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Eph
10-15-2009, 03:33 PM
http://vimeo.com/7089962

I've been working with a coach 2-3 times a week, and feel I'm making some progressions. My serve still seems shoddy at best.

My forehand feels more natural, and I'm able to handle more powerful backhands.

What do you think? Any advice is appreciated.

Wes_Loves_Dunlop
10-15-2009, 03:42 PM
your follow through on your serve is very awkward.
you seem to force it to stop and i think if you follow through more, youll get some more pop off your serve.

Jonny S&V
10-15-2009, 03:49 PM
You're still not really going up to the ball, you're more falling into your serve. I would work on tossing the ball slightly further back and try to really drive your legs up instead of falling into the court. You also need to close into the net after you hit your first volley and not wait at the service line for the second volley.

Cody
10-15-2009, 03:54 PM
I kinda see some wrist action on the serve that seems forced, you want to direct your energy up into the ball reaching up as high as you can maintaining a smooth follow through.

Work on your technique slowly and work your way up in till you can maintain the technique at 75%

I don't think i would recommend serving at 100%

skyzoo
10-15-2009, 03:56 PM
please focus in on consistency.

jms007
10-15-2009, 04:07 PM
I didn't watch the whole thing, but you need to move your feet and lightly bounce in between shots. You're just standing with your feet planted, which slows down your reaction time.

mikro112
10-15-2009, 05:13 PM
I didn't watch all of it either, but I immediately recognized that you are way to far away from the net when you attack. I've seen many rallies where you moved up to the net. But every time you lost the point because you weren't able to get the volley over the net. First of all, that is not a big deal. You simply made it too difficult for yourself because you were standing at the service line instead of halfway in the service box.

http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i255/mikro112/Untitled-1.jpg

When you hit your volleys, you have to stand at the X and move into the ball every single time.

For example, check out my video here:
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=292011

There are a few occasions in my video where I'm at the net:
0:21: Good approach shot, moving up, easy smash!
0:29: Again, aggressive approach, but I wasn't in a good position to hit a volley, therefore step back -> another approach (slice), moving up, forcing the opponent to hit a great shot. He missed, my point!
1:35: Halfway into the box and aggressively into the ball.
2:11: First volley at the service line, but after that move up into the box!
2:53: Same thing: I'm moving up into the box and stepping into the volleys aggressively.
3:11: Two bad volleys, but I won the point because I was close enough to the net to get the balls over.
3:39: Good appraoch down the line. Moving up, easy put-away!
5:00: First volley a step into the service box, moving up, easy put-away. My point!
5:44: Not a volley, but easy put-away again, because I moved up!
6:17: Moving up -> Easy smash!
6:20: Not so good half-volley, moving up, chosing a side, not a good volley, staying aggressively at the net -> forcing the opponent to hit a great shot once again. He missed (again). My point -> Game, Set, Match, mikro112! :)

I hope that helps understanding the importance of moving up into the service box!

Eph
10-15-2009, 05:16 PM
Yeah, I realise this is something I do and it's wrong. What's a good method for volleying? Three feet in, take a step in, hit, another step, hit ... until you hit the net?

Thanks so much for the long post and the picture. Should my feet be facing forward when I'm making contact at the net or does that not matter?

I'm going to play the same opponent tomorrow (he's going to be my hitting partner) so I'll take more video then.

Are there any good posts that explain how/where/when to move your feet for each shot? My coach said the biggest thing I need to work on is footwork, so I'd like to begin...

Thanks again!

PS I'm not too focused on my serve now, but rather becoming more consistent and getting the basics of the strokes down.

mikro112
10-15-2009, 05:31 PM
If the ball is coming back quickly, you have to hit it whereever you are. If you attack, you should be able to hit the first volley at least standing on the T. Maybe one step more into the box. After the first volley, you move up into the box to around the middle. From there you keep stepping into the volleys all the time.

A good example for that is the volley at the 5:00 mark in my video.

