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callen3615
10-07-2009, 09:31 PM
So my sister plays for the local high school. Shes a freshman and has played about 3 years on and off. Shes pretty small for her age, probably 5'3'' 100lbs.
She likes to play baseline, im not sure she knows how to do anything else. She is trying to challenge her way up the ranks. Its her first season playing and shes moved up from 16th to 9th in a month. Now it seems she has hit a road block. The number 8 girl is the worst pusher I have ever seen. She never hits a ball past the service box unless she has to. When she brings you to the net she lobs you. My sister is not a mobile person, like most of the girls on the tennis team. Running isnt their thing. :) So Ive been trying to help her beat this girl because the 7th ranked girl isnt as good as my sister either, they just have been coached and both girls are seniors.

I told my sister to bring the pusher girl to net with a drop shot. It seems my sister doent now how to slice a ball so this could be tough. She has been taught how to hit a topspin forehand and everytime I hit her a ball she takes the racquet back low. I dont think she even knows why she takes it back low, she was just told to. She doesnt understand that you have to take the racquet back higher than the ball to hit a slice, or a drop shot. Then I told her to hit short shots and the lobs to move this pusher around but watching my sister play is aggravating. She seems to always go back to autopilot, hitting from the baseline. Any thoughts?

SystemicAnomaly
10-07-2009, 10:41 PM
She's probably be better off bring the racquet back high for nearly every shot, whether she intends to hit topspin or underspin. The exception is for hitting half-volleys -- the low takeback is preferred in this case. For the topspin shots, she should learn a loop swing -- set the racquet high; then, when she is prepared to swing, she drops the racquet head (gravity-aided) and completes the loop to hit her groundstrokes.

The autopilot thing can take a lot of work to overcome. She needs to develop new muscle memory -- repetition is the key, tons of repetition. She should perform shadow swings (no ball) every day -- loop swings for tospin simulation and a high-to-low swing for a sliced shots. On days that she goes on the courts, she should first perform the shadow swings. Follow this up with easy hand feeds (close proximity) where she still uses a high racquet set for both topspin and sliced shots. Graduate to feeds further from her. Follow this up with easy racquet feeds -- medium proximity feeds if needed to ensure that she still uses the new mechanics.

If she is not willing to do this sequence, she may never change her strokes.
.

tricky
10-07-2009, 10:48 PM
Have you had her look at Wardlaw's Directionals?

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=32018

callen3615
10-08-2009, 07:54 PM
Thanks guys.

user92626
10-08-2009, 08:54 PM
She seems to always go back to autopilot, hitting from the baseline. Any thoughts?

Don't rally. Don't lecture, especially overloading info. Give her an exercise like you feed her one ball, she hits to a cone, then you drop her another short ball where she runs up to volley. Reset. Good?

Tim Tennis
10-10-2009, 02:20 PM
My sister is not a mobile person.

There you go, that is your answer.

Improve her movement. At that level she is obviously a pusher herself. She is just getting out pushed. Improve her quickness. Have her run 50 yard sprints, 20 of them, bounding drills, high steping drills, Google sprint drills and you can find all kinds of things to improve her quickness. A great drill is to just feed her balls to her forehand and backhand, make them easy at first to get to but make each ball feed progressively harder. Work her to the point of failure. Let her rest and start again. It is good if you can have a number of people do this drill because they feed off of each others excitement. Another great addition to this drill is to have her or you call out "take control," if it is a ball she can get to in time to set up and take control of the point with placement or power or both as she improves her skill level. If it is a ball that she will be lucky to get to call out, "Get it back, stay in the point." This drill will teach her to love "the battle," and just do the best she can.

So many of the high school tennis players today just think they can go out there and hit a few balls for a couple of hours during tennis season and are not willing to put in the effort to improve their fitness and skill level during the off season. Then they become seniors and some sophmore or junior whom they used to beat blows them off the court and they wonder what happened.

Tennis is a tough sport, work her out, you will soon see if she really wants it.

Tough Love.

Ed
Tennis Geometrics

http://www.tennisgeometrics.con

callen3615
10-10-2009, 02:26 PM
At that level she is obviously a pusher herself. She is just getting out pushed.

Not really. She loses to the pusher because she hits it wide or out. She goes for angles all the time. Not a pusher.

