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View Full Version : How to get the most out of playing a much better player?


roddickslammer
11-18-2009, 04:16 PM
I was just wandering what you try to do to get the most out of playing someone who is much better than you,(like a 5.0 playing a 4.0/3.5). Do you get as many balls in play as you can so you get to hit a lot or be aggressive and hit out so you see what you have to do to set up and win points?
Thanks for your insight!

Roddickslammer

theZig
11-18-2009, 04:39 PM
play within yourself. dont try to hit like a 5.0 if you're a 4.0. if he knows you're a lower level player, he is expecting you to hit at a lower level than he does. play so both of you can have a good time. if you really want to, try and hit at your normal agressiveness but try and make 20% less errors and go from there. whatever you do, do not get angry with yourself. it just makes you look silly, because you're playing someone vastly superior and you are getting angry (presumably) for losing, when you didn't have a chance to begin with! all in all, just try to have a good time

W Cats
11-19-2009, 06:49 AM
If it's a social game and not a balls to the wall competative match. Don't worry too much about your weakness and try to execute your strengths to the best of your ability. If the player on the otherside is well above your skill level and not a jerk they are porobably going to play in such a way that gives them as good a match as they can get out of you. Which means that they won't go after your weaknesses every chance they get and prove who the alpha is but go to your strengths so that they can a decent match out of it. They may also work on a particular shot or combination that they need to improve on that might work out badly for you on the recieving end but it might not last the whole match. :):)

I try to set my goals before the match and if I'm 80% succesfull at reaching them I'm happy.

LuckyR
11-19-2009, 07:09 AM
I was just wandering what you try to do to get the most out of playing someone who is much better than you,(like a 5.0 playing a 4.0/3.5). Do you get as many balls in play as you can so you get to hit a lot or be aggressive and hit out so you see what you have to do to set up and win points?
Thanks for your insight!

Roddickslammer

The reason the guy is better than you is likely not because he is able to hit random winners all over the place. It is because he can hit high quality shots off of high quality shots. You can also return these shots but likely at a low quality thus setting him up for approaches and winners. Try to hit with depth but don't go for winners that he isn't even going for, that is a true mistake.

Mick
11-19-2009, 10:03 AM
i don't know about you guys but whenever i play against people who are not as good as i am, i don't like it when they attempt to hit a winner of an easy ball that i intentionally feed to them (in practice).

Camilio Pascual
11-19-2009, 10:06 AM
i don't know about you guys but whenever i play against people who are not as good as i am, i don't like it when they attempt to hit a winner of an easy ball that i intentionally feed to them (in practice).
That is what I want them to do.

Mick
11-19-2009, 10:14 AM
That is what I want them to do.

well, in my experience, when playing with players who are not as good as i am with that attitude, i pretty much would spend most of my time picking up the tennis balls because the rally would only last 3 or 4 hits.

my policy is when someone attempts to hit a winner off of my shot, i would attempt to hit a winner back.

LuckyR
11-19-2009, 10:29 AM
i don't know about you guys but whenever i play against people who are not as good as i am, i don't like it when they attempt to hit a winner of an easy ball that i intentionally feed to them (in practice).

What I do is not hit "easy balls" to them, but I always hit my shots right at them so they always have a play on the ball.

Mick
11-19-2009, 10:38 AM
What I do is not hit "easy balls" to them, but I always hit my shots right at them so they always have a play on the ball.

here's the scenario:

i play one against two and cover the doubles court area.

on the other side, one person is at the back court and one person is at the net.

whenever i hit the ball to the guy at the net, he would try to put the ball away on the very first ball :shock:

Tennisman912
11-19-2009, 10:50 AM
Most important. DON'T over hit. Play your game and try to learn something. If you try to bang with the better player, you will have so many errors that the better player may not hit with you again since it gets old chasing more balls than hitting balls because you are trying to impress them. You will accomplish the opposite.

Good tennis

TM

TM

defrule
11-19-2009, 03:59 PM
2 weeks ago I rallied with this girl who's played since 7, her strokes were very solid but somehow I was able to keep up in the rallies and it was a blast.

