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user92626
02-13-2012, 10:12 AM
Does anyone here have a couple or so regular, friendly and competitive partners whom you play and practice with regularly?

How did you find that kind of "relationship"? Do you think it's helping your progress? What is it like?

I'm tired of pick-up doubles with random folks. The negative side seems to outweigh the positive.

Fed Kennedy
02-13-2012, 10:17 AM
The best thing is to find someone who is a little bit better than you who doesnt mind playing sets with you.
Then find someone who is a little bit worse than you so you can practice being aggresive.
Utilize the internet to find tennis junkies in your area. You will meet some stiffs, but eventually you will find good partners.

sureshs
02-13-2012, 11:22 AM
Got one regular guy on Friday evenings. Found him on craigslist.

Other times it is by pickup at the club or contacting a few known people.

drkplayer122
02-13-2012, 11:26 AM
You can try an post a thread on here if anyone is in your area and would want to play.

Fed K- thats exactly what I did but I have 3 main rally partners. Ones worst ones the same lvl an the other one is better.

Limpinhitter
02-13-2012, 12:37 PM
Does anyone here have a couple or so regular, friendly and competitive partners whom you play and practice with regularly?

How did you find that kind of "relationship"? Do you think it's helping your progress? What is it like?

I'm tired of pick-up doubles with random folks. The negative side seems to outweigh the positive.

It sure does! I quit tennis for golf in the late 80's for that reason. Got tired of looking for drilling partners that wanted to work. When I do something, I want to be as good as I can be. That takes work. I like to work and improve. That's my motivation and my reward.

Did I mention I'm cleaning the rust off of my Karsten I's right now?

user92626
02-13-2012, 01:03 PM
Did I mention I'm cleaning the rust off of my Karsten I's right now?

What does that mean?

At the court I saw a couple Asian guys who play with each other exclusively. They seem to compete wholeheartedly which both of them appear to be on the same level, and seem to have a great time. I kinda envy them :)


I think if you have a structured practice session and worked on scenerios, anyone's tennis will progress so fast. Nothing like a good competition to bring out the best.

LeeD
02-13-2012, 04:04 PM
Do you live in a small market area?
Out here in the SFBay, it's easy to get regular practice partners. Just go to a court, hit the wall, and they come over to ask. If they're good enough, and don't play mind games, you can ask them to hit again. Most times, I never ask, but get asked.
If you play where there are 2 courts, and a population of about that (:)), well, dat don't work.

Limpinhitter
02-13-2012, 06:23 PM
What does that mean?

At the court I saw a couple Asian guys who play with each other exclusively. They seem to compete wholeheartedly which both of them appear to be on the same level, and seem to have a great time. I kinda envy them :)


I think if you have a structured practice session and worked on scenerios, anyone's tennis will progress so fast. Nothing like a good competition to bring out the best.

Hahaha! It was an inside joke for golfers. Karsten I's were the original model of Ping golf clubs, named after the founder of the company, Karsten Solheim. Later came Karsten II's, Ping Eye, Ping Eye II's, Ping Zing . . . .

NLBwell
02-13-2012, 09:21 PM
A couple of regular practice partners is great. One thing that has been great for me is that throughout my playing history, usually one of the regular guys is left-handed. Lefties don't bother you if you play against them all the time.

Tmano
02-14-2012, 03:47 AM
I guess I'm one of few lucky ones! I have about 3 partners/ friends that I regularly play with and other 2/3 I play when they have time. They all are solid 4.0 with the exception of 3- good 4.5 and 5.0(only one guy unfortunately whom I don't hit much). However I hasn't been always that great, at some pionts I had to hit pretty much solid 3.5 and low 4.0. I can't complain for the time being:)

user92626
02-14-2012, 10:30 AM
At this point in time I believe great progress for me is just a matter of practicing or more specifically structural practicing.

Funny, lately I observe and understand how city court and weekend players became the level where they are. Basically, everyone just plays games, being very tentative and improvising, and it takes no time at all for them to drop (or forget) a few key aspects, and thus they formed and stay at their levels.

