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SlapChop
11-11-2009, 07:12 AM
What do you think the best way to improve would be? I pretty much need to get my whole game up. I know mainly I just need to spend more time hitting tennis balls with people but I am wondering if I should find a trainer or coach to speed my improvement. I really just want to become more consistent and people to go long in a rally without making some dumb mistake. I would also like to develop a consistent serve. I think at this point overall consistency is really what I would like to build. I have been making alot of improvements the last month but seem to have kind of stalled.

LeeD
11-11-2009, 07:18 AM
The best way to improve now, besides just playing and hitting 4 times a week, 3 hours a day, would be to adopt some superstar's body, hopefully 6'5", get yourself 18 years old with your brains, and play/hit 4 times a week, 3 hours a day.
Watch vids of players your overall size and emulate.

SlapChop
11-11-2009, 07:31 AM
I am in good shape. I am 28 and 6'2" and about 190# . I have some decent fundamentals but I just need consistency. I play 3 to 4 times a week but for only an hour at a time, work and family will really cut down on tennis time. What really bothers me is that one day I'll play very good then the next time I'll just make tons of stupid mistakes.

mike53
11-11-2009, 07:32 AM
What do you think the best way to improve would be? I pretty much need to get my whole game up. I know mainly I just need to spend more time hitting tennis balls with people but I am wondering if I should find a trainer or coach to speed my improvement. I really just want to become more consistent and people to go long in a rally without making some dumb mistake. I would also like to develop a consistent serve. I think at this point overall consistency is really what I would like to build. I have been making alot of improvements the last month but seem to have kind of stalled.

Practice your serve. Get yourself a couple hundred balls and serve them from one side of the court to the other. Gather them up and serve them back. Set a goal like 300, 500, 700 per day. Set up targets on the service line using the orange plastic cones you can buy anywhere and practice knocking them down.

Geezer Guy
11-11-2009, 07:32 AM
I'd say, spend a bit of time shoring up your weaknesses so that you won't make as many unforced errors. You don't need to have GREAT shots, but they should be dependable. Once your defense has improved, pick the best part of your game and work on that. That will be your new offense. Your new game plan will be that when your opponent hits the ball to anything except your new weapon, you'll be able to get it back dependably. But, when you get the shot you like - your new weapon - you'll punish that ball and either hit a winner, draw an error, or get something coming back so lame that you can easily put it away.

Geezer Guy
11-11-2009, 07:37 AM
I am in good shape. I am 28 and 6'2" and about 190# . I have some decent fundamentals but I just need consistency. ...

Good info. If you're athletic with half-way decent hand-eye coordination and movement, you'll be out of the 3.0 range in no time anyway. However, if you want to maximize your potential I'd suggest you get some good training and instruction to help you build good habits and solid strokes. I'm assuming you're fairly new to tennis.

The comments in my previous post still apply, though.

SlapChop
11-11-2009, 07:38 AM
Practice your serve. Get yourself a couple hundred balls and serve them from one side of the court to the other. Gather them up and serve them back. Set a goal like 300, 500, 700 per day. Set up targets on the service line using the orange plastic cones you can buy anywhere and practice knocking them down.

I did buy about 60 balls and I have started doing this serving exercise, this really made me consistent in getting serves to land in. My serve is the strongest part of my game aside from being at the net in doubles.

I really like the idea of developing at least one very consistent weapon. Right now it seems like anytime I try to really drive a winner I loose all accuracy.

wihamilton
11-11-2009, 07:40 AM
Focus on FOOTWORK!

LeeD
11-11-2009, 07:40 AM
SC....
First of all, the process of getting good at any sport is ups and DOWNS! You never advance at a steady rate, you need to improve slightly at some aspect and then fall apart when you look at the overall. That is progress, haven't you ever gotten good in sports?
Second, if you insist on putting your family and real life ahead of tennis, practice one hour a day, you will NEVER get above 3.5. Put your time where your interests lay. Do you think it's EASY to get good in sports?
At your size, you can hit really hard, but control to hit hard and IN is always going to be a problem. So adopt SW grips and swing hard with lots of topspin.
As for working on serves mostly. Not a bad idea, the rest of your game will steadily go downhill while your serve improves.

