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Liv3 For It
01-29-2009, 01:00 PM
I am 15 years old, 125 pounds, and 5'9''. I have been playing tennis for about a year and four months and am ranked a 3.5. My question is, WHY CANT I GET BETTER?

I try so hard. I try, try, and try again but I am not getting better. My tennis had its up and downs throughout the year but now with the oncoming high school tennis season, I need my game to a lot better.

I know practice makes you better, and right now I practice 4 times a week for an hour and a half and lift weights 3 days a week for an hour.

If practice makes you better, HOW ARE YOU SUPOSSED TO PRACTICE? How can I get better in a shorter amount of time? I would do anything...

Liv3 For It
01-29-2009, 01:01 PM
Just tell me how to get better.....plz

Djokovicfan4life
01-29-2009, 01:06 PM
You need to look at the QUALITY of your practices, not just the actual time spent on the tennis court. How do you go about your practices, anyway? Do you just "hit around" for an hour or so and then call it a day, with perhaps a couple of serves thrown in every other Tuesday?

Read up on proper techniques on just about everything you can imagine. Footwork, strokes, serves, volleys, mental game, etc. and from there you can pick a certain aspect to focus on for one day. Don't try to over-complicate things too much by trying to think about 10 things at once every time you step on the court. Trust me, I've tried that. It will lead to nothing except frustration. It takes about 300 repetitions to create muscle memory, so to get something down, you need to drill it hard until you can do it in your sleep. A ball machine is a huge advantage to have unless you have a good coach or an extremely patient hitting partner.

Best of luck to you.

LeeD
01-29-2009, 01:35 PM
First of all, as said, each and every shot you hit must have direction, depth, and forethought. No blind hitting.
1.5 hours a day is very little, I know I can't get beyond 3.5 with that.
Second year tennis for me, minimum 5 hours a day on the court, so maybe 8 hours a day at the courts, 6 days a week minimum for me to get to B level or selected shots slightly above.
Hit more, wait longer....

jmjmkim
01-29-2009, 01:41 PM
You need to look at the QUALITY of your practices, not just the actual time spent on the tennis court. How do you go about your practices, anyway? Do you just "hit around" for an hour or so and then call it a day, with perhaps a couple of serves thrown in every other Tuesday?

Best of luck to you.

I totally agree. I remember my old tennis coach telling us: "Practice does not make perfect, . . . perfect practice makes perfect."

If you are on the practice court trying to figure out your forehand, and you do this often, then, you are trying to hit a moving target. Tennis, like golf, is a very difficult game to master. It takes years of experience. Since you have such a desire to be good on your HS team, I can understand that you need some quick "fix" answers. But, as in life, there really is no such thing. Tennis takes at least 3 years to master, and there is no substitute for experience.

Some ways to improve quickly that I can think of:

+ Take professional lessons.
+ Ball machines are good, if you already know how to reproduce solid fundamental strokes. You should not be trying to figure out how best to hold the racket, how to stand, how to swing, etc.
+ You should swing consistently, the same way for the shot. What I mean is, if you are hitting the ball a different way, everytime (unless this is intentional) then you will still be "searching" for the consistent fundamentals 10-20 years from now.
+ Play with better players (if they will play with you) A lot of times, it is good playing with experienced "old timers" from a public park, because you expose yourself to players with lots of experience and expertise of "street smart tennis". I learned a lot, getting my *** whipped by grandpas who had wicked spins and awesome placements. It made me a lot more consistent in a very short time. A lot of time, playing with same HS players, unless they are really good, all they do is to hit the ball as hard as they can, regardless of strategy. (this is soooooo immature)
+Assess yourself. Figure out what part of your game needs work. If you are a 3.5, then you are still focusing on the mechanics portion of the game. You rely a lot on your opponent's unforced errors, rather than forced errors and winners. You gotta get equipped with consistent strokes, thus having some kind of a game strategy for every match.

jmjmkim
01-29-2009, 01:48 PM
You gotta get equipped with consistent strokes, thus having some kind of a game strategy for every match.

I want to add:

In battle, the generals of each opposing army works on the strategy. When they are making a battle plan, they shouldn't have to worry "will there be enough gun powder in the bullets?" because then, they will never get anywhere. Likewise in tennis, your strokes have to be reliable in that when you need to attack the opponent's backhand, your own backhand will be able to deliver it to where it needs to go. If it does not, then it is like going to way with blanks.

Element54
01-29-2009, 01:54 PM
First of all, as said, each and every shot you hit must have direction, depth, and forethought. No blind hitting.

If anything, start with this. A conscious reflexive thought mentally when practising. Hit with purpose and intention. Aim within the lines, and be disappointed if they go over them.

user92626
01-29-2009, 01:56 PM
Are you really going to do anything?

I think it's quite simple. Get a good ball machine, a human spotter, and read up all the instructions you find on the net. Set up objectives and drill all the strokes, movements, responses that are required in the sport. The spotter is going to help evaluate each shot, each session and you'd correct the mistakes. Eventually you'll be able to do as much of it and as with little error as possible.

So, time, resource and dedication are the main ingredients.

10nistennis
01-29-2009, 03:18 PM
Play smarter. Start thinking about how you're playing. Think about what's strong and what's weak about your game. Play some smart tennis. There's a reason why most tennis players are smart. Start using your brain and think about shots that you're going to hit, dissect your opponents, and play some mart tennis.



"It's not the hours you put in, it's what you put in the hours."

user92626
01-29-2009, 03:32 PM
Play smarter. Start thinking about how you're playing. Think about what's strong and what's weak about your game. Play some smart tennis. There's a reason why most tennis players are smart. Start using your brain and think about shots that you're going to hit, dissect your opponents, and play some mart tennis.



