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vin
08-19-2004, 06:38 PM
The general idea is to change direction aggressively when getting an inside groundstroke, right? It seems like most inside groundstrokes will be towards the center of the court, and the book reccomends to hit perpendicular to the base line when changing direction (the 90 degree COD). This means if you change direction on an inside groundstroke that's in the center of the court, you'll be hitting it to the center of your opponent's side. To me that sounds like you're just giving your opponent an inside groundstroke to attack you back with. Am I missing something?

Bungalo Bill
08-19-2004, 06:46 PM
It is about you not about your opponent. It is about you hitting a higher percentage shot vs. shearing the ball because the racquet angle and the balls direction dont matchup well.

Eric Matuszewski
08-19-2004, 07:44 PM
The 90 COD is for OUTSIDE ground strokes (when you get a "weak" ball to the outside).

Inside COD's don't go by the 90 deg rule because they are inherantly high percentage. You can "go for it" to the open court on inside balls. Go ahead and hit deep to the open corner.

Read it again you'll find it.

Personal experimenting (myself and students) and pro match watching confirms that "going for it" on inside strokes is high percentage.

Thank God for Paul Wardlaw's Directionals.

vin
08-20-2004, 05:00 AM
Thanks Eric. That makes a lot more sense. I've only read through the directionals once so far. I'll have to go through them again.

Eric Matuszewski
08-20-2004, 05:06 AM
Vin,

are you playing tournaments, college what kind of competition do you play against. What are your goals? Age?

vin
08-20-2004, 05:23 AM
Eric,

I am a borderline 3.5 - 4.0 player based on local USTA league standards. Aside from USTA league tennis, I also play in the local USTA tournaments, but there are not that many of them.

I'm 29 and will probably continue to research and practice as long as I'm playing. I'm dedicated to improving as much as I can. For now, my long term goal is to play at the 5.0 level. Maybe I won't make that, or maybe I will exceed that, but either way I wan't to see how good of a tennis player I can become.

Eric Matuszewski
08-20-2004, 05:32 AM
What league NTRP did you play this year, what position on the team.
Do you have a style of game you aspire to play. ie, counterpuncher, aggressive from the baseline, serve +volley all court.

What kind of backhand?

Do you have a pro you want to emulate?

Current weakness you are trying to eliminate?

What is your strong shot?

vin
08-20-2004, 06:01 AM
What league NTRP did you play this year, what position on the team.
3.5, 1st singles, sometimes 2nd.

Do you have a style of game you aspire to play. ie, counterpuncher, aggressive from the baseline, serve +volley all court.

I aspire to be an all court player. Currently my two favorite ways to win points are to use my serve to win free points or set up easy forehands and to attack weak backhands with inside out forehands.

What kind of backhand?

My backhand is not bad. I have control of it and can be aggressive with it, but I need to practice it more to make it more reliable. It's a better backhand than most of the people I play, but then again, most of the people I play don't really have a backhand.

Do you have a pro you want to emulate?

In terms of technique, I take bits and pieces from all of them. For groundstrokes, I like to look at Haas, Blake, and Agassi. For serves, I mostly look at Sampras and Roddick. A lot of different styles in there, but as I said, I take bits and pieces.

Current weakness you are trying to eliminate?

VOLLEYS! I was getting pretty good at the net for a while, but stopped playing doubles, wasn't practicing at the net enough, and wasn't going to the net enough in matches. I lost the improvements I made and am working on getting them back. I want to be solid at the net because I want the versatility of an all court game.

What is your strong shot?
Without question, my serve. I've even been told by teaching pros that my serve is far more advanced than the rest of my game. With all the work I've been doing on my forehand, it may be catching up though :)

If you're curious enough, here are some videos that I made for Bungallo Bill to analyze. Although, I've made a lot of changes since then.
http://www.vinmiller.net/tennis/video/7-3-04/index.html

Eric Matuszewski
08-20-2004, 06:44 AM
Vin,
your clips don't work well on my computer. They take a long time to download and then some of them dont play. Also there is no rewind fast forward or pause on them.

