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View Full Version : Lindsay's change of coach: good or bad idea?


tennischick
Mar 16th, 2003, 10:01 PM
Lindsay Davenport's coaching change from Robert Van't Hof to future brother-in-law Rick Leach isn't going as well as planned.

she should have beaten Kim. i'd like to believe that under Robert's tutelage, she would have.

is this future brother-in-law arrangement hurting or helping Lindsay. Robert was her rock, her best friend.

are the Leach brothers just leeches possibly using her for her net worth?

or is Rick really a decent coach and sooner or later we'll start seeing results.

and if he's so good, which player before Lindsay did he coach to the top of the tour?

auntie janie
Mar 16th, 2003, 10:17 PM
Maybe she would have won this match under her old coach. But, she did not have that option, since Robert is the one who wanted to quit, in order to spend more time at home.

Lindsay is comfortable with her new coach because he is close to Robert and is on the same page with him. He is new to coaching, so there will be an awkward transition period as he gets used to what type of help Lindsay needs.

The "leech" part of your post, of course, is just rubbish; I don't know if it is intended to get a rise out of posters or just to be humorous, but I feel it falls a bit short in that department. Nice try, though! ;)

Mikey
Mar 16th, 2003, 10:25 PM
I think that it was just one big coincedence that would not have happened under most circumstances. I really wonder if the partnership b/w Linsday and Rick is a happy one, or if it's really just b/c Lindsay needed a coach and Rick just happened to be the future brother-in-law, so how could she say no?

She said in the interview yesterday that it was just that she needed someone to maintain the level she had already achieved, but she still needs someone who can push her back up to the level she was at at the end of 2001.

tennischick
Mar 16th, 2003, 10:37 PM
Maybe she would have won this match under her old coach. But, she did not have that option, since Robert is the one who wanted to quit, in order to spend more time at home.

Lindsay is comfortable with her new coach because he is close to Robert and is on the same page with him. He is new to coaching, so there will be an awkward transition period as he gets used to what type of help Lindsay needs.

The "leech" part of your post, of course, is just rubbish; I don't know if it is intended to get a rise out of posters or just to be humorous, but I feel it falls a bit short in that department. Nice try, though! ;)

sorry if i pissed ya off Janie but there has been precedent before of WTA players being exploited. Patty Schydner is probably the most famous example. and folks asked similar questions when Hingis started dating her attorney.

now since i don't know either Leach guy personally, i can't but ask. also i always think it's bad idea to mix business and pleasure which is what Lindsay seems to be doing, and i happen to like her so i hope she's not making a huge mistake.

as for Robert's public, gracious and classy statements, sorry but i never assume that what i read is the exclusive truth. if i were Robert, and i had gotten fired bec my student fell in love and finally got herself a boyfriend, i too would have been as charming, gracious and classy. that's just the kind of guy he is -- that does not mean that it is the full story.

sorry if my questions offend you janie-girl but i would be shocked if i was the only person to wonder about this.

auntie janie
Mar 16th, 2003, 10:45 PM
tennischick, I am not offended; I honestly thought you must be joking. :)

Lindsay herself said that when Robert told her he wanted out, she felt lost. Maybe you have missed some of these interviews where she discussed this. When it comes to Lindsay, I do tend to take what she says pretty much at face value because she has been known for years for her straightforwardness. Plus, to travel around the world all year would grow more and more difficult over time for a family man, so I believe them both.

Patty, on the other hand, is another stoy altogether, poor thing.

tennischick
Mar 16th, 2003, 10:52 PM
tennischick, I am not offended; I honestly thought you must be joking. :)

Lindsay herself said that when Robert told her he wanted out, she felt lost. Maybe you have missed some of these interviews where she discussed this. When it comes to Lindsay, I do tend to take what she says pretty much at face value because she has been known for years for her straightforwardness. Plus, to travel around the world all year would grow more and more difficult over time for a family man, so I believe them both.

Patty, on the other hand, is another stoy altogether, poor thing.

actually it was thoughts of Patty that inspired my question and i am being perfectly serious.

yes i saw the interviews. in one she called him her anchor and said that she felt lost without him. but that does not mean that she may not have been influenced in her decision to let him go. of course this requires some scepticism on my part as to whether it was Robert's idea or Davey's. he was replaced awfully fast -- and by a man she repeatedly refers to not by his name but by their relationship ("my future brother-in-law"). this raises my hackles, sorry.

and while i can understand the desire to keep it all in the family, i'm still not sure that her choice of Leach was a good decision. perhaps it's too soon to tell.

geewhiz
Mar 16th, 2003, 11:00 PM
Didn't she say that Van't Hof recommended that it should be Rick who took over, that it was his idea?

auntie janie
Mar 16th, 2003, 11:01 PM
Even Lindsay won't know if it was a good decision for a while. But I think Lindsay just has zero interest in getting used to a brand-new coach, new approach, someone who does not know her or understand her ways, etc. Total comfort with her advisor, I believe, is her top priority.

