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View Full Version : how hard do you hit the ball in real matches?


tennisfan2k
01-07-2013, 10:16 AM
I always try to hit 100%, and since now I have a ball machine, I was trying 100% with it. But in real matches so many unforced errors. And at times I did hit my target, I often either didn't move or slow to recover causing me to lose points. How hard do you guys hit the ball during matches?

slowfox
01-07-2013, 10:33 AM
For me it varies. In matches it's not as casual as practice rallying, but I up it a bit. Rarely do I hit hard at 100%. Match play is usually 60 to 80% for me. Probably why I lose so often.. haha

IA-SteveB
01-07-2013, 10:37 AM
I can't go near 100% in a match. The only time I do is when I am hopelessly down and it doesn't matter. Occasionally, I just want to see if I can keep the ball in play with a big swing but the percentages are NOT good. :) I have enough unforced errors that I don't need to give any more points away by overdoing it.

Rafa4Ever
01-07-2013, 11:35 AM
Why hit any different then in practice? If you practice at a certain pace then you should play at the pace. Changing your pace to something you aren't used to normally leads to inconsistencies.

tennisfan2k
01-07-2013, 11:58 AM
I feel the same way too. When it's time to hold back, I either hold back too much or make a mistake. Maybe should practice to just hit 80-90%.

Power Player
01-07-2013, 12:07 PM
100% is really hard for matchplay. I would try and hit 70% as much as possible. You should be able to get a lot of pace with just 70%, and it will give you more control.

If you come out and hit that hard, you give away the match. I'd just slice you and save my energy and watch the UE's pile up personally.

If you are timing the ball right, you will be cracking the ball pretty hard and staying in that 70-80% range. Your UE's will also go down as well.

Head Pegger
01-07-2013, 01:04 PM
impossible to hit 100% during matches all the time.
impossible to consciously hit any certain % in a match
I hit some shots slower than others ofcourse. Some high topspin
some flat. some slower for short angle etc.

10isfreak
01-07-2013, 01:07 PM
Depends on my footwork and preparation... if I am well placed, I do not see why I wouldn‘t hit big. It would be stupid not to do so, actually. The difference is that I might spend more energy getting top spin than pace if I do not have a good occasion, but I won‘t slow down on the hitting. I would be careful if I wasn‘t perfectly balanced or if I was forced to lunge...

Usually, you always hit as good a shot as your body allows. If you get caught poorly placed, you can‘t hit as big a shot as normally. If you are well placed, always go for a good cut. At least 80 percent or more.

Power Player
01-07-2013, 01:11 PM
impossible to hit 100% during matches all the time.
impossible to consciously hit any certain % in a match
I hit some shots slower than others ofcourse. Some high topspin
some flat. some slower for short angle etc.

Of course it's impossible to hit a certain %. But there is no ideal way to describe it.

tlm
01-07-2013, 01:34 PM
100% is really hard for matchplay. I would try and hit 70% as much as possible. You should be able to get a lot of pace with just 70%, and it will give you more control.

If you come out and hit that hard, you give away the match. I'd just slice you and save my energy and watch the UE's pile up personally.

If you are timing the ball right, you will be cracking the ball pretty hard and staying in that 70-80% range. Your UE's will also go down as well.

This is the right advise, 70-80% is just about right. I have won a lot of matches using PP tactics against young all out gunslinger type players. Keep the ball in the court move them around some and mix up the spins, most of the time they will give you the match without a lot work on your part.

tlm
01-07-2013, 01:38 PM
I don't think a lot of people are really thinking when they say 100%. That means as hard as you can swing. Who in their right mind is going to swing as hard as they can on every shot in a match that they want to win?

I think I have seen more problems with players being afraid to swing around 70% or so in a match because of the fear of to many UE's. This can be almost as bad as swinging for the fences.

luishcorreia
01-07-2013, 01:39 PM
What is hitting at 100%? If you are at the baseline its one thing. If you are in mid court hitting an approach shot you cannot hit with so much power since the ball has less distance to travel before touching the court. How about a volley?

See where I am getting at?

