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revolutionary technique
01-08-2012, 04:24 PM
In what manner does one practice in order to maximize effectiveness?
Ones Mind-state?
How long to practice?
How to divide up the time between drills, match play, and just fun hitting?
Should the practice schedule be laid out for the week or for one day?
It seems like a topic no one really pays attention to, however I feel that this can be one of the most critical factors in determining ones rate of improvement.

In essence:

Tips to maximize court time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

revolutionary technique
01-08-2012, 04:32 PM
Also, any pre-practice things to do that can maximize practice??
Motivators that remind one to give a 100% on the court?

tennis_balla
01-08-2012, 05:26 PM
The amount of practice, how you practice and what you practice depends on several variables. Your age, your skill level, your fitness level, the amount of time you have to train (on and off the court), what you're trying to achieve with your tennis (thats an important one), how quickly your body recovers and so on.

The answers to this question are too individual to give an accurate general response as a general response would just be common sense answers.

First find out what you want out of your tennis game, where you want to be and how long you plan on getting there. Then find out how much time you can set aside in order to achieve your goal and also how hard you're willing to work. Thats a start.

Zachol82
01-08-2012, 06:41 PM
Personally, the best way to practice is to play out matches while focusing on one thing at a time. For example, if my net game is bad, I would play matches with random people at my local park while focusing ONLY on my net game. Easier said than done. You may feel tempted to revert back to your comfortable style of play, but you must force yourself to work on the things that you need to improve.

I am NOT a believer of practicing with just rallies and "playing around." Sure, I hit around but that is only when I want to have fun. I find that practicing by any other means other than playing actual matches after hitting that 4.0 NTRP mark is useless. At that level, you already know all your strokes, what you should do, the only thing that is messing you up is your opponent and your state of mind when under a real match situation. Therefore, the best way to practice is to play actual matches with either people you know or just any random people.

Now, aside from practicing, conditioning is also an important factor. You must identify your conditioning level first. If you are not fit enough, if you get tired too quickly or if you're too slow, I would highly recommend conditioning yourself first. In this case, a prolong rally or just "going out to hit for fun" is appropriate since it is considered an "exercise" at this stage.

Limpinhitter
01-08-2012, 07:04 PM
In what manner does one practice in order to maximize effectiveness?
Ones Mind-state?
How long to practice?
How to divide up the time between drills, match play, and just fun hitting?
Should the practice schedule be laid out for the week or for one day?
It seems like a topic no one really pays attention to, however I feel that this can be one of the most critical factors in determining ones rate of improvement.

In essence:

Tips to maximize court time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You can spend a lifetime trying to reinvent the wheel when learning good technique. Do yourself a favor, do some legwork and find a qualified coach to teach you sound technique. If you want to maximize your court time, that's the first place to start.

The next thing to consider is your approach to the game. I play traditional high percentage tennis. In short, that means hitting cross court and trying to open up the court to draw an error or a weak reply that I can attack. So, I spend time doing cross court drills and attacking short and/or weak balls. Also, keep in mind that the most important shots in the game are serve and return. So, your pracitce routine should include both of those skills as well. Ideally, I like to practice cross courts for an hour, serve and returns for half an hour and then a practice set. That is a demanding and efficient routine.

If you have a different approach to the game, then your drilling routine should reflect that approach.

revolutionary technique
01-08-2012, 07:20 PM
You can spend a lifetime trying to reinvent the wheel when learning good technique. Do yourself a favor, do some legwork and find a qualified coach to teach you sound technique. If you want to maximize your court time, that's the first place to start.

The next thing to consider is your approach to the game. I play traditional high percentage tennis. In short, that means hitting cross court and trying to open up the court to draw an error or a weak reply that I can attack. So, I spend time doing cross court drills and attacking short and/or weak balls. Also, keep in mind that the most important shots in the game are serve and return. So, your pracitce routine should include both of those skills as well. Ideally, I like to practice cross courts for an hour, serve and returns for half an hour and then a practice set. That is a demanding and efficient routine.

If you have a different approach to the game, then your drilling routine should reflect that approach.

technique is not the issue at the forefront, as I have solid technique(at least I think so). It seems to be focus and footwork and feel that fluctuate between practices and dictate how well a practice session turns out. I guess I was asking for how to tame the mind and be able to focus better.

revolutionary technique
01-08-2012, 07:22 PM
Personally, the best way to practice is to play out matches while focusing on one thing at a time. For example, if my net game is bad, I would play matches with random people at my local park while focusing ONLY on my net game. Easier said than done. You may feel tempted to revert back to your comfortable style of play, but you must force yourself to work on the things that you need to improve.