Cindysphinx
10-10-2009, 02:38 PM
My very humble lay opinion:

Your sister needs to work on movement and execution, not strategy. You can have all the strategy in the world (e.g. Wardlaw's), and it is useless unless you can get to the ball and hit it to the spot you want.

A couple of years ago, I decided to try Wardlaw's. It was utterly useless. If you can't sustain a crosscourt rally beyond a couple of balls and you can't control where you hit the ball, you can't execute Wardlaw's. And if you can't execute it, then it is just a bunch of white noise in your head. That was me -- no control, so no execution.

callen3615
10-10-2009, 02:43 PM
Ok, thanks cindy. the problem is she is impatient, she cant sustain a rally because she doesnt want to.

Bagumbawalla
10-10-2009, 03:04 PM
My question, right now, would be: does your sister really want your help?

Think about it, and if the answer is "no", then just let her do her own thing.

If she really does need your help, then remember that relatives make the worst teachers (for various reasons) and use that as a starting point for the decisions you make.

Tim Tennis
10-10-2009, 03:30 PM
Ok, thanks cindy. the problem is she is impatient, she cant sustain a rally because she doesnt want to.

Now we have something to work with. It is mental. Some players absolutely hate the pressure of staying in the point so their solution is to end the point as quickly as possible. Case in point, I knew this high school player who was a tremendous athlete with some pretty good ground strokes but he could not stand to have extended rallies. We called him the 2 shot wonder. I could beat him easily and I really did not belong on the court with him.

You need to turn her into a pusher. She needs to learn to love the extended rallys. Creating angles is great but when the percentages are terrible it is just a way of bailing out on the point. At her level it is all about unforced errors, actually any level for that matter.

Have her play you or one of her friends and make her play the match with the strategy of not making any unforced errors. She needs to get every ball back in play she possibly can.

She has to learn to love the battle and enjoy the pressure. Compete!

Ed
Tennnis Geometrics

Tim Tennis
10-10-2009, 03:38 PM
My question, right now, would be: does your sister really want your help?

Think about it, and if the answer is "no", then just let her do her own thing.

If she really does need your help, then remember that relatives make the worst teachers (for various reasons) and use that as a starting point for the decisions you make.

That is very interesting. You might have a good point. My guess would be that she appreciates the help.

Ed
Tennis Geometrics

Cindysphinx
10-10-2009, 06:58 PM
Ok, thanks cindy. the problem is she is impatient, she cant sustain a rally because she doesnt want to.

It sounds like your sister has a temperament much like mine. I find no joy in extended rallies. None. I find them dull (which is why I prefer the faster pace of doubles).

What I don't think works with people like me (and perhaps like your sister) is to tell them they need to learn to enjoy extended rallies. That is just not in my DNA. It is like telling me to enjoy an extended root canal. :) Extended rallies are a necessary evil, a means to an end. They are not fun to me.

Let me pass along one simple idea my pro advocates that someone with my modest skill set can execute: The Circle. There is an imaginary circle in the middle of the opponent's court, surrounding the T. The size of The Circle depends on how good you are. If you are me, The Circle is small (perhaps six feet across). If you are Sharapova, The Circle is huge. My job is to not hit any ball inside The Circle. This means you will be moving your opponent around, and a short angle or very short ball is just as good as a deep ball. You can lay down targets on your side of the court and let sister experiment with hitting outside The Circle.

I find that The Circle is a fun concept to try to execute. The focus is on placement, not on extended rallies or generating fierce pace or outright winners. It is not as demanding as Wardlaw's because you simply hit whatever shot is most comfortable for you at that moment, so long as it is outside The Circle. It is pro-active, as you're actually trying to do something rather than just pushing and hoping the opponent will miss. Maybe sister will like The Circle too?

callen3615
10-10-2009, 07:30 PM
My question, right now, would be: does your sister really want your help?


Yes, but she will never tell me that. I have to help her alot but we usually connect. She gets it eventually and then she plays better. I just dont know how to help her now. She hits alot of unforced errors.

SystemicAnomaly
10-10-2009, 11:43 PM
My very humble lay opinion:

Your sister needs to work on movement and execution, not strategy. You can have all the strategy in the world (e.g. Wardlaw's), and it is useless unless you can get to the ball and hit it to the spot you want.

A couple of years ago, I decided to try Wardlaw's. It was utterly useless. If you can't sustain a crosscourt rally beyond a couple of balls and you can't control where you hit the ball, you can't execute Wardlaw's. And if you can't execute it, then it is just a bunch of white noise in your head. That was me -- no control, so no execution.

