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View Full Version : Letting the ball pass vs. Attempting/Stabbing


MasturB
10-28-2009, 03:20 PM
Which is probably better for your mental game during the middle of a tight match?

Do you let the passing shot go by you, accept it for what it is and focus on the next point?

or

Do you try to reach out at a tough volley, mishit or shank it, and either hit it into the net or give a 2nd opportunity,albeit and easier one, for your opponent to pass?

I personally think the 2nd scenario, can really really damage your confidence. We've seen it happen to Roddick vs. Federer several times. The first scenario can make your opponent feel more confident, but I think it saves you the stress of getting down on yourself.

Me personally, if I saw a passing shot hit and I knew it would take a miracle stretch for me to hit it, I just let it pass and regroup for the next point. I find that most of the time if I try to attempt those and either hit into the net or not hit a good enough volley, I get very frustrated and my concentration becomes lacking.

LeeD
10-28-2009, 03:31 PM
DEPENDS....
If you have fast twitch muscles, you go for it, and you might get lucky and/or make the opponent have to hit one more shot.
If you don't have it, maybe let it go, as going for it takes you too much expenditure of energy, so you won't be worth much on the next few points.
Better to save some for the next point.....unless it takes you little energy to lunge/dive/stretch, .....then it makes you feel like Superman!...:twisted:

rk_sports
10-28-2009, 03:45 PM
I would go option 2 .. you say about feeling down if you miss it badly.. I look at it the other way.. realistically point is gone but if you stab and manage to steal/get the point..voila :) .. and by doing that you're breaking down the opponent a little..

Vyse
10-28-2009, 03:47 PM
Go for it always, your opponent may make a mistake. He'd gain confidence ither way anyway. Just keep your mental game strong and you'll be good

LuckyR
10-28-2009, 03:49 PM
This is a no brainer, you always try for a shot that you think you can hit, even if it might be a poor shot. The real question is do you go for a passing shot you don't think you can hit (knowing that there is a small chance you might suprise yourself and hit the ball)? Also there is the psychological message that you are fighting for every conceivable shot.

Geezer Guy
10-28-2009, 05:35 PM
always, ALways, ALWAYS go for it!

You'll be surprised what you can get to if you try, and you'll be even more surprised at the lucky stabs that trickle over for a winner.

Nellie
10-28-2009, 05:38 PM
That's right - always go for the shot that is reachable. control your fate. It is much worse to let the ball drop in than to hit a ball that might go out. If you start thinking about whether to hit the ball, it is already past you. You are better off being agressive and controlling the point.

mtommer
10-28-2009, 05:43 PM
OP,

Why would you let any of your scenarios shake your confidence? The opponent hit a great ball. Good for them. Now, if it was a sitting duck that you missed, well, then it's understandable if you let your confidence get shaken a little.

Bungalo Bill
10-28-2009, 05:58 PM
Which is probably better for your mental game during the middle of a tight match?

Do you let the passing shot go by you, accept it for what it is and focus on the next point?

or

Do you try to reach out at a tough volley, mishit or shank it, and either hit it into the net or give a 2nd opportunity,albeit and easier one, for your opponent to pass?

I personally think the 2nd scenario, can really really damage your confidence. We've seen it happen to Roddick vs. Federer several times. The first scenario can make your opponent feel more confident, but I think it saves you the stress of getting down on yourself.

Me personally, if I saw a passing shot hit and I knew it would take a miracle stretch for me to hit it, I just let it pass and regroup for the next point. I find that most of the time if I try to attempt those and either hit into the net or not hit a good enough volley, I get very frustrated and my concentration becomes lacking.

Always go for it. If it passes it passes. If you hit it you hit it. Be aggressive at the net.

BullDogTennis
10-28-2009, 06:26 PM
heres my theory...there is NO (zero, 0, nada) chance you can win the point if you don't go for it...and who wants to lose wihtout trying......ALWAYS go for it...the only time i can think of not going for it is if its a deep lob that will physically exaust you....always go for the stab volley....

