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iradical18
08-23-2004, 08:35 PM
So i've got a friend that i practice with on a regular basis, he cant practice rally for crap. When im trying to practice i want to hit the ball back and forth at a medium pace that way i can concentrate on my stroke and do some repair as needed, thats not to say that i dont like a fast pace rally everynow and then, but for the most part i would like a smooth rally. The rally starts off nice but after getting 2 to 3 shots in he starts going cross court and going for the kill like he's playing match point! He claims that he cant hit "softly" well i dont want him to hit softly i just want him to stop tryin to kill the ball on every hit. I dont know, maybe i just need to find a new hitting partner? I'm having more successful practice by myself at the backboard and running the mile....

Ryoma
08-23-2004, 08:46 PM
I have the same problem. My friend can't really hit practice shots. Everytime I feed a ball to him, he either hit it long or hit a crosscourt killer. It's so frustrating.

Bungalo Bill
08-23-2004, 09:12 PM
I know a guy like that. He was taking lessons from me and I taught him a few things. One of the things I was trying to teach him was hitting with pace does not mean going for winners on every shot. It means hitting the ball with pace and moving the ball around. He did fine when I was feeding balls as he took a little off the ball.

Well, afterward he wanted to rally so I said "ok, lets see if we can keep the ball in play for 30 balls." He said "ok", and when I hit the ball to him to start the sequence, he took this huge wind up and just creamed the ball! My eyes got real big as I had this shocked look on my face :shock: , I had no clue why he did that.

So I fed him another ball to start the rally and again, he took this huge windup and just creamed the ball. Never mind that the balls he was hitting were headed to the back fence and one came off his frame so hard that it went way up in the air and over the fence. I just stood and stared at the ball going over the fence. Then I turned towards him and just shook my head.

Eventually, I stopped, put my racquet down and walked up to the net and said "what the hell are you doing?" He said, "I want to work you and want to see if I am better than you." I said, "I really don't care if you're better than me, I hope you are better than me, that afterall is a goal every coach has. Let me remind you, this little "thing" we are doing is not about winning it is about keeping the ball in play. Do you understand that? I want to see if we can keep the ball going at least 30 times to work on your conditioning and mental stamina."

We then hit some more balls before he went back to his blasting routine and framing balls left and right and I called it off. He called me several times afterwards to practice but I just told him to go find someone else.

A great game to sort of slow down a blaster and you get a great workout is to play 21. There are no serves and no returns - just an all-court rally.

You or your sparring partner starts off the point by hitting a groundstroke. Then when the person receiving the groundstroke trys to hit it back and makes it in, this starts the point. If you are not consistent with the ball, you can lose real quick. You get to still hit out on the ball, perform drop shots, volleys etc. just no serving and returning.

It is a fun game that builds your ability to control the ball and gives you a great workout. Oh, first one to 21 wins.

andreh
08-24-2004, 12:47 AM
This seems to be a common problem. I know no one who's willing (or simply can't) to rally to keep the ball in play. They're imaptient and want kill the ball right away. I never get proper stroke defrosting because of this.

Thanatos
08-24-2004, 04:59 AM
BB, when I encounter a partner like that I usually suggest we play a quick set before practicing. I blow him out within the first 30 minutes and then he realizes that there is a need to build consistency in rallies. Now he's more open to rallies after I beat the crap out of him just to prove a point. Also, my hitting partner now insist that we practice rallies before playing a match. I still beat the crap out of him, but he now understands the point of building strokes consistency.

TennsDog
08-24-2004, 05:39 AM
I am somewhat of that type of player. I don't really have a "rally stroke". I have different speeds, heights, and spins, but I don't have one stroke that I can just rally with at a comfortable pace for a long time. I have never rallied with anyone for more than 10 strokes. Even if I force myself to not go for winners, I end up usually netting the ball or sometimes long. I actually feel less in control when I hit slower. I was actually verbally pleased yesterday when I won a point where we were both just rallying back and forth in the middle of the court. I cannot keep a point neutral for more than one or two shots. I either hit it low and hard to stay in control, or I slice and hit with no pace putting myself on defense...hoping they miss. Today I will be hitting with someone a level or two below me, so I thought about how to play to get the most out of it. I thought: go for serves, don't blast returns (just deep cross court), stay close to the baseline, don't go for winners, wait for an opening for a put-away after working the point, and serve and volley sometimes. Immediately after, I realized that is exactly the way I should always play no matter who I am playing. I just don't have the patience to hit more than 5 balls before I go for a winner or drop shot, etc. I have been working on this, though, and think it is helping me.

Bungalo Bill
08-24-2004, 11:23 AM
BB, when I encounter a partner like that I usually suggest we play a quick set before practicing. I blow him out within the first 30 minutes and then he realizes that there is a need to build consistency in rallies. Now he's more open to rallies after I beat the crap out of him just to prove a point. Also, my hitting partner now insist that we practice rallies before playing a match. I still beat the crap out of him, but he now understands the point of building strokes consistency.

