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teppeiahn1
12-18-2009, 10:28 PM
"having great strokes doesn't mean you can play high level tennis"

Lately, Im going through a tough slump. It is very frustrating and depressing.
Good side is its motivating me to push harder:twisted:

Believe it or not, I regulary rally with former d1, d2 and open players, and can out rally them. But when it comes to actual point, I feel clueless, and always seem to be staring into blank. I can not focus very well lately. Thus constantly loosing sets. Even though most aren't blow outs, I believe I can play alot better.

I have put alot of effort into this sport. Atleast 12 hours a week and gym 4-5 times a week, and stretching to improve flexibility. Am I maby getting burned out? Or am I just mentaly weak and need to play tourneys?

Also I seem to have a little frustration problems. I have the mind set of thinking about the big picture and not care about winning or loosing but seems like I just can't seem to keep that in my mind for too long.

I know this topic has been discussed numerous times on this thread but i can't help but to seek help.

Cody
12-18-2009, 11:06 PM
Take a little break....

In my opinion your body needs time to recover and process your tennis.

It doesn't have to be a big break but coming back mentally fresh is a way to get back on track.

gzhpcu
12-18-2009, 11:20 PM
Believe it or not, I regulary rally with former d1, d2 and open players, and can out rally them. But when it comes to actual point, I feel clueless, and always seem to be staring into blank. I can not focus very well lately. Thus constantly loosing sets. Even though most aren't blow outs, I believe I can play alot better.


I have seen and played against lots of players that are rally kings then fold during match.

Match play is different. Rallying, both go for rhythm, in match play you try to break the other player's rhythm. Short, angled, etc.

You need to practice match play. Play more matches in addition to rallying. Or when you practice, build in match situations.

user92626
12-18-2009, 11:23 PM
Are you thinking tennis is like solving the Rubik's Cube or inventing a rocket?

Geeeez, just whack the ball into an open area. If the ball is coming at you too fast, whack it straight right back to where it came.

Do this again and again.

Don't get lazy and do everything half baked like a half stroke or stop moving or stop looking at the ball.

onehandbh
12-18-2009, 11:24 PM
I have seen and played against lots of players that are rally kings then fold during match.

Match play is different. Rallying, both go for rhythm, in match play you try to break the other player's rhythm. Short, angled, etc.

You need to practice match play. Play more matches in addition to rallying. Or when you practice, build in match situations.

Totally true. Plus maybe when you're just rally with these players they're
mostly hitting the ball within your reach to keep the rally going.
Plus, how good is your serve compared to theirs? Your court coverage?
(during the matches) If they played at a decent college, then chances
are they have a lot more experience with point construction and have
seen much bigger shots than what you are giving them, so they aren't
under any kind of tough pressure from your shots.

BreakPoint
12-18-2009, 11:31 PM
I would say play more matches and tournaments. Rallying when there is no pressure is very different than rallying when the point actually counts and the pressure is on. Also, there's a big difference between both you and your opponent trying to keep the point in play versus both you and your opponent trying to end the point.

KenC
12-19-2009, 02:10 AM
I find the reason for playing worse in match situations is my lack of complete confidence. I am trying to overcome this by going into matches where I know I am going to lose and just go for it. Every now and then I come up with a great winner and my confidence increases. Interestingly, every now and then is increasing in occurrence.

There's also the time in games when I may be up a couple or points like 40-15 or down a good bit, like 0-40 in which I might as well let it all hang out. Again, every now and then I hit some great shots and my overall confidence rises.

Confidence is what makes Federer and Nadal so great in clutch situations. Admittedly I have a long, long way to go, but I am sure that confidence is a much better weapon than my forehand in match situations.

paulfreda
12-19-2009, 02:57 AM
I have the same problem.
I have learned that one needs to hit percentage shots to win a match which is what distinguishes ralley tennis from match play tennis.
Know your IRP [ideal recovery positions], split steps to maximize ability to get set up in time, Wardlaw Directional Guidelines, and changing pace, spin, and location on your shots.