I am NOT a believer of practicing with just rallies and "playing around." Sure, I hit around but that is only when I want to have fun. I find that practicing by any other means other than playing actual matches after hitting that 4.0 NTRP mark is useless. At that level, you already know all your strokes, what you should do, the only thing that is messing you up is your opponent and your state of mind when under a real match situation. Therefore, the best way to practice is to play actual matches with either people you know or just any random people.

Now, aside from practicing, conditioning is also an important factor. You must identify your conditioning level first. If you are not fit enough, if you get tired too quickly or if you're too slow, I would highly recommend conditioning yourself first. In this case, a prolong rally or just "going out to hit for fun" is appropriate since it is considered an "exercise" at this stage.

Nice method. Will definitely try that. I work on my volleys+ S/V in this manner. Thanks for reminding me of how effective this method can be.

Zachol82
01-08-2012, 07:24 PM
Nice method. Will definitely try that. I work on my volleys+ S/V in this manner. Thanks for reminding me of how effective this method can be.

No problem and good luck!:)

revolutionary technique
01-08-2012, 07:31 PM
The amount of practice, how you practice and what you practice depends on several variables. Your age, your skill level, your fitness level, the amount of time you have to train (on and off the court), what you're trying to achieve with your tennis (thats an important one), how quickly your body recovers and so on.

The answers to this question are too individual to give an accurate general response as a general response would just be common sense answers.

First find out what you want out of your tennis game, where you want to be and how long you plan on getting there. Then find out how much time you can set aside in order to achieve your goal and also how hard you're willing to work. Thats a start.

Lets say I am a teenager (17) with a limited amount of time. 2 hours 3 times a week on court . I am around 4.0-4.5, and yes, I am aware that none of you would believe me so I will put up a vid soon.My fitness level is not that bad, I am relatively athletic person. I would like to reach 5.0-5.5 level and maybe walk on a D1 tennis team. I recover fast, youth. I have till august in order to reach my goals, and yes I will start making more time to train both on and off court during the spring.
I am willing to work relatively hard both on court and off court, however, time is not on my side (work and school). I just need to focus and direct my efforts in order to reach the most effective results, and I am looking for some one to show me which direction to direct my efforts and in what manner to do so to maximize efficiency.

Maui19
01-09-2012, 03:08 AM
Do yourself a favor and read up on "deliberate practice." There is a large body of evidence that deliberate practice is the best way to improve performance in a sport.

Limpinhitter
01-09-2012, 06:16 AM
technique is not the issue at the forefront, as I have solid technique(at least I think so). It seems to be focus and footwork and feel that fluctuate between practices and dictate how well a practice session turns out. I guess I was asking for how to tame the mind and be able to focus better.

The drills that I describe incorporate all aspects of shot execution including footwork (shot preparation and set up), and focus if you understand that the point of the drills is to keep each ball going as long as possible, not to try to out hit your partner or go for winners until, and unless, you get an attackable ball.

Since you brought up the issue of focus, I'd like to submit that, IMO, there are only 2 things to focus on during drills and in a match: (1) executing your shots one at a time, and (2) executing your match gameplan which you should also be focusing on during drills.

Jay_The_Nomad
01-09-2012, 08:38 AM
Every time you go on court to hit, make sure you have a goal... E.g. Hitting more run around forehands...hitting more backhands..etc.

Oh and making sure you and your hitting partner have an enjoyable session is also an important objective...

r2473
01-09-2012, 08:54 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frsId3goYYE

rkelley
01-09-2012, 09:09 AM
Lets say I am a teenager (17) with a limited amount of time. 2 hours 3 times a week on court . I am around 4.0-4.5, and yes, I am aware that none of you would believe me so I will put up a vid soon.My fitness level is not that bad, I am relatively athletic person. I would like to reach 5.0-5.5 level and maybe walk on a D1 tennis team. I recover fast, youth. I have till august in order to reach my goals, and yes I will start making more time to train both on and off court during the spring.
I am willing to work relatively hard both on court and off court, however, time is not on my side (work and school). I just need to focus and direct my efforts in order to reach the most effective results, and I am looking for some one to show me which direction to direct my efforts and in what manner to do so to maximize efficiency.

Getting to a 5.0 to 5.5 is totally doable from any level assuming you're healthy. Doing it by yourself (i.e. sans coach) is harder but still doable. Doing it by yourself, from a 4.0-4.5, by yourself, in nine months, is going to be almost impossible.

You'd need to post a video of how you hit. 4.0-4.5 means so many different things without some reference. Nevertheless it's a big jump. There's more power, more spin, more consistency, and more strategy at those higher levels.

A more realistic goal would be to start your improvement program and really work on the high level form (because if you don't have that none of the rest matters) to get the power and spin that you'll need. If you can muster up a decent level of consistency to go with that you might be able to go to a college coach and convince him/her that you want to play, you're willing to work, and you'll do whatever it takes to one day play on the team. Your freshman year is probably not a realistic goal.