Yeah I agree, but this guy really wasn't worth it, he always showed up late for practice, never apoligized, and always wanted his full hour even if he was late with the next lesson coming in on time.

He dreaded it when I laid into him one night about being late and his disrespect for other peoples time. I made him pay for the full hour(s) then dropped him. Not worth it! There were many other people that were hungry to learn and grow.

But yeah, I agree that is one way to handle it.

TwistServe
08-24-2004, 12:57 PM
Maybe the guy just can't rally.. I have a friend that I hit with frequenty but he just can't keep the ball consistent. If he goes soft, it falls short and floats, if he trys to get it deep, the ball sails long or into the net.

Funny thing is when we warm up with short tennis, he is fine.. Hits with good spin and nice touch to keep the ball within service box.. Then when we move back to the baseline, his stroke completely changes to a big windup and major swing, or just a little dink and no depth.. That explains why he pusher during match play.

Bungalo Bill
08-24-2004, 01:27 PM
Maybe the guy just can't rally.. I have a friend that I hit with frequenty but he just can't keep the ball consistent. If he goes soft, it falls short and floats, if he trys to get it deep, the ball sails long or into the net.

Funny thing is when we warm up with short tennis, he is fine.. Hits with good spin and nice touch to keep the ball within service box.. Then when we move back to the baseline, his stroke completely changes to a big windup and major swing, or just a little dink and no depth.. That explains why he pusher during match play.

Nah, this guy was a weirdo. He could rally, but then you would see him crouch real low and sort of do this wind up and come up spinning into the ball and swing with all of his might.

It was actually quite funny,I wish I taped it. It is a classic example on how NOT to hit a tennis ball. He would do this about every fourth ball. If he made it in, the next ball would have a bigger windup, if that ball made it in, he would wind up even bigger. LOL

What a knucklehead.

papa
08-24-2004, 03:38 PM
I think everyone has hit with the types of guys you are all talking about - I'll do it once but don't even bother to return their calls after that. Watching the balls fly everywhere but IN the court is not my idea of fun.

However, I happen to like to hit with people (both sexes) who CAN at least keep the ball in the court (most of the time anyway) but don't hit to the same spot every single time either - like down the middle. I don't mind banging away for awhile but I like to run also.

I've hit with some that seem to pick a position (center - 3 or 4 feet behind the baseline) and don't like to move anywhere - its fun for a little while but gets to me also. Kinda like the type who won't even hit a ball if its out - even by an inch.

nyu
08-24-2004, 04:20 PM
My normal hitting partner is like this. He hits the ball flat and hard, and used to rarely be able to hit more than 4 shots in a row on the court. I found that the best way to practice against a player like this is to keep hitting your own medium paced shots and work on getting every ball back up the middle of the court. This actually works your full game if the guy keeps going for corners and winners, because it tests your ability to move and keep hitting and placing your own strokes . It also puts the ball in an area where your opponent has the best chance to hit a decent shot(i'm not advocating pushing the ball back, but if you move the guy around and he misses every time, where exactly is the practice?). Also, I keep a ball in my pocket, and if he misses the shot, i immediately take the ball out of my pocket and put it into play. Also, I try not to let myself get into an inconsistent bashfest and instead work on my own strokes. It also solidifies the strokes I practice and helps me rely less on "getting into a groove" than on being able to hit my strokes solidly when playing a sporadic and hard hitting player.

I would rather practice with a player who hits a solid rally paced ball, but if you don't have a player like that to hit with, you have to work with what you have, ya know.

Joe Average
08-24-2004, 09:28 PM
I have that problem too. I'll hit with anyone. Beginners, advanced players, anyone who wants to rally. And I find that those who go for winners, hit hard to the corners, dump short angled shots ... are those who can't rally. And it's no surprise their strokes aren't very good, seeing as how it's the repetition of rallying that promotes good strokes. It's as if they're hiding their deficiencies in technique by banging away. Anyway, I once had a "hit and run" session at the club where the pro asked us to get the ball over the net 10 times (5 hits). He stood at the other baseline to start the rally. If we failed to do this, sustain a rally of ten balls, we had to run a lap around the court. After the second lap, we all seemed to find our "neutral" stroke.

lendl lives
08-25-2004, 10:14 AM
finding someone who rallies well is the exception. but i think we all are guilty of going to for winners at times during rally warm up.

there is is this guy who is notorios for hitting side to side and angles away from his warm up partner. if you hit one down the line he wont run and get it. at first it bothered me but i figured i needed to run anyway.

polakosaur
08-25-2004, 10:29 AM
So i've got a friend that i practice with on a regular basis, he cant practice rally for crap. When im trying to practice i want to hit the ball back and forth at a medium pace that way i can concentrate on my stroke and do some repair as needed, thats not to say that i dont like a fast pace rally everynow and then, but for the most part i would like a smooth rally. The rally starts off nice but after getting 2 to 3 shots in he starts going cross court and going for the kill like he's playing match point! He claims that he cant hit "softly" well i dont want him to hit softly i just want him to stop tryin to kill the ball on every hit. I dont know, maybe i just need to find a new hitting partner? I'm having more successful practice by myself at the backboard and running the mile....

