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vin
08-23-2004, 05:57 AM
I practice as often as 2-3 times per week, but don't think I'm getting nearly as much out of it as I should be. In fact, it seems like I make better improvements from a lot of match play than I do from a lot of practicing. Here are some questions on how to practice.

1. What are important characteristics of a good practice partner? How important is their skill level and ability to cover the court in relation to yours?

2. How much time should be spent on grooving good technique vs. strategy and point based drills? Once a foundation of decent technique is established, can the two even be combined?

3. What are the best ways to groove technique? Is using a backboard or ball machine better than a hitting partner?

I'm not asking about drills because I know I can search through the board for the many that have already been posted, but if you want to mention them anyway, go right ahead. :)

Also feel free to throw in any other aspects of practicing that you think are important.

I am frustrated by the results of my practicing and will appreciate any help.

Thanks,
Vin

jun
08-23-2004, 09:04 AM
Well good practice partner should be good enough to support what you want to do. Say you want to work on crosscourt rallies, if the other person can't hit crosscourts to save his life, then why bother.

You need to have the stroke in order to execute. If you can't hit slice down the line, what's the point of merely working on hitting slice approach down the line and coming to net? You'd be better off working on your slice down the line. I don't think anyone can tell you "how much time" b/c everyone requires different amount of time. But you can tell when you are grooved , then you can start working on point based drill or whatever.

For example, if you work on slice down the line for 15~20 mine or how long ever, you will be grooved. Then you can start hitting slice approach, closing into net.

In order to FIX a glitch in stroke, I think you will just have to work on that stroke w/o incorporating points. AFTER you work on stroke, you MUST play points using that stroke.

This is generally well described by Mr Khan. He emphasizes on concentrating on one stroke, and then using it in match play situation.

Mahboob Khan
08-23-2004, 11:07 AM
We just had very good discussion under "Kids practicing Aussie style". Over there we laid out some good playing drills also.

Practicing 2/3 times a week is not enough. Pros will have 2/3 practice sessions in a single day!

Obviously, if your technique is weak then you spend more time on technique development but sooner than later this learned technique should be mixed in a matchplay situations. There are many approaches to a good practice session and here is one of them:

-- Divide the total practice time in four quarters.

-- 1st quarter: technique learning/corrections/movement through basket feeding (deadball). Let's say in this quarter, you learned how to hit slice!

-- 2nd quarter: Using the learned technique in a close matchplay situation e.g. the coach feeds a short ball to the backhand of the player, the player must executes BH slice approach down the line and closes to the net, the coach returns his approach down the line, the player BH volleys short cross-court (the point ends there, it is not further played out particularly if you are working with large group). Then, on a short ball, the player approaches down the line, the coach returns cross-court, and the player FH volley down the line, etc.

-- 3rd quarter: Open matchplay situation with set up ball: The player, and the coach or a practice partner, starts a ground stroke rally using full singles court. After 6/7 stroke of rallying, the coach uses a set up ball to the BH of the player .. a short ball .. on which the player must approach down the line; the coach will then pass either cross-court or down the line and the player will try to intercept volley(s) and the point will be played out.

-- 4th quarter: Open Matchplay (charity ends here) involving the serve and return. Play a set, or 21 points. Earn the short ball to your BH and do what you learned in the previous sequences.

It is better to work on one major aspect of your game so that you never lose the focus.

As I said there are many approaches to a good practice session and the above is one of them. Obviously, it is not possible to write down all the drills.

A good answer requires a good question!!!

kevhen
08-23-2004, 12:21 PM
Did Sampras practice 2-3 times per day? I thought he backed off on practice once he had perfected his game and that is what allowed him to stay healthy despite playing many matches and staying at #1 for 6 years.

Bungalo Bill
08-23-2004, 12:34 PM
The Aussies are simply great tennis players and have a great culture for tennis.

I cant wait to get there next year. I will be there for at least 3 months and plan on bringing my racquets and surfboard.

