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swimntennis
03-28-2008, 12:54 PM
Okay, so say I'm playing the type of player that most people I've played seem to be. They have one "flashy" side that can produce great results but is also very inconsistent (usually forehand). Their other side is much safer but has okay depth and great consistency (usually backhand). What I'm really wondering is which side to go to and when.

Some examples... Which side to approach to? Volley to? Rally to? Serve to?

Thanks in advance.

Bungalo Bill
03-28-2008, 01:00 PM
Okay, so say I'm playing the type of player that most people I've played seem to be. They have one "flashy" side that can produce great results but is also very inconsistent (usually forehand). Their other side is much safer but has okay depth and great consistency (usually backhand). What I'm really wondering is which side to go to and when.

Some examples... Which side to approach to? Volley to? Rally to? Serve to?

Thanks in advance.

If you think your weakness is better then their weakness, go after the weakness. If you think your strength is better then their strength, go after the strength.

If you approach, you want to hit the ball up the line or straight so you are able to cover more court. If you hit crosscourt then you will have to understand you are leaving more court open to cover.

When you serve, consider their weaker side but also make sure you are noticing their trendencies and where they like to hit the ball. In your mind, you should be thinking at least three strokes out. So set up a play.

Match play is where you put all those isolated drills and stroke training together to formulate points, then games, then sets, then matches.

Note the issues you had throughout the match; stamina, fatigue, strength, short balls, lobs, overheads, double faults, etc... then use your practices to make you better in those areas.

It shouldn't be any harder then that for awhile.

swimntennis
03-28-2008, 01:03 PM
Thanks Bungalo Bill.

I've heard countless times from the pro I take lessons with to approach up the line. It's become automatic. But when I'm working the point to get an opportunity, or have a short ball in the middle that can go to either side, then which one should I go after? From my experience, I find that a 2HB can "blunt" back an approach shot while it's a little harder with the forehand.

Bungalo Bill
03-28-2008, 01:10 PM
Thanks Bungalo Bill.

I've heard countless times from the pro I take lessons with to approach up the line. It's become automatic. But when I'm working the point to get an opportunity, or have a short ball in the middle that can go to either side, then which one should I go after? From my experience, I find that a 2HB can "blunt" back an approach shot while it's a little harder with the forehand.


It really depends. It depends on where the opponent is in relation to the ball up the middle. You do know you can hit it right back up the middle right?

swimntennis
03-28-2008, 01:13 PM
It really depends. It depends on where the opponent is in relation to the ball up the middle. You do know you can hit it right back up the middle right?

Yes, I usually forget about this though as I myself look for approaches up the middle and sometimes expect the opponent to do the same.

Bungalo Bill
03-28-2008, 01:34 PM
Yes, I usually forget about this though as I myself look for approaches up the middle and sometimes expect the opponent to do the same.

Again, you are trying to setup the point and it is usually for the next shot. So, if your opponent hits it well and has recovered well, hit the ball to setup the next shot. If that means up the middle, then position yourself for the reply accordingly, and watch for the lob.

swimntennis
03-28-2008, 01:50 PM
Thank you.

Also, to what extent should I be trying to work the points? At my level (probably around low 3.5 and playing high school tennis), many errors are made and rallies aren't sustained that long.

We're still in the process of try-outs (he hasn't made any cuts yet and needs to). I'm the best freshman/sophomore (most have no prior tennis experience at all) but there's a good amount of juniors and senior with good experience. We haven't had enough court time and space to play any singles yet (that will change tomorrow morning which is why I started this thread). When I do, do you think the coach is going to like seeing a more defensive, counter-punching style of play or a more aggressive all-court game? The coach is a respected teaching pro in my area but I'm not sure whether he's just looking for wins or a player that could evolve his attacking game better.

Bungalo Bill
03-28-2008, 01:54 PM
Thank you.

Also, to what extent should I be trying to work the points? At my level (probably around low 3.5 and playing high school tennis), many errors are made and rallies aren't sustained that long.

Well, when I teach I try to get my students to think for themselves, so I dont mean to be insensitive, but I will throw the question back to you. What do you think?

