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Vermillion
07-16-2009, 07:56 PM
Howdy, folks. I've been playing for about 4.5 years now and for the last year or so, I've noticed that I've hit a plateau.

I have decent strokes and all, but I seem to be lacking the consistency to go up another level? My strokes just seem to come and go.

I've been trying to incorporate more drills into my sessions, such as fh/bh crosscourt and dtl and trying to set up patterns that play into my fh.

How do you guys set up practice sessions in order to improve to the highest level?
I haven't had coaching since the second year of my tennis "career."

Also, I've recently hurt my lower back while weightlifting so I've decided to take a month off (starting tomorrow) to try and get it healed before coming back.

I just wanted ideas/examples so I can start planning my practice to make further improvements when I do come back.

I will be doing some footwork drills for now since I can't really do anything else. If you guys have any suggestions for those then I wouldn't mind trying them out.

Thank you very much,
Verm

aimr75
07-16-2009, 08:01 PM
how much do you practice? I usually am only able to hit about twice a week at most due to work etc.. For me, i think the lack of court time is my biggest progression killer..

Bungalo Bill
07-16-2009, 08:27 PM
Howdy, folks. I've been playing for about 4.5 years now and for the last year or so, I've noticed that I've hit a plateau.

I have decent strokes and all, but I seem to be lacking the consistency to go up another level? My strokes just seem to come and go.

I've been trying to incorporate more drills into my sessions, such as fh/bh crosscourt and dtl and trying to set up patterns that play into my fh.

How do you guys set up practice sessions in order to improve to the highest level?
I haven't had coaching since the second year of my tennis "career."

Also, I've recently hurt my lower back while weightlifting so I've decided to take a month off (starting tomorrow) to try and get it healed before coming back.

I just wanted ideas/examples so I can start planning my practice to make further improvements when I do come back.

I will be doing some footwork drills for now since I can't really do anything else. If you guys have any suggestions for those then I wouldn't mind trying them out.

Thank you very much,
Verm

The best way to improve fast is to go through tough practices that force you to move properly, effectively, and efficiently. When I say force, it means you will be grabbing your shorts, begging for water, and hoping the drill ends on the next ball.

You will move, work on your footwork, technique, hustle, determination, focus, mental strength, tanacity, endurance, strength, lung capacity and hunger in every drill.

This is what will build confidence and your tennis will improve drastically. Unfortunately, not many go through this.

However, you do for other sports. Football, cycling, etc...for some reason tennis players think they just need to hit the ball perform some footwork drills and whalla, they will improve. Hardly.

Vermillion
07-16-2009, 09:19 PM
@aimr75 - I'll be practicing 4-5 times a week when I get back on court. Bodybuilding has been put aside in terms of priorities.

@Bungalo Bill - Thank you for your response. I consider myself a very hard worker and right now my conviction is to do whatever it takes to reach the highest level.

That is why I'm asking for all the help I can get. And since I have not been in the tennis world for as long as you have, I lack the knowledge to train effectively.

I understand what you mean by having tough practices, but how should I go about doing this? Hitting around and just rallying with someone is not very effective, in my opinion. Coaching may be an option, but money is limited. Hitting partners are plenty, but most do not have the same drive as I do.

What would you suggest I focus on while my lower back is still not fully functional? I wanted something to do, something to improve upon while I can't practice swinging the racquet around at this point. I wanted to try improving my foot speed and balance through footwork drills, are those not enough?


Should I be setting up my practice sessions differently? If so, how should I go on about doing this in order to have quality practice sessions?

Thank you for taking the time to answer my selfish requests.

Bungalo Bill
07-16-2009, 09:22 PM
@Bungalo Bill - Thank you for your response. I consider myself a very hard worker and right now my conviction is to do whatever it takes to reach the highest level.

That is why I'm asking for all the help I can get. And since I have not been in the tennis world for as long as you have, I lack the knowledge to train effectively.

I understand what you mean by having tough practices, but how should I go about doing this? Hitting around and just rallying with someone is not very effective, in my opinion. Coaching may be an option, but money is limited. Hitting partners are plenty, but most do not have the same drive as I do.

What would you suggest I focus on while my lower back is still not fully functional? I wanted something to do, something to improve upon while I can't practice swinging the racquet around at this point. I wanted to try improving my foot speed and balance through footwork drills, are those not enough?

Ahhhh, I didnt know or maybe I skimmed past you mentioning something about your back. Well, scratch the above, because you will need your back.

What is wrong with your back and what has the Doctor said?

Should I be setting up my practice sessions differently? If so, how should I go on about doing this in order to have quality practice sessions?

Thank you for taking the time to answer my selfish requests.

It isn't selfish. You want to improve so I am happy to help. There are things you can do, however, I need to know more about your back, what you are able to do, and what the Doctor has said.

Vermillion
07-16-2009, 09:27 PM
I hurt my back on June 1st deadlifting. The pain/soreness came after I finished my last rep on the fifth set. I went to the doctor and he said there was no signs of nerve damage and it was muscular. I rested for 2 weeks and went back for a check up. He gave me the approval to train again.

A few weeks later, I tweaked it again on July 5th after squatting. Same feeling, but less severe.

After that, I've went out and practiced 3 times. There is constant pressure when I move around and it becomes painful when I serve.

I've yet to get an MRI, but may be going to a well respected chiropractor next week.

That is why I decided to take a month off and see how it goes from there. I was afraid of it becoming a chronic injury.

Bungalo Bill
07-16-2009, 09:54 PM
I hurt my back on June 1st deadlifting. The pain/soreness came after I finished my last rep on the fifth set. I went to the doctor and he said there was no signs of nerve damage and it was muscular. I rested for 2 weeks and went back for a check up. He gave me the approval to train again.

A few weeks later, I tweaked it again on July 5th after squatting. Same feeling, but less severe.

After that, I've went out and practiced 3 times. There is constant pressure when I move around and it becomes painful when I serve.

I've yet to get an MRI, but may be going to a well respected chiropractor next week.

