let's clear up any misconceptions once and for all.
I coach high performance players in Irvine a couple days a week and they are all enjoying MTM immensely. I coach a few Beckman High School kids in a weekly clinic (with respect to their personal coaches, most who are very modern) who are improving so fast their young team is going to be a pleasant surprise. I was teaching a national World Team Tennis clinic this weekend with players from Kansas City and San Diego mostly. I was explaining that the serve is somewhat like Rambo cutting a throat (from right to left) with the blade representing the edge. Everyone thought I was crazy until they tried it and then when they started serving better using their edge like a blade going across to the right; they got instant "feel" results and the ball was kicking and spinning like never before. They were all laughing but they all were suddenly serving better, lol.
Glad to hear everyone is using smaller grips. Federer uses a smaller one than many of the juniors I come across.
Cannondale - Glad to here things are going well with it. Happy to here you are having fun playing doubles.
I see your flames not about oscar but his followers and to me it's right, there are a thousand ways to learn tennis, one may be hard for someone while easy for someone else. If tennis is so easily learned that everyone can start enjoying it very early (kinda like badminton) the industry saying "grow the game" would have a little rest and peace of mind, but that's only IF.
I am a "proponent" of the Wegner Method. I still find it the best way to get everyone to play naturally. What makes MTM so different? First, it's simple to follow and based on a very exact learning gradient. Each step builds the skill that leads to the next part of their natural swing. I do know this: regardless of who I watch teach, the minute I see a closed stance forehand being taught to a beginner, or if I see them thinking about putting their left foot forward I know they have been "set" back. It is my experience after 24 years studying/teaching that their tennis development is impaired by teaching mechanical footwork and the left foot forward is a killer for beginners unless they are gifted. A coach recently told me he disagrees with Oscar's idea that you can't teach a closed stance forehand. There are many misconceptions about Oscar's ideas. I told him Oscar has never said that. If fact, Oscar's 1989 book where he first laid out the "myths" of tennis teaching has a walking drill where they are sideways to the net. Oscar teaches footwork through drills and first teaches independence of the arms to swing freely from the body before he ever would draw attention to the feet. I do know this also: quit teaching footwork and teach them to find the ball moving naturally and they hit better with natural efficient looking footwork.
Second, MTM allows each student to develop their own natural instinctive swing. MTM has a built-in timing mechanism that is discoverable by each student based on their own personal way of "finding" the ball and allowing their body to move naturally. Example: I recently had a coach skeptical of my claims about MTM helping everyone tell me his student set up perfectly for every shot and was in the perfect position for the perfect "hitting zone" as Nick Saviano recently wrote about (disagree with Saviano). He asked me why his student could not run down difficult balls and only hit slower shots with such "perfect" form. I asked the student to hit some balls. I then told his coach, "That's the problem, he sets up perfectly for every ball." This is where Oscar's theories really differ from USTA teaching methods. Coaches normally instruct to set up and stroke in order to get the racquet into the perfect hitting zone. This is the number one problem with USPTA/PTR tennis teaching as I see it, even for those who teach the "modern game" as Brett Hobden calls it but Brett also complicates it too much (besides copying Oscar's stuff and rewording it). I followed Yandell for years and thought his Visual Tennis one of the best books ever written on tennis and think his Advanced Tennis Project one of the ten greatest developments in history of teaching tennis but I had bet on Yandell against Oscar's "weird" theories that tennis was played by feel and instinct by the "spirit" (or whatever you want to call it) despite knowing the "zone" was not part of the concious mind (Inner Game of Tennis in 1974).
Anyway, I asked the boy to not worry about his "position" and had him focus on how to "find" the ball. "Finding the ball" is the most important skill in tennis; even Ajay Pant, a PTR Master Pro, USPTA P1, who worked with Agassi (on his serve) and who worked with a team of coaches helping Amanda Coetzer at her peak, told everyone at my last PTR workshop it was the most important skill. "Find" is one of those simple magical feely words that makes people play better instantly. It is my experience the word "find" reaches students in some magical way, whether they are age 4 or 84. Ajay and I once had a discussion on what was wrong with Venus' serve at the time and we both literally blurted out at the same time "she could not find the ball due to too much motion in her swing." Venus would later correct this flaw and win another Grand Slam shortly thereafter.
I had the kid with the perfect "setup" focus on finding the ball and allowing his body to react instinctively, by having him "wait" longer before he started his swing, and gave him permission to move away and lift up to give himself more time and space to not only "find" the ball, but allow his arm to accelerate as he moved away from the ball after striking it. This kid figured it out in a couple minutes, and his coach suddenly saw the effect of my telling him to "wait longer" to strike the ball, and now the kid's instincts took over and he lifted off the ground more and more exactly like the pros and then I added (on a gradient, of course) "swing more right to left, pulling your body from the right as you "find" the ball and move to the left as you finish" and now the kid was liberated from what I call SPT (as opposed to STD, lol), Standard Positional Tennis which I feel is one of the worst things taught in tennis today, even by many who claim to teach modern.