No substitute for practice matches to find out what you need to work on.

brad1730
12-19-2009, 03:56 AM
You're not alone. I have this problem with my ball machine. As mentioned earlier, I have to work on my recovery position, anticipation of my opponents shot, and most importantly... footwork. I find that it's too easy for me to whack away in practice and not really work on a high-quality, high percentage rally ball. Also... my mind seems like it's in a state of zen-like peace when I'm practicing, but when I'm playing (and losing) I'm trying to analyze my opponent's game, and my game - hardly a zen-like environment.

I think the only way out for the both of us is to play more.

LeeD
12-19-2009, 07:18 AM
I'm with Breakpoint.
You are what you practice. If you practice all the time, you are a good practice player. But NOT a good match player.
Some people can convert from hitting to match play, most can't.
Play more meaningful matches.
No simple cure except hard work, tons of matches, and getting your mental problem/block solved.
Plenty of 5.5 practice players around my area. My 4.0 match ability matches up well with them in MATCHES. Everyone thinks they should slaughter me, based on their strokes. Strokes are great to have, but match experience is needed to play matches.

teppeiahn1
12-19-2009, 08:30 AM
Thx guys, very helpful. Playing sets and rallying is oil and water.

I just want to make it clear to you guys though that when playing rally points, we do try to end points and and hit aggressive shots and not just to warm up out strokes or keeping a consistant rally. But it is underhand serving and I am in a rythm.

So currently, I can play points fine, but when it comes to set play, I tend to be out of it.

I am going to take a vaccation which might help a little. Also my serves are prety solid during match play and am winning points from it (wich is good because if my serves are down, i tend to play worst).

I have solved a 3x3x3 rubics cube under a min lol!
but your right, maby im thinking a little too hard...

Blake0
12-19-2009, 10:00 AM
Play more tournaments. Play practice sets. Play a match where something is on the line, like a ranking or loser runs a mile or something. Play with a mindset that says you're gonna win, but not in an arrogant way. Play each point out, don't look at the big pictures, like the sets and start dreaming of the future, play nadal style, 1 point at a time.

86golf
12-22-2009, 07:08 AM
Would you consider playing some doubles for a stint to get more fun back into the game and hopefully winning? Doubles is good for your singles game.

I went on a slide about a month ago where I lost 4 straight matches on the Wii and 3 ladder matches. I've since turned the corner and have won 6 Wii matches and 3 ladder matches.

In D Zone
12-22-2009, 07:44 AM
I am 100% with you guys. Its totally different mind set playing in a match. You have to think and play on the fly. Employing all the tennis senses in the middle of the game: being cognizant of your own shots and what your opponent is doing, ball anticipation, where to hit /ball placement, keep error % low while keep the ball in play, knowing how and when to take every oppurtunity to work on your advantage and lastly learning to be mentally calm and not let too much emotion get in the way.

Best is to play as many matches as you can -regardless if its single or/and doubles. Evaluate your game after each match - know what you did well and work on the weaknesses.

Ripper014
12-22-2009, 08:15 AM
I'm with Breakpoint.
You are what you practice. If you practice all the time, you are a good practice player. But NOT a good match player.
Some people can convert from hitting to match play, most can't.
Play more meaningful matches.
No simple cure except hard work, tons of matches, and getting your mental problem/block solved.
Plenty of 5.5 practice players around my area. My 4.0 match ability matches up well with them in MATCHES. Everyone thinks they should slaughter me, based on their strokes. Strokes are great to have, but match experience is needed to play matches.

I am torn about this... I think winning a lot of times comes down to tactics. Knowing where to hit the ball and when to do it... understanding important points, etc...

Practice is great too... and important, I think someone that is a good practice player can be a good match player. I would rather be the person that knows he/she can hit that backhand down the line when needed than the one the knows they need to hit it there but doesn't own it.

