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Cruzer
03-02-2004, 12:43 PM
I find that when I am playing someone who is not very good my own play starts to be as bad as theirs. Conversely when I am playing a someone who is better than I am I play pretty well. This happens in singles and doubles. Does anyone else experience this? Is it because of boredom that my play drops off when playing someone who is not very challenging? Any thoughts?

TripleThreatPlayer
03-02-2004, 04:11 PM
I have to agree. Today I played a low level pusher, maybe it was because I didn't know what to do with a pusher, or I was playing bad, either way I did horrible. We played one set and I barely won with a tie breaker (7-6). My playing got downgraded, its all mental game.

@wright
03-02-2004, 07:24 PM
Everyone who plays tennis deals with this "play up/play down" phenomenon, until you get to the point where you have such a solid game all around you can take out these pushers/players you say are worse than you. Do you realize that if you barely beat someone that's a pretty good barometer of determining just how much better you are than them? Work on developing a gameplan to shut these guys down instead of throwing ***** on a wall and hoping some will stick.

Cypo
03-02-2004, 10:42 PM
When I play someone worse than I am, I concentrate on hitting through the ball and playing high percentage topspin shots. Mentally I tell myself they can't hurt me, I don't need to take risks. I also don't feel like a jerk, pounding someone who's no threat to me.

This backfired on me though recently because it turned what could have been a short game into a long game and in the B-final I ended up playing someone who'd had a bye, a w.o. and played one match (11 games), whereas I had played 38 games in three matches, one a third set tie break. Needless to say, I lost.

warrior_15
03-03-2004, 06:24 AM
I think everyone goes through this. It is a case of, "but I am so much better than them" syndrome. It is not the physically game that needs attention in this case, rather the mental. Once you truly in control of your mental game such trivial obstacles will no longer exist.

peter
03-03-2004, 06:41 AM
I had a similar experience yesterday when I was invited to play a
(practice session) doubles match with tree oldtimers - one who hits
as hard as I do (we've had a couple of very hard singles matches
lately - even though he turns 60 this year and I'm 36) - lets call him "A",
and two other oldtimers who is 5-10 years older than he is. One
the the two older guys suffered a stroke about a year ago (lets call
him "B") and has been working on his playing abilities
this winter. He used to be a *really* good tennis player though.

I felt kind of confused/stressed on how to play these guys (player A and B
played together against me and player C). Sure I could blast away as usual
against A since I knew he could handle it (and would "return the fire" :-) but
oing the same against player B wouldn't have been fair. On the other
hand - avoiding hitting balls against him wouldn't have been fair either -
especially since he used to be such a good player.

I ended up easing up on the speed when hitting against him, but he
still had problems reaching some of the balls - and my game kind
of deteriorated since I had to spend time thinking on how to be
"nice" (without it showing *too* much) to him.

I think it would have been easier if player B had been a real newbie
instead of a really good player once. (If he keeps practicing I think
he'll be back on the tennis court in full swing eventually).

jmckinney
03-03-2004, 07:00 AM
Personally, when I am not pushed I do not play well. I only focus when I have to . I do not have many players who play the level I do in the area in which I live. When I play I get bored very easily. I try impossible shots and usually miss them or shots I know I shouldn't be hitting in this or that situation. I serve and volley sometimes all match on 1st and 2nd serves just to keep myself interested. I have played matches where I have chipped and charged every point. This and I am mostly a baseliner who cames to the net only when needed. I play alot of close matches doing these things and get mad at myself afterwards but during the match I know I am going to win I just get bored. I can only seem to get myself to really play against opponents who are above my level. I definately believe there is a boredom factor. I do not believe the score has anything to do with if you are this much or that much a better player than someone else.

Bungalo Bill
03-03-2004, 09:31 AM
All of your comments are valid. You are all right! But why does this happen. My research tells me that the reason it is difficult is because you cant establish a rythym for your strokes. It causes the brain to slow down, think to much, and eventually get bored or frustrated.

This is why you need to change it up. Bring the guy forward, backward, pass em at the net. etc. Pushers make better players think too much about how to hit the ball that is coming. Or worse yet, take an aggresive shot too soon and end up losing their confidence on hwo to play a pusher.

I played a real good pusher the other day. He kicked my butt. I was so furious. I thought I did everything right to get this guy. He had such unorthodox strokes that it was nearly impossible to read his shots. It felt I was on the run every rally and never felt in control of a point.