Here are some examples of what I mean:

Splitstep when opponent hits the ball
http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i255/mikro112/tennis_/splitstep.jpg

First volley a step into the box
http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i255/mikro112/tennis_/firstvolley.jpg


Moving up into the box
http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i255/mikro112/tennis_/movingforward.jpg

Second volley about halfway into the box
http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i255/mikro112/tennis_/secondvolley.jpg

mikro112
10-15-2009, 05:33 PM
Forehand Volley (look at my feet and where I hit the ball)
http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i255/mikro112/tennis_/stepintoFH.jpg

Backhand Volley
http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i255/mikro112/tennis_/stepintoBH.jpg

Btw, working on your footwork also means:

1. Making a splitstep every time the opponent hits the ball.
2. Move to the balls as quickly as you can.
3. Move back to the start position as quickly as you can.

Eph
10-15-2009, 06:47 PM
Quick question re split stepping:

I asked about this on the boards awhile back after watching a bunch of Sampras matches and realising he didn't always split step because there was no time. So, when do you NOT split step? Is there a rough guide, i.e. if you're less than a meter from net, and so is your opponent?

mikro112
10-15-2009, 07:02 PM
Quick answer: NEVER.

On our levels of play, there is always time for the splitstep. Can you show me the video where Sampras actually didn't splitstep?

Also, how often are you less than a meter away from the net, AND your opponent as well? :eek:
Not that often. Therefore, get used to doing the splitstep EVERY single time your opponent hits the ball.

Eph
10-18-2009, 01:20 PM
Thanks. I'll try and keep that in mind.

Did I make any improvements the following day?

http://vimeo.com/7103525

Andres
10-18-2009, 01:22 PM
For future reference: We don't wanna see you wiping your sweat off and drinking whatever beverage you were drinking :D

boojay
10-18-2009, 01:25 PM
For future reference: We don't wanna see you wiping your sweat off and drinking whatever beverage you were drinking :D

That was hilarious!

boojay
10-18-2009, 01:29 PM
Yikes, that was a long vid. Well, the most glaring thing I noticed was footwork. You're not very active on your feet. I'm sure a lot of posters have and will mention the split step. I'd recommend that be the most important element to add your current game as I think it will help you move better and improve your results dramatically.

SuperDuy
10-18-2009, 01:39 PM
Wow dude you gotten better since your march videos.

Dude has anyone ever told you, you look like tom hanks?

NotAtTheNet
10-19-2009, 08:03 AM
Serve just doesn't look right, and way too many botched 1st serves, but its better than before. Definitely split step and maybe work on some conditioning drills that require you to work on your footspeed. Your movement looks like you have 20 lb ankle weights.

Go back and work on consistency, take some off the ball if you have to, you're hitting way to many unforced errors. Your partner hits alot of them to. If you squared up against a 2.0-2.5 who was able to just dink the ball back to every time you'd most likely lose.

What I'm saying is your errors came on both soft and "hard" shots. Could be bad movement and footwork which makes you mess up. If so then just work on the footwork, get a ball machine and set it to oscillate.

cesarmo03
10-19-2009, 06:25 PM
Hey chris when u post a video, try to cut off the parts when u are not playing the point such as, drinking water, talking, looking for the ball, etc etc. is an 8 minute video with only 3 minute video of u playing.

blackfrido
10-19-2009, 06:31 PM
http://vimeo.com/7089962

I've been working with a coach 2-3 times a week, and feel I'm making some progressions. My serve still seems shoddy at best.

My forehand feels more natural, and I'm able to handle more powerful backhands.

What do you think? Any advice is appreciated.

KEEP WORKING

charliefedererer
10-20-2009, 06:54 AM
You are doing remarkably well.
It looks like you are still losing weight, and that will be the key to your continued improvement. As the weight comes off, it will be much easier to get to balls, take the small correcting steps to get the ball right in your optimal hitting zone, and be able to get the power on your serves by being able to use the whole kinetic chain.
And you're on your last chance on your knees to continue playing tennis, so that weight has to come off.
But again, congratulations on all the progress you've made so far.

Cup8489
10-20-2009, 07:27 AM
you're looking much sharper than earlier this year, you've lost plenty of weight, and some of the hitches in your serve have gone. continue working at that, especially timing when you extend. again, close with the net more. hitting your first volley at th service line isn't bad, but keep moving forward.

also, keep your eye on the ball, and don't go for too much. i agree with an earlier post, some shots you missed when you shouldn't have.

keep working, you're getting there!

amx13
10-21-2009, 06:51 AM
Just a quick note...I think you are standing way too far from the baseline on the return of serve, that makes you hit your returns on the run often, wich makes you get many return UEs that you could avoid.