We're still in the process of try-outs (he hasn't made any cuts yet and needs to). I'm the best freshman/sophomore (most have no prior tennis experience at all) but there's a good amount of juniors and senior with good experience. We haven't had enough court time and space to play any singles yet (that will change tomorrow morning which is why I started this thread). When I do, do you think the coach is going to like seeing a more defensive, counter-punching style of play or a more aggressive all-court game? The coach is a respected teaching pro in my area but I'm not sure whether he's just looking for wins or a player that could evolve his attacking game better.

I think the coach is going to love seeing a kid that really wants to learn and work hard. Your style is your style. Play to what you want to play. If you like serve and volleying, then strive to be the best s&v you can. Dont be afraid to ask the coach what he thinks. Be eager to practice and listen to your coach. Dont goof-off in practice and look up to the better players. Always look to improve your conditioning. So much of the tennis stroke is built upon good conditioning. Support your team.

swimntennis
03-28-2008, 02:02 PM
Thank you for the great advice Bungalo Bill! I haven't been able to have a lesson in over 3 weeks now and I had some questions nagging at me.

To answer your answer, I try to be aggressive but become so much more defensive when in a bad spot. For example, if I'm serving at 30-40 I become a counter-puncher. I just really don't want to miss that approach shot by an inch and lose the game because of it. Is it important to get over this hurdle and have the attitude of "never knowing the score" or is it more practical to be more defensive on these points? I know the pros go for it a lot but it must be different at my level.

Bungalo Bill
03-28-2008, 02:27 PM
Thank you for the great advice Bungalo Bill! I haven't been able to have a lesson in over 3 weeks now and I had some questions nagging at me.

To answer your answer, I try to be aggressive but become so much more defensive when in a bad spot. For example, if I'm serving at 30-40 I become a counter-puncher. I just really don't want to miss that approach shot by an inch and lose the game because of it. Is it important to get over this hurdle and have the attitude of "never knowing the score" or is it more practical to be more defensive on these points? I know the pros go for it a lot but it must be different at my level.

You need to know the score which can help you decide how aggressive you want to play. So what you are doing is smart. Keep working it out, as you get better and have more confidence in your strokes, you will be able to take more chances and be more assertive in points.

You are not a pro, they are. They have put in the time to get where they are at which is why I roll my eyes when I see so many players ignoring the countless hours these guys put on the courts working on the fundamentals. So work on the fundamentals and dont worry about anything except what I offered you above.

Rickson
03-28-2008, 09:38 PM
Okay, so say I'm playing the type of player that most people I've played seem to be. They have one "flashy" side that can produce great results but is also very inconsistent (usually forehand). Their other side is much safer but has okay depth and great consistency (usually backhand). What I'm really wondering is which side to go to and when.

Some examples... Which side to approach to? Volley to? Rally to? Serve to?

Thanks in advance.

I go to the backhand constantly. If I see that his backhand is very consistent, I'll check his forehand, but my initial pick on him side is always the backhand.

Vision84
03-28-2008, 10:52 PM
Okay, so say I'm playing the type of player that most people I've played seem to be. They have one "flashy" side that can produce great results but is also very inconsistent (usually forehand). Their other side is much safer but has okay depth and great consistency (usually backhand). What I'm really wondering is which side to go to and when.

Some examples... Which side to approach to? Volley to? Rally to? Serve to?

Thanks in advance.

Usually a flashy inconsistent forehand will struggle with balls outside the hitting zone. Give the guy some 'junk' to his forehand which means slicing it there and trying to keep it low as these can be difficult to handle, especially for players who like to blast everything on this side. Another thing is mix it up and keep the opponent guessing. If you give him the same ball everytime then you risk him getting used to it and getting into a groove. If you see this happening then mix it up more.

For hitting an approach shot you should generally go down the line as it cuts off the angle. If you go crosscourt make sure the shot is good enough that the player can't do much with it as it opens up an angle. The same can be applied to the volley. It all depends on the player though. Many players at high school level don't have a passing shot so you don't have to worry so much about this. Another thing is it is generally much better to hit the approach shot deep than hard but leaving it short.

From my experiences with coaches at college, club and high school level is that they like a player who is consistent. They don't tend to mind if you just junk shot the ball if it wins you matches. They like to see players who think smartly and make adjustments when something isn't working. They also like to see players who can close out the match and not get tight when they are close to winning. As Bill said players who show that they want to learn and work their butt off in practice don't go unnoticed by a coach. Coachability is something my coach at college stresses a lot for what she looks for.