That is why I decided to take a month off and see how it goes from there. I was afraid of it becoming a chronic injury.

It sounds muscular and it sounds like the muscle has definetly weakened since the first injury. If we try to do the same routine with a weakened muscle that recovered from injury, chances are it will tweak again.

I can give you workouts for tennis but they wont be anything that I was mentioning above. You need to be fully recovered because you will be bending, twisting, and putting pressure on the lower back and front torso area as you perform the drill.

Vermillion
07-16-2009, 10:00 PM
Ah I see. So I should just focus on resting my body until I am recovered?

Is there anything else I can do during that time that will translate into better performance when I do come back and train?

Bungalo Bill
07-16-2009, 10:05 PM
Ah I see. So I should just focus on resting my body until I am recovered?

Is there anything else I can do during that time that will translate into better performance when I do come back and train?

Well, get it checked and ask the Chiro. It will mainly the obvious if you can handle it. Jump rope, some sprints, footwork drills etc...

Also, to get hard workouts going, you will need a partner.

Vermillion
07-16-2009, 10:15 PM
What type of hitting partner would I need?

I think I have someone who can feed, someone near my level, and someone who is very good. All three?

And yes, I'll go see what the Chiro says next week.

plasma
07-17-2009, 01:20 AM
how about hitting with a professional who could teach your ***** the game properly???. Don't do anything without a pro for 1 month, ease up on court time, work the techniques at home adn heal your body completely.
Then get back to full blast.
You are at a decent amatuer level, in 20 years you couldn't teach yourself all the rudiments of a pro game. A coach could show you in 2 years though...
what were those drills you were asking for??? unless your certified to ask I wouldn't self prescribe or self medicate when it comes to your ailing strokes...seek professional help immediately.
the tennis master
plasma1

Vermillion
07-17-2009, 07:56 AM
Yes, I know good coaching is a tremendous help if I want to fully learn the game, but as of right now, I am a full time student (18 hrs fall, 21 hrs spring) and will be graduating next May. My income is virtually zero and I do not wish to place a burden on my family financially at this time.

I also know that Talk Tennis Forum have many experienced coaches who also love the game of tennis enough to share their knowledge with other users. That is why I am asking for their assistance.

The drills I was asking for were exercises that I could do to improve my abilities to move around the court better while I am taking a break from swinging a racquet. If I can move around and it doesn't hinder my recovery process, then I'd be glad to improve anything if possible.

Thank you for your response.

Bungalo Bill
07-17-2009, 08:43 AM
What type of hitting partner would I need?

I think I have someone who can feed, someone near my level, and someone who is very good. All three?

And yes, I'll go see what the Chiro says next week.

Do you have someone that can feed for an hour straight? Do you have someone that is reasonably knowledgable about tennis and will stop the drill if your stroke breaksdown? But won't bail on it too soon?

Where do you live?

When you get into the workouts that I am talking about, you have a minute rest between drills. You will be pushed to the point where you need to manage your heart rate, fluids, and you need to complete the drill or it starts over again with only 30 seconds break. You lose the minute.

I rarely alter the training if it is hot. You will perform. When you stress the body and force all of your training (mainly training that has been done seperately) to come together, the brain will be under stress, your confidence will be attacked, and your human spirit will be questionned.

However, one of two things can happen.

1. YOU WILL QUIT.

2. YOU WILL REACH DEEP INSIDE YOU AND GET ****ED AT ME. YOU WILL HATE ME. YOU WILL PROBABLY YELL OOUT PROFANITIES AT ME AND WANT TO DRILL ME FOR MAKING YOU GO THROUGH THIS. HOWEVER, IF YOU STAY WITH IT, THAT ANGER WILL BE TURNED INTO DETERMINATION AND YOU WILL HAVE A SINGLE-MIND TO BEAT THAT DRILL AND PROVE ME WRONG.

When you cross this bridge, tournaments will be a piece of cake. You will not question whether you practiced enough, or trained hard enough. You will know you have and you will know your opponent hasn't.

I can't tell you how much confidence that gives you in a match and how much less nervous you are to beat your opponent. You will come out and beat your opponent with your mental and physical conditioning.

Do you have someone that can take you through hell?

Vermillion
07-17-2009, 08:54 AM
Yes, he's one of my good friends.
I think the most I can ask him to help me is once a week though.
Will that be enough?

I live in Texas at the moment.

Bungalo Bill
07-17-2009, 08:58 AM
Yes, he's one of my good friends.
I think the most I can ask him to help me is once a week though.
Will that be enough?

I live in Texas at the moment.

Yes, for now. Once a week is plenty so you can recover. Have you seen the Doctor yet? If not when? How old are you? Have you had a physical? Mainly, you need to check your heart.

Vermillion
07-17-2009, 09:01 AM
I will be going to the Chiro next Tuesday for consultation and will most likely schedule an appointment for Thursday.

I am 21 yrs old, male.

The last few visits to the doctor has been routine and no irregularities were found.

Bungalo Bill
07-17-2009, 09:21 AM
I will be going to the Chiro next Tuesday for consultation and will most likely schedule an appointment for Thursday.

I am 21 yrs old, male.

The last few visits to the doctor has been routine and no irregularities were found.

Have you ever heard of the book Power Tennis Training? I would recommend that one to begin your training and your recovery. It is a tough one mixed in with plyo's, iso's, etc...Not for the casual tennis player. However, if you were into body building, I am sure you will find a way to make this work.

When you get through the training then we can introduce those tough practices that will burn your butt. Hehehe

They sell the book here and no I don't get paid for recommendations. I wish!!!

http://img.tennis-warehouse.com/thumbs/PTB-thumb.jpg

What I am not sure of is if you are ready for the roman situps, and lower back exercises. If you are not, substitue or skip accordingly. When I hurt my back (twice), I skipped the back exercises altogther and focused on my core. I am a lot older than you. :)

Vermillion
07-17-2009, 09:47 AM
I will see if I can get a hold of a copy.