He was very very quick and I used all the tricks in the book, hit behind him, bring him to net, etc. etc. - it didnt work! So you win some and you lose some. What the match did was show me that my approach shots were lacking some punch - I lost some consistency. I havent practiced approach shots for quite sometime.

So I will get him next time.

polakosaur
03-03-2004, 09:57 AM
one of the most important things is concentration and focus. against a good player you concentrate and focus on each shot your whole energy is toward the match to trying to beat a opoopnent thats better but against a bad opponent our focus and concentration falters and we take our mid off the match we don't focus with the same concentration as we do with a good player. try to focus fully on the match and the ball.

kevhen
03-03-2004, 01:05 PM
I have had the same feeling of struggling a little with the weaker players but still winning like 3 and 0. But I try to go out and double bagel weaker players and try to keep my focus high throughout the match to do that. But I usually let up on a game or two to give them a chance at winning a game so they save face. But I won't give them many chances while I do some experiment al stuff before closing out the set.

So when you play a weaker player, see if you can bagel them, to help keep your focus up. That is what I do but I wish really I had more stronger players to play against around here though.

warrior_15
03-04-2004, 04:46 PM
A tip to use when you find yourself in this rut is to look at the ball. No, don't just see that there is a yellow, rubber, bouncy ball coming toward you. You have to watch it ever so carefully. Count how many times it spins, read the letters on the ball, count how many fuzzes it has, whatever works for you. But as long as you are concentrated on that ball, your mind will not wander off (as long as your mind is TRULY concentrated on it).

jayserinos99
03-04-2004, 10:30 PM
Cruzer, I have this very same problem. I try to follow what warrior does and that is just follow the ball and not concentrate on the player on the other side of the net. Focus on the task at hand (following the ball) and everything takes care of itself.

Paunchy Gandalf
03-05-2004, 07:42 AM
Great posts here!

One thing that woks for me is setting smaller "domination" goals for myself. Depending on the levelof the player, I set myself goals for a game....must win his next service game to love. Or "must win next point with no more than 5 strokes".

The other approach, when playing players clearly worse off is to handicap myself. So I tell myself I will not serve into the corners, or will not hit my favourite inside out forehand.

Both of these approaches keep my intensity up because I am improvising every point in my brain, and not playing by instinct. Often, I will come away feeling I have learnt something which will benefit me long term.

But I must add that these approaches sometime land me in a big hole where I need to really dig deep to get out. (Talk about mixed metaphors...digging deep to get out of a hole). But at least the effort is rewarding.

PG

Kobble
03-05-2004, 12:30 PM
Kevhen, I like and often use the tactic of trying to embarass bad players 0 and 0. Some players have so many quirks that it can occassionaly distract me from hitting the ball normally. It definitely keeps my focus and determination up by eliminated me from feeling sorry for them. I sometimes play senior citizens and a variety of players that are tough to take serious. The other guy always gets very competitive with me, and tries to hit winners when I am just trying to warm up. These guys seem to bring every prejudice and shortcoming onto the court when I play them. It reminds me of the scene in The Color of Money when vincent played the guy with the hole in his throat. The difference is that I don't show as much mercy when they start fueling their ego at my expense. They seem like nice guys at first glance, but when the net is between us they let pathetic version Mr. Hyde loose. Fortunately, my inner Mr. Hyde just realizes that they are just hungry for a beating, and hands out some bagels to hold them over.

altawolfe
03-09-2004, 05:01 AM
Copy the following link, paste it on to your address bar and click "GO": http://talk.tennis-warehouse.com/discussions?13@24.g4LhamWXFtt^1@.eebc5b3

I submit that most non-professional players have an ability range - sometimes they play incredibly, other times worse. I think we try to disown the bad parts of our game and identify with our days in the zone. This is a psychological trap of sorts. If someone is pushing too much or mixing up the pace and spin in unconventional ways, than take the net and finish points quickly. If you are getting pushed around by a pusher than the problem is not with them, it's with your game. You just need to invent a better mouse trap. Try to open up the court by powering the ball deep into the corners and move in for the kill. Get your clay court hat on and think in terms of multiple strokes. Play chess. Granted, the quality of the ralleys may be worse than if you were trading punches with a 5.0 banger, but a lower level opponent can only bring out parts of your game that already exist.

Fedace
07-28-2007, 10:30 AM
I find that when I am playing someone who is not very good my own play starts to be as bad as theirs. Conversely when I am playing a someone who is better than I am I play pretty well. This happens in singles and doubles. Does anyone else experience this? Is it because of boredom that my play drops off when playing someone who is not very challenging? Any thoughts?

