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bageler
09-19-2011, 07:02 PM
So, I'm kind of new to this forum, just bought my first stringer, etc. I learned to play by getting my *** kicked around the court by a 4.0/4.5 player in my late teens and early twenties who needed a backboard (I wasn't it , lol), and studying pro players strokes and footwork on tv, before high def and dvr's. He offered no advise other than what I learned by getting my butt kicked. I quickly progressed from someone that had never hit a tennis ball to a solid 3.5 player. I have played as high as a 4.0 and played up to a 4.5 in non-sanctioned tourneys. I also had to learn how to play coming from FL and moving to CO, quite a transition! I am not a "slapper", and I feel my strokes are grooved and at least somewhat traditional, at least for being a person who has never had a lesson. After blowing up my shoulder in a USTA 3.5 local tourney, I'm ready to get started again, and was wondering if there would be any benefit from taking lessons? Now in my early 40s I feel it might be too late to obtain my goal of being a 5.0 player.

LeeD
09-19-2011, 07:05 PM
Post vid.
We don't know how discombobulated your strokes are by reading your words. If you have solid form, you can make high 4.5 or low 5.0. If your form needs complete reworking, it would be hard.

bageler
09-19-2011, 07:49 PM
haha, I'm going to need a few more weeks of P90X before I make any attemp at a video. My goal after so long out of the game is to get into shape to play tennis, and not play tennis to get in shape. I figured if there was ever a moment to re-shape my game this was it.

TennisCJC
09-21-2011, 10:37 AM
So, I'm kind of new to this forum, just bought my first stringer, etc. I learned to play by getting my *** kicked around the court by a 4.0/4.5 player in my late teens and early twenties who needed a backboard (I wasn't it , lol), and studying pro players strokes and footwork on tv, before high def and dvr's. He offered no advise other than what I learned by getting my butt kicked. I quickly progressed from someone that had never hit a tennis ball to a solid 3.5 player. I have played as high as a 4.0 and played up to a 4.5 in non-sanctioned tourneys. I also had to learn how to play coming from FL and moving to CO, quite a transition! I am not a "slapper", and I feel my strokes are grooved and at least somewhat traditional, at least for being a person who has never had a lesson. After blowing up my shoulder in a USTA 3.5 local tourney, I'm ready to get started again, and was wondering if there would be any benefit from taking lessons? Now in my early 40s I feel it might be too late to obtain my goal of being a 5.0 player.

Take 4-6 lessons per year preferrable in a weekly or every other week sequence. In other words, take lessons for a month or two straight to advance your game.

See if there are 1 week adult camps in your area - something along the lines of 2-3 hours per day for 5 days. Take one of these per year.

Join a leauge team and play at a level where you win about 50% of the time. Also, try to find some players better than you and practice against them when possible.

Not sure if you can make 5.0 but pretty sure you can be a good solid 4.0 if you do most of these things.

skiracer55
09-21-2011, 12:16 PM
...and welcome to Colorado...

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=387902

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=375284

bageler
09-22-2011, 05:59 PM
Thanks for the welcome skiracer, although I failed to mention I've lived here since 1994. Our club won the 3.5 USTA sectionals before losing at the regionals, somewhere around 2000 or so.

CJC, do you get anything more out of lessons than group drills? Maybe it's the person teaching, but I have never really gained anything from drills, and the local pro at the club I would have play at is the same as it was where I was playing before, which makes me hesitant. As far as I'm concerned I have two glaring weaknesses, 1) my second serve, and 2) overheads.

I'll try to post a short video in a few weeks of my strokes, footwork, serve, etc.

larry10s
09-22-2011, 06:03 PM
Thanks for the welcome skiracer, although I failed to mention I've lived here since 1994. Our club won the 3.5 USTA sectionals before losing at the regionals, somewhere around 2000 or so.

CJC, do you get anything more out of lessons than group drills? Maybe it's the person teaching, but I have never really gained anything from drills, and the local pro at the club I would have play at is the same as it was where I was playing before, which makes me hesitant. As far as I'm concerned I have two glaring weaknesses, 1) my second serve, and 2) overheads.

I'll try to post a short video in a few weeks of my strokes, footwork, serve, etc.

several lessons and time with a bucket of balls should solve your second serve woes
overheads you need someone to feed you lobs
1-2 lessons regarding footwork and staying sideways should suffice

fuzz nation
09-29-2011, 08:54 AM
Very smart move in terms of getting in shape to play well instead of playing to get into shape. I'm 45 and at our age, I don't think it's reasonable to want to really let it fly on the courts without doing off-court work to help keep it all together. Haven't tried P90X in my day, but I've nailed down a regimen including riding my bike, lifting, and even some yoga which makes me a night-and-day more capable player.

Not saying that it's impossible to get anywhere without decent instruction, but without the help of a trained eye, I think it's impossible to fully know what we don't know. I've overhauled my game over the last six or eight years and even certified with the USPTA. Half way through my fifth decade and I'm still getting better. You sound hungry to make some gains, so I'll bet you can notch some solid improvements, too.

