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View Full Version : Do your players/teammates attend team practice?


Cindysphinx
02-15-2007, 02:07 PM
On another thread, someone mentioned that his wife (USTA captain) is less likely to play players who do not attend team practice.

On my ladies 6.5 combo team, we try to practice each Saturday. It's winter, so we're indoors and the times vary depending on what courts we can get. Since the beginning of the season in January, we've had between 7-9 players turn out each Saturday out of 14 players. Attendance should increase a bit when the weather warms because we'll be able to pick a specific time and stick with it.

How well are your team practices attended? And do you have a coach or do you just play each other?

Voltron
02-15-2007, 02:10 PM
That's too bad Cindy, I can't believe people would be so inconsiderate of your team. You should just charge them extra for every practice they miss. Good luck with your team by the way. Oh wait, I didn't answer you're question...uhhhh, I'm kinda not on a team...soooo.....;)

ironicqueery
02-15-2007, 03:52 PM
I captain a 3.0 team in Austin, TX. My team doesn't practice. I took over as captain when the previous captain couldn't do it any longer. The no-practicing was going on when I took over, so I didn't really want to put extra pressure on the team. We are sorta designed as a laid back team that isn't very worried about winning.

However, my partner and I do care about winning, but really just focus on our own game. Our goal is to improve our game and move up in levels, not really to get to sectionals or anything. It would be great if we could, but we decided to put our money into tournaments and lessons.

rasajadad
02-16-2007, 04:12 AM
My 4.0 team has three separate practice times a week. Most everyone makes at least one of them.

raiden031
02-16-2007, 05:54 AM
cindy,

how many courts do you have for your players, and is this a block time or do you just reserve them every week?

What do you do during practice? Drills or just play sets?

tennismike33
02-16-2007, 06:59 AM
"Practice, we are talking about PRACTICE!" Allen Iverson

Cindysphinx
02-16-2007, 07:14 AM
cindy,

how many courts do you have for your players, and is this a block time or do you just reserve them every week?

What do you do during practice? Drills or just play sets?

We have no block time, so we must do our best to reserve whatever courts we can get each week during the winter. This week, we have three 2-hour blocks and one 1-hour block. [edit: many of us are on a mixed doubles team as well, so some of the players in these slots are guys.]

We just play sets. I sometimes suggest drills, but players often say they'd rather just play. The drills I have suggested are Four Players In The Service Box Doing Controlled Volleys (players refused saying "drills are for lessons with a pro"); One-Serve Doubles To Work On Second Serve And Chip & Charge (players liked); No-Bounce Doubles (hardly anyone could S&V successfully so we stopped); 21 From The Baseline (players like this groundstroke drill, but it doesn't help so much with doubles); Two-Up, Two Back Work On Covering Lobs and Passing Shots (players got frustrated).

We don't require that players attend team practice because some players are on more than one team and choose to attend the other team's practice. So long as they're getting on the court regularly, that will have to do.

I think attendance rates will increase greatly when the weather warms. Then we pick a 2-hour block of outdoor time. The time doesn't fluctuate so it's easier to plan.

cghipp
02-16-2007, 07:58 AM
We usually have at least eight, and get hard courts for two hours on Sunday afternoons. When we first started practicing we would go five games, no-ad and switch partners, trying to see who played well with whom. Now that we have a good idea, we play single sets and switch opponents, sometimes switching partners as well to try things out. Several of us also attend Saturday morning clinics, as well as taking lessons. Plus, a number of us play each other every week in a social mixed doubles league, and several of us went to Baton Rouge for the seniors doubles tournament a couple of weeks ago. So we're getting enough court time in, I think! Most of my teammates are working moms, so we're not going to be overly gung-ho about practices. If you can make it, great. For the other teams I'm playing on, I'll try to schedule a practice singles match here and there, but the team I'm captaining is my priority.

raiden031
02-16-2007, 08:06 AM
I wish my team had practices. The only time I can find available courts is 6 in the morning, and my morning partners are all singles players. My only doubles practice is the occasional weekend evening social or USTA mixed match.

cak
02-16-2007, 08:09 AM
Our first practice for the season is next week. Despite many, many people being out of town for President's Week holiday, we are still getting 12 ladies out at night under the lights. (Brrrrr) We do warmups, which, for some reason around here always starts with the four players in the service box doing controlled volleys while chatting. Yep, we are good enough to volley and talk. It's a bit scary, sometimes I think our problem in real games are we aren't talking about the kids/husbands/school system/latest movie. After 10 minutes or so we back up and hit and talk until our voices get tired, and then we start playing sets, switching partners and opponents every set or so. (The captain calls when most folks have completed a set.) After a few hours we call it and drink wine and have whatever snacks everyone brought under the outdoor heaters.

