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Chyeaah
10-13-2011, 10:39 PM
My friend is quit new to tennis, around 2.0-2.5 what would be the best way to improve.

OTMPut
10-13-2011, 10:41 PM
easiest is to play more.

Chyeaah
10-13-2011, 10:46 PM
He plays like 2-3 hours a week i think thats plenty but what does he work on first? groundstrokes, footwork?

any tips on how to teach him. His just 15, he likes tennis alot and wants to pursue it in the future

Ptrac
10-13-2011, 11:37 PM
play tournaments.

Maui19
10-14-2011, 03:12 AM
I would work on getting decent groundstroke mechanics. Have a pro offer some advice on BH and FH, and then practice that a ton.

Chyeaah
10-14-2011, 03:19 AM
I would work on getting decent groundstroke mechanics. Have a pro offer some advice on BH and FH, and then practice that a ton.

ive been teaching him, Pivot, Take racquet all the way back, extend your arm to see where your hitting so you can get the sweet spot. Then when you hit the ball your body turns around and your arm goes low to high around your shoulders. Is this correct?

spaceman_spiff
10-14-2011, 03:29 AM
He plays like 2-3 hours a week i think thats plenty but what does he work on first? groundstrokes, footwork?

any tips on how to teach him. His just 15, he likes tennis alot and wants to pursue it in the future

First, improve footwork (it's the most useful skill overall). Second, improve serve (most important shot). Third, improve return (second most important shot).

Chyeaah
10-14-2011, 04:12 AM
No ground strokes at all? At a low level isnt it all about rallies to win points

spaceman_spiff
10-14-2011, 04:16 AM
No ground strokes at all? At a low level isnt it all about rallies to win points

If you teach someone how to move his feet well and hit effective driving returns, he should then be able to derive groundstrokes from there. (Groundstrokes will be like a return with more footwork and slightly longer swing.)

Besides, at the lower levels, points won't last long if one player is able to hit big, well-placed serves and solid returns. The reason most lower-level matches rely so much on rallies is because neither player is able to consistently hit solid serves or returns.

bhallic24
10-14-2011, 04:24 AM
First, improve footwork (it's the most useful skill overall). Second, improve serve (most important shot). Third, improve return (second most important shot).

I think as one progresses past beginner, this is definitely the right priority of things to work on. But since his friend is just starting, you should let him at least work on some footwork and groundstrokes first. This way he can at least rally with people and get practice that way as well.

The serve is a much more advanced skill than say, the forehand. Lotta technique going into the serve. Don't start out with that. Teach the guy a forehand first, some good footwork, go from there.

spaceman_spiff
10-14-2011, 04:38 AM
I think as one progresses past beginner, this is definitely the right priority of things to work on. But since his friend is just starting, you should let him at least work on some footwork and groundstrokes first. This way he can at least rally with people and get practice that way as well.

The serve is a much more advanced skill than say, the forehand. Lotta technique going into the serve. Don't start out with that. Teach the guy a forehand first, some good footwork, go from there.

That's exactly why the serve and return become the least-practiced shots, despite the fact that they are the two most important shots in the game.

How many times have we all met or heard someone who says he can play well in practice (which always means rallying) but does poorly in matches? Is it because everyone focuses more on learning to rally first and less on learning to serve and return? Why not take the opposite route?

Teach the kid how to do the two most important shots of the game really well. Then, when he reaches the point where he can't beat people with his serves or returns and he starts getting into longer rallies, teach him how to rally better. That way, he learns the most important shots first and the less important shots later (while still possessing solid serves and returns).

papa
10-14-2011, 04:58 AM
Well, the most important thing is to get started in the right direction/learning the strokes properly.

Do yourself and your friend a big favor and buy Dave Smith's "Tennis Mastery" or "Coaching Mastery" books - it will be the best money you can spend -- both are available at TW. Dave is a frequent poster here and his books contain a wealth of information on getting people started in the sport.

If you can't spend the money (around $25 ea), than get on the web and look up one of probably a hundred sites dealing with tennis instruction. I'd suggest USPTA material but there are a lot of adequate sites that provide good instruction.

I'd also suggest you start with the volley and just do a lot of mini-tennis (inside the service lines) for several outings. Get used to watching the ball and use short & consistent strokes. Just get the ball back and forth to each other 10, 20, 30 times without trying to pound it through each other.

bhallic24
10-14-2011, 04:59 AM
That's exactly why the serve and return become the least-practiced shots, despite the fact that they are the two most important shots in the game.

How many times have we all met or heard someone who says he can play well in practice (which always means rallying) but does poorly in matches? Is it because everyone focuses more on learning to rally first and less on learning to serve and return? Why not take the opposite route?

