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View Full Version : Prefer to play people who hit with pace


JRstriker12
11-10-2009, 07:51 AM
I'm playing in a "4.0" league at a local club - non-USTA. In my last few matches I've had two opponents tell me that they prefer to play someone like me who hits with pace - in the middle of a match (I won both matches - one I just got by in 3 sets and the other timed out but I was up in game score).

I find that really strange because then I'm tempted to take pace off the ball and junk it up since I know that don't like it.

Also, it's not like I'm killing the ball - I'm a 3.5 so I can hit a fairly clean shot (on occasion...when the planets align), but I'm NOT cranking winners.

So is there a point where hitting a clean ball is counter productive? I can mix it up a bit, but I'm not inclined to hit slice on every ball.

I can see why dudes who play with alot of spins or just hit consitently deep without a lot of pace win a lot of matches. Seems like at my level, trying to kill the ball on most shots won't get you very far.

raiden031
11-10-2009, 08:10 AM
I get told the same thing all the time. It could be either because they enjoy the flow of the match more (win or lose) because there's more rhythm, or simply they have an easier time winning against that style of game because maybe their footwork isn't good enough to handle junk balls.

My philosophy is to play the game in the style that is most fun for me, while also helping me to reach my goals. I recently joined a friend in a lesson with a 5.0 adult tournament player. I asked him what it would take for me to reach 4.5. He told me that I have good strokes and skills, and that I should use that to my advantage and be aggressive with them. In other words my skills are too good to resort to conservative shots. I just gotta keep practicing and refining and I'll get there.

JRstriker12
11-10-2009, 08:35 AM
I get told the same thing all the time. It could be either because they enjoy the flow of the match more (win or lose) because there's more rhythm, or simply they have an easier time winning against that style of game because maybe their footwork isn't good enough to handle junk balls.

My philosophy is to play the game in the style that is most fun for me, while also helping me to reach my goals. I recently joined a friend in a lesson with a 5.0 adult tournament player. I asked him what it would take for me to reach 4.5. He told me that I have good strokes and skills, and that I should use that to my advantage and be aggressive with them. In other words my skills are too good to resort to conservative shots. I just gotta keep practicing and refining and I'll get there.

Yeah - the one guy said he liked it beacuse he could develop a rhythm in the match and the other guy said it was more enjoyable to play that type of match. The second guy also liked to feed off my pace.

EKnee08
11-10-2009, 09:01 AM
Yeah - the one guy said he liked it beacuse he could develop a rhythm in the match and the other guy said it was more enjoyable to play that type of match. The second guy also liked to feed off my pace.
some players are counterpunchers and have trouble generating their own pace and so they feed off yours as well as have an easier time getting in a ryhtmw.

dbusiness
11-10-2009, 09:07 AM
It depends what you want to accomplish. If you are trying to build your consistently on shots hit with pace while running back and forth you will need to hit consistent deep shots with some pace.

If your looking to win the match and you have the skills you will mix it up but still play your game hitting higher percentage shots.

I prefer to mix it up and try to keep someone from developing a good rhythm by varying the height of the ball over the net, pace, spins and slices. The problem that occurs is that less experienced players will occasionally hit an erratic shot.

The other thing is some people hit dinkers, and try to bring you into the net when they notice you don't have confidence at the net or don't move forward into the court well.

zapvor
11-10-2009, 09:26 AM
JRstriker is not 3.5. 2.5 at best. i hit with him i know

JRstriker12
11-10-2009, 09:31 AM
JRstriker is not 3.5. 2.5 at best. i hit with him i know

LOL! Don't get me started about out ladder match.... ;)

zapvor
11-10-2009, 09:34 AM
lol what ladder match? you were the one that didnt want to play for the ladder :P

JRstriker12
11-10-2009, 09:38 AM
lol what ladder match? you were the one that didnt want to play for the ladder :P

Yes - LOL!!!!

zapvor
11-10-2009, 10:36 AM
Yes - LOL!!!!

lol to go back on topic i prefer people who hit with pace too since i cant generate my own:(

momtogrif
11-10-2009, 10:49 AM
Well, I used to play in a ladies 3.5 league and I got frustrated b/c I was constantly losing! I like to just go out and hit the ball, not play out points and I realized that I hate doubles and much prefer singles. People at the club would see me out hitting with my dh and ask me to join their teams and I keep turning them down b/c I truly hate the way those ladies hit. There is no pace, it's all cheap shots and high balls. I LOVE pace and I hit with pace but it's hard to hit with pace when you're getting lobbed every other shot!

