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Federerkblade
01-22-2012, 05:27 PM
What are the views of mini tennis before a practice or a coaching session ?

you dont often see anyone on a court warming up this way.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0c9V6FXOm80&list=UU0xUqOxh4yrJhowF0YyWQjA&index=1&feature=plcp

me playing mini tennis.

Imran (white shirt )

stormholloway
01-22-2012, 06:38 PM
I hate it. My old coach used to make me do this. He wouldn't let us rally until I got like 30 shots in a row. He wouldn't let me slice either. Mini tennis isn't tennis. It distracts from the actual dimensions of the court.

The advantages of warming up from the baseline outweigh the cons.

InspectorRacquet
01-22-2012, 06:49 PM
I never think it's any good for groundstroke practice. It's only useful for practicing moving your feet and the use of the continental grip (half-volley style).

As I was learning tennis, I was always taught to warm up this way. It's just plain useless for groundstrokes as the power and spin needed to get the ball a good height over the net are completely different from the baseline and the service boxes.

If you're in the service box in a match, you will be volleying, not hitting light taps to the service in front of you.

SystemicAnomaly
01-22-2012, 07:05 PM
Mini tennis provides numerous benefits as a warmup activity. I've seen top junior players, collegiate players and quite a few pros engaging in a mini tennis warmup. Take a gander at the following thread for the uses/benefits of mini-tennis:

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=339738

stormholloway
01-22-2012, 08:08 PM
Riding a bike is a good warmup too, but it certainly isn't the best.

Timbo's hopeless slice
01-22-2012, 09:37 PM
it is no good with that technique...

Because you guys aren't able to stroke the ball with some pace and some topspin so the ball lands well in the service box you're not really getting any benefit. The guy in the track pants and hat in particular, just blocking it back is missing the point of the activity.

It is a good warm up if you have the strokes for it, though. Try it with a decent junior, you will be amazed at the quality of the ball coming to you. (also makes it easier to stroke back if there is some pace on the ball)

NLBwell
01-22-2012, 09:52 PM
Yes, it is a very good warmup, I use it a lot. Timbo is right. Actually, doing it correctly with real strokes is difficult and a great warmup. It is difficult to get the correct timing and control with full strokes. Dinking it around doesn't help much.

10sLifer
01-22-2012, 10:21 PM
What are the views of mini tennis before a practice or a coaching session ?

you dont often see anyone on a court warming up this way.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0c9V6FXOm80&list=UU0xUqOxh4yrJhowF0YyWQjA&index=1&feature=plcp

me playing mini tennis.

Imran (white shirt )

Programs you to hit short. Not a fan. My kids that are putting in 4 hours of real practice.... go at it and have fun at the end of practice. Works on touch.

Bud
01-22-2012, 11:44 PM
What are the views of mini tennis before a practice or a coaching session ?

you dont often see anyone on a court warming up this way.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0c9V6FXOm80&list=UU0xUqOxh4yrJhowF0YyWQjA&index=1&feature=plcp

me playing mini tennis.

Imran (white shirt )

That's not really mini-tennis :)

Concentrate on hitting over the ball on every shot (topspin). You should see your shots dipping into the court. No slicing and batting/bunting the ball back like you're doing.

When you get better then add short slices, occasionally. This will improve your doubles game when you start playing at 4.5+ level when all 4 players are up at net slicing and keeping the ball as low as possible. If you have no desire to achieve this then just concentrate on the topspin.

The objective is to improve your stroke form, topspin and footwork.

Federerkblade
01-23-2012, 07:17 AM
Thank you all for your views . However id like to clarify the aim of this session. It was not to hit a topspin forehand and the aim was not to hit hard. it was a cat and mouse play with aim not to hit with pace.

Steve the guy nearest was demonstrating his footwork pattern in mini tennis. What are your thoughts on the footwork he displayed.

charliefedererer
01-23-2012, 07:43 AM
Steve's footwork is pretty good.

Split stepping every time your opponent hits the ball is an essential for good tennis.

Ian of Essential Tennis has 3 videos just out analyzing exactly when to split step, and even some exceptions when you should not split step: http://essentialtennis.com/



Mini tennis before actual play is a great way to start to warm up, focus your hand-eye coordination, and get some "touch" rather than just bashing balls.

But before you start play or a vigorous practice session you will need more of a dynamic warm up to really prepare your muscles and joints.

When I arrive at the court I always start with a slow jog and gradually pick up the pace.
Next is sideways skipping along the baseline to the right, a run to the net along the right sideline, a sideways skip along the net to the left, and back peddling up the left sideline.
Next is a lateral alley drill back and forth to the net.
A few leg kicks to the front, side and back.
Quickly shadow some forehands, backhand and serves.
Now I feel like I'm warmed up and ready to start some slow hitting, gradually picking up the pace and running in the hitting warm up.