Excellent points, Cin. Wardlaw's is probably something that she is not yet ready for.

I'd suggest having sis learn mini-tennis. Hopefully she will get the idea of early prep and slow controlled strokes with a complete follow-thru. Once she gets this concept down, shoot for a 20-ball rally without errors (or a 10 ball rally if that is too ambitious at the beginning). I've had plenty of impatient students derive some real satisfaction from sustaining a 50+ ball rally. Some have been able to go past 100 with me.

xFullCourtTenniSx
10-11-2009, 01:25 AM
Movement is the most important thing in dominating tennis. After that comes consistency, then control, then power.

I say if the pusher hits short, pushing those short balls. You do realize it's actually not all that hard to attack drop shots if you anticipate and move?! Feed her short balls and teach her to put them away. Short balls should be put away. The fact that she can't do that is why she can't beat this "terrible pusher" and is stuck at 9th. People should give pushers more credit. (I don't, but that's because I see no reason to fear them)

Have her do a lot of sprints.

Mini tennis will help her with control and feel for the ball, which will allow her to place the ball where ever she wants (assuming she focuses on placement and depth over power).

Also, if she keeps hitting short and lobbing, why not improve her overheads?

I know a person who was (and still is) 5'3" and about 100 pounds... She was an amazing athlete. She had great hands at net, but she could still chase down balls at the baseline and be a counter puncher. He movement and feel for the ball were her weapons.

Size is only a limiting factor if you make it a limiting factor.

And being impatient... Well, if she wants to be like that, tell her she can go ahead and lose all she wants. Smart tennis is about being patient. If your groundstrokes are massive, you don't have to be as patient. But I doubt her groundstrokes are even close to big.

And no satisfaction in being in long rallies? Well... I find the longer rallies to be the more fun and intense part of this sport. You can have short rallies all day, and it'll be boring! If you rally at 30-40 mph and can't maintain a long rally, I can see why you'd think it's boring. It's not your forte and you hate the idea of hitting even one groundstroke. But once you start going at 60-70 mph, things get interesting. You realize that even one tiny mistake can cause you the entire point! And it doesn't even have to be an unforced error. Anything short will be punished! And you'll be running around EVEN HARDER just to stay in the point. And you get an adrenaline rush from these facts, knowing that you must always hit quality shots while staying calm and stable at a fast pace. And you don't know how long before either you or your opponent cracks, but you MUST outlast him. You must hit 1 more good shot than he does or else all will be over. Anything lacking in quality can spell your doom. It's a true contest of wills, and when you come out of that rally on top, you feel 10x better! Though, you want to make sure you have decent fitness before you go on doing this all day long. I'm not one of the most patient people out there, but I will force myself to wait as long as it takes to pull the trigger, because if you pull the trigger with no clear target, it could backfire on you. It's all worth it in the end because you know that your opponents have to work that much harder to take a point off of you.

Tim Tennis
10-11-2009, 04:06 AM
It sounds like your sister has a temperament much like mine. I find no joy in extended rallies. None. I find them dull (which is why I prefer the faster pace of doubles).

What I don't think works with people like me (and perhaps like your sister) is to tell them they need to learn to enjoy extended rallies. That is just not in my DNA. It is like telling me to enjoy an extended root canal. :) Extended rallies are a necessary evil, a means to an end. They are not fun to me.


Hi Cindy, That is funny. I love the extended rallies, as long as I win most of them LOL.

Ed
Tennis Geometrics

jay144
10-11-2009, 04:49 AM
Callen3615 Pushers are hard for everybody especially when they are confident about it lol. The one thing that I find that helps is movement. That is the one area of her game that you should probably spend more time with her on. You can't be not willing to move in tennis and expect great results. Even Lindsay Davenport had to work on her movement lol and boy could she strike a ball.

Also, I was wondering is your sister comfortable at net? I find that if you hit a decent approach and come in right behind it, it's easier for you to construct a nice little point. Since pushers barely generate pace you don't really have to worry about them going for broke while your up at net. You said the girl will lob your sister if she comes to net I can see how the height maybe an issue there a little. I live and breathe that issue lol.