As for how long it'd take, I found this in the description of the book: "These methods are integrated into 3 training blocks that each feature a mix of different workouts. Each block lasts 4 weeks, providing an easy-to-follow 3-month workout cycle that can be repeated again and again."

Will I need to complete the 3 months cycle before I can start having tougher practices? Or will it depend on my endurance and dedication?

Bungalo Bill
07-17-2009, 09:57 AM
I will see if I can get a hold of a copy.

As for how long it'd take, I found this in the description of the book: "These methods are integrated into 3 training blocks that each feature a mix of different workouts. Each block lasts 4 weeks, providing an easy-to-follow 3-month workout cycle that can be repeated again and again."

Will I need to complete the 3 months cycle before I can start having tougher practices? Or will it depend on my endurance and dedication?

I think you should. Especially since your back is having problems. However, it is up to you.

The book isn't a once a day workout. You will do court drills, gym workout, and aerobic/anaerobic type workouts in there. You will have to find time to get it all in. When you do the court drills, do them as tough as you can. You might want your partner there pushing you. After, you do this work your way into the real intense workouts.

Vermillion
07-17-2009, 10:00 AM
Are these on-court/off-court stuff that doesn't involve hitting a tennis ball or is that also included?

Bungalo Bill
07-17-2009, 10:05 AM
Are these on-court/off-court stuff that doesn't involve hitting a tennis ball or is that also included?

Yup. Patience grasshopper. You are injured. You can't build Rome in a day. Do the stuff. If you can get through the training with no back injury, you will be ready for the twisting, jarring, stress, bending, and anything else a tough workout can throw at you. Strengthen, strengthen, strengthen.

Vermillion
07-17-2009, 10:09 AM
Wait wait wait haha
So there will be no actual tennis for 3 months?? and with the 1 month rest, that'd total 4 months?

Bungalo Bill
07-17-2009, 10:13 AM
Wait wait wait haha
So there will be no actual tennis for 3 months?? and with the 1 month rest, that'd total 4 months?

No, play tennis, do your practices but do the workouts in the book. Maybe what we can do is develop a good practice for you. The main thing about practices is that you work on things that you are not doing well in for your matches. It needs to be focused.

In other words, if you double fault a lot, guess what you will be working on? Yeah, serves!

If you mishit short balls or have trouble closing the point, guess what you will be working on?

Practices need to support your match play. Do not go blindly out there and just hit balls. That is not practice. You need to put yourself in match situations, play points, drill your weaknesses, maintain your strengths, etc...

Once a week, you can incorporate footwork training such as push-offs, gravity steps, step-outs, shuffle steps, and recovery steps. These are called footwork patterns. This will help you move on the court more efficiently. Strength training and speed training help you move your feet within these patterns faster and help you avoid injury and cover more court. You need to still do these.

Understand?

Build a lesson plan for your practices. So you will be practicing and playing (if you can) and doing the book. We want the back ready to go to pick up the intensity in your practices later on. Believe me, if you follow the book, eat right, and continue with tennis, you will be fine.

when the time comes (or when you think you are healed and ready) all of your tennis training in footwork and stroke development will be stressed as you will have to perform them under a lot of stress. In other words, I would be trying to break you in the drills. I would be trying to cause you to mis-step and cause you to fall behind in the drill. I would coach you and ask you why you thought you didn't make it - I probably would know the answer, but it is important for you to know the answer also. We drill it again until you succeed and your footwork, technique, timing, conditioning, mental training, are a as automatic and as smooth as silk as we could possibly get it.

Do the book.

Vermillion
07-17-2009, 10:36 AM
Ah okay. I get it now. I wasn't sure what to expect.

The reason I titled this thread what it was is because I was having trouble planning my practices like you said. I realized that just hitting the ball around was just a waste of time if I really want to become a great player.

That is why I needed help with coming up with these practice sessions because I have no experience in making them. I'm not exactly sure on what kind of things I have to do to improve my weaknesses. So I didn't really want to create my own sessions when I know that there are more experienced coaches that know the best way to do so.

I hope you can teach me how to develop these practices so I can properly train and get maximum results.

Bungalo Bill
07-17-2009, 10:43 AM
Ah okay. I get it now. I wasn't sure what to expect.

The reason I titled this thread what it was is because I was having trouble planning my practices like you said. I realized that just hitting the ball around was just a waste of time if I really want to become a great player.

That is why I needed help with coming up with these practice sessions because I have no experience in making them. I'm not exactly sure on what kind of things I have to do to improve my weaknesses. So I didn't really want to create my own sessions when I know that there are more experienced coaches that know the best way to do so.

I hope you can teach me how to develop these practices so I can properly train and get maximum results.

Yes, so now we come around. You got direction and you have some specific tools that will help you move in the right direction.

Still we have to nurse and injury thorugh this which is why this sort of got off track.

Now, that you understand and can visualize what you will be doing, it is time to set goals.

Have you tracked or documented your matches? Do you know where your weaknesses are or areas that need improvement?

Vermillion
07-17-2009, 12:51 PM
Yes, I just looked over all of my matches in 2008 and it seemed there was a common trend. I went 11-22. Ouch.

When I lost those matches, I could not hold my serve due to double faults, overhitting, and not being able to finish the points.

When I won, the serve was on and made some good shots at the right time.

So I know that my serve has some potential when it decides to go in where I want. I think the main problem was that the toss was inconsistent and I did not practice enough on a weekly basis.

My forehand is probably one of my best shot. The consistency is there; I have decent spin/power and I can place it where I want most of the time. But when I'm not in position, it usually lands in the middle of the court so I need to work on that.
I also have problem finishing off high defensive balls from the opponent and seems to mishit those many times recently.
The inside out forehand seems to be not as consistent as xcourt or dtl as well.

The topspin backhand usually comes and go when it wants, but recently it's been stable. The pace and spin is slower than the forehand and finding consistent depth is sort of difficult. Seems like I'm hitting late and not getting into position fast enough.

On the other hand, my backhand slice is quite effective since it cuts through the air with good spin and decent pace. I have trouble with placement though. Drop shots also land mid court a lot of times.

