how Tennis is taught
have been coaching for the last 36 years, and dedicated the last 32
years to expose and correct the misconceptions that ruin tennis teaching
and coaching." Oscar Wegner
Oscar Wegner played the international tennis circuit from 1963
through 1967. When he started coaching in 1968, in California, he noticed
the big discrepancy between the way the pros play and the way tennis
is taught conventionally. He applied himself to solve it and applied
the findings in Spain in the 1970ís and in Brazil in the 1980s.
The results in those two countries speak for themselves, having
led an evolution that has amazed the tennis world. In the 1990s Oscar
has been working to promote these changes in America, publishing a book
and videos to make the data readily available to the public. Some of
the conversions in the United States, where the opposition to change
by the leading tennis teachers' unions is much stronger, are detailed
first one was Tommy Thompson, at that time Director of Harry Hopmanís
Tennis Academy in the Tampa area, Florida.
Shortly after, Dennis Van Der Meer started adopting some of
the open stance-bend the arm methodology.
The Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy followed, changing the
basic methods for its adult and beginners programs, although Mr. Bollettieri
has been using modern coaching methodology with his very advanced players
for close to twenty years, starting with Jimmy Arias.
Important conversions as of late for the United States were
that of George Bacso, for over 30 years head of teaching and teacher
testing for the USPTA, the largest association of tennis teachers in
America, and of Nick Saviano, director of coaching for the USTA, highlighted
in the November 1997 issue of Tennis Magazine.
In the college arena, top intercollegiate coaches have assisted
to Oscar Wegner's seminars at the 1997 and 1998 Intercollegiate Tennis
Association conventions, and are very much in agreement with the application
of his modern tennis methodology.
Another example of conversion to the modern way is Joe Dinoffer,
the popular clinician from On Court-Off Court, who adopted, from the
time he met Oscar Wegner at the Tennis Teachers Conference in New York,
quite a bit of Wegner's methodology for his presentations, successfully
moving from conventional tennis teaching to the modern game.
The latest news are the adoption by the International Tennis
Federation Wegner's methods for their tennis development programs in
Europe, Asia, Africa and South America. Although presented to the South
American tennis coaches in the year 2000 ITF Coaches Convention in Rio
de Janeiro as a new system, Carlos Alves, one of the premier coaches
in Brazil confirmed that that is the system Wegner implanted in Florianopolis
starting in 1982 and was used by Alves, with Wegner's assistance, throughout
nearly two decades, culminating with the coronation of Gustavo Kuerten,
who was part of that program from age 6, as the World Champion in the
Perhaps the most astounding results of this teaching methodology
is the story of Richard Williams, who got hold of it in the early 1990s
from the Tennis Television Show, and, in his own words: "it made
so much sense to me that I taped the shows, and adopted it right away".
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BEGINNER COURSE ... INTERMEDIATE COURSE ... ADVANCED COURSE ... TEACHER/COACH COURSE