"It's not the hours you put in, it's what you put in the hours."

I beg to differ. I wouldn't say tennis pro's are generally smart or smart in general term. I have never read about any one of them going to college, and almost all of them are at the college age.

However, all of them just bash the ball really well and are healthy. The ones coming out on top are those that do better and longer. Period.

sukivan
01-29-2009, 03:35 PM
I beg to differ. I wouldn't say tennis pro's are generally smart or smart in general term. I have never read about any one of them going to college, and almost all of them are at the college age.

That's because they're touring the world.

Liv3 For It
01-29-2009, 04:16 PM
well then is getting a ball machine worth it?


So basically, just come to the courts with a specific purpose.?

LeeD
01-29-2009, 04:57 PM
Going to college or graduating from college is only one small form of "smart".
Smart can also be living your dreams the way you want, when you want, how you want.
It doesn't always have to be about structure or money.
You have to live ONE Life, why not the one you choose?

user92626
01-29-2009, 05:10 PM
well then is getting a ball machine worth it?


So basically, just come to the courts with a specific purpose.?

Yes, come to a court, train until you can hit with all strokes at 80, 90% and reach a certain pace, topspin. There's no accident that you find alot of Nadal's video clips in the Net where he seemingly casually hits "easy" FH/BH, etc.

Once that's down, get fit and move fast (even Djokovic can lose to Roddick whose skill is inferior to his).

:)

Slicendicer
01-29-2009, 05:13 PM
I am 15 years old, 125 pounds, and 5'9''. I have been playing tennis for about a year and four months and am ranked a 3.5. My question is, WHY CANT I GET BETTER?

I try so hard. I try, try, and try again but I am not getting better. My tennis had its up and downs throughout the year but now with the oncoming high school tennis season, I need my game to a lot better.

I know practice makes you better, and right now I practice 4 times a week for an hour and a half and lift weights 3 days a week for an hour.

If practice makes you better, HOW ARE YOU SUPOSSED TO PRACTICE? How can I get better in a shorter amount of time? I would do anything...

Find hitting partners who are better than you, and challenge you. Practice strengths and weakness. Work on your fitness, court speed, and lateral movements. Strengthen your knees and core. You will get better. You might want to find a new coach if your coach isn't helping you improve. Good luck.

herosol
01-29-2009, 05:46 PM
PLAYING MORE MATCHESSSSSS


RAWRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

now thats intensity.

futuratennis
01-29-2009, 06:55 PM
First of all, as said, each and every shot you hit must have direction, depth, and forethought. No blind hitting.
1.5 hours a day is very little, I know I can't get beyond 3.5 with that.
Second year tennis for me, minimum 5 hours a day on the court, so maybe 8 hours a day at the courts, 6 days a week minimum for me to get to B level or selected shots slightly above.
Hit more, wait longer....

uh mate, not everyone has 8 hours to spare just playing tennis, and six days a week? ur crazy mate i play A1 (prob 4.5-5.5 in the US NTRP rating, im from aus) at comps and i play 4-6 times a week sometimes, and other weeks i only play 2-3 and others only once (which is crap), you dont need to play that much, thats just overdoing it, playing that much will cause injuries, and 1.5 hours a day is "very little" what the hell are you talking about... also, if you dont have an opportunity to play that much (like me sometimes, because of the cost of court hire, weather etc.) focus on fitness and conditioning, because remember, if there was a fat person who was a bit better than a well conditioned person, the fit one will most likely win, as tennis is a sport which requires great endurance, and as you hear the pros what they do "they wear the opponents down" especially in really hot weather like the aussie open

the best thing for the OPs tennis game is just keep practicing - do 10-20 mins of just line shots or backhands, slices, serves etc. dont just "have a hit" having a hit is fun and all and is still good practice, but if you really want to improve do what i said, also read up about footwork, strategies, diets etc. and play as much as you can, but dont overdo it, ideally for me, id love to play 1.5-2 hours 5-6 times a week, ALWAYS having a rest day, leeD that was a stupid comment

Djokovicfan4life
01-29-2009, 07:45 PM
"Practice does not make perfect, . . . perfect practice makes perfect."

"It's not the hours you put in, it's what you put in the hours."

Brilliant. The answer to your problems is right here in front of you. Also, if you've got a little extra cash to spend, here is a great site with tons of information about pretty much anything you can imagine. They have free samples, of course, so even without subscribing you can pick up some killer drills and techniques to make you a better player.

www.virtualtennisacademy.com

Liv3 For It
01-30-2009, 11:14 AM
If you practice with players worse than you, then what?

LeeD
01-30-2009, 02:14 PM
If that's all you get to practice with, then mercilessly pound them 0 and 0 and 0 and 0 as many sets as you play.
You won't get practice against strong, deep balls, but you get mental practice and relentless aggression, which is needed at any level.
And after you beat all your partners 0 and 0 forever, somebody better will step in and want to test your game.

Tennisman912
01-31-2009, 08:49 PM
Liv3 For It

My best advice is to take some lessons. You have to have the right technique for all your strokes before practicing them endlessly. There is a reason so few advance past 3.5-4.0. They have too many stroke deficiencies. Lots of practice is not enough.

Find the best pro you can with a history of turning out good juniors. If that is not an option, find the best players you can to try and convince them to instruct you no matter what it takes.

I am not sure of your aspirations, but you are already behind the curve to be a top player. You must get some quality instruction to make sure you are on the right track in the beginning. Almost no one can pick up enough on his or her own to be a top player. With some good instruction you can make a lot of progress. But just for some perspective, the best juniors I know play 5-7 days a week, instruction 3-5 days a week, plus tournaments and outside hitting.

Best of luck

TM