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vin
08-23-2004, 04:37 AM
What should you do when you are playing percentages and getting killed?

For example, I played a match yesterday against a guy with a strong forehand and a weak backhand. I was following directionals in the first set, often lost control of the point during forehand cross court rallies, and lost the first set 6-1. This is someone that I typically beat, or lose to in a close match.

Second set I went back to my typical strategy against this guy and took away his forehand. I often violated the directionals by going down the line to his backhand on an outside groundstroke. I won the second set 6-2.

I see a lot of potential in using directionals and am wondering if I did the right thing by abandoning them to try and get out of what seemed like a bad strategic matchup. Should I stick to the directionals and wait for an inside ball even in a situation like this?

I know I need to improve at forehand cross court rallies, so maybe I should just stick out some losses in an effort to do so?

jun
08-23-2004, 08:09 AM
I haven't followed directionals. But I think you have answered your own question. Around 4.0~4.5 people start to have big shots. Big forehand, nasty slice backhand etc. If you aren't able to handle those shots, you shouldn't be hitting to that side. And I don't really see how sticking to directional in such case will help your game either. The guy is hitting big big forehands, and you just end up hustling around the baseline, lose the point. What's the point of that?

Bungalo Bill
08-23-2004, 11:45 AM
What should you do when you are playing percentages and getting killed?

For example, I played a match yesterday against a guy with a strong forehand and a weak backhand. I was following directionals in the first set, often lost control of the point during forehand cross court rallies, and lost the first set 6-1. This is someone that I typically beat, or lose to in a close match.

Second set I went back to my typical strategy against this guy and took away his forehand. I often violated the directionals by going down the line to his backhand on an outside groundstroke. I won the second set 6-2.

I see a lot of potential in using directionals and am wondering if I did the right thing by abandoning them to try and get out of what seemed like a bad strategic matchup. Should I stick to the directionals and wait for an inside ball even in a situation like this?

I know I need to improve at forehand cross court rallies, so maybe I should just stick out some losses in an effort to do so?

Once you understand the Directionals you need to incorporate it with your game plan. The Directionals are a great way to learn what balls you can and cant control.

For instance last night I was playing a good 5.5 player - very intelligent player. On certain shots I gambled and went for too much.

It happens to all of us. We see the opening, we trust our skills, and we hit the ball about 3 inches wide. So close, but so against what we should have done. Problem is mentally we see the pros do it, so why can't we!

The Directionals will teach you more than anything else what your limits are in changing directions of the ball at your current skill level.

You need to grow from the Directionals and incorporate it into a game plan, it is not THE game plan. Directionals are a shot selection strategy (a way to move the ball around) to get the matchup you want. If you know you want to trade backhands during a match, knowing the Directionals will help you move the ball in a high percentage way to get the matchup you want.

It will also teach you to be a little more conservative if you're not in the matchup you want and wait or force the inside ball either from your opponents reply, or from your movement and positioning. Then switch directions and get the matchup you want.

I think the Directionals give players this false sense of hope that once you get the inside ball you're going to hit a winner or now take total control of the point, not so when you play better players, they know how to wrestle too!

Strategic matchups are still the thing to have going into your match. The Directionals just help you get there.

vin
08-23-2004, 02:02 PM
You need to grow from the Directionals and incorporate it into a game plan, it is not THE game plan. Directionals are a shot selection strategy (a way to move the ball around) to get the matchup you want. If you know you want to trade backhands during a match, knowing the Directionals will help you move the ball in a high percentage way to get the matchup you want.




But if I play someone with a much better forehand than mine, chances are that during a forehand exchange, I'm not going to get many controllable inside ball opportunities and won't be able to change the matchup. So in a situation like this wouldn't it make sense to take more risk and change direction on an outside ball?

Bungalo Bill
08-23-2004, 02:17 PM
You need to grow from the Directionals and incorporate it into a game plan, it is not THE game plan. Directionals are a shot selection strategy (a way to move the ball around) to get the matchup you want. If you know you want to trade backhands during a match, knowing the Directionals will help you move the ball in a high percentage way to get the matchup you want.




But if I play someone with a much better forehand than mine, chances are that during a forehand exchange, I'm not going to get many controllable inside ball opportunities and won't be able to change the matchup. So in a situation like this wouldn't it make sense to take more risk and change direction on an outside ball?

Sometimes, or you need to practice other shots so you can have them in your aresenal to keep the opponent off balance. Including mixing pace, keeping it deep, different spins, etc. You also got to be able to move that ball around so that you don't let him get grooved in his weapon.

And yes, if you don't have an answer, you might have to take more risk to try and stay in the match.

I think you're starting to see where the Directionals can be limited. Don't get me wrong, players with equal abilities can use the Directionals as a sole execution strategy. I think they are a great way to practice and you can still go into a match with this system in mind.

vin
08-23-2004, 02:26 PM
Thanks Bill, that makes sense.

Now that you mention different shots, I realize that I should have tried looping the ball before abandoning the forehand.

Bungalo Bill
08-23-2004, 02:34 PM
Thanks Bill, that makes sense.

Now that you mention different shots, I realize that I should have tried looping the ball before abandoning the forehand.

Yeah good point. Part of a game plan is knowing what grips your opponent uses and attacking those grips. But that all depends if you can attack the grip. For instance, if you play a player with a Western grip, you probably would want to keep a lot of your shots low to that side. But if you never practice hitting low shots or slices, well you might get a little frustrated as you dont have an answer.

Knowing the weaknesses and stengths of different grips is a great way to build a game plan around and learn what your best strategic matchups will be. Most of the time it will be built around which wing is weaker than the other.