You got two options, find a new friend or get a ball machine

kevhen
08-25-2004, 11:06 AM
I like to rally but if my opponent hits short during the rally I will come to net with a slice approach on a low ball and then volley for winner or hit the forehand topspin winner on any high short ball. You should practice the way you would play in a match. But most of the time I will just rally back and forth and prefer to have some focus like hitting everything deep and crosscourt.

goober
08-25-2004, 01:24 PM
You got two options, find a new friend or get a ball machine

Or better yet a friend with ball machine. 8)

fastdunn
08-25-2004, 10:36 PM
Most of people who hit with me understand that feeding balls
each other is a part of the warming up procedure.

Then there is a group of poeple who want to practicing going
for the winner with very little warm-up. I try asking them to
warm up a bit more but some people seem to be built that
way. What they want in a warm up is something different from mine.
They would be happy to feed me do those.
Then I use them only when I want to practice winners.

Then there is a group of people who just do not know how to
warm up. Then I suggest things for our warm up and then they
convert and they love longer rallies.

Then there are these very rare individuals who does not make
sincere effort to feed balls for others to practice or warm up.
It's a subtle things but you know them. Very self-centered
individuals that everybody hates.

There is this guy who never got married and he is in 50s.
He has this twisted personality too. This guy sort of act like
that and still complains about everybody who avoids him.
You know what ? I'm the only guy who would feed balls for
him to warm up (and play game with him too!).
80% of my warm up is for helping others warm up and then
just a few checks before games. I try to have same kind of
people as my closest tennis buddies.....

Ryoma
08-25-2004, 11:15 PM
Anybody has the experience that when you try to practise rally with your partner, he is only able to dink the ball back. I am not hitting hard at all, just modest pace topspin. My friend can only dink the ball back, making it a short ball with no pace. The thing that bugs me is that my friend thought he did a great job, since he is able to land the ball back into the court. I usually chip the ball back and he will hit a winner to the open court :x . If I put away the short ball, the rally will end there. What should I do?

Agent Smith
08-26-2004, 03:09 AM
O I know some of those people too... just hit really hard at them so that it won't be a winner. That way they get to practice handling pace/spin and you get to pratice dealing with short balls.

And when you are in no man's land you can pratice hitting on the rise or just practice drive volleys. That's what I do with my no-so-good hitting partners.

Of course you can go up and volley if you want. Depends on what you wanna practice. :)

fastdunn
08-26-2004, 10:13 AM
I would discuss what he wants in the practice rally.
And ask for what you want and agree on what you guys want
to do. If it still does not work, maybe you guys are not good fit
each other for practice.

What I ask for my practice partner are 1). 5 minute of super slow
warm up and 2) medium pace and full pace for the rest of the
warm up. If they angle or coner too much, I would shout "hit
it too me !".


Anybody has the experience that when you try to practise rally with your partner, he is only able to dink the ball back. I am not hitting hard at all, just modest pace topspin. My friend can only dink the ball back, making it a short ball with no pace. The thing that bugs me is that my friend thought he did a great job, since he is able to land the ball back into the court. I usually chip the ball back and he will hit a winner to the open court :x . If I put away the short ball, the rally will end there. What should I do?

predrag
08-26-2004, 11:06 AM
[snip]
but I don't have one stroke that I can just rally with at a comfortable pace for a long time. I have never rallied with anyone for more than 10 strokes. Even if I force myself to not go for winners, I end up usually netting the ball or sometimes long. I actually feel less in control when I hit slower.

What you should do is pay attention to the basics.
Watch the ball really carefully and prepare as early as you can.
I usually tell my students that you should be have your shoulders turned
and be ready when the ball hits the ground.
From there all you need is to step toward the ball and meet it in front of you.

Regards, Predrag

kevhen
08-26-2004, 11:11 AM
I tend to hit at my opponent these days during warmups although when I was 3.5 I didn't have as good of directional control and had a hard time hitting at opponents as my natural tendency was to hit away from them.

But now I don't mind a few balls that make me run a little to get my legs warmed up too and practice hitting on the run, otherwise when the match has started I don't feel like my legs are really into for several points so I try to bounce around during warmups if my opponent is hitting directly at me too.

papa
08-26-2004, 04:47 PM
Before we go too far with this discussion, I think there appears to be some confusion with "hitting" and "warm-up" - in my mind they are two very different things. I thought we were talking about "hitting" - no match involved, just going out and hitting with someone for a hour or so.

During a "warm-up" period, I consider it rather rude to hit away from the person your warming up with. Nothing like trying to get a few net balls and every return is out of reach - I just won't start the game until I'm ready - period.