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Babb
12-30-2008, 08:45 PM
As titled. Was it extensive match play, hitting on the wall all the time, taking frequent private lessons, doing tons of drills, or what? Just curious.

baseline08thrasher
12-30-2008, 08:58 PM
It's a variety.
I've improved like a rocket, and I'm not kidding.

Every week I focus on improving a certain aspect to my game.

My coach shows me drills I can do with myself, he shows me HOW to practice.
Not just practice matches all day.

Do volleys, practice points one week, focus on your serve the next.
It's a never ending cycle of improvement for me.
That's all it is.
Improving as much as you can.

Focus as much as you can, cuz that's how tough players practice.
I do the same.

Also, have the attitude that you can hit forever, don't get bored.

Forehand crosscourts, bh crosscourts, fh down the line, and bh down the line.
ARE GREAT WAYS TO GET YOUR STROKES SMOOTHER.

Also, volley cross, volley down the line.
Overhead cross overhead down the line.
have a partner mix up volleys and overheads from the baseline.

Practice random tiebreakers.

return serves from a partner.


There are so many creative ways to solve your practice issues.

One thing that helps me to hit through the ball is: hitting hard down the middle, because it makes me set up and get ready, its a helpful warm up drill.


JUST REMEMBER: THE HARDER YOU MAKE IT ON YOURSELF, THE EASIER IT WILL COME TO YOU DURING A MATCH.

For example: if you are practicing your serve, make it so that you have to use topspin AND hit a cone.
This makes you focus.
Trust me. =]

Babb
12-30-2008, 09:16 PM
Thanks for the input. It's inspirational :D . And I quoted you on my YouTube channel- is that alright? Ha.

Okazaki Fragment
12-30-2008, 09:20 PM
Ball machine

kelz
12-30-2008, 09:46 PM
Ball machine

I concur. I used the ball machine to practice drills.

Djokovicfan4life
12-31-2008, 01:36 AM
I wouldn't know, I haven't gotten better yet. :)

Failed
12-31-2008, 02:14 AM
Imitate, Repeat, Variate.

SlapShot
12-31-2008, 04:57 AM
Hitting with better players than myself. This last year has been a true growth year for me (I wish I'd have worked this hard during HS tennis) and I will credit a large portion of that growth to seeing the quality of play that is needed at the 5.0+ level of tennis.

phoenicks
12-31-2008, 05:12 AM
Constantly taking lesson ( private is the best, but gorup lesson will suffice if there's budget constraint ) with a good coach who have lots of good drill up his sleeves, and having him correct your technique constantly to avoid any error in ur stroke mechanics.

At the same time, practice what you learn with ppl better than you, hire a good hitting partner if you can afford it. ( by good, I mean top junior or college tennis team player )

Also, approach each and every1 of your tennis session with a purpose to improve on 1 aspect of your game.

mikeler
12-31-2008, 05:21 AM
I took several years of private lessons as a junior. That helped me develop the proper technique for all my shots. When I started playing tennis again 10 years later, I decided just to play tons of matches. I try to play people with different styles. Each style forces you to adapt your game in order to attack and defend properly.

This past year I made equipment changes that have improved my game. The first move I made was to switch to a lighter O-port racket. The second change I made was to purchase my own stringer to try out various string setups. Once I settled on what I liked, the third change I made was going to a string that worked much better for me.

Lotto
12-31-2008, 05:31 AM
You may think it's weird but just by mirroring it.

For example, my forehand, my forehand is modeled off of Federer's. What I do is I watched Federer's forehand and I then mirrored it in my conservatory as I can see myself in the glass and I know if I'm doing something right or wrong and then somehow when I step on the court after doing that enough it becomes natural. I don't even need to adjust timing with the tennis ball now in play. It's pretty freaky but I'm a quick learner. I seem to pick up things like that pretty easily. The problem is, I'm lazy and don't do it often enough.

phoenicks
12-31-2008, 05:38 AM
Oh and I forget to add that, despite all the advise we've given you here, the most important thing is to do some serious injury prevention exercise to get a stronger bones and muscle, strong enough to last you longer in courts without sustaining an injury, which will certainly slow down your progress a bit.

Furthermore, taking some times off every year always helps, not too long, but long enough to get your mind off it and refresh yourself, you'll be surprised at how it can do wonders to your game.

bad_call
12-31-2008, 05:41 AM
like Lotto - quick learner here. so progressed up to a point. playing tourneys exposed me to different playing styles. talk and listen to better players (some quite good) and watch the pros...especially those whose style is similar to your own. once you get to a level, it takes much more effort to go beyond that.

ayuname
12-31-2008, 05:42 AM
watching prince of tennis! lol!

yellowoctopus
12-31-2008, 06:08 AM
I was stuck at 3.5 for a long, long time as a youngster, then lost interest in tennis for a while. I got back into tennis later in my adulthood and found an approach that helped me break the 3.5 barrier. Instead of just going out and working on my usual game, I focused on one stroke at a time--taking private lessons with several pros and letting them know which stroke I'm currently trying to improve. Looking back, I also found that it was important to get consistent practice in after the private lesson, in order to train your body to memorize the corrections you set out to make. Perhaps the best advice I followed was to simplify all aspects of my strokes.

