View Full Version : How to practice against a much older player?

09-30-2007, 04:24 AM
i am currently 31, i practice at the local park all the time, Iíve recently been hitting with an older gentleman, maybe 60 or so, seems to be the only other person that goes there as often as i do; anyway, when i hit against him i tend to hold back, sometimes as much as 50%,
the other day he went up to volley for a bit, i initially started slow, but i got a little antsy and turned it up a bit maybe 80%, and after the first 2 volleys he returned, i saw him start to volley with 1 hand on the racquet and the other on his wrist holding the racquet, so i toned it down again,
i donít want to hurt the guy, but if i tone my power i can't really practice my game
I have hit at 100% from time to time, but not balls i expect him to even try to get, i think i do it mainly to let him know without saying it that i am holding back,
ideally i would like to practice against people my age, but then again sometimes thatís not an option
i donít really want to open a can of woop***** on him until he goes away, because i get some exercise out of it too, but i guess by posting this i am mainly wondering if other people run into this as well?

09-30-2007, 04:30 AM
Why on earth not just talk to the guy about the hit and work out what works best for you both?

09-30-2007, 04:43 AM
by the way i forgot to mention, he is Korean, speaks ok,, english, i speak english and spanish, sign language seems to work best when we comunicate, which i try to do often,
when serving i let him know what i'm hitting so he expects it, like when serving topspin, flat or slice serves into the body, i do try to give him as much heads up as possible

09-30-2007, 05:29 AM
Work on your consistency and placement with him and try to find other people to play. If you are in the DC area, there are tons of good players there. Drive to a different set of courts.

09-30-2007, 10:07 AM
but i guess by posting this i am mainly wondering if other people run into this as well?

All the FREAKING time! Except replace "60-year guy" with "people of all ages". Personally, I use it as an opportunity to practice weaker aspects of my game (ex. volleys, slow, controlled flat shots, etc.). The problem, of course, is that I end up doing all the running.

P.S. I know a 63-year old guy who would bagel bagel me.

09-30-2007, 02:20 PM
It is not so much really about age as it is ability level.

Famous pros of the 70s- Conners, Borg... must be nearing 60 and could pulverize you into the concrete.

I hit a week or so ago with a guy who was 70 and though, in a match, I could have beaten him easily, he had all the strokes and was very smooth and steady. Turns out he was still competitive and played the local leagues and tournaments.

Anyway, the question should be something like-- how do practice with A PERSON who is a lesser player and cannot handle your 100% effort?

And the answer is-- work on self control, placement, producing different spins, changing the ball's direction, going to the net-- and any number of things. It is not always about slugging it out as hard as you can.

09-30-2007, 05:16 PM
dont get me wrong y'all, i hope i can play when i get that old myself,
but i don't think i would want to play with 20 or 30 somethings when i am at that age, they might not turn out to be as considerate or respectful of the old man at that age

"Boojay" i know what you mean, some old guys never come down from their ntrp 5.0+ status and you can see all the time they spent on the courts even at their age,
i've hit with a couple of them too

09-30-2007, 05:26 PM
the things i have been getting out of practicing with this guy (which is what you all have mentioned here also) its some of the things that will get me to the next level, consistency, placement and most of all self control (not my biggest quality), key things to have at a 5.0 level