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mikegaotennis
07-11-2009, 07:18 PM
from most important to least important, in what order would you rank:

serve
groundstrokes
volleys
footwork
mental game
stamina
speed

Dreamer
07-11-2009, 07:27 PM
Personally:

footwork
groundstrokes(can I tie this?)
serve
mental game
stamina
speed
volleys

I believe you need fundamentals before mental game, but damn I hate volleys. Actually this is the order I developed my game. On volleys now LOL

EtePras
07-11-2009, 07:59 PM
Nothing is more important than the mental game. Without it, you can't even bring your other shots to the match.

mikegaotennis
07-11-2009, 08:21 PM
i didn't really rank it yet, but i would put

groundstrokes
footwork
serve
mental game
volleys
speed
stamina

i think the mental game is important, but when you become really good and confident in your strokes you won't be affected as much. also if you know you have a good second serve i really don't think your mind will be affected by that.

but the things i rank high are groundstrokes and footwork because they get you in the point and a winner is produced by footwork and a groundstroke, and preventing an unforced error is the same.

next i put serve because holding is obviously really important because at higher levels you will get many points off a good serve no matter how good your returner is. i didn't put volleys so high because so many people nowadays play a baseline game and don't have to come up to net once in a whole game unless someone hits a dropshot, but you can just hit one back and move back to the baseline if he lobs

nfor304
07-11-2009, 08:22 PM
1.mental game
footwork
serve
groundstrokes
stamina
volleys

Jay_The_Nomad
07-11-2009, 08:28 PM
1) Serve
2) Groundstrokes/Footwork
4) Stamina
5) Mental Game
6) Volleys
7) Speed

tennisdad65
07-11-2009, 08:34 PM
I am a s&v & c&c player.
for me:
1) Serve
2) Service return/chip & charge
3) Volleys
4) Approach shots
5) Stamina
6) Speed
7) Groundstrokes
8 ) Mental game is not too important. only mental thing is what type of serve to hit and to what location. what type of approaches (flat, slice or topspin). volley short / angled or deep..

ubermeyer
07-11-2009, 09:09 PM
mental game
footwork
groundstrokes
stamina
speed (on court)
serve
volleys
speed (of strokes)

in doubles, volleys are of course higher, footwork, on-court speed, stamina and mental game are somewhat lower.

mikegaotennis
07-11-2009, 09:14 PM
feel free to add other things like return of serve, i only made a short list off the top of my head

Tempest344
07-12-2009, 03:27 AM
1.Mental Game
2.Serve
3.Groundstrokes
4.Volleys
5.Footwork
6.Speed
7.Stamina

plasma
07-12-2009, 10:54 PM
personality
attitude
intentions
fitness level
self belief
self discipline
will to be great
forehand
backhand
volleys
serve

BU-Tennis
07-13-2009, 05:07 AM
1) Everything
2) There is no 2...

Honestly, to those who even attempted to rank these, your're idiots!! I know its harsh but that's the truth. It is impossible to say whether your backhand is more important than your forehand, or the serve is more important than the return. So you hit a good serve, but it comes back, and then you dump an easy sitter in the net. the fact that you may get a couple free points a game will not make up for the fact that you can't rally or volley for crap.

All of them are equally important. But it is true that many players are considered to have "weapons" when they have a big forehand and serve. However, footwork goes along with these hand in hand, (or foot in foot). However, look at Hingis. Didn't have any weapons but could move herself very well and move the ball around even better that she was able to compensate. However, when the Williams sisters burst onto the scene along with the pure power game, she couldn't handle it.

dParis
07-13-2009, 05:33 AM
1. Footwork
2. Everything else

plasma
07-13-2009, 08:26 AM
Hey BU, I've coached better players than you will ever be and played NCAA tennis for 4 years...why am I an idiot for placing the importance of various shots in order???
Isn't it potentially possible that someone could have a crappy bh and get away with a really good fh??? why would anyone who thought this way be "stupid". Your emotional rant called all of us "stupid" when in fact this is an analytical thread and a highly technical and intelligent one.....
btw, you can have a weak serve and mediocre volleys still compete. This is what the op was getting at.
Mike, tempest, ubermeyer and nfor left highly intelligent answers, please re think your emotional rant, you are incorrect my friend.

