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View Full Version : If you had only one practice partner for a year...


raiden031
01-05-2010, 07:44 AM
Lets say you were only allowed to have one partner for an entire year. You were only allowed to play matches with this partner. Lets assume this partner is a little bit better than you, such that most of the time they will beat you, but occasionally on a good day you might win in a close match.

Which type of player would be better for improving your game, and which type of player would you prefer to play against?

#1 Shotmaker - This player hits some big serves, big groundstrokes, occasionally self-destructs, but occasionally blows you off the court.

#2 Consistent Rallyer - This player hits more conservative serves and groundstrokes and generally doesn't put alot of pressure on you, except maybe mentally. This player really makes you earn points and seldom donates them for free.

For #1, the main advantage I see is that you get to work on your fitness, anticipation, and shot tolerance as you are facing a guy who is really pressuring you and running you around. The downside might be that rallies will be shorter so you might not learn patience and can rely on your opponent having an off day, giving you a false sense that you played well.

For #2, the main advantage I see is the mental improvement. You learn how to better construct points with better shot selections, and also develop patience. No matter how big your strokes are on a given day, you will lose if you don't play smart against this player.

What are your thoughts?

HellBunni
01-05-2010, 07:50 AM
if it is to improve, I would choose #2.

because you get to work on your game, and try out things. And expect the ball the come back.

playing against #1 isn't going to be fun nor help you improve too much, because he/she will either hit a unreturnable winner, or just self destruct.

Ripper014
01-05-2010, 07:53 AM
I would take player 2... for the reasons you have stated.

smoothtennis
01-05-2010, 08:13 AM
Number 2 - most of your opponents fall into this category pace wise, and I believe will help you prepare for number 1 better when you get that chance.

skiracer55
01-05-2010, 08:15 AM
...this is my style, so if I play somebody like this, the winner isn't just who makes great plays, but the player who can do it consistently...besides, this is tennis which is like a knife fight in a phone booth, which, for me, is more fun...

raiden031
01-05-2010, 08:41 AM
...this is my style, so if I play somebody like this, the winner isn't just who makes great plays, but the player who can do it consistently...besides, this is tennis which is like a knife fight in a phone booth, which, for me, is more fun...

I prefer this guy (#1) if it comes down to having more fun. In fact I started playing singles against a guy just like this (he bageled me 2 out of 3 sets we played) the other week, but the last two times we played it was competitive. Weird how that works.

bad_call
01-05-2010, 08:53 AM
Rafa - cause we'd play on clay and at least my legs would be stronger at the end.

when can i go?

SuperDuy
01-05-2010, 09:29 AM
number 3 imo

Cindysphinx
01-05-2010, 11:48 AM
No. 2.

No. 1 would turn me into a pusher. Just push, push and push some more, waiting for him to self destruct. Blech.

fruitytennis1
01-05-2010, 12:19 PM
agree with cindy...

user92626
01-05-2010, 01:03 PM
You can't push with a shotmaker. If he had to hit so many shots, he wouldn't be known as shotmaker, would he? :)

Same thing, a consistent rallyer that puts no pressure on you? Sounds like a wall or a ball machine set on low. You either grow out of it fast or he's not gonna be "a consistent rallyer" soon.

Cindysphinx
01-05-2010, 01:33 PM
We need more options.

How about Practice Partner Three? This person is just perfect tenniswise and levelwise except he never learned to play nicely in the sandbox. He hits the ball to every place you are not, coaches you constantly, goes for winners off of the feed, throws in drop shots when you are rallying, makes you stand there while he DFs into the net because he has to try to smoke every serve.

Any takers on him?

user92626
01-05-2010, 01:40 PM
I would, Cindy.

It would probably be hell playing against him. And you must probably leave your ego at the door but it's a small price to pay because when u done with him, you'll smoke all other players.

Blake0
01-05-2010, 05:25 PM
We need more options.