Cindysphinx
10-28-2009, 06:51 PM
When you're at net, things happen pretty fast. There's no time to think about what's within reach and what is inches too far away. Just go get it. Might even be a let cord, and if you have given up you won't be ready.

Notice how the pros handle balls hit to them that they know are going out, say a desperation lob that looks like it will land 5 feet wide. You know how they always spend the energy to go over to that ball anyway? That's 'cause you never know what might happen, and you need to be ready.

Bungalo Bill
10-28-2009, 07:12 PM
heres my theory...there is NO (zero, 0, nada) chance you can win the point if you don't go for it...and who wants to lose wihtout trying......ALWAYS go for it...the only time i can think of not going for it is if its a deep lob that will physically exaust you....always go for the stab volley....

Maybe if he is standing on one side of the court and the opponent is going to hit the bal DTL on the other side of the court, i would say he might not have a chance to get it. However, he can at least flinch his muscles like he tried right? ;)

ChrisCrocker
10-28-2009, 07:53 PM
if you go for it and even manage to get a racquet on it even if it goes in the net, the opponent might feel lucky that you didnt get it back and go for more on the next passing shot making a higher chance of error.

Bungalo Bill
10-28-2009, 08:11 PM
if you go for it and even manage to get a racquet on it even if it goes in the net, the opponent might feel lucky that you didnt get it back and go for more on the next passing shot making a higher chance of error.

Now there is some insight.

ubermeyer
10-28-2009, 08:28 PM
don't dive, but other than that go for every shot that you can

Marcard
10-28-2009, 09:36 PM
I Always go for those far shots. Most of the time when i play i find myself getting distracted more if i let it pass me because then i will usually think to myself that i could have gotten it.

GuyClinch
10-28-2009, 09:47 PM
Well in singles - go for it. Its a bit trickier in doubles though..

xFullCourtTenniSx
10-28-2009, 11:05 PM
Always go for it. If it passes it passes. If you hit it you hit it. Be aggressive at the net.

This is the kind of principles we should live by on the court. Even if you give your opponent an easy shot, they still have to get it into the court, and they still have to get it past you. Sure they'll probably make 99% of them, but you might get lucky and earn a free point. Nadal makes a living playing like this.

However, at the net, we can make some exceptions. If you're not 100% sure you can get to it, and you're not 100% sure that the ball will go in, you can let it go. If you're not 100% sure it will go in, but you're 100% sure you can get a clean racket on it, put it back in. If you're 100% sure you can get a racket on it, but 100% sure the ball will go out, drop that racket and hope the ball doesn't touch it. We wouldn't want your reflexes to put a racket on that ball by accident now would we? :) If you're not 100% sure the ball will go in and aren't sure you can get a racket on it, then might as well gamble on the chance the ball will go out. Though more often than not, close ones should still be fought for. It depends on your mentality really. Letting balls go by is probably the worst kind of mentality you can have. You're gambling and not fighting for everything. Roddick fights for everything against Federer, and he doesn't give up. He is pretty tough mentally (at least more than we give him credit for). Nadal has a similar kind of mentality, and it's gotten him very far. Blake doesn't really have this mentality (or at least when he gets a little down he'll be more submissive) and that's why Blake isn't on the same level as even Roddick. Roddick can go far in the majors, while Blake can't. Roddick is willing to fight for EVERYTHING if he has to. Blake isn't once he gets down on himself, which is pretty easy, especially in a 5 set match. This is the kind of mentality that turns gifted players into champions.

sh@de
10-29-2009, 12:05 AM
At the net you have to try and stop anything and everything from passing you. So I'd take option 2 any day.

topher.juan
10-29-2009, 01:22 AM
My confidence shakes when I realize I'm *not* going for the shots. If I'm not going for the shots the next changeover I put the towel over my head and tell myself that I *need* to go for them. You always go for the shots. I only let it pass if I think it's going out. If I go for it and miss, my confidence is increased or maintained knowing I'm still going for it, I'm still in this, I'm fighting. Arrrrrrghhhhh!
Also, think about this the other way. What if you're the opponent and you see your opponent (you) not going for the passes -- guess who's confidence is going to be boosted?

jserve
10-29-2009, 01:40 AM
Always go for it. Every ball you get back in play gives you another chance at winning the point. Even at the professional level they will still make an occasional mistake on ducks.

crash1929
10-29-2009, 05:46 AM
ever seen boris becker play? dive baby dive.