Being aggressive with your shots can mean hit hard. It can also mean hit early. Or hit with placement. Or behind your adversary. If you hit at 100% all the time you wont be able to control the ball or your percentages. In tennis you only have to beat one opponent at a time. Meaning that you only need to be as good as your opponent. So in a given match if you feel your adversary feeds off your pace maybe you will better off playing at 60% and with that you lower your unforced errors.

So... Dont think of 100% or any type of percentage. You should always play as hard as you need to win and to control the ball.

Hi I'm Ray
01-07-2013, 01:40 PM
Geez, that sounds like my previous hitting partner who's supposed to be a college level player but tries to play 100% all the time. For a while it was good practice hitting against a fast hitter again as I was only playing pushers for a while but then his game started going down the toilet. It gets annoying watching the guy attempt to hit a DTL winner on the dead run with a 80-90% UE/failure rate. He doesn't know when to defend or how to play within his limits and lately it doesn't even feel like tennis with this guy.

Anyways, 100%/self destructive tennis isn't the way, try practicing at 70-80%. Getting regular practice with pushers/defenders/retrievers/slice&dice players, etc., will help improve your consistency & point construction, IMO.

If you come out and hit that hard, you give away the match. I'd just slice you and save my energy and watch the UE's pile up personally..

^^Haha, that works. I did just that the last time I played the guy I mentioned - hit him a bunch of BH slices & he couldn't really do anything against it. He gets ****ed off & complains about it. lol.

WildVolley
01-07-2013, 01:58 PM
I rarely hit 100% on any shot except some first serves. I interpret hitting 100% to mean as hard as I possibly can.

On the other hand, I have been spending years drilling nice high racket head speed topspin fh and bh shots. The fast swing is crucial to imparting enough topspin to keep the ball in the court. If you don't take the cut at the ball, your consistency will go down. But make sure that the cut is balanced and not as hard as you can possibly hit. The more athletic you are, the easier this will be. I'd say shoot for 70% up on the average rally ball.

psv255
01-07-2013, 02:41 PM
If you're stubborn in your gameplan, it might take 10 matches against a pusher to realize 100% is just not a winning framework for a strategy. No one is stopping you from going for it once or twice if you are fairly confident, but it's always best to play safely within your ability in a match situation.

Practice should ideally be the time you raise and identify your 100% mark; the fact that you are successfully and consistently going 100% in match play means one of three things:

1. It's actually not 100% of your ability
2. You're in "the zone" that many a player have long sought
3. You are a master of mental and technical fortitude; teach me your ways...

5263
01-07-2013, 03:07 PM
Practice should ideally be the time you raise and identify your 100% mark; the fact that you are successfully and consistently going 100% in match play means one of three things:

1. It's actually not 100% of your ability

You make some excellent points here. I don't know really what folks mean by
100%. For me it would mean max swing without sacrificing form.
Anyway, I try to look at it like serving where I seek to keep the rhs up all the
time (except exceptions) and just adjust how much spin I intend to impart.
Sometimes I may swing a tad harder on second serve spin than even the flat
first serve... Same with Fh.

TheCheese
01-07-2013, 03:32 PM
As hard as you feel comfortable on that particular shot. If you're set up perfectly, then you can justify going for a big shot. If you're not, don't try it.

I don't think setting a target level of your maximum power to hit with is a good idea. It's all situational.

UCSF2012
01-07-2013, 03:50 PM
All it takes is a flick of my wrist, and it's more power than anyone can handle.

sundaypunch
01-07-2013, 04:39 PM
If you hit with heavy topspin it is a bit safer to hit really hard. If you have an eastern FH and hit fairly flat, it is a recipe for disaster.

LeeD
01-07-2013, 04:42 PM
It's situational for me.
Rally balls, just to stay in the point, I like to hit about 5/8th speed.
Winner attempts, you can go for placement, which is hit slower, or you can go for ball speed winners, which is close to 95% maximum speed.
Defense, it's often better to hit half speed balls, floaters and a mix of spins.
But that depends how well you opponent can handle to soft stuff compared to how well he can handle the ball speeds.

InspectorRacquet
01-07-2013, 04:53 PM
I usually hit at about 60-70%. I get good topspin and I also get easy power with the knee bend and shoulder turning (which is less tiring than swinging as hard as you can in my opinion). That percentage usually keeps my opponents at bay, and I never get tired of running around because I'm only at 70%.