I can't seem to finish points off with my forehand volley while my backhand volley does ok. When there's pace it's usually not a problem, but when it's a floater to the forehand side, it's hard for me for some reason. Placement is hard to control sometimes also.

My overhead is pretty much hit or miss. It seems I'm also lacking pace to finish off the point. Probably due to bad weight transfer and positioning.

I sometimes can't get the returns in play and that cost me a lot of points. I tend to overhit the second serves of my opponents when there's not a lot of pace.
My backhand return is more solid than the fh. The slice return used to be great, but now they tend to go long also.

I've been trying to improve on these for the last year, but I either didn't practice enough or didn't have quality practices. Bodybuilding was also taking up a lot of time/energy.

That's pretty much all I can think of at the time. I think the main thing I really need is improving overall consistency in all of my shots.

As of recent, I've been adjusting myself to try and make sure I get in position to take the ball early. Been trying to control the direction of the ball and focus on playing patterns that would lead to my forehand finishing off the points. I was also practicing my serves and trying to gain consistency in the preparation and toss. It was making progress until I hurt my back lifting weights.

I hope I'm not a lost cause. Thank you once again for taking the time.

Bungalo Bill
07-17-2009, 01:45 PM
Yes, I just looked over all of my matches in 2008 and it seemed there was a common trend. I went 11-22. Ouch.

When I lost those matches, I could not hold my serve due to double faults, overhitting, and not being able to finish the points.

When I won, the serve was on and made some good shots at the right time.

So I know that my serve has some potential when it decides to go in where I want. I think the main problem was that the toss was inconsistent and I did not practice enough on a weekly basis.

My forehand is probably one of my best shot. The consistency is there; I have decent spin/power and I can place it where I want most of the time. But when I'm not in position, it usually lands in the middle of the court so I need to work on that.
I also have problem finishing off high defensive balls from the opponent and seems to mishit those many times recently.
The inside out forehand seems to be not as consistent as xcourt or dtl as well.

The topspin backhand usually comes and go when it wants, but recently it's been stable. The pace and spin is slower than the forehand and finding consistent depth is sort of difficult. Seems like I'm hitting late and not getting into position fast enough.

On the other hand, my backhand slice is quite effective since it cuts through the air with good spin and decent pace. I have trouble with placement though. Drop shots also land mid court a lot of times.

I can't seem to finish points off with my forehand volley while my backhand volley does ok. When there's pace it's usually not a problem, but when it's a floater to the forehand side, it's hard for me for some reason. Placement is hard to control sometimes also.

My overhead is pretty much hit or miss. It seems I'm also lacking pace to finish off the point. Probably due to bad weight transfer and positioning.

I sometimes can't get the returns in play and that cost me a lot of points. I tend to overhit the second serves of my opponents when there's not a lot of pace.
My backhand return is more solid than the fh. The slice return used to be great, but now they tend to go long also.

I've been trying to improve on these for the last year, but I either didn't practice enough or didn't have quality practices. Bodybuilding was also taking up a lot of time/energy.

That's pretty much all I can think of at the time. I think the main thing I really need is improving overall consistency in all of my shots.

As of recent, I've been adjusting myself to try and make sure I get in position to take the ball early. Been trying to control the direction of the ball and focus on playing patterns that would lead to my forehand finishing off the points. I was also practicing my serves and trying to gain consistency in the preparation and toss. It was making progress until I hurt my back lifting weights.

I hope I'm not a lost cause. Thank you once again for taking the time.

So, serve, backhand, volleys, finishing off points, overheads, return of serves? You can still maintain your strengths and work harder on your weaknesses. Are you going to get the book or are you thinking about it.

Do you believe by working on these things in the next three months along with your Power Tennis Training that you will improve? If you do, set some goals.

Vermillion
07-17-2009, 01:51 PM
Yes, I've ordered the book.

I think if I work hard enough and put all my effort into it, then yes, I can improve. I don't know how much, but I know that since there are many things to work on, there will be improvements.

What kind of goals should I be making? Performance goals?
Like increasing service %?

How can I measure my progress in writing?

Bungalo Bill
07-17-2009, 02:18 PM
Yes, I've ordered the book.

I think if I work hard enough and put all my effort into it, then yes, I can improve. I don't know how much, but I know that since there are many things to work on, there will be improvements.

What kind of goals should I be making? Performance goals?
Like increasing service %?

How can I measure my progress in writing?

Just set some goals for practice. Improve your serve. Out of 100 serves, how many cna you hit on the T, Middle, and Wide. You can set a simple goal like reducing double faults.

For other strokes, reduce errors and increase winners.

The main thing is this. For the next thrre months you have a game plan.

1. You will workout according to the book

2. The areas noted to improve on will be practiced during this time.

3. You will be spending a lot of time at the gym and court.

Be creative with your practices. Set them up to work on them during the week. I would be careful with your back and especially when you are serving. Like I said, I am a little hestitant to push you because you seem like the type of person that wants to go but I don't think your back is quite ready.

Depending on the schedule provided in the book and when you are on court, you can decide to mix in serve practice and the other days, your strokes.

Vermillion
07-17-2009, 02:31 PM
I see. Well, I'm definitely gonna take a month off and will start training again mid august. Will be on vacation from 7/25 to 8/4 so that's guaranteed rest from now till then.

I'll workout according to the book, but I have a question about setting up practices for my strokes. Are there particular things that should be the pillars for these sessions? What I mean is, how can I target specific strokes and improve them at a good rate? Just going through drills for each specific shot is enough?

Also, should I be concern with match play at all? How often should I be playing matches?

Bungalo Bill
07-17-2009, 02:40 PM
I see. Well, I'm definitely gonna take a month off and will start training again mid august. Will be on vacation from 7/25 to 8/4 so that's guaranteed rest from now till then.

I'll workout according to the book, but I have a question about setting up practices for my strokes. Are there particular things that should be the pillars for these sessions? What I mean is, how can I target specific strokes and improve them at a good rate? Just going through drills for each specific shot is enough?

