Interesting observation on Dani's game... - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old May 19th, 2003, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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Interesting observation on Dani's game...

OK, this is just my observation, but it's based on what I learned at my coaching course:

There was a whole session devoted to adapting the player as their physiology changes. During things like growth spurts, the plates within the critical joints (knees, elbows, etc...) do not grow at the same rate. The direction was that we must adjust the game and the fitness regimen of the player to cope with this and develop them differently until the plates catch up. This also causes them to slow a little, it changes their center of gravity, stresses their body as more torque is applied to joints that are struggling to catch up, they lose coordination as the joints try to adapt to working differently, and generally get a little klutzy.

If Dani has indeed grown some, with all these complications, it could possibly account for what others see as diminished performance, and also her weight loss. The good news is that the plates generally catch up within 6 months or so, so we can start pushing players soon after that.

Thought everyone might like this information...

..Joe

NOTE: The views expressed in this post are not necessarily those of the author.
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old May 19th, 2003, 02:59 PM
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Wow, really interesting Joe, thanks a lot

So we only have to wait two or three more months and Dani will be back at her old level of performance?

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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old May 19th, 2003, 05:00 PM
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Thanks for that Joe - I think we now understand that this is only a temporary blip in Dani's performance at the moment and that, given time, things will sort themselves out and we'll be seeing the Dani we saw last year, maybe in time for Wimbly. Although I do think that the process might be accelerated a little with some extra professional advice aside from that from Nigel, and that it wouldn't be such a bad idea if she employed a fitness expert and maybe a nutritionist. Asking Nigel to be a Jack of all trades (and possibly master of none) might be a bridge too far for him, so extra help and advice would go a long way IMHO.

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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old May 19th, 2003, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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You're welcome, but I want you to remember that I'm not there, so I could just be blowing smoke about all this. It just seemed that a corollary exists, which is why I brought it up.

As to Nigel handling all this, well, that's what he's there for. If I was trained in this, then I gotta believe that Nigel was also, and with more intensity, because he's dealing with tournament-level players.

..Joe

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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old May 19th, 2003, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joegerardi
As to Nigel handling all this, well, that's what he's there for. If I was trained in this, then I gotta believe that Nigel was also, and with more intensity, because he's dealing with tournament-level players.

..Joe
I just wonder if he thinks getting in extra help would dent his pride (and maybe his reputation), but in reality, that is really what is needed. H emight be a decent tennis coach, but is he also an expert in fitness and nutrition? I'm not sure.

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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old May 19th, 2003, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrahamD
H emight be a decent tennis coach, but is he also an expert in fitness and nutrition? I'm not sure.
Well, I can speak to the fitness side of it...
There are several tennis specific excersizes that the students at Van Der Meer's were working on. One great one was throwing different weight medicine balls to each other, catching them to one side of the body with both hands, letting it move the arms and shoulders back, and then throwing it back. It imitated tennis strokes amazingly well, and brought the students' arm strength up. They were very careful there to balance the aerobic and anaerobic training.

We dealt with a gazillion weight-training and strenghtening drills that were geared specifically to tennis. Trying to avoid building up certain muscles that actually hinder the tennis player. Neck muscles is one case, but that's kind of strange area, because we DO want to build up the shoulders...

Anyway, though, I'm willing to give Nigel more time here before I start sending Dani my resume.

..Joe

PS: The concensus there is that the all-court game - Dani's specialty - is going to go away, along with the serve-and-volley. The game has just become to fast and powerful for that style to continue.

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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old May 19th, 2003, 07:12 PM
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i did not understand what you wrote.. but i think you meant that during a 'growth spurt' some of your other body parts dont catch up until the later stages so thats why Daniela might be playing 'not so good' lately.

i think we could wait until the fall and winter to see Daniela's power realli acting up!

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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old May 19th, 2003, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beauty_is_pink
i did not understand what you wrote.. but i think you meant that during a 'growth spurt' some of your other body parts dont catch up until the later stages so thats why Daniela might be playing 'not so good' lately.

i think we could wait until the fall and winter to see Daniela's power realli acting up!
Maria:
Basically, you have it. I was specifically referring to the tennis-critical joints (elbows, knees) and the things inside them like cartilage that take a while to catch up. As a person grows, their center of gravity changes, and as women physiologically have a lower center of gravity to begin with, any changes screws up one's balance. Remaining centered over the body whilst playing tennis is incredibly important for proper stroke mechanics, recovery, etc., so this could all speak to the changes in Dani's game now.

Again, I'm not stating that this is a fact, it's just something I learned that I wanted to share with all of you as a possible response to all the nay-sayers out there claiming that Dani is losing her competitive edge.

..Joe

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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old May 19th, 2003, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joegerardi
Maria:
Basically, you have it. I was specifically referring to the tennis-critical joints (elbows, knees) and the things inside them like cartilage that take a while to catch up. As a person grows, their center of gravity changes, and as women physiologically have a lower center of gravity to begin with, any changes screws up one's balance. Remaining centered over the body whilst playing tennis is incredibly important for proper stroke mechanics, recovery, etc., so this could all speak to the changes in Dani's game now.