But, if I keep my feet moving I always can shock my opponent. I like what full court said also. If she is being lobbed get her more comfortable with her overheads. I find it is a lot easier to hit overheads once you've practiced them for a while. Instead of just in a warm up before the match. If you miss a overhead during a match it's like the tennis walk of shame back to the baseline. lol

jay144
10-11-2009, 04:57 AM
I also want to add.. Teach her to slice. When I was playing in high school last year my friend from another school who was has been district champ and state runner up a couple of times said that she likes to hit with pace but she also throws in some effective slices to change it up and throw the girls off there rhythm. Now a days girls are just taught to hit like Sharapova. But there are other effective ways of playing alla Justine Henin...... who is probably relatively close to your sisters height. Teach her the backhand slice if you can..... man does it works wonders.

Cindysphinx
10-11-2009, 06:26 AM
And no satisfaction in being in long rallies? Well... I find the longer rallies to be the more fun and intense part of this sport. [snip]And you'll be running around EVEN HARDER just to stay in the point. And you get an adrenaline rush from these facts, knowing that you must always hit quality shots while staying calm and stable at a fast pace. And you don't know how long before either you or your opponent cracks, but you MUST outlast him. You must hit 1 more good shot than he does or else all will be over. Anything lacking in quality can spell your doom.

The Extended Rally Fans just don't understand.

No. None of that is fun. Not even a little bit. Extended rallies are not fun. They are work. Might as well put a time-clock on the court and punch in, like heading off for a shift in a coal mine.

In singles, I deeply resent that my 3.5 opponent can use their pitiful, substandard, Pushy McPushing Pushesque strokes to make *me* run all over the court for two hours. Bad groundstroke technique is rewarded in singles much more than doubles, no doubt about it.

In doubles, a decent player can embarrass a pusher. The pusher can't just hit any old shot. They can't make me run. Instead, I can come to net and dare them to pass me with their Pushball. I get to respond by crushing an overhead or angling off a volley.

The greatest feeling in tennis for me is when I am playing a Shelly Push-Pushster, I come to net, she hits a push, and I hit a strong volley, she tries to get there but it dies and she almost trips over the ball in her attempt to reach it. Ahhhhh!

So much better than playing a 20-ball pushfest rally, all so I can step up to serve again and shout "love-15."

If OP is going to help his sister, he has to at least understand why some people don't like extended rallies.

Topaz
10-11-2009, 07:44 AM
In singles, I deeply resent that my 3.5 opponent can use their pitiful, substandard, Pushy McPushing Pushesque strokes to make *me* run all over the court for two hours. Bad groundstroke technique is rewarded in singles much more than doubles, no doubt about it.

.

Whaaaaat??? Lol, what about all those ladies in 3.5 doubles who have NO groundstroke technique...just slap, chop, and drop!

Also...*writing down in little black tennis book*...Cindy doesn't like long rallies! ;)

moroni
10-11-2009, 07:53 AM
well do not focus on theory .. teach her how to hit a drop shot and how to lop.. teach her how each shot feels like and where to but the racket when usind such a shot no more. more will only confuse her .for now just focus on the basics of each shot

Topaz
10-11-2009, 07:58 AM
It also sounds to me, since she is impatient and ends rallies too soon, that she needs to learn some strategy regarding when to go for it and when to hit a 'rally' ball. And, if her movement is not up to par, then she won't be able to stay consistent in rallies, so I would echo the others who suggested movement.

Nellie
10-11-2009, 08:15 AM
From a strategy standpoint, encourage your sister come inside the baseline and hit shots cross court to run the opponent around. By moving inside the baseline, your sister (hitting the same shots) will take make the opponent sprint to the ball instead of slowly stepping (hitting the ball inside the baseline takes some time away from the opponent). If the opponent wants to move your sister back, the opponent will need to do more than push back shots. The fastest way to lose to a pusher is to go for winners.

Tim Tennis
10-11-2009, 09:04 AM
Whaaaaat??? Lol, what about all those ladies in 3.5 doubles who have NO groundstroke technique...just slap, chop, and drop!

Also...*writing down in little black tennis book*...Cindy doesn't like long rallies! ;)

I am with you. I am very surprised Cindy does not like long rallies. Doubles, doubles, that is about as much fun as kissing your sister, just kidding. I do enjoy doubles after a good 4 hour match. It gives me a chance to kind of wind down. LOL

Ed
Tennis Geometrics

Cindysphinx
10-11-2009, 09:09 AM
Whaaaaat??? Lol, what about all those ladies in 3.5 doubles who have NO groundstroke technique...just slap, chop, and drop!