Anyway, I totally understand. Quite frankly, I am working on becoming a better hitting partner for my 11 year old and I let my husband work me around the court(he's a solid 4.5 player) for my fitness and for mastering angle and finesse shots. I'm not sure if I'll ever play league again.

tfm1973
11-10-2009, 10:54 AM
this is a lot like saying, "i prefer to play with someone who will feed me balls waist high with good pace and only to my forehand side because i'm not good enough to generate my own pace and my footwork stinks."

zapvor
11-10-2009, 10:59 AM
you mean me tfm?

LeeD
11-10-2009, 11:05 AM
EVERYONE wants to hit and play with people who hit sorta hard, sorta flat, sorta up the middle. Just makes you play better.
But smart WINNERS like to mix up the batch, throw in sliced dink angles, soft moons well placed deep and where you don't want it, and also hit hard and flat too......
Variety makes you a good player. Your ability to provide it and also your ability to handle it.
We should all learn every shot, so we can employ what we want when we want it.

Topaz
11-10-2009, 11:06 AM
So is there a point where hitting a clean ball is counter productive? I can mix it up a bit, but I'm not inclined to hit slice on every ball.

.

Hitting a clean ball is never counter productive...but you can hit a clean flat ball, a clean slice, a clean lob, etc etc.

Like others have said, many people at our level cannot produce their own pace without sacrificing control. When you give them that pace, they are happy, and don't have to work as hard. It depends on whether you want to win by sticking with your strengths (hitting with pace) or by picking on their weakness (inability to create their own pace).

JRstriker12
11-10-2009, 11:18 AM
this is a lot like saying, "i prefer to play with someone who will feed me balls waist high with good pace and only to my forehand side because i'm not good enough to generate my own pace and my footwork stinks."

Spot on TFM -

Player #1 played with a superlight oversize, and was great at redirecting pace, but couldn't generate his own on most shots.

Player #2 had good strokes, hit the ball a ton, but was rusty with his footwork. He's just coming back into the game and admited he gets impatient with dinkers/junk ballers.

JRstriker12
11-10-2009, 11:21 AM
Hitting a clean ball is never counter productive...but you can hit a clean flat ball, a clean slice, a clean lob, etc etc.

Like others have said, many people at our level cannot produce their own pace without sacrificing control. When you give them that pace, they are happy, and don't have to work as hard. It depends on whether you want to win by sticking with your strengths (hitting with pace) or by picking on their weakness (inability to create their own pace).

Honestly, I've done a bit of both depending on the player. If I see someone that is hurting me with my own pace - I'll switch to plab B - I'll hit deep, but try more spin and less pace, and maybe throw in some slice for good measure.

If they are doing okay with my pace, but I can still gain the upper hand - I stick to plan A.

JRstriker12
11-10-2009, 11:28 AM
Well, I used to play in a ladies 3.5 league and I got frustrated b/c I was constantly losing! I like to just go out and hit the ball, not play out points and I realized that I hate doubles and much prefer singles. People at the club would see me out hitting with my dh and ask me to join their teams and I keep turning them down b/c I truly hate the way those ladies hit. There is no pace, it's all cheap shots and high balls. I LOVE pace and I hit with pace but it's hard to hit with pace when you're getting lobbed every other shot!

Anyway, I totally understand. Quite frankly, I am working on becoming a better hitting partner for my 11 year old and I let my husband work me around the court(he's a solid 4.5 player) for my fitness and for mastering angle and finesse shots. I'm not sure if I'll ever play league again.

BTW- feel you on doubles sometime. I prefer singles, but dubs with the right partner can be rewarding.

I know losing can be frustrating, but I'd encourage anyone to stick to leagues as playing against frustrating players and learning to beat them can make you a better player.

For example - If I can hit my overhead well, lob machines are going to have a problem playing against me.

Players who can crush paceless balls and who aren't bothered by junk are dangerous as if you give them this type of ball, they will eat it up.

IMHO - there are no such thing as cheap shots, just shots you don't like. I've found that I've become a better player by hitting against people who give me shots I don't like. - that was kind of the center of my question - do you give them the shots they say the like (pace) or feed them stuff they don't like?

dafox
11-10-2009, 02:45 PM
JR is a 2.5 player; get on the courts and practice and stop posting on a discussion board...