I know what you mean on this one. I have been playing 4.5 level leagues and doing well in it. and today, i played guys that are about 4.0, if at that. but they were very accurate with the lobs and hit shots at about 20 mph like a knuckle ball, in the wind. I played with another 3.5 player but i made my share of mistakes with the nerf balls that was coming back. My level of play droped about 2 levels watching them play and lost the match. I am kicking myself at this moment. I am not sure what happened,?? i was extremely tired but that is NO excuse. has anyone experience this before ???:confused:

Slazenger
07-28-2007, 10:35 AM
Everyone who plays tennis deals with this "play up/play down" phenomenon, until you get to the point where you have such a solid game all around you can take out these pushers/players you say are worse than you. Do you realize that if you barely beat someone that's a pretty good barometer of determining just how much better you are than them? Work on developing a gameplan to shut these guys down instead of throwing ***** on a wall and hoping some will stick.

OMG I LOVE THIS POST!!!

callitout
07-28-2007, 10:39 AM
Great topic
There are 3 things I always keep in mind when I play poorly against a weaker opponent.
1)Im not as good as I think I am
2)Inconsistency is the hallmark of the recreational player
3)Even Fed occassionally struggles with his first round opponents.

Slazenger
07-28-2007, 10:41 AM
I know what you mean on this one. I have been playing 4.5 level leagues and doing well in it. and today, i played guys that are about 4.0, if at that. but they were very accurate with the lobs and hit shots at about 20 mph like a knuckle ball, in the wind. I played with another 3.5 player but i made my share of mistakes with the nerf balls that was coming back. My level of play droped about 2 levels watching them play and lost the match. I am kicking myself at this moment. I am not sure what happened,?? i was extremely tired but that is NO excuse. has anyone experience this before ???:confused:


I can't see a 4.5 losing to a true 3.5. They don't have the game to hurt you.
How did you lose? What exactly did your opponent do right, or what did you do wrong?

I'm a 5.0 but when I was a 4.5 I would play 3.5s dead tired after playing 2 matches in a day and it wouldn't be close. Some of the games may be close but the score was never better than 2 and 2. Also when playing them, I never at any point felt they could win the match.

Slazenger
07-28-2007, 10:49 AM
Great topic
There are 3 things I always keep in mind when I play poorly against a weaker opponent.
1)Im not as good as I think I am
2)Inconsistency is the hallmark of the recreational player
3)Even Fed occassionally struggles with his first round opponents.

Venus and Serena always struggle in the early rounds to lesser opponents now but that is because they play so little. In their prime they were spending 30mins max on court in the first couple of rounds.

The difference between Fed and his first round opponents is not as big as the difference between a 3.5 and a 4.5. Those guys can play serious tennis.

The 1st point is really the answer here.
If someone is pushing you with 'slow balls', junk, no pace etc then you aren't as good as you feel when you are hitting big forehands when you are given pace.
A 4.5 I believe has developed controlled aggression and can attack these balls or at the very least (on a bad day) get them back in play in a favourable position.

35ft6
07-28-2007, 10:53 AM
If I'm hitting with somebody and they're really inconsistent, my level of play usually drops unless I'm just really having a great day. I try to hit it right to them more, softer, in their preferred strike zone, and I can't turn it back on after that. Plus, you just lose interest when they can't get more than a few shots in at a time.

Fedace
07-28-2007, 10:55 AM
I can't see a 4.5 losing to a true 3.5. They don't have the game to hurt you.
How did you lose? What exactly did your opponent do right, or what did you do wrong?

I'm a 5.0 but when I was a 4.5 I would play 3.5s dead tired after playing 2 matches in a day and it wouldn't be close. Some of the games may be close but the score was never better than 2 and 2. Also when playing them, I never at any point felt they could win the match.

This was a league doubles match. they had one weapon, deadly accurate lobs. and funnily enough, they could handle big pace with topspin. When i hit good deep approach shots, they were lobbing over my partner so i couldn't really come in everytime. They could not handle pace off my serve but they kept breaking my partner. I was only 4.5 player on the court. my partner was about 3.5 and our opponents were close to 4.0 if at that. they really knew the doubles positioning well and knew when to hit lobbs and when to hit no pace nerf ball passing shots but they were fairly well placed. What do you do in these situations ?? how can i as the best player on the court make up and come thru with a win ??:confused:

Slazenger
07-28-2007, 11:01 AM
This was a league doubles match. they had one weapon, deadly accurate lobs. and funnily enough, they could handle big pace with topspin. When i hit good deep approach shots, they were lobbing over my partner so i couldn't really come in everytime. They could not handle pace off my serve but they kept breaking my partner. I was only 4.5 player on the court. my partner was about 3.5 and our opponents were close to 4.0 if at that. they really knew the doubles positioning well and knew when to hit lobbs and when to hit no pace nerf ball passing shots but they were fairly well placed. What do you do in these situations ?? how can i as the best player on the court make up and come thru with a win ??:confused:

Ahh it was doubles. Makes sense now.