Standing closer to the baseline would help you be ready and set up better for your returns. Also, remember to always split step once your opponent is about to hit his serve. Right now you take a couple of step forward, but you still have to keep moving forward to get to the ball. You could avoid a couple of those steps by getting closer in the first place.

Slazenger07
10-21-2009, 06:53 AM
That serve needs work, looks like youre guiding it too much rather than allowing your arm to loosen and naturally follow through across your body. That will give you more power and eventually, more consistency. Practice the follow through.

Eph
10-21-2009, 07:17 AM
Just a quick note...I think you are standing way too far from the baseline on the return of serve, that makes you hit your returns on the run often, wich makes you get many return UEs that you could avoid.

Standing closer to the baseline would help you be ready and set up better for your returns. Also, remember to always split step once your opponent is about to hit his serve. Right now you take a couple of step forward, but you still have to keep moving forward to get to the ball. You could avoid a couple of those steps by getting closer in the first place.

Thanks!

The reason I stand so far back is I can't hit the ball when I am closer. Anything I can do to get better at this?

Isn't it normal to take a few steps in on serve? I will be sure to split step!

As an aside, I broke my first set of strings today!

Eph
10-21-2009, 07:18 AM
That serve needs work, looks like youre guiding it too much rather than allowing your arm to loosen and naturally follow through across your body. That will give you more power and eventually, more consistency. Practice the follow through.

Yeah, my service game is horrible. However, the other day with my pro, I was VERY relaxed and I found that I was serving much better. I tend to get stiff in my service games before then. So we'll see how it looks today on video.

amx13
10-21-2009, 07:49 AM
Thanks!

The reason I stand so far back is I can't hit the ball when I am closer. Anything I can do to get better at this?

Isn't it normal to take a few steps in on serve? I will be sure to split step!

As an aside, I broke my first set of strings today!

You mean you cant hit the ball when you are closer to the baseline because the ball gets too close to you?. I guess you need to work on spacing the ball to your body. If the balls "jams" you its really hard to make good contact. Try this drill, it might help you with that.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6uQWle8BCg

Also, try to get your left arm more involved in your groundstrokes. In your forehand, that would mean get the left arm parallel to the net as you complete your backswing, that would help you on rotating your shoulders and body, to get the weight of your body in to the shot, not only the arm.

The way you get closer to the baseline as you prepare to return its ok, the problem is that once you take those steps, and then split step, you should be in position to hit the ball... right now you take those steps, miss the split step, and then take a couple more steps forward to get to the ball, wich make you hit most of your returns on the run.

NotAtTheNet
10-21-2009, 10:16 AM
you're having issues with timing most likely bc you're a 2.5/3.0 using a kps88 which is like 13 oz bat with a 345 g swing weight. Go with something in the 11 - 11.5 oz range and watch your reaction speed and take back improve.

Eph
10-21-2009, 10:17 AM
Didn't. I used a Babolat PD and played worse, especially at the net. I prefer something heavy.

benasp
10-22-2009, 09:15 AM
Pure drive are very powerfull maybe you can find something more control oriented but still less heavy. You use your wrist on some volley, that why they fly everywhere, try to be firm and punch the volley. And if you don't have time to get closer to the net don't even think of coming in, you are always in no man land and you will never win a game being here.

volusiano
10-22-2009, 09:38 AM
In my opinion, if you prefer a heavy racket, there's nothing wrong with sticking with it. It's better to try other things to fix your game than to rely on racket changes every time to fix your game. That's kinda like cheating and you'll end up never learning to fix the real problem the real way in the first place. You'll end up switching rackets forever or end up owing 10 different rackets for 10 different situations.

NotAtTheNet
10-22-2009, 11:03 AM
In my opinion, if you prefer a heavy racket, there's nothing wrong with sticking with it. It's better to try other things to fix your game than to rely on racket changes every time to fix your game. That's kinda like cheating and you'll end up never learning to fix the real problem the real way in the first place. You'll end up switching rackets forever or end up owing 10 different rackets for 10 different situations.