Also...*writing down in little black tennis book*...Cindy doesn't like long rallies! ;)

Write this down in your little black book also: "Cindy has played her last singles match. Good luck trying to have a long rally against her in doubles."

There are plenty of 3.5 ladies playing doubles also. The difference is that it is much easier to beat them. 'Cause you can come to net and dare them to pass you.

Topaz
10-11-2009, 09:11 AM
Write this down in your little black book also: "Cindy has played her last singles match. Good luck trying to have a long rally against her in doubles."

There are plenty of 3.5 ladies playing doubles also. The difference is that it is much easier to beat them. 'Cause you can come to net and dare them to pass you.

Well, and feel free to write 'Topaz hates the net!'!!!

That's what makes you a good doubles player, though, is that you won't get stuck in a long rally!

jay144
10-11-2009, 09:32 AM
The Extended Rally Fans just don't understand.

No. None of that is fun. Not even a little bit. Extended rallies are not fun. They are work. Might as well put a time-clock on the court and punch in, like heading off for a shift in a coal mine.

In singles, I deeply resent that my 3.5 opponent can use their pitiful, substandard, Pushy McPushing Pushesque strokes to make *me* run all over the court for two hours. Bad groundstroke technique is rewarded in singles much more than doubles, no doubt about it.

In doubles, a decent player can embarrass a pusher. The pusher can't just hit any old shot. They can't make me run. Instead, I can come to net and dare them to pass me with their Pushball. I get to respond by crushing an overhead or angling off a volley.

The greatest feeling in tennis for me is when I am playing a Shelly Push-Pushster, I come to net, she hits a push, and I hit a strong volley, she tries to get there but it dies and she almost trips over the ball in her attempt to reach it. Ahhhhh!

So much better than playing a 20-ball pushfest rally, all so I can step up to serve again and shout "love-15."

If OP is going to help his sister, he has to at least understand why some people don't like extended rallies.



Lol that was funny. I will admit I liked extended rallies at first when I was winning most of them but as I started to get better they aren't as entertaining to be in.

I like to be able to hit a drop shot and then topspin the crap out of the lob and give the pusher a taste of their on medicine.

It does seem that bad technique seems to be rewarded in singles which doesn't make since to me. I have seen some of the most ugly looking strokes and they will give you a run for your money, literally.

Tim Tennis
10-11-2009, 09:39 AM
Great humor, so I must respond in kind.

The Extended Rally Fans just don't understand.
No. None of that is fun. Not even a little bit. Extended rallies are not fun. They are work. Might as well put a time-clock on the court and punch in, like heading off for a shift in a coal mine.

So might I suggest putt-putt golf, after 6 strokes you get to pick the ball up.


In singles, I deeply resent that my 3.5 opponent can use their pitiful, substandard, Pushy McPushing Pushesque strokes to make *me* run all over the court for two hours. Bad groundstroke technique is rewarded in singles much more than doubles, no doubt about it.


Maybe in mixed doubles or women's doubles but not men's doubles, someone is likely to get killed out there.


In doubles, a decent player can embarrass a pusher. The pusher can't just hit any old shot. They can't make me run. Instead, I can come to net and dare them to pass me with their Pushball. I get to respond by crushing an overhead or angling off a volley.

Your mixed doubles partner must be pretty good.


The greatest feeling in tennis for me is when I am playing a Shelly Push-Pushster, I come to net, she hits a push, and I hit a strong volley, she tries to get there but it dies and she almost trips over the ball in her attempt to reach it. Ahhhhh!

That is nice but who goes on to win the match. Make her mad and she will keep you out there all day long.


So much better than playing a 20-ball pushfest rally, all so I can step up to serve again and shout "love-15."

That is what pushers live for, inflicting pain, seeing the mental anguish of someone who thinks they are the superior player but can't gut it out in the trenches.


If OP is going to help his sister, he has to at least understand why some people don't like extended rallies.

That is like wanting to play football only if you don't get knocked down or going into boxing as long as you don't get punched.

Hey Cindy, I did get a kick out of your post. You got to love the game.

Best regards,

Ed
Tennis Geometrics

eagle
10-11-2009, 09:47 AM
Does your sister listen to you?

You may have the best intentions but if she doesn't listen to you just because you are her brother, then you're wasting your breath.

That's why most folks, especially parents, don't bother teaching their kids or siblings.

Just a thought.

r,
eagle