Fedace
07-28-2007, 11:04 AM
Ahh it was doubles. Makes sense now.

How do you beat these nerf ballers when in this type of situation?? it was really frustrating cause they were laughing and carrying on after the match like they were saying ,, HAHAH, you are a highest rated player on the court and we beat you up.. and rubbing it in my face. Do you have any suggestions ??:confused:

Fedace
07-28-2007, 11:09 AM
Plus, my partner was saying in the middle of the 2nd set, why don't you come to the net more, i think they are taking over the net on you... what an idiot. I am like i CANNOT come in cause they are lobbing over your head every time and your overhead is so bad, grandmother in the nursing home can hit it harder than you. I really wanted to say that but i didn't cause i am such a nice guy....

boojay
07-28-2007, 11:31 AM
I almost had my first triple bagel yesterday when I played against a weak 4.0. Instead, I won 6-0, 6-0, 6-1. Although the score was quite lopsided and I never felt threatened, I really earned that score. Two or three times I had to come back from 15-40 on my serve and similarly on his serve when he was up 40-15. I also had two very lucky critical points that I thought I had lost, but some how managed to win to save break/game points. Equally as important, none of my double-faults came at critical times either.

Even though I knew coming in I was the stronger player, I was well prepared for a closer match as I find it difficult to keep a good rhythm with players who don't hit with enough pace or who unpredictably mix up shots. I played a much safer game than I normally would (i.e. not going for too much) and was conservative in my choice of shots because I knew that would be enough to win. I never thought I would get my first triple bagel.

Moral of the story (at least for me, anyway)? When playing against someone who's truly weaker than you, you don't have to bring out your A game. Simply do not go for too much (unless you're up 40-0 and sometimes 40-15) and do everything correctly as best you can under control and you won't be kicking yourself afterwards.

Fedace
07-28-2007, 05:41 PM
If I'm hitting with somebody and they're really inconsistent, my level of play usually drops unless I'm just really having a great day. I try to hit it right to them more, softer, in their preferred strike zone, and I can't turn it back on after that. Plus, you just lose interest when they can't get more than a few shots in at a time.

Yea, but even in doubles, if they start beating you, it becomes annoying real fast. better gain back interest real quick

ProStaff Legend
07-28-2007, 05:47 PM
i hav this problem all the time

luckyfool
07-28-2007, 05:58 PM
I know what you mean on this one. I have been playing 4.5 level leagues and doing well in it. and today, i played guys that are about 4.0, if at that. but they were very accurate with the lobs and hit shots at about 20 mph like a knuckle ball, in the wind. I played with another 3.5 player but i made my share of mistakes with the nerf balls that was coming back. My level of play droped about 2 levels watching them play and lost the match. I am kicking myself at this moment. I am not sure what happened,?? i was extremely tired but that is NO excuse. has anyone experience this before ???:confused:

it's very rare a 3.5 can beat a 4.5, unless you're not the 4.5 you claim to be or your opponent is higher than 3.5. I'm a 4.0 and i can pound 3.0 to 3.5 guys effortlessly because they simply can't handle my game. period.

luckyfool
07-28-2007, 06:01 PM
If I'm hitting with somebody and they're really inconsistent, my level of play usually drops unless I'm just really having a great day. I try to hit it right to them more, softer, in their preferred strike zone, and I can't turn it back on after that. Plus, you just lose interest when they can't get more than a few shots in at a time.

there was a period back in the days when i was in the same situation as you are. the reality is that you're not that good as you think, and your opponent isn't as trashy as you perceive him/her to be. you should focus on your game and find out what you can do to improve it.

calvinchang
07-28-2007, 07:55 PM
Just focus on your game, they're hitting crap shots and you can't get them back? Why not? You should be able to hit those shots easily and go for the put away shots easy... Net rushing also kills people that are weak, I mean, if they're as bad as you say they are, how are they going to hit a good passing shot? It's just up to you to be consistent.