BMC9670
10-29-2009, 06:01 AM
I agree with ALWAYS going for it - make them hit another ball and you never know. You could also get lucky and hit an amazing drop/angle volley, thereby making your opponent less confident!

chess9
10-29-2009, 06:17 AM
For me this is entirely instinctive. After years of playing, I've found my instincts are right about 80% of the time. :) So, going for every ball does make sense. No one can afford to lose 20% of the points. On the other hand, one could argue that you will lose 50% of the 20% shots anyway. :) So, going on instincts may not be terribly awful...IF your instincts are good. The real problem is that once you get to 4.0 and above, particularly in doubles, the exchanges come too fast to let anything go by. I've hit many balls at the net that I should have let go because I simply reacted.

Kudos to the OP for a great thread.

-Robert

tennisdad65
10-29-2009, 08:23 AM
go for it:
1) You may frame it and it could dribble over :)
2) you could volley it into the netcord and it could dribble over :)
3) you could pop it up deep and your opponent could miss

or:
4) you could hit a fantastic once in a lifetime, off the shoelaces, lunging backhand volley, that goes shallow cross court, and spins away wickedly for a winner. A shot that you will remember for the rest of your life :)

In D Zone
10-29-2009, 08:42 AM
I feel that you are throwing in the towel too early without even trying.

If you see couple of the missed passing shot should show you where the opponent like to hit those shots when the next opportunity comes. Why take a stab at it.

If you get smack... you then know where to volley the next one (go for either the opposite side or volley the ball longer).

You cannot just let it go because of some pro got burned doing it. This is your time, your game and your opponent is not Federer.
MANO Y MANO! If you managed to figure out how to counter those shots - your confidence level will shift to the positive side! You got to try and it will ignite your confidence.


On the flip side of the coin......

I understand your point, you don't want that missed shot get into your head (kinda this is the only way to win it). There is that balance you need to do while in a match. Just keep that thought in the back burner and when time is right - it won't hurt not to try.
It also shows your opponent that you are ready (they will take notice).


Tennis matches are like puzzles. There is not text book or coaching that can prepare you for match play. Each shot is there for you to solve, knowing is good but not trying is bad.

MasturB
10-29-2009, 08:58 AM
For me this is entirely instinctive. After years of playing, I've found my instincts are right about 80% of the time. :) So, going for every ball does make sense. No one can afford to lose 20% of the points. On the other hand, one could argue that you will lose 50% of the 20% shots anyway. :) So, going on instincts may not be terribly awful...IF your instincts are good. The real problem is that once you get to 4.0 and above, particularly in doubles, the exchanges come too fast to let anything go by. I've hit many balls at the net that I should have let go because I simply reacted.

Kudos to the OP for a great thread.

-Robert

That was another one of my concerns. I'm relatively short (5'5), so some volleys that look "high" to me, I can't really tell that quickly if they're going long or are gonna fall in, so sometimes I unnecessarily take a stab at some of them.

I think some people are straying away from the scenario I laid out. In the middle of a heated exchange, with the score really really tight, your adrenaline sets in. You're just as likely to get very excited, as you are very angry. This is why I was bringing in the mental aspect into this. If you let a passing shot go, that probably would've taken an exceptional volley to get, you wouldn't be that angry at yourself. You just accept it for what it is, and move on to the next point.

However, if you do try to take a stab at it, and you miss it... I feel you're more prone to get down on yourself, than feel happy that you gave it a try. Sure in hindsight you can sit down and rethink it, but in the heat of the moment like that thousands of things are running through your mind including a bunch of second guessing.