NLBwell
01-23-2012, 08:39 AM
It was not to hit a topspin forehand and the aim was not to hit hard. it was a cat and mouse play with aim not to hit with pace.


What I was referring to is NOT to hit hard, or with a lot of topspin. It is to hit full strokes with control. It takes a lot of accuracy, focus, and timing to take a full stroke and hit the ball cleanly and control the speed and spin of the ball so the ball can softly drop into the service box. You should hit this with a variety of spins.

Power Player
01-23-2012, 08:51 AM
It doesn't really do anything for me since I hit with a semi western and not a conti. If I do it, I just practice slicing.

Ash_Smith
01-23-2012, 08:55 AM
Always, always, always warm up my players (and me actually) like this.

cheers

Limpinhitter
01-23-2012, 09:26 AM
Always, always, always warm up my players (and me actually) like this.

cheers

I think it's an excellent way to get your timing and technique working. I treat the service line like the baseline and try to full execute my strokes as if I were hitting from behind the baseline.

Devilito
01-23-2012, 10:21 AM
always do it and we use full strokes with exaggerated spin. Both topspin and underspin. It helps with hand-eye, touch and proper timing. You can get away with a lot more on a full court. In mini-tennis if you dont hit a perfect stroke you'll hit the net or the ball will fly too long. Always keep your feet moving with little steps, hit the ball infront of you and use your wrist to get enough spin and loft on the ball so when it bounces short it kicks up off the court. It helps a lot with short balls and short cross court passing shots when you need to apply tons of spin on the ball to get a proper angle. How long? Idk 5 minutes or so to get a good feel on the ball before we back up.

Power Player
01-23-2012, 10:34 AM
^^

I like that..ill try that next time. I feel bad if I fly one so i usually just slice.

Devilito
01-23-2012, 11:00 AM
^^

I like that..ill try that next time. I feel bad if I fly one so i usually just slice.

The key is fast racquet acceleration to impart enough spin to keep the ball in play. Most people when they don’t want to hit a ball long take power off the shot which is the wrong way to do it. It takes skill to be able to vary depth and trajectory but keep your swing fast. Like the guys in the video are just bunting back flat balls which is completely worthless because nobody plays that way. Trust me, when I came back to tennis getting a proper mini tennis rally going was one of the hardest things I had to relearn. Anyone can step back on the baseline and bash some balls but this helps get touch, rhythm, timing and contact point back into your game. It will improve your game if done properly but most people just don’t do it right (like in the video)

here, watch Agassi doing proper mini tennis. Notice how his coach is not skilled enough to hit the same way Andre does. It's short because it's a video just demonstrating but 5 min or so is a good time limit if you're not consistently making errors.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PF1kfJSia4#t=95s

pvaudio
01-23-2012, 11:49 AM
The OP and those denouncing it are missing the point. What you do from the service line is simply a lightened version of what you do at the baseline. If you can control the ball from up there, your stroke mechanics are likely better than the player who cannot. Why? To hit with good power and spin, you need RHS. To do this, you need to stay as loose as possible. Being tight makes this very difficult, and since fluidity is the key, fluid strokes from the service line are just as effective as fluid strokes from the baseline. That's the point of mini-tennis. It isn't about actually warming up. It's about getting your technique going: footwork, contact, relaxed body, preparation, etc. For those who struggle with it, it's because you're struggling with one of the above. It forces you to take full, fluid, controlled strokes with proper footwork. If you don't, then the ball goes long. If you can sustain a good mini-tennis rally, those same strokes from the baseline will be effortless and more importantly, effective.

LeeD
01-23-2012, 12:04 PM
I see lots of good player's use Devilito's idea....mini tennis using topspin forehands and backhands.
I see lots of crappy players try to use the video idea, slices and half volleys, some volleys and lots of dinks.
I'm not good enough to topspin mini tennis when cold.
I'm just too grooved, and naturally use a conti, to have the slice mini game help me at all for my baseline game.
Strong SW forehand and strong eBackhand topspin grip.

Power Player
01-23-2012, 12:22 PM
The OP and those denouncing it are missing the point. What you do from the service line is simply a lightened version of what you do at the baseline. If you can control the ball from up there, your stroke mechanics are likely better than the player who cannot. Why? To hit with good power and spin, you need RHS. To do this, you need to stay as loose as possible. Being tight makes this very difficult, and since fluidity is the key, fluid strokes from the service line are just as effective as fluid strokes from the baseline. That's the point of mini-tennis. It isn't about actually warming up. It's about getting your technique going: footwork, contact, relaxed body, preparation, etc. For those who struggle with it, it's because you're struggling with one of the above. It forces you to take full, fluid, controlled strokes with proper footwork. If you don't, then the ball goes long. If you can sustain a good mini-tennis rally, those same strokes from the baseline will be effortless and more importantly, effective.

