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View Full Version : Milestones in your tennis development?


eagle
10-05-2007, 08:09 AM
Just wondering if you remember the times when after struggling with a move or technique, then something just clicked. You then were able to improve your game significantly.

Examples for me are the following:

* Forehand improvement came 4 years ago when I switched to semi-western from eastern. Getting the extra height over the net, spin that pulls the ball back into the court, and the variety of shots it affords one helped a great deal.

* Serve improved significantly when I found the "home position" for my continental grip on my new racquet (Diablo Mid) a few months ago. Serve has always been the weakest part of my game due to inconsistency. I was always tweaking it and trying to find the comfortable grip location with my previous racquets. Finally found it with my new racquet ... Serves are by no means bullets or monster kicks but they are consistent and controlled. No more lucky serves that were amazing but were unintentional or purely accidental. Serves go where I want them to go with good pace and spin which reduced double faults and frequency of 2nd serves.

* Backhand drive improved significantly just in the recent weeks. While closely watching videos of pros with one hand backhand like Federer and Hass, I realized that my takeback wasn't as smooth or as far back. Mimicking their takeback and of course prep made my backhand drive, flat and topspin, a lot more consistent. I'm right handed so of course the forehand is my reliable shot but I love hitting the backhand drive. It's almost a major accomplishment in itself just being able to rally with it. I rarely hit slices nowadays. :)

Did you guys experience something similar?

Thanks,
eagle

Shashwat
10-05-2007, 08:11 AM
Same as you - the forehand.

Switched from eastern to semi-western. Made my game a whole lot better.

SlapShot
10-05-2007, 08:49 AM
When I learned the kick serve before my sophomore year of high school - it has become my greatest assett.

Switching to semi-western on the forehand when I came back to tennis last year after a 5 year layoff. My forehand is a true threat now, as opposed to setting up my bakchand like it used to be.

kimizz
10-05-2007, 10:58 AM
One friday night(few months back) I had a terrible tennis session. I was depressed and frustrated, so the next day, saturday morning I decided to go hit to a wall and try to get my "touch" back. I didnt find my "touch", I found something better...

I had read about the push/pull stuff by tricky, I used to be a more wta type hitter when it comes to forehand. But when I was hitting I thought I try the pull stuff. It was hard, I couldnt get any power and there was a lot of mishits. Then somehow I just GOT IT. I understood how I need to trust that when I turn my torso the racquet is going to follow and slap the hell out of the ball...I was so exited. My instructor also noticed tremendous improvment.

I owe it all to this forum...

Bottle Rocket
10-05-2007, 11:59 AM
There are two significant tips that I have gotten since I started playing which I'll never forget. These are important milestones in my own game.

I began playing against a 72 year old man who successfully beat me down for 8-10 months before I got a set off him. The word "footwork" was always coming out of his mouth. After almost every playing session and even during change overs he would bring up the issue of footwork. He continually told me that nearly every single error or great shot is due to proper or improper footwork, whether volleys or forehands. I didn't understand the significance of proper footwork for a long time, but now, against many guys I play, I win or lose depending on if I get in proper position and use my feet the right way.

If I miss a shot, I look down at my feet. If I make a great hot, I stop for a moment and observe where and what me feet were/are doing.

That man taught me a lot of other great things, including the importance of not double faulting and giving away free points, all things that have shaped the type of player that I am now.

The second most important milestones in my tennis playing career came when someone I was playing with showed me what grip to use for a one-handed backhand. He showd me the extreme eastern backhand grip. I was hitting forehands with a semi-western grip and I coudn't believe you could ever hit a backhand with that grip, it seemed incredibly awkward and wrong to me. My reaction to him showing me this grip is what I will never forget. Anyway, I stuck with it until it worked.

Learning not only the grip, but how incredibly far out in front of your body you must hit the shot has completely changed my game.

More than a year later, I am finally comfortable and confident in my backhand. The last set I played, I was hitting crosscourt winners with it as well as down the line passes. I never could have imagined having this shot a year ago. I am having too much fun now.

Most everything else I have taught myself, including the natural progression towards something between a semi-western and full western forehand (depends on situation). I also use something slightly off from a continental grip on serve. Each of these small things and progressions over time have significantly improved my game.