I agree with that to a degree but a 2.5 wielding a kps88 is like giving someone learning to drive an enzo. The kps88 is a demanding stick. Its heavy and has a high swing weight. Whatever kinks there are in EPH's form, are going to be amplified 10x with the momentum that racquet has on the swing through. The kps88 also requires you to supply the power... you think someone who's trying to learn good form is going to make process when he has to over exert and swing faster than he should to just hit soft/medium pace shots?

Swissv2
10-22-2009, 11:12 AM
Working hard I see!

My recommendation: "direct your energy steeply the top of the mountain". You are lowering your body too soon, which doesn't give leverage and power to your serve.

Here is the video to boot: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlPVdppfYGs

volusiano
10-22-2009, 06:12 PM
I agree with that to a degree but a 2.5 wielding a kps88 is like giving someone learning to drive an enzo. The kps88 is a demanding stick. Its heavy and has a high swing weight. Whatever kinks there are in EPH's form, are going to be amplified 10x with the momentum that racquet has on the swing through. The kps88 also requires you to supply the power... you think someone who's trying to learn good form is going to make process when he has to over exert and swing faster than he should to just hit soft/medium pace shots?

If it were a total beginner who didn't know anything about tennis and don't have any preference to racket weight and size, and especially if this beginner were a female or a smaller built person, then I agree that I wouldn't give this person a very heavy stick to start out with.

But specific to Eph, he's already been playing tennis for a while now and has had a chance to try a number of rackets. So he knows what he wants and what likes. So if he prefers a heavier racket, for a man at his size, I don't think a heavy racket is going to impede his learning that much. I really don't think that his technical problems would be magnified 10x because of a heavier racket. 2 or 3 oz is not that much more weight. My wife and daughter are smaller built and they play with a 12.3 oz racket just fine.

gameboy
10-22-2009, 08:05 PM
I am not sure I want to add more to the clutter here as you are getting a lot of advices from a lot of different point of view, but here it goes.

The one thing that I am noticing with your serve is that when you go up to hit it, your racquet is facing the ball and it is not really behind your back.

If I were you, I would check out the serve progression videos on fuzzyyellowballs. Those are really good.

When you are going up for the ball, your elbow should be leading with the racquet head dropped behind your back (back scratch position). As your racquet head moves up, it should be coming in with the frame pointing towards the ball, like you are trying to slice the ball in half. At the last second, your hand should pronate and you hit the ball square with the face.

You are going up with the pronated position and that is causing your follow to snap too soon and you are falling away from the ball.

I would really work on getting your racquet back behind and coming up with the racquet frame side up.

NotAtTheNet
10-23-2009, 07:49 AM
If it were a total beginner who didn't know anything about tennis and don't have any preference to racket weight and size, and especially if this beginner were a female or a smaller built person, then I agree that I wouldn't give this person a very heavy stick to start out with.

But specific to Eph, he's already been playing tennis for a while now and has had a chance to try a number of rackets. So he knows what he wants and what likes. So if he prefers a heavier racket, for a man at his size, I don't think a heavy racket is going to impede his learning that much. I really don't think that his technical problems would be magnified 10x because of a heavier racket. 2 or 3 oz is not that much more weight. My wife and daughter are smaller built and they play with a 12.3 oz racket just fine.

I agree to a point, that Eph isn't exactly tiny, but I'm sure your wife and daughter already have good strokes to begin with. while its true Eph has been playing for a while (in fact almost over a year now?); his improvement is much slower than most people who have been playing for a year (no offense Eph, even injuries and whatnot aside). Its important to note that prior to the kps88 he played with the k90 for the good part of the year. He played with the PDR for maybe a month so.

I honestly believe that had he picked a solid lighter racquet, like an LM radical or TT Warrior. he would of progressed alot more at this point. I just don't think he's given sticks in those range a fair enough of a shot.

I guess at this point different strokes for different folks I guess.

Eph
10-23-2009, 07:53 AM
I used a PD for 8 months.

volusiano
10-23-2009, 10:36 AM
I agree to a point, that Eph isn't exactly tiny, but I'm sure your wife and daughter already have good strokes to begin with. while its true Eph has been playing for a while (in fact almost over a year now?); his improvement is much slower than most people who have been playing for a year (no offense Eph, even injuries and whatnot aside). Its important to note that prior to the kps88 he played with the k90 for the good part of the year. He played with the PDR for maybe a month so.

