PDA

View Full Version : Tennis Nature or Nurture? National playing characteristics


arcus
Apr 3rd, 2004, 03:17 PM
I was thinking that players form the same country often have similar playing and emotional characteristics.

F'rinstance, Czech born players were often really talented, attacking, fashy, fiery but inconsistent and took a long time to mentally get themselves in order (see: novotna, mandlikova, Navratilova, llendl).

The swedes were unbelieveably consistent, mentally like rocks, not so expressive on court, mostly played from the back (see: borg, wilander and 10,000 others)

South americans, talented tempestuous baseliners, really expressive on court (see: Sabatini Rios Gonzales)

Germans. dedicated serious attacking big hitting (See: graf, becker huber)

Recently swiss players have been hugely talented, can play every shot in the book, dont rely so much on power (see: Hingis Federer)

The americans are often real hard workers, great attitude great competitors, not so mercurial or flashy.

I know these are generalizations and of course there are exceptions but it got me to thinking
If you take a olayer from one place and train them in another, how do they tend to turn out?


So.......

Do you think the genes you have coming from one part of the world give you certain tennis skills / tendancies.......
Or
Is it all about the coaching / training environment

Tennis: nature or nuture?

alexusjonesfan
Apr 3rd, 2004, 03:39 PM
You could do the same with French and Russian players too.
French: All court game, loads of flair and creativity, mentally inconsistent and flashy shotmakers
With the Russinas it's both training and birth country that allows you to generalise them. Game: baseliners, aggresive 2 handed backhands etc. mostly learned and/or honed at American tennis academies. Mentality: Mostly headcases from their Russian psycho genes.

Just kidding ;)

Training is the most important thing of course. You could take many of today's players and have them grow up in a different country and they'd have totally different games from how they play now. As for mentality, look at Belgium, two players, completely different ways of thinking.

arcus
Apr 3rd, 2004, 03:57 PM
good point about the french, noah, leconte, testud, santoro. mauresmo maybe not so much, although the mental thing is there, but the game is more generic, less quirky.
I miss henri leconte, he was a hoot and his shot making was amazing!

I wonder what would have happened if you had serena in bollitieris or with the russian federation, instead of training with Richard. Or if you sent federer at age 3 to argentina ir stockholm to learn the game? Or how would martina hav eturned out if she started now in some florida tennis hothouse?

Experimentee
Apr 3rd, 2004, 03:57 PM
With the temperament, its more to do with the culture of the particular country. For example if you looked at most average South Americans who arent tennis players, they'd probably be tempestuous too.
With the game styles, that probbaly to do with the training facilities and systems in each country. If the coaches are all serve volleyers, they'll encourage their students to do that too and then everyone from that country will have that game style.

alexusjonesfan
Apr 3rd, 2004, 04:01 PM
I wonder what would have happened if you had serena in bollitieris or with the russian federation, instead of training with Richard. Or if you sent federer at age 3 to argentina ir stockholm to learn the game? Or how would martina hav eturned out if she started now in some florida tennis hothouse?
Or if some of the Russinas had had Aussie serving coaches ;)

arcus
Apr 3rd, 2004, 04:03 PM
With the temperament, its more to do with the culture of the particular country. For example if you looked at most average South Americans who arent tennis players, they'd probably be tempestuous too.
With the game styles, that probbaly to do with the training facilities and systems in each country. If the coaches are all serve volleyers, they'll encourage their students to do that too and then everyone from that country will have that game style.

GOod post and I see your point.....
but I think that a more tempestuous personality will gravitate towards a more flashy game, say high risk baseline attacking or serve volleying. frinstance, I doubt that martina navratilova would have done well in bollitieri in the 70-80's when he was churning out all those consistent baseline clones........... her personality would not have been consistent with that style of play.

Seles is a good example. She went there, but didnt turn out to be a counter punching baseliner, she was a totally new type (for that time) of player.... I think that had a lot to do with the mix of her eastern european roots and the great boot-camp style drilling that american training gave her.