Sup2Dresq
11-10-2009, 02:47 PM
I'm playing in a "4.0" league at a local club - non-USTA. In my last few matches I've had two opponents tell me that they prefer to play someone like me who hits with pace - in the middle of a match (I won both matches - one I just got by in 3 sets and the other timed out but I was up in game score).

I find that really strange because then I'm tempted to take pace off the ball and junk it up since I know that don't like it.

Also, it's not like I'm killing the ball - I'm a 3.5 so I can hit a fairly clean shot (on occasion...when the planets align), but I'm NOT cranking winners.

So is there a point where hitting a clean ball is counter productive? I can mix it up a bit, but I'm not inclined to hit slice on every ball.

I can see why dudes who play with alot of spins or just hit consitently deep without a lot of pace win a lot of matches. Seems like at my level, trying to kill the ball on most shots won't get you very far.

It doesn't help when you don't hit it deep. Also doesn't help when you don't play the right shot (especially in the middle of the court).

Keep on rocking. Colt 45.

See you Thursday.

apor
11-10-2009, 03:08 PM
I prefer to hit with people who hit with pace b/c I can reply with more pace. While I can add pace to a dink/lob/etc, I find that I mis-time my swing more often than with balls coming in with some speed.
That said, I just like hitting, period.

Cindysphinx
11-10-2009, 03:21 PM
I'm playing in a "4.0" league at a local club - non-USTA. In my last few matches I've had two opponents tell me that they prefer to play someone like me who hits with pace - in the middle of a match (I won both matches - one I just got by in 3 sets and the other timed out but I was up in game score).

I find that really strange because then I'm tempted to take pace off the ball and junk it up since I know that don't like it.

Also, it's not like I'm killing the ball - I'm a 3.5 so I can hit a fairly clean shot (on occasion...when the planets align), but I'm NOT cranking winners.

So is there a point where hitting a clean ball is counter productive? I can mix it up a bit, but I'm not inclined to hit slice on every ball.

I can see why dudes who play with alot of spins or just hit consitently deep without a lot of pace win a lot of matches. Seems like at my level, trying to kill the ball on most shots won't get you very far.

I come at this from a doubles perspective (and I'm a chick), so keep that in mind.

Is there a point where hitting a ball with a lot of pace (which you call a "clean ball") is counterproductive? I am starting to think the answer is yes.

I am finding in doubles that there are a LOT of people out there who feed off of pace. They make more groundstroke errors if they have less pace. And most curious, they volley like crap when the ball doesn't have pace.

I am trying trying trying to remember this when I play. A lot of times the better passing shot is the one with the most topspin you can muster, at the expense of pace. A lot of times the better return is *anything* other than a FH drive right into their wheelhouse.

I am trying to get much more crafty in how I hit, and it is paying off. Thank goodness, because I was struggling mightily with trying to hit ever ball hard and finding this seemed to bother none of my opponents.

I do a drill class where you aren't allowed to hit the same return twice in a row, and it has really helped build my confidence to mix up my shots more.

Vyse
11-10-2009, 03:28 PM
No pace is a killer. I have won my mathces against people without pace but one of these matches was dangerously close. Paceless people bring you on the brink of quitting the match. It gets that bad in my opinion. You go down to their level and, lose confidence. You just have to be patient and the score will soon go your favor. And no, youll never become more than a 4.5 player if you decide to quit hitting with pace all the time.

JHBKLYN
11-10-2009, 08:33 PM
this is a lot like saying, "i prefer to play with someone who will feed me balls waist high with good pace and only to my forehand side because i'm not good enough to generate my own pace and my footwork stinks."

That's funny! The ones that can't beat junkballers usually has the excuse that the opponent wasn't hitting with pace and that's why they lost. I know because I've used that excuse a couple of times myself! Of course, when they meet someone who hits with pace and lose, they'll say why are they playing at this level!!!!

JRstriker12
11-11-2009, 07:17 AM
It doesn't help when you don't hit it deep. Also doesn't help when you don't play the right shot (especially in the middle of the court).

Keep on rocking. Colt 45.

See you Thursday.

Yes - must keep it deep and outside the "box."

Colt .45 - smooth- kinda like my game ;)

JackB1
11-11-2009, 07:22 AM
This is just like how in baseball, some player prefer to hit off a pitcher that throws hard as opposed to a junkballer. I am always amazed and how some people will smash a paddy-cake 2nd serve into the net, because they cant handle a really slow pace.