I honestly believe that had he picked a solid lighter racquet, like an LM radical or TT Warrior. he would of progressed alot more at this point. I just don't think he's given sticks in those range a fair enough of a shot.

I guess at this point different strokes for different folks I guess.

I agree with what you say about a lighter racket will make learning the game of tennis easier for beginners. There's nothing wrong with your suggestion.

The reason I'm biased to heavier rackets is because as a beginner, I didn't know any better and used a light racket and picked up a bad case of tennis elbow shortly thereafter. I'm sure it was not just the racket's weight alone to blame, but it was also my bad forms and overuse. But I have no doubt a light (and stiff, head heavy) racket played a big part in this. After I switched over to heavier (and head light) rackets (and improved), I no longer have TE until now.

So I'm a strong believer in starting out beginners with a heavier, head light racket right away even if it makes it a little harder for them to learn because it removes one of the factors that can cause TE.

xFullCourtTenniSx
10-23-2009, 11:40 AM
http://vimeo.com/7089962

I've been working with a coach 2-3 times a week, and feel I'm making some progressions. My serve still seems shoddy at best.

My forehand feels more natural, and I'm able to handle more powerful backhands.

What do you think? Any advice is appreciated.

Well... Here are my impressions after the first 3 games (might go further into the video later, but seeing as you left in all the idle moments instead of editing them out, watching it is a bore half the time):

-Snaps wrist on serve
-Poor footwork
-No split step
-Horrible positioning at net
-Short follow through on the forehand
-Snaps at forehand
-Snaps at volleys
-Does not watch ball

What does this essentially equate to? Well... Your court coverage is maybe the immediate 2 steps to either side and you lack solid technique and therefor consistency and power.

Now here are some of the good things:
-You can take the ball on the rise pretty well (which makes me wonder why you missed the half volley right after)
-You can still get decent power on that forehand and serve
-You have guts

So let's go over the negatives again.

-Wrist snap
Snapping the wrist on the serve shouldn't happen. It doesn't give you power or even consistency. It takes BOTH away. When you start out, you THINK it does because your ability to play with power and consistency is nonexistent to begin with. I want you to focus on loosening up that arm and focus on swinging that racket through the ball towards your target.

I also want you to take a look at this video and apply it to your serve.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c06ToXPyJYA

There is NO wrist snap on the serve. This is ABSOLUTE. Take a look at slow motion footage of pro serves and realize it is a rotation of the forearm and wrist called pronation that gets the racket through contact. This video will help you generate easy racket head acceleration.

-Poor footwork + No split step
First of all, I want you doing a split step more than anything else. I don't care if your footwork stays as bad as it is, start using split steps! It will improve your reaction time and court coverage. Get slightly off the court and land on the balls of your feet while putting them slightly wider than shoulder width apart with bent knees. And do it as your opponent makes contact with the ball so that when you land, you will move right away to where you need to be. This will add a step or two to your court coverage, cause you're wasting almost a whole second doing nothing after they hit the ball.

Develop an athletic foundation (bend your knees, keep feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart, lower height and center of gravity by 6 inches). I want you to stay low on EVERY shot you hit, and move so that you can hit the ball in your strike zone. Try to contact the ball around hip or stomach level and stay low throughout the shot. You don't have a problem like most people of popping up during the swing, but it's good to mention and notice anyway.

-Horrible positioning at the net
You want to be INSIDE the service line. No sane player should be playing the net from BEHIND the service line. It's crazy. It's okay to hit your first volley from there (though you sit there for about a second waiting for them to give you a ball to volley, so use that second to take a step or two forward please) but you want to be as close to the net as possible on every volley you hit so you have more angles to use and your chance of making an error diminishes. You move in, split step, move to the ball, hit it, and repeat.

-Snaps at volleys
A volley should have no wrist action. With your racket, all you need to do is get the strings on the ball to get a good response out of the racket. The power comes from the body (and the short punch stroke). You move through your volley and keep the contact out in front. Keep a firm wrist and don't let the racket head drop below the wrist. On slower balls, give it a short bunt forward (but with a bit more force and intention) to where you want it to go, but keep to the same basic principles I mention above.

