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View Full Version : Flogging a dead ball - good or bad?


ananda
10-08-2007, 10:40 PM
quick question - today my trainer pulled out a ball bucket with about 150 balls that seemed like a century old. dirty grey, no bounce, sounded like flat tyres.

i mean these were dead-as-dodo balls!

we had to hit the life out of the ball to get it across, and there was only a tiny bounce, he said it was gr8 for rallies.

i recalled reading an interview in which Bartoli said she often practices with dead balls.

is this a good idea? any thoughts?

Mike Cottrill
10-09-2007, 06:35 AM
I disagree.

What happens when you hit new balls :shock:

chess9
10-09-2007, 06:39 AM
I put them in my ball machine. I find the irregular bounce simulates what you frequently get on clay courts and some hard courts. It makes you change your timing and learn to watch the ball carefully and adjust your swing. It's aggravating as the dickens, but I think occasionally drilling with old balls has some merit.

-Robert

Mike Cottrill
10-09-2007, 06:47 AM
Sport Court salesmen will try to convince you playing on a sport court (a very small tennis court) with deflated balls will be the same as playing on a normal court with normal balls. Fewwwiiieeee..

Sure, there are drills you can do with dead balls, but bashing from the baseline is not one I would recommend.

Robert, yea, throwing a few dead balls in the hopper with some Tretorns makes for racquet bashing the ground practice. I suppose that could simulate opponent miss-hits as well.

Mahboob Khan
10-09-2007, 10:39 AM
quick question - today my trainer pulled out a ball bucket with about 150 balls that seemed like a century old. dirty grey, no bounce, sounded like flat tyres.

i mean these were dead-as-dodo balls!

we had to hit the life out of the ball to get it across, and there was only a tiny bounce, he said it was gr8 for rallies.

i recalled reading an interview in which Bartoli said she often practices with dead balls.

is this a good idea? any thoughts?

Live ball is superior than a dead ball.

When you play a match, you play it with new balls NOT with dead balls. I do not see a point.

However, for beginners it is recommended to pierce the ball with a needle to take the air out, to make the ball slower/controlable.

futuretoptenner
10-09-2007, 01:09 PM
I disagree with alot of things being said. You gain alot from practising with dead balls , they actually give you a very consistent bounce.

EricW
10-09-2007, 01:25 PM
Playing with dead balls could possibly be the most frustrating thing in the world. I would never recommend it.

Cindysphinx
10-09-2007, 03:58 PM
How about serving with dead balls?

WildVolley
10-09-2007, 04:11 PM
How about serving with dead balls?

I serve with dead balls all the time, but I'm not sure it is optimal. It's a lot less expensive than popping open 25 new cans every time I need to practice my serve.

I find I don't get the pace or kick that I would with new balls, but only a few probably hit the net cord that would otherwise go in if they were fresh.

Hot Sauce
10-09-2007, 04:18 PM
I hate playing with dead balls, just hate it. For me the transition from playing with dead balls to new balls is just too much to handle. I need to adjust.

Tennis_Monk
10-09-2007, 04:39 PM
Playing with dead balls has some merit but shouldnt be done too much. However if you can afford new balls all times, that is the best.

For someone like me with not that much $$ to spare, i will play with any sort of Tennis balls. Its a lot better than not playing.

pmata814
10-09-2007, 08:43 PM
How about serving with dead balls?

I don't like practicing my serve with dead balls because it is very misleading. I'm getting all my serves in and I feel very encouraged. I take out a new can of balls and find my serves going long a lot because they fly off the racquet so much faster.

This is why I don't practice my serve with my ball-machine roller any more. I purchased a smaller hopper with new balls to practice my serve. I don't purchase 60 new balls every time I'm going to practice my serve, obviously, but they are definitely much better than the ones I've used in my b-machine for the last few months.

StealthGnome
10-09-2007, 08:46 PM
Playing with dead balls has some merit but shouldnt be done too much. However if you can afford new balls all times, that is the best.

For someone like me with not that much $$ to spare, i will play with any sort of Tennis balls. Its a lot better than not playing.

Well put. Money is tight especially when playing tennis.
I can pay $6/month for new balls. Then I just throw them in my hopper. It's a good cycle I learned here on the forums.

Mad iX
10-09-2007, 09:57 PM
Hate hitting flat balls. Absolutely hate it.
I can understand when a coach just wants to drill 10 newbies who haven't gotten their fundamentals right yet, but I'm fortunate enough to be able to afford a few bucks for balls each time I play so I will always have a fresh can ready for each session.

Mahboob Khan
10-10-2007, 09:39 AM
In my coaching camp, for practice matchplay, I normally give new balls to my elite/tournament level students. After the matches, these balls are then added to the ball basket for drilling etc. 2 or 3 sets played balls are great for ball-basket for drilling.

burosky
10-10-2007, 12:06 PM
Dead balls will certainly not give you the true bounce and pace of a fresh ball. However, it will give you better control. There are certain drills where dead balls can be quite useful. Generally, these will be drills that require a certain level of control to be successful. For higher skilled players, this may not be necessary but for less skilled players, it allows them to execute the drills easier and with some level of consistency.