fattsoo
07-13-2009, 08:29 AM
sportsmanship...is always #1
serve...without this, you will never start a point
groudies...to keep the point going or hit a winner
footwork...actually getting there
stamina...come'on buddy, keep running

nousername
07-13-2009, 09:23 AM
used to think:

1) first serve
2) power
3) more power
4) second serve
5) ground strokes
6) racket
7) no wind
8 ) bag
9) shoes
10) no sun
11) color of my shoes
12) my shirt
13) even more power
14) a little more power
15) net game
16) footwork
17) strategy
18 ) mental game

I now think:

1) mental game
2) footwork
3) strategy
4) groundstrokes / net game
5) serve

( ... the rest doesn't make the list anymore )

certifiedjatt
07-13-2009, 09:56 AM
from most important to least important, in what order would you rank:

serve
groundstrokes
volleys
footwork
mental game
stamina
speed

1. Talent
i. natural athletic ability
a. all ground strokes
b. stamina
c. speed
ii. an intuition for the sport (when to pull the trigger, when to go safe...the "x" factor)

2. Mental ability

in my opinion and experience, if you have the natural talent, you don't have to worry as much about having a tough mind. mental ability is critical, but to me, not as important as natural talent. i would say it's a close second.

"footwork" is a bunch of BS. patterns, "strategies", "tactics"...that's the corporate boardroom equivalent of "synergy" and "revenue maximization" and "loss minimization"... etc. etc. footwork comes naturally through practice and match play. you naturally learn to get to the ball at the right time. your feet adjust themselves after hundreds of hours of practice. this si why practicing patterns is a waste of time and money.

talent comes first. it's not like golf, in which mechanics take precedence over talent. tennis, like basketball, football, soccer, requires a tonne of natural talent complemented by strong work ethic and mental toughness.

Claudius
07-13-2009, 10:06 AM
1. Talent
i. natural athletic ability
a. all ground strokes
b. stamina
c. speed
ii. an intuition for the sport (when to pull the trigger, when to go safe...the "x" factor)

2. Mental ability

in my opinion and experience, if you have the natural talent, you don't have to worry as much about having a tough mind. mental ability is critical, but to me, not as important as natural talent. i would say it's a close second.

"footwork" is a bunch of BS. patterns, "strategies", "tactics"...that's the corporate boardroom equivalent of "synergy" and "revenue maximization" and "loss minimization"... etc. etc. footwork comes naturally through practice and match play. you naturally learn to get to the ball at the right time. your feet adjust themselves after hundreds of hours of practice. this si why practicing patterns is a waste of time and money.

talent comes first. it's not like golf, in which mechanics take precedence over talent. tennis, like basketball, football, soccer, requires a tonne of natural talent complemented by strong work ethic and mental toughness.

I disagree. Footwork drills improved my game dramatically.

SethIMcClaine
07-13-2009, 10:57 AM
Theres many different way to order theses, different players should put each in a different order based on how they play

but heres my perspective:


1) mental game- if you cant concentrate you cant perform, if you can out smart your competition you dont have to be as strong in everything else
2) serves- You can never win a match if you cant serve
3) groundstrokes- its a fundimental, if you cant hit this nothing else matters
4) footwork - it makes decent shots better, good shots great, but without the shot its nothing
5) speed(/strength)- I've seen some big people play very slowly and still lay on the hurt (I've seen some physically weak players lay down a pounding as well)
6) stamina - the more strength you use the more stamina you need
7) Volleys- you can play a game without ever hitting a volley, its just harder to be agressive if you dont have that ability

pvaudio
07-13-2009, 11:07 AM
from most important to least important, in what order would you rank:

serve
groundstrokes
volleys
footwork
mental game
stamina
speed

1. Footwork
2. Serve
3. Groundstrokes
4. Volleys
5. Mental game
6. Stamina
7. Speed

Here's my reasoning: without footwork, NO stroke will work. Your serves will be inconsistent, your serve returns will be inconsistent, you'll always be out of position to hit groundstrokes and will dump volleys into the net all the time. Serve is next because with a good serve, you can be confident that you will always win at least half the games in the set. People need to start realizing the serve is a way to win/control the point, not just begin the point. Groundstrokes are obviously vital, and you have to hit them, while you could potentially get away with never hitting a volley in a game. If your head isn't in the game, you won't be able to focus if you aren't playing your best and could end up choking. Stamina is very important, but if your strokes are great, you won't need to be caught in huge rallies. Finally, if your footwork is great, you will rarely be out of position and won't need blinding footspeed to get to balls. You would already be there since you can force your opponent into errors with your serve and groundstrokes.

