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View Full Version : Winning Ugly or Losing Brilliantly ?


Pete Semper
08-28-2007, 01:39 PM
Always a hard choice for me but, yeah, I'd rather lose my match and play at my best than winning ugly with dirties strokes,lol....What about you ?

spot
08-28-2007, 01:53 PM
There is a difference between losing while playing your best and losing while playing pretty. If you think that they are synonymous then you probably measure your play strictly in terms of how many winners you hit.

galatti
08-28-2007, 01:55 PM
Losing Brilliantly cause it means you are improving your game instead to stick to what you aready has mastered

LuckyR
08-28-2007, 01:57 PM
Someone please post the rule number that says that the winner is the one who reaches six games with a margin of two. My recollection is there was no mention of how pretty strokes are, but it's been awhile since I read the passage.

Gmedlo
08-28-2007, 01:58 PM
Winning Ugly because it is smarter play, and I'm less likely to get frustrated when a stroke I don't have fails. It also usually means that I'm playing someone that I could not beat regularly.



But that never happens, I either win brilliantly or lose ugly. :cry:

fps
08-28-2007, 01:58 PM
All about the win, there's no shame in beating someone with flair groundstrokes through a hard pushing game, it shows you've out-thought and outwilled them.

Pete Semper
08-28-2007, 02:00 PM
Im not enjoying when I play carefully to win...pffff, It's so boring.

spot
08-28-2007, 02:02 PM
Take the term brilliant out of it- brilliant means playing SMART. What you are asking is whether it is better to win playing high percentage tennis or lose playing low percentage tennis. Playing BRILLIANT means you are playing smart tennis all the way around- taking what the opponent gives you and forcing errors.

NickOlsen
08-28-2007, 02:15 PM
Its fairly broad, general terms. I'd rather be playing well, the frame winners all day and win. But as long as im hitting the center of the racquet, then I'd rather win. But saying that, I definitely don't mind losing when I'm on my game to a superior opponent (my game always lifts then).

Steady Eddy
08-28-2007, 02:17 PM
It really depends on things. If it's for money, (actually, I've never played tennis for money), I'd like to win ugly.

But most of the time I want to look good and win. I mean if I won but looked bad doing it, that takes almost all the satisfaction out of it.

dave333
08-28-2007, 03:03 PM
If it means pushing with pushing strokes, then I'd rather lose brilliantly. But if you mean just being consistent, getting to balls, and not being very showy, then I'll win ugly.

raiden031
08-28-2007, 04:06 PM
Lets see, winning ugly could get me instant gratification but could also encourage me to resort to unorthodox strokes or strategies that could stagnate my improvement. Losing brilliantly means I am playing with strokes or strategies that would ultimately lead to the greatest improvement but because I have not mastered them yet, caused me to lose today.

I would lose brilliantly for a year straight!

Then if I still can't win brilliantly, I'll start winning ugly!

tarheels2323
08-28-2007, 04:11 PM
When it's a team match, I'll do absolutely anything to win. If it's just me playing a practice match, I'll go for everything I can and try to discover something new about my game that I can use in a real match.

Lionheart
08-28-2007, 04:19 PM
Losing Brilliantly cause it means you are improving your game instead to stick to what you aready has mastered

ridiculous IMO. You are not going to improve your game by losing while doing brilliant strokes, the loss would cause you to lose confidence in those beautiful strokes instead (considering that you are playing real competition, not club play).

Winning Ugly might not mean having bad strokes at all, you can run everything and have nice strokes and even if you havenīt got the strokes, the win will give you more inspiration to improve (assuming that winning ugly is winning with bad looking strokes and by a close margin), so that you can get better strokes and win easier against the same competition next time.

Hot Sauce
08-28-2007, 04:20 PM
Easily winning ugly! Unless winning involves cheating, I'm going to be a winner.