Just like how there are moral victories in a loss, there can be mental victories on a loss point. Instead of continuously second guessing that volley that you missed, it'd be easier to just focus on the next serve or return.

It's like your name... a chess match. In chess, you can sacrifice some pieces so another one of your pieces can advance or move into a better position. I feel this is similar. Instead of trying to keep every piece on the board in this scenario (going after every shot), I'm simply throwing one away for the better of the rest of the game.

In D Zone
10-29-2009, 09:09 AM
If you watch some Fed tennis match against lower ranked opponent. Fed would use the same strategy/ tactic time and time again (this in the middle of a match), figuring out how to work on his shots. If he gets pass or lost the point, he lets it go but you can see he tried; this normally makes the match close. Fed continues to play and tries the same strategy /tactic again, this time going for a different tactic to win it. He'll do it three to four times in a match.

MasturB
10-29-2009, 09:15 AM
OP,

Why would you let any of your scenarios shake your confidence? The opponent hit a great ball. Good for them. Now, if it was a sitting duck that you missed, well, then it's understandable if you let your confidence get shaken a little.

It's one of those heated in the moment type of things. If you're "in the zone", you're completely focused. If you ATTEMPT at it and miss it, it's not as easy as saying "that was a great shot, nothing I can do about it". At that point in time, there's very little time for analyzing so your brain naturally & impulsively tries to come up with conclusions, and more times than not they're detrimental (second guessing, anger, confidence killers).

On the flip side, if you instinctively "feel" (keyword here) that it was going to be a good shot and you just let it go, its easier to just tip your cap off and move on to the next point.

MasturB
10-29-2009, 09:20 AM
If you watch some Fed tennis match against lower ranked opponent. Fed would use the same strategy/ tactic time and time again (this in the middle of a match), figuring out how to work on his shots. If he gets pass or lost the point, he lets it go but you can see he tried; this normally makes the match close. Fed continues to play and tries the same strategy /tactic again, this time going for a different tactic to win it. He'll do it three to four times in a match.

Here we have two scenarios:

A: Roger vs. Rafa, French Open Final 2008. Rafa was just TOO good. Rafa called his bluff at net every single time, and Fed just let EVERYTHING pass him.

B: Roger vs. Roddick, Australian 1/2 Final 2007. Roddick still was attempting to go after Fed's passes, but kept getting passed over again on 2nd tries or made errors on volley attempts.

Two similar outcomes, but different ways of getting there. Both scores were lopsided, but analyze the matches.

A: Roger actually was fine in that match. He wasn't shanking, he was actually hitting the ball cleanly on the ground and at net. Rafa just had every answer in the book for him. He was unbelievable that day. They had nice rallies that Federer won, but once again I don't think anyone was going to beat Rafa.

B: Roddick kept the "give it all and go after everything" approach, and that actually made things worsen throughout the rest of the match. He started going for broke on every forehand, lots of unforced errors.

fuzz nation
10-29-2009, 09:28 AM
My confidence shakes when I realize I'm *not* going for the shots. If I'm not going for the shots the next changeover I put the towel over my head and tell myself that I *need* to go for them. You always go for the shots. I only let it pass if I think it's going out. If I go for it and miss, my confidence is increased or maintained knowing I'm still going for it, I'm still in this, I'm fighting. Arrrrrrghhhhh!
Also, think about this the other way. What if you're the opponent and you see your opponent (you) not going for the passes -- guess who's confidence is going to be boosted?

Well put!

Being stretched to the margins of my abilities and prevailing is probably the biggest confidence booster I know.

When I'm flipping the "passive switch" and letting balls go, I know that I'm giving away some initiative and an opponent with a reasonable degree of awareness can pick up on that. My resignation in itself can be a big boost for an opponent in the same way that my yelling at myself for crappy play can tell the other guys loud 'n clear that I'm checking out, at least for a little while.

MasturB
10-29-2009, 09:38 AM
Well put!

