Tennis Talent, training young talent

Some thoughts on tennis development.

I have spent a good amount of time watching women’s tennis and watching girls junior tennis.  There is a severe lack of net play.  There is definitely more in the pros and I am surprised that Taylor Townsend is not able to get to the net even more because she has great hands.

In the world of junior girls, they spend most of their time behind the baseline.  I think they don’t want to get brought forward and they don’t like the net.   A young athletic girl if you can train her to play the net then she can win many matches.  I think a lot of girls will not be ready for it.

It is true on both sides, boys and girls.  Most kids just try to hit hard and hit heavy topspin.  If you have a good junior they just need training in how to slice, how to approach and how to volley.   They will get passed and lobbed sometimes but I think the resulting effect will be a victory and the opponent will be so pissed and thrown off by the aggression.

-DJ ROBO BISCUIT

On Tennis and Talent

On coaching tennis and Talent.

When teaching tennis, if you are looking for a student who can be a winner then you must seek out someone who has “talent.”  It can take different forms.  Some players have great hand-eye coordination, some players are very balanced in their movement, some players have natural strength.  There are some men and women who are more “built” to be playing Softball or baseball: they are not that fast, they are a little bit chunky or heavier, but they can hit the ball with great power.  These players can be quite good on the junior level since they can develop big serves and lots of power with their groundstrokes.

Some players are gifted with speed but they are “slight of build.”  And perhaps not only are they speedy but also “patient.”  Some players have a natural talent for patience.  So, at the junior level and in tournaments they become the “pushers.”  They get all of the balls back and they wait for a mistake to happen.  And they are willing to play all day and hit as many balls as possible to wait for the mistake to occur.

The kids who are able to succeed the most, they usually have a combination of talents.  Perhaps they are competitive with a strong desire to win the matches.  If the “competitive nature” is mixed in with a good hand-eye coordination and natural strength then you have the potential for an extremely good player.  If the player is athletic and can develop “weapons” to play with, then they will be able to surpass players who are less gifted.

 

-DJ ROBO BISCUIT

2018 JR Tennis Tournaments (North Carolina) (Raleigh, Cary, and beyond)

1/06 Raleigh Ice Cold L5                                             Raleigh NC

1/06 Downeast New Year Challenger NC L4           Snow Hill NC

2/03 2018 Polar Bear Shootout NC L4                       Snow Hill NC 

2/10 Raleigh Winter NC L5                                          Raleigh NC

2/17 Downeast Pre-Season Jr Challenge NC L4       Snow Hill NC

2/24 RRC Winter Championships NC L4                    Raleigh NC 

3/03 Mercedes Benz of Cary Junior Championships NC L4    Cary NC

3/10 Ebony Rc Junior NC L4                                    Raleigh NC

3/17 Southern Village Club Junior Championships NC L3/STA L4    Chapel Hill NC

3/23 KMS Jr Open NC L4                                            Kinston NC 

3/31 Snow Hill Spring Jr Open Tournament NC L4    Snow Hill NC

 

-DJ ROBO BISCUIT

Sampras Forehand, Robert Lansdorp and Tennis Training

Pete Sampras had a great forehand.  Many he said he had one of the best on-the-run forehands of all time.   Sampras hit the forehand very flat and he DROVE through the ball often to devastating effect.      His clean hit and clean swing on the forehand side also allowed him to develop a clean attacking approach shot.

Sampras uses what is known as the “Lansdorp Forehand”   it uses a classic grip and does NOT use heavy topspin or a western-grip.    Robert Lansdorp is a famous coach who is a living legend.   He trained Sampras and Davenport and Tracy Austin and Maria Sharapova.

If you want to read some interesting opinion on training I would check out the blog that Robert has (or maybe used to have):     https://robertlansdorp.wordpress.com/philosophy/

 

Lansdorp he stresses “Discipline”      and he is big on the players being focused.   He also wants the players to spend a lot of time on repetition.   Some might say “ball after ball after ball”          He has a “tough guy” approach and he demands discipline of the player.   I think Lansdorp is a great coach and his track record really speaks for itself.    I am sure he has rubbed many people the wrong way throughout his life BUT I can say for sure, that now, in a time where American tennis is looking weak … and people are asking “where are all of the champions?”     People need to be looking at Robert Lansdorp and his teaching approach.

-DJ ROBO BISCUIT

P.S. If you google Lansdorp or the “Lansdorp Forehand” you can easily find more information about him.

Tennis Training, Players and Parents

When working with kids in tennis the key player is the parent.    Usually it is one parent who is involved, it could be the father or the mother.   If you are working with a kid you have to constantly work to be sure the parent is “on board” with what you are doing.    The sooner you can make the kid “look” like a tennis player, then the more positive rapport you build with the parent.     Early on in the course of the child learning tennis, there is a chance that the parent will be questioning if the kid can “really do it” and if the kid can actually learn the game.      You will have to work with the kid and the parent to keep them “in it” the more the kid can play tennis, the better their skills will be and you will strengthen your case.

Also, the competition can be tricky.   Kids and parents have a tendency to overreact.   If the kid wins then the kid thinks they are “great” and their parent will be overjoyed at seeing how good their kid is at tennis.    That is good for you as the coach.     However, if the player gets on the court and loses then the kid thinks “they suck” and the parents are not impressed and it makes them wonder whey the kid is not winning and if they are even good at tennis.

The job of the coach is to help “sell the game” and help the parents understand that tennis is a PROCESS and it really does take time for the skills of the player to develop.

-DJ ROBO BISCUIT

November 26th, 2017

Tennis (October 29 2017)

 

When you work with a player and you work as a coach you have to look to see if there is talent.

The player needs to have some kind of talent.  It can take different forms.  They could have great balance.  They could have great strength.  They could have  a fast arm.   They could be very tough mentally.   They could have great hand-eye coordination.

If the player just has one of these talents then they are worthwhile to work with, it could just go be that they have good “balance” or could be they are “quick” on their feet.

Then the first thing to teach them is the forehand. And they need to be able to FEEL what it is like to hit a clean ball.    Right in the middle of their racquet with their arm extended.  So that way the player can understand that the technique does matter as opposed to flailing at the ball.

And then you want them to build some consistency with the forehand so they start to feel confident they can hit the ball a lot if they need to.

Then you move onto the backhand.

Then you develop topspin.

you want to teach the player to hit clean balls off of both sides and show them how to RALLY because you want them to understand what tennis is actually like.

-DJ ROBO BISCUIT