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SlapChop
11-30-2009, 11:09 AM
I have been hitting with more 3.5 rated players lately. When hitting with these guys we are hitting deep back and forth ball is bouncing close to the baseline on every hit back and forth.

When practicing with my regular 3.0 group ball usually bounces closer to the service line. I have been getting a little complaint from some of my 3.0 friends. Should I tell them to adapt or should I try hitting shorter with them?

This is only when practicing, when playing matches no one is complaining about shot placement.

Ripper014
11-30-2009, 11:22 AM
I have been hitting with more 3.5 rated players lately. When hitting with these guys we are hitting deep back and forth ball is bouncing close to the baseline on every hit back and forth.

When practicing with my regular 3.0 group ball usually bounces closer to the service line. I have been getting a little complaint from some of my 3.0 friends. Should I tell them to adapt or should I try hitting shorter with them?

This is only when practicing, when playing matches no one is complaining about shot placement.


Well it depends are you practicing for them or for you..? It is not helping your game to be hitting the ball short... I would tell them if they are having problems to step back a few feet.

papa
11-30-2009, 11:48 AM
Yeah, in practice try to get closer to the baseline - some like three feet, I like it a spec closer. The other thing is to practice on the diagonals of the court as compared to both of you in the center of the court. Got to learn to keep the ball deep.

maverick66
11-30-2009, 11:52 AM
Tell them to adjust. If they have to move back a step then so be it. Sometimes people will hit a ball at you that you cant stay on the baseline for. Its nice to stay up there and dictate but sometimes you gotta back up a little.

SlapChop
11-30-2009, 12:04 PM
This is what I was thinking but thought I would get some input before suggesting something. I am starting to prefer hitting from behind the baseline a few feet.

maverick66
11-30-2009, 12:09 PM
This is what I was thinking but thought I would get some input before suggesting something. I am starting to prefer hitting from behind the baseline a few feet.

Most good players do. If you can hug the baseline your either Agassi or you hitting partner is not very good. i used to stand there until I started hitting with high level guys. If i had tried to hug the line i would have shanked the crap out of the ball its just to much to do.

JRstriker12
11-30-2009, 12:10 PM
I have been hitting with more 3.5 rated players lately. When hitting with these guys we are hitting deep back and forth ball is bouncing close to the baseline on every hit back and forth.

When practicing with my regular 3.0 group ball usually bounces closer to the service line. I have been getting a little complaint from some of my 3.0 friends. Should I tell them to adapt or should I try hitting shorter with them?

This is only when practicing, when playing matches no one is complaining about shot placement.

Tell them that learning to hit a ball that lands deeper and also return a ball that lands deep will help them become better players. I'm surprised they complained. It's not like you are head-hunting or something.

I'd also suggest finding a group of 3.5's to practice with. You can hit with the 3.0's for fun, but just realize that you may not get much out of it.

maverick66
11-30-2009, 12:14 PM
I'd also suggest finding a group of 3.5's to practice with. You can hit with the 3.0's for fun, but just realize that you may not get much out of it.

I disagree with this. He can work on his footwork and positioning always. When hitting with worse players challenge yourself to chase down balls and try to place the thing right where you want it every time. I will bet that you get a great hitting session and your footwork and positioning 2 things you can always improve will go up.

albino smurf
11-30-2009, 12:16 PM
Crush them. They'll figure it out.

SlapChop
11-30-2009, 01:21 PM
I am still myself a 3.0 player but I have just started playing with a few 3.5 guys the last couple weeks. I win 90% of my games the last couple weeks against 3.0 players 6-2 6-3 is the usual scores and I have lost all of the 3 games I have played singles 3.5 average score 6-3 6-4 but I am improving every time. I won both of the doubles matches that would be 6.5 doubles. I have really improved a lot in the last couple weeks playing with 3.5 players.

JRstriker12
11-30-2009, 01:36 PM
I disagree with this. He can work on his footwork and positioning always. When hitting with worse players challenge yourself to chase down balls and try to place the thing right where you want it every time. I will bet that you get a great hitting session and your footwork and positioning 2 things you can always improve will go up.

I stand by my statement. Yes you can work on the little things with the 3.0's, but if he's playing at a 3.5 level, he'll get much more out of it playing with other 3.5's or better players. Everything you practice - footwork, postioning, volleys, groundstrokes -etc requires more effort and more intensity when you play with someone on your level or better. You can be a little sloppy with your footwork and positioning with someone below you but if you are off with someone on your level or better, you get punished.

For example, I have a clinic with three of my friends, we are all between 4.0-3.5. Usually, it's just us four, but when we started this year, we had some overlap with another group of 3.0's who were included in our clinic for a few weeks. Now was I able to practice and get something out of the clinic? Well yes - but it was no where as good as or helpful as practicing with the 3.5-4.0 group alone, because you often had to hold back just so the 3.0 guys could get something out of the clinic too.

