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The Tennis Business Discussion Forum Archive

[tennisbiz] Re: Playing styles

From: Scott R. Stacey <>
Date: Wed 02 Apr 2003 17:27:05 +0000

1. A. Baseline tennis is easier to develop in a shorter time as
a junior. S&V is a more difficult game, and takes longer to
develop. Junior players find it difficult to gamble on this
game when they can stay back and win or at least be
competitive. This is habit that is difficult to change as you
get older, especially if you have had success.

B. Baseline tennis removes many choices that need to be made
(as compared to S&V). This makes it significantly easier
mentally. If you have fewer choices, your decisions are easier
and quicker.

C. Baseline tennis does not necessarily require the development
of a good serve.

D. I feel that you need to be a smarter player to play S&V tennis.
Lots of options to choose from, and quicker decisions
required. In today's culture of mediocrity, it is only natural to
want simplicity.

E. You must be a better player and a better athlete to play S&V.
Since you are cutting down reaction time (both your
opponent's and your own) you have, in a certain sense, smaller
margins of error. If you stay back, you have time, and can
thusly recover from poorer shots easier. If you go in, you better
have good reaction times.

F. Parents demanding too much success too soon. They are unwilling
to wait for a S&V game to develop when they see the
exceptional athletes on TV being successful from the baseline.

G. The media making a circus out of the new younger players before
waiting to see if they are going to last, or even if
they are any good.

2. A. I absolutely teach S&V tennis. Having the option of playing
this way in a player's repertoire can give them something
to throw at an opponent to make them think. As we all know, as
soon as an athlete begins to think too much (especially
younger players), their performance goes down.

B. It is imperative to at the very least expose them to this game
to formulate defensive techniques.

C. It keeps players humble, and shows them that there is always
more to learn, and there is always someone who is better
than they are.

D. S&V tennis can be less taxing - points are over quicker. And it
can be much more intimidating than simply pounding the
ball the length of the court.

E. S&V can take advantage of a gifted athlete's strengths.

F. It begins to eliminate the "cookie cutter" mold of what a
tennis player has to be.

G. Watching 2 players slugging from the baseline is boring.
S&V adds variety and risk.

3. A. Stop rewarding mediocrity.

B. Do not insist on success too quickly.

C. Get parents who understand that success takes time.

D. Get coaches and pros who understand and can teach S&V. "Why
teach it if it's not used?" is a prevailing attitude among
coaches and pros.

E. The media needs to show real tennis now and then, and not just
show the matches of the players who put the spectators in
the seats. Many of my juniors have learned the most from watching
early round matches where players are fighting for meal
money or to be able to clear their hotel bill from the previous

F. The media needs to refrain from broadcasting "the show" and
other tangents to tennis. They need to focus on tennis and
not on who has the most outrageous outfit, for example. To me,
the idea that Anna Kournikova is worshipped only shows that
she is a model. That has nothing to do with tennis. What does
her game say? Notice that I am not that she is not a good
player - she's on the tour and is certainly a good player. But
is she the player that actually deserves the reputation,
ranking, and $$ that she currently enjoys?

G. Keep teaching S&V tennis to juniors. The more players who
develop this game, the more it will begin to appear in the
game as players age and advance.

H. Show more of the S&V players on televised events. Perhaps
this means that Andre Agassi's match doesn't air, or perhaps
the Williams sisters match gets passed by, but there it is.
I, Show more doubles on TV. S&V wins doubles. And besides,
probably 90% of the recreational (and serious) players in the US
play more doubles than singles. And yet the media says there is
no market. Hmmm.... Perhaps it simply is not being marketed
correctly. Or is it that the media caves in....?

J. End the debate about players who put people in the seats
getting paid more than other players. All that does is
encourage players to develop tangents that have nothing to do
with tennis to attract attention.

Received on Wed Apr 02 2003 - 18:19:05 CST

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