Being stretched to the margins of my abilities and prevailing is probably the biggest confidence booster I know.

When I'm flipping the "passive switch" and letting balls go, I know that I'm giving away some initiative and an opponent with a reasonable degree of awareness can pick up on that. My resignation in itself can be a big boost for an opponent in the same way that my yelling at myself for crappy play can tell the other guys loud 'n clear that I'm checking out, at least for a little while.

It's a double edged sword.

If you throw everything you got, and miss it you're possibly if not very likely to get down on yourself. Whether that's in resignation for thinking your opponent is too good, or resignation that you just don't have it.

If you throw everything you got, and make it you feel like you're on cloud 9.

I'm playing the percentages here.

Look at it this way, if you feel your opponent is gaining confidence because they see you let a passing shot go by you, that means they're going to go for that same shot AGAIN, perhaps soon. This time though, you'll come to expect it and will have an answer for it. What can come out of this?

They're not convinced you can stop it, so they'll keep going for it, even if you respond with it and win points off it. Then YOU will have the momentum shift back to you, with your opponent losing more confidence than he gained from that one earlier passing shot.

-----
If you feel your opponent is gaining confidence because they see you tried to hit a response to their passing shot and missed (whether you missed entirely, shanked, or let them pass you on the 2nd try) What can come out of this?

Not only will your opponent feel like he's got you right where he wants you, but its very possible you yourself will feel your opponent has got you right where he wants you.

This is my defense/reasoning for letting the ball just go by you sometimes. Because it's easier for YOU to bounce back and regroup from a passing shot you "feel" was just too good. Easier to concentrate on the next serve/return.

JRstriker12
10-29-2009, 09:56 AM
Here we have two scenarios:

A: Roger vs. Rafa, French Open Final 2008. Rafa was just TOO good. Rafa called his bluff at net every single time, and Fed just let EVERYTHING pass him.

B: Roger vs. Roddick, Australian 1/2 Final 2007. Roddick still was attempting to go after Fed's passes, but kept getting passed over again on 2nd tries or made errors on volley attempts.

Two similar outcomes, but different ways of getting there. Both scores were lopsided, but analyze the matches.

A: Roger actually was fine in that match. He wasn't shanking, he was actually hitting the ball cleanly on the ground and at net. Rafa just had every answer in the book for him. He was unbelievable that day. They had nice rallies that Federer won, but once again I don't think anyone was going to beat Rafa.

B: Roddick kept the "give it all and go after everything" approach, and that actually made things worsen throughout the rest of the match. He started going for broke on every forehand, lots of unforced errors.

A: If Rafa was too good, I doubt Fed "let" everything pass him. If he knew he didn't a have a play on the ball then there's nothing you can do. That's much different that knowing you have a "slight" chance of making contact and not going for it.

BTW - since you used Rafa in your example and Rafa beat Fed that day - since when have you ever seen Rafa, NOT go for it when he has a chance on the ball??? Rafa does not fold up and go home. He is tenacious and will go for it even if he misses. That is one of his weapons and one of the reasons why Fed loses to Rafa.

B. Yes Roddick attempted to get a racket on the ball and got passed, but the fault here isn't that he tried and missed, the fault here were Roddick's tactics and his lack of ability to execute those tactics. Any lack of confidence here does not come from simply trying and missing, it's from being dominated by a superior opponent who could pass him all day.

In this "heated" exchange that you used as an example, you are really sending you opponent the wrong message. If I know my opponent is going to quit and go passive when things get tight, then I figure I've got him mentally beat and THAT boosts MY confidence.

The choice between 1."If I stand here it's going to be a winner" and 2."I have a chance to play the ball, but it's going to be a tough shot to get back." Then I would choose #2 because as long as you have some type of play on the ball, you always have a chance to keep the ball in play and win the point.

How fragile is your confidence if you get down on yourself for missing a shot when you are in a bad situation? Face it, in tennis, you are going to miss. In the rec levels, most points come off of errors. Missing an easy sitter is one thing, but missing a shot where your opponent basically forces you to make an error should not crush your fighting spirit.