SlapChop
11-11-2009, 07:40 AM
I took a couple lessons when I was like 12 but never really took tennis seriously, I only played around with friends on rare occasions. I have really just started playing consistently in September.

SlapChop
11-11-2009, 07:45 AM
SC....
First of all, the process of getting good at any sport is ups and DOWNS! You never advance at a steady rate, you need to improve slightly at some aspect and then fall apart when you look at the overall. That is progress, haven't you ever gotten good in sports?
Second, if you insist on putting your family and real life ahead of tennis, practice one hour a day, you will NEVER get above 3.5. Put your time where your interests lay. Do you think it's EASY to get good in sports?
At your size, you can hit really hard, but control to hit hard and IN is always going to be a problem. So adopt SW grips and swing hard with lots of topspin.
As for working on serves mostly. Not a bad idea, the rest of your game will steadily go downhill while your serve improves.

I played football and baseball but I can't say that I ever really challenged myself to be the best I could at any sport. I am always competitive but never too focused. I have put a lot of time into my fishing and business skills but that is really the only things that I really challenge myself in. I fish a few tournaments and of course push myself for financial success.

I really don't care what my rating ends up being I just want to be able to go out and hit consistently without making ridiculous mistakes.

SlapChop
11-11-2009, 07:47 AM
Focus on FOOTWORK!

This is the aspect that I really don't understand how to practice. I really just run down balls plant my feet as best as possible and return the shot, I never really think about my footwork. Watching pros play I can see the importance of efficient and solid footwork. I am just not sure how to get there.

LeeD
11-11-2009, 08:29 AM
Well, can't say I've fished recreationally much (was a commercial salmon dude off a new 50' steel boat) and have never worked for real in my life, so our references are going to be very different.
Everything depends on the end result you want. To play decently in playground courts, you'd need to get to around bad 3.5, so maybe twice a week, 3 hour each time playing and hitting with an equal player. That would just about be recreational minimum.
Most players who want to get to lowest level college skills would need 4-6 years of 5 day a week, 2-4 hours a day with some coaching and good competion, so that's out.
Good luck, but I'd really try to play at least 5-7 hours a week.
I suspect EVERYONE on these forums play at least that much.

raiden031
11-11-2009, 08:37 AM
Top priority for someone at 3.0 should be to develop proper technique and to practice their individual strokes as much as possible. Match play isn't as important at this stage. I'll tell you right now if you practice strokes endlessly (learning how to control depth, direction, and spin), you will automatically beat your 3.0 opponents without even utilizing any kind of strategy.

rabidranger
11-11-2009, 08:44 AM
I'm in a similar boat. Those stinking real life responsibilities! For me, what helps is playing regularly with a guy who is about a level or so ahead of me (I'm around a 3.5 and he's around a 4.5). I don't fare too well (I can get a couple of games off him per set), but it's helping me with timing and what not. I've also come to the realization that because I'm never going to play 20 hours a week that I need to work hard on a couple of my dominate skills (serve and forehand) and hope for the best with the rest (stinking backhand!).

mike53
11-11-2009, 08:59 AM
I really like the idea of developing at least one very consistent weapon. Right now it seems like anytime I try to really drive a winner I loose all accuracy.

Then it's not really a winner after all. If you want one consistent weapon, then start with your most consistent shot and make a weapon out of it.

Djokovicfan4life
11-11-2009, 09:35 AM
I think you're on the right track by developing a strong serve. Most 3.0s don't even practice their serve, let alone develop a good one. Couple that with the fact that the return of serve is also ignored by most players and it's obvious what a solid serve will do for your game.

ttbrowne
11-11-2009, 10:46 AM
It just seems that you have stalled. You haven't. Judging from everything you said. As you play and progress, you will hit these little plateaus where it seems you have stalled. Don't know what it is? Maybe it's the brain trying to process all the info you're taking in and you are taking a lot of it in when you're playing 3 to 4 times a week. Your brain and your body is trying to get used to this new way of moving around on a court. Good thing is you'll break out it and start to see a real difference. It's normal to get real frustrated but just keep doing the RIGHT things and you'll progress.
Now, With all that said....consistency first!