I think I got off on a good start and so I believed I could rally with her so hit with more confidence and stuff.

apor
11-20-2009, 01:42 PM
i don't know about you guys but whenever i play against people who are not as good as i am, i don't like it when they attempt to hit a winner of an easy ball that i intentionally feed to them (in practice).

I've got this guy that used to spank me pretty bad 2 years ago. Since then, I've improved a bit, to the point where he can no longer even take a set off me.
We hit for the first time in a couple of months two days ago. We only had 45min, so we decided to hit around. I'm feeding this guy balls near the middle, and he's ripping (or trying to rip) winners back. I was just there to get some rallies going practice some strokes, -Maybe I should have communicated this...
You're not gonna learn much if everybody's practicing winners, are you? I guess I could have just started blasting his much weaker backhand, but whatever, we got some good hitting in before the rain, and he now probabaly feels a bit better about his game.

user92626
11-20-2009, 01:55 PM
i don't know about you guys but whenever i play against people who are not as good as i am, i don't like it when they attempt to hit a winner of an easy ball that i intentionally feed to them (in practice).

Then, stop feeding them. Problem solved. :)

Or do what I did.

Two weeks ago while waiting for my partner to come I asked a guy who I used to hit against if he wanted to rally with me (I specifically said rally). As soon as we started he started to hit to corners and winner-type. After a while I had enough and asked if he wanted to play a set since he seemed to want me to run hard anyway. Now both of us could compete rallying and running at the same time. :)

Mick
11-20-2009, 02:03 PM
haha. there's this guy i know. he's at my level but he has a very bad habit of letting the ball bounce twice before hitting it in practice. one day, i rallied with one of his students, the student picked up his bad habit too :shock:

fuzz nation
11-23-2009, 10:37 AM
Competing with a player that's pretty much superior can be a very healthy lesson for managing your own plan. Since you're not sweating the score as much when you're in that situation, it can be a lot easier to stay in the moment and focus on playing each point with a simple, deliberate plan. I had this experience a couple of winters ago against a strong teaching pro and it allowed me to play very free and focussed. Despite losing 2-and-2, it was easily one of the best matches I had played in my "career".

If you think about it, that mindset where you play each point on its own is something to strive for whenever you hit the courts, even if you're the stronger player. There's something to learn every time we pick up a racquet, but against tougher competition, there are usually more opportunities to push ourselves toward performing at a better level. I learned more in that match that I mentioned than probably any other half-dozen outings that I've endured with relative hackers.

crash1929
11-23-2009, 10:52 AM
Warning: as I posted I hit with one of safins friends who was actually ranked higher than him in russia. If you are using a light racquet and luxilon be careful you arm will get hurt!

The biggest difference is having a compact shorter backswing cause the ball moves so much faster.

In D Zone
11-24-2009, 11:01 AM
Play within yourself but it does not mean don't push yourself outside the box.
What I meant 'Play within yourself' - Don't get rattled - keep yourself calm and not get frustrated. Don't let the score get into your head - it will bring your game down.

Push yourself outside the box - You have to learn to adjust and understand your opponent. It's all about timing, footwork, ball anticipation and controlling your emotions.

Playing a much better player exposes your weakness - this definitely will help you work on those skills. If possible, try to learn or keep track on the strategy applied by your opponent - what makes them play so good and work it to your game.

Ripper014
11-24-2009, 11:19 AM
haha. there's this guy i know. he's at my level but he has a very bad habit of letting the ball bounce twice before hitting it in practice. one day, i rallied with one of his students, the student picked up his bad habit too :shock:

So hit the ball deeper...

LeeD
11-24-2009, 11:21 AM
To me, most important is to be able to give yourself a chance to play him and his friends AGAIN....
Meaning, no crybaby's, no posturing, offer to supply balls and courttime, be humble, compliment his great shots, not his normal good shots.
And you, acknowledge your mishit winners, be sportsmanlike, don't play gamesmenships, and don't brag to your friends after the match! He WILL hear about it, and cut you out of his black book if he doesn't like your match summary.