I think we all get that. Some like it and some don't. It's still easy to fly one now and then since you are not yet warm..no big deal, but I feel bad..lol.

That Agassi vid is so freaking awesome. I love how he is hitting the ball so effortlessly on the 2 hander. I'm such an Agtard.

thug the bunny
01-23-2012, 12:27 PM
always do it and we use full strokes with exaggerated spin. Both topspin and underspin. It helps with hand-eye, touch and proper timing. You can get away with a lot more on a full court. In mini-tennis if you dont hit a perfect stroke you'll hit the net or the ball will fly too long. Always keep your feet moving with little steps, hit the ball infront of you and use your wrist to get enough spin and loft on the ball so when it bounces short it kicks up off the court. It helps a lot with short balls and short cross court passing shots when you need to apply tons of spin on the ball to get a proper angle. How long? Idk 5 minutes or so to get a good feel on the ball before we back up.

Exactly. I always do 5 min of mini tennis, followed by some volley-volley drills. Vollying back and forth over the net really gets you focused on watching the ball. Then some full court warm-up, and pull the trigger.

pvaudio
01-23-2012, 12:50 PM
I think we all get that. Some like it and some don't. It's still easy to fly one now and then since you are not yet warm..no big deal, but I feel bad..lol.

That Agassi vid is so freaking awesome. I love how he is hitting the ball so effortlessly on the 2 hander. I'm such an Agtard.I'm not talking to the people that don't like doing it, I'm talking to the people who say it's useless. Henin even uses short court warmup.

Power Player
01-23-2012, 01:03 PM
Some drills are useless to some people. It's subjective.

bhupaes
01-23-2012, 01:07 PM
Mini tennis is great if the other player has control. I have a buddy who hits mini tennis shots very well. We start slow, and pick up speed as much as possible while not losing control, using mainly TS for FH and BH, with some slice thrown in from time to time like in drop shots. It's not fun when the other guy can't keep the ball within the service line, or cannot hit TS. Best to use half the court, and practice CC, DTL, etc like on the full court.

813wilson
01-23-2012, 01:14 PM
I like using the foam 10 and under balls for mini tennis - really allows me to focus on technique and footwork. Really makes me accentuate the follow through and focus on the sweet spot and spin.

Great for loosening the shoulder, too.....

LeeD
01-23-2012, 02:02 PM
I know several players who are great at topspin mini tennis, then play well below whatever level that is when they play a real set.
They hit great, but don't adjust for variances in spin and pace.
Not that anyone can really do well at it all, but I think whatever helps your match play is more important than learning a side game.

Timbo's hopeless slice
01-23-2012, 02:39 PM
I often use my 2HBH for mini tennis as it is such hard work (I am a lazy person!) to get enough TS with my 1HBH.

I really like mini tennis as a warm up and use it all the time.

Power Player
01-23-2012, 02:45 PM
The agassi video inspired me. I now need minitennis in my life more.

LeeD
01-23-2012, 02:49 PM
Have you tried the BryanBro volley vid idea yet?
Or CaraBlack's volleying on a fly vs the wall?

SystemicAnomaly
01-23-2012, 02:50 PM
It doesn't really do anything for me since I hit with a semi western and not a conti. If I do it, I just practice slicing.

A lot of ppl use the SW grip for mini tennis -- short, early takeback and WW finish on the FH.


I like using the foam 10 and under balls for mini tennis - really allows me to focus on technique and footwork. Really makes me accentuate the follow through and focus on the sweet spot and spin.

Great for loosening the shoulder, too.....

I will sometimes use the large foam ball (Speed ball) after mini tennis with a regular ball. It is especially good on cold days/nights -- can sustain a long, fast rally that gets the lungs, heart, joints and muscles warmed up very quickly. Will usually do the speed ball warmup a little bit deeper than mini tennis (a meter or 2 behind the back service line).

Federerkblade
01-23-2012, 03:01 PM
fantastic agassi video.

we will post a video of a topspin mini tennis drill.

skiracer55
01-23-2012, 03:11 PM
...and when I'm coaching somebody, I always want to give him or her the reasons why we're doing something. For mini-tennis it's:

- Get the feet moving. It's too easy to park and ride if you start on the baseline.

- Get a rally going. It's too easy to hit one ball, shank the next into the net, then shank the next courtesy stroke into the side fence if you start on the baseline.

- Get a soft touch going on the groundies. It's too easy to tighten up and start muscling the ball if you start from the baseline.