Nellie
11-11-2009, 11:06 AM
Top priority for someone at 3.0 should be to develop proper technique and to practice their individual strokes as much as possible. Match play isn't as important at this stage. I'll tell you right now if you practice strokes endlessly (learning how to control depth, direction, and spin), you will automatically beat your 3.0 opponents without even utilizing any kind of strategy.

Agreed - your goal should be consistency in your form. You want to have the confidence that if your swing a certain way, a certain predictable result will happen. That way, if you chose, you can roll back shots safely, or if you need, you can try to go for more when needed. This consistency comes from playing with consistent technique (same grip, swing, etc.). Similarly, if your technique is pretty consistent, then it is easier for you to feel the problems on off days (which we all have) so that you can adjust during the match. For example, if you know that your wrist and your stroke path have not changed, than your contact point is off.

So when you are practicing/playing, be aware of your body and how you are hitting the ball. It helps, for example, to freeze after contact or at the end of the stroke, for only a millisecond to see how you are doing, before going to the next stroke.

Lessons will definitely help.

dozu
11-11-2009, 11:25 AM
dude, listen, if you are 3.0, there is an easy way to move to 4.0 quickly.... that is, become a pusher.

use a continental grip, just block every ball back, with plenty of net clearance, and aim just beyond the service line.

you see all these losers asking how to beat the dreaded pusher.

I tell ya, if you just push, you'd be laughing so hard every time you beat one of these clueless guys, it's unbelieveable.

I have high school kids asking me how to make the JV team with only a couple weeks to practice for the try out... this is the exact same advice I give them.

HunterST
11-11-2009, 11:36 AM
If you REALLY want to improve to a high level of play you're going to have to get a coach. If you just want to play and have fun then you're fine just watching online videos and asking for help on forums, but if you want to get to around 4.0 or higher you need an instructor.

GuyClinch
11-11-2009, 11:41 AM
I HIGHLY recommend that you get a coach if you can afford it. I'd also buy Dave Smith's Tennis Mastery book and follow FYB.

Here is the thing about tennis - and what bothers me about these boards. Practicing bad technique won't get you anywhere. Too many people encourage this.

People will tell you to be more 'consistent' - but without good technique your going to just be consistently mediocre. People will tell you to push more or practice more - but again this isn't going to help you if your doing fundamental things wrong.

This is why I recommend a coach first. For the less talented athlete (like myself) you can be doing things fundamentally wrong and NOT REALIZE IT. So even if you have a mental picture in your head from fuzzy yellow balls you won't spot BIG errors without some coaching.

So what you do is mix in private lessons with frequent friendly matches and if your lucky perhaps you can find someone to drill with (besides your coach).

So like 1 to 2x private lessons a week. Followed by some friendly matches - as well as some drilling. Also you should be periodically taping yourself to assess your form. Like I said your likely making technique errors without noticing it.

A good off-court training regimen isn't a bad idea. I think the one at say intosport.com is fine for most players. Do I personally do all this stuff? No. But if I had the time and money I would. :P


Pete

raiden031
11-11-2009, 11:44 AM
dude, listen, if you are 3.0, there is an easy way to move to 4.0 quickly.... that is, become a pusher.

use a continental grip, just block every ball back, with plenty of net clearance, and aim just beyond the service line.

you see all these losers asking how to beat the dreaded pusher.

I tell ya, if you just push, you'd be laughing so hard every time you beat one of these clueless guys, it's unbelieveable.

I have high school kids asking me how to make the JV team with only a couple weeks to practice for the try out... this is the exact same advice I give them.

I recommend against this...most players like this will NEVER, EVER reach 4.0. The few that will only do so because of many years of match experience, and good fitness.

Being a pusher might help you win 3.0 and some 3.5 matches quickly, but after that you hit a brick wall in your tennis development.

Ripper014
11-11-2009, 11:47 AM
Just playing will not improve your game... you need to practice by drilling, something I will admit I have seldom done.

