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  1. #31
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    Second layer would be in depth descriptions, recommedations, and advices from someone who experienced this process himself.
    I was with the tennis player from the time she was 6 year old to WTA ranking, and have more than 6,000 pages of written material where are written all practices, observations.It is going to be very useful material for anyone who undertakes this adventure.
    I am working on my membership site where I would put all this data, experiences, observations.They will serve as a pointer for someone who is on the same path because I will describe what I did in certain phase, what I did not, and I should etc.

  2. #32
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    This my mebership site will answer what,when, why, and describe certain interesting (whether positive or negative) situations during this process.So one will be able to learn a lot from my positive, and negative actions.
    I will give example:If you see that a player has not good coordination (which is 80-90% genetic) do not go too serious.At the same time if a child is physically coordinated to see if he has some extras you will have to wait little bit, and see if his game has one or more of these aspects:

    - a great playing style,
    - mental toughness,
    - confidence,
    - court sense and creativity,
    - stamina,
    - indomitatable will to win

    These are common denominators of future stardom in the pros.



    Next layer are strategic decisions.One must decide for example which grip for which shot, what style of play, what muscle are taxed the most during the play, how to go about psychological development etc.

    Here I am going to answer Rchen83 private message which Tennis Angel made public who asks, "Is it better western or semi-western grip for forehand?"

    As I already explained (the girl who was Orange Ball champion in 14 and under, and could not have adequate professional career, second example can be Swede Stefan Edberg who had to retire early because of the same problem) all whose coaches as players used one grip for all , and did not see tennis evolution, and taught their proteges the same thing suffered greatly.Evolution came about because of change in power, and surface (three of four Grand Salm tournaments used to be played on grass).In today¨s tennis grips that can be used for forehand are western forehand grip and semi western forehand grip.
    Both grips enable:

    - proper position of the racquet face in a relation to a tennis ball at the moment of impact
    - distance of the racquet in relation to the player
    - technique of the shot
    In other word both grips are well suited to hit modern forehand.

    On the other hand semi western has advantages over western:

    - it is easier on law balls, balls on the rise, half volleyes
    - one needs less time to move from semi-western to any other grip than what would be the case with western (one of the examples for this would be playing drop shot.Neither western nor semi- western are well suited for drop shot;so it must be at least eastern forehand - it is easier to turn from semi- western to eastern than from western to eastern)
    - once one decides on grips of particular shots is that all grips are as close as possible (so that muscles are in fewer positions, and consequently they are stronger in each of position )

    So my favor is semi - western grip for forehand.

    One has to make quality strategic decisions.Quality strategic descision are the ones which will enable player to grow in every aspect of his game.This has to be made at the start for the future.The same as Constitution - less amandements better Constituion.
    Last edited by Bubo; 05-11-2009 at 01:31 PM.

  3. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Bubo View Post
    I thought that if somebody sends me private message that it means that I am the only who can read it, but it seems that I am wrong because private message I received by Rchen83 was read by Tennis Angel, too.How come?I do not know, and this si definately issue John has to take care of.
    Bubo, I don't know what you are talking about here. I did not read any private message. My post was in response to rchen's question at the top of page 2 of this thread "Since you mentioned tennis grips, let me ask you for your opinion on the western grip (for the tenth time in these forums? I hope people don't ban me from asking the question again). "
    Last edited by Tennis Angel; 05-09-2009 at 11:31 PM.
    How good can your game get? You too can play like the Pros with The Wegner Method.
    Discuss The Wegner Method here at TW in the MTM forum or visit www.tennisteacher.com for more info.

  4. #34
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    I am sorry Tennis Angel.Now, I see that I was wrong.Your post in timing and subject matter coincided with private message I received, and under these circumstances I made wrong conclusion.

  5. #35
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    Next layer is implementation on the court.Tennis coach must:
    - know the subject matter
    - be able to teach it and
    - be willing and have patience to teach it.

    I will take just one segment out of numerous segments that they exist, and are related.
    Let¨s take grip for forehand.As I emphasize many times it is very important to learn proper grip for each stroke, and the best possible grip/shot combination overall.
    Tennis coach once that he decided that his player will use semi-western grip for forehand topspin stroke must teach it(part of a palm below little finger placed on the back bottom bevel of octagonal racket butt)
    Generally, tennis coach will teach his player first eastern forehand, and once that he notices that player is in control will progress to semi western.It is important that this transition is neither too soon nor too late.Too soon will add to complexity of teaching, and too late will make it harder for player to learn because he will get used to playing forehand using eastern forehand grip.
    In this implementation phase a coach will make numerous similar decisions.This is why emphasized all these prerequisites one has to meet to be quality tennis coach, and be able to meet all these demands.
    Last edited by Bubo; 05-11-2009 at 01:34 PM.