But to give you some encouragement, there was I guy I heard about who attended UC Berkeley back in the mid 80's who did basically what you're trying to do. He played, but wasn't good enough for the team. He worked with the Berkeley coach, worked hard, improved his game, and eventually got on the team. UC Berkeley at the time was a solid tennis program. Not Stanford or UCLA, but still pretty good. I hit with one of their women players once and she was really good, and her shoulder wasn't in the greatest shape.

DeShaun
01-09-2012, 11:41 AM
OP-
I think the following quotes are your key:

"Find out what you want out of your tennis game."

"The next thing to consider is your approach to the game."

Stating your aim is to walk onto a D1 program reminds me of a presser in which Dolgopolov was asked his thoughts on Tomic whom Dolgopolov had just beaten. Tomic was reported to have said that his goal was to reach number 1 by 2021. When told this and asked for his thoughts, Dolgopolov answered, "Well, yeah, that's fine--I think just about everybody on tour would say the same thing, but what I do is work on my game part by part, and that's the only sort of goal that I use."

The point is that unless you have thought long and hard about your game, absolutely objectifying it, its strengths and weaknesses, you may face some difficulty diagnosing how you should train if your eye is on improving to a level where you could walk on a D1 program. You may need to compile a deeper and greater understanding of your tennis game if you are serious about realizing your goal.

tennis_balla
01-09-2012, 12:06 PM
Lets say I am a teenager (17) with a limited amount of time. 2 hours 3 times a week on court . I am around 4.0-4.5, and yes, I am aware that none of you would believe me so I will put up a vid soon.My fitness level is not that bad, I am relatively athletic person. I would like to reach 5.0-5.5 level and maybe walk on a D1 tennis team. I recover fast, youth. I have till august in order to reach my goals, and yes I will start making more time to train both on and off court during the spring.
I am willing to work relatively hard both on court and off court, however, time is not on my side (work and school). I just need to focus and direct my efforts in order to reach the most effective results, and I am looking for some one to show me which direction to direct my efforts and in what manner to do so to maximize efficiency.

These are not questions you should be asking me, but asking yourself. Strengths, weaknesses, what you want to improve in and what you want to make better.

An option and a good one is to find a high performance coach in your area, take some lessons then ask him to assess your game and have him tell you what he think about it. That should get you a good indication. Don't ask him what do I need to work on, because remember a lot of coaches are more business man than coaches. Ask him, what do you think about my game in general? There should be no indication of future involvement between you and the coach so his answer is as honest as possible. You want to avoid the "if you worked with me I would work on..." answers. Just a straight honest assess of what he thinks.

I don't know your game and I'm not judging you on your NTRP rating, frankly I don't care nor does it matter really. You will have to get some form of coaching in order to get to the level you're after. However its also how well you utilize the time you have on court, with or without a coach. Each time you step out on the court devise a small plan of what you want to work on that day. Work on your strengths but also work more on your weaknesses. If your name is steady from the baseline, work on your mid-court balls and volleys as well. The more all-rounded your game is the better you will be.

So like I said, sit down and honestly look at how you play, where you want to be and go from there.

charliefedererer
01-09-2012, 07:36 PM
Be careful what you wish for.

Even if you have great talent, and are prepared to work hard, you are up against lots of players with great coaching who have more years of focused practice and tournament play.

The odds of being a D1 walk on are long.


Who are the other D1 players in your area you expect to get match play against? How will you get to play them?

How likely is an overuse injury likely to crop up if you increase your playing/training time?

What about your other goals?

How do you expect to make your "mark in life"? In tennis, or more likely in some other endeavor?
Are you planning extra study/preparations for your chosen field of study?

If you do make a team, how likely will you play matches as a starter? How many hours will practice, gym work, and travel take up?
How much time will you need for social activites, clubs and your studies in college?

Could you be happy with playing at somewhat above your current level, but not on a school team?

Could a lifetime of tennis enjoyment without a D1 experience be enough?

revolutionary technique
01-10-2012, 06:44 PM
Every time you go on court to hit, make sure you have a goal... E.g. Hitting more run around forehands...hitting more backhands..etc.

Oh and making sure you and your hitting partner have an enjoyable session is also an important objective...

Thanks. I will make sure I do that next time.

revolutionary technique
01-10-2012, 06:48 PM
Getting to a 5.0 to 5.5 is totally doable from any level assuming you're healthy. Doing it by yourself (i.e. sans coach) is harder but still doable. Doing it by yourself, from a 4.0-4.5, by yourself, in nine months, is going to be almost impossible.

You'd need to post a video of how you hit. 4.0-4.5 means so many different things without some reference. Nevertheless it's a big jump. There's more power, more spin, more consistency, and more strategy at those higher levels.

