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Landsdorp: Is he right about U.S. academies and the USTA programs?

Here is the blog entry in its entirety:

 Opinion of the Famous Tennis Coach Robert Lansdorp about American Tennis

Most coaches in this country don’t know much at all about coaching. They are just horrible. They know how to talk a great game and people believe them. You don’t know who is great and who is not.

The USPTA is for quantity, not quality any more. Anybody is a coach these days. If you can poke a ball over the net and get a basket of balls, you are a coach. If you can talk a great game you must be great. So many times the parents are smarter than the ” PRO ” and know more. IT is not the PARENTS!

Another thing that is happening in this country is that every body has Academies!! Academies don’t create Champions. THEY DON’T !!!

But people don’t want to believe me. Every club in the US has “Academies” and if the coach has one pretty good player he will start an ” Academy “! It is more money in his pocket.  So the “One on One” has left this country.

Name me one top tenner that has come out of the Chris Evert Academy in the last 10 years? Name me one? Even top 30 player? I like Rick Macci, but who came out of his Academy in the last 10 years? And all these so, and so,  Academies in clubs don’t develop players. If in the past the kids were in Academies, it was always a family member running the show. They were in control.

I am at fault a little. My rates have gone up to $200 an hour.  Not outrageous, like some pro’s but too expensive for a lot a people. So, the “One on One” is disappearing!

“Academies” are popping up all over the place and now comes the second problem. Everybody and I mean everybody is in hitting lots of topspin and hitting “Academy” balls. High over the net with lots of topspin. Then you look at the top pro’s and they are all hitting the hell out of the ball. Very hard,  fairly low over the net, not much higher than 2 1/2 feet over the net, AND CONSISTENT! Consistent, because they have been doing it since they were young.

This Academy ball is a big problem in getting Champions. Because of the Academies, you are losing the “One on One” teaching and there goes the DISCIPLINE! Now you are in real trouble! No discipline…. No Champions!

Also, the attitude of people has changed after the Capriaty debacle. Let’s just go to college! Nothing wrong with that, but no Champion will develop with that attitude. And don’t bring up Isner!

Probably 99% of the world class players hardly went to high school and never went to college. Combining the two does not work. Going to a hard private High School is the death in becoming a great player,  forget becoming a Champion.

On top of all this you have a bunch of money hungry people running the USTA Junior “Development” Program. Nothing good will come out of the USTA Junior Development. They are just stealing players from other coaches and then messing them up and forgetting them. What a great organization!

There are hundreds and hundreds of very talented youngsters in this country, but they don’t get developed into Champions. Making of Champions is an art and a gift!

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No, that is not my kid - just a picture of a junior player that I found that makes my point about some kids having too much of an extreme western grip.  Not sure why you are disagreeing with me.

This is a very interesting vid you posted because it agrees with what Oscar has been saying for so long and in this recent blog:

The Essential Tennis video does not agree with Oscar. He is saying that hitting lower on the racquet face DOES NOT create additional topspin, because the ball has already left before the strings could glide over the top.

He is also saying that both Fed and Nadal are hitting low on the face and turning the racquet because that is what happens naturally, not technical intention.

Oscar never said that hitting on the bottom of the face causes the racquet to come over the top, just that it increases topspin, right?

The video supports Oscar in that it shows that pros do hit on the bottom of the face often.  That is all I meant.

The real question is, "Does merely hitting on the bottom of the racquet face, even when the face is square or nearly square, create topspin? Even if the face does not turn over and the ball glances off the lower face?"

I'm sure there are plenty of pics showing pros hitting in the bottom part of the stringbed. Whether this condition ALONE creates the topspin, that's another story.

I believe it has much more to do with swingpath, grip chosen, rotation, wrist movement and contact distance to body to a much greater degree. I believe the top 3 think about these things far more than just where the ball is struck on the stringbed.

Have you ever watched a pool player put a great deal of spin on the cue ball with as little space of contact necessary?

I think it is not so much the contact point on the stringbed necessarily, it is the contact itself and the angled force behind it.

Oscars most recent blog is because of the video i posted.

Do you think Oscar is disagreeing with Essential?

Oscar doesn't have to disagree with Essential. His theory is that the ball is struck going across and up on the lower racquet face. Not that the ball is struck on top and glided over.

However, Essential is saying hitting on the lower racquet face is more accidental than intentional. This is the rub with Oscar.

I think Tim is correct. I am currently experimenting with off centered hitting. I have found that there is something to it. one aspect is the kick serve.  on purpose using the bottom half or top half forehand  then pronating above my head I can create an extreme kick/twist serve easier. I don't practice it enough to say I'm consistent with it.  But its easier to do when serving because you can control the ball toss. I do believe that there is some skill using off centered hits because like golf you can use a slice or Pull to help curve the ball.  but practice makes perfect.

I made a Similar claim here at tennisopolis, although It is not as well written.  

here in poor gramer and lost of direction is m blog. from November 29, 2009 at 3:30pm

Landsdorf is way way correct.

It's "grammar," . . . and spelling.  Haha!

Sir Robert is absolutely correct. Especially with the academy ball, around here one "academy" put the rope out at about 6 feet over the net. Their kids are very good in the 12's, eventually disappear in the 18's and some of the girls do make it further because that still works for college game. Parents love when their kids are younger because they are ranked higher and it seems the academy is doing their job. I agree with pricing also, that's why with my better and more serious kids I will drop price by half if they want to do additional days and drilling sessions. Most academies are pure marketing machines, some around here have top kids train free to pull in the full paying kids that pay the bills, and the other parents never know it they just like that their kid trains with #10 in the country so they can brag to other parents.


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