A couple of drills that come to mind are volley drills and practicing serve and volley. For volley drills, it allows the players to sustain the rally even when they are punching hard on the ball. Using fresh balls, players tend to soften the volleys to be able to sustain the rally. When practicing serve and volley, dead balls allow players to take full cuts at the ball and still have time to track them down. They are also able to control the placement better to make the cooperative drill more sustainable. For people who are just learning, this is key. Otherwise, it will take longer for them to understand the concepts.

I'm not saying they should stick to using dead balls. After they achieve a certain level of comfort and consistency, they can then begin to use fresh balls to simulate actual play.

By the way, I also use dead balls to get a quick warm up after stretching. As you know, you can whack those dead balls as hard as you can and it won't be flying around the court like fresh balls do. I like that part of it because it allows me to take full cuts at the ball right away. With fresh balls, I have to gradually increase my swing speed as I warm up. This is just me though. It may not work for others.

shwetty[tennis]balls
10-10-2007, 12:56 PM
I only use dead balls for service practice. I usually throw them out once they loose most of their bounce though. I don't like to practice groundies with them. Keep in mind that hitting dead balls can cause extra tennis elbow.

Hardserve
10-11-2007, 04:53 AM
Hitting with dead balls I think is ok in training at times, because flat balls don't have a high bounce but are lower, so you have to spin more than normal speed, so it teaches you to be more intense in your racket head speed.

WBF
10-11-2007, 06:05 AM
Never hit with dead balls. The only time this would be acceptable would be for those who can't afford new balls.

If you want balls for serving, just make sure to keep new balls you've used once (or twice I suppose... I need a new can every day though :p) for practicing your serve.

Tempest344
01-11-2008, 06:09 PM
hmmmmm no
because in matches you would use much newer balls

the only use that i can see for dead balls is to sky them and hopefully hit something

volusiano
01-11-2008, 07:44 PM
How about serving with dead balls?

I use a small hopper of 36 pressureless Tretorn MicroX balls to practice my serve.

ananda
01-11-2008, 08:20 PM
I found that if I practice serves with old balls, then when I serve with a new ball, the serve goes long.

Ever since I brought out new cans of Dunlop balls at my club, NO ONE has been able to play :-) since everyone is used to lighter, low bouncing balls.

Sadly, within a short while, even the Dunlops are losing their bounce -- It'll be quite expensive for me taking out a new can every few hours.

So now I just do not play with old balls, its taken me a while to get used to new ones.

tns
01-12-2008, 01:42 AM
Dead balls for practice can be good if they originally had no pressure inside them some people say because they last longer than pressurised balls. They can be harder to hit with but last longer.

ten15
01-12-2008, 02:40 AM
You going to adjust your timing to old dead balls, and when you finally play with new balls at tournaments, your going to have to readjust to the new bounces. I would use newer balls so that you can practice your timing on more tournament realistic bounces

kimizz
01-12-2008, 04:09 AM
I guess this depends how dead the ball really is. Sometimes in our session with my cousin we realize there is one ball that has lost most of its pressure while the other balls are fine. But the ball is not completely dead. And we sometimes have some great rallies with this older ball. It still requires good technique but its a bit more forgiving on errors. Its a great workout too when you get to move a lot and hit more than 10times with almost full power.

But of course you need to make sure you dont get used to a old ball. It will totally screw up your game in a long run.

I have learned something valuable from playing with a dead ball. But this only works if you have some fresh balls with you on the court. First try to hit groundstrokes with solid technique with the dead ball. You should realize that it requires a lot of power to get the ball to the opponents baseline. Then change to fresh balls, now you might just realize that you dont need power in tennis, you might learn to relax your groundies! But its important that you hit with solid technique. With the old ball you will just use more power. With the new balls you will hit with the same technique but in a more relaxed manner.

ananda
01-12-2008, 05:08 AM
actually someone (i think bagumbawalla) correctly pointed out to me earlier on in the thread that a lot changes when you move to new balls. It's not just the bounce abd weight but even the speed at which the new ball travels.
For many days i and my trainer were unable to play (overshooting), then when I was able to, i was hitting down the lines only. Since my timing was always a tad late.

The only good thing about old balls was that you could hit hard and still land the ball in. But with good technique you can hit hard and fast and still get the ball.

tbini87
01-12-2008, 08:46 AM
i try to only use fairly new balls, even for serving. some balls stay good for a while, and some new balls come out of the can flat.

i usually open a new can every other hitting session or so. after a few sessions i throw those balls into the hopper for serves. i also go through my hopper here and there and throw out old balls, or throw them out if i notice it on the court. i don't like serving with dead balls, it doesn't give me a realistic look imo.