View Full Version : Why does my tennis vary so much playing with different people

05-08-2007, 09:13 PM
Hi, Everybody, I'm 30 and I'm new to the tennis game (2 months). And now I love it and started playing it seriously. I play an hour a day everyday these days. And I see my coach once every two weeks. Right now I have a lot to correct for my forehand and backhand. I hit against the wall 4-6 times a week to get consistent strokes and correct my leg, torso and swing.

I can see my progress but it seems that when I play with noobs, my playing seem to be just like what I was 2 months ago, e.g. inconsistent strokes, balls fell on the net every now and then, hitting balls with frame etc.

However, when I play with another friend (3.5 level), I can trade strokes with him many times in a row, and seldom do I hit balls with my frames, etc. Of course, my friend didn't play those strategy with me, he just feed me regular baseline strokes. Also when hitting against the wall or playing with the coach, I know that I improve a lot on my strokes, forehand or backhand.

My frustration here is that in front of my noob friends, I don't seem to have any improvements at all. Maybe their strokes are too inconsistent(fast slow, deep shallow, too high, too low)? Or does it require a lot of skills to be able to keep the game going with noobs and my skills are just not there yet?

05-08-2007, 10:08 PM
yea i know what you mean. i am the same. when you play with noobs its more difficult because you dontknow what you are going to get! the ball can be almost anywhere because they have no control whatsoever, so you end up just running everywhere instead of actully hitting. whereas your 3.5 friend can hit it back to you every time nice and easy for you to return.

having said that, it means you arent good enough yet. once you are really good you can play with anyone and adjust accordingly. however, you just started, so i am wondering how much better you are compared to noobs....because hitting the wall is very different with people.

05-08-2007, 10:26 PM
if possible play with folks your level or higher, this causes you to adapt to the situation and will be a greater learning experience when it comes to improving.

05-08-2007, 10:28 PM
The problem is beginner hit inconsistent shot might or might not fall into your hitting zone, ie., some high, some low, some shallow, some deep, different spins, different pace, etc.

To solve the problem, you need to have better footwork to quickly move yourself to setup so that you can hit the ball in your hitting zone all the time.

05-08-2007, 10:40 PM
To hit with a beginner first needs your patience and interest. If you don't enjoy it, by all ways avoid playing with them. Their shots are so unpredictable that they hit a lot of winners because you don't wanna run for it, but you keep on feeding them easy balls only seeing winners and line balls come back.
With patience and interest, you have to run around to reach their ball and practice your shots. Since you said you only played 2 months, you probably like the style of your hitting partner, so any other style including the beginner's, and especially theirs, will surprise you. You'll find different ways to handle different players in time.

another way is to play games and sets. this is when you beat them and take it seriously and let them know why they are beginners without all the unexpected winners' glory.

05-08-2007, 11:19 PM
Thanks for the response. I guess I would try to play with the 3.5 level friend as much as he is all right with it. And I will practice very hard to get myself separated with the crowd.

Currently part of my frustration when playing with the noob is that I thought after intensively practing for a month with a coach, I think I should at least be better than the noob friends. But I guess I need to be patient about my progress. And plus that some of your points might be true about that the noobs shots are so random that it takes quite some skills to keep the rally going.

05-08-2007, 11:29 PM
Ever seen a major league baseball game where a young rookie pitcher will throw 95 mph fastball on every pitch and blow by everyone in the first two innings, and then everyone starts hitting doubles and HRs thereafter?
A 3.5 is capable of delivering the same shot to you over and over, and you get used to the rhythm.
A noob is like a pitcher who throws the ball into the stand or into the dirt on every other pitch, and you never get into a rhythm as far as hitting is concerned.

05-09-2007, 06:13 AM
as stated before, footwork, footwork, know your comfort zone. so either move up and back accordingly. once you get used to reading the balls that are coming at you, you'll be better at getting them back.