Keep practicing and building your foundation... we all need to learn to win, and it is different for all of us and is based on the strengths of our games. As you begin to win you will become more confident and playing matches will be as comfortable as practicing.

I find for a lot of people that struggle with matchplay is that they are too focused about the result. Focus on playing and don't worry about the result... in the end you will either win or lose... and if you lose your opponent out played you. Enjoy the journey...

Camilio Pascual
12-22-2009, 10:53 AM
I have the mind set of thinking about the big picture...
Thinking about the big picture during a tennis match is a mistake.
Keep your mind concentrated on the actual game you are playing and don't think ahead about winning the set, match, etc.

UnforcedError
12-22-2009, 11:14 AM
Often times when I hit with people that are not as good they feel like rally kings. I try to hit them nice balls that land in the middle of the court and not too deep. In return I get some good balls back and some junk but this is to be expected. It is interesting enough to have fun and it can be challenging to hit good balls back when you are receiving junk.

What does bother me a little is when I'm hitting down the middle and I get pulled wide by some crappy mis-timed shot and I send back a short ball and the guy that hit the crap ball moves in and hits a winner and feels good about it like they just won a rally. This kind of stuff gets old quickly. If this continues for a while I will offer to play a set and clobber them. They probably feel the same way as you, they can rally with me and are winning rallies but couldn't put it together while playing. The reality is they weren't very good at rallies either. Is this you?

GuyClinch
12-22-2009, 11:17 AM
I bet if we see some footage of your strokes they would be less then perfect. I find that nearly all the time people who think they have perfect strokes actually have some technical errors that hold them back and cause them to make mistakes under pressure.

The "I have perfect strokes and still lose" is the rallying cry of many a tennis poster around here but when I watch people play in clubs and parks I see most people using form that even an amateur can easily identify as very poor.

You might be the exception of course but I doubt it.

Pete

LeeD
12-22-2009, 12:19 PM
I think every player need to practice lots, and just because I say I haven't practiced more than once every 5 years for the last 30, doesn't mean I don't believe in practice.
No, I just don't take tennis as seriously as you guys, or as I used to. Time is always a factor, old farts want to play, not practice, and playing is more fun, the reason I took up tennis.
I watch all these 5.5 looking guys hit for hours, and just shake my head and smile. Some of them can smoke me double bagel, but most are just even with my 4.0 tournament level.

Ripper014
12-22-2009, 01:55 PM
I think every player need to practice lots, and just because I say I haven't practiced more than once every 5 years for the last 30, doesn't mean I don't believe in practice.
No, I just don't take tennis as seriously as you guys, or as I used to. Time is always a factor, old farts want to play, not practice, and playing is more fun, the reason I took up tennis.
I watch all these 5.5 looking guys hit for hours, and just shake my head and smile. Some of them can smoke me double bagel, but most are just even with my 4.0 tournament level.


Maybe because they are not 5.5 players, it can look like a duck... quack like a duck... walk like a duck... ok bad analogy. But obviously if they can only hang with you maybe they are not at a 5.5 level.

LeeD
12-22-2009, 02:38 PM
5.5 LOOKING players...
Those guys who can stand back and crush the ball every stroke from the baseline, always hitting with topspin and usually deep and hard into the court, full shoulder turns and always solid contact.
5.5 LOOKING I said, please read that!

Ripper014
12-22-2009, 04:07 PM
5.5 LOOKING players...
Those guys who can stand back and crush the ball every stroke from the baseline, always hitting with topspin and usually deep and hard into the court, full shoulder turns and always solid contact.
5.5 LOOKING I said, please read that!

Yup I read what you wrote... I was just saying exactly that... they may look like a 5.5 but they play at a 4.0 level, which I find surprising. If they can play a full level and a half different I would not think strategy would make that much of a difference. I have posted in the past how I ended up playing with a 4.0 who's opponent didn't show up... I basically just kept the ball in play and let him make all the errors and won 6-1 6-0. I would like to think someone with the strokes of a 5.5 player could overcome any tactical advantage of a 4.0 player just with stroke production alone. But I may be wrong... I have been in the past and will be again in the future.