If another guy could show her new things in tennis that Rick Leach can't, which may well be the case, then she is missing out. But I think Lindsay would rather take that chance than risk ending up with someone who annoys her or gives her the heebie-jeebies all over the globe! :D

selesfan
Mar 17th, 2003, 01:14 AM
Rick never coached anyone before Lindsay. I wish Lindsay could convince Robert to coach her again.

Havok
Mar 17th, 2003, 01:59 AM
what are you talking about. LINDSAY lost that match herself and not because of a coaching change. seriously, Lindsay lost that match because of her emotions and frustration. now don't all gang up on me and start hating me because i mention Lindsay's body language, but it is true. i mean a coach can't really teach you that. he/she can tell you time and time again, but it's the player who has to find it in him/herself and use that. now Lindsay didn't do that so she lost the match. i mean she was playing a very good match so it's not like the new coach has changed anything. they even said that her new coach is just following in the footsteps of her former coach and he's not teaching her new things and not making her change her game. so therefore it can't be the coach who's the problem

Havok
Mar 17th, 2003, 01:59 AM
BTW you can totally disagree with me but please don't get pissed with me:D

King Lindsay
Mar 17th, 2003, 02:55 AM
robert recommended rick to lindsay, which puts the issue to rest in my mind. also, for your question about rick's coaching successes, you would do well to note that robert van't hof never coached anybody to the top of the women's game before lindsay. he was just a former player turned coach, much like rick leach.

anyway, it's too early to say whether this has been a good move or not. however, it's worth noting that she is #3 in the race this year, so clearly things haven't been going too too badly.

BasicTennis
Mar 17th, 2003, 03:07 AM
even if her former coach has sticked with Lindsay, he can't change Lindsay's mobility drastically and nobody can at this very late stage of her career. Lindsay will remain a force to reckon with in the big tournaments though but she will have a difficult time beating the top 3 players starting NOW.:worship:

auntie janie
Mar 17th, 2003, 01:29 PM
Now that she has spoken, I agree that Lindsay's loss yesterday had nothing at all to do with her coach.

Both her crankiness and her imperfect tennis had more to do with having to play at an unaccustomed early hour, and on short notice. Kim adjusted to the late schedule change better than Lindsay did, and props to her for that; endless adaptability is an important character trait for a tennis champion. But I can understand how it could make Lindsay cranky and out-of-sorts. I would be, too. But I don't think her attitude yesterday should be read to mean that she will be cranky in every future match, as some are interpreting it.

Dava
Mar 17th, 2003, 01:40 PM
I must say that it suprised me when they did break up. To be fair I think Lindsay i splaying okay, I dont think she is as good as she was when she left, but the game has moved on leaps and bounds since then.

Personally I think that yes she should have won more tours then she has done since her return, however I do not want to put down Kim, Patty or Maggie who all played really well against Lindsay, and deserved to win, especially Patty.

However Lindsays serve does seem to be getting more inconsistant.

the cat
Mar 17th, 2003, 02:27 PM
TC, changing coaches is a good idea for Lindsay Davenport. But the question is did she hire a coach who can help her wina grand slam singles title the way Robert Van't Hof did?

And like Lady Jane, I too thought you were kidding around when you made the Leach leech comment! No I don't think the Leach's are leeching off of Lindsay. Davenport is a very intelligent woman. I doubt she would hire a coach just because she's in love with his brother. Lindsay realized she needs to make changes in order to be able to challenge the Williams sisters in the future. Only time will tell if she made the right move.

jacs
Mar 17th, 2003, 03:08 PM
Yes, I would really think that Lindsay is not the type to let people 'leech' on her as you say ;)

Well, let us see if Rick works out for Lindsay. It's really too early to tell. Give it a whole season.

Sanneriet
Mar 17th, 2003, 04:48 PM
It is difficult to say what goes on behind the scenes, but I just wonder how hard Lindsay "searched" for a coach before settling on Rick Leach. He is a wonderful doubles player and can help Lindsay with a few aspects of her game. I also think being comfortable with her coach is a top priority with Lindsay, but a coach who makes her "uncomfortable" would challenge her better.

I just don't think she is hungry anymore. I hope I am wrong. I think she has more slams in her, all she really seems to lack is desire.

apoet29
Mar 17th, 2003, 06:26 PM
I too wonder how long Lindsey took to actually find a coach. Rick Leach is a great doubles player, but he is also family to her. I've worked with family members and in my opinion, working with family is a huge mistake. That is simply because it is harder to be objective with your family. Is Rick really going to be completely honest with Lindsey about the aspects of her game that need work, especially since she is engaged to his brother? I have to wonder about that. In her match against Clijsters and in her match against Henin-Hardenne (the only two matches I have seen this year with Lindsey), she seems to lack the confidence to complete matches. That is something that her current coach doesn't seem to be helping her with.