Tennis is not a hard game but to get better it is hard work, you need someone willing to put in the time with you. A good start would be to hit 20 minutes cross court forehands then 20 minutes of cross court backhands... then 20 minutes of down the line shots (try and keep them in the doubles alley) on each side. Work hard at getting in a good hitting position... meaning MOVE YOUR FEET and preparing early and being balanced when you hit the ball. When drilling you are NOT trying to hit

winners you are trying to gain some muscle memory for you body, this also doesn't mean you are pushing the ball. Hit full regular strokes it does not matter if the ball is in at this point or not... like I said you are building muscle memory and are trying to create a repeatable stroke.

By all means go play tennis and enjoy playing... but try to get into this training regiment at least once a week... boring as heck but you will find your game will pick up quickly... it will be nice to know you make that backhand down the line when you need to.

I think the hardest part is finding someone willing to put in the time with you.

I agree a coach can help... but your success will vary with the coach and you need to be able to take what you learn on to the court.

SlapChop
11-11-2009, 12:30 PM
I am looking for a coach now. I don't currently know anyone that would want to do drills with me most people just want to hit and match play. I am going to see if some of the people I hit with would be interested in doing more drills and things. I will see how the coach thing goes to see if it is something I stick with. Really I think I could just take a lesson every other week then hit the ball machine between or practice with a partner. I know I have a ton of flaws in my game and that is where I am hoping the coach can come in a straighten my game up so I have a foundation to work with.

HunterST
11-11-2009, 01:02 PM
I am looking for a coach now. I don't currently know anyone that would want to do drills with me most people just want to hit and match play. I am going to see if some of the people I hit with would be interested in doing more drills and things. I will see how the coach thing goes to see if it is something I stick with. Really I think I could just take a lesson every other week then hit the ball machine between or practice with a partner. I know I have a ton of flaws in my game and that is where I am hoping the coach can come in a straighten my game up so I have a foundation to work with.

You don't know of any tennis clubs around where you live? Try googling the name of your city plus tennis and there will probably be something.

papa
11-11-2009, 03:24 PM
Practice your serve. Get yourself a couple hundred balls and serve them from one side of the court to the other. Gather them up and serve them back. Set a goal like 300, 500, 700 per day. Set up targets on the service line using the orange plastic cones you can buy anywhere and practice knocking them down.

Way too many balls to hit per session. First, your going to burn yourself out quickly because among other things serving 500 - 700 balls takes quite a while. Second, unless your mechanics are perfect, your going to hurt either your arm, abs, wrist and so forth - or your going to really establish habits that will be very difficult to change, assuming (and I bet I'm right) your mechanics are a little off.

Doing something over and over and over might be ok but getting it right and doing maybe 100 - 150 serves would, in my opinion be much better. Keep in mind that the simple act of doing things over and over does not necessarily teach you the "correct" way - your just fooling yourself thinking it does.

The serve, has many elements and although some may be able to teach themselves, most need significant help along the way. I had a guy the other day telling me he serves about 700 balls three to four times a week. Although his serve has some good points there are many aspects that he really needs help with - if he doesn't get the help, its simple, he's not going to improve.

Djokovicfan4life
11-11-2009, 04:05 PM
dude, listen, if you are 3.0, there is an easy way to move to 4.0 quickly.... that is, become a pusher.

use a continental grip, just block every ball back, with plenty of net clearance, and aim just beyond the service line.

you see all these losers asking how to beat the dreaded pusher.

I tell ya, if you just push, you'd be laughing so hard every time you beat one of these clueless guys, it's unbelieveable.

I have high school kids asking me how to make the JV team with only a couple weeks to practice for the try out... this is the exact same advice I give them.

Worst advice ever. The OP is looking for long term improvement, not a quick fix that will doom him to mediocrity forever.

GuyClinch
11-11-2009, 05:04 PM
I do agree about the drilling but you need a coach first. You don't want to drill incorrect form. I would ask your coach for some simple two person drills then practice those with your partner.

As far as coaches go - while its not always trival to find one be aware that some have different approach and they can all work, IMHO.

I think back and some coaches were doing some useful drills with me but because I didn't understand em I thought they were bad coaches. But I was wrong.

Pete

5263
11-11-2009, 05:47 PM
Two main things.

First is the baseline rally shot for forehand and backhand. Work to hit as many shots in a row as you can to a sector on the court. (more details on this if you are interested)

Second is the slice second serve. Learn to make this shot as natural as playing catch with a football or baseball. Just a nice natural motion.