-Short follow through on forehand + snaps at forehand
Get the racket below the ball, hit up and through it with a closed face, and finish over the shoulder. Keep the wrist firm and accelerate the racket. That's all there is to it.

-Does not watch ball
Self explanatory, no?


Overall, if you improved your footwork and your serve, I think you could go up at least half a level or a whole level. Movement and footwork can easily cover up for most technical deficiencies and is the foundation of being able to play high level tennis.

xFullCourtTenniSx
10-23-2009, 11:54 AM
you're having issues with timing most likely bc you're a 2.5/3.0 using a kps88 which is like 13 oz bat with a 345 g swing weight. Go with something in the 11 - 11.5 oz range and watch your reaction speed and take back improve.

The racket does not make a difference in timing if one is accustomed to the weight of the racket and can read the ball.

A beginner has no idea of how heavy a racket is. They don't feel it. Overall it's still light. People who don't play tennis pick up my rackets and are surprised when I tell them that they're considered to be well into the heavier side of the weight class. They don't notice a difference.

And a lighter racket will not improve his reaction speed. He needs to focus his eyes on the ball and start using split steps. THAT is why his reaction time is so awful. Rackets have no effect on reaction times. They can slow down execution times but not reaction times.

And overall, in this racket conversation, I think that beginners should play with heavy rackets with 100 square inch heads. My ideal racket for a beginner would be a 2 pound racket with plenty of hitting space on the strings. But that would be a bit of an overkill so 13.5 ounces is perfectly fine.

When you swing a bat, there's only one way to to it because it's so heavy. You can't snap at it or dramatically change the path of the swing at the last second. You learn to groove your swing and let the mass do the work. You give it momentum and let it go. With a light racket, people can easily do all sorts of crazy things and force so many things on the swing.

Should he play with a [K]ProStaff? Well... Part of me says no... But if it helps him groove his swing and teaches him how to generate power with a long smooth stroke, then yes. But it clearly isn't. If the feel offered by the racket allows him to understand more about his stroke and the contact with the ball, then yes. But I doubt it (though I have no evidence to support that opinion).

Oh, and EPH should fire his coach for letting him stay with (or not taking the effort to work on) that forehand.

Ken Honecker
10-24-2009, 12:18 AM
Thanks!

The reason I stand so far back is I can't hit the ball when I am closer. Anything I can do to get better at this?

Isn't it normal to take a few steps in on serve? I will be sure to split step!



Personally I've never stood behind the baseline when returning serves. Maybe a person needs to if they are playing guys hitting 100+ MPH but against Average Joes like you seem to be playing move up. It might take you a while to get your reactions down but it should come to a youngster like you. I'm so old school I'd never heard of the split step until I joined these boards but I'll tell you it really makes a difference on service returns. The last set I played my calf was tightening up and so I didn't split step on my pals final serve and dang if he didn't get his first ace of the day.

Also pick a racquet that feels good in your hand and stick with it. You will play way better with your old reliable racquet than changing a couple of times a year. I use a softball bat until I break it, I use the first pool cue I ever bought. Unless a person is in the top 10% of their sport they aren't good enough to make informed opinions on whether A if better than B.

wihamilton
10-24-2009, 10:16 AM
I also want you to take a look at this video and apply it to your serve.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c06ToXPyJYA


Nice video, thanks for posting. You win today's internet. You can collect your prize here:

http://you-win-the-internet.com/

benasp
10-24-2009, 10:29 AM
You are right, EPH sould read about No man's land

http://www.tennisserver.com/Mills-tip/Mills-tip_1_95.html

that very basic stuff

being in no man's land is bad, staying there is very very bad

[QUOTE=xFullCourtTenniSx;4050425]


-Horrible positioning at the net
You want to be INSIDE the service line. No sane player should be playing the net from BEHIND the service line. It's crazy. It's okay to hit your first volley from there (though you sit there for about a second waiting for them to give you a ball to volley, so use that second to take a step or two forward please) but you want to be as close to the net as possible on every volley you hit so you have more angles to use and your chance of making an error diminishes. You move in, split step, move to the ball, hit it, and repeat.

