The Myth of the Message Board

John Yandell

There is no magic bullet...

Last month my article on the Myth of the Magic Bullet generated a lot of response. (Click Here.) Quite a few people wrote in to say "no" to the magic.

Now let's look at another horrific fallacy—the Myth of the Message Board—that players talking to other players, or sometimes just themselves—can solve their own technical and tactical problems and realize their dreams.

Here is a typical post on the largest message board in tennis: "You can learn everything about tennis right here on this forum."

There are a few informed posters and credible teaching pros, but the overwhelming discourse there I would describe as the deluded leading the blind. These are players who are allegedly dedicated to improving, but make assertions based on their own thoughts and imaginations, spending hours pontificating about things that are misleading, untrue, and often destructive.

It's a similar phenomenon to the mania with You Tube posts. But in general even less informed, if that is possible.

My point in the first article was that YouTube was flooded with bullshit from alleged tennis authorities who could magically transform your game or even turn you into Roger Federer or any superstar you wished, or at least give you their strokes—for a price.

Although a lot of posters reference bogus info and videos from You Tube, at least as many or more just spin their own theories.

I post there occasionally when I think the discussion isn't so far gone as to defy rational discussion. With occasionally being the operative word.

But here are some examples where it's too far gone...

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John Yandell is widely acknowledged as one of the leading videographers and students of the modern game of professional tennis. His high speed filming for Advanced Tennis and Tennisplayer have provided new visual resources that have changed the way the game is studied and understood by both players and coaches. He has done personal video analysis for hundreds of high level competitive players, including Justine Henin-Hardenne, Taylor Dent and John McEnroe, among others.

In addition to his role as Editor of Tennisplayer he is the author of the critically acclaimed book Visual Tennis. The John Yandell Tennis School is located in San Francisco, California.

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