Also, should I be concern with match play at all? How often should I be playing matches?

Dude, duuuuuuuuuude.

Let's heal the back first. It is not healed and I don't care what you say. :)

There is nothing wrong with you working on other things that support your tennis match play for three months. Sometimes, your body needs a break. Work into things.

Just develop your routine and practices. Start logging things. You might have to take a breather on match play. You will know when you are ready.

Mansewerz
07-17-2009, 02:43 PM
Do you have someone that can feed for an hour straight? Do you have someone that is reasonably knowledgable about tennis and will stop the drill if your stroke breaksdown? But won't bail on it too soon?

Where do you live?

When you get into the workouts that I am talking about, you have a minute rest between drills. You will be pushed to the point where you need to manage your heart rate, fluids, and you need to complete the drill or it starts over again with only 30 seconds break. You lose the minute.

I rarely alter the training if it is hot. You will perform. When you stress the body and force all of your training (mainly training that has been done seperately) to come together, the brain will be under stress, your confidence will be attacked, and your human spirit will be questionned.

However, one of two things can happen.

1. YOU WILL QUIT.

2. YOU WILL REACH DEEP INSIDE YOU AND GET ****ED AT ME. YOU WILL HATE ME. YOU WILL PROBABLY YELL OOUT PROFANITIES AT ME AND WANT TO DRILL ME FOR MAKING YOU GO THROUGH THIS. HOWEVER, IF YOU STAY WITH IT, THAT ANGER WILL BE TURNED INTO DETERMINATION AND YOU WILL HAVE A SINGLE-MIND TO BEAT THAT DRILL AND PROVE ME WRONG.

When you cross this bridge, tournaments will be a piece of cake. You will not question whether you practiced enough, or trained hard enough. You will know you have and you will know your opponent hasn't.

I can't tell you how much confidence that gives you in a match and how much less nervous you are to beat your opponent. You will come out and beat your opponent with your mental and physical conditioning.

Do you have someone that can take you through hell?

I remember a thread you helped me out in. You mentioned cross court drills. Did you mean hitting against my brother backhand to backhand, for example?

I know what you mean by those types of drills. They suck (to go through). Help though :D

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=227115

Vermillion
07-17-2009, 02:47 PM
Heh.. yes, sir.

I've already decided not to train at all for a month. It was a hard decision for me to make, but I know I gotta do it.

But when you say, "develop your routine and practices," excuse me for being slow, but how should I go on about doing this?

I don't really know how to set up quality practices?? Let's say I want to improve my backhand into a solid shot all around. What kind of things should I be doing?

Bungalo Bill
07-17-2009, 02:55 PM
Heh.. yes, sir.

I've already decided not to train at all for a month. It was a hard decision for me to make, but I know I gotta do it.

But when you say, "develop your routine and practices," excuse me for being slow, but how should I go on about doing this?

I don't really know how to set up quality practices?? Let's say I want to improve my backhand into a solid shot all around. What kind of things should I be doing?

Okay, so here goes.

First off the book.

The book will largely be your routine. What you do day in and day out. It has a schedule in there and you need to follow it. I apoligize for not remebering the schedule but I do know that it is a busy one. A older lad like me with a family to feed doesn't quiet have the time anymore to devote to it. You probably do.

So your routine consists of:

1. Power Tennis Training schedule (whatever that is)

2. Skills development/play

3. Rest.

I dont know how much time you have in the day or what days you have available. Look at your weakness list, decide where you can fit it in around the Power Tennis Training schedule and go to work. If you miss a skill development day because you played a match, don't sweat it. You are not going to go pro over night.

If at the end of three months, your back is fine, I would move into intense tennis training and alter the Power Tennis Training for awhile - maybe three months. I would set a goal on when you want to enter tournaments. This can be sooner or later - it is up to you.

All in all, you want to do your best to take notes on things to measure your improvement. When I was young, I actually paid someone $10 to log how I played. Maybe your friend can help.

Vermillion
07-17-2009, 03:16 PM
The book also come with a skills development section also?
Does the skill dev. occur on the same day as power training?

How would these skill dev. days be planned out?
I think I know how to set up practices for serving and returning, but what about when I'm trying to focus on the other strokes? How should I plan them?

Also, I'm curious about how to train footwork? Can you enlighten me on this subject?

Bungalo Bill
07-17-2009, 03:19 PM
The book also come with a skills development section also?

No, you just told me where your weaknesses are (serve, return of serve, etc...). That is your skill development portion.

Does the skill dev. occur on the same day as power training?

It could, that depends on your time available. That is why you have to see the schedule to determine what you are able to do in the AM and the PM.

How would these skill dev. days be planned out?
I think I know how to set up practices for serving and returning, but what about when I'm trying to focus on the other strokes? How should I plan them?

When you get to that point, there is no shortage on drills. First design your routine. You have the tools now.

Also, I'm curious about how to train footwork? Can you aware me on this subject?

Footwork is trained in two ways.

1. Footwork patterns

2. Footwork speed and leg strength.

The latter is done by gym work, jump rope, hexagon drills, sprints, butt kicks, etc....

The first is done by learning specific movement with your feet like step-outs, shuffle steps, gravity steps, split-steps, etc...

Vermillion
07-17-2009, 03:33 PM
What is the frequency of the power training per week?
And this training is just in the gym only?

As for frequency, how many times should I clock in for skills dev?

Also, should I be concern with footwork patterns right away or should I focus more on foot speed and leg strength?

And would footwork patterns be practiced separately without actual hitting?

Vermillion
07-23-2009, 11:50 AM
I went to the Chiropractor today. He made some adjustments to my hip and spine. Turned out my back wasn't the only problem.

Will be taking vacation from this saturday till august 4th.

Also scheduled an appointment on the 7th.

Hopefully I can get back to training mid August.

Bungalo Bill
07-23-2009, 12:55 PM
What is the frequency of the power training per week?
And this training is just in the gym only?

As for frequency, how many times should I clock in for skills dev?