Zets147
08-28-2007, 04:25 PM
Where's the option for "Losing Ugly"

thundaga
08-28-2007, 04:32 PM
losing brilliantly! no guts, no glory! fortune favours the brave! etc etc.

QuietDaze
08-29-2007, 07:10 AM
I'll take the win thank you very much. I can practice my strokes later. lol

hjminard
08-29-2007, 07:29 AM
Tennis for me is almost a one man game, i.e., I'm playing against myself. If I feel like I've played to my capability (or beyond), I'm happy win or lose. If, like a recent match, I play horribly but still manage to win, I am completely dissatisfied.

ATXtennisaddict
08-29-2007, 07:34 AM
losing brilliantly! no guts, no glory! fortune favours the brave! etc etc.

you still lose.

iplaybetter
08-29-2007, 08:13 AM
i prefer to win but usually loose nicely

SuperFrogFighter
08-29-2007, 08:38 AM
Losing Brilliantly cause it means you are improving your game instead to stick to what you aready has mastered

I agree completly. I am 22 and started playing tennis again 9 months ago after almost a 4 year break after high school. I play 4.0 singles and doubles but would like to one day play 4.5 and even open. Given time and practice my game will improve. I have played a lot of people in tourneys who beat me using ugly strokes. No lie I watched a guy win a 4.0 singles tourney holding the racket just below the throat.

The problem with this is they will never get any better with those strokes. Tennis is a game of tecnique. MOST pros have incredible technique that they have practiced for years and thier strokes allow them to play at a higher level. Athleticism helps but you still have to have the strokes.

Some players are content with being 3.5 or 4.0 thier entire life but I am not. I will never be a pro, hell I probably will not even make it to Open division but I am still going to try to improve my game. I just never understood the philosophy of doing just enough to win. Everytime I step on the court my goal is to win every point and humiliate my opponent. I know I will never win every point but thats not going to stop me from trying.

Trinity TC
08-29-2007, 11:11 AM
Winning Ugly. If I playied brilliantly and lost..it meant I choked and let one get away.

LuckyR
08-29-2007, 11:41 AM
If your strokes have left the building for the day and you switch to Plan B, whether it is changing tactics, strategy or whatever and you can pull out a victory that, to me, is brilliance, even if your strokes sucked. That is a true winner and will do you much better in the long run, than sticking with Plan A (excellent stroke production) and still lose.

Koaske
08-29-2007, 01:48 PM
If your strokes have left the building for the day and you switch to Plan B, whether it is changing tactics, strategy or whatever and you can pull out a victory that, to me, is brilliance, even if your strokes sucked. That is a true winner and will do you much better in the long run, than sticking with Plan A (excellent stroke production) and still lose.

I totally agree with you.

If your groundstrokes are way off but you still manage to win, you played smart tennis. Why stick to something that just won't work?

r2473
08-29-2007, 03:16 PM
Time and a place for everything.

Some days I have certain shots, etc. as my goal for the day. This means I am practicing (not really playing so to speak). I may be trying to hit the "brilliant" shot (or just trying to hit good volleys, or perhaps testing out certain second serves, etc).

Some days I have winning as my goal. This means I am playing (not practicing). I hit what is winning me points against my opponent. Period.

I would suggest you are clear on what you are doing on the court that particular day. Don't lie to yourself and say you were only practicing just because you ran into a good pusher (I assume this is really what your post is about).

LuckyR
08-29-2007, 04:16 PM
Time and a place for everything.

Some days I have certain shots, etc. as my goal for the day. This means I am practicing (not really playing so to speak). I may be trying to hit the "brilliant" shot (or just trying to hit good volleys, or perhaps testing out certain second serves, etc).

Some days I have winning as my goal. This means I am playing (not practicing). I hit what is winning me points against my opponent. Period.

I would suggest you are clear on what you are doing on the court that particular day. Don't lie to yourself and say you were only practicing just because you ran into a good pusher (I assume this is really what your post is about).

