View Full Version : I've decided to completely relearn tennis.
02-02-2009, 08:39 AM
Long time no see guys. Yesterday I was hitting around with a friend and record our serves. Then I realized, I have no form whatsoever, I wasn't fluid and my serve looked ugly, but can still somehow make it in. Then we started hitting around, my balls are no longer sailing like they were a year ago, but they have no pace at all and they are constantly hitting the net. Now my backhand, it's a joke. I have like no backhand all at. I use a one handed backhand but it is so unreliable and it also has no pace and it goes all over the place, I can 't control it. My footwork definitely also needs work. It's starting to warm up here soon so I'm going to constantly going to be hitting the courts.
MY thing is, where do I begin? How do I begin all over again? How should I structure my practices, I don't always have a hitting partner. Its been a few months since I've been gone for the board, what are some new resources available for me to look at.
Here's to a fresh start!
Focus on yourself.
Every shot, your feet are apart a couple feet, your trunk stable, good posture, no learning side, back, or forwards. EVERY shot.
Turn your shoulders pretty much fully sidways to start. You can modify later after you have a consistent fore and back hand.
Now stroke thru the ball, slice or top or flat, with a full backswing and MOST IMPORTANT, a full follow thru.
Watch TV tennis for a tip on correct form. Watch GOOD players.
That's a start that should last a week or so.
02-02-2009, 09:49 AM
Well, I've got some good news and some bad news for you here.
The bad: You suck at tennis. Hard.
The good: Everybody sucks at it at some point. Yes, even Roger Federer. You've taken the first real step to becoming a better player. From here you need to study hard and work on improving your knowledge of the game. Once you do this you will start to become capable of spotting and correcting errors that manifest themselves in your strokes. www.fuzzyyellowballs.com is a great site with plenty of high speed video available to give you specific goals to shoot for in your very own game.
When you do begin to really look at your game, and by look I mean REALLY look, it is very important that you start from the ground up. In my experiences with the game, 99% of all errors in tennis come from footwork errors. Yes, even on the serve as well, believe it or not! There is a TON of great info regarding footwork in this section. Use the search function to find this stuff and, most importantly, JUST DO IT. Footwork is one of THE most overlooked aspects of the game. So no excuses. Work on it, hard. With a knowledge of proper footwork you will have an absolutely MASSIVE advantage over 95% of your opponents. Most players look at the concept of footwork as simply "moving their feet", which of course is true in one way. What they fail to grasp is that an understanding of HOW TO MOVE their feet is absolutely critical. Do not prescribe to the "running to the ball" retards inc., or the "just move your feet more" association. Work on developing real footwork that puts you in the best possible position, while using the least possible amount of energy.
Best of luck,
02-02-2009, 04:54 PM
If your form is weak to the point that you need to completely relearn from the ground up then I would suggest going to see a pro. If you can afford them for a few private lessons, if cost is an issue look for a group clinic. The following is bit a long story, but i think it can help.
It is hard to "restart," I know. I was working as an assistant instructor and was certified. I wound up leaving that place because I was being treated badly. This was around three years ago. Unfortunately about the same time I ran into some health problems and I got burnout, real bad. I got to the point where I was not getting rim sleep on a regular bases, I gained 50 pounds and couldn't keep my breath to run. That lasted for more than 7 months. During that time I didn't pick up a racquet. Which considering I was hitting balls almost every day and had been for five years that was tough.
When I started getting better and I picked up a racquet again for the first time and started hitting. . .well, it wasn't pretty. I had picked up a lot of bad habits while teaching, but my hand eye coordination was great, but that was shot. So I began starting from scratch. . . .
I started studying the forehand and the backhand and all the other strokes like I hadn't before. I read and saw everything I could on the concepts, fundamentals and structure of each.
I went to some local backboards and hit on them for 2 to 3 hours a day, only taking a day or two off every so often. While there I started applying the knowledge I learned and building everything from the ground up. That process took about 3-4 months. Why so long? I had to rebuild my energy and muscles.
By the time I was done I had learned to hit better shots with more pace, more spin, better variety and greater control than I ever had.
I still suggest going for a pro, I had a background in tennis instruction so it was easier for me than for those without it. I went the solitary route because that was just something I needed to do. I did know pros who would have helped me get back, but I needed to do it for myself. I needed to do it for me as a person who felt helplessly burned out and for me as an instructor. Being burned out happened to be one of the best things to happen to me tennis wise and confidence wise.
So don't think of it as having to "restart," but take it as an opportunity to renew your love for Tennis, a new start with an old love.
02-02-2009, 08:37 PM
As SFrazeur has said, it's really difficult to rebuild from scratch.
Get a coach to help you see what's wrong, what's right and what needs fixing.
Build on the strengths n toss away the weakness.
02-02-2009, 08:40 PM
Yes, the battle against muscle memory is a long and tedious one.
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