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View Full Version : Senior in HS and trying out for tennis for the first time...


late start!
01-04-2009, 09:42 PM
I took up tennis during August and it is my senior year. I know this is a really late start but I want to try out for the tennis team. So far, my forehand is decent and my backhand is okay but not as reliable. I still don't have a serve, can't slice, nor volley well. My footwork isn't too bad as I've played HS soccer for three years. Now tryouts are in February and I have not had much time to practice due to college apps and stuff. But I have decided starting this week, I'm going to get as much practice in as I can get. It's hard for me to find a hitting partner to hit more than once or twice a week so I was wondering what drills I could do by myself? I was planning on just going to the tennis courts 1-2 hours after school everyday to work on my serves and do some suicide/other footwork drills? Also, I've heard both good and bad things about planning against the wall so I was wondering if this would be a good idea.

pmacino
01-04-2009, 10:10 PM
Have you ever played at all?

I'd say you need to find somebody to hit with that can coach you. Honestly, it sounds like you are trying to cram for a season with no fundamentals or direction. I know that you are asking for the direction part, but it sounds like you are starting from scratch.

Practice doesn't make perfect, it makes permanent. I started after high school and I took 3 months of weekly private lessons, and took an intermediate class through our Parks and Rec at the same time. That meant I was playing with instruction at least twice a week and working on strokes before I ever hit with somebody in a non-teaching environment.

My goals were similar...but, to play on a USTA team.

pmacino
01-04-2009, 10:12 PM
I forgot to mention that in my, "Practice makes permanent", part...my point was that you could theoretically be reinforcing bad habits/techniques without some guidance at your stage based on your self described skill set.

I don't know if my point was clear...hopefully this makes sense.

late start!
01-04-2009, 10:21 PM
Prior to this summer I have not played tennis. Maybe like one or twice but that's it. For the past couple months I've been hitting with some of the players that are on the varsity team at my HS. A couple of them tried teaching me how to serve, I just never picked up on it so I thought I'd practice more regularly. Also, I only have like $300 bucks in my bank account at the moment so there's not much I can spare for lessons, maybe just 4 lessons? Do you think that would be enough to get down the basics?

Vermillion
01-04-2009, 10:24 PM
yes, ask the kids on the varsity team about the coaching.

if possible, ask them to hit with you regularly so you can get decent practice playing with others

ssjkyle31
01-04-2009, 10:42 PM
Just get as much play time as possible. It is possible that you can self teach yourself. Check the library for tennis video and try to emulate the players strokes. I would not be worried about topspin or back spin at the moment. You major concern should be consistency.

Tennis can be summed up: Get the ball over the net in one bounce or less.

SirBlend12
01-04-2009, 11:01 PM
Where are you from? The "quality" of teams in various areas lies over quite a range, so even if you don't have that much experience, you may still be able to play for the team, especially if you keep practicing as much as possible.

late start!
01-05-2009, 06:44 AM
Where are you from? The "quality" of teams in various areas lies over quite a range, so even if you don't have that much experience, you may still be able to play for the team, especially if you keep practicing as much as possible.

I'm from So. California

goober
01-05-2009, 07:40 AM
I'm from So. California

Well I hope your team has a no cut policy or is a really weak team. :) Seriously good luck. Even if you don't make the team keep playing !

LeeD
01-05-2009, 09:27 AM
First of all, watch TV, videos, and all the tapes you can get ahold of.
SoCal, you should practice at least 3 hours a day, 6 days a week, until tryouts.
There's no excuse. You are not working every day. Your studies only take 2-3 hours at night. Every other player on the tennis team now practices 2 hours a day. Can you afford to practice less?
Wall....it's good for pace, height, and swing practice.
Serve. Hit 100 flat first serves 1' above the net stripe. Then hit 200 spun second serves about 30 mph slower 3' above the net stripe. You can take a crayon and circle where you're trying to hit the ball.
Do that 3 days a week.
In SoCal, you have no excuse to NOT practice any less than 3 hours a day.
And any less, you are just not trying and should NOT be on any tennis team.

SirBlend12
01-05-2009, 09:42 AM
I'm from So. California

Ooooh. Tough region. However, if you really have a drive to do something and commit yourself to it, you still stand a chance. People often underestimate the power of passion, especially in sports.

I would have to guess that your footwork/agility/speed/endurance are all pretty solid from your experience with soccer, so most of what you have to work on, in order, would be;

1. Form
2. Technique (yes, different from form)
3.Placement/Further technique/Playing style/Spin/Consistency (all of these will come from practice and good form/technique)
4. Mentality/Strategy/Mental strength (form a game plan, gain confidence through practice and perfection of all above, and learn to let the mistakes go and sty in the winning mindset)
5. Continuous practice of all of the above over and over

The major difference between a beginner (2.0 ish) and a pro (7.0) is how many hours they have practiced. A 2.0 would have maybe 0-500 hours under their belt. A 7.0 pro would have about 10,000 hours.

Practice as much as possible, but practice correctly!

Get instruction from a coach, good Varsity player, teaching pro, former advanced players, etc., and then practice what you have learned.

Good luck!

late start!
01-05-2009, 03:55 PM
Well I hope your team has a no cut policy or is a really weak team. :) Seriously good luck. Even if you don't make the team keep playing !

Well seniors automatically make the team but I'm really competitive and I don't want to get better and not just dead-weight.

What I'm really having trouble on is my serve. I played today with 3 other varsity players and played some tiebreakers. I practically double faulted half the time and the other half had no pace.

I'll try to get a video up this weekend, hopefully, to get some tips from you guys!

ssjkyle31
01-05-2009, 04:16 PM
Well seniors automatically make the team but I'm really competitive and I don't want to get better and not just dead-weight.

What I'm really having trouble on is my serve. I played today with 3 other varsity players and played some tiebreakers. I practically double faulted half the time and the other half had no pace.

I'll try to get a video up this weekend, hopefully, to get some tips from you guys!

That actually good. Don't worry about the no pace, just not double faulting. It worst to give free points to your opponent by double faulting.

Work on a consistent serve not a powerfull serve. You need to build what is called muscle memory. Get a basket of 50 balls and practice just serving. Doesn't have to be fancy. Just remember most of the power comes from foward momentum and not arms. GL

Soar
01-05-2009, 08:27 PM
d00d

just forget technique or anything
just get as much matchplay in as possible
ull really need to catch up on match experience compared to other kids

trust me, since u are an athlete u will learn how to win with what u have,
then u can always improve

its better to win ugly then to lose pretty

Headshotterer
01-05-2009, 08:33 PM
how good are the other people?
if you can provide videos i can determine their skill levels and weaknesses

late start!
01-05-2009, 09:14 PM
how good are the other people?
if you can provide videos i can determine their skill levels and weaknesses

sorry, I don't have any videos :(

but the tennis team got into second round CIF last year, if that means anything haha

strahan918
01-05-2009, 09:25 PM
Whats the name of the school, and if you dont want to give that out, what CIF division is your school in for tennis?

late start!
01-05-2009, 09:26 PM
Whats the name of the school, and if you dont want to give that out, what CIF division is your school in for tennis?

Palm Springs high school (D2)

strahan918
01-05-2009, 09:43 PM
Palm Springs high school (D2)

Oh sheez, lol. That's going to be tough. You're going to have to spend blood sweat and tears hitting and be willing to have the willpower to hit as many balls as possible. Oh, and asking varsity players for help is a good thing. Hopefully you'll be able to make it, best of luck.