While I agree with your post, to me at least, the OP was talking about matchplay ie where winning is valuable, not "practicing" where winning is imaterial.

jmiller
08-29-2007, 04:35 PM
i'm a winner and so i'll taking winning ugly.

Pete Semper
08-29-2007, 04:43 PM
By the way I launched this thread after reading the Brad Gilbert's book "winning ugly". Sure he gives good advises but, for real, can you really enjoy tennis and improve your game if you re only focused in the result of your match ?

PrinceDiablo525
08-29-2007, 11:55 PM
I think that it depends on the situation, if you are playing in a match that will decide if your team would win or not, than I would rather win. In tournaments, if you are playing somebody who isn't as good as you, then it can cause you to play worse than usual so then I would like to win, but if you are playing a good player at a tournament or something else, then I would rather play better.

NoSkillzAndy
08-30-2007, 02:36 AM
Winning ugly. Improving your game and trying new/unmastered shots is something you should be doing in practice, not in a match. My goal in a match is to implement as many things from practice as I can... but still find a way win, whatever it takes. The more practice and matches you play, hopefully the better you'll get and the more brilliant your game will look.

Honestly, I can't help but chuckle to myself whenever I play one of the "lose brilliantly" players because I know it'll be an easier match than against someone who isn't caught up in their own vanity and pride.

LuckyR
08-30-2007, 10:58 AM
By the way I launched this thread after reading the Brad Gilbert's book "winning ugly". Sure he gives good advises but, for real, can you really enjoy tennis and improve your game if you re only focused in the result of your match ?

Uummmm... yup.

"If you're not first... you're last!" -- Ricky Bobby

"You know what you call second place? The first loser!"-- me

TennsDog
08-30-2007, 11:56 AM
I understand what the OP is talking about. A few years ago, when I was playing poorly with my game plan, I would revert to slicing and just keeping the ball in play just to try to stay in the match or win. I don't do that anymore because it's pointless. I don't care about the win as much as how I play. I have absolutely not problem whatsoever in losing a match if I played a good match and the other guy was just better than me. But I get virtually no enjoyment out of winning just because I missed less. I want to win matches because I served well, because I placed the ball well and made him run around, or because he couldn't handle the weight of my shot. I'm not out there to bore my opponents into missing. That doesn't prove anything. I want to play a good game. So my vote: losing brilliantly. And no, that doesn't mean with "good looking" strokes or hitting winners. That means going for my shots, keeping pressure on my opponent, and just playing my game. Pushing and "don't hit it out" isn't my game. That's winning ugly, in my book anyway. Consistency is key, but that is consistently hitting good shots, not just in shots.

Flyingpanda
08-30-2007, 03:36 PM
No, I would rather win ugly. I'm a competitive guy, I want to win. Matches aren't for improving my game, practice is for improving my game. It's total bull to "lose brilliantly". You're always going to be justifying your losses in your head. "Oh, well at least I didn't play ugly and stoop to blah blah blah level." The fact is... you lost.

Bhagi Katbamna
08-30-2007, 03:58 PM
People mis understand what winning ugly is: It isn't winning while having ugly strokes but winning by understanding what your strengths are and what your opponents weaknesses are and applying that info during the match.

Originally Posted by Pete Semper
By the way I launched this thread after reading the Brad Gilbert's book "winning ugly". Sure he gives good advises but, for real, can you really enjoy tennis and improve your game if you re only focused in the result of your match ?

It mattered a lot to Gilbert because winning directly influenced the money he made. Not so much for all of us here.

TennsDog
08-30-2007, 04:20 PM
No, I would rather win ugly. I'm a competitive guy, I want to win. Matches aren't for improving my game, practice is for improving my game. It's total bull to "lose brilliantly". You're always going to be justifying your losses in your head. "Oh, well at least I didn't play ugly and stoop to blah blah blah level." The fact is... you lost.