I'm still improving by listening to people and trying new things while still 'keeping it simple'.

split-step
12-31-2008, 06:12 AM
playing better people.

albino smurf
12-31-2008, 06:13 AM
Playing against better players is the best way to improve quickly. Challenge yourself and never be satisfied with where you're at in your game.

Gemini
12-31-2008, 06:15 AM
Better competition.

raiden031
12-31-2008, 06:48 AM
I don't know which of these would work the fastest, but I have taken what is available to me and made the best of it. There are some things I wish I could do more of, but I'd say I've progressed alot and my game is still heading upwards.

Most common things I do:
1. Wall - most repetitions for time spent, can do a few good drills, can't work on depth, incoming ball always the same
2. Matches - Good to test new skills and strategies, must practice variety and not always be about winning, must avoid bad habits, must play both S & D
3. Ball machine - Only in spring/summer, good for isolating certain strokes
4. Books & Videos - Learn effective training methods, strategies, and stroke technique
5. Serve Practice w/Hopper - Usually in Spring/summer
6. Shadow tennis - Helps reinforce proper footwork and stroke technique when at home away from courts

Things lacking:
1. Quality opponents/partners (ie. those better than me)
2. Hitting partners (most of the time its just match play)
3. Lessons (too expensive, don't like group lessons)

Bungalo Bill
12-31-2008, 07:30 AM
As titled. Was it extensive match play, hitting on the wall all the time, taking frequent private lessons, doing tons of drills, or what? Just curious.

What made me get better the fastest was linking my match play to my practices. When I started taking stats of my match performance (i.e double faults, # of missed first serves, placement of serves, unforced errors on the backhand or forehand, etc...) and created focused practices to improve my performance in whatever area, I really started to improve.

From a "stroke" perspective. The biggest thing that helped my improve was becoming physically fit for tennis and going through tough physical practices where we worked on technique and conditioning at the same time.

Djokovicfan4life
12-31-2008, 07:46 AM
What made me get better the fastest was linking my match play to my practices. When I started taking stats of my match performance (i.e double faults, # of missed first serves, placement of serves, unforced errors on the backhand or forehand, etc...) and created focused practices to improve my performance in whatever area, I really started to improve.

From a "stroke" perspective. The biggest thing that helped my improve was becoming physically fit for tennis and going through tough physical practices where we worked on technique and conditioning at the same time.

How exactly did you keep track of your stats while you played? I can't imagine your opponents would appreciate it if you kept running to the chair to update your stats after every point. :)

mistapooh
12-31-2008, 07:55 AM
Playing better people, definitely. I thought I knew the stroke mechanics for everything, but a better player than me always has something profound that I've never thought of.

SlapShot
12-31-2008, 08:15 AM
How exactly did you keep track of your stats while you played? I can't imagine your opponents would appreciate it if you kept running to the chair to update your stats after every point. :)

The easiest way is to have someone chart your match - winners and errors off of both sides, first and second serve %, etc.

I'm going to start taping practice matches to chart myself and link it to a visual of the point construction.

WildVolley
12-31-2008, 08:16 AM
What helped me improve was consciously using my better technique from practice in matches. Instead of falling into the habit of regressing to my old form under pressure, I just kept doing what I did in practice. At first it meant a lot of losses. Then once it clicked my game moved up quickly.

I also improved once I started making a tennis journal with goals, notes about what was working particularly well and what wasn't working.

The last thing was using a video camera to assess my technique.

Bungalo Bill
12-31-2008, 08:23 AM
How exactly did you keep track of your stats while you played? I can't imagine your opponents would appreciate it if you kept running to the chair to update your stats after every point. :)

I have a brother. Sometimes, I would pay an innocent bystander at a tennis match about $20 to take down stats. I had a little computer program. I also did it own my own on certain key stats.

It isnt hard to keep track of

1. In this game, I missed 4 first serves, two forehands, and three backhands. I double faulted once.

I write it down on a side change. Obviously, you cant keep track of everything, you simply reduce the number of things you are tracking and focus on the priority. For some, if you are on your own, you might only want to take a mental note of the number of double faults or missed first serves. If it becomes obvious you are missing a lot, then you can stop keeping track and make a mental note that you need to increase the frequency of your serve practices and move on to another stat like unforced errors on the backhand. If this becomes a glaring weakness, you will already have some sense on how many double faults per game you have been having. Write it down after the match.

It doesnt need to be perfect, it just needs to give you feedback on areas that need more work.

The point is, you are studying yourself to help your practices become more meaningful and helpful.

GeorgeLucas
12-31-2008, 08:34 AM
I hit around with better people and watched Federer hit some forehands in sweet, sweet slow motion.

LeeD
12-31-2008, 08:38 AM
For me, it was watching the pro tournaments and talking to the players when they're in a casual enviorment.
Then going out and telling myself that anything they hit, I can too...from low halfvolleys to backhand overheads, to returning serves into the body and out wide, you gotta believe, first of all.
Every shot has to be the best I can generate, no lulling around or just getting the ball back. That means splitting the court, sighting the ball, early prep, full swings and followthrus, and NO walkabouts.
That took me from high C (maybe 4.0) to low A's (maybe 5.5-6).
Never could get better.