I got to see a serve and a backhand though.

I realize that clips don't always show what you will do in a match but having said that, here are some suggestions.

1) You've gotta move your feet ALOT more.

a) when you practice or play always move quickly to the next anticipated court position (based on directionals). a video should show your feet hitting the court 4-6 times after every hit to get back to the next waiting spot.

b) split steps need to happen as the opponent hits the ball EVERY time. splits aren't just for volleys, groundstrokes and returns should have splits too.

c) keep your chest in front of your toes unless your running back to cover a lob (in other words pretty much all the time).
this loads the legs so you can move earlier (with less delay). You will be falling forward if you do this correctly and you will be constantly taking little stepps forward to rebalance during a point.

For now just this movement stuff will raise you a half level.

You're goal is to become (unconsciously competent) with these movement techniques. Playing 1hr a day and concentrating on doing these things EVERY TIME, you should see the start of improvement in a week. 3 months you're level will be a half level higher.

Stroke wise I don't want to comment until I get better clips.

Most important is the movement though so go out there and get to it.

shoot for 5 steps immediatelly after every hit EVERY TIME!

Eric Matuszewski
08-20-2004, 06:48 AM
Also some serve and volley clips would be nice, just play S+V points crosscourt with a returner. Play a game where the points must be played crosscourt. It helps a coach more to see what you do with the pressure of a result than hitting feed balls or just rallying back and forth.

kevhen
08-20-2004, 07:17 AM
90 degree COD I believe is when the opponent has hit a weak or short ball from one corner to the center of your court and now you step into the court and hit it to the opposite corner. I think if the ball came from your opponent's forehand crosscourt you hit with your forehand to the backhand crosscourt. I need to go back and read the book again.

If the opponent would have hit it deep or with pace then you would not try to change direction and would hit back to the corner it came from or back up the middle.

Wardlaw has some good ideas, and I have even seen them put to use watching his players here at the U of I. Usually they will hit the backhand inside out to the forehand crosscourt on short balls for winners after attacking the backhand crosscourt side initially.

I know I struggle with hitting a backhand crosscourt to the backhand side for a winner when it's coming from the forehand side and sort of moving diagonally across in front of me. I believe Wardlaw is saying that you should hit this with your forehand instead.

Please correct me if wrong, thanks.

vin
08-20-2004, 07:17 AM
Eric,

What browser are you using? Do you have quicktime installed? I know the clips work in Internet Explorer, and they are embedded in quicktime, so if you don't have quicktime installed, they probably won't work right. They're old clips anyway and I plan to take some new ones soon.

I do actually move my feet. :)

A beginner I am helping was feeding me those balls just so I could take the clips. The way she was feeding, there was no next ball to recover for. As he should have, Bungallo Bill also pointed out the horrible display of recovery.

One of my strengths is being able to get to difficult balls, so my recovery ability can't be all that bad, but either way, there's always room for footwork improvement unless you're Federer, and I'm aware of that and working on it.

I'll take some S&V clips and some rally clips so that footwork is included.

Eric Matuszewski
08-20-2004, 08:24 AM
I'm using internet explorer and the Quicktimes off of Tennis one work fine. (take about 2seconds to download with all the gadgets functional).

Good attitude on the footwork/recovery like you said always room for improvement.

Also the directionals make you faster when you get used to them by telling you where the next shot (high percentage) will probably go. Always cover the high percentage!!!

You simply make habits of recovering to the high percentage.

You can still defend by hitting the low percentage on the run back crosscourt.

You'll get more and more faith in the directionals each match you play with them.


I look forward to new clips that work with motivated footwork.

Eric Matuszewski
08-20-2004, 08:27 AM
Kevhen,

read the book again and look at the pictures. Your describing an inside COD as a 90COD, there different. An inside is high percentage, an outside COD is low. 90 deg rule improves your chances of making the outside COD.

vin
08-20-2004, 08:53 AM
An inside is high percentage, an outside COD is low.

Let me see if this is sinking in correctly.

