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View Full Version : What do you do with the deep ball with no pace.


hacker_101
01-02-2010, 05:45 PM
When hitting with people who have heavy pace, I take my swing and the timing is fine. Once or twice a week I play this guy who is very consistent and he hits these mid-court or deeper balls waist high with some pace but just not as much pace as I'm used to. It literally looks like the ball is motionless in the air and then I have to adjust my footwork forward and I lose my timing. I have to tell myself to keep my form and don't just hit a winner because it's slow. It's deep so I try to hit heavy topspin back deep into a corner.

It takes me the (10 minute) warm up plus 4 to 5 games into the match before I can get the timing down. I was just wondering on if anyone had any tips on how to warm up faster and improve timing a slower type ball.

fyi, I live in a small town in Canada and there are only a couple courts available and we are limited to 1 hour of play per day. I don't have a wall to play against either since it's freezing outside.

Thanks in advance.

Recon
01-02-2010, 06:23 PM
classic case, honestly it's just a matter of practice. Unfortunate for your disposition seeing how you have a limited time only. Anything anyones going to tell you here will still require you to practice, that mid court slow motionless ball, or even deep, you basically can do ANYTHING to it. Do whatever is more comfortable for you. Gonzales would rip a forehand winner, Hewitt will hit back crosscourt. Whatever your comfortable in doing, Hit it back deep and follow it into the net. It's a ball that doesn't force you to make quick reactions, so its not offensive, take that ball and make what you will of it.

What I do with it depends on how i'm feeling. Either I take it on the rise(risky placing it in a corner so I can follow it into the net, or Go for the winner. I do not like to play defensively.

Blake0
01-02-2010, 06:35 PM
Once you get those sitter slices that sit up with no pace right on the baseline, those will give you more trouble. You really have to hit through the ball more and provide your own pace. Don't really go for a winner, just focus on hitting it deep and well placed for now. Once you get used to it, work on hitting that shot to keep you in offense.

A good way to help develop it, is to step in and hit through those balls.

Geezer Guy
01-02-2010, 06:39 PM
Agree with Recon. That's a ball you WANT to get. Line that sucker up and give it a ride. Footwork is key. Get to the ball quickly. Expect it to bounce "up", not forward. Personally, I try to take the ball at it's peak, unless it's going to bounce clear out of my strike zone.

I have no tips on how to warm up faster. But, as you play more and more and get used to playing against a wide variety of playing styles, that will come more naturally.

Recon
01-02-2010, 07:50 PM
^^ double agreed with geezer, I'd rather get that slow paced ball in a match, then someone throwing bombs on my side of the court. First..tennis is mental, have an offensive mindset when you see this ball, like Geezer and I said, you WANT this ball, that's what you work for anyway, a short easy ball to put away. If hes giving it to you? man Christmas comes around a lot for you. Unfortunately I feel for you on the no practice time..I'm in a similar position...you'll have to figure it out on the fly, look at it this way, things I learn in a dire situation...never leave. Instincts my friend.

skuludo
01-02-2010, 08:16 PM
If it is motionless then you can just drop feed yourself and hit groundies. Can you hit great groundstrokes just standing and toss the ball somewhere and walk up to it and hit an offensive ball placed well?

SupremeV
01-03-2010, 01:41 AM
Hello! There's first one thing I'd like to address. You need understand that tennis is not black and white. What I mean by that is that you can't have the mindset that each specific shot requires a special stroke. This will get you very confused as there are probably a billion different adaptions you got to do in tennis. As you can see, this mindset can be very detrimental to consistent technique. To put it simply, you don't want to think too much when you have to hit a low shot, semi-low shot, chest level shot, high lob, etc etc.

So what should you do?

Allow your subconscious to make these quick and slight adaption to your natural stroke. This is easier said then done especially at lower levels. Unfortunately the only way to do this requires lots of practice, court time, and usually a coach or partner. You got to use constant repitition to ingrain it into your mind, so that when you play an actual set, your subconscious should be doing most of the work. IMO the only time your conscious mind should be involved is in between points and breaks.

Finally I realize that you don't have much court time. I had a very similar problem when I was younger- I was also very slow at warming up and didn't have a reliable tennis partner/coach/court time to practice. I'll tell you how I managed it: Because you are slightly disadvantaged by court time, you gotta make up for it by other means. This depends highly on what kind of learner you are. If you are good with pictures and imagery, like I am, try to expose yourself to many instruction and slow motion videos. If you require repetitive action and practice , then you need to practice in front of the mirror. Embarrasing? who cares as long as you can improve your technique. One of the greatest thing I regret when I was playing my high school years was not utilizing these kind of "practices" as much as I could. But of course everyone is different! But what I suggest won't hurt. If you don't have court space, and want to improve tennis, why not spend time reading, watching, etc. Hope this helps!

zacinnc78
01-03-2010, 03:34 AM
run around and setup the inside out forehand everytime and follow in to the net!(at least until he changes strategies)

brad1730
01-03-2010, 04:08 AM
I've had trouble with this as well. I've been focusing on using my non-hitting arm extended and using that arm to judge the speed and trajectory of the incoming ball. This is nothing new - but sometimes focusing on the basics really helps.

As far as limited time goes... I show up early and warm up on an Eliptical machine for 10 minutes, then go to the racquetball court to get my strokes warmed up. If I'm lucky, the court will be open a little before my scheduled time, and I can get some practice serves in. I'll also serve the ball to myself, and hit a few slices, backhands and forehands. Sometimes I'll hit it into the net between our courts, just to get my shoulder warmed up.

mordecai
01-03-2010, 10:20 PM
If you really have that much time to hit it, step into the court and take it before it even bounces and rush the net!