Teach the kid how to do the two most important shots of the game really well. Then, when he reaches the point where he can't beat people with his serves or returns and he starts getting into longer rallies, teach him how to rally better. That way, he learns the most important shots first and the less important shots later (while still possessing solid serves and returns).


i never said to de emphasize the serve and return, hell that's pretty much all i do when i play with my buddy now. but that's not the first thing u teach a person new to the sport. Imagine if you were a tennis coach and u had to teach a class of 10 new students and said yea alright class , 1st lession lets do some serving and then the other half work on returns.

Yea that's the point u get fired. Forehand is the most basic thing. If you can't hit a good forehand, you probably can'tn return a serve well. NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND.

You don't teach kids wanting to play football first by teaching them in lesson 1 the hail mary.

spaceman_spiff
10-14-2011, 05:17 AM
i never said to de emphasize the serve and return, hell that's pretty much all i do when i play with my buddy now. but that's not the first thing u teach a person new to the sport. Imagine if you were a tennis coach and u had to teach a class of 10 new students and said yea alright class , 1st lession lets do some serving and then the other half work on returns.

Yea that's the point u get fired. Forehand is the most basic thing. If you can't hit a good forehand, you probably can'tn return a serve well. NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND.

You don't teach kids wanting to play football first by teaching them in lesson 1 the hail mary.

OP said his friend is quite new to the sport, not completely new. He's already been playing for a little while and wants to know what to focus on now. To me, that means some basics have already been taken care of and now they're looking for ways to improve. Given that, I'd focus on teaching the kid how to hit good driving returns (which involves good shoulder turn and smooth swings) and good serves.

The shoulder turn and smooth swings learned for the returns can also be used as the basic template for groundstrokes by making the swing a bit longer and putting a bit more footwork into it. (In many cases, the return technique itself can be used on a lot of baseline shots that are coming in fast.) Then, you end up with a swing that works well in both situations, as opposed to having groundstrokes that are not at all suited to returning serves (which requires the returns to be learned as a separate stroke).

How many times have you seen someone with good groundstrokes but poor returns? And how many times have you seen someone with good returns but poor groundstrokes? I've seen the former many times, but I've never seen the latter.

The benefits of learning to serve well don't really need to be discussed I think.

LeeD
10-14-2011, 09:49 AM
"2-3 hours" a week will get you up to 3.0 in 2 years.
Most guys I know who make 4.5 in 4 years average 3-5 hours a day.
I seriously think I played closer to 4-6 hours on court, 6 days a week, my first 4 years.

dozu
10-14-2011, 11:07 AM
Lee, your post count has been sky-rocketing lately.

no more dry wall work?

Mick
10-14-2011, 11:30 AM
i know from experience, the best way to improve is to have a regular hitting partner or better yet a few regular hitting partners.

Chyeaah
10-14-2011, 12:57 PM
"2-3 hours" a week will get you up to 3.0 in 2 years.
Most guys I know who make 4.5 in 4 years average 3-5 hours a day.
I seriously think I played closer to 4-6 hours on court, 6 days a week, my first 4 years.

His only 15, and is it really that hard to improve. School collides with tennis so we cant play 3-5 hours a day. I guess ill teach him consistent ground strokes so he gets them in way more and then serves and returns.

LeeD
10-14-2011, 02:55 PM
Dozu, you know I"m an old guy.
Sheetrock and mudding takes it out on the shoulders, so I usually work just 4 hours a day, and what without windsurfing now, I have from 9 thru 7 to perform 4 hours of work.
Just tiled a 40 sq ft kitchen and a 70sq ft bathroom.
Now back to sheetrocking.
Geez, the usual "I don't have time story".... When I was 15, played varsity football for the high school, then by 8pm, down to Dad's restuarant to wipe tables and chairs, sweep floors, mop, and place chairs back on floors before taking the bus home (1 hour each way) around 11.
At least I had the freedom to work as late as needed, and I only had to get there before Dad left at 9PM.

dozu
10-14-2011, 05:33 PM
a restaurant owner dad with a son who plays tennis... This is so.... Asian!

LeeD
10-14-2011, 06:08 PM
Yeah, last time DAD owned a restaurant, it was 1965.
First time I touched a pansy tennis racket, it was 1974.
What football/basketball would decide to take up tennis full time? The same reason I never looked at swimming or soccer.

Bagumbawalla
10-14-2011, 07:30 PM
Playing, in itself, is less effective than practicing when it comes to improving.

1, learn the correct strokes- lessons would be good- to make sure you start with good form and don't have to re-learn to correct your bad habbits.

2, Practice. Make a list of the various stroke/shots/techniques and practice them with a training partner until they become ingrained. Gradually introduce more complex or difficult patterns/drills.

3, Play against a wide variety of partners with differing styles and tactics. You may learn the most from players you dislike playing against.

4, Become a confident player. You do this by practicing until you can hit the same shot over and over- even in difficult situations.

5, Test yourself by playing tournaments. Keep notes of things that work and those that do not. Make modifications as necessary and work on your weaknesses.