If you feel very confident in these to areas, you can play well with many, many people and it will be a super foundation to grow your game from.

Geezer Guy
11-11-2009, 06:10 PM
Two main things.

First is the baseline rally shot for forehand and backhand. Work to hit as many shots in a row as you can to a sector on the court. (more details on this if you are interested)

...

If you feel very confident in these to areas, you can play well with many, many people and it will be a super foundation to grow your game from.

Those are really good points, and what I'll add is that if you can rally consistently you can have an enjoyable "hit" with a lot of people that may actually be several levels above you. Now, were you to play them in a match they'd kick your butt! But if you can keep a good rally going 20 or 30 strokes (where players are hitting with pace, but not going for winners) you can have a very nice hit with lots and lots of people.

SlapChop
11-11-2009, 07:57 PM
These are some great tips. A consistent rally right now is my short term goal. I think that would be the most rewarding because I do like to hit the ball and having a good hit session with someone is just as rewarding to me as winning matches.

I will find a coach to at least review my game and give me some basics to practice with. I hope that I can find a good coach that can work with my schedule, I have a couple that I am talking with.

I am thinking about joining a club but am not quite sure about that just yet. My favorite time to play is during lunch time I take an hour or hour and a half from work and hit some balls then come back ready for the afternoon work day. Then 2 days a week I meet up for some mixed doubles and some singles play. Usually hit for about 15 minutes then play some matches.

I am in the Houston area so there are quite a few places to play and many clubs that look like they may work out. Probably will wait till next year to make a commitment to a club. I might just see if I can get into a good group that like to play regularly then make some USTA tournaments as well. Aside from my toe injuries I had a great time at my first tournament. I will probably play another in December. I didn't really feel too over matched in my first tournament. I didn't win but I easily could have so I feel confident that if I play in December that I will have a solid chance at some victories.

5263
11-11-2009, 08:01 PM
These are some great tips. A consistent rally right now is my short term goal. I think that would be the most rewarding because I do like to hit the ball and having a good hit session with someone is just as rewarding to me as winning matches.

I am in the Houston area so there are quite a few places to play and many clubs that look like they may work out. Probably will wait till next year to make a commitment to a club. I might just see if I can get into a good group that like to play regularly then make some USTA tournaments as well. Aside from my toe injuries I had a great time at my first tournament. I will probably play another in December. I didn't really feel too over matched in my first tournament. I didn't win but I easily could have so I feel confident that if I play in December that I will have a solid chance at some victories.
Houston is a great tennis city. I used to play there a bunch in the late 90s. Met some nice quality rec. players there. I think you are on the right track.

Geezer Guy
11-11-2009, 08:05 PM
... I am thinking about joining a club but am not quite sure about that just yet. My favorite time to play is during lunch time I take an hour or hour and a half from work and hit some balls then come back ready for the afternoon work day. Then 2 days a week I meet up for some mixed doubles and some singles play. Usually hit for about 15 minutes then play some matches. ... .

Yeah, I did that as well the last few years I worked. It was great. The more you can play, the better. Both singles and doubles will improve different parts of your game. And play as many different opponets as you can.

SlapChop
11-11-2009, 08:10 PM
Playing doubles really improved my net game. I was always timid at approaching the net even given my height. After playing at the net in doubles now I have become a pretty solid 10' wall. Most of the people we play now won't challenge going near me when I am at the net. They choose to go high over or way cross court. I much prefer to play singles though as I am usually the person the opponent tries to avoid hitting the ball to so I get bored. I am enjoying progressing into a better player I just need to pick a path from here since I surely going to be playing alot more.

Ken Honecker
11-12-2009, 12:07 AM
I'm in a similar boat. Those stinking real life responsibilities! For me, what helps is playing regularly with a guy who is about a level or so ahead of me (I'm around a 3.5 and he's around a 4.5). I don't fare too well (I can get a couple of games off him per set), but it's helping me with timing and what not. I've also come to the realization that because I'm never going to play 20 hours a week that I need to work hard on a couple of my dominate skills (serve and forehand) and hope for the best with the rest (stinking backhand!).