1. Hitting cross court is high percentage because of a lower net and more court.

2. Hitting down the line is risky because of a higher net and less court.

3. Changing direction is risky because your swing path is different than the ball path. As BB would say, there is shearing.

4. Changing direction on an inside ball is recommended because by doing so you will be hitting more cross court than down the line.

So the big assumption here is that the benefits of hitting cross court outweigh the disadvantages of shearing the ball to change direction, right?

kevhen
08-20-2004, 09:16 AM
So you hit the backhand crosscourt to the opponent's backhand side for the winner on a ball coming back to the short middle from a forehand in the deep corner despite the shearing?

I just remember seeing his #2 singles woman hitting her backhands on short balls to the sharp forehand side over and over for winners, which was a shot I had not really seen before but was obviously practiced. I usually just hit the backhand back crosscourt and not hit an inside out backhand for a winner. It was interesting to watch her do this though and finish off long rallies that way.

kevhen
08-20-2004, 09:49 AM
I also notice when I serve out wide on the duece court and get a weak return, I sometimes have trouble hitting the backhand crosscourt for the winner maybe due to the shearing effect, but maybe it's just lack of practice on that shot.

I did hit this exact shot cleanly for a winner in my singles match Tuesday and should work on serving wide more and hitting the crosscourt winner to shorten the points but have struggled in the past with this type of 2 ball combination possibly because of the shearing and big change in direction..

Eric Matuszewski
08-20-2004, 09:57 AM
Vin,

I'm getting the impression that you don't have the book.

Please go pick it up. Most major book stores carry at least one if not both of these titles.

Both of these titles have the directionals and all the info you need.

"Coaching Tennis" by Chuck Kriese

"Pressure Tennis" by Paul Wardlaw

I don't feel right giving out this guys hard work, but I don't mind giving you my take on it if you've at least given him the respect of the $19.95 or watever the small contribution is.

Eric Matuszewski
08-20-2004, 10:02 AM
Kevhen,

I'm assuming you have one of his videos.

The books give very clear and easy to understand diagrams.

the point of an inside COD is not neccessarily to hit a winner, but to apply pressure off of a reasonably attackable ball.

The sequence you described is an inside out backhand which an unexpected play according to Wardlaw because you would be "fighting the natural rotation of your hips and shoulders".

The normal play on that one would be to take it to the open court.

Like I told Vin, please go buy one of the books, they really are worthwile investments.

Eric Matuszewski
08-20-2004, 10:08 AM
Kevhen,

A backhand crosscourt winner off the wide slice serve is only reasonable if the guy tries to take his shot up the line and it goes instead into your body (inside COD) or he succedes DTL and you just hit an outside stroke to the open court (probably not going to be a winner unless he hit it short).

More likely combination is he tries to put it crosscourt (high percentage) and it goes weak so you take a 90COD and put the pressure on him from there.

vin
08-20-2004, 10:52 AM
Eric,

I do have the book and I agree with you about supporting the author. Although, I don't think any of us are giving out enough information to make it not worthwhile for someone to buy the book. In fact, I think we are doing the opposite by advertising it.

My first question was a result of me not correctly remembering what I read. That's my fault, sorry.

The last question is just to make sure that I understand the logic behind changing direction on an inside ball. As I said before, I think it is based on the assumption that the benefit of hitting cross court outweighs the risks involved in changing the balls direction. I don't think the book explicitly stated this, but I could be wrong (I'm at work and the book is at home, otherwise I'd check).

kevhen
08-20-2004, 11:17 AM
I already have the book too, just need to read it again and practice his ideas and see if they are useful for me to use in matches.

Bungalo Bill
08-20-2004, 11:52 AM
An inside is high percentage, an outside COD is low.

Let me see if this is sinking in correctly.

1. Hitting cross court is high percentage because of a lower net and more court.

2. Hitting down the line is risky because of a higher net and less court.

3. Changing direction is risky because your swing path is different than the ball path. As BB would say, there is shearing.

4. Changing direction on an inside ball is recommended because by doing so you will be hitting more cross court than down the line.

So the big assumption here is that the benefits of hitting cross court outweigh the disadvantages of shearing the ball to change direction, right?