Not every teacher will be great for you, but I'll bet that a little instruction here and there over the next year or so will certainly keep you headed in the right direction. The most painful part of the process will probably be un-learning the bad habits you've accumulated (we all have them). It can make a short term mess of some part of your game, but the sooner you start ironing out those problems, the stronger you'll be down the road.

LuckyR
09-29-2011, 10:09 AM
You definitely can improve, the question is are you committed enough to do it. Only you know the answer to that.

rkelley
09-29-2011, 11:33 AM
So, I'm kind of new to this forum, just bought my first stringer, etc. I learned to play by getting my *** kicked around the court by a 4.0/4.5 player in my late teens and early twenties who needed a backboard (I wasn't it , lol), and studying pro players strokes and footwork on tv, before high def and dvr's. He offered no advise other than what I learned by getting my butt kicked. I quickly progressed from someone that had never hit a tennis ball to a solid 3.5 player. I have played as high as a 4.0 and played up to a 4.5 in non-sanctioned tourneys. I also had to learn how to play coming from FL and moving to CO, quite a transition! I am not a "slapper", and I feel my strokes are grooved and at least somewhat traditional, at least for being a person who has never had a lesson. After blowing up my shoulder in a USTA 3.5 local tourney, I'm ready to get started again, and was wondering if there would be any benefit from taking lessons? Now in my early 40s I feel it might be too late to obtain my goal of being a 5.0 player.

It's not too late. I'm almost 49 and I've been improving over the last year. I've been hitting with a guy who use to play 5.0 tournaments. Six months ago it was all I could do to get some decent balls back with enough pace that he wouldn't just rip winners. I wasn't super consistent at this pace because I was hitting very flat and very hard. This guy's shots were as hard as mine, had more net clearance, more action, and were more consistent. This guy was clearly in another league than me.

I changed my forehand to modern swing path so I could get more topspin (i.e. margin). I've gotten comfortable hitting in any stance on my forehand and developed a much better running forehand. I tweaked some aspects of my 2hbh backhand to get a bit more topspin on it and I've been also trying to improve pace and consistency on my 1hbh slice. I'm currently working on getting more comfortable hitting an open stance backhand that has some pop when I've been stretched out wide as I see this as my biggest weakness right now. My serve's always been my best shot, but I've been trying to get better placement on my first serve and more pace and spin on my second with reasonable placement. My volleys could use some attention, but there is only so much time I can spend on this. I've spent a lot of time on the wall really working my form, balance, footwork, etc.

It's made a difference. On a good day I can hang with this guy now, and the good days are happening with greater frequency. He's still better than me, but the difference is smaller. I hit harder with more margin and more consistency than I could six months ago.

If you're willing to put some work into it, and there are no injury issues, then there's no reason that you can't get to a 5.0. You can do it without a coach, especially if you're the analytical type and are willing to really evaluate your strokes. This board has been super helpful to me. A good coach should make it easier though. Good luck.

skiracer55
09-29-2011, 11:43 AM
Thanks for the welcome skiracer, although I failed to mention I've lived here since 1994. Our club won the 3.5 USTA sectionals before losing at the regionals, somewhere around 2000 or so.

CJC, do you get anything more out of lessons than group drills? Maybe it's the person teaching, but I have never really gained anything from drills, and the local pro at the club I would have play at is the same as it was where I was playing before, which makes me hesitant. As far as I'm concerned I have two glaring weaknesses, 1) my second serve, and 2) overheads.

I'll try to post a short video in a few weeks of my strokes, footwork, serve, etc.

...so as long as you're somewhere reasonably close, if you like, let's try to get together and I'll tell you what I think. I coached two groups in Longmont last year, a 3.0/3.5 group and a 4.0/4.5 group. This season, I've been coaching a couple of folks I met via the TW fora. There's no money involved, I just like doing it, so send me a PM if you like...

TennisCJC
09-30-2011, 07:18 AM
Thanks for the welcome skiracer, although I failed to mention I've lived here since 1994. Our club won the 3.5 USTA sectionals before losing at the regionals, somewhere around 2000 or so.

CJC, do you get anything more out of lessons than group drills? Maybe it's the person teaching, but I have never really gained anything from drills, and the local pro at the club I would have play at is the same as it was where I was playing before, which makes me hesitant. As far as I'm concerned I have two glaring weaknesses, 1) my second serve, and 2) overheads.

I'll try to post a short video in a few weeks of my strokes, footwork, serve, etc.

Sorry to be slow to respond.

I have taken only a hand full of individual lessons, loads team lessons, and 2 1-week intensive drills camps over 30+ years. I think the individual lessons and 1 week intensive drill camps were the most beneficial. The individual lessons give you an hour hitting with a pro which is usually pretty intense hitting and you get pointers on some strokes. Last year, I spent last 10 minutes with pro evualuating serve and he suggested moving toss forward into court which helps - easy power and easier on the arm.

But, my favorites were the 1 week intensive drill camps. These were adult camps with 3 hours each evening. 3-4 comparable level players per court with a pro per court. Comprehensive drills - groundstrokes, volleys, overheads, some points. I felt like my game jumped up a notch and it lasted several weeks. You hit more overheads in the camps than I normally hit in a month of playing - quality of overhead jumps up.

Bad part is finding an adult camp that is local so you can go after work is getting more and more difficult.