Cannondale - Glad to here things are going well with it. Happy to here you are having fun playing doubles.
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.
Glad to help. I could not resist given Oscar has been under attack and I was told to stay away from him and I am just now getting over my anger at Braden telling me "I am skeptical of his claims and we believe Oscar will be proven wrong" or words to that effect in the early 1990s at a USPTA conference. I tried teaching every method I could find until I tested MTM data myself and saw it worked for everyone, even conventional players, not that I recommend everyone switch to it, if you have good game conventionally, more power to you, but that is the exception, and no pro player plays conventionally today because it's very inefficient to move that way.
My email address is email@example.com. My website is www.ez-tennis.com. Feel free to write me. MTM is the acronym for the formal name "The Wegner Method, Play Like the Pros, Modern Tennis Methodology." When I first met Oscar, I told him he needed to quit marketing the Wegner Method, made it sound like just another method when it's the foundational method for all successful teaching methods, at least in my experience. Violate his precepts, and you most likely are not playing your best. I've seen him personally teach satellite tour players to 4 year olds. One college girl in Newport Beach took a week's worth of lessons from Oscar and jumped instantly from number 6 to beating everyone above her for number 2 spot and suddenly was splitting evenly with the number one player. I think it sad when people come to me who are playing 3.0 or 3.5 after seven years of play and taking lessons for many years. Your point is well taken. People pay for lessons and never get better far too often. I guarantee instant results or you don't pay. And the expectations my students referred to me have are very high, given the loyalty MTM students have, and why wouldnt' they get excited, given nothing else in tennis teaching has paid off like MTM. Oscar has two new DVDs coming out this week, one of them with coaching drills and how to coach a professional player. Stay tuned.
I can take an average athlete who is a total beginner and often (not rarely) turn them into 4.0 strokes in often a matter of hours. Sometimes I get 4.0 strokes in less than four lessons. I claim anyone who teaches MTM properly gets the same results Oscar claims, everyone gets better unless they are playing according to these precepts already. Whatever the USTA is doing to grow tennis, it has yet to work. So we better find a way to make tennis simple to learn? Does anyone else know any better way? I'll dedicate my website to promoting them. All these great teachers at the US Open conferences all claimed what success they all have in growing the game of tennis locally and yet tennis does not grow in the USA while it booms around the world. The growth of tennis in SoCal is fueled by mostly immigrants taking up the game en masse and I do expect the next USTA numbers to finally show a slight increase due to the fact more modern tennis is finally being taught. I know of a top USTA official who recently cited as an example of of "growth" in tennis was that of the "traditional" sports, tennis was the only one not showing a decrease. Talk about twisting statistics.