However, Lindsey has been a professional for a long time. She would know better than anyone what coach would be right for her. In that sense, I hope that Rick Leach turns out to be a good decision because firing him would cause a lot of hurt feelings.

tennischick
Mar 18th, 2003, 12:14 AM
thanks all for responding!

to Sanneriet and apoet: thanks for understanding where i am coming from with my concerns. latching on to your brother-in-law may indeed make life very comfortable -- especially as a way of mking sure that the man you finally landed may actually stick around -- but comfort and good tennis don't always go together.

frankly if i were Rick Leach i would have hesitated to accept the job bec of the "leech" implications.

and Cat, you seriously underestimate the power of love. or some women's desire to get married. especially if you survived years of people accusing you of being gay.

tennischick
Mar 24th, 2003, 10:49 AM
OK, so it seems i finally have the answer to my question. i admire Davenport's guts in making this decisions regardless of the reasons for it. i hope she finds a better replacement for Robert. her future brother-in-law was a spectacularly bad choice IMO.

Davenport, coach part ways

By Charles Bricker
Staff Writer
Posted March 24 2003

KEY BISCAYNE · Lindsay Davenport has dismissed her new coach, four-time Grand Slam doubles titlist Rick Leach, after only three months.

"We've parted ways," said Leach, who is playing doubles here with former Davis Cupper Don Johnson. "I thought Lindsay was playing well, but she didn't think she was. I was happy with the way she was playing, but she's looking for something different."

It seemed like a perfect match after Robert Van't Hof, Davenport's coach for seven years, decided to get off the travel grind and spend time with his family in a thoroughly amicable split.

Leach's younger brother, Jonathan, is Davenport's fiance, and Leach's father, Dick, was the longtime tennis coach at Southern California, where Van't Hof was an All American.

Davenport came to Key Biscayne with a 15-4 record and apparently fully recovered from knee surgery that cancelled the first six months of her 2002 season. She won at Tokyo in February by defeating Monica Seles in the final, but she lost in the round of 16 to Justine Henin-Hardenne at the Australian Open and in the round of 16 at Scottsdale earlier this month to Ai Sugiyama.

Davenport is here without a coach but with a hitting partner, former USC player Adam Peterson. She said the coaching relationship with Leach had become complicated because of her romantic relationship with his brother.

For Leach, it was a matter of one door closing and another opening. Two days after Davenport terminated their professional connection, last Wednesday, Johnson called and asked if he wanted to play doubles at the Nasdaq. He couldn't guarantee a spot, but Leach would have to fly here from Los Angeles if he wanted to play.

"I got here on Thursday and didn't have a credential. The security almost didn't let me in," he said.

They got into the draw and defeated Michael Llodra and Nenad Zimonjic 7-6 (5), 6-3 Sunday in their opening match.

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/sfl-nasdaqnote24mar24,0,2660621.story?coll=sfla%2Dspor ts%2Dheadlines

auntie janie
Mar 24th, 2003, 10:52 AM
Pretty shocking news. It's great to see Lindsay winning amid this turbulence in her life. I hope she finds sa new coach quickly.

But, I can't get the link to work, I get "Page Not Found"?

tennischick
Mar 24th, 2003, 10:58 AM
Janie:
go to the sentinel homepage at http://www.sun-sentinel.com , click to "sports" and look at the bottom at the headlines.

what is great about this piece of news is that it suggests that Davenport is taking her career very seriously.

auntie janie
Mar 24th, 2003, 11:04 AM
Thanks, tc, I found it. :)

It also means: Lindsay is not going to have an easy time replacing the wonderful but unavailable Robert. :(

It also might mean, but I hope not: family tension! A bit awkward to tell your fiancé, "I've dumped your bro." :eek:

tennischick
Mar 24th, 2003, 11:07 AM
i agree. that's why she shouldn't have hired him in the first place.

and for those who said that she wasn't blaming the change of coach for her playing problems, well, apparently she was. is...

i can't wait to see who his replacement will be. what about Brad Gilbert, does he have a job since Andre let him go. nah he would too abrasive.

i'm off...:wavey:

doloresc
Mar 24th, 2003, 11:22 AM
good idea. "working" for your future brother-in-law is a disaster in the making. when things are on the up side, everything's wonderful. a few bad results can lead to a strain in relationships between coach and player, player and fiance and coach and brother. lindsay did the right thing.

tennischick
Mar 24th, 2003, 11:02 PM
i totally agree that this means that she is clearly quite serious abut her tennis, boyfriend or no boyfriend! ;)