How about Practice Partner Three? This person is just perfect tenniswise and levelwise except he never learned to play nicely in the sandbox. He hits the ball to every place you are not, coaches you constantly, goes for winners off of the feed, throws in drop shots when you are rallying, makes you stand there while he DFs into the net because he has to try to smoke every serve.

Any takers on him?

Haha..this reminds me of who i hit with.

I'm the #1 guy, my other friends a counterpuncher (basically a #2), and my other friend who's the guy you mentioned, #3. Although i like shot making and trying to go for stupid shots, when i play seriously i know when to be more patient and construct a point.

I'd prefer the #3 guy, but if he's not an option the #2 guy. You'll have to really learn to construct points and go for your shots when you get the chance. You'll learn to make your offensive game more consistent, and not a 1 in 4 ratio of winning/losing the point.

ManuGinobili
01-05-2010, 06:43 PM
Anna Kournikova... HUGE mental improvement.

crash1929
01-05-2010, 07:12 PM
i can't decide. impossible question.

Toxicmilk
01-05-2010, 07:15 PM
Anna Kournikova... HUGE mental improvement.

amen.

I'd go with number 1. I've played plenty more consistent players than "number 1s" anyways.

tfm1973
01-06-2010, 03:34 AM
one hitting partner for an entire year? if you want to improve - player #2. player #2 you have to beat. player #1 you are mostly a bystander if he really is either going to blow you off the court or self destruct.

also keep in mind that player #1 (you said he's a little bit better than you) at the next highest level may no longer be considered a "shotmaker". he might be called "that guy who 1 out of 10 times hits a screaming winner and 9 out of 10 times hits the backboard on the rise."

Mick
01-06-2010, 04:04 AM
choice number 2 is like having both a hitting partner and a ball machine.

consistency is very important in tennis. when was the last time an inconsistent shotmaker won a grand slam title?

PimpMyGame
01-06-2010, 04:16 AM
I would need to go with #2. If I had more consistency I know I'd be able to give more players a run for their money.

equinox
01-06-2010, 05:04 AM
No. 2.

No. 1 would turn me into a pusher. Just push, push and push some more, waiting for him to self destruct. Blech.

I agree with cindy..

I've been playing a #1 shotmaker as my primary match practice partner for the last 2 years. Since then i've turned into a more defensive player. Blocking hard serves back on the fh and hitting droppers, deep loopy moonballs all in the knowledge these shots wear the down the endurance of my partner. #1 on a rare good day can win in 2 sets, though most matches that go into a 3rd set end with the fitness and uf failing #1.

My 2nd partner is closer to a #2, with the ability mix up his game. From powerbaseliner to grinder and even serve volley. I play well against PB, I struggle to transfer to offensive play when he decides to grind out pts.

So playing against a variety of styles is essential to learning to adapt ones tactics. My choice would be #2. I'm tired of picking up out balls after 3 shots... ;)

Fedace
01-06-2010, 05:07 AM
If i only had one partner,,, preferrably the one that is good in bed like Wozniaki...

Cindysphinx
01-06-2010, 07:01 AM
I'm tired of picking up out balls after 3 shots... ;)

:quiet seething:

Yeah, I have that with one practice partner. Smacking angled winners off of feeds. And I once had a different practice partner who wouldn't return any ball that was out. Said it would train her brain to play out balls.

Ripper014
01-06-2010, 08:13 AM
I had one acquaintance that did nothing but go for winners during warmup... (female)... and a headcase... she was successful at lower levels of play but got slaughtered in open.

I would hit the ball to her and she would go for a winner, I would chase it down and hit it to the middle of the court to her and she would go for a winner in the other corner... after about 5 minutes... I stopped... and said to her that warmup is not all about her... she took offence to my comment and could not understand what all the fuss was about.

I never played socially with her again, I guess I could have just blasted balls past her... but for what purpose we were just warming up.

This was just something that came to mind... when I read the statement about picking up balls after 3 hits.