A more realistic goal would be to start your improvement program and really work on the high level form (because if you don't have that none of the rest matters) to get the power and spin that you'll need. If you can muster up a decent level of consistency to go with that you might be able to go to a college coach and convince him/her that you want to play, you're willing to work, and you'll do whatever it takes to one day play on the team. Your freshman year is probably not a realistic goal.

But to give you some encouragement, there was I guy I heard about who attended UC Berkeley back in the mid 80's who did basically what you're trying to do. He played, but wasn't good enough for the team. He worked with the Berkeley coach, worked hard, improved his game, and eventually got on the team. UC Berkeley at the time was a solid tennis program. Not Stanford or UCLA, but still pretty good. I hit with one of their women players once and she was really good, and her shoulder wasn't in the greatest shape.

Thank you for being realistic. I am starting to realize that a jump from a 4.5 to a 5.0 is not the same as a jump from a 4.0 to a 4.5. I will try harder to not focus on the rating but improving my game and form. I hope I will be able to walk on a d1 or d2 team, specifically UMBC-the school I really want to go to.

revolutionary technique
01-10-2012, 06:52 PM
OP-
I think the following quotes are your key:

"Find out what you want out of your tennis game."

"The next thing to consider is your approach to the game."

Stating your aim is to walk onto a D1 program reminds me of a presser in which Dolgopolov was asked his thoughts on Tomic whom Dolgopolov had just beaten. Tomic was reported to have said that his goal was to reach number 1 by 2021. When told this and asked for his thoughts, Dolgopolov answered, "Well, yeah, that's fine--I think just about everybody on tour would say the same thing, but what I do is work on my game part by part, and that's the only sort of goal that I use."

The point is that unless you have thought long and hard about your game, absolutely objectifying it, its strengths and weaknesses, you may face some difficulty diagnosing how you should train if your eye is on improving to a level where you could walk on a D1 program. You may need to compile a deeper and greater understanding of your tennis game if you are serious about realizing your goal.

Thank you for the great quote. It really helps me understand what I need to do to truly improve, break my game down to identify the strengths and weaknesses in order to tackle them and maximize improvement.

revolutionary technique
01-10-2012, 06:57 PM
These are not questions you should be asking me, but asking yourself. Strengths, weaknesses, what you want to improve in and what you want to make better.

An option and a good one is to find a high performance coach in your area, take some lessons then ask him to assess your game and have him tell you what he think about it. That should get you a good indication. Don't ask him what do I need to work on, because remember a lot of coaches are more business man than coaches. Ask him, what do you think about my game in general? There should be no indication of future involvement between you and the coach so his answer is as honest as possible. You want to avoid the "if you worked with me I would work on..." answers. Just a straight honest assess of what he thinks.

I don't know your game and I'm not judging you on your NTRP rating, frankly I don't care nor does it matter really. You will have to get some form of coaching in order to get to the level you're after. However its also how well you utilize the time you have on court, with or without a coach. Each time you step out on the court devise a small plan of what you want to work on that day. Work on your strengths but also work more on your weaknesses. If your name is steady from the baseline, work on your mid-court balls and volleys as well. The more all-rounded your game is the better you will be.

So like I said, sit down and honestly look at how you play, where you want to be and go from there.

I do not have the monetary means to really get a one on one with a high performance coach. But I have had talks with one who sees me play on regular basis and he believes that if I dedicate all my time during the summer to improve my game by working on and off the court I have a chance at walking on a good d2 or a decent d1 team.

revolutionary technique
01-10-2012, 07:06 PM
Be careful what you wish for.

Even if you have great talent, and are prepared to work hard, you are up against lots of players with great coaching who have more years of focused practice and tournament play.

The odds of being a D1 walk on are long.


Who are the other D1 players in your area you expect to get match play against? How will you get to play them?

How likely is an overuse injury likely to crop up if you increase your playing/training time?

What about your other goals?

How do you expect to make your "mark in life"? In tennis, or more likely in some other endeavor?
Are you planning extra study/preparations for your chosen field of study?

If you do make a team, how likely will you play matches as a starter? How many hours will practice, gym work, and travel take up?
How much time will you need for social activites, clubs and your studies in college?

Could you be happy with playing at somewhat above your current level, but not on a school team?

Could a lifetime of tennis enjoyment without a D1 experience be enough?

All of these are great questions that I think I have overlooked a little. Thank you for putting them back in perspective. I feel that ultimately I just want to get better and compete at a high level, it does not have to be a college team, it can be USTA tournaments. But I would rather play college tennis because its the thrill and hard work and being part of the team that I enjoy. All the questions you have raised are now starting to influence my perspective of things a little. I feel at the end of the day that as long as I am happy with my performance in tennis I will be satisfied. But one of my goals is to play for a d1 or d2 tennis team.