In addition we have once weekly clinics with the pro.

Some people never come to practice. Some people join the team just so they can come to practice. We play the best players available for matches. Practice attendance is only taken into account in that if we haven't seen them play we might not know how good they are. However, most the ladies play mornings at the club, we've played with them, we know how good they are. The ones where practice makes a big difference are those that don't play at the club weekday mornings.

heartman
02-16-2007, 08:37 AM
USTA Team practice - what's that?

AR15
02-16-2007, 08:51 AM
My 3.0 team has practice one a week. About half the team attends practice.

Only a couple of us are interested in drills or clinics. Most are happy just to play recreationally at their current level.

We have had enough players in the past to form two teams. I would like to split the team by those who practice and desire to improve, and those who are happy with their status quo. I don't seem to get a very good reception to that idea, but I'd rather play (and lose) with a team that is motivated, than play for a team that doesn't care.

tennis-n-sc
02-16-2007, 12:26 PM
"Practice, we are talking about PRACTICE!" Allen Iverson

Mike, absolutely one of the funniest interviews I have ever seen!:)

tennis-n-sc
02-16-2007, 12:31 PM
All my teams have always had a night set for practice and as many as can make attend. Playing time has never been associated with practice attendance. We are doing something new at the club this year. We have 2 adult 3.5 teams and 1 3.5 senior team. We have set aside practice for all the teams on Thursday evening. Everyone calls the shop prior to noon on Thursday and confirms attendance, the pro then puts doubles and singles teams together to play. That way we are playing somone different each week. So far it has worked great. No, we never get a coach involved in our practices.

Topaz
02-16-2007, 01:40 PM
I co-captain a 3.0 USTA team. We have two weekly clinics with four 'regulars' assigned to each day. Other players who didn't commit to a regular spot (or who aren't sharing a spot) rotate in as subs. When the weather gets warmer we also do a two hour Saturday morning practice where we try to encourage as many as possible to come to. Depending on who shows up we will play doubles or singles.

The weekly clinics are with a tennis pro, and we do pretty intense drills for most of 90 minutes and then end with some match play...say a tie break or two.

A few of us also take lessons.

When it comes to line-ups, first we look at who is available. Then, who are we playing? Then, who are our established doubles teams and singles players. And by then...we're usually out of options!

By far, the better players are the ones who practice the most. They also are the most committed players and are the ones who are available the most because they want to be there...they want to play. It seems to all work out in the end.

Raiden.Kaminari
02-17-2007, 12:10 AM
We have no block time, so we must do our best to reserve whatever courts we can get each week during the winter. This week, we have three 2-hour blocks and one 1-hour block. [edit: many of us are on a mixed doubles team as well, so some of the players in these slots are guys.]

We just play sets. I sometimes suggest drills, but players often say they'd rather just play. The drills I have suggested are Four Players In The Service Box Doing Controlled Volleys (players refused saying "drills are for lessons with a pro"); One-Serve Doubles To Work On Second Serve And Chip & Charge (players liked); No-Bounce Doubles (hardly anyone could S&V successfully so we stopped); 21 From The Baseline (players like this groundstroke drill, but it doesn't help so much with doubles); Two-Up, Two Back Work On Covering Lobs and Passing Shots (players got frustrated).

We don't require that players attend team practice because some players are on more than one team and choose to attend the other team's practice. So long as they're getting on the court regularly, that will have to do.

I think attendance rates will increase greatly when the weather warms. Then we pick a 2-hour block of outdoor time. The time doesn't fluctuate so it's easier to plan.

Have you asked your players why they think they're still 3.0s?

As Vic Braden said in one of his book, as did Nick in one of his videos, practice correctly and you will improve. Practice as usual, and don't expect different results.

Thankfully, you're trying to practice to improve.

tennismike33
02-17-2007, 08:15 AM
Mike, absolutely one of the funniest interviews I have ever seen!:)

It was a great interview, the funniest part was people blew it so far out of proportion. There are many reasons to hold players out of practice and there are players who just do not practice well but deliver in the game situation. I coached basketball and we would take a player off the floor just to reflect what could happen in a game situation.

rasajadad
02-17-2007, 02:19 PM
I'm noticing from these responsesthat there is a direct relationship between practice and rating. (The higher the rating, the more there is practice.) Go figure!

volleyman
02-17-2007, 02:26 PM
Right now my USTA teams are holding organized practices 1 to 4 times a week, depending on the weather. This may sound like a lot, but for the Durham team I am co-captaining, getting 6 players to a single practice is an achievement. A week where we have 4 practices means we might actually get everyone on the court twice.