Steady Eddy
01-03-2010, 10:34 PM
Hit down the middle and deep. Then it becomes your opponents problem. I agree with Vic Braden's advice that to beat most players all you have to do it hit hit down the middle and deep. If you try for a winner, you'll get some, but you'll get more losers. You might think that you're at a level where winning tennis depends on some super-complicated strategy. But even at the highest levels, there's not so much strategy, it about execution. Keep hitting this shot until you get a short ball. Then you've got more options. Until then, you've got to keep your concentration and be patient.

ManuGinobili
01-04-2010, 12:31 AM
you will get used to it over time

Slazenger07
01-04-2010, 12:40 PM
Either moonball it with heavy topspin, or crush it with a forehand, backhand, or overhead.

Bagumbawalla
01-05-2010, 04:20 PM
The slower the ball and the less the pace, the more you have to rely on good form and timing to control the ball. Think of this as an opportunity to practice and perfect your stroke.

In many cases professional players will start out practicing by hitting relatively slow balls and concentrating on all the basics. It would not hurt most of us to do the same.

On the other hand, after a while, you want something more. What I would do is step in and practice taking the ball early- also I would make sure to have something specific I want to do with each ball- whatever that might be.

crash1929
01-05-2010, 07:10 PM
to the op: not sure on technical advise here, BUT I love watching pro matches when this situation comes up because in my head I'm thinking Ok lets see how THEYD handle it.

Kenny022593
01-05-2010, 07:42 PM
Instead of trying to hit a heavy topspin to the corner maybe leave some room for error and stop trying to pick it off pinpoint? Or did i mis-read and you were not trying to hit in pin point? Anyway what i did to solve my problem beating a meadium to slow paced deep ball was i played smarter and hit it higher over the net and did not try to jam it for a winner like you said or hit a perfect corner shot. Just try to hit it back with moderate pace deep so that it puts him introuble and come into the net off of it?

hacker_101
01-05-2010, 08:06 PM
The slower the ball and the less the pace, the more you have to rely on good form and timing to control the ball. Think of this as an opportunity to practice and perfect your stroke.

In many cases professional players will start out practicing by hitting relatively slow balls and concentrating on all the basics. It would not hurt most of us to do the same.

On the other hand, after a while, you want something more. What I would do is step in and practice taking the ball early- also I would make sure to have something specific I want to do with each ball- whatever that might be.

This is what I have been concentrating on...Using good form...
I tried to keep my body in the unit turn position a little longer as the ball was coming and it definitely was working today. I think it prevented me from uncoiling too soon. Thanks for the tips everyone.

charliefedererer
01-06-2010, 08:23 AM
First of all, make sure you do a dynamic warmup consiting of jogging or riding a stationary bike, and using elastic tubing to warm up your arm with exercises mimicking your ground strokes. Your muscles need to be warmed up prior to your taking the court.

You can use one of the following strategies:
1. Run him side to side, including heavy use of an inside out forehand as you should have time to get to the ball, and little worry of him hitting a forcing shot you can't get to.
2. Run him by hitting a deep crosscourt forehand to his forehand, then hitting short slice backhands to his backhand on any balls hit to your backhand.
3. Try to take the net early with forcing shots down the line on any short balls he hits.
4. Purposely hit short shots to make him come to the net, then lob or pass him (Moonballers are frequently clueless at the net).

Probe his play by using all of the above, using the one he is performing the worst with as your main tactic. But throw in the others often enough so he won't automatically know where you are going to hit the ball.

At the beginning of the match work on consistancy, as your one hour of play time won't let you come back from a big deficit. Hit bigger as your hand/eye coordination are warmed up enough to add more pace.

If your serve is a weapon, don't feel rushed in your warmup serves. Half a dozen second serves followed by half a dozen first serves should be a minimum serving warm up for you.

xFullCourtTenniSx
01-08-2010, 12:33 AM
It literally looks like the ball is motionless in the air

Then rip two into the opposite corners for a winner.

crash1929
01-10-2010, 08:24 PM
answer to op: if your prepared: KILL IT

Zachol82
01-10-2010, 08:47 PM
When hitting with people who have heavy pace, I take my swing and the timing is fine. Once or twice a week I play this guy who is very consistent and he hits these mid-court or deeper balls waist high with some pace but just not as much pace as I'm used to. It literally looks like the ball is motionless in the air and then I have to adjust my footwork forward and I lose my timing. I have to tell myself to keep my form and don't just hit a winner because it's slow. It's deep so I try to hit heavy topspin back deep into a corner.

It takes me the (10 minute) warm up plus 4 to 5 games into the match before I can get the timing down. I was just wondering on if anyone had any tips on how to warm up faster and improve timing a slower type ball.

fyi, I live in a small town in Canada and there are only a couple courts available and we are limited to 1 hour of play per day. I don't have a wall to play against either since it's freezing outside.

Thanks in advance.

If your opponent's game consists of just slow shots like this, the best thing to do is just to go up and volley it away.

However...

To warm-up fast, I first start with some quick, knee-high jog in one spot. I then proceed to a modified version of your classic jumping jacks, which I'm not sure what it's called at the moment...but all you do is complete the entire repetition right as you hit the ground again, instead of splitting it up to 2 different jumps. You should end up in the neutral standing position when your feet touches the ground again.

As for slow balls, just keep your eyes and mind on it at all times and hit it when the bounce is at its apex. Better yet, slower balls are perfect for on the rise shots, since they're slow enough for you to time on the rise shots correctly AND on the rise shots will generate a lot of pace without you having to swing hard at it with all your strength.