The last thing that really boosted my game was when I got in better physical shape. Tennis has given me reason to be conscious of what I eat and has motivated me to educate myself about nutrition. Not just that, but conditioning as well. I discovered the great benefits of running and sprinting and I've really come to enjoy it. Now I don't fear a 3rd set against a pusher.

Ferrari1190
10-05-2007, 12:21 PM
serve for me

before i just coulnt get it in, once in while id get one good one and id struggle to replicate it and then one day i just started hit all my serves it was a ctually pretty fast and accurate for only getting into tennis, at that time, for like four or five months, since then i changed mey form a bit and its been my biggest weapon

ubel
10-05-2007, 12:55 PM
When I got this one pair of tennis shorts my game just took a huge quantum leap forward. Wow, all of a sudden it was like my puny arm was transformed into a photocopy of Sampras's: both my first AND second serves became unbelievable and super consistent, and I could hit forehand passing shots, even on the dead run, almost effortlessly. I know if I hadn't dropped the proper $$$ on those shorts, my game wouldn't be where it is now.

When I got this headband, however.. jeez I could go on for days about how revolutionary for my game that was. It was like I could see everything in slow motion :)

Truthfully, though, if I had to choose one "quantum leap" it would have to be beginning to learn how to use racquet as a whip to toss the ball around the court rather than smack the ball in the direction I want. Even so, every time I think I'm taking a quantum leap forward in my game, I quickly get brought back to reality. I'm then forced to take a step back to understand how it happened before I can take a few more steps forward. Wish I could say it isn't slightly depressing taking steps backward, but knowing that for every step backward I have the possibility of taking a huge step forward makes it feel immensely better :D

galatti
10-05-2007, 03:07 PM
There are two significant tips that I have gotten since I started playing which I'll never forget. These are important milestones in my own game.

I began playing against a 72 year old man who successfully beat me down for 8-10 months before I got a set off him. The word "footwork" was always coming out of his mouth. After almost every playing session and even during change overs he would bring up the issue of footwork. He continually told me that nearly every single error or great shot is due to proper or improper footwork, whether volleys or forehands. I didn't understand the significance of proper footwork for a long time, but now, against many guys I play, I win or lose depending on if I get in proper position and use my feet the right way.

If I miss a shot, I look down at my feet. If I make a great hot, I stop for a moment and observe where and what me feet were/are doing.

That man taught me a lot of other great things, including the importance of not double faulting and giving away free points, all things that have shaped the type of player that I am now.

The second most important milestones in my tennis playing career came when someone I was playing with showed me what grip to use for a one-handed backhand. He showd me the extreme eastern backhand grip. I was hitting forehands with a semi-western grip and I coudn't believe you could ever hit a backhand with that grip, it seemed incredibly awkward and wrong to me. My reaction to him showing me this grip is what I will never forget. Anyway, I stuck with it until it worked.

Learning not only the grip, but how incredibly far out in front of your body you must hit the shot has completely changed my game.

More than a year later, I am finally comfortable and confident in my backhand. The last set I played, I was hitting crosscourt winners with it as well as down the line passes. I never could have imagined having this shot a year ago. I am having too much fun now.

Most everything else I have taught myself, including the natural progression towards something between a semi-western and full western forehand (depends on situation). I also use something slightly off from a continental grip on serve. Each of these small things and progressions over time have significantly improved my game.

The last thing that really boosted my game was when I got in better physical shape. Tennis has given me reason to be conscious of what I eat and has motivated me to educate myself about nutrition. Not just that, but conditioning as well. I discovered the great benefits of running and sprinting and I've really come to enjoy it. Now I don't fear a 3rd set against a pusher.

Great post! How do you evaluate if your feet are in the right position?

HotCarl
10-05-2007, 04:20 PM
A turning point for me was when I stopped caring whether I won or lost. Tennis is all about fluid motion and proper mechanics, and I used to be too tense on the court, because I was trying so hard to win [probably a holdover from the college days]. The tension seemed to hinder the kinetic chain. Once I relaxed and stopped giving a ***** [it's really just a game], my game went to whole new level. I serve harder, hit harder, and have more spin and touch as well. Not that I don't try to win, but I focus more on executing my shots and playing well, rather than the outcome at the end of the match. I've been on the winning side a lot more since then.