  6. #36
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    I would like to continue, and conclude this first phase of coaching talented children whose parents have high ambitions.This is period from (there is really not lower limit when to start - at the beginning of course not with tennis, but all the other things are very helpful because they show their importance later on)4-5 tio 7 years old.All coach/parent does with a child it is going to manifest later on.When is so early beginning then there is enough time if one has plan so that everything is done with less as possible stress.So in this first period is important:

    - objectively recognize if child is coordinated enough
    - teach child as more as possible new movements
    - work on physical capabilities in accordance with child¨s biological age
    - play games which develop basic things for tennis such as :teach child that catch or touch a ball not with hand, but whole body so he has to move to come to a ball not just reach for a ball, teach child to do two different actions or movement at the same time etc.
    - transfer these basic mechanics to tennis court.Observe movement not result.In my opinion at this phase it would be the best these kind of rackets one put hand in it (so it does not have to worry about grip).It is important that child react to ball, move , an uses body mechanics which in years to come become essence of tennis strokes.

    Through all this time is important that child enjoys and have fun.Parent/coach should observe everything objectively, and do some additional exercise where he can notice that it is necessary.
    This is very important because one day player will be as good as his weakest link.

    Here, both coach and parents have to haves a lot of patients, and mutual trust, and believe what they are doing is the best for the child in the furture.There are a lot of disturbances around tennis court, and one has to have self confidence and devotion to long term goals.
    Last edited by Bubo; 05-12-2009 at 10:58 AM.

  7. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Bubo View Post

    - teach child as more as possible new movements
    - work on physical capabilities in accordance with child¨s biological age
    - play games which develop basic things for tennis such as :teach child that catch or touch a ball not with hand, but whole body so he has to move to come to a ball not just reach for a ball, teach child to do two different actions or movement at the same time etc.
    - transfer these basic mechanics to tennis court.Observe movement not result.In my opinion at this phase it would be the best these kind of rackets one put hand in it (so it does not have to worry about grip).It is important that child react to ball, move , an uses body mechanics which in years to come become essence of tennis strokes.
    these are some great tips

  8. #38
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    In this first phase (age 4-5 to 7 years old) one does not concentrate on tennis;it concentrates that a child has fun, develop child¨s love for the game, but at the same time developing child¨s physical capabilities, and general body mechanics (body mechanics for throwing, and catching) which will later on easily be tranferred to body mechanics for forehand and backhand stroke, and serve.

    One may argue that this is way to slow.It is not, but one (coach/parent) has to have patience and confidence that he does right thing in spite of tennis environment which will send opposite signals;you are not trying to get the best player under 10 or 12 years old - you are trying to prepare a child as good as possible for challenges of professional tennis.
    Here, I am going to give two examples:
    Marina Hingis - I read that she started to play tennis when she was 2 years old, and she played her first tournament when she was 4 years old.I do not know if this is true or not, but I know one girl from where I am from who started to play when she was 4 years old, and she played her first tournament when she was 6 year old (right away in conpetition 14 and under)This girl was very good early on, and later on girls who started much later caught up, and by the time she was 16 she finished her playing career.

    What these two examples have in common?Hingis was very best world class player , and this girl had best results in competition 14 and under.Very much.Both girls started to play tennis very early, both girls played too much tennis very early (I coached one girl on one very good tournament in 1990 in Italy who was 14 years old, and in quater final bit Hingis in three sets who was 10 years old at the time), and both had too much pressure because very early they were far better than their age group, and they both retired too early because of this pressure.
    There is one more thing which they have in common:both were coached by their parents, but this girl father never played tennis before so here is huge difference too.

    Connected with these two examples is psychological aspect of the sport of tennis.Tennis as a sport is very psycologically demanding, furthermore because it is individual sport.Because of this fact is important to minimise this pressure as much as possible.In this phase both coach and parent can do it by teaching a child that loosing and winning are both parts of the game (through different games), and keeping a child in the group (at the beginning larger group) so that does not feel isolated right away.
    As one has to develop child¨s physical capabilities, it is also important to develop child¨ psychological aspect.A child has to learn to respect, and be respected because this is the only way one day will develop in confident person what is very important for the life on and off the court.
    Last edited by Bubo; 05-16-2009 at 08:20 AM.

  9. #39
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    Before I continue with next phase of a child development on the way to become professional tennis player, I would like to emphasize once more the complexity of tennis as a sport.
    Intentionally, I say sport in comparison to game.The main difference between the two is that sport except tennis skills necessary for this sport demands adequate physical capabilities too.Tennis technique if properly taught can be developed whole life, but tennis performace on a tennis court is limited by physical capabilities.Tennis performnce diminishes as human capabilities diminish.Today I can execute any of the tennis shots better than ever, but my performance is uncomparable to the performance I used to have when I competed actively.
    Game is competition where physical capabilities do not play such a role in skill execution.

