Welcome to this section. If you have come here you are looking for more and that’s a good news because you will hopefully find more stuff here! In here, you would find some of our findings in the form of links, mentions and for curious minds some more thoughts. If you’re craving for even more, please do write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be more than happy to get in touch with you.
Happy notes reading!
: Pattern: There are various ways in which a pattern can be understood. The easiest definition of a pattern would be something that identifies a problem, proposes a solution based on how the problem is solved over the years by subject matter experts and also touch bases on facts, consequences and known issues if any around that problem.
We at TuPA are ready to attempt the same. Tennis is an old sport and a lot of tennis is already played by great champions over the years all over the world. We are analyzing that part. We are also going to look at the existing research done by folks and develop some tennis patterns keeping tennis parents just like yourself in mind.
Our ultimate aim is to assist tennis parents to have a more fruitful journey while bringing up their young champions by attaining a higher degree of tennis awareness in the most effective way possible.
: Talk Asia, Dec 6th, 2007. CNN
: WTA and ATP Rankings Page
: Frank Giampaolo is a well-known tennis coach. We have personally read all his books and encourage if you are a parent, pick these books up. His books cover a lot of good ground.
In one of his book called Tennis Parent’s Bible, he mentions about junior serve percentages and what could be the ideal number to target for.Apart from producing numerous top ranking players, Frank is a tennis parent too.
In the junior tennis world, it’s not easy to find answers precisely based on data. However, our extensive reading on this topic shows that a junior must strive to be a complete player, like a pro throughout their junior lifetime which spans from 10-18 years.
Nevertheless, as a junior, they would lack power, speed, agility, and at times ability to think like a pro. When these types of juniors do transform into seniors, they do it quite flawlessly as most of the technical and tactical foundation would be in place.
: Serve takes time and correct effort to build and 2-3 years is a number that fits well when we start building it from 9-10 years of age. One point to note is that time lost can’t come back and older the child grows more challenging it gets to make them learn the correct serve which will have a full potential one day. Therefore, starting early is better. How early? One benchmark could be the U-12 final year. By this time your child should aim to have a tactically and technically good serve. The only part missing could be the strength which will come later. However, if for some reason your child has not developed a reasonably good serve by U-12 final year, it’s time to get to some serious work and get that sorted out. More you wait, more it is going to hurt later on.
: Constantly engaging into slow slice serves as the main serve types does not add knee bending, a good trophy position, and overall rhythm that a serve would get otherwise. We have observed kids not loading up but standing and delivering serves in U-12 and even in U-14 categories. Bending, forming a trophy position and proper release is necessary for T and body serves. This learning of form and rhythm gets compromised in this approach of delivering first serve with a minimal form to keep it slow and out wide sliced all the time to gain advantage for point creation.
: With a proper first serve form and delivery (see our SFP pattern section for more on serve related form) in place parents can now focus on building strength as their child progresses towards U-14 upwards. Focusing on superior strength early probably is not a great idea as strength comes with a certain age. Focus on developing strength at times is counterproductive as it takes our eye off from developing required form, technique and tactical aspects of the game as training time is limited, well in most of the cases.
There is als a lot of research work out there which talks in detail about poor serving techniques in terms of the kinetic chain which uses all of its body parts. If this kinetic chain goes wrong in some way or the other, over the long period of time it can lead to injuries. One such research work was done by Physical Education and Sports Department, Middle East Technical University, Faculty of Education, Ankara, Turkey is published here which touches on these facts.
Also, Bruce Elliott, et all do touch base in these areas. Growing children must focus on building a good rhythmic tennis serve and then involve their legs and trunk to be the part of it.
With age as trunk and legs keep getting stronger so will the racket speed and hence serve velocity will increase.What is at times observed is that legs and trunk do not become the part of a serve for more time than necessary and this delay should be avoided. As mentioned above – poor form can lead to injuries too.
: We live in the world of information overload but sometimes it is a good thing. My team pointed many nice videos to me around serves. In one such video, you can see Del Potro and Marin Cilic. When they were 14 years of age. Please do note their first serves. Do you think these servers were well developed for their age at that time? Maybe you can view more videos of this type and see what you can observe in terms of serve and age relationship. However, don’t be surprised if you find some of the pros of today serving bad when they were12-14, hopefully, there won’t be many such videos. Here is that video.
: Poor serve technique is easy to find U-12/U-14 category but we would like to mention serving “style” here. Please note that our studies have found out that there is something called as a serving style and then there is something called as a serving technique. A serve style is an individuals identity, no two individuals can have the same style. A style builds on a solid foundation, key being the foundation.
: Unfortunately there is not much data on tennis available for analytics. ATPs and WTAs of the world just don’t share it with all. But then there are super humans like Jeff Sackmann and his tennis data. I am not sure how we can even thank him for his efforts. At times when we look for some answers, we do play around with his data and try to draw some information hidden behind this deep and rich set of data. When we got curious on serve directions, we did play around with 80,000 serves that pros have hit from the 1980s to 2016s and drew some conclusions.
: At times the rally lengths in U-12, U-14 tournaments are rather long. More than necessary. However, average rally length in professional tennis tells a different story. When young tennis players eventually develop a good tennis serve they will have a better chance to dominate shorter points. Short rallies happen more in the pro circuit. It’s a good idea to develop a long term goal. One such quick result on rallies is published here.