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salsainglesa
11-30-2009, 11:05 PM
Last saturday i played in a tournament against a ranked player in my country... our strokes were on par but the one thing I was not great at was at reacting to his offensive shots... I am quick, buti felt i couldnt do much whenever he attacked me, it wasnt a physical thing, the speed was not on my brain...
its like when listening to a speed run in a heavymetal shredding song, where you cant pinpoint whats being played... but, you can get an idea of the music.
i dont know if thats a good example...
maybe in jazz music, during all the improvisation stuff, the fast notes dont seem to meanmuch to an uneducated ear, but if you are a musician, then everything is understandable...

so the point is, besides playing more, what can i do to train my brain and body to react faster? a shortcut or a technique... something helpful...

I am light on my legs, honest...

SystemicAnomaly
12-01-2009, 02:31 AM
Are you performing a split step on every shot that your opponent makes? Whenever your opponent serves, volleys or hits a groundstroke, you should execute a timing hop (split step) to sync yourself to their shot. It should be executed as the opponent makes contact (or as their racquet is moving toward the ball to make contact). If you time this step properly, you should land and then move (walk or run) just as the ball has come off the opponent's racquet. This timing footwork should enable you to react faster to their shot.

Another suggestion is to try sports vision training with a (behavioral) optometrist. There is also some software available that uses elementary cognitive tasks (ECTs) that may help with your reflexes/reaction time. MyBrainTrainer.com (http://www.mybraintrainer.com) (MBT) is one site that provides these kind of tests/tasks. Subsciription to this site is relatively cheap.

You can also try some of the free tests at the following site. They do not provide the wealth of feedback that the MBT site does, but the tests are still worthwhile. For athletic reflexes, test #1, 2, 3, 5, 7 are best. I also find that test #10b is also somewhat useful for sports. (Note that test #4, 6, 10a, 10b are primarily memory tests).

http://CognitiveLabs.com/test1_intro.htm (http://cognitivelabs.com/test1_intro.htm)
.

Nellie
12-01-2009, 05:47 AM
You have to get used to that pace. I find that if I am face more pace than I am used to, I need to play defensively with an extremely short backswing, which means I cannot be offensive at all.

jazzyfunkybluesy
12-01-2009, 06:20 AM
Sprints and plyometrics can help with reaction time.

LeeD
12-01-2009, 06:32 AM
As #3 said, you have to get used to the speed and DEPTH of the incoming ball, so only practice and match experience at that level gives you the time to get to the ball in time to hit full swings.
Of course, you need the technique, the split step, the first foot towards the ball, and the shoulder turn.
Like anything else in sports, you are not used to fast deep balls, so you need to play that level more often. Only experience gives you time.

Kick_It
12-01-2009, 06:54 AM
Agility Training and associated drills.

See also other threads like http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=292966 about Anticipation and Footwork.

Good Luck! K_I

salsainglesa
12-01-2009, 10:50 AM
hello, thank you for your feedback... i am checking the sites SystemicAnomaly propossed, they seem intereseting...

The other thing is, i have worked on the footwork and i do split step but maybe somehow I misstime the split step... after i slept over it last night i thought thatwhat seems hard is deciding where to go, and judging the ball, thats mostlywhere i felt i lost time...

LeeD
12-01-2009, 01:39 PM
Experience. You don't have it yet.
Play some fast hard hitters for 10 times, then you'll get it.
You gotta walk before you can run. You're walking now, run when you play the better players.

fuzz nation
12-01-2009, 02:28 PM
Even when you're having a practice session with a somewhat slower hitter, you can still work very deliberately on that quick first move to the ball. Instead of timing your setup to only be just on time to swing at an incoming ball, you can work to always be ahead of the ball and fine tuning your positioning with those shuffle steps as it comes to you.

Once you take that split step, burst into that unit turn to either side - "unit turn" refers to the turning of your shoulders along with taking your racquet over to one side or the other. This gets your stroke set up earlier so that you're not as likely to need to rush your swing to catch up with the incoming ball. If you catch yourself moving to a ball while still holding your racquet out in front of you toward the net, you're delaying your preparation. Make a habit of routinely rushing that first move (yes, that unit turn) and you will need less time to be ready to swing - exactly what you need to get a smooth swing at a faster ball that gives you less time to set up. Develop a quicker first move!