    As always there were exceptions (although not these days) which just confirm the rule.One for sure was Ken Rosewall who at 42 played Wimbledon final.
    Last edited by Bubo; 05-21-2009 at 01:32 PM.

  10. #40
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    Tennis as any other sport when performed by stars seems so simple, but actually is quite complex.I elaborate its complexity through objective criterions by which all sports can be compared: such as the structure of the movements, type of competition, amount and type of contact, motor ability most stressed, use of equipment or apparatus, degree of standardization of exercises, and method of comparing results.

    The structure of the movements
    Under this criteria sports are divided to:
    Cyclic – such as running, rowing,cycling where movements are rhythmically repeated
    Acyclic – such as gymnastics, wrestling, boxing, and all ball sports where each movement is performed one at a time and followed by different movements
    Mixed - such as long jump and high jump, have cyclic phase (pre-run)and an acyclic phase (jump)
    Tennis is mostly acyclic sport, but have mixed components too;run to reach drop shot (cyclic) and impact (acyclic)

  11. #41
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    Type of Competition
    Under this criterion sports are divided to:
    Individual encounter sports – such as: boxing,tennis, wrestling where the contest is between only two individuals
    Team encounter sports – football, basketball, hockey where the contest is between two groups of indivudals (two teams)

    Type and Amount of Contact
    Under this criterion sports are divided to:
    Contact sports permit physical contact (hockey, football), or are based on physical contact (wrestling, boxing)
    Non-contact – such as tennis, races,gymnastics where athletes try to out-perform each other without physical contact, competing simultaneously or consecutively


    Use of Equipment or Apparatus
    Under this criterion sports are divided to:
    Sports that use additional equipment – such as baseball, fencing , tennis
    Sports that do not use additional equipment but own body parts instead – such as basketball, football, soccer
    Last edited by Bubo; 05-17-2009 at 06:02 AM.

  12. #42
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    Degree of Standardization
    Under this criterion sports are divided to:
    Sports with standard exercises – such as: track and field, gymnastics, figure skating,weightlifting where there is fixed routine of performing movements
    Sports with nonstandard exercises – such as all ball games where exercises are performed in constantly changing circumstances

    Motor ability Most Stressed
    Under this criterion sports are divided to:
    Endurance sports – such as:middle distance and long distance running, swimming,bicycling where mostly endurance is stressed
    Speed-strength sports – such as:sprints, jumps,throws,weightlifting, tennis those sports that rely mainly on speed and strength

    Methods of Comparing Results
    Tennis is sport where results are compared in points without time limit (volleyball), in comparison to (soccer, football) where is time limit.There also other units of comparison such as time(running,swimming), weight(weightlifting) height (high jump), distance (long jump, triple jump).

  13. #43
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    So using these criterions tennis can be classified as:
    Acyclic (mixed)
    Individual
    Non-contact
    Uses additional equipment
    Nonstandard
    Speed-strength
    Result is compared in points without time limit


    When one compares tennis to other sports using these criterions, it is easy to recognize its complexity based on these facts:

    The Structure of the Movements
    Acyclic and mixed sports are more complex than cyclic sports under this criterion

    Type of Competition
    Individual sports are always more complex than team sports under this criterion

    Type and Amount of Contact
    Sports with more contact are more complex under this criterion

    Use of Equipment or Apparatus
    Sports which use additional equipment (racquet,butt) are more complex than the sports which just use body parts(foot,hand) under this criterion
    .
    Degree of Standardization
    Sports with nonstandard exercises are more complexed than the sports with standard exercises under this criterion

    Motor Ability Most Stressed
    Here cannot be said that one or the other are more complex based on this criterion

    Method of Comparing Results
    Here sports compared by points can be compared, and ones without time limit are more complex than ones with time limit under this criterion.

    Althought, it is difficult to compare sports by its complexity, from this very short and simple analysis is easy to conclude that tennis is sport of very high complexity.So to have any chance to succeed at high level in tennis one has to start very early, and needs at least 10 years or 10,000 hours ( this is 1year and 51 days playing 24/7 – really incredible), and only then one can predict more precisely ones actual potential.


    The other more ordinary arguments for complexity of tennis as a sport are:

    - try to play, and learn how to play, and you will respect tennis as a sport.