As some others have mentioned, I'm trying to hit a full stroke with a lot of top...which is, again, a great way to get some early feel for being able to hit some sharp angles. But if I have to block, chip, or slice a ball, fine. Topspin isn't the only way to hit a tennis ball...

achokshi99
01-23-2012, 03:58 PM
i play in a 4.0+ ladder with the majority of players being 4.5+ and most warm up short court if thats what you mean. we have a sophomore from bucknell's tennis team who played over this past month and he did the same thing. i like it because u get a feel for the ball in terms of pocketing and also get a chance to bounce around a bit. most of the guys in this leauge are mid 20s to early 40s. usually do short court for 5-10 min and then 10 min of hitting back at the baseline w/volleys/overheads, ec.

What are the views of mini tennis before a practice or a coaching session ?

you dont often see anyone on a court warming up this way.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0c9V6FXOm80&list=UU0xUqOxh4yrJhowF0YyWQjA&index=1&feature=plcp

me playing mini tennis.

Imran (white shirt )

Parkerterrie
01-24-2012, 07:10 AM
Steve's footwork is pretty good.

Split stepping every time your opponent hits the ball is an essential for good tennis.

Ian of Essential Tennis has 3 videos just out analyzing exactly when to split step, and even some exceptions when you should not split step: http://essentialtennis.com/



Mini tennis before actual play is a great way to start to warm up, focus your hand-eye coordination, and get some "touch" rather than just bashing balls.

But before you start play or a vigorous practice session you will need more of a dynamic warm up to really prepare your muscles and joints.

When I arrive at the court I always start with a slow jog and gradually pick up the pace.
Next is sideways skipping along the baseline to the right, a run to the net along the right sideline, a sideways skip along the net to the left, and back peddling up the left sideline.
Next is a lateral alley drill back and forth to the net.
A few leg kicks to the front, side and back.
Quickly shadow some forehands, backhand and serves.
Now I feel like I'm warmed up and ready to start some slow hitting, gradually picking up the pace and running in the hitting warm up.


Hi Charliefedererer

I'm Steve. The guy with the pants and red hat in the mini tennis video that Federerkblade has uploaded. Its been very interesting reading everyone's comments of how, when and what this type of practice is good for. Your comments I totally agree with by the way. Also, I have a feeling that most player/coaches who have shared their thoughts are predominately singles players as no one has mentioned doubles!

One thing I would like to do and this goes to everyone reading this trail is - Give me your top 3 steps to success? 1 been most important... I would really like to see different players / coaches opinions on this subject...

Thanks all

slice bh compliment
01-24-2012, 07:32 AM
...
here, watch Agassi doing proper mini tennis. Notice how his coach is not skilled enough to hit the same way Andre does. ...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PF1kfJSia4#t=95s

That's his brother Phil Agassi. He was a decent player, too. Wonder what he is doing these days.

EDIT:
Oh, and about mini-tennis. I had a coach years ago who called it dink'em/dinkum. Also, our college coach had us do it, sometimes a whole set in four boxes. I personally like it just as a warm-up in two boxes, then I prefer playing mid-court going crosscourt, alley to alley. Then 4 boxes. That might not be very realistic for singles, but it makes you blend the touch/arc/spin aspects with a little bit of pace...and there's plenty of movement in the 4 boxes. Whether in the boxes or behind them, people who do it develop touch and confidence with short angles. It's not realistic practice for baseline pounding, but it's good for mid-court and forecourt situations. I also like it with the low-compression balls and the foams, which help you do it with more realistic racquet speed.

I understand people who do not like it, but they might need to do it a little bit more so they can develop the feel necessary for it. Also, sometimes it is a little bit slow in just 2 boxes. For that, I like to do more than the necessary movement. I even like to move in for the shot, then back a few steps between shots.

I also like mixing in both spins. Keeps it interesting and fun...trying to read the other guy's bounces.

Thud and blunder
01-24-2012, 07:33 AM
I play that game with my son at the end of a hitting session, but using both service boxes; no topspin, no driving slices, just touch and a lot of misdirection - hell of a lot of fun and a good workout for your legs from all the fake-outs / quick direction changes.

Ducker
01-24-2012, 11:48 AM
I like the mini warmup regardless of how you hit it back. As long as you can keep it in before the serve line then more power to you. I think it really helps develop touch and feel for when you have to make a shot like that.

I can always tell almost 100% of the time how good someone is going to be when we warm up. The worse players will go immediatly to the baseline wanting to start their. The better players will start the mini tennis warmup but will have a hard time keeping the ball in play for 5+ shots. The best players will keep 1 ball going without mistake in mini tennis until were ready to move to the baseline.