I save 100% for only one shot per match if I'm at least a break up. No need to waste energy.

HughJars
01-07-2013, 05:01 PM
Situation and confidence for me. Its hard to really objectify shot power. For placement and in situations where Im out of position or simply dont need power then I ease back. When confidence is high, Im warmed up and I have a good 'feel' for the ball then generally I start hitting harder.

My game turns pears when I start trying to hit too hard. So if Im struggling to get it in I ease off a go for placement. Even to the extent of turning into a pusher and forcing my opponent to try and hit harder, bringing out unforced errors.

Also, when I play players that are better than me, or when my opponent is high in confidence and hitting the ball hard, I find I subconciously feed on this and match their game.

Its strange that in tennis my best game comes out when Im playing better opponents. Rising to the occasion I guess. On the other hand, against lesser opponents I tend to play to their level. Frustrating for me. :???:

Head Pegger
01-07-2013, 05:46 PM
Ideally I don't try to hit as hard as I can.
Just enough power to do some damage without it sitting up of course.
Idk why people say things like,"just use 76.413% of your power and you should be fine :D"

TheCheese
01-07-2013, 08:57 PM
I'd like to add that how much racket head speed you generate doesn't necessarily translate to ball speed.

A lot of times, some of the safest shots I'll hit will be those where I swing pretty fast. The difference is that the racket head speed is going into giving the ball more spin so I can know the ball will land, rather than giving it more speed.

ShoeShiner
01-07-2013, 10:31 PM
Hitting 100% is just for practising in particular shots drills with partner, wall or machine.
In real matches, most pros use just 60-80%.
For me, I just use 40-70%.

Relinquis
01-08-2013, 01:26 AM
- depends on shot
- i like to hit winners hard, 100%, when i'm set up properly because it's fun!
- most rally balls and approach shots i play for position, so 80-90%, otherwise you'll lose against consistent guys
- in every long rally i will hit at least one hard 100% shot just to mix things up and intimidate opponent
- i don't see the point of hitting less than 75%, might as well slice, drop shot, moonball, come in for volley/half-volley or choose another tactic

ramos77
01-08-2013, 03:50 AM
I hit as hard as I can 60% of the time, every time...

goran_ace
01-08-2013, 07:55 AM
80% in practice and matches. It just so happens that my 80% happens to be a lot faster than most other people's 80%.

corbind
01-08-2013, 01:24 PM
80% in practice and matches. It just so happens that my 80% happens to be a lot faster than most other people's 80%.

I usually smile at least once when perusing these forums and your post did it. ;)

TennisCJC
01-09-2013, 06:56 AM
PP advice is correct.

I hit in the 70-80% range for vast majority of shots. Will go up to 80%-90% in certain situations. For example, 1st serve at 40-0, aggressive 2nd serve with score in my favor, or FH sitter; may all go up to 80-90%

Key for me is to never decelerate. If hitting at 70, 80 or 90%; I must start at 10-20% and accelerate into the desired level. Start smooth and accelerate into contact is key to maintain control and spin.

Trying to play at 90-100% of maximum RHS all the time would result in too many UErrors for me, and I would be tired by the end of the 1st set.

anubis
01-09-2013, 08:25 AM
I interpret 100% to mean "going for the kill shot". In match play, I hit 40 to 50% of my max speed. Anything more and the ball sails out.

The Meat
01-09-2013, 08:34 AM
Usually go 3/4 pace. My question to everyone is how hard do you normally hit when someone is at net during a match? For some reason I hit 50% speed because I'm afraid of hitting it long when going crosscourt or down the line, also I'm afraid that my opponent will guess where I'm aiming and hit a good volley into the open court.

Nellie
01-09-2013, 09:08 AM
If you hit with heavy topspin it is a bit safer to hit really hard.

I think everyone is saying the same thing, but using different words-

Obviously most people do not play well hitting the ball as fast/hard as they can on every stroke.

However, I swing with close to 90-100% effort on most shots ground strokes/serves. I am just putting a lot energy into brushing the ball. I will flatten out my stroke for bigger shots. And obviously I use less effort on touch/slice shots.