    Connected to this I am going to tell one anecdote which happened long time ago when I was in high school.At the time tennis was considered as female sport.Real male sports were:soccer, basketball, handball.At the time I was best 16 and under in my home town, but because of fact that tennis was considered sports for females nobody in my high school knew that I play tennis.When I won high school championship in my city, all my classmates learned that I play tennis.One of them who was talented for all sports challenged me to play tennis.I tried to explain him that one needs years of learning to play tennis at my level.It did not help.He told me that he will try for 1/2 hour, and he will beat me.He even brought many girls from the class to witness how he was going to beat me.Normally, not that he could not beat me, we could not rally either.After that, he never said anything rude about tennis.

    - complexity of tennis comes from the fact that tennis is not basic sport such as: gymnastics, running and swimming.Tennis has something in common with running and gymnastics, but its movements are very akward
    so consequenly more difficult to learn

    - a proof to this statement is fact that when one does not play tennis for longer period of time easily looses these movements compared to basic sports where one looses physical capabilities to execute the movements while movements stay more less in tact.
    Last edited by Bubo; 05-20-2009 at 04:10 AM.

  14. #44
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    By now, I think is obvious that to start at 13, and have shot at professional tennis career is illusion.
    A child has to start at right time, and parents/coach have to realize that a child has potential, and do right things.Then, and only then there is posibility of professional tennis career.
    On one hand 10 or more years of player development seems long enough, and it is if everything is planned in advance.It is very important that everything is done in a phase when it was supposed to.Everything ommitted or not done good enough will backfire at the time where one should show what he is made of.

    Maybe, this first phase (4-5 to 7 years old) seems too slow at first sight, but it is not because this is introduction to something new for a child, and it should go slow.At the same time a lot of things can be done.It is important that everything is done what is supposed to be done in each phase of development.This first phase is slowest and every next one is faster, with more pressure.This is normal, as is normal that as person matures becomes stronger, and can handle more pressure.

    Second phase is from 7 years old (for some is 6 for others 8) to puberty.In this period the most important thing for a child is that learns all tennis shots at practice stage.Why is this important?Because during puberty is period of rapid growth which has negative effect on coordination, and consequently technique learning.Puberty as such is not good period for technique learning.
    At first,basic strokes should be learned (forehand, backhand, overhead smash, flat serve, and normal volleys).To illustrate how I do it,I will give just few general hints which I acquired from my experience.For every shot at its final stage is the most important moment of impact between racquet and ball (Germans have good word for it - hauptaktion), but in teaching a shot is different thing:

    - first thing which I teach when I teach serve is toss
    - first thing which I teach overhead smash is positioning to a ball (catching ball with left hand)
    - first thing when I teach forehand/backhand is preparing body to be ready for hit as a ball approaches

    I will give another example.I teach flat serve parallel with overhead smash:so in teaching serve I teach toss, loop, weight transfer and at the same time when I teach overhead smash after teaching importance of positioning, I teach pronation, and impact using continental grip.When a child is ready (can toss a ball at right place, learned loop and weight transfer) uses pronation, and impact movement which learned through learning overhead smash, and incorporate in serve.

    As I use progression in learning movement, the same I do when I teach proper grip.For example when I teach forehand, at the beginning I teach a child to use eastern forehand, and later on semi-western forehand.

    -
    Last edited by Bubo; 05-21-2009 at 01:25 PM.

  15. #45
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    As a child learns basic mechanics of basic strokes I add new elements to a stroke, develop its efficiency through direction,depth, placement, speed, and introduce special shots.
    One has to be careful that does not try to burden a child with too much information;for example teach flat serve, slice and topsin serve at the same time.This will lead to confusion, a child will not be able to learn any of them.A child has to possess good mechanics of flat serve (direction, depth) before introduction to slice serve.The same policy should be followed in learning topspin serve as well.

    Sport¨s technique is what every sport makes special, in which a sport differ from any other sport so it is important that technique is sound so that new detail will be able to add all the time through whole playing career.Because of that is important at the beginning of this phase to go through mental and practice stage of stroke learning;in other words it is better develop diversity of strokes instead of very early specialization.
    In this phase emphasize is placed on devoloping quality of strokes instead of consistency and speed.At this phase player¨s results are not important - sound stroke mechanic is much more important.

    Importance of sound stroke mechanics is best illustrated by the fact that the ones who did not aquire good technique are the first who leave the race.I will give one examplene boy started to play tennis early with high intensity, and at the same time he played hockey which is probably the most compatible sport with tennis.At the beginning he had good results, but he lacked stroke development, and pretty soon he was so inferior in tennis technique that his physical condition could not make up for the gap.

    www.mytennistory.com

    In Depth Description of Bringing a Child Up a Competitive Ladder with Advices and Recommendations
    Last edited by Bubo; 07-04-2009 at 09:41 AM.

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