Also, should I be concern with footwork patterns right away or should I focus more on foot speed and leg strength?

And would footwork patterns be practiced separately without actual hitting?

Training is in gym and court work.

I can't remember the frequency, make the adjustments as necessary according to what you need to do, but it does require committment.

You should plan on practicing some basic footwork patterns often. Once or twice a week is fine. Or whatever you determine to get them down. Step-outs, shuffle steps, split-step, are some of the basics.

Footwork patterns should be practiced seperately to understand them, get more natural with them, and make it automatic. They should also be incorporate with your hitting when you practice.

CoachingMastery
07-23-2009, 02:26 PM
Are these on-court/off-court stuff that doesn't involve hitting a tennis ball or is that also included?

One of the best things you can do for your game right now (while you are laid up with your back issue), is to study the strokes you want to emulate, work on swinging your racquet in front of a mirror, (or even just emulating the swing without a racquet), get the feel of the key position points of these swings that you want to develop better, (when you do return to the court), get to the point that these swing elements are natural and comfortable, (even if they are not natural or comfortable initially...just because something isn't comfortable doesn't make it wrong...most skilled strokes will feel very different, very unfamiliar initially for any player...but even more so for players who have established stroke patterns that are of little effectiveness and need to change from these patterns.)

Use your time to also develop proper volley form. Usually a player can stand at the net and work on a ball machine hitting volleys even though they have limited movement. Again, it is critical that you are working on strokes and grips that are associated with skilled volley technique, not just working on hitting the ball over the net.

Good luck with your return and with your improvement.

gatorbait01
07-24-2009, 06:02 AM
Bungalo Bill, your post are awesome and a great asset to this forum. I can learn a lot just by searching for your post. thx

Vermillion
08-19-2009, 09:49 AM
Alrighty, finally an update.

I went out and hit last night for the first time in about a month. Just hitting around and trying to get the timing back. It went better than I expected.
Everything feels rusty, but the form didn't break down that much.

The fall semester starts up next week so I'll be starting on the Power Tennis Program then. Well, here is my predicted routine for the upcoming semester. This is after looking at my classes schedule so there'll be time available.

Mon: Rest
Tue: Gym A/Skills
Wed: Skills/Court Drills
Thu: Gym B/Skills
Fri: Footwork Pattern/Court Drills
Sat: Gym A/Skills
Sun: Skills/Court Drills

Skills - Work on specific strokes
Court Drills - Conditioning drills (from the book)
Footwork Pattern - Work on specific movements
Gym - A = Day 1&3; B = Day 2 (from the book)

I tried out the court drills last weekend just to get used to them (did about half of the reps for each of the 10 drills). My legs are a little sored, but I think I can handle them alright.

Do you see anything wrong with this routine? I should be able to handle this much load since I have plenty of time to rest in between.

Also, for skills development, I'm still a little confused as to how to set up each sessions. Would a typical day look like this? (Before specific strokes are incorporated).

---------------------------
Warm up (5 mins)

Fh placement
-xcourt (5m)
-dtl (5m)

Rest (3m)

Bh placement
-xcourt (5m)
-dtl (5m)

Rest (3m)

Volley control
-Fh (3m)
-Bh (3m)
-Mix (3m)

Overhead (5m)

Rest (3m)

Serve (10m)

Return
-Fh (5m)
-Bh (5m)

Rest (3m)

Serve (10m)

Total time: 1hr 21m
---------------------------

This one might look a little busy, but I just wanted to get a general idea.
Obviously, I need to mix and match strokes and insert specific things I want to work on. Do you think this is the right way to practice? What changes would you make?

Once again, I want to thank you for helping me. I know it takes a lot of work to become a great player and I know I need guidance if I want to get there as fast as possible. Thank you.

Bungalo Bill
08-19-2009, 10:24 AM
Alrighty, finally an update.

I went out and hit last night for the first time in about a month. Just hitting around and trying to get the timing back. It went better than I expected.
Everything feels rusty, but the form didn't break down that much.

The fall semester starts up next week so I'll be starting on the Power Tennis Program then. Well, here is my predicted routine for the upcoming semester. This is after looking at my classes schedule so there'll be time available.

Mon: Rest
Tue: Gym A/Skills
Wed: Skills/Court Drills
Thu: Gym B/Skills
Fri: Footwork Pattern/Court Drills
Sat: Gym A/Skills
Sun: Skills/Court Drills

Skills - Work on specific strokes
Court Drills - Conditioning drills (from the book)
Footwork Pattern - Work on specific movements
Gym - A = Day 1&3; B = Day 2 (from the book)

I tried out the court drills last weekend just to get used to them (did about half of the reps for each of the 10 drills). My legs are a little sored, but I think I can handle them alright.

Do you see anything wrong with this routine? I should be able to handle this much load since I have plenty of time to rest in between.

Also, for skills development, I'm still a little confused as to how to set up each sessions. Would a typical day look like this? (Before specific strokes are incorporated).

---------------------------
Warm up (5 mins)

Fh placement
-xcourt (5m)
-dtl (5m)

Rest (3m)

Bh placement
-xcourt (5m)
-dtl (5m)

Rest (3m)

Volley control
-Fh (3m)
-Bh (3m)
-Mix (3m)

Overhead (5m)

Rest (3m)

Serve (10m)

Return
-Fh (5m)
-Bh (5m)

Rest (3m)

Serve (10m)

Total time: 1hr 21m
---------------------------

This one might look a little busy, but I just wanted to get a general idea.
Obviously, I need to mix and match strokes and insert specific things I want to work on. Do you think this is the right way to practice? What changes would you make?

Once again, I want to thank you for helping me. I know it takes a lot of work to become a great player and I know I need guidance if I want to get there as fast as possible. Thank you.

Nope, it is your schedule and when you can work your training in. Others will be different.

It looks busy but 1 hour ans 21 minutes is not long at all. When you perform your skills training, , make sure you are bringing things together (footwork, movement, speed, power, and court smarts).

Your schedule and then some is what it takes to become better at tennis. You have to stick with it.