It's not you can't find a away to practice with someone who isn't as good as you, it's just that the other person will benefit more than you will. That's one of the reasons why it's often harder to find better players to practice/play against.

I mean, they are complaining that he's hitting the ball too deep for crying out loud- if that doesn't say, find another group to practice with I don't know what does.

papa
11-30-2009, 03:28 PM
I disagree with this. He can work on his footwork and positioning always. When hitting with worse players challenge yourself to chase down balls and try to place the thing right where you want it every time. I will bet that you get a great hitting session and your footwork and positioning 2 things you can always improve will go up.

Well, maybe so but there is nothing like hitting with a player who can't/won't hit it back in the "general area". I don't mind going for balls but not all of them. When I hit with folks I just have the cart with me and feed away, if they hit back in the general area, fine - if not just feed them another ball. Of course, as many of you know, if you make them run, wow, the end of the world is coming.

maverick66
11-30-2009, 05:13 PM
I stand by my statement. Yes you can work on the little things with the 3.0's, but if he's playing at a 3.5 level, he'll get much more out of it playing with other 3.5's or better players. Everything you practice - footwork, postioning, volleys, groundstrokes -etc requires more effort and more intensity when you play with someone on your level or better. You can be a little sloppy with your footwork and positioning with someone below you but if you are off with someone on your level or better, you get punished.

this is all false. I have had to hit with little girls from an old coach. I have never worked harder in my life because I had to chase down everything and put the ball right back to where there standing. It sounds like you dont know how to work on a tennis court and are blaming the other player for your laziness. If they hit it out go get it. Why cant you move to the ball to get it back. If they hit it a little short run up to it and volley a few. And if you wanna really work on something take pace off the ball and try to place the thing on the same spot. I will bet you cant do it and not even close.

RafaBrain
11-30-2009, 05:24 PM
^^ good point.

A good player should practice: hit any coming ball at any place and send it back to any desired location.

SlapChop
11-30-2009, 06:34 PM
this is all false. I have had to hit with little girls from an old coach. I have never worked harder in my life because I had to chase down everything and put the ball right back to where there standing. It sounds like you dont know how to work on a tennis court and are blaming the other player for your laziness. If they hit it out go get it. Why cant you move to the ball to get it back. If they hit it a little short run up to it and volley a few. And if you wanna really work on something take pace off the ball and try to place the thing on the same spot. I will bet you cant do it and not even close.

This is how I play with my dad. He hits it all over and I try and hit it straight back to him. It is a good workout and has helped me with better control.

JRstriker12
12-01-2009, 06:40 AM
this is all false. I have had to hit with little girls from an old coach. I have never worked harder in my life because I had to chase down everything and put the ball right back to where there standing. It sounds like you dont know how to work on a tennis court and are blaming the other player for your laziness. If they hit it out go get it. Why cant you move to the ball to get it back. If they hit it a little short run up to it and volley a few. And if you wanna really work on something take pace off the ball and try to place the thing on the same spot. I will bet you cant do it and not even close.
So you would PREFER to practice with lower level players than say some of the better players you know????

So a little girl who just slaps the ball back with no pace and no aim gives you a better practice than playing with someone on your level or better than you? I guess that's why the pros all work out with 2.5 players. Hah! That's false.

Yes, you can make lemons out of lemonade and get a workout and some practice with someone who isn't as good as you, but you will get a better practice with someone closer to your level or better.

If you just want to work on some conditioning, then fine, practice running around retrieving balls that hit the net or the back fence - more power to you.

If you want to work on strategy and situational match play, then you will need someone who can hit with you.

Even with a basic drill like Cross-court DTL (which is great for conditioning, consistency, and accuracy) there's no point in running this drill if the person can't hit the needed shots.

If you want to get better - you need someone who can stretch and challenge you.

I'm not being lazy, I just have limited time on the tennis and it's better spent running drills where you don't have to compensate for the other person.

SlapChop
12-01-2009, 07:26 AM
I feel like I improve my game far more when practicing with people better than me.

maverick66
12-01-2009, 01:16 PM
So a little girl who just slaps the ball back with no pace and no aim gives you a better practice than playing with someone on your level or better than you? I guess that's why the pros all work out with 2.5 players. Hah! That's false.

Pros dont have to because I could ask them to take pace off the ball and put it where i want them to at any time. No matter there positioning or where i put it they have the ability to put a ball where they want it. a 3.5 can not do that and thats something they need to work towards.