Ken Honecker
10-24-2009, 11:29 PM
Back when I had a bit more coverage ability I played about 3 feet from the net, pretty much where I didn't have to worry about hitting it but could put the fear into the enemy. Now I try to be a step or so farther back to allow me to cover lobs easier. When I was playing S/V I would spank the serve, hit the my next shot about the service line on the run and then be camped at the net waiting to see if the other player felt lucky.

xFullCourtTenniSx
10-25-2009, 12:55 AM
Personally I've never stood behind the baseline when returning serves. Maybe a person needs to if they are playing guys hitting 100+ MPH but against Average Joes like you seem to be playing move up. It might take you a while to get your reactions down but it should come to a youngster like you. I'm so old school I'd never heard of the split step until I joined these boards but I'll tell you it really makes a difference on service returns. The last set I played my calf was tightening up and so I didn't split step on my pals final serve and dang if he didn't get his first ace of the day.

Now you know why a lot of pros will return the first serve from (or a little behind) the baseline and take the second serve from inside the baseline. Well... That and the spin of a heavy kicker needs to be dealt with by cutting it off or going well behind the baseline.

And I don't understand your last statement. Are you saying that because you couldn't split step, your opponent had finally managed to hit a service ace on you?

Back when I had a bit more coverage ability I played about 3 feet from the net, pretty much where I didn't have to worry about hitting it but could put the fear into the enemy. Now I try to be a step or so farther back to allow me to cover lobs easier. When I was playing S/V I would spank the serve, hit the my next shot about the service line on the run and then be camped at the net waiting to see if the other player felt lucky.

And THIS is how you play serve and volley! 25% mind games, 25% provocation (so they'll hit errors), and 50% percentage tennis!

I used to do the same, but I wanted to develop a better ground game and stopped doing it altogether (because it gets boring when you and your opponent constantly come into the net on EVERY point and you both know it).

Then I went back to trying it occasionally, and I can still do it. But now since I haven't kept my serve and volley skills as sharp as possible, it might not be as good as it should be for me. Also, playing 5.0+, it's hard to pull it off all the time unless you practice it all the time, which I don't even consider doing. :( Those guys can really spank the return and make sure to keep it low when you get there too, even if you REALLY hustle in there. Even if you hit a solid volley, it won't be as good as hitting one from above the net height where you can get more punch on it. Then you're basically there to pick off anything you can get to and hope they miss anything you can't reach. I remember playing a 5.0-5.5 player when I was maybe a 4.0, and it didn't matter how well I played the volley (and how well I placed it), he could get to it because he always got a hard return down low and I couldn't get much pace on it. I would be hitting the cleanest volleys and half volleys (thanks to the pace he gave me) into corners, but he was so fast he would get to them and from that point on I was pretty much sitting waiting for errors because I had very little ability to anticipate shots from the net because I stopped practicing volleying and at 4.0 and under, a lot of volleys come very close to the middle and are easy to put away. I really didn't hit any errors or hit any bad volleys during that match (all of them were deep and none sat up), but he was too fast and his groundstrokes he had so much angle he could use on his groundstrokes that I couldn't come close to covering it all. But he only hit maybe 3 errors in about 20 passing shot attemps. Maybe only 2... But being at his level, he shouldn't make that many errors anyway; especially if he knows I can't get to 50+% of his passing shot attempts anyway. Against 4.0s, I should've had a very clean victory playing as I did that day.

Kenny022593
10-29-2009, 06:24 PM
Eph your improving nicely and dropping some weight too :)

Ken Honecker
10-29-2009, 11:30 PM
And I don't understand your last statement. Are you saying that because you couldn't split step, your opponent had finally managed to hit a service ace on you?


That's what I'm saying. My calfs are iffy at best and they only allow me to do so much before they either tighten up, strain, or tear. After having hurt them probably 25 times in the last 26 years I have a tendency to baby them except in the heat of battle.

Heck the most amazing thing happened two weeks ago. I was harvesting my apples and was carrying about 80 pounds worth up from the orchard which is about 250 feet from my house, thinking all the while about how my calfs were such upper crap and how they really were likely to affect my return to the ranks of the Exalted Hackers when I strained one, walking! It wasn't bad and only took about 3 days to get back to normal but things like that sure make you think twice before doing much polymetrics.