Ripper014
11-24-2009, 11:27 AM
I hit with people all the time below my level... like Mick said it is more about practice for me... well, hitting the ball I guess. I will just basically feed the ball back to the other player with some consistant pace so he/she gets into a rhythm. I will move the ball around but always within comfortable reach for the other player. For the better player there is nothing to be gained... and there is nothing to prove by hitting winners.

I would like to think the other player would just try to make good shots... and when given an opportunity to go for the winner. In other words just play good tennis.

I still play pretty much at a 5.0 level and when I play with those at 4.0 or less they always say to me they really enjoyed the hit. I really try to get the most out of their game when practicing with them. And I tend to live vicariously through others... so if it is good for them... its great for me.

LeeD
11-24-2009, 11:32 AM
I thought dis tread was about hitting with BETTER players, not worst players, than us.....
As a low C, I got to hit regularly with CeciMartinez, a former top 10 women's pro. Offshoot from that, the Louie sisters, and some top A level womens.
In mens, mostly the CCSF varsity team, then the SFSU varsity team, and almost every A player at GoldenGate Park, even thos I was never ranked higher than B or 4.5 levels.
I thought this was the question in this thread. How to do it and how to get the most from it. To get the most, you have to do it more than once ...:shock::shock:

Ripper014
11-24-2009, 11:44 AM
I thought dis tread was about hitting with BETTER players, not worst players, than us.....
As a low C, I got to hit regularly with CeciMartinez, a former top 10 women's pro. Offshoot from that, the Louie sisters, and some top A level womens.
In mens, mostly the CCSF varsity team, then the SFSU varsity team, and almost every A player at GoldenGate Park, even thos I was never ranked higher than B or 4.5 levels.
I thought this was the question in this thread. How to do it and how to get the most from it. To get the most, you have to do it more than once ...:shock::shock:


I may be mistaken but I thought the OP was asking how to get the most out of hitting with a better player... when given the opportunity. If so then I am relating to the OP from the otherside of the net. I doubt players that know you are out matched are going to play their best game against you. So just enjoy the experience... and bring what you have to the table... if he/she thinks you can up the ante they will pick up their game.



In mens, mostly the CCSF varsity team, then the SFSU varsity team, and almost every A player at GoldenGate Park, even thos I was never ranked higher than B or 4.5 levels.

I thought you were a 6.0 player who played qualifiers...???

LeeD
11-24-2009, 12:12 PM
You know, Q's need to be filled, so when you pay your $75 in the late '70's, they put you on a list to be filled if the Q draw is not full. Obviously, since I won at least 3 rounds in both my Q's, there are lower level (lower than 6.0) players entered. Me included.
Even though my practice partners were NorCal rated A or 5.5's, I was ranked in the B's, or 4.5's.
Speed, good guy, good attitude, big lefty serve, and lots of winners. Still 4.5 in my book.
And I still say, I'm strong 3.5 -4.0 today...well yesterday. Today I'm injured.

Mick
11-24-2009, 12:17 PM
So hit the ball deeper...

the guy would not return deep balls in practice but he definitely could return deep balls in a match -- i find his way of practicing quite odd. i would think you would want to practice like how you would play in a match. he doesn't do this.

Ripper014
11-24-2009, 12:18 PM
You know, Q's need to be filled, so when you pay your $75 in the late '70's, they put you on a list to be filled if the Q draw is not full. Obviously, since I won at least 3 rounds in both my Q's, there are lower level (lower than 6.0) players entered. Me included.
Even though my practice partners were NorCal rated A or 5.5's, I was ranked in the B's, or 4.5's.
Speed, good guy, good attitude, big lefty serve, and lots of winners. Still 4.5 in my book.
And I still say, I'm strong 3.5 -4.0 today...well yesterday. Today I'm injured.


Ok thanks for clarifying that...

LeeD
11-24-2009, 01:00 PM
Ah, the old cat and mouse during warmups.
Some players warm up like they're going to play, only slower.
Other's warm up one style, then change it with the first lost point.
Gamesmanship, schiesters, flimflam men? Winning is everything for them. They're the ones who would never give up ONE point, needing every point or their ego's go awry.