Well you got a lot of it right. The concepts are starting to gel. Crosscourt is a very good strategy at all levels of play. It is the safest shot selection choice because of the things you mentioned. The pros use crosscourt shots because of the margin for error is lower and they can work their game plan and keep the ball in play.

Let's hear this from someone I have grown to respect very much Coach Kriese who is the Head Coach for the Clemson University Tennis Team (I dont know if you have his book, I would highly recommend it if you don't). I am putting this in so we are speaking from the same basis. Coach Kriese sums up the Directionals like this (my emphasis included):

"During a point in tennis, a player may choose to change or not change direction of the ball's flight. Not changing direction (hitting the ball back to where it came from) allows the player to hit the ball at a right angle. This is very forgiving to slightly mis-hit shots and also for more difficult shots such as the return of serve, first volleys, passing shots, approach shots, and balls placed so that a player is stretched and off-balance or out of position to return them. It is a good rule to avoid changing the direction of the ball on ANY shot that can not be CONTROLLED.

Changing direction of the ball (hitting to the open court), on the other hand, is a much riskier proposition. Only a slight change in angle of the racquet face can misdirect the ball out of bounds or into the net. The temptation is to hit the ball to the open court, away from the opponent. However, this is NOT ALWAYS a good idea because of the greater chance for error and because a poorly hit ball will sit up, thereby giving the opponent an opportunity for a put-away on his shot."

Coach goes on to say...

"Not changing directions has tremendous benefits. However, a major tactical goal is to hit shots which are natural - shots which don't require fighting your body and allow the hips and shoulders to rotate naturally. As you will soon see, there ARE SOME SHOTS THAT CHANGING DIRECTION ON THE BALL IS THE MORE NATURAL AND ADVANTAGEOUS OPTION."

THE OUTSIDE GROUND STROKE

Wardlaws Directonals are really about understanding the inside and outside shot. You will no longer see the game of hitting forehands and backhands. Forehands are now inside or outside forehands and backhands the same. This is how you will play from this day forward. This will give you a clear advantage over your opponents who only see the game as one forehand and one backhand. Tennis is much bigger than that.

The outside groundstroke is when two players are hitting corsscourt to each other. The outside groundstroke is called an outside groundstroke because the ball crosses in front of the players body and is moving away or to the outside (towards the alley).

On an outside shots the high percentage play is to NOT change directions and make contact in the 45 degree angle to hit the ball back to where it came from. You will see this happening a lot in the pros game. By not changing direction this will leave the strings on your racquet at contact at a right angle. You will make fewer errors hitting the ball this way. You will be hitting the ball back as your body uncoils naturally into the ball.

THE INSIDE BALL

Inside balls happen when the ball does not cross in front of a players body. If you're exchanging crosscourt backhands and the next ball does not cross in front of you as it comes towards you, the ball will be able to be hit from your forehand side and the change of direction is the high margin shot. It will place your racquet strings on a right angle with the ball at contact. It is the time to change directions.

Addtionally, you learned something about defending. If you see that your ball did not cross in front of your opponents body, you will need to defend that open court because chances are your opponent is going there - it is natural for him to do so! Watch the pros play and you will see.

Inside groundstrokes are the key shots you take the offensive on. Before that, you are nuetral, rallying or defending. You need to be alert (hence the HIT BOUNCE HIT method) and step into the court on an inside ground stroke.

Coach Kriese also says,

"the intial diffculty of changing the direction on an inside groundstroke (hitting crosscourt) is you cannot see the target as you prepare to hit the ball. Because you cant see your target, mastering inside shots becomes a matter of learning to gain "feel" of the court and a sense of the width of the court."

As you improve you will be able to hit these. This is where advanced players dismiss Wardlaws Directionals as to confining or too predictable. Nothing could be further from the truth. Once you can execute the basics of the Directionals, as you can see from Coach Krieses statement of "feel for the court" you can get creative.

