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Essential Tennis
01-26-2009, 10:57 AM
Often times club players feel like they have to chose between hitting confidently and aggressively, or tentatively and consistently. On my podcast today my guest and I talked about how to best do both, instead of one or the other, in practice and in match play in Podcast #50.

Hopefully its a help to some of you!

Cheers

-Ian

http://www.essentialtennis.com/podcast/

LeeD
01-26-2009, 03:27 PM
You need both.
You gotta be aggressive to dictate points, but you can't be missing all the time.
If you can't be aggressive AND consistent, better back off one or the other and live with your level.

LuckyR
01-27-2009, 12:23 PM
Of course to reach the higher levels you need both. But from a practical standpoint, folks have a much better track record starting with a high percentage game and cranking up the aggressiveness while keeping the ball in, than low percentage players do waiting for the ball to magically start landing in one day, when starting off missing most shots.

GPB
01-27-2009, 12:28 PM
I have a big problem with this "hitting consistently" idea. For instance, last night I played a match and lost 1-6, 5-7. We talked afterward, and my opponent complemented me on my skills and said that almost every shot I hit was either a winner or out (not many went into the net). I haven't figured out how to tune it down and play less recklessly, but watch out when I do!

LuckyR
01-27-2009, 12:30 PM
I have a big problem with this "hitting consistently" idea. For instance, last night I played a match and lost 1-6, 5-7. We talked afterward, and my opponent complemented me on my skills and said that almost every shot I hit was either a winner or out (not many went into the net). I haven't figured out how to tune it down and play less recklessly, but watch out when I do!

Uummm, but you lost.

hjminard
01-27-2009, 12:42 PM
Uummm, but you lost.

Yeah, I don't think they meant a problem with the "idea" of consistency (though that's what they said) but rather a problem with execution of the idea.

I suffer the same problem. I know I need to be more conservative and consistent, but it's not a natural tendency for me ... I'm naturally very competitive and aggressive.

I look forward to checking out this podcast.

GPB
01-27-2009, 12:58 PM
Uummm, but you lost.

Yeah, I don't think they meant a problem with the "idea" of consistency (though that's what they said) but rather a problem with execution of the idea.

Yes, I guess I misspoke a little. I like the idea, I just haven't disciplined myself enough to use it yet!

r2473
01-27-2009, 01:34 PM
Singles play: hit aggressively or consistently?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_dilemma

Failed
01-27-2009, 02:50 PM
Actually you can hit only aggressively or consistently. Trying to make your opponent to draw an error is an aggressive play. Hitting hard trying to make the opponent hit a short ball is an aggressive play. Hitting consistently is a defensive play, cause you rely on your opponent to draw an error.

The truth however is that there are different degrees of consistency and aggressiveness. Some shots that might be considered defensive might actually be very aggressive versus some players. For example, a slice can be called a defensive shot but versus someone that can't time his shots well it can be his nightmare. Trying to find the right mixture of consistency and aggressiveness in your shots is key, the flatter and harder you hit the ball, the more likely you are to draw an error or "win" the point. The more you force topspin to the ball making it go in. Many people don't understand that hitting consistently doesn't mean you have to push the ball or hit slower. All you need to do is hit the ball more upwards, creating that topspin needed.

Shortly, if your win more points of by hitting every ball in, go for it, because that way you are surely going to win. If instead your opponent has you on the run and you're all the balls in strategy isn't working, then you need to start being more aggressive. As I told you, being aggressive doesn't mean you have to hit ball hard. Hit wide angles, hit with different spins and get to the net.

LuckyR
01-27-2009, 03:16 PM
Yes, I guess I misspoke a little. I like the idea, I just haven't disciplined myself enough to use it yet!

Sorry, I misread your post.

Your situation seems superficially to be a conundrum, but actually is pretty simple. Many folks confuse desire for winning (which everyone assumes they have in abundance) with fear of losing (or looking bad). In my experience fear of looking unaggressive, style-wise (hence the perjorative tone of labels like: pusher) is quite common. And many are perfectly content to use a losing strategy (low percentage tennis) just to avoid such a label. There are as many rationalizations for this as there are players. Things like: "I'd rather lose like a lion, than win like a lamb" and somesuch.

If you really look deep into your heart and decide you are truly interested in winning (not looking good), then you are ready to play high percentage tennis.

unprotennis
01-27-2009, 05:50 PM
nice podcast,

sigh this is why i'll always be a noob at tennis.

im very enthusiastic about 'hitting out', too enthusiastic *sigh* and then you can infer what happens next.

Essential Tennis
01-28-2009, 08:04 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_dilemma

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loaded_question

:)

r2473
01-28-2009, 10:32 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loaded_question

:)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Touch%C3%A9

Moz
01-28-2009, 10:38 AM
Of course to reach the higher levels you need both. But from a practical standpoint, folks have a much better track record starting with a high percentage game and cranking up the aggressiveness while keeping the ball in, than low percentage players do waiting for the ball to magically start landing in one day, when starting off missing most shots.

If I look at my 'progress' I would agree with this. Good post.

Essential Tennis
01-28-2009, 02:41 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Touch%C3%A9

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lol

Lendl's Forehand
01-28-2009, 04:33 PM
Is more important. The funny thing is that I see many, many club 4.0 players hitting harder than many of the 5.0's in my club, 6 inches to a foot over the net. And the 5.0 guys would beat them 6-1, 6-1. And I've seen many good college players where I thought, wow, this is a good Div 1 player and I hit harder. Same thing though, he'd kill me. Because of the 4th, 5th, 6th ball...

ttbrowne
01-28-2009, 05:16 PM
My son started with the agressive/power game first and is only now trying to get the ball to land IN the court. I have to say he is a very frustrated player. He gets to the point where he just does not enjoy the game...but keeps coming back.

I keep telling him that he HAS got to consistantly get the ball in to even have a chance to win.

Djokovicfan4life
01-28-2009, 09:12 PM
Actually you can hit only aggressively or consistently.

Wrong. You make it sound like it's impossible to hit aggressively with consistency. Ever seen a Nadal match? Sure, he can play very defensively sometimes, but his forehand can give players absolute fits, yet they clear the net by around 4 feet with massive topspin.

Fernando Verdasco committed only about 25 unforced errors or so over the course of his last 4 set match. You've seen Verdasco play, haven't you?

I think that a huge factor in deciding how aggressively to play is the level of the players. Let's face it, at the 3.5 levels or lower, most of the points are decided by unforced errors. Therefore, the more reliable player will win every time, regardless of if they look good doing it or not. Obviously to succeed at the higher levels you need a certain level of aggression unless you're looking for a serious butt kicking.

mucat
01-29-2009, 11:27 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lol

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WTF

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ROTFLOL