My understanding of the system is that if you are winning a couple of games a set you are about the same level with say you at the low end of 3.5 and him at the high end. According to the chart a high should be able to skunk a low most times.

Ken Honecker
11-12-2009, 12:13 AM
Slappy you are a S/V player in the making. You say your serve and your volleys are the best part of your game and you have nice height so use what you've got. Blast the ball, charge the net, wreck havoc on the opposition.

Unless you want to spend more time practicing coaching might not help too much. I would suggest checking this board and make sure you are using a Continental grip for serving. Personally I use Eastern and Eastern backhand for the rest of my game which is old school but plenty good unless you have visions of being a contender.

Cindysphinx
11-12-2009, 05:13 AM
I am looking for a coach now. I don't currently know anyone that would want to do drills with me most people just want to hit and match play. I am going to see if some of the people I hit with would be interested in doing more drills and things. I will see how the coach thing goes to see if it is something I stick with. Really I think I could just take a lesson every other week then hit the ball machine between or practice with a partner. I know I have a ton of flaws in my game and that is where I am hoping the coach can come in a straighten my game up so I have a foundation to work with.

I agree that a coach would be ideal.

I would keep the number of lessons to a minimum given your time constraints. If you just take lessons and never practice, you won't improve as quickly as you could. So 1-2 lessons a month, with several hours of practice a week sounds right to me.

I feel your pain about not finding people who want to drill because everyone wants to play matches. Ask your coach to hook you up with another of her students who is your level. Ask the coach for a couple of specific drills you two can work on.

SlapChop
11-12-2009, 06:03 AM
Well I found a coach at a local country club that I am going to get a session with next week. Hopefully things will work out good with him and I can have some helpful lessons. I will also ask him about hooking up with some other people in the area to hit with.

I really want to focus on developing consistent strokes. When I meet with the coach I am going to do 30 minute sessions during my lunch hour so that works out perfectly. I'll work on my forehand one session then my back hand on the next. Slowly with each lesson I hope to get a new stroke technique that I can practice when hitting with my group.

I am using the conti grip on my serve. I am somewhat satisfied with my serve at this point. My serve is becoming quite reliable and at the 3.0 level I am dishing up about as much as any 3.0 can handle on the serve. When my first serve lands in 50% of the time it has been an ace against 3.0 players. I watched a ton of videos and practiced my serve a lot because that is easy to do by myself. I need to find someone else that wants to practice their serve so I can practice my return.

My S/V game is something that I want to work on, the only part that I have difficulty with is the approach and anticipating the cross court shot. In doubles I am more comfortable because I know my partner is back there if they pass me on a cross court shot.

This board is a great help and I think it will really help my development.

5263
11-12-2009, 07:46 AM
Learning about the split step will help with this, as it puts you in a position to push off and really go to cut off those cross ct passes.

5263
11-12-2009, 07:56 AM
Some of the guys on here provide long, drawn out detailed lists of things to do on strokes or footwork. This can be an excellent tool for internet study if you use it well. I would suggest saving or printing the list, then reading it to find 1 or 2 items that can really give you some help based on where you are. Then when you feel you have got that benefit, go back and scour the list for 1-2 more things to work on.

If you try to work on the whole list, it can be confusing and overwhelming, so picking a main item to improve on can be helpful. When you go back to the long detailed list, it may look slightly different on re-visit after you have made the improvements, therefore something new may jump out as important or helpful. If you had worked on everything at once, your success could be hindered and you think you have seen it all, so you might not return for those little gems that now stand out given your new experience.
Does this make sense?

Cindysphinx
11-12-2009, 08:03 AM
Once you've found the right pro and developed a relationship of trust blah blah blah, ask her which shots you should work on first. She might think your BH mechanics are more solid than your FH mechanics, for instance (this is what my coach told me), and you can structure the lessons accordingly.

My point is that I personally have found it far more beneficial to work on one thing at a time (say, FH) than to work on many things each lesson. So if you took a year of lessons, I think it works better to spend your time on one shot before you move on to the next shot. Then you will actually own that shot and will use it in matches because of the repetitions you get in lessons and practices.