There are also many other ways to get that inside ball such as: where you move after your shot, if the ball is slower, your strength and ability to control the racquet face and angle at impact, but that will be saved for another discussion. ;)

kevhen
08-20-2004, 12:04 PM
Agassi from what I remember seems to use Wardlaws alot by rallying crosscourt backhand and then on a weak ball to the middle will step in and take it with his forehand to the opponent's forehand side for a winner or at least get another defensive reply he can further attack.

Now Andy would take this same ball and hit it back to the opponent's backhand side and just keep attacking with the inside out forehand.

vin
08-20-2004, 12:17 PM
Thanks Bill!

If you're exchanging crosscourt backhands and the next ball does not cross in front of you as it comes towards you, the ball will be able to be hit from your forehand side and the change of direction is the high margin shot. It will place your racquet strings on a right angle with the ball at contact. It is the time to change directions.


Could you please explain the right angle you are talking about in the above example?

I thought the right angle was formed by the racquet and the incoming path of the ball, meaning that the racquet is perpendicular to the incoming path, but this would make a right angle impossible when changing direction from any orientation.

Bungalo Bill
08-20-2004, 12:35 PM
Agassi from what I remember seems to use Wardlaws alot by rallying crosscourt backhand and then on a weak ball to the middle will step in and take it with his forehand to the opponent's forehand side for a winner or at least get another defensive reply he can further attack.

Now Andy would take this same ball and hit it back to the opponent's backhand side and just keep attacking with the inside out forehand.

You got it! Obviously, the pros take the Directionals to new hieights with their strength, speed, conditioning, technique, and that a lot of them have coaches that can strategize with them etc.

But you are on the right track...

Bungalo Bill
08-20-2004, 12:45 PM
Thanks Bill!

If you're exchanging crosscourt backhands and the next ball does not cross in front of you as it comes towards you, the ball will be able to be hit from your forehand side and the change of direction is the high margin shot. It will place your racquet strings on a right angle with the ball at contact. It is the time to change directions.


Could you please explain the right angle you are talking about in the above example?

I thought the right angle was formed by the racquet and the incoming path of the ball, meaning that the racquet is perpendicular to the incoming path, but this would make a right angle impossible when changing direction from any orientation.

Yeah that was not good communication on my part. Please forgive and forget that.

Here is what I am trying to say:

Coach Kriese said above;

"...It is a good rule to avoid changing the direction of the ball on ANY shot that can not be CONTROLLED."

Those are the key words for the inside ball. That is "avoid changing direction on any shot that can not be controlled."

When a ball is to the inside of you, you have the ability to hit with your body in balance and it is natural for your hips and shoulders to uncoil INTO the ball giving you the opportunity to take control of the point and change the directions while maintaining CONTROL of the ball. This is the right time to change directions.

Keep in mind, there are going to be those times when you will change directions on an outside ball as well, but for now just get the basic concept down. I think he explains this further in his book along with guidelines for playing with a weapon, etc.

I hope that cleared things up for you.

vin
08-20-2004, 02:01 PM
Thanks Bill, that makes more sense.

papa
08-20-2004, 05:56 PM
This discussion is getting a little bit confusing.

As far a I know, an "inside ground stroke" is one where the ball does NOT cross in front of your body. An "outside ground stroke" is when the ball crosses in front of your body. Generally, you do not change directions on an outside ground stroke regardless of the court or type of stroke used whereas you DO change direction on inside ground strokes. There are several exceptions such as short balls, etc.

The change of direction is really not 90 degrees either its more like 45 degrees because when you change direction you want to hit down the line BUT keep it parallel to the line.

This is my understanding anyway - we need BB

vin
08-20-2004, 06:20 PM
The change of direction is really not 90 degrees either its more like 45 degrees because when you change direction you want to hit down the line BUT keep it parallel to the line.


When changing direction on an outside groundstroke, the 90 degrees is referring to the angle at which the path of your shot should cross your opponents baseline. So basically, you are hitting the ball parallel to the side line and perpendicular to the baseline. In this case, the 90 degrees does not refer to the angle of contact between the ball path and racquet.