LeeD
02-14-2012, 02:16 PM
I wouldn't feel sorry for "citycourt and weekend" players.
They CHOSE their position in tennis, they HAD their choice, and made it.
Almost anyone can improve in tennis. Just takes the dedication to work, spend the time, spend the thought, and spend the money if they're young.
Anyone can choose to practice specifics.
Anyone can choose to play more often. But they didn't.

user92626
02-14-2012, 03:24 PM
LeeD,

Let me ask you a question since you're a sixty something guy. :) If you see a good or seemingly better player at a court who's friendly and accessible for hitting, would you likely, prefer or not prefer to approach and hit with him? Or you prefer to hang with your usual crowd who hit mediocrely around the same level as yours, and enjoy an easy time? I'm just wondering about the mindset of players when it comes to hitting partners, and I don't mean YOU specificially, LeeD as we all eventually run into better players.

LeeD
02-14-2012, 04:16 PM
I always hope to have a hit with the few 5.5's that hang around our RoseGarden courts. Almost every doubles set, we INVITE the superior player to join in on the next set. Oftentimes, he'll decline, seeing a 3.5 amongst us, or worst. But when we manage to gather 3 4.0's, they'll almost always stay for a set or two, then continue working on the backboard before leaving.
Of course, those sets can't be fun for the 5.5, as he'll be teamed with the weakest of the 3.
As for singles hitting, most 4.0's would relish the chance to hit with someone better. When hitting becomes a set, it's always 0-6 with me. Hitting only, not much difference except after the 10th or so ball, then the guy in better shape always keeps going.
If you're the better player, almost anyone who has conventional strokes would love to hit with you for at least a while. But remember, most of us bad players do our workout in 3 doubles sets, so don't expect us to run around alley to alley hitting with you in singles for more than 10 minutes.....:)

user92626
02-14-2012, 04:37 PM
Oh cool, LeeD

Either you're an exception or the 45-60ish guys I see at courts are. It seems like they come everyday and only play among themselves, hit with a lot of tapping and cutting to get the ball going. They are content with their games. When I first met them, we hit a couple times and I showed them that I could give them a good challenge. But after that they stopped and reverted to talking only and these days always have an excuse that they gotta go, not that I'm asking them to play.

I don't blame them because it seems like hard work, as opposed to a good time, to play running and decent hitting tennis. I have a few, other average players to play with, but at this court in LA, I have not seen one single decent 4.5 who comes and plays on a regular basis. Good players don't waste time to associate with mediocre ones. :)

mad dog1
02-14-2012, 05:12 PM
user92626, where are you located? costa mesa zip code 92626?

Humble_Warrior
02-14-2012, 05:13 PM
I find that hitting with the same person tends to get boring. I like the variety of different people that can create surprises and shots you haven't seen before.

user92626
02-14-2012, 05:15 PM
user92626, where are you located? costa mesa zip code 92626?

Yes it is, but I don't live there anymore. I work in LA.

LeeD
02-14-2012, 05:19 PM
Seems you are very hesitant to seek partners, since you won't even say WHERE you like to play, what times, and what your level is.
To find partners, you have to put yourself out there. That means some sifting, some censoring, some avoiding, and some embracing.
The more players you meet, the higher the likelihood of finding a like level practice partner.
And for those of you who say....just go to the courts and hit with anybody....dat don't work if you're any good. You gotta work on getting a list of players, you gotta make the calls, you gotta get turned down, but most of all, you gotta put yourself out there..........for success, for sure, but also for failure.

drkplayer122
02-14-2012, 05:31 PM
Seems you are very hesitant to seek partners, since you won't even say WHERE you like to play, what times, and what your level is.
To find partners, you have to put yourself out there. That means some sifting, some censoring, some avoiding, and some embracing.
The more players you meet, the higher the likelihood of finding a like level practice partner.
And for those of you who say....just go to the courts and hit with anybody....dat don't work if you're any good. You gotta work on getting a list of players, you gotta make the calls, you gotta get turned down, but most of all, you gotta put yourself out there..........for success, for sure, but also for failure.

I have experience this for a almost a whole summer. I was always that guy who wanted to play with the "big guys" but always got rejected. But the next summer, I made sure I got gotten better so I at least had a chance to play with them. Now I can play them whenever we are on the court. =)

LeeD
02-14-2012, 05:34 PM
I suspect in this case, OP is the better player, but not open enough to find suitable tennis practice partners.
Kinda like dating, you know, if you don't go up to bat (exposing yourself to get hit or strike out), you will never get a hit.