Okay, you don't need to call anything "bull." It's an opinion. An opinion is only bull if there is no explanation or justification behind it. People play tennis for different reasons. Some to have fun, some to prove their better than others, some just for exercise, some for a whole bunch of reasons. Whatever. It doesn't matter. Just because some people aren't as competitive as you doesn't mean they don't care about winning or anything else you might think. When I lose while playing my game, it's not to improve, it's because I don't have any fun playing dink, just keep the ball in play tennis. I enjoy hitting the ball and going after my shots. I enjoy the feel of a well-struck forehand shot that lands deep in the court. I don't care if he hits a winner off of it or not, I hit a good shot, it felt good, that's why I play tennis. If winning were all that mattered to me, I would play a different sport that I was better at and could win more. The fact is...we all lose. Yes, it's a part of competition, even for Roger Federer. Ever notice he doesn't get behind in a match and start just playing "don't lose" tennis? He still plays his game. If it goes off, he complements the other player for playing well. Losing brilliantly isn't an excuse for losing, it's an excuse to enjoy playing, even when you do lose.

AznHylite
08-30-2007, 04:35 PM
I'd say winning ugly because even if you won ugly, you thought out a strategy to beat your opponent with.

Pete Semper
08-30-2007, 05:53 PM
Okay, you don't need to call anything "bull." It's an opinion. An opinion is only bull if there is no explanation or justification behind it. People play tennis for different reasons. Some to have fun, some to prove their better than others, some just for exercise, some for a whole bunch of reasons. Whatever. It doesn't matter. Just because some people aren't as competitive as you doesn't mean they don't care about winning or anything else you might think. When I lose while playing my game, it's not to improve, it's because I don't have any fun playing dink, just keep the ball in play tennis. I enjoy hitting the ball and going after my shots. I enjoy the feel of a well-struck forehand shot that lands deep in the court. I don't care if he hits a winner off of it or not, I hit a good shot, it felt good, that's why I play tennis. If winning were all that mattered to me, I would play a different sport that I was better at and could win more. The fact is...we all lose. Yes, it's a part of competition, even for Roger Federer. Ever notice he doesn't get behind in a match and start just playing "don't lose" tennis? He still plays his game. If it goes off, he complements the other player for playing well. Losing brilliantly isn't an excuse for losing, it's an excuse to enjoy playing, even when you do lose.

Tennsdog, glad you understand my point of view . One day I played an official
match against someone who was a little better technically, I have had to play like a 3.0 to push my ball and finally won. It was one of my worst match Ive ever made in my life, I was really not proud of me and really
felt sorry for my adversarie, plus I didnt enjoy during my match... That was a bad experience, I won but I felt myself humiliated.

GuyClinch
08-30-2007, 10:43 PM
I think you can do both in the same match. If your up some points - go for broke and try to hit nice shots and winners. If your down however I try to win points anyway I can.

I have to say and this probably a bad thing - I have fun playing tennis win or lose. Tennis is just a really fun sport for me.

Pete

TennsDog
08-31-2007, 08:06 AM
I think you can do both in the same match. If your up some points - go for broke and try to hit nice shots and winners. If your down however I try to win points anyway I can.

I have to say and this probably a bad thing - I have fun playing tennis win or lose. Tennis is just a really fun sport for me.

Pete

How would that be a bad thing. That would only be bad if it meant you had no desire to improve or if something was riding on you winning. Tennis is a sport, and a sport is a game; games were invented to have fun. If you focus only on winning, then even when you do, you won't have fun.

lakis92
08-31-2007, 01:28 PM
You gotta have guts to lose brillianty. First you have to learn to lose then you have to learn how to win.

