Tuesday, 6 January 2015


Righto Champ this is my take on it. Wayne Bryan knows the game and he knows his boys didn't come from a production line of tennis players who were all taught to play a specific way. The comments from Mr Bryan regarding the style of play from current and past professionals has obvious merit. 'Greatness is passionate. Greatness is creative. Greatness does things that have never been done before'.
Good point Mr Bryan. I wrote a chapter some time ago regarding Bjorn Borg's backhand and Jonny Mac's serve. Could you imagine if these guys had turned up 30 years later with those shots and asked to be part of a program ? 
'Sorry, what's your names, Bjorn and John ? This is how you serve and this is how you hit a backhand now days, we will need to fix your 'obvious technique flaws'. 
Have you ever taken the time to look at the way the game is played currently ? It's pretty much all the same, it's a baseline war of fitness and strength although Federer is doing his best to change the trend, or at least keep the points shorter. 
How does David Ferrer beat Thomas Berdych ? How does Tommy Robredo beat Kei Nishikori or vice versa to both of those examples ? Slowly and painfully, very little separates these players, their games do not really have anything unique. They are simply better than the next 100 players who all play pretty much the same.
Borg didn't miss and his passing shots were played with so much spin that he could still pass a player at the net cross court even if his opponent was covering that side. McEnroe's serve was brilliant but his net game in particular was so good that he could turn defence into offence in the blink of an eye.
Jimmy Connors used to clear the net by a bee's nostril on his ground strokes and whenever he was in trouble he would come in, he would not resort to a 40 shot rally. He was possibly the gutsiest player I have ever seen play the game.
All of these players were not technically brilliant and they all had flaws but they were allowed to play their own brand of tennis. Above all they were UNIQUE.
Rafa is almost unbeatable on clay because he hits the ball so high over the net from his forehand that trying to take this shot on the rise over 5 sets will ultimately wear most players out. Another unique style. 
Just because a player does not get the ball over the net the same as the next guy it doesn't mean that he is not going to be effective. I am all for technique as this site suggests however I am not one to clone players because they all have their own ideas on how to play.
If a ball goes in with a heap of spin and depth I am not going to say 'Look that's pretty good but your swing needs to be refined, it's not quite right'. I would let the shot remain.
Too many coaches want players to hit the ball the same as Novak hits his backhand or how Roger hits his forehand and it's why players eventually find it all too hard.
Just work hard, get fit, grow a tennis brain, work on tactics, work on a big shot but let that big shot be unique to the player, not a mirror image of a one in a million player.
Wayne Bryan wants to see some initiative used and he doesn't believe that it currently is happening, fair call, where are all the results coming from ? Europe, not the US. Interesting though isn't it ? The US is a really big place. 
It may just lay with Wayne's idea to privatize tennis coaching in general, after all this has merit. Borg, Connors and Mac were not part of a production line, they were taught by either family or personal coaches. Rafa was mentored by Moya and coached by Uncle Tony. Federer's initial days were overseen by Peter Carter of Australia.
Pat Cash was taught by his junior coach Ian Barclay and even 'my mate' Lleyton was privately taught by Darren Cahill. 
Do the sums, forget the big 'Academies' that sound great, find a coach who thinks outside the square and who lets you develop your own style.
There is no set way of playing tennis and if players stopped trying to hit the ball like the top 4 in the World they may just develop a game that could well be the game of the future. After all Rafa did not look up a coaching manual to learn how to hit his amazing forehand, it was done through experimentation......... 
One more thing, get rid of the soft tennis balls, that does not do any kids any favors because quite simply, it's NOT REAL tennis.
If that's not the answer you were looking for Marty I apologize. Regards Glenn

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