I played a few games today before getting rained out. :evil: Recognizing an inside groundstroke and realizing to change direction is not as intuitive as I thought! Although, it worked very well the few times I was quick enough to put it all together. Hopefully it won't take too long to get the hang of it.

papa
08-20-2004, 06:41 PM
I agree vin

Eric Matuszewski
08-20-2004, 07:58 PM
Papa, Vin, Kevhen,

I'm happy that you guys are getting into the Wardlaw stuff.

Vin, sorry for questioning wheather you had the book, I forgot that alot of it is not so obvious on the first read.

It's better taken in a little at a time.
Read some, play with it , read some more, play again read some more, play again etc.

Get used to the system in steps as laid out by Wardlaw.

1) Get used to not changing direction.

2) Change direction on inside balls.

3) Recognize weak balls and go for 90 COD's

Trying to get it all in one shot is like trying to learn how to do Five different kinds of equations over one night.

You just end up confusing yourself.

Best Wishes

Bungalo Bill
08-20-2004, 10:24 PM
The change of direction is really not 90 degrees either its more like 45 degrees because when you change direction you want to hit down the line BUT keep it parallel to the line.


...I played a few games today before getting rained out. :evil: Recognizing an inside groundstroke and realizing to change direction is not as intuitive as I thought!...

LOL, whole different ball game your entering. It's nice to talk about it, another thing to implement it! Do you like the "window" only idea still? Did you use it while executing this workout. :wink:

HIT BOUNCE HIT. HIT (recognize the ball hit to you (inside or outside, backhand or forehand), BOUNCE, get in position and set to hit, HIT, see the contact zone and when the ball comes into the hitting parameter - hit it, :lol:

Vision strategy to be continued........

vin
08-21-2004, 05:39 AM
Bill, I kind of combined hit-bounce-hit and the window thing. I was trying hit-bounce-window. Hit and bounce were to prepare for where the ball is going and right after the bounce I would visualize the window and where the ball would cross it. I didn't have too long to try it out, but I was happy with the preliminary results. I felt like I was extremely focused on the ball at the time where it crosses the 'window' and it almost seemed like the ball was stopped at that point.

One more question for you guys. Lets say I'm in a forehand cross court rally and I get an inside ball (to the backhand side). Typically I would run around this and hit a forehand. Should I? If so, where do I hit it? Wardlaw has a section on playing with a weapon, but it's brief and it doesn't cover this (unless it's subtle). I would think that even though I'm hitting with my better side, running around it would make it more risky to change direction. Am I right? Would I be better off changing direction with my backhand even though my forehand is better? Oh, and I promise to not worry about this until I'm ready. :) For now I will mainly focus on being able to differentiate between inside and outside and not changing direction as Eric suggested.

JohnThomas1
08-21-2004, 06:33 AM
Ok i am in the process of taking all this in still. Let's say Lendl or courier are playing. As per common they plant themselves in their backhand corner and drill forehands back into their opponents backhand corner. What balls are these called and what should be the shot directions of these forehands according to the Wardlaw principles?

Bungalo Bill
08-21-2004, 10:24 AM
Bill, I kind of combined hit-bounce-hit and the window thing. I was trying hit-bounce-window. Hit and bounce were to prepare for where the ball is going and right after the bounce I would visualize the window and where the ball would cross it. I didn't have too long to try it out, but I was happy with the preliminary results. I felt like I was extremely focused on the ball at the time where it crosses the 'window' and it almost seemed like the ball was stopped at that point.

I know, and I am not trying to downplay Scott's article nor your efforts to find what works for you. As I said, I agree with the article. The reason why the article said the HIT BOUNCE HIT method was a good vision strategy, is because of this very reason - recognizing the ball quickly. However, Scott's aritcle made it sound like the first HIT BOUNCE was simply this hard focus on the ball. Unfortunately that isn't how advanced players who employ this vision strategy use it. I think you know this. I am glad that you're seeking to "mix" certain instruction for your use. That is very creative and is the basis of how I write my instruction on this website and what I believe every tennis player should do. Combining the brilliant work of the coaches in the past and mixing it in with the new discoveries and the coaches of today.