BU-Tennis
07-13-2009, 01:09 PM
Hey BU, I've coached better players than you will ever be and played NCAA tennis for 4 years...why am I an idiot for placing the importance of various shots in order???
Isn't it potentially possible that someone could have a crappy bh and get away with a really good fh??? why would anyone who thought this way be "stupid". Your emotional rant called all of us "stupid" when in fact this is an analytical thread and a highly technical and intelligent one.....
btw, you can have a weak serve and mediocre volleys still compete. This is what the op was getting at.
Mike, tempest, ubermeyer and nfor left highly intelligent answers, please re think your emotional rant, you are incorrect my friend.

The fact that you coached better players than me does not really count for much, as I am self-admittedly not the best tennis player out there by any means, but at least I understand the topic which was to rank something in importance. The backhand is no more important than the forehand and vice versa. Like I said, you can have a crappy backhand and awesome forehand and do well, but how crappy is that backhand and what level of play are we talking about? I also play on a tennis team, Div II but still a team none the less, and if you don't at least have a backhand that can send back a ball with some pace you're not going to win for sheer fact that those players who do have a decent backhand can establish rallies on that side, forcing you to run around and hit a low percentage forehand shot down the line, leaving an open crosscourt shot for you if they don't hit a winner.

You all have listed many different things that are important, I am not discounting that. But to still say that one is more important than the other without regards to thinking about actual peoples, levels of play, conditions, and environments does nothing more than to demean the sport of tennis and trivialize its components allowing those fellow members who have not had much experience with the sport confused about how to actually approach this wonderful game.

pvaudio
07-13-2009, 01:17 PM
The fact that you coached better players than me does not really count for much, as I am self-admittedly not the best tennis player out there by any means, but at least I understand the topic which was to rank something in importance. The backhand is no more important than the forehand and vice versa. Like I said, you can have a crappy backhand and awesome forehand and do well, but how crappy is that backhand and what level of play are we talking about? I also play on a tennis team, Div II but still a team none the less, and if you don't at least have a backhand that can send back a ball with some pace you're not going to win for sheer fact that those players who do have a decent backhand can establish rallies on that side, forcing you to run around and hit a low percentage forehand shot down the line, leaving an open crosscourt shot for you if they don't hit a winner.

You all have listed many different things that are important, I am not discounting that. But to still say that one is more important than the other without regards to thinking about actual peoples, levels of play, conditions, and environments does nothing more than to demean the sport of tennis and trivialize its components allowing those fellow members who have not had much experience with the sport confused about how to actually approach this wonderful game.

I agree with you, but footwork is still the most important aspect. You cannot do anything on the court without footwork.

BU-Tennis
07-13-2009, 01:35 PM
^^^^As the basis for all strokes footwork is definitely the first thing that has to happen to initiate a stroke properly, but this is more of what is important in stroke production and not in comparing footwork to the importance of the various strokes. Footwork sets you up for a shot but if you have terrible form, or lack penetration on your shots it doesn't really matter, and if you can blast a forehand but can't setup fast enough then you're in the same heap of trouble.

raiden031
07-13-2009, 01:51 PM
from most important to least important, in what order would you rank:

serve
groundstrokes
volleys
footwork
mental game
stamina
speed

groundstrokes
footwork
serve
stamina
mental game
volleys
speed

I know most people put mental game first, but I can't do it. You can have great footwork and groundstrokes and be mentally weak and you will still be a very solid player. On the contrary, if you are mentally strong but have pathetic groundstrokes, then you physically will not be able to play well enough to actually win matches at a decent level.

My philosophy is that you can't even dream of being a good tennis player until you have the fundamentals down such as the ability to hit repeatable, advanced strokes. Once you have the strokes developed, you can improve other parts of your game such as improving fitness, mental strength, strategy, etc.

Djokovicfan4life
07-13-2009, 01:55 PM
I agree with you, but footwork is still the most important aspect. You cannot do anything on the court without footwork.

Well, to be fair, you can still serve. :)

boojay
07-13-2009, 03:02 PM
To OP, I guess it depends on what level of player you're posing this question to, not to mention everyone has different strengths and weaknesses so what's considered important to one individual whose strength happens to be another's weakness will not be the same as the other.