One more idea: While your upper body needs an early setup to swing on time more often, your lower half is responsible for your movement and positioning. Sometimes these two functions may not seem to be in synch with each other, especially when you're stretched wide to either side. Even if you're still running laterally, your shoulders and core can still turn enough to drive a stroke without your legs set up in a typical base underneath you. Again, you just need to be aware of starting your rotation ahead of the ball.

jmjmkim
12-01-2009, 02:39 PM
That's what i need to learn

salsainglesa
12-01-2009, 06:59 PM
yeah, i must be patient... thanks again LeeD

fuzz, i liked what you propposed aswell, I have been trying to attack the ball lately, not with power, but taking it a little bit further into the court, reacting faster and getting into an offensive frame of mind, but this judging of the ball, surely would have a nice effect on my reaction time on defense...

i appretiate your input guys.

fuzz nation
12-02-2009, 06:52 AM
I think that if you fixate on that quicker first move after your split-step in the same way that you might fixate on keeping your eye on the ball, you'll develop a better habit of being ahead of the ball. You'll naturally do it more often. What you can also pay attention to as you work on this is the movement of your opponent or hitting partner as they initiate their swing through the ball.

If you're just watching the flight of the ball, you'll only know where it's going once it's on its way to your end. If you get a half-decent read of your opponent's swing or stance, you'll be able to get a little more of a jump on the ball and also predict its bounce if you see what sort of swing is used to send it your way. It's not too tough to spot the difference between a topspin vs. a slice backhand for example. This may be mastering the obvious, but it doesn't sound like you're getting much of any read on the hitter across the net.

tennis angel
12-04-2009, 06:25 PM
Last saturday i played in a tournament against a ranked player in my country... our strokes were on par but the one thing I was not great at was at reacting to his offensive shots... I am quick, buti felt i couldnt do much whenever he attacked me, it wasnt a physical thing, the speed was not on my brain...
its like when listening to a speed run in a heavymetal shredding song, where you cant pinpoint whats being played... but, you can get an idea of the music.
i dont know if thats a good example...
maybe in jazz music, during all the improvisation stuff, the fast notes dont seem to meanmuch to an uneducated ear, but if you are a musician, then everything is understandable...

so the point is, besides playing more, what can i do to train my brain and body to react faster? a shortcut or a technique... something helpful...

I am light on my legs, honest...


Wait longer to hit the ball. This may seem illogical, but in fact it is real and works very well. The longer you wait the more time you have to react accurately to the ball, as the ball decelerates up to 60% from baseline to baseline. Here is a drill that will slow you down and prevent preparing and hitting early, one of the biggest misconceptions in tennis. Count to 5 while you swing; count 1 when the ball bounces (NOT BEFORE), then 2,3,4 and 5 on impact. This technique also calms the mind as you are focusing only on the ball and your hand, and is a very good way to deal with the jitters in a match.

TenniseaWilliams
12-04-2009, 06:51 PM
Wait longer to hit the ball. This may seem illogical, but in fact it is real and works very well. The longer you wait the more time you have to react accurately to the ball, as the ball decelerates up to 60% from baseline to baseline. Here is a drill that will slow you down and prevent preparing and hitting early, one of the biggest misconceptions in tennis. Count to 5 while you swing; count 1 when the ball bounces (NOT BEFORE), then 2,3,4 and 5 on impact. This technique also calms the mind as you are focusing only on the ball and your hand, and is a very good way to deal with the jitters in a match.

The majority of the deceleration of the ball occurs at the bounce, which is not gaining you all that much time. This may be a nice mental image that works for you in timing and/or relaxation, but is not based in measurable reality.

tennis angel
12-04-2009, 07:20 PM
The majority of the deceleration of the ball occurs at the bounce, which is not gaining you all that much time. This may be a nice mental image that works for you in timing and/or relaxation, but is not based in measurable reality.

Wait for the bounce - that's what the pros do. How do you measure reality? - LOL

TenniseaWilliams
12-04-2009, 08:18 PM
Wait for the bounce - that's what the pros do. How do you measure reality? - LOL

That's really deep.

I have heard it said that parents, early teachers and/or coaches could be some of the strongest influences in a child's life. It is quite a responsibility, even with the best of intentions.

Why pump a bunch of obvious nonsense into someone's head if you don't have to?

papa
12-05-2009, 04:47 AM
Some good advice here. Other things to make sure your doing is staying balanced on the balls of your feet and not retreating on every shot. Many don't realize they do this but they are either leaning backward/or have actually started back - stand your ground.

Another factor is playing white knuckle tennis. Relax your grip, breath, smile (works wonders if you haven't tried it), keep the racquet in the ready position (so important yet so many don't do it), assume the ball is coming right back to you as compared to being surprised when it does, keep a quite head (resist the urge to jump around - I'd like to glue some players to the court at times because they act like jack-in-the-box puppets).

Someone said (think it was Lee), get out there and take a lot of hard fast balls at net. I do it with players all the time. Get used to it, you won't get hurt.

Mahboob Khan
12-05-2009, 08:13 AM
I will give you only two useful tips:

1. Try to create more distance between yourself and your opponent, how? By hitting deep ground strokes forcing him to hit his shots from deep baseline position. This will give you more time to react to his shots.

2. As he is about to hit his ground stroke, split step, watch, track the ball off his strings, and move to the ball.

If your shots are short and you are not watching his racket-head, and not doing the essential split-step, you are in trouble.