staedtler
07-28-2007, 10:13 PM
I understand what you mean. I have a friend who is not as good as me, yet he always finds ways to stay in the game. And we're very competitive, so when it comes to tennis, I definitely do not want to lose to him. I mean bragging rights are on the line. Anyways recently, I barely beat him in the first set 6-4. But after that, I bagelled him in the second set. I think after winning the first set, I felt more confident in my strokes and played much more aggressive which paid off. I didn't play tentatively like I normally do at the beginning. So as others have said, just play your game and be confident in your strokes. Once you win a point, just try to use that to make yourself more comfortable.

boojay
07-29-2007, 12:33 AM
I understand what you mean. I have a friend who is not as good as me, yet he always finds ways to stay in the game. And we're very competitive, so when it comes to tennis, I definitely do not want to lose to him. I mean bragging rights are on the line. Anyways recently, I barely beat him in the first set 6-4. But after that, I bagelled him in the second set. I think after winning the first set, I felt more confident in my strokes and played much more aggressive which paid off. I didn't play tentatively like I normally do at the beginning. So as others have said, just play your game and be confident in your strokes. Once you win a point, just try to use that to make yourself more comfortable.

That's skurry. I just played against a friend who somewhat employs pusher style tennis, but he has two main weapons, his serve and his overhead smash at the net. I also beat him 6-4, 6-0 today and similarly, once I got that first set out of the way, I steamrolled through the second on confidence alone.

Dishin' out three bagels and a breadstick in two days. I'm on a Fed roll!

VaBeachTennis
07-29-2007, 05:39 AM
Plus, my partner was saying in the middle of the 2nd set, why don't you come to the net more, i think they are taking over the net on you... what an idiot. I am like i CANNOT come in cause they are lobbing over your head every time and your overhead is so bad, grandmother in the nursing home can hit it harder than you. I really wanted to say that but i didn't cause i am such a nice guy....

I played a tournament with a partner like you had. My level went down, not because of the opponents, but because of my "wannabe know it all" partner. We were kicking these guy's butts and my partner starts telling me to change up my shots because they are going to get wise to it. I looked at him like he was crazy and said "why should I change what's working?" I also thought it was a dumb statement because I was changing up my shots and capitalizing on their weaknesses, while he was choking and not even making a single point, even when I set up duck returns (by the opponents) with my serve! So that started getting on my nerves. Then when he served he would almost always have a fault on the first serve and then serve a choke duck for his second serve which was almost getting me nailed at the net until I said to myself; " "F" this I am moving back to the baseline for his second serve" , then the opponents would drop shot his second serve. By this time I was pretty ****ed, every game he served we lost or almost lost, every game I served we won pretty easily, then I double faulted one time and he came to give me advice by telling me to basically "take some off of my serve" or dink them for seconds like he does. Finally I said to him " I don't need to take anything off of the ball, I just need to keep my head up and watch the F'n ball and why are you trying to tell me what to do with my serve when you can't even get a first serve in or dink your second serve and almost get me nailed up at the net!?" , after that I wasn't intereseted in having him as my partner and I am sure the feeling was mutual and we lost the match.
This is one reason why I so much prefer singles to doubles.

Supernatural_Serve
07-29-2007, 06:14 AM
This phenomenon seems more prevalent in team sports, where the entire team chemistry, intensity, and pace are "slowed" down by playing a weaker team. So, I've seen it in doubles too. The intensity isn't there and you find yourself at 4-4 in the first set and, wonder what is going on.

I've also seen weaker teams identify that they are weaker, and go into a totally defensive style game that leaves the stronger team in an akward strategy if they don't react accordingly.

But, I haven't experienced this in singles.

A weaker player like all players has weaknesses, so you find them, and you pound them easily since you are the better player, and their strenghts tend not to hurt you as much.

The trick is to keep your intensity level high and not pass any judgments on your opponent. So, he doesn't hit the ball very offensively, simply means you have more time to line up your shots.

GoochMoney
07-29-2007, 07:01 AM
this happens in my league every time i play a pusher, chopper, slicer - junk baller - whatever. i play guys 10 spots ahead with good serves and groundstrokes and seem to have much more of a tennis match. the sticky regarding the playing styles has helped, but this is frustrating.

Steady Eddy
07-29-2007, 07:23 AM
I find it's not so much that I don't beat poor players, or even that I don't beat them by much, but that I feel my game looks lousy while playing them.

There are some reasons for this. It's hard to get a rhythm off their shots. This is a technique that some advanced players use intentionally! Also, since the poor player has little control, his shots aren't "safe", he'll hit the