You on the otherhand are an enigma... I thought you said you were at a 3.5 level in singles... I also thought you said somewhere you were 5'-10 and 155 ish... lately you have become 5'-6 and 145. Like I said an enigma.

You have also led a storied life... meeting a lot of interesting people, and have been fortunate enough to be associated with so many influential people. And I am sure the people here are grateful for all insight and instruction.

LeeD
12-22-2009, 04:13 PM
If you would read my posts a little more carefully, you'll find I mentioned my 3.5 skills, or "C" player in 1975. This is later now.
And if you'd read about my heights, with context on timeframe, you'd find I was 5'6" tall when I graduated from high school. That would be 1966. It's now '09 going on '10.
I have gotten older since I was 5'6" and whatever weights. I hope you can read a little better.

LeeD
12-22-2009, 04:27 PM
Oh, and I do claim I'm about a 4.0 tournament player nowadaze.
4.0, but with experience of about 32 years of tennis watching, maybe some tournament experience up to and including 5.5 levels. And competitive sports thru school and more than most of my adult life. I wasn't burdened by the need to work.
The reason I claim 4.0 is that I'm 60, can't cover alley to alley, don't wish to play long points, and lost maybe 30% of my physical skills due to advancing age.
But how can Div1 college shots bother me when I've played at Q levels in the pro level, and regularly play with former Div1 college players?

Ripper014
12-22-2009, 08:51 PM
Oh, and I do claim I'm about a 4.0 tournament player nowadaze.
4.0, but with experience of about 32 years of tennis watching, maybe some tournament experience up to and including 5.5 levels. And competitive sports thru school and more than most of my adult life. I wasn't burdened by the need to work.
The reason I claim 4.0 is that I'm 60, can't cover alley to alley, don't wish to play long points, and lost maybe 30% of my physical skills due to advancing age.
But how can Div1 college shots bother me when I've played at Q levels in the pro level, and regularly play with former Div1 college players?



Ok I apologize... if my memory is not what it was.

But from my recollection... you said... that you lost to a 3.5 player badly... when asked you qualified that with the fact that you considered yourself a 4.0 doubles player and only a 3.5 singles player, but I am sure you will correct me if I am mistaken.

As far as playing a qualifer... you said back then anyone could play the qualifer as long as you were winning to pay your monies. So I don't think you should use that as a claim to fame. But your list of acquaintances is impressive... from Peanut Louie to Harold Solomon...

LeeD
12-23-2009, 07:29 AM
C'mon, Pea grew up 2 miles from me, and Marcie always liked me. I was mid 20's then. Marna, Marissa, and Ronny were also practice partners.
I never claimed to hit with HaroldSolomon. He hung around our booth at the TransAmerica.
Yes, I lost to a 3.5 singles player badly .... 4 and 4. I had beaten him better than 2 for the last 50 matches, not just sets. The next time I played him, I beat him 2, 1, and 1. Maybe I'm a high 3.5, but no 3.5 or 4.0 can beat me consistently.
Last year, I played maybe 20 sets with a guy who was #ONE ranked NorCal 4.0. He claimed he plays better now (or then, last year). He tried to draft me into his 4.5 team, for singles. I never lost a set to him. Back in '78, he was #3-5 on a BATL "B" or 4.5 team. I was the #6 on the same NorthBeach team. This singles.

teppeiahn1
12-25-2009, 06:55 PM
You guys are prety tough on me, but i would rather have that then soft balling me. Anyways just to make it clear im no where near 5.5 player.

One thing I noticed is my confidence goes down when I play players that are more solid than me. But when im playing guys who trying to just keep it consitant or play very conservative, I get in my zone and start playing realy well.

It just seems like guys I play are firering big serves and it gets me out of rythm. Then I start missing shots.

Im currently taking a vacation wich is great. When I come back to cali, ill post a video.