I'd also point out that most players do not have the option of being Federer and just playing rope-a-dope, then turning it up a notch when needed.

chess9
10-29-2009, 11:01 AM
That was another one of my concerns. I'm relatively short (5'5), so some volleys that look "high" to me, I can't really tell that quickly if they're going long or are gonna fall in, so sometimes I unnecessarily take a stab at some of them.

I think some people are straying away from the scenario I laid out. In the middle of a heated exchange, with the score really really tight, your adrenaline sets in. You're just as likely to get very excited, as you are very angry. This is why I was bringing in the mental aspect into this. If you let a passing shot go, that probably would've taken an exceptional volley to get, you wouldn't be that angry at yourself. You just accept it for what it is, and move on to the next point.

However, if you do try to take a stab at it, and you miss it... I feel you're more prone to get down on yourself, than feel happy that you gave it a try. Sure in hindsight you can sit down and rethink it, but in the heat of the moment like that thousands of things are running through your mind including a bunch of second guessing.

Just like how there are moral victories in a loss, there can be mental victories on a loss point. Instead of continuously second guessing that volley that you missed, it'd be easier to just focus on the next serve or return.

It's like your name... a chess match. In chess, you can sacrifice some pieces so another one of your pieces can advance or move into a better position. I feel this is similar. Instead of trying to keep every piece on the board in this scenario (going after every shot), I'm simply throwing one away for the better of the rest of the game.

Rule Number One for Gentlemen's Tennis: DO NOT GET ANGRY!

If you get angry or even dispirited on one point, you've entered the mindset of the loser. Watch the top doubles teams! They will miss a point and then often do something positive, like a fist pump or knuckle bump. They are basically saying, MOVE ON, but good try! And, btw, I've played a lot of tournament chess, and I can tell you most GMs do get a bit upset if they seriously blunder, but for the most part they are cooler than a PENGUIN on January 1 in the Antarctic. That should be YOU.

In a rapid exchange, luck plays a large part. So, simply do your best, and as BB says, hit the balls back.

After the match, reprise what you did right and what you did wrong. Gather up your weaknesses and strengths and prepare for the next match.

Good luck, mate!

-Robert

MasturB
10-29-2009, 11:16 AM
Rule Number One for Gentlemen's Tennis: DO NOT GET ANGRY!

If you get angry or even dispirited on one point, you've entered the mindset of the loser. Watch the top doubles teams! They will miss a point and then often do something positive, like a fist pump or knuckle bump. They are basically saying, MOVE ON, but good try! And, btw, I've played a lot of tournament chess, and I can tell you most GMs do get a bit upset if they seriously blunder, but for the most part they are cooler than a PENGUIN on January 1 in the Antarctic. That should be YOU.

In a rapid exchange, luck plays a large part. So, simply do your best, and as BB says, hit the balls back.

After the match, reprise what you did right and what you did wrong. Gather up your weaknesses and strengths and prepare for the next match.

Good luck, mate!

-Robert

We should play chess online sometime. It's been a while, but my former math teacher in high school is a U.S. Chess Federation Master, knew everything there is about chess. All the defenses, could think 20+ moves ahead of me. Could beat me just by calling out the numbers, without looking at the grid. Our school consistently won Chess tournaments everywhere.

Geezer Guy
10-29-2009, 12:48 PM
MasterB. Everyone here is telling you to go for every shot you think will be in. You're coming back with reason after reason of NOT attempting to put balls back into play. If missing a tough volley will really shake your confidence that much, imagine what losing a match might do. Maybe you better just stay home.

(My point is, get out there and play. Try your hardest on every point, and let the chips fall where they may. If you miss a shot it isn't the end of the world.)

Blake0
10-29-2009, 01:20 PM
Ever seen federer vs nadal especially at AO 2009..a couple great passing shots from nadal on the dead run, except federer barely got to them at full stretch and it almost dinked back in and won points.

Go for it, you might somehow win the point.