05-09-2007, 06:36 AM
Some very good points here. I think another reason why it can sometimes be difficult to hit with someone whose shots are a little less solid is because you are forced to generate your own pace. Early on in your tennis playing "career" it can be very difficult to generate your own pace ... much easier to block back shots that already have good pace.

05-09-2007, 06:52 AM
Are you playing against the 3.5 player or just rallying? It sounds like your rallying. If you rally with a better play yes you will "play" better because you can feed off their pace and they can hit it right to you.

Actually if you hit with a 5.0 or a pro they can make you look awesome if they want. truth is though your just the same player that plays with the so called 'noobs'

I think you should play with players of all levels of ability.. Against the lessor players if your playing a match you can play more aggressively. Against the players that are the same as you you can play in some very fun competitive matches. And against better players you can practice consistency and footwork and just try to stay in points.


05-09-2007, 11:36 AM
The problem is beginner hit inconsistent shot might or might not fall into your hitting zone, ie., some high, some low, some shallow, some deep, different spins, different pace, etc.

To solve the problem, you need to have better footwork to quickly move yourself to setup so that you can hit the ball in your hitting zone all the time.

Very good observation here. When I started I had this exact problem, but have since fixed it well. The big *lightbulb* for me was when I realized, I was hitting balls at varying hieghts with the *same* takeback postion. ie, I didn't get my raquet close the the hight of the oncoming ball right before I would drive through my stroke.

On your takeback, right before you drive forward with your stroke, you have to make sure your raquet is not like two feet below the ball. Make sure it is always close to the hight of the oncoming ball's hight and you will immediately see an improvement in stroke consitency.

This is easier said than done, so just start to become aware and it will become second nature after a while.

And welcome to the great game of tennis!

PS...since you are practicing so often, make certain you are not grooving bad habits in. This is where having a coach, and playing better players can help you. It takes years to fix these things we groove in when we are new to the game.

05-09-2007, 12:54 PM
My tip is this. Acknowledge the difference between a noob and a 3.5 player. You need to understand that a 3.5 player can contribute a lot of pace to your game where the noob will struggle to get the ball over the net. I know this sounds simple. But its important, it helped me. Its all about expectations. Dont expect too much of your groundies when your hitting with your noob buddies. If you think you are going to hit with the same pace as you do with your coach you propably end up frustrated. And that will only harm your game.

So as you hit with some noob, focus on the technique, relax, aim for rhytmic and deep ground strokes. Dont worry if the pace isnt there, its propably because your partner is not contributing to the rally. Remember, it takes 2 to tango :D

05-09-2007, 05:13 PM
You have been only playing for 2 months. So now you are just a supernoob :D For you to get to 3.5 will take awhile so be patient.

05-10-2007, 07:34 AM
You have been only playing for 2 months. So now you are just a supernoob :D For you to get to 3.5 will take awhile so be patient.

Great advice. I thought I was a 3.5 after a couple of months...only problem was I was losing 0 and 1 to almost all 3.5 players I could find. Reality finally set in! LOL!

Time does amazing things to your game, if you allow yourself to understand what is going on. It does take a lot of time.

05-10-2007, 07:59 AM
New players will hit the ball completely inconsistently. This will not let you build up any "counter-rythym" to them. Additionally the balls will not fall in your hit zone in terms of height and speed consistently so as a new player you will find it difficult to make the adjustment.

When I play with new players I spend a lot of time running around getting their balls back and placing it so they can hit it. I tend to use these sessions as a workout (all the running) and to practice the control aspect (I try and hit to the same point at the same height and pace for them).

It will take time before you can play the same way as you can with the coach as the coach will hit to point, height and pace for you. Right now you are gaining muscle memory and when you hit in that way you hit well, you are still learning how to change parameters of that i.e. height, speed, spin, direction accurately.

Give it time. The best is to play with your coach and someone slightly better than you if you can, that way you get variety, ingrain the stroke correctly (with the coach) and you will move towards the other player's game level by playing with a slightly better player

05-12-2007, 04:45 AM
welcome to tennis. your frustrations is why the game is so fun to play.