TennsDog
08-31-2007, 01:33 PM
I think an important distinction here is that between losing brilliantly and just being too stubborn to change your game plan. Clearly, if you get down in a match and lose the first set or whatever and are getting outplayed, it is important to try different things. If baseline bashing isn't working for you, try looping groundstrokes or volleying more. But if you try different things and continue to get beat, I see no reason to revert to a lower level of tennis. Keep strategy in the match. Keep making your opponent work to finish the match. The more you get behind and go to a "don't hit out" mentality, the more likely that is to become more steadfast in your strategy anyway.

LafayetteHitter
08-31-2007, 04:09 PM
I saw a couple guys playing indoors earlier this week. One guy had a brand new K-factor Wilson with a 12 pack and full Adidas gear. The other guy (seriously) had tan hiking shorts with some skateboard shoes and a Billabong short. I noticed the guy with the new racquet had pretty good strokes and a decent serve. The other guy flat out played city park tennis and had no serve motion at all. When they finished I noticed the odd looking racquet the guy was using happened to be one of those yellow and blue Wilson US Open jobs Walmart used to sell. Turned out it the guy with the Walmart racquet won 6-3 6-4. I'd say winning ugly anyday because that kind sucks to get the Kfactor beat out of you by a Walmart racquet and a skateboarder!

NamRanger
08-31-2007, 08:57 PM
Winning Ugly - Winning by using proper technique but using solid strategy to do it, then yes, a valid vote. However if you're talking about just pushing the ball all day long with no spin, and no pace, then no. That will only stagnate how good you can get. Unorthodox technique combined with good solid strategy will only take you so far in tennis.


Losing brilliantly - Losing while "looking" pretty and lose while trying to utilize proper technique in match play are two completely different things. Just because you practice your strokes day in and day out doesn't mean you are going to be able to apply them in match play. I've seen many a time guys with proper techinque just break down in matches and resort to pushing. I would much rather see someone lose trying to apply proper technique in a match, because in the long run it will pay off in the end.



And for those who say that winning ugly is the better option, better go take a look at guys like Marat Safin, Richard Gasquet, Tomas Berdych, and even Roger Federer. Sometimes these guys just get outsmarted by their opponents (i.e. Nadal vs Federer at Hamburg in the 1st set). However, sometimes they go going for those "pretty" shots starts making them, and just blasts you off the court. You can come up with the perfect strategy to win, but sometimes the guy with the extra flair ends up winning. Federer didn't beat Nadal at Hamburg by outsmarting him, in the 2nd and 3rd sets, he just blasted Nadal off the court with his forehand.

Alafter
09-01-2007, 05:15 AM
Winning is the number one priority.

So, do whatever it takes to win.

It doesnt matter how ugly your strokes or tactic was, because if you do keep playing better people, you will naturally change to do what is needed to win anyways. So some of the stuffs you pulled off that won you the game with the last opponent might not work--you may end up losing.

And some other guys got it right, save the crafting of your strokes for the practice sessions. If it's a match, win it.

Flaming Flamingo
09-01-2007, 05:23 AM
What is exactly meant by winning ugly does that mean cheating, sledging etc if so i'd rather lose fair and square and brilliantly i think if you have to cheat to win its just another way of indirectly saying that you're not gud enough

TennsDog
09-01-2007, 06:20 AM
Winning is the number one priority.

So, do whatever it takes to win.

It doesnt matter how ugly your strokes or tactic was, because if you do keep playing better people, you will naturally change to do what is needed to win anyways. So some of the stuffs you pulled off that won you the game with the last opponent might not work--you may end up losing.

And some other guys got it right, save the crafting of your strokes for the practice sessions. If it's a match, win it.

I'm going to make a slight adjustment to your post:
Winning is YOUR number one priority. That's not the same for everyone.

And for Flamingo, we're not talking about cheating. Just playing a nasty game with no real strategy or ability. You know, the kind that doesn't challenge you as a tennis player and is no fun to play.

martin8768
09-01-2007, 06:42 AM
i don't care if i win or lose as long as i play my game, try to minimize unforced errors, shanks, DFs ,etc and hit clean heavy balls, if i play good, i dont care if i win or lose.