MasturB
10-29-2009, 08:10 PM
MasterB. Everyone here is telling you to go for every shot you think will be in. You're coming back with reason after reason of NOT attempting to put balls back into play. If missing a tough volley will really shake your confidence that much, imagine what losing a match might do. Maybe you better just stay home.

(My point is, get out there and play. Try your hardest on every point, and let the chips fall where they may. If you miss a shot it isn't the end of the world.)

Actually it has more to do with the fact that I have a bad temper. I don't cuss like Mac, but I do get pretty angry at myself.

Nothing I can do to change it, I've tried but it's just apart of me. Just like Safin smashing rackets or Nadal fist pumping and saying vamos down 0-5 in a set. My firey attitude helps me when I'm down, but more dangerously can make me lose focus sometime. It's apart of me, always has been, passed on from my parents.

Geezer Guy
10-29-2009, 08:25 PM
Actually it has more to do with the fact that I have a bad temper. I don't cuss like Mac, but I do get pretty angry at myself.

Nothing I can do to change it, I've tried but it's just apart of me. Just like Safin smashing rackets or Nadal fist pumping and saying vamos down 0-5 in a set. My firey attitude helps me when I'm down, but more dangerously can make me lose focus sometime. It's apart of me, always has been, passed on from my parents.

OK. Sounds like it's not your fault and that there's absolutely nothing you can do about it.

Good enough for me. Carry on.

MayDay
10-29-2009, 09:56 PM
Confidence positive items:
hot girlfriend, money in the bank, fast car, big house...

...and go for it.

Or just have a total blank state of mind and forget about confidence level. Focus only on the immediate action. Be the machine. Lendl style.

MayDay
10-29-2009, 10:45 PM
Oops, didn't catch the part regarding your "fire"... ...if would be great if you can use that excuse for everything in life.

"Sorry I blew up and crap faced everyone during the board meeting, it's my parent's fault." :p

makinao
10-29-2009, 11:47 PM
I personally think the 2nd scenario, can really really damage your confidence. We've seen it happen to Roddick vs. Federer several times. The first scenario can make your opponent feel more confident, but I think it saves you the stress of getting down on yourself.
Tennis is all about getting the ball over the net inside the lines one more time than your opponent. Going for a difficult shot under pressure and getting it in, no matter what happens next, sends a message to your opponent that you will take nothing for granted. I have turned around more than a few matches in this fashion, just as I have lost to people who never gave up on hopeless points. So I can't imagine why you feel that trying your best to get the ball back will "damage your confidence", and that letting go will allow you to "regroup". No offense intended, but letting points go like what you are suggesting sounds like tanking to me.

fuzz nation
10-30-2009, 06:26 AM
Rule Number One for Gentlemen's Tennis: DO NOT GET ANGRY!

If you get angry or even dispirited on one point, you've entered the mindset of the loser. Watch the top doubles teams! They will miss a point and then often do something positive, like a fist pump or knuckle bump. They are basically saying, MOVE ON, but good try! And, btw, I've played a lot of tournament chess, and I can tell you most GMs do get a bit upset if they seriously blunder, but for the most part they are cooler than a PENGUIN on January 1 in the Antarctic. That should be YOU.


-Robert

Isn't that when the penguins are working on their tans?

Sorry Robert, couldn't resist!

Great call on the anger management, though. Nothing but a distraction that prevents a player from concentrating on what they need to do.

Spring break in Antarctica anyone?

xFullCourtTenniSx
10-30-2009, 12:30 PM
go for it:
1) You may frame it and it could dribble over :)
2) you could volley it into the netcord and it could dribble over :)
3) you could pop it up deep and your opponent could miss

or:
4) you could hit a fantastic once in a lifetime, off the shoelaces, lunging backhand volley, that goes shallow cross court, and spins away wickedly for a winner. A shot that you will remember for the rest of your life :)

I like my options here!