Maybe some of you Aussies can point me towards some good surf breaks and afterwards we can play a little tennis.

dozu
08-23-2004, 12:58 PM
Mahboob, good stuff, my daughter is 3 and won't be long b4 I take her to the court, eventually I will need to learn this coaching thingie.

About practice effectively... yesterday I was hitting outside and on the court next to us a boy and a girl, both high school age, were practising and they were banging forehands with pace close to pros.... I was saying to myself gggeeez do kids hit hard these days! after half hour or so they started playing sets.... I couldn't believe my eyes, all the nice forms broke down, no more "pro" forehands, backhands miss to the bottom of the net, footwork was awkward, serves look like beginners with a "tray grip". I am pretty sure I can beat that boy 3 and 3.....

my point is, practise strokes should be the SAME as match play strokes, otherwise what's the purpose.

certainly you do drills etc like Mahboob outlined, but I have seen too many kids getting into this free swing mode during practice, and once a set starts everything breaks down.

me not a coach..... above just 2 worthless pennies.

kaviar
08-23-2004, 03:47 PM
Practice how you play a match. If you can bridge the gap you'll see heaps of improvement.

Bungalo Bill: Come to Queensland, best weather in Australia. Our winter days are 24 degrees centigrade. Sunshine And Gold Coast have good surfs and beaches.

CHeers

Bungalo Bill
08-23-2004, 03:51 PM
Practice how you play a match. If you can bridge the gap you'll see heaps of improvement.

Bungalo Bill: Come to Queensland, best weather in Australia. Our winter days are 24 degrees centigrade. Sunshine And Gold Coast have good surfs and beaches.

CHeers

I would like a break that has a nice "lefthander" to surf. I call it surfing "goofy foot". But since I am left side dominant it is "regular foot" for me! Any suggestions on which break to pursue?

I think the company I will be working with is near Sydney. I think some big tennis match is happening around there but not sure. Is Queensland far away (dont have the time to look at a map right now)?

Mahboob Khan
08-23-2004, 08:55 PM
Daily sessions also depend on the Pro's objectives and time availability between tournaments and yes, the number of practice sessions may vary from pro to pro.

By 2/3 practice sessions per day I meant: 2 hours in the morning, 2 hours in the afternoon, and one session for physical conditioning involving track/gym (5 to 6 hours of meaningful practice per day).

JohnThomas1
08-24-2004, 03:06 AM
Queensland is next door to Sydney's state which is New South Wales bill. Queensland and New South Wales are both states.

JohnThomas1
08-24-2004, 03:14 AM
kaviar isn't kidding about the weather and beaches either, they are beautiful where he is. Hi kaviar, i am in Rockhampton.

copycat
08-24-2004, 04:42 AM
I think we need to have a group TW messageboard Aussie tennis day!!! :D I live down in Melbourne which is pretty far away from you guys, but maybe you can catch a plane down or something :roll:?? Bill, if and when you come to Melbourne, feel free to contact me on 0408512132 for a hit!!

Bungalo Bill
08-24-2004, 01:40 PM
I think we need to have a group TW messageboard Aussie tennis day!!! :D I live down in Melbourne which is pretty far away from you guys, but maybe you can catch a plane down or something :roll:?? Bill, if and when you come to Melbourne, feel free to contact me on 0408512132 for a hit!!

http://www.ausopen.org/pages/image.aspx?assetid=RDM38219.6629705556http://www.ausopen.org/pages/image.aspx?assetid=RDM38219.6636031481

You got it! I need all of the Aussies (if you want to try and get together and you are willing) contact information so we can either "chum it up" at a local pub, hit some balls or paddle out for a good wave! Don't know if any of you surf. I hear Patrick Rafter goes out to catch a couple waves or two.

http://www.infoplease.com/images/maustral.gif

If I am in Sydney I will definitely head down to Melbourne for the Australian Open, I would like some of you TW Aussies to join me for some good court side matches and fun. I am hoping John Yandell will be there as well. We will have to take "Dad" out for some fun.

JohnThomas1
08-25-2004, 04:06 AM
Goodness it would be hard for me to swing this but i'll sure keep it in mind :)