Again, I'm not stating that this is a fact, it's just something I learned that I wanted to share with all of you as a possible response to all the nay-sayers out there claiming that Dani is losing her competitive edge.

..Joe

ah Thanks Joe! it makes perfect sense to me! and that may be it for Daniela!

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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old May 20th, 2003, 12:22 AM
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Thanks for the info Joe - definitely sound like what Daniela might be going through lately.

Hopefully this *catching up* process will be complete b4 Wimbledon!!!

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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old May 20th, 2003, 02:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joegerardi
PS: The concensus there is that the all-court game - Dani's specialty - is going to go away, along with the serve-and-volley. The game has just become to fast and powerful for that style to continue.
I'm no expert, but it seems that the ones who are reeling it in these days are all-courters like Henin who like to mix it up and not just rely purely on power. Baseliners like Dokic are basically losing. Maybe its just in the clay season. I really wouldn't consider Dani an all courter. Yes she approaches the net every now and then but she's still basically a baseliner. I really still believe that the all-court approach is more dynamic and that it is still applicable. I believe that if Dani can become a truly efficient all-courter then she would rack up more wins.

That... and I still think serve-and-volley is a damn exciting style to watch.
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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old May 20th, 2003, 03:02 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Tarsius
I'm no expert, but it seems that the ones who are reeling it in these days are all-courters like Henin who like to mix it up and not just rely purely on power. Baseliners like Dokic are basically losing. Maybe its just in the clay season. I really wouldn't consider Dani an all courter. Yes she approaches the net every now and then but she's still basically a baseliner. I really still believe that the all-court approach is more dynamic and that it is still applicable. I believe that if Dani can become a truly efficient all-courter then she would rack up more wins.

That... and I still think serve-and-volley is a damn exciting style to watch.
Actually, it's only been the last year or so that Dani has been more of a baseliner. Before that, she was all-court, all the way. I wish she would go back to it, it served her very well.

S&V is the most exhilarating to watch, but sadly, it's dying out. Sampras wasn't really an S&V'er. He was a true all-courter who could S&V because of his outstanding serve. Patrick Rafter was probably the last true S&V'er out there, and before him it was Stefan Edberg. Granted, a few of the clay specialists do it, but without much success.

..Joe

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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old May 20th, 2003, 03:49 AM
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I really do think that being an all-courter will be advantageous to Daniela (assuming she can practice it at a very efficient level). This is purely opinionated and by no means an expert opinion at that, but I think that all-courters have the advantage of a more diverse game. Baseliners rely on power and are very predictable. The trend these days is on overpowering the opponent, but still I believe that diversity is the way to curb that trend. Daniela has a strong baseline game. Actually, she has very excellent fundamentals, its all a matter of stringing them together into something she can consistently execute and use. And I believe an all-court approach is a really good way to use her skills. I think Nigel Sears has also been working on her net game... also maybe why she always plays doubles.

Hey Joe, I read a pretty good analysis of Daniela's game on the GM board which says that she really needs a better attitude when it comes to sticking to tactics within the game or in improvising against tricky opponents. I tend to believe that since I haven't seen her lately on TV and the writer of the comment did. According to that post she seems to be really easily frustrated with herself and her strategy whenever it gets foiled and it becomes her ultimate demise in her matches. What do you think of this?
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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old May 20th, 2003, 08:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarsius
I really do think that being an all-courter will be advantageous to Daniela (assuming she can practice it at a very efficient level). This is purely opinionated and by no means an expert opinion at that, but I think that all-courters have the advantage of a more diverse game. Baseliners rely on power and are very predictable. The trend these days is on overpowering the opponent, but still I believe that diversity is the way to curb that trend. Daniela has a strong baseline game. Actually, she has very excellent fundamentals, its all a matter of stringing them together into something she can consistently execute and use. And I believe an all-court approach is a really good way to use her skills. I think Nigel Sears has also been working on her net game... also maybe why she always plays doubles.

Hey Joe, I read a pretty good analysis of Daniela's game on the GM board which says that she really needs a better attitude when it comes to sticking to tactics within the game or in improvising against tricky opponents. I tend to believe that since I haven't seen her lately on TV and the writer of the comment did. According to that post she seems to be really easily frustrated with herself and her strategy whenever it gets foiled and it becomes her ultimate demise in her matches. What do you think of this?
have to agree on Daniela using her all-court capabilities once again - allows her to change strategies should a particular one's not working at that time.

With Eastbourne/Wimbledon around the corner, it'll be advantageous to pick up on her all court/net game.

and not just for the grass season but utilise her all-court skills for all surfaces.

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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old May 20th, 2003, 08:21 AM
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saw a couple of doubles matches Daniela played with ASV last year

she was pretty confident at the net/all court.
perhaps it will be good if she had a doubles partner with a bit more experience.

Unfortunately Navratilova seems to have a fixed partnership with Kuznetsova this year, while veterans who were good doubles players [Zvereva/Novotna/Sukova] aren't playing...

Perhaps a partnership with Husarova [who has a good doubles game] will encourage Daniela to be more inventive and be opportunistic and come to the net a bit more in singles.


wouldn't it be fun if Nigel and Daniela actually come in to read The Cocktail Party forum?

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