And option #4 is the one that usually comes up for me. XD

Either the sharp angled volley, the dead drop volley, or the full stretch half volley off a ball that technically passed me already (so behind the back?) that turns into either a perfect angled half volley, a perfectly hit half volley drop shot, or a combination of the two.

Yeah... That last one I've pulled off at least 3 times in my life, and every time I've left my opponent stunned that I could get that big service return back as a perfectly hit winner. Never thought the shot was possible till I hit it (then hit it again and again as it came naturally to me). I think I might've pulled it off twice in one set before. :)

I could've let it go and lost the point and felt demoralized by the great shot the opponent hit, but I went for it and I was rewarded with a great shot that totally demoralized and denied my opponent as well as greatly boosting my confidence.

Oh, and I'd like to add that letting these shots go by, will demoralize you worse than missing these shots because you constantly see all these passing shots fly clean past you. You'll end up reducing the amount of net you can cover (because you become less confident in your abilities) and be far more submissive at the net, which means you'll get killed.

If you're even having these doubts and thinking stuff like this, you should avoid playing the net. You're clearly not up to the task.

MasturB
10-30-2009, 10:09 PM
If you're even having these doubts and thinking stuff like this, you should avoid playing the net. You're clearly not up to the task.

Actually, I'm smooth at the net, mostly reliable. It's that when I miss one, I feel like I should make them all.

xFullCourtTenniSx
10-30-2009, 11:25 PM
Actually, I'm smooth at the net, mostly reliable. It's that when I miss one, I feel like I should make them all.

Same here. It was my best weapon until I started thinking the way you did. I started off thinking "get a racket on everything unless it's going out". Then on some faster more difficult balls, I started praying they'd go out. They often didn't, and my confidence in my net play and coverage diminished until eventually I was there only as a bluff or to kill those VERY weak volleys back that were right at me. Once I got some of that aggressive mentality back to go for every ball that might go in, I played better at the net. Now it's just a matter of practicing it again and getting the feel and instinct back.

I'm saying, you can play really well at the net naturally, but if you don't have the right mentality, you're beating yourself up there and are wasting your time. I have/had some incredible volleys and half volleys (before I lost my confidence) and it was a big asset in doubles. But you need the right mentality.

I feel like I should make EVERY shot in, but I'm human and will make some errors. Granted each error ****es me off immensely, but once I control my emotions, it's steamroll city. The fact is you just have to make more than you miss. That's it. And if you're going to lose the point anyways, you have nothing to lose, so fight for it! Chances don't come up by themselves, you have to work for them!

VaBeachTennis
10-31-2009, 02:03 PM
Which is probably better for your mental game during the middle of a tight match?

Do you let the passing shot go by you, accept it for what it is and focus on the next point?

or

Do you try to reach out at a tough volley, mishit or shank it, and either hit it into the net or give a 2nd opportunity,albeit and easier one, for your opponent to pass?

I personally think the 2nd scenario, can really really damage your confidence. We've seen it happen to Roddick vs. Federer several times. The first scenario can make your opponent feel more confident, but I think it saves you the stress of getting down on yourself.

Me personally, if I saw a passing shot hit and I knew it would take a miracle stretch for me to hit it, I just let it pass and regroup for the next point. I find that most of the time if I try to attempt those and either hit into the net or not hit a good enough volley, I get very frustrated and my concentration becomes lacking.


I try to go for every ball (within reason) to let my opponent know that he's going to have to really hit a good shot to hit an outright winner. My belief is that it puts more pressure on my opponent........... It also doesn't phase me if I get "passed" or if my opponent hits an outright winner, it makes more more competitive and it somewhat amuses me that I just got burned.

Ken Honecker
10-31-2009, 11:18 PM
Every now and then the slob on the other side of the net and will hit a lucky shot while I am way out of position, ie still trying to scrabble over the fence after I vaulted it to chase down a serious topspin lob or 3 courts over from returning a ball with major english on it but otherwise I go for anything within sight. Hey it makes you faster and like I tell the young kids I play softball with it will surprise you what you can run down if you just pin your ears back and go for it.