Bungalo Bill
08-19-2009, 10:24 AM
Bungalo Bill, your post are awesome and a great asset to this forum. I can learn a lot just by searching for your post. thx

Thanks, I do hope it helps players play better and approach the game of tennis realistically.

chess9
08-19-2009, 10:33 AM
At my club, two young pros run the cardio tennis program and they are brutal. :) You can learn more in an hour of cardio tennis taught by a teaching pro than you will learn on your own in 6 months to a year of playing. Also, your movement will improve, your anticipation will improve, and your fitness will improve. At your age, of course, fitness should not be an issue.

Plasma's point is right on. Buying time from a teaching pro is money well spent at your age, and I assume you are in the 3.5 to 4.0 range. Oftentimes, just one correction from a pro, properly practiced and implemented can raise your game half a level in a few weeks.

Something else. Read this section of Talk Tennis religiously, and do a search on BB's posts. He's given about 1,000 teaching tips that are gems. You can learn a lot here.

-Robert

Vermillion
08-19-2009, 10:59 AM
@Bungalo Bill,
Yes, I plan to stick to this routine and be in it for the long haul.

As for the skills development. For specific strokes, I should set up situations for when I can use the shot I'm working on, correct? For example, if I want to work on high forehands, should I let the other player create that situation for repetitive work?

Should I also start working on playing patterns at this point or hold off until my strokes have reach a certain level?

I'm just not sure what the practice sessions of high level players consist of.

@chess9,
Thank you for your input. I hope to be able to get someone to look at my strokes soon and see where I can go from there.

I've been reading a lot of posts in the past few years or so, but searching older posts only goes back to a certain amount. I'm not sure how I can access some of the older posts past that point.

Bungalo Bill
08-24-2009, 11:08 AM
@Bungalo Bill,
Yes, I plan to stick to this routine and be in it for the long haul.

As for the skills development. For specific strokes, I should set up situations for when I can use the shot I'm working on, correct? For example, if I want to work on high forehands, should I let the other player create that situation for repetitive work?

Sure, be creative. The other point is make sure you are really working on your weaknesses that was noticed in your matches.

Should I also start working on playing patterns at this point or hold off until my strokes have reach a certain level?

When I trained it was a combination of both. However, most of it was centered around patterns. If the stroke broke down or it had "hitch" in it we would work on that.

I'm just not sure what the practice sessions of high level players consist of.

They consist of a lot of things that you decribed above. Planning out points, working on weaknesses found from a match. Improve this and improving that. As you go through your training, you will learn what to adjust.

Vermillion
08-29-2009, 08:00 PM
I went out to specifically train my footwork (mostly step-out and crossover step) yesterday and I had a few questions.

I am right handed with a one handed backhand.

After hitting a wide ball on the backhand side, should I be recovering with my left foot crossing over in front of my body or crossing behind my body?

I've been watching a lot of Federer's matches recently and he seems to be recovering by crossing his left leg behind him moreso than crossing his left leg in front of his body. Is this still a considered crossover step or something else?

This movement is similar on the forehand wing when I cross my right foot behind my body and shift positions to run around my backhand. Is there a name for this movement?

--------------------

I think I pretty much have the split step, shuffle steps, step-out down pat before last night, but the crossover step is still not that fluid.

What other footwork skills should I be working on the next time I practice my footwork?

Thank you very much.

Vermillion
09-04-2009, 10:57 AM
Been about 2 weeks since I started practicing again.

Groundstrokes are starting to come together pretty well.

Volleys and returns still need some consistency.

Footwork is getting there, but I tend to become a little slower at the end of the practices.

On Tuesday, I tried serving again and it wasn't painful.

The back felt a little fatigued, but I think if I don't push it too hard, then there should be no problem.

Will start incorporating serving practices into my routine starting next week.

Vermillion
09-18-2009, 07:55 AM
Hi Bungalo Bill. Well, my back is 90% recovered. I've been serving a little more and the back is only a little bit sored the next day so I think I'm ready to go.

I have a few questions though about my game if you don't mind me asking.

For the groundstrokes, everything is going smoothly. I'm moving better and it feels like I can get to most shots and do something with the ball. I've been practicing mostly patterns that'd play into my forehand and they seem to be working better.

But with volleys, I'm still struggling with directional control. Is there any specific things I can do to improve in this area?

Starting next week, I'm gonna start incorporating serves into my practice sessions. (I've been practicing by myself to get the form back and that's feeling pretty good).

Are there things I could do to make playing the points out more effective? Or is it just trying to set up patterns as much as possible?

Also, are there any good database (books, websites) that I can use to look for various drills to perform?

------------------------

As for having someone to feed the balls for me, I can get my friend to feed me once a week on the weekend. What kind of things should we focus on? Is there something you were planning, something about "hell"? hahaha. I think I'm ready to take on that challenge.

-------------------

I'm moving into Block 2 of the Power Tennis Training Program next week and so far so good. I think my legs are in the best condition they've ever been in and no problems with the rest of the body.

----------------------

Right now, I'm getting about 9 hrs a week of actual tennis on the courts. I feel like I'm seeing the ball a lot better than I used to. It feels good to finally get serious about being the best I can be.

Once again, I want to thank you for taking the time to guide me and helping my training to become a great player. Thank you.

Bungalo Bill
09-18-2009, 08:15 AM
Hi Bungalo Bill. Well, my back is 90% recovered. I've been serving a little more and the back is only a little bit sored the next day so I think I'm ready to go.

What did the Doctor say?

I have a few questions though about my game if you don't mind me asking.

But with volleys, I'm still struggling with directional control. Is there any specific things I can do to improve in this area?

A good one is the old fashion hit to cones drill. I usually get bright orange cones because I feel it burns an image in your mind when you remove them.

Several stations to hit to in this drill. Station 1 places this cone at the AD side of the corner of the service box next to the doubles alley. Station 2 places this cone at the T. Station 3 places this cone at the duece service box corner next to the doubles alley. Station 4, places this cone on Center Mark.