One more question for you guys. Lets say I'm in a forehand cross court rally and I get an inside ball (to the backhand side). Typically I would run around this and hit a forehand. Should I? If so, where do I hit it? Wardlaw has a section on playing with a weapon, but it's brief and it doesn't cover this (unless it's subtle). I would think that even though I'm hitting with my better side, running around it would make it more risky to change direction. Am I right? Would I be better off changing direction with my backhand even though my forehand is better? Oh, and I promise to not worry about this until I'm ready. :) For now I will mainly focus on being able to differentiate between inside and outside and not changing direction as Eric suggested.

When you get the inside ball, this is the time you can play more aggresively and change the direction of the ball with your backhand or run around the backhand and blast it.

In the world of chess, they call this "taking" the initiative. Your opponent has given you the opportunity to take the offense in the match and he will have to see what you DO with the initiative to see if he now has to play defense. The same thing happens in tennis.

Remember if you can CONTROL the ball you will be able to change direction in different situations. However, this is IF you are in a strategic matchup you dont like! It is when you "think" you can control the ball and change direction or feel pressured to do so that the chance for error increases.

At times, running around your backhand is the right shot selection. Running around your backhand to take it with your forehand IS a good move. Your forehand is the stronger shot and you can do more with the ball. So you will be able to handle more risk.

Also, a running around backhand is best taken in towards mid-court and sent back to the opponents backhand. In this case you are not changing directions but you are creating a strategic matchup that favors you (forehand against backhand). This shot can be hit with a sharp angle or can produce the short ball and then you will have complete control of the point.

Wardlaws Directionals are a great thing to study, but you will find it will become a foundation of how you hit the ball. It is a lot like learning Algebra I and II. As time goes on, you will become stronger, faster, and your stroke mechanics will allow you to get creative with your shots. You will be able to "go for more" and do things that are contrary to Wardlaws principles simply because you can.

In other words, your abilities to control the ball in different situations will increase which gives you more options outside of Wardlaws principles. That takes time though. :)

A friend of mine played for the University of Texas. He finished ranked 20th in singles and #2 doubles team. He used to tell me how often his coach used to get on him about changing the direction of the ball. He would actually "punish" players that changed direction on the wrong ball. Punishment usually was extra workouts and that kind of stuff. At the college level, Wardlaws principles are pretty important stuff. Not all colleges are "strict" with the Wardlaw principles but that should give you a sense on how much they can work for players who practice using them.

Keep getting the basics down and you will be able to mix in your creativity and your skill as you grow.

vin
08-21-2004, 10:54 AM
Thanks Bill, I'm looking forward to having this stuff engrained into my game.

JSummers
08-27-2004, 12:41 AM
Thanks all, very interesting discussion.

I am trying to simplify this in very simple practical sentences that one can quicky make decisions upon while on-court, and not to think about all the inside/outside, crossing in front or not,etc. (hey the ball has passed by the time you figured out !)

would this be correct:

1) If you find yourself about to hit a ball running away from you (horizontally), hit it back were it came from.
1) If you find youself about to hit a ball closing in on you (horizontally), do whatever you want...

Bungalo Bill
08-27-2004, 09:57 PM
Thanks all, very interesting discussion.

I am trying to simplify this in very simple practical sentences that one can quicky make decisions upon while on-court, and not to think about all the inside/outside, crossing in front or not,etc. (hey the ball has passed by the time you figured out !)

would this be correct:

1) If you find yourself about to hit a ball running away from you (horizontally), hit it back were it came from.

Yes

1) If you find youself about to hit a ball closing in on you (horizontally), do whatever you want...

If a ball does not cross in front of you, it gives you the opportunity to change directions IF you dont like the match up your'e in.

You obviously, dont want to change directions if the strategic matchup is what you want! So, if you like hitting your backhand against his backhand (even though it is your weaker shot, it may be better than his), then DON'T change directions, unless you know you can:

1. Hit a shot that will get him on the run

2. Hit a shot that will produce a one segment shot.

3. Hit a flat out winner.