NamRanger
09-01-2007, 09:08 AM
Winning is the number one priority.

So, do whatever it takes to win.

It doesnt matter how ugly your strokes or tactic was, because if you do keep playing better people, you will naturally change to do what is needed to win anyways. So some of the stuffs you pulled off that won you the game with the last opponent might not work--you may end up losing.

And some other guys got it right, save the crafting of your strokes for the practice sessions. If it's a match, win it.


Winning is the number one priority, then you would be concentrating on becoming a better player, because being the better player means you win more right? Short term you may win more by using ugly strokes or annoying tactics, but when you run into someone who has solid strokes and solid tactics, they will crush you. I lose most of the time because I try and hit may one handed backhand too much, when I should slice the ball back. However, it's slowly started to improve because I've been using so much in match play, and I've started to win alot more matches.


You cannot craft your strokes in just practice sessions and expect them to WORK in match play. It just doesn't work that way. Practice sessions people are hitting about 1/4 of their speed most of the time, in a real match most guys are hitting 3/4 if not harder. Big speed difference. Plus being in a match, your whole mind takes a different set. I would much rather force someone to use proper technique (not only because it prevents injury) because in the end, they will be the better player (with some time and patience)

LuckyR
09-01-2007, 10:37 AM
It is a very lame argument to say that if a player resorts to anything to win a particular match (even no pace, spinless, high percentage shots), that he will therefore stagnate at that level of play and will forever not be able to progress their game. Face it, match time, is not the time to practice your strokes to improve your game, that is what drills and practice sessions are for. Matchtime is the time to take you entire armamentarium of shots and strategy and do whatever it takes to win.

Trinity TC
09-01-2007, 11:45 AM
I lose most of the time because I try and hit may one handed backhand too much, when I should slice the ball back. However, it's slowly started to improve because I've been using so much in match play, and I've started to win alot more matches.
That falls into the losing ugly because you are learning a new stroke category. It's not uncommon to lose 0-6, 0-6 for awhile when learning a new serve or stroke...but that's not we are talking about here.

I guess a lot of players would rather look good than win. They are missing out on the rewards of learning how to overcome their opponent by being resourceful.

TennsDog
09-01-2007, 12:05 PM
Winning isn't what determines how good a player is. Many players beat Roger Federer, but who would consider them the better player just because they beat him? I wouldn't. Clearly, there is more to being a good player than just winning. Beating someone by pushing and playing low-level, low-mistake tennis does not make you a better player. Using well-developed strokes, with consistency and strategy are what make someone a good tennis player.

NoSkillzAndy
09-01-2007, 01:38 PM
Winning isn't what determines how good a player is.

Yes it is. Rankings go off of win-loss records. Ratings are adjusted off of games won & lost.

Many players beat Roger Federer, but who would consider them the better player just because they beat him? I wouldn't.

I will agree that head-to-head records are not always indicative of who is a better player over the longterm, but that does not mean that results are therefore meaningless. Upsets happen sometimes, but more often than not the "better" player wins the match.

Clearly, there is more to being a good player than just winning. Beating someone by pushing and playing low-level, low-mistake tennis does not make you a better player. Using well-developed strokes, with consistency and strategy are what make someone a good tennis player.

The way to determine who is the better player would be to look at their overall longterm record as well as their head-to-head record. Who hits a better looking shot is not a factor in rankings, seedings, etc. Sorry.

Bodacious DVT
09-01-2007, 02:14 PM
You need to know when to be conservative and when to go for it. if you can do this, you're playing brilliantly regardless of weither you win or lose.

boobik2371
09-01-2007, 02:55 PM
a win is a win regardles

iamke55
09-01-2007, 03:25 PM
You can tell from this poll that most people here have a lot of trouble keeping the ball in play and lose to pushers who they think are somehow worse players.