You can do this drills a couple ways. You can do it randomly or sequentially. If you have a partner feeding you balls he can call out each station he wants you to hit a ball coming toward you to help you develp aim and quick decision making.

Starting next week, I'm gonna start incorporating serves into my practice sessions. (I've been practicing by myself to get the form back and that's feeling pretty good).

Are there things I could do to make playing the points out more effective? Or is it just trying to set up patterns as much as possible?

You can do a lot of things that bring rallying or playing points more with a purpose.

1. You can work on moving the ball crosscourt with your rally ball. Do not go for winners and allows your partner to work on moving the ball crosscourt as well. Both of you need to sustain a 50 ball rally. If you can't, find a pace you can do it with and work up your pace from there. Don't be shocked at how slow you have to hit the ball to do so at first. It actually is much slower at first than a lot of people think.

2. You can work on net clearance drills. Using a telescoping poles attached to both net posts and a loose rope attached to the telescoping poles, raise the rope so that it is 6 ft over the net, then loop your balls with topspin keeping the ball deep and in play. Again, 50 balls.

3. You can do the one person is stationary on one side of the court and you have to hit the ball back to him while he can work you and hit anywhere on your side of the court. Again, 50 balls.

4. You can work on your understanding of Wardlaw drills as well.

Also, are there any good database (books, websites) that I can use to look for various drills to perform?

------------------------

As for having someone to feed the balls for me, I can get my friend to feed me once a week on the weekend. What kind of things should we focus on? Is there something you were planning, something about "hell"? hahaha. I think I'm ready to take on that challenge.

Tennis conditioning. Moving while you are hitting. Working on form, movement, mental toughness at the same time. Getting your heart rate up and sweating. Learning to get to balls you never thought you could with good form. Handling 20, 30, 40, 50 balls and loving every minute of it. You have arrived when you look at the coach and say "that's it? that is all you got? Come on, coach!"

Drink lots of water. :)



-------------------

I'm moving into Block 2 of the Power Tennis Training Program next week and so far so good. I think my legs are in the best condition they've ever been in and no problems with the rest of the body.

Good stuff isn't it? Makes you feel like you want to use them now. Sort of like taking a Ferrari out for a desert run, pushing it to the max. That is what the tough drills are for. :)

----------------------

Right now, I'm getting about 9 hrs a week of actual tennis on the courts. I feel like I'm seeing the ball a lot better than I used to. It feels good to finally get serious about being the best I can be.

Once again, I want to thank you for taking the time to guide me and helping my training to become a great player. Thank you.

Keep going, don't overthink. It isn't rocket science to develop a training routine that you get better with. It is mainly desire, a little creativity and listening to your game and body for feedback.

Vermillion
09-18-2009, 08:35 AM
What did the Doctor say?

I haven't been to the doctor since he is in another city, but my body feels like it is really close to being 100% recovered.

A good one is the old fashion hit to cones drill. I usually get bright orange cones because I feel it burns an image in your mind when you remove them.

Several stations to hit to in this drill. Station 1 places this cone at the AD side of the corner of the service box next to the doubles alley. Station 2 places this cone at the T. Station 3 places this cone at the duece service box corner next to the doubles alley. Station 4, places this cone on Center Mark.

You can do this drills a couple ways. You can do it randomly or sequentially. If you have a partner feeding you balls he can call out each station he wants you to hit a ball coming toward you to help you develp aim and quick decision making.

I will try this the next time I'm on the court

You can do a lot of things that bring rallying or playing points more with a purpose.

1. You can work on moving the ball crosscourt with your rally ball. Do not go for winners and allows your partner to work on moving the ball crosscourt as well. Both of you need to sustain a 50 ball rally. If you can't, find a pace you can do it with and work up your pace from there. Don't be shocked at how slow you have to hit the ball to do so at first. It actually is much slower at first than a lot of people think.

2. You can work on net clearance drills. Using a telescoping poles attached to both net posts and a loose rope attached to the telescoping poles, raise the rope so that it is 6 ft over the net, then loop your balls with topspin keeping the ball deep and in play. Again, 50 balls.

3. You can do the one person is stationary on one side of the court and you have to hit the ball back to him while he can work you and hit anywhere on your side of the court. Again, 50 balls.

4. You can work on your understanding of Wardlaw drills as well.

Thank you for the ideas. I will try my best to complete these tasks.

Tennis conditioning. Moving while you are hitting. Working on form, movement, mental toughness at the same time. Getting your heart rate up and sweating. Learning to get to balls you never thought you could with good form. Handling 20, 30, 40, 50 balls and loving every minute of it. You have arrived when you look at the coach and say "that's it? that is all you got? Come on, coach!"

Drink lots of water. :)

So he should just feed anywhere and I just have to chase them down? That should be a piece of cake hahaha.



Good stuff isn't it? Makes you feel like you want to use them now. Sort of like taking a Ferrari out for a desert run, pushing it to the max. That is what the tough drills are for. :)



Keep going, don't overthink. It isn't rocket science to develop a training routine that you get better with. It is mainly desire, a little creativity and listening to your game and body for feedback.

I'm sorry I don't know how to use the multi-quote function, so I just bolded my responses above.

I'll try not to overthink and keep going with the routine. Will keep you posted.

Bungalo Bill
09-18-2009, 09:17 AM
I'm sorry I don't know how to use the multi-quote function, so I just bolded my responses above.

I'll try not to overthink and keep going with the routine. Will keep you posted.


When trying to quote a part of a post use the following:

[] blah, blah, blah[] first bracket insert the word quote and the second /quote.

The first quote sections off where you want the quote to begin. The second one with the / is an end quote where you want it to end. Brackets are needed.

Or you can select the text and use the quote button above. :)

Vermillion
09-18-2009, 09:26 AM
Ah, okay. Thanks for that.

And also, for the footwork. I think I've incorporated the step-out, split step, shuffle step, and crossover steps successfully into my game.

Is there a progression of specific steps I have to learn?

What should I be focusing on now that I've learned the above steps?