NLBwell
02-16-2012, 08:56 PM
Oh cool, LeeD

Either you're an exception or the 45-60ish guys I see at courts are. It seems like they come everyday and only play among themselves, hit with a lot of tapping and cutting to get the ball going. They are content with their games. When I first met them, we hit a couple times and I showed them that I could give them a good challenge. But after that they stopped and reverted to talking only and these days always have an excuse that they gotta go, not that I'm asking them to play.

I don't blame them because it seems like hard work, as opposed to a good time, to play running and decent hitting tennis. I have a few, other average players to play with, but at this court in LA, I have not seen one single decent 4.5 who comes and plays on a regular basis. Good players don't waste time to associate with mediocre ones. :)

Do you hit with the lower-ranked guys? The courts with a backboard that I go to, I'm willing to hit with the 3.5 guys anytime they ask. I've also managed to pick up games and just some hits with several 5.0 guys and some 5.5 guys and had some turn into regular hitting partners (many in their 40's and 50's by the way). What goes around comes around.

LeeD
02-17-2012, 03:15 PM
3.5 tournament players, yes, 3.5 self rated never played a tournament, actually very few or none have asked.
I would not choose to ask a 3.5 to play a set, unless I"m hungry and nobody else showed.
OTOH, I would not ask a strong 4.5 to play sets, but rather suggest we hit and get a court until more availible partners show up.
I've jumped at the chances to play sets with 5-5.5's, but usually so out of sorts I play my absolute worst, which makes little difference, since a bagel or two is in the cards anyways.

forthegame
02-17-2012, 04:31 PM
One regular partner, well, not always available to play but the best I can do.

Not sure it's helping me all that much as this partner can be a little frustrating to play. Nothing I do is ever good enough, never acknowledges a good shot, always puts it down to "luck" or "frame". End up just hitting to enjoy myself and sweat a bit.

Sadly, I can't seem to do better right now. Thinking of tournaments in the summer as my salvation...

ericwong
02-19-2012, 10:16 PM
I have a relatively hard time to look for practice partner too. Whenever I tried to suggest to the partner to work on something, it started off well for a few minutes and he resorted to his own ways. For example, I cajoled a partner to practice volleys at the net. Instead of volleying at a moderate speed, my partner would wack hard at me for no apparent reason. I asked for a reason and he gave a ridiculous reason that a player should expect a sudden change of pace and he was actually helping me on my reflexes. HUH?? WTH?? I was merely looking for someone to help me honing my volley skill, not sharpening my reflexes.

Anyway, there are also other cases where my partner just could not appreciate a decent rally. A couple of shots into the rally and he will hit a wide one or a drop shot. Its kind of frustrating not to get a good rallies. Hence, ended up in poor form during doubles game with my partner.

Sigh...guess searching for a like-minded player to share the same objectives is hard.

USERNAME
02-20-2012, 12:37 AM
Not including teammates and my gf, I got 6 guys and 2 girls numbers in my phone. Always like having a wide selection for the off season. Normally I do at least 3 days of dubs just for kicks, very fun with the regular group. Done a lot of 2v1 with the 2 girls and then gone into tiebreakers, then I try to get in a few days of singles with a few of the guys. Admittedly I don't hang out with many of my hitting partners (not including teammates) regularly, but I do go to eat with a few or go to the mall after hitting so I consider them friends. I hang out with my teammates a lot now so there can be hitting partners/friends.

DeShaun
02-20-2012, 01:19 AM
All my partners are people I've met at the public courts.

BarNotchky
02-21-2012, 01:40 AM
Good hitting partners are like gold. Although I've had several good ones in the past, currently there's no one I hit with any regularity. With hitting partners, I prefer an even balance between practice rallies and games but it seems that most pick-up partners I encounter these days just want to play sets. As a result I prefer practice, if only to strike a balance.

I'm always tinkering with something: forehand grip, weight transfer on the 1hb, focused concentration, etc. The wall is nice but, for example, practicing cross-court shots is not really an option. I'm just about ready to consider a ball machine as my primary partner.

user92626
02-21-2012, 09:00 AM
ericwong,

I have seen two guys, strangers to each other, almost getting into a physical fight over a disparity in casual hitting. One guy prefered simple, straight shot rallying and the other guy, i'm not sure due to his control ability or his intention, kept slicing and regularly did half baked dropshots.

The first guy told the second guy to save it for games but the second guy said he wanted to practice whatever he wanted. They got into a verbal fight, and not less about each other's skills, and then decided to play a set which things did not get any better. They started to make shady calls. Eventually one guy quit in the middle and the other guy called him rude, blah blah... More fight and one guy decided to call the police over, citing threats.