The ladies I see who don't improve seem to be the ones who (1) don't practice, or (2) try to address many strokes each lesson.

YMMV, of course.

Bungalo Bill
11-12-2009, 08:12 AM
What do you think the best way to improve would be? I pretty much need to get my whole game up. I know mainly I just need to spend more time hitting tennis balls with people but I am wondering if I should find a trainer or coach to speed my improvement. I really just want to become more consistent and people to go long in a rally without making some dumb mistake. I would also like to develop a consistent serve. I think at this point overall consistency is really what I would like to build. I have been making alot of improvements the last month but seem to have kind of stalled.

There are a lot of different things.

1. Make sure when you practice, you practice to improve for your match play and not ust practice to practice.

2. Use your general conditioning to get in tennis shape. There are a lot of people in shape from the gym but tank when they go through tough physical tennis drills. Part of the reason is you are sort of doing two things, getting physically challenged and technically (strokes) challenged. Both should be worked out to come in sync.

3. Start developing your mental focus and awareness. Use cadences to keep your mind in the game, etc...

4. Always work on the fundamentals of your game.

5. Always work on yor footwork, footspeed, etc...

6. Learn to use less steps to get to a ball and learn to always recover while looking towards the other side. Don't watch the ball with your feet in cement.

7. Work on simplifying your overall backswing and mechanics.

8. Improve your serve.

Ripper014
11-12-2009, 08:19 AM
7. Work on simplifying your overall backswing and mechanics.



I love this one... when someone new to the game asks me to teach them to play I always go back to this. I always teach them to hit a flat stroke... ala Evert or Connors... from that I can teach you to easily hit anything else.

This concept is the foundation of my own game, keep it simple and it makes repeatability easier, less moving parts less things to go wrong and easier to time.


Great tip for everyone.

jazzyfunkybluesy
11-12-2009, 08:26 AM
Get a tennis ball machine pronto.

VaBeachTennis
11-12-2009, 08:27 AM
Worst advice ever. The OP is looking for long term improvement, not a quick fix that will doom him to mediocrity forever.

That's true, but it's actually pretty funny advice too. That tactic would drive many people crazy and would probably be successful for a lot of people at lower and intermediate levels.

SlapChop
11-12-2009, 08:27 AM
The first month of playing regular was challenging to my conditioning, My ankles, feet and calves felt very punished. I was doing P90X at the same time so I was zapped. I injured my shoulder so I had to quit P90X for now so I now have my energy level back up and tennis is the main form of exercise that I am currently doing. I'll be back to the P90X program in a couple of weeks my shoulder is just about healed.

I think one item at a time is going to be the best approach and I think footwork should come into play on every technique.

What are these cadences I have never heard of this?

Ripper014
11-12-2009, 08:58 AM
The first month of playing regular was challenging to my conditioning, My ankles, feet and calves felt very punished. I was doing P90X at the same time so I was zapped. I injured my shoulder so I had to quit P90X for now so I now have my energy level back up and tennis is the main form of exercise that I am currently doing. I'll be back to the P90X program in a couple of weeks my shoulder is just about healed.

I think one item at a time is going to be the best approach and I think footwork should come into play on every technique.

What are these cadences I have never heard of this?


Love the P90X program... but I got a freak injury from it. During a cool down period I injured my back. I was well into the program... day 60 when I did it. I was planning to start it again when I found out she lent out the DvD's to her Personal Trainer... it has been 3 weeks... I am still waiting to get them back. :(

I don't think it does anything for my tennis game... I seem to enjoy the workouts... well other than the yoga and kempo. At 50 I am still pretty flexible... but I don't think I could do some of those yoga poses when I was 6. One arm under your leg and with the other around your back... and clasp wrists... "are you kidding me!"

GuyClinch
11-12-2009, 10:21 AM
I do agree with limited practice time with a pro - one thing at a time is best. However for the first couple sessions since your a 3.0 its okay to work on everything so he can evaluate your game.

Plus you need to evaluate the pro. I know one pro who teaches serves really well. Others pros have different strengths..

