More About The Split Step & Lifting Up
Although it is a consensus between conventional tennis teachers and tennis commentators that you should stay down through the shot as if you were sitting on a toilet, Oscar believes that it is a "very damaging myth indeed".
Here I would like to offer my own opinion.
Firsst, I suggesst observing the pros and you will see that they do lift through the stroke, whether it be a serve, volley or groundstroke, especially John McEnroe, the master of lift.
Perhaps there is some misunderstanding about this entire idea of the split-step and the lift...I was originally taught the conventional method IE: bend the knees, get down on the ball, turn sideways, get the racquet back early and hit through the ball finishing in the direction of the shot. I became pretty adept at playing tennis this way. I even won a high percentage of my matches. I believed that my losses were atributable to unforced errors and mental weakness. I developed severe tennis elbow and was dependent on an arm brace for 3 years after having to take off half a year from tennis altogether.
Then I met Oscar Wegner.
Conventional tennis methodology demands that beginners must learn a different technique initially then gradually transition into more professional techniques. This requires learning one set of moves, then "unlearning" them to be replaced with those of the pros. Oscar's entire teaching method is centered around playing like the pros from the get-go. At first I was shocked and almost offended by this idea. Oscar demonstrated a modification on almost every movement I made, from stance to grip to ready position to groundstrokes, volleys and serve. He pointed out that when I moved around the court without considering footwork I was fluid and reached the ball gracefully, but when I put attention on my feet with conventional techniques my shots became mechanical, less natural and accurate. He noticed that I had an arm brace on and suggested 5 admustments to alleviate my tennis elbow. I went away stunned and skeptical. Nevertheless, I began to apply his techniques and my shots quickly improved. One day I decided to play without my arm brace and to my delight I was pain-free after 2 hours of hitting. Best of all I am enjoying tennis instead of constantly feeling frustrated because when I do make an error I know what to work on to correct it with attention to a few simple techniques.
I came to realize that amateur tennis players are for the most part very talented, graceful natural athletes who know instinctively how to move around the court and hit the ball. Most problems, including injuries to the knees, hips, elbows and shoulders, occur from struggling to learn and master unnatural moves. It is amazing to consider how well people play (and win matches) controlling their bodies with these non-pro moves, and from this I have gained a greater respect for them. I only wish they would drop those restrictive movements and experience the freedom to play like the pros do, realizing even greater success and more fun in the process.
With Oscar's method we teach beginners and even the youngest children to use the same techniqeus as the pros right from the start, which allows them to experience long rallies and play with control immediately . With intermediate and advanced players the emphasis is on unlearning conventional moves which have restricted the player; the results are immediate and very liberating, as many players have attested here on the tennis w forum. People around the globe have either taken up tennis or improved their game tremendously with this method, and whether they know it or not most of the pros and aspiring juniors around the world are employing Oscar's methodology. For those of us who played conventional tennis for a long time the process may take a little longer, but it is well worth the effort for those who are willing to make some changes.
In my estimation the best part of Oscar's method is that it allows for the individiuality and self-determinism of each person, no matter what the age or ability level of the player. The uniqueness of each person is respected and honored, while at the same time offering logical, demonstrable data and encouragement to continually improve and really enjoy the wonderful game of tennis.