A bunch of us were playing on the adjacent court and had to stop because the cops were standing very close by and doing reports, and we did not want to risk accidentally hitting them.

Andreas1965
02-21-2012, 09:25 AM
I play with my teammates (6 to 8 players) in rotation. We have reserved courts (2 hours from 6-8 pm) at our club each Monday, Wednesday and Friday, so we can rotate the matchups. We almost always play singles, thank god. Most of the times we play sets, but sometimes we throw in an hour of hitting only, just to improve.

Furthermore I regularly hit with a good friend who happens to be a tiny bit weaker than I am. When we play sets, it's insignificant, because he tries to cope his weaknesses with finesse and fighting spirit. Pure hitting with him is sometimes frustrating because he lacks good, clean groundstrokes.
So, hitting with him emulates perfectly the situation of being confronted with someone you should beat, but have a hard time doing so, because he plays kind of unconventional tennis.

And then I often play with some youngsters in my club, facing someone who hits any ball like he wants to kill you is big fun.

But I enjoy the most playing league matches and tournaments. Facing totally unknown opponents is the best!!

user92626
02-21-2012, 10:05 AM
I play with my teammates (6 to 8 players) in rotation. We have reserved courts (2 hours from 6-8 pm) at our club each Monday, Wednesday and Friday, so we can rotate the matchups. We almost always play singles, thank god. Most of the times we play sets, but sometimes we throw in an hour of hitting only, just to improve.

Furthermore I regularly hit with a good friend who happens to be a tiny bit weaker than I am. When we play sets, it's insignificant, because he tries to cope his weaknesses with finesse and fighting spirit. Pure hitting with him is sometimes frustrating because he lacks good, clean groundstrokes.
So, hitting with him emulates perfectly the situation of being confronted with someone you should beat, but have a hard time doing so, because he plays kind of unconventional tennis.

And then I often play with some youngsters in my club, facing someone who hits any ball like he wants to kill you is big fun.

But I enjoy the most playing league matches and tournaments. Facing totally unknown opponents is the best!!


That's still pretty good though. I have a couple friends who are undoubtedly friendly but appear to be chicken on competitiveness. They seem kinda afraid of stepping up and becoming competitive against me. I face with the dilemma that while I wanna coax them to get more competitively in a friendly way, I also want to bring on my "beat down" competitiveness which could bruise a few egos.


I really don't care how my opponents play. I only prefer that they competes to beat me and I'll do the same so we'll have a race and improvement is inevitable. I don't like to keep asking, getting excuses and making a big deal out of competing when and if it happens.

tvu
02-21-2012, 10:56 AM
Maybe you can present it a different format & question it differently?
ie. Can you help me out? I need to develop a certain part of my game/points. How about playing 11 point tiebreaker just for fun?

That way - it's just a tiebreaker - so it really doesn't count. Once you get them to play one - it's not that hard to keep on going.

yonexpurestorm
02-21-2012, 12:18 PM
i have my little black book of hitting partners. some like to rally and drill, while others like to play sets. i have ppl that like doubles and ppl that like singles. i actually much prefer singles. some guys i play are lefties, some are hitters and others are touch players. i found that constantly playing different styles really helps. especially returing lefty serves, i used to hate it, but now it feels normal since two of my hitting partners are lefties.

the only problem is finding a court in a decent spot to meet at. i have a private court in my housing assoc, but nobody really live close to me. i play in irvine a lot, but the court situation in irvien is horrible at 6 when im off work.

to build your list of hitting partners you need to play in some leagues and tournamanents. after every good match ill usually ask the guy wheres he from and swap numbers. ive posted on craigslist and found some good hitting partners. ive found ppl from this forum that are willing to meet. you just got to always be on the lookout for another partner that can fit into your schedule, and can meet in a location not too far.

dman72
02-21-2012, 12:37 PM
I have 2 regular guys..both just got bumped to 4.0 USTA ..one is a retriever/pusher who is fast and competitive, the other has an all around solid game with more power, but isn't quite as fast.

I've improved quite a bit since having both of these guys to play sets and practice with on a regular basis. Both are slightly better than me based on match results, but it's always competitive. They are both from my club league. I've hit with about 20 different people the last 5 years or so, about 10 of them regulary, evenly distributed between craigslist, my league, and networking. The more the better, as long as you always have someone to hit with.