SlapChop
11-12-2009, 10:39 AM
Love the P90X program... but I got a freak injury from it. During a cool down period I injured my back. I was well into the program... day 60 when I did it. I was planning to start it again when I found out she lent out the DvD's to her Personal Trainer... it has been 3 weeks... I am still waiting to get them back. :(

I don't think it does anything for my tennis game... I seem to enjoy the workouts... well other than the yoga and kempo. At 50 I am still pretty flexible... but I don't think I could do some of those yoga poses when I was 6. One arm under your leg and with the other around your back... and clasp wrists... "are you kidding me!"

I got the injury from a freak slip and fall at work. I was wearing the same shoes that destroyed my feet in my first tournament and I was on my way out the door to play tennis I forgot my phone so I ran right back into my office and as soon as I hit the tile my feet shot out from under me and I landed hard on my shoulder.

I was getting great results from P90X the endurance I think was helping my game. Prior to that I only lifted weight to keep muscle tone and nothing for endurance or cardio. That yoga is some crazy stuff I never thought sweating that much while being still was possible.

SlapChop
11-12-2009, 10:42 AM
I do agree with limited practice time with a pro - one thing at a time is best. However for the first couple sessions since your a 3.0 its okay to work on everything so he can evaluate your game.

Plus you need to evaluate the pro. I know one pro who teaches serves really well. Others pros have different strengths..

I am interested to see how it is with the pro. He has been around for awhile my mom lives in the neighborhood that the country club that he teaches at is in but I haven;t asked around about his lessons. I am hoping that we work together well as he is coach that fits my schedule best.

ttbrowne
11-12-2009, 10:56 AM
dude, listen, if you are 3.0, there is an easy way to move to 4.0 quickly.... that is, become a pusher.

use a continental grip, just block every ball back, with plenty of net clearance, and aim just beyond the service line.

you see all these losers asking how to beat the dreaded pusher.

I tell ya, if you just push, you'd be laughing so hard every time you beat one of these clueless guys, it's unbelieveable.

I have high school kids asking me how to make the JV team with only a couple weeks to practice for the try out... this is the exact same advice I give them.

Hmmm...well, let me add that you have to extremely consistant if you're gonna push at the 4.0 level.

ttbrowne
11-12-2009, 10:59 AM
I do agree with limited practice time with a pro - one thing at a time is best. However for the first couple sessions since your a 3.0 its okay to work on everything so he can evaluate your game.

Plus you need to evaluate the pro. I know one pro who teaches serves really well. Others pros have different strengths..

And some leave a lot out...I have been using a guy I really like a lot then just took a chance on a former Div 1 #1 player (played last year). He said I was ready to start hitting a more advanced volley. I was shocked.

Bungalo Bill
11-12-2009, 11:52 AM
Hmmm...well, let me add that you have to extremely consistant if you're gonna push at the 4.0 level.

And let me please add to yours, the most limitating advice is to tell someone to be a pusher. To cripple a player in being a pusher, is crippling them for life into a mediocre tennis game.

Sure they will beat those trying to develop their game, trying to take on more risk in learning a more complete way to play tennis and along with a more complete way to hit a tennis ball. However, to advise someone to be a pusher is very irresponsible and just plain dumb. The OP will be well advised to ignore that advice.

jb193
11-12-2009, 12:27 PM
If you can, video tape yourself whenever you can. I just a have a cheap video recorder I carry in my bag and stick it on the bench and record my warmup. I don't record the whole court with some elaborate set up. From that, I can tell whether my contact point is good, if my body rotation looks good, if my swing mechanics are ok, and whether there any other funky things going on in my game. It is just a great mirror of yourself.

If you want to develop a modern forehand, I am big proponent of the AP band or the wrist assist.. For me, the modern forehand was not something that came easy and these "aids" really helped me not push with my wrist, use my body to swing, hit out front, and hit the ball squarely...... Good luck...

Blake0
11-12-2009, 03:37 PM
use a coach, develop good technique, practice. Practice hard, don't slack off and play around too much. (you have to once in a while :))

prattle128
11-12-2009, 05:03 PM
Focus on FOOTWORK!

This. This is the key to consistency right here. Recently my footwork started really coming into proper form. I was playing the people that I normally play do, and I was just smoking them. Granted, I was also making the right decisions, but boy howdy, getting your footwork at a good level just helps make everything soo much better.