TennsDog
09-01-2007, 05:17 PM
Yes it is. Rankings go off of win-loss records. Ratings are adjusted off of games won & lost.



I will agree that head-to-head records are not always indicative of who is a better player over the longterm, but that does not mean that results are therefore meaningless. Upsets happen sometimes, but more often than not the "better" player wins the match.



The way to determine who is the better player would be to look at their overall longterm record as well as their head-to-head record. Who hits a better looking shot is not a factor in rankings, seedings, etc. Sorry.

If you're talking about a ranking system, and you only care about getting your ranking as high as possible, that's one thing. But most people don't play with any kind of ranking, including myself. I play for the benefit of playing and playing well, whether or not that means winning. Again, i don't care if I win if I played a crappy match. That is meaningless. I am thrilled to play a very high quality, clean match, though, regardless of who wins. Also, I have never played the same player twice in competition. So for me, there would be no way of looking at overall head-to-head competition. To determine a better player would involve looking at match play and statistics. This includes things like quality of shot technique, quality of shot execution, quality of strategy, when they miss, how much they miss by, etc. Notice the term quality, as relating to "better." Hitting the ball in the court more doesn't equate to quality tennis. You don't see any ESPN Classic tennis matches where people just poke it back and don't miss. That's not quality tennis. You don't need to hit 140mph serves or nail the lines on every forehand to be a quality tennis player, but you do need to be able to play tennis well, not just miss less.

LuckyR
09-01-2007, 09:16 PM
Winning isn't what determines how good a player is. Many players beat Roger Federer, but who would consider them the better player just because they beat him? I wouldn't.

Clearly, there is more to being a good player than just winning. Beating someone by pushing and playing low-level, low-mistake tennis does not make you a better player. Using well-developed strokes, with consistency and strategy are what make someone a good tennis player.


If someone beats Roger Federer, they are better than Fed that day, in that match. He has a better overall yearly computer rating, but that day, the other guy was better.

I think you are confusing Figure Skating with Tennis. In the former, the judges give extra credit for doing things "right" in a stylistic manner. In the latter, whoever wins that match is better (that day).

TennisFrkJC92
09-01-2007, 09:28 PM
Winning's winning, i really dont' care how i win lol

TennsDog
09-01-2007, 10:15 PM
If someone beats Roger Federer, they are better than Fed that day, in that match. He has a better overall yearly computer rating, but that day, the other guy was better.

I think you are confusing Figure Skating with Tennis. In the former, the judges give extra credit for doing things "right" in a stylistic manner. In the latter, whoever wins that match is better (that day).

I think we should just concede that this is an entirely opinion-based thread, and no one's opinion is going to change with any amount of debating.
My opinion is: it's not if you win or lose, it's how you play the game. If someone came up to me wanting to be a "better" player, I would teach him proper technique (i.e. shots that look good), because good-looking strokes are much more likely to become good-resulting strokes than something that looks like Frankenstein's monster playing tennis.
Others' opinion is: winning is important, and you do whatever necessary to win. If you look like Frankenstein's monster playing tennis, then so be it.

LuckyR
09-02-2007, 10:14 AM
I think we should just concede that this is an entirely opinion-based thread, and no one's opinion is going to change with any amount of debating.
My opinion is: it's not if you win or lose, it's how you play the game. If someone came up to me wanting to be a "better" player, I would teach him proper technique (i.e. shots that look good), because good-looking strokes are much more likely to become good-resulting strokes than something that looks like Frankenstein's monster playing tennis.
Others' opinion is: winning is important, and you do whatever necessary to win. If you look like Frankenstein's monster playing tennis, then so be it.


I totally get what you're saying. And I completely agree that developing correct and functionally great strokes is in everyone's best interest. But do you really think that someone's strokes (who is practicing as perfect of a stroke as they can all the time) is going to do damage to their stroke's progress by playing part of a single match in a different way than they usually practice?