All things being equal, i.e. a seasoned player with proper mechanics, I'd say the mental game plays the biggest role, or more specifically, confidence. A confident player is capable of knocking out "better" players on any given day. Confidence stems from excelling in all the areas you've listed and being able to bring them all together in a coordinated fashion.

For the average player (ex. myself), I'd say stroke mechanics and footwork are the most important.

SethIMcClaine
07-13-2009, 03:11 PM
Well, to be fair, you can still serve. :)


heck you can still do everything without footwork, it may not be consistant, or pretty but you can still do it all and you can still make shots.

SethIMcClaine
07-13-2009, 03:16 PM
groundstrokes
I know most people put mental game first, but I can't do it. You can have great footwork and groundstrokes and be mentally weak and you will still be a very solid player. On the contrary, if you are mentally strong but have pathetic groundstrokes, then you physically will not be able to play well enough to actually win matches at a decent level.

My philosophy is that you can't even dream of being a good tennis player until you have the fundamentals down such as the ability to hit repeatable, advanced strokes. Once you have the strokes developed, you can improve other parts of your game such as improving fitness, mental strength, strategy, etc.

I understand your point, I think different people are having different perspectives of mental game though. When I'm considering mental game I'm more so thinking being in the game and not about something unrelated. Tell a pro that if they don't win the match youre going to murder their loved ones, they wont be able to perform, but youre right, you cant rely on a mental game as much as everything else, but without it I think it destroys a player.

nfor304
07-13-2009, 11:17 PM
1) Everything
2) There is no 2...

Honestly, to those who even attempted to rank these, your're idiots!! I know its harsh but that's the truth. It is impossible to say whether your backhand is more important than your forehand, or the serve is more important than the return. So you hit a good serve, but it comes back, and then you dump an easy sitter in the net. the fact that you may get a couple free points a game will not make up for the fact that you can't rally or volley for crap.

All of them are equally important. But it is true that many players are considered to have "weapons" when they have a big forehand and serve. However, footwork goes along with these hand in hand, (or foot in foot). However, look at Hingis. Didn't have any weapons but could move herself very well and move the ball around even better that she was able to compensate. However, when the Williams sisters burst onto the scene along with the pure power game, she couldn't handle it.

Your the idiot. There are countless players out there who cant volley to save their lives, and maybe hit a volley once during an average match yet they can still play decent tennis. Try telling them a volley is as important as their footwork or their serve or groundstrokes. How is the ability to hit a serve not about a thousand times more important than the ability to hit a volley?

If you still don't believe me let me put it this way. Next time you go play, try and go a whole set without hitting a volley, or even hitting a backhand.

Now try and go a whole set without moving your feet after the serve.

4zureSky
07-13-2009, 11:21 PM
from most important to least important, in what order would you rank:

serve
groundstrokes
volleys
footwork
mental game
stamina
speed

I'm a s&v kind of player so here:
1)footwork
2)serve
3)volley
4)stamina
5)speed
6)mental game
7)ground strokes

plasma
07-13-2009, 11:25 PM
ok, is there anyone her who doesn't know a really bad club player with terrible footwork and a dangerous killer forehand? He will beat 95% of club players. Not me, but I have analyzed his weakensses on a very advanced level and am avoiding his strength. He will still own 95% of the people her and even advanced players on occasion.

120mphBodyServe
07-14-2009, 01:46 AM
1) Everything
2) There is no 2...

Honestly, to those who even attempted to rank these, your're idiots!! I know its harsh but that's the truth. It is impossible to say whether your backhand is more important than your forehand, or the serve is more important than the return. So you hit a good serve, but it comes back, and then you dump an easy sitter in the net. the fact that you may get a couple free points a game will not make up for the fact that you can't rally or volley for crap.

All of them are equally important. But it is true that many players are considered to have "weapons" when they have a big forehand and serve. However, footwork goes along with these hand in hand, (or foot in foot). However, look at Hingis. Didn't have any weapons but could move herself very well and move the ball around even better that she was able to compensate. However, when the Williams sisters burst onto the scene along with the pure power game, she couldn't handle it.

I agree with this guy. All aspects of the game should be a harmonious whole that makes a complete tennis player.
To rank each component to me limits your style of play.
If you have a crappy serve, is it considered ok to have super court speed & ground strokes? Not if your opponent has a great return...
This line of thought could pan out many different ways...