If your opponent doesn't like balls without pace, it makes sense to mix it up. Test him early to see what he likes and doesn't like.

Tennisman912
11-11-2009, 11:52 AM
Very well said tfm1973. It seems everyone prefers pace up to a certain level up to where it doesn’t matter. This is for exactly the reason you mention. They are too lazy with their footwork to get in position and they don’t have the timing to consistently create their own pace, thus they like it when someone does the heavy lifting for them. It is much easier to create pace (the illusion that that will help them win) when given pace. Every level up to and including 4.5 this bears out in my experience. Even a lollipop slow kicker will work against those 4.5s who like to overhit and is good for a usual free point if used intelligently as well as every one below who tries to kill the slow moving serve. Wild swings and framorama begins. It is less effective from 5.0+ plus because they can generate their own pace and have much sounder footwork the majority of the time.

This is exactly the reason that old guy beats all the young guns on clay consistently. He/she just keeps things in the court and deep until his opponent self-destructs by trying to kill the ball.

I would also agree with Cindy's comments as there is such a thing as too much of a good thing (i.e. pace). Knowing when to use pace and when not too is a very valuable skill, especially in doubles.

Good tennis

TM

zapvor
11-13-2009, 07:17 AM
JR is a 2.5 player; get on the courts and practice and stop posting on a discussion board...

he plays quite a bit actually. and hes not 2.5

EKnee08
11-13-2009, 07:55 AM
I'm playing in a "4.0" league at a local club - non-USTA. In my last few matches I've had two opponents tell me that they prefer to play someone like me who hits with pace - in the middle of a match (I won both matches - one I just got by in 3 sets and the other timed out but I was up in game score).

I find that really strange because then I'm tempted to take pace off the ball and junk it up since I know that don't like it.

Also, it's not like I'm killing the ball - I'm a 3.5 so I can hit a fairly clean shot (on occasion...when the planets align), but I'm NOT cranking winners.

So is there a point where hitting a clean ball is counter productive? I can mix it up a bit, but I'm not inclined to hit slice on every ball.

I can see why dudes who play with alot of spins or just hit consitently deep without a lot of pace win a lot of matches. Seems like at my level, trying to kill the ball on most shots won't get you very far.

I am in a drill and play since I don't get to play much anymore. One of the guys has an unorthodox style-hits a two hander off both sides relatively flat. He moves extremely well and is very fit and gets to a lot of balls. He is very consistent at his level (3.5 skilled level but 4.0 match level) and keeps the ball in play. However, he can not generate his own pace and he can not hit a consistent ball or finish off points but has a nice drop shot. Sometimes his balls land short especially when you force the action, sometimes deeper. If you do not hit with pace, he can hit a deep ball. He has no volley at all. However, he beats alot of strong 4.0s especially on clay because he can keep the ball in play.

He is a smart player and I give him credit. He admits that against better players as well as players at his skill level, the best tactic for him is not to hit a clean ball and not give his opponet a rythme. He knows he can't finish a point and he relies on the other guy making foolish mistakes and getting pushed out of their comfort zone.

No one likes to play him because it is not fun but you have to tip your hat to him because he knows what he can and can't do and until his game improves this is what he has to work with. I should point out that I am impressed with his athletic ability and how fast he has developed. (he has only played for 2 years)

To become a beter player, you have to learn how to deal with this. It is part of the learing curve.
Admitedly, I have had some trouble and frustration with him in my group as I try to come to a grip with and compromise my game going forward due to chronic knee issues. I had tried to adjust my footwork, technique and shot selection due to my injuries. I had tried to hit the wrong shot at the wrong time and to finish off points too quickly. Before the injuries I would have crushed him... but that was then.

However, last night at the suggestion of the instructor, I changed my mentality and went back to just focusing on the ball, my technique and to hit a heavy topspin ball off both sides and to hit out and generate my own pace, work the point and just finish the points, period! I played 100 times better. I adjusted and wiped him out by the end of the night.

It may not be fun at first, but it is a learning process and once you embrace the challenge and come to grips with the style, it will provide satisfaction and be fun. It will make you a better player.

fruitytennis1
11-13-2009, 09:24 AM
If your into improving continue with hitting a clean ball. To me a paceless ball is a sitter even if its on the baseline.