If you want to work on strategy and situational match play, then you will need someone who can hit with you.

a 3.0-3.5 is not good enough to keep a rally going so working on situational stuff is not the best way to improve play. They need to learn to control the ball and to be in position for the point. I could drill you all day on what to do on a court but unless you have the tools to put in play during a match its pointless. By working on consistency and footwork you are gaining the tools to use plays. working on consistency is not something you need an amazing player across from you.

I'm not being lazy, I just have limited time on the tennis and it's better spent running drills where you don't have to compensate for the other person.

Maybe not lazy but you dont understand how to work on a tennis court. And your time is limited so even more reason to use the time to work on the basics. If you have bad basics you will not become a better player. and a 3.0-3.5 does not have good basics.

JRstriker12
12-01-2009, 02:25 PM
You are still dodging the main question that I asked in the first sentence of my last post so I'll ask it again:

So you would PREFER to practice with lower level players than say some of the better players you know????

I think I know the answer, but I want to hear why you are really better off practicing with players at least 0.5 - 1 NTRP points below your skill level in comparison to someone on your level or better.

Pros dont have to because I could ask them to take pace off the ball and put it where i want them to at any time. No matter there positioning or where i put it they have the ability to put a ball where they want it. a 3.5 can not do that and thats something they need to work towards.

You could ask a pro, but good luck trying to find a pro player who wants to waste his time basically feeding you balls. Feeding - Asking someone to take pace off the ball and place it so you can hit it, is what tennis pros (teachers) do. You generally have to pay them to do this because, otherwise they are wasting their time and tennis skill on the court - the better player isn't getting anything out of this...

a 3.0-3.5 is not good enough to keep a rally going so working on situational stuff is not the best way to improve play. They need to learn to control the ball and to be in position for the point. I could drill you all day on what to do on a court but unless you have the tools to put in play during a match its pointless. By working on consistency and footwork you are gaining the tools to use plays. working on consistency is not something you need an amazing player across from you.

In our clinic, which has 3.5-4.0 players, we can keep the ball in play long enough for situational drills. No, you don't need an amazing player, but if you are working on consistency you do need someone that can hit with you and keep the ball in play more than 2-3 hits - good luck doing that with 2.5-3.0 players.

Maybe not lazy but you dont understand how to work on a tennis court. And your time is limited so even more reason to use the time to work on the basics. If you have bad basics you will not become a better player. and a 3.0-3.5 does not have good basics.

You don't know me or how I've been working on my game. I've been working hard and have seen steady improvement and better results. Everyone needs to work on the basics to build a foundation, but you also have to grow and learn new things to move past where you are now.

Like I said, you can make lemonade from lemons and get some conditioning and a bit of practice from a lower level player - but it's not going to be better than a practice with a player on your level or who is better than you.

If you disagree - fine.... I know what's worked for me.

maverick66
12-01-2009, 02:34 PM
So you would PREFER to practice with lower level players than say some of the better players you know????

I avoided it because its a pointless question. The op was asking whether or not he should continue to hit with 3.0 players and I said yes you should. I told him how to work on a court where he is the top player. You showed you know little of how to work on a court and are know in a huff over it. If you think he cant improve or get a good hit in unless hes hitting with players of his level or better your understanding of practice is borderline zero.

jmjmkim
12-01-2009, 02:43 PM
perfect practice makes perfecrt

Xisbum
12-01-2009, 03:16 PM
JRStriker is right; he has improved much over the 2 years I've known him, primarily from hitting and playing with better players - like me. ;-)

But I don't mind hitting with less consistent players, either, because speed to the ball and consistency are pretty much my game. I can work on those occasionally with players who have less experience. I just wouldn't want to do it every time out.

So both of you are correct. Now kiss and make up. :-)

JRstriker12
12-01-2009, 05:02 PM
JRStriker is right; he has improved much over the 2 years I've known him, primarily from hitting and playing with better players - like me. ;-)

But I don't mind hitting with less consistent players, either, because speed to the ball and consistency are pretty much my game. I can work on those occasionally with players who have less experience. I just wouldn't want to do it every time out.

So both of you are correct. Now kiss and make up. :-)

LOL! I like your style Xis....

BTW- IIRC - you put a hurting on me the first time we played 21 :)

JRstriker12
12-01-2009, 05:35 PM
I avoided it because its a pointless question. The op was asking whether or not he should continue to hit with 3.0 players and I said yes you should. I told him how to work on a court where he is the top player. You showed you know little of how to work on a court and are know in a huff over it. If you think he cant improve or get a good hit in unless hes hitting with players of his level or better your understanding of practice is borderline zero.

Who's in a huff??? I never insulted you. I never said you don't know what you are talking about and I did acknowledge that you can get some practice with players who aren't as good as you (lemonade out of lemons).

If the OP is improving, I'd say he's on the right track. Looks like the OP is doing a bit of both types of practice - running around and hitting with his dad, playing with the 3.0's.