Anyway, I hope this helps explain Oscar's MTM. I and some other coaches are documenting before and after videos showing how Oscar's MTM instantly gets results. Oscar will be back in SoCal Nov 30 through Dec 10 and stay tuned for proof that MTM is the best way to teach tennis if you want results quickly. One of our local older (53 or so) students who taught as an assistant tennis coach for some very "famous" pros took a one hour lesson in MTM and said he learned more in one hour of MTM than he thought possible. He even gave us permission to use the quote on my website. He also gave me the correct paradigm to see why Oscar's MTM works across the board, he called it "organic" more than modern. It's not about changing your swing. It's about generating the most power with the least effort using a person's natural instincts and their given amount of athleticism. I make the argument that using MTM correctly, tennis is as easy as badminton, and millions more will play the game.
There are many myths about Oscar's claims, partly because coaches like Larry Passos made sure Oscar never got credit for developing Kuerten eight years before Larry got him and Guga was already a world ranked top junior. I used to believe that large Tennis magazine Guga biography article that consciously never mentioned Oscar Wegner about how Passos supposedly discovered Guga. I note Guga was 6' tall in the pic with Oscar on the website. Passos discovered Guga my a..! I note Guga gave Oscar a nice testimony for his 2006 book. Tennis Magazine misrepresented the truth as I have heard from Brazilians who confirmed the real truth which I know Oscar has never misrepresented.
Tennis coaches are protective. Macci wants to claim credit for the Williams Sisters (and others) when the truth is he didn't even advocate and discouraged an open stance backhand which the Williams Sisters developed from watching Oscar's videos before Richard brought them there when Venus was 12. I have Macci in 2006 on a USPTA DVD stating "it's all right if you hit an open stance 2H BH, we don't discourage it..," I'm glad he finally gave permission to teach it when it's used by every top player as their staple, lol. I followed Macci, Landsdorp, Braden, Groppell, Yandell, for years, even word for word, and yet tennis continued to die off as well as our USA top rankings. If these so called great Teaching Pros in the USA are such great teachers, where are the great USA juniors breaking through? Serbia has four of the top eight players in the world. Thank goodness Donald Young plays totally modern with his "hands" and hits across the ball. I talked with Pete Fisher (Sampras' boyhood coach) recently and he told me this his secret to developing Sampraswas to let him play naturally (Pete was a doctor who understood how the body worked). I find Fisher's serving methodology (it's based on a javelin throw) he taught to Sampras as brilliant for teaching the advanced serve as I find Oscar's MTM.
Revolutionaries are often not recognized until it's too late. Oscar didn't have someone put a million dollars behind him like Nicky B had to start the Bolletieri Academy. I have Nicky B's "Tennis for Kids" video transcribed in print. It came out in the same time frame as Oscar's first book but could not be more different. I challenge anyone to find a claim in Oscar's self published 1989 book that has been proven wrong. Nick was totally conventional until he observed Jimmy Arias (whose doctor coach was influenced by Oscar) and then was one of first USA coaches to teach the modern finish (plus they all read Oscar's book even if they don't admit it). Nick at least got the idea of tennis must be fun right but even making tennis fun does not mean they keep wanting to play tennis. Millions exposed every year but we don't retain them. Why? I claim Oscar's right; tennis must be made simple to play, simple to learn, like badminton. Even Oscar's '89 prophecy about California turned out to be true. Oscar had to go around at tennis tournaments and sell personally to coaches and parents such as Mary Pierce's father. Not until Bud Collins discovered Oscar's ideas spreading through Russian coaching circles in the early 1990s did Bud then feel compelled to challenge Oscar with a total group of beginners to prove his "Tennis in 2 Hours" claim. Bud was so impressed by the "experiment" he had the foresight to see this was the future of tennis; that the Spanish junior Davis Cup Captain he first witnessed in 1973 had the key to growing tennis.
I now market MTM as EZ-Tennis, "We Start'em Like the Pros...so you can finish them". "You" refers to other coaches. I can teach tennis one hundred ways, but if I follow the "organic" way of playing naturally according to Oscar Wegner, they all develop faster in my experience than through any other method. I've never had one student not tell me this was an easier way to hit the ball. I hope I've answered your questions, especially about "IF".
Thanks for responding to my message. Yes you have answered my questions. The ridiculous thing that I find about our industry or atleast where I work is that the customers are given whatever they want... fun, games whatever but tennis improvement. Programs are more and more geared towards combining equal ability level players and creating some fun atmosphere, well what about making a 1.5 NTRP better so that he or she can rally from the baseline, play out points with serve, keep a net rally going. It gets to a point where it makes me think that I should look for another profession. I have ordered the package of tennisteacher.com, I am not sure if MTM is the same thing. Hey if you dont mind you can give me your e mail address and we can communicate through e mails.