TennsDog
09-02-2007, 10:54 AM
Why practice it if you're not going to use it and continue to develop it in match play. Reverting to lesser quality shots when you start to lose is like giving up when the going gets tough. It's like saying, "Okay, I give up. You're the better tennis player, so I'm going to stop trying to play to beat you. Now I'm going to just play as long as possible and let you beat yourself." That is how a lot of people play all the time anyway, but I don't like it. I don't want people to beat themselves. I want to beat them with my own game and making them miss. For instance, I could hit aces a lot more than I do if I hit flatter, faster, and closer to lines. However, I prefer to hit unreturnable serves than aces. It proves a point that, 'You may be able to get to my serves, but they're still too good for you to play.' To me, that is more powerful than just hitting out of reach.

NamRanger
09-02-2007, 12:46 PM
You can tell from this poll that most people here have a lot of trouble keeping the ball in play and lose to pushers who they think are somehow worse players.


I have never had problems beating a pusher, simply because I come to net often, so my record against pushers is good. However, it's really annoying playing against a pusher.



Yes using different tactics is a good idea in a match, but resorting to plain out pushing and wrong strokes will not win you matches against good players. Once you get to a higher level of tennis, EVERYONE has good strokes. A pusher will NEVER, EVER, get above 3.5, period. Even Brad Gilbert, who was considered the most successful "pusher" in the professional world of tennis still had quite an arsenal of shots, such as top spin lobs, dropshots, passing shots, and a whole slew of weapons at his disposal.


What people are trying to say here is that during the match you shouldn't try and use the shots that you've been practicing, rather what works. But then, how will you ever implement these shots into match play when you have no match experience when using them? If you've been working on your backhand in practice, you should also use it during your matches.

Now I understand at the professional level, you should use what works for you, but at a lower level (especially if you are striving to become a better player) you should really at least try to utilize good technique.

NamRanger
09-02-2007, 12:49 PM
I totally get what you're saying. And I completely agree that developing correct and functionally great strokes is in everyone's best interest. But do you really think that someone's strokes (who is practicing as perfect of a stroke as they can all the time) is going to do damage to their stroke's progress by playing part of a single match in a different way than they usually practice?


What TennsDog and me are trying to point out are the people who lose a set when trying to use correct strokes, and then the second set revert back to their old habits that "win" them matches. I've seen plenty of people who immediatly revert to pushing mode when they start losing. It happens all the time at the junior level, and that's why alot of them stagnate. They don't understand that by losing a few matches doing the right things, they will win a whole lot more in the future.

Chauvalito
09-02-2007, 12:52 PM
Some of my most enjoyable matches have been the ones where I have worked against my natural tendency, which is to bash the ball, and played a more percentage oriented game.

It was like discovering a new playing abilities I should have known that I had already.

Before I scored my first and only 6-0, 6-0 match I told myself to go out and play consistent, percentage tennis. It worked perfectly.

I can remember so many matches that I "could have" competed harder in if I had not mindlessly bashed the ball.

Mind you, when I am on I can hit some huge shots, but the rest of the time its hit or miss.

Chauvalito
09-02-2007, 12:54 PM
What TennsDog and me are trying to point out are the people who lose a set when trying to use correct strokes, and then the second set revert back to their old habits that "win" them matches. I've seen plenty of people who immediatly revert to pushing mode when they start losing. It happens all the time at the junior level, and that's why alot of them stagnate. They don't understand that by losing a few matches doing the right things, they will win a whole lot more in the future.

This is what I have been trying to explain to my younger brother.

He went something like 25-5 during a summer of tournaments when he was 12. It was amazing and impressive.

Now that he is in the 14's he has not been able to perform at the same level, and its partly due to his refusal to find a happy medium between hitting hard and dinking the ball over the net. The onw constant he has going for him is his defense, which annoys me sometimes, and I am nearly 10 years older than him.