This is how I play with my dad. He hits it all over and I try and hit it straight back to him. It is a good workout and has helped me with better control.

But he also said this:
I feel like I improve my game far more when practicing with people better than me.

I know how to practice, I know what's helped me, and what hasn't helped me.

I guess we agree to disagree. I'll take Xis' advice and I'll leave it at that.

zapvor
12-02-2009, 03:22 AM
just want to remind everyone that JRStriker is only 2.5 so i wont take his posts that seriously. hes 5.5 in MW2 though.















oh yea he hits with me every now and then and he gets nothing outof it because i am below him.

Xisbum
12-02-2009, 03:29 AM
LOL! I like your style Xis....

BTW- IIRC - you put a hurting on me the first time we played 21 :)

Hey, us 4.0s have to stick together, like brothers, right? :)

Man, I gotta drop about 30 if I have to play with you high-strung 4.0 guys. Good incentive to finally get into playing shape.

Looking forward to our next hit.

Jagman
12-02-2009, 05:13 AM
Slapshot, what is the real purpose of your outing? The demands and expectations placed on players by one another are different, I think, depending upon your objective.

There are times to just go out and hit. This is usually, but not always, after a spell of bad weather or a layoff, where you just need to shake out the cobwebs. Having a hit involves no set pattern, but activities on the court do require some coordination and general agreement among the players. I'm always considerate of the other player when just hitting, and try to make the outing enjoyable for everyone. To me, the primary purpose of a hit is simply to have fun.

Practice is indispensable and, IMO, must always have a purpose. The holy grail of practice, to my mind, should be consistency. I define consistency as repeatability of result. The objective of each training evolution, therefore, should be, at its root, to see how many times a player can hit a particular shot and keep it within the boundaries of the court. As the individual player advances, the objectives are further expanded to include control, spin, placement, and power.

The essence of the drill is repetition. Over time, the repetitive nature of drills enables a player to assign an ordinal value to various shots and combinations, ultimately determining for the individual whether it is a high percentage or low percentage play. This is the foundation upon which tactics and strategy will be built.

There is indisputable value in keeping the ball deep during groundstroke rallies in tennis. Drills and practice games are often devised just to drive this one point home. I think it a fair statement in today's baseline dominated play, that it's very difficult to be successful in competitive tennis without the ability to control the depth of the ball and consistently hit deep into the court, beyond the service line of your opponent.

Depth control is one of the first things to be taught to the novice player. With it comes an elemental understanding of spin and how the mechanics of the stroke affect the flight of the ball. It is a fundamental skill in tennis and remains so even in the ranks of the pros.

Hitting deep with consistency has such high importance, IMO, that it should remain a primary objective of every drill, combination , or practice game save those specifically designed to work the short angles or employ touch. It is the very first thing that I will look for in a warmup, both from myself and my opponent.

Fun may be an aspect of practice, but this is chiefly a time to work. While I am an advocate of finding ways to make drills and combinations enjoyable, my own expectations would be that every participant perform to the best of their ability, and that constructive criticism would also pertain. Hence, if someone is not putting out or performing the drill correctly, they need to hear about it. Nothing nasty need be said, but their errors need to be pointed out and instruction offered if possible. No whining is allowed.

For practice, you need to find a set of training partners that can and will work within these parameters. That may be difficult to do in a social setting, and is another area in which a coach/teaching pro may be helpful. Coaches will often set up practice games between students. Structured clinics are another avenue.

If you have a set of friends that you can truly practice with at an acceptable level of play, you are certainly blessed. My advice would be that you clarify your purpose before setting foot on court. There is, or should be, IMO, a huge difference between a simple knock-about and a training session.

Cheers!

JRstriker12
12-02-2009, 05:43 AM
just want to remind everyone that JRStriker is only 2.5 so i wont take his posts that seriously. hes 5.5 in MW2 though.

oh yea he hits with me every now and then and he gets nothing outof it because i am below him.

Nah, I'm like 0.5 in MW2.....

Hey, us 4.0s have to stick together, like brothers, right? :)

Man, I gotta drop about 30 if I have to play with you high-strung 4.0 guys. Good incentive to finally get into playing shape.

Looking forward to our next hit.

Okay - just take it easy on me. We all know you're a 4.5 sandbagger...;)

Xisbum
12-02-2009, 06:31 AM
Nah, I'm like 0.5 in MW2.....



Okay - just take it easy on me. We all know you're a 4.5 sandbagger...;)

Aww, man, don't even give USTA a hint about that, although that was my GPA at the University of Memphis back in the day, when it was still West Tennessee State Normal School. :)

Of course, back in the day was before computers, DVDs, TVs, typewriters, cars, etc. We did everything in longhand, and I got good grades because I could write faster than anyone else. Even then, my quick hands served me well. ;-)