Right now we're mixing drills with set play. The goal is to scrape off the rust, have some fun, and get an idea of who people would like to play with during the season (our team has serious turnover year-to-year, thanks to folks getting bumped up, moving out of the state, dropping out to concentrate on family and so on).

R-Fed
04-13-2007, 06:22 PM
What happens if the team wants you to practice with them even though you can't always make the team practice (due to family, errands, commute time, etc) but can still practice with other people 4-5 times per week?

Cindysphinx
04-14-2007, 12:56 AM
It's spring, and our team has 17 people. Our practice time is on Saturday afternoon, but this week we started trying to do a Thursday a.m. and Thursday p.m. practice. We will have a pro coach interested players on Sundays.

This week, six will come to Saturday practice and four (including me) came to Thursday a.m. practice. Thursday p.m. practice was cancelled due to lack of interest. No clinic with the pro because we (and the mixed team) both have a team match.

Getting people together has become such a problem that one of my doubles teams for Sunday will lay eyes on each other for the first time that day.

Raiden.Kaminari
04-14-2007, 12:25 PM
A good healthy indication they have a life beyond tennis :grin:

thanatos2948
04-14-2007, 07:08 PM
My team practices once a week for about 2 hours. I usually try to get a singles match in on Wednesdays with the other singles player from the team. We practice basically by playing a set and rotating.

peter
04-15-2007, 12:19 AM
How well are your team practices attended? And do you have a coach or do you just play each other?

1. We don't have any team practices.
2. We don't have a coach.

:-)

peter
04-15-2007, 12:27 AM
Getting people together has become such a problem that one of my doubles teams for Sunday will lay eyes on each other for the first time that day.

Ah yes... The wonders of getting people to commit for league play. In the league where I play we play two singles and one doubles match for each "tie", so the minimum we can be for a tie is two players (that play both the singles and the doubles match). And still it can sometimes be difficult to find people. I've been a bit lucky the last seasons in that we've been two guys that _really_ want to play so we try to rearrange other stuff around our tennis.

But then we have a bunch of "hangarounds" that say they want to play but...

1. Some players only want to play the home matches (since they feel the away matches take too much time).

2. Then we have the players who at the beginning of the season say they want to be a part of the team and play - when nothing else conflicts with the matches. Guess what - there is _always_ something that conflicts when matchday comes around...

3. Then we have the almost always injured players...

(I've stopped calling the guys in 1-3 unless it's an absolute emergency. If they want to play then _they_ can get in touch...)

heninfan99
04-22-2009, 06:34 AM
I love team practices. I think they are good for seeing player levels first hand. The one guy that claimed to be amazing via email turned out to be one of our weaker players. The most humble guy is our best player.

Also, if they show up to practice on time I figure that they'll show up for matches. I can then use these guys as my core dependable group.

There's really no way for you to know who belongs on court #1 without seeing them play BEFORE a match.

TennisND
04-22-2009, 07:07 AM
Do we really have to have the best players in court #1? I thought those numbers just for record.

Venetian
04-22-2009, 07:26 AM
I was going to join one of my club's teams last season, but they wanted me to go to the practices to be able to play on the team. I couldn't afford to pay for the match court fees and practice court fees.

OrangePower
04-22-2009, 10:17 AM
Leading up to the league season, we try to arrange two practices a week, one during the week and one on the weekend. During the season itself, we have one practice during the week.

Practices are informal, not mandatory, and typically involve 6 - 8 guys showing up and then playing some sets. No drilling, coaching, or anything like that.

Although we are a pretty competitive team, less formal practices work well for us. Most people are already playing several times during the week anyway, and we have several that are on more than one team also.

OrangePower
04-22-2009, 10:27 AM
I should add that we all know each other really well. If we had any new players wanting to join the team that we had not played with before, then for sure we would want to see them play in a few practice sessions before putting them in the lineup (or even allowing them to join the team). And not just to check out their tennis skills - we'd also want to make sure that they are a good fit socially.

I love team practices. I think they are good for seeing player levels first hand. The one guy that claimed to be amazing via email turned out to be one of our weaker players. The most humble guy is our best player.

Also, if they show up to practice on time I figure that they'll show up for matches. I can then use these guys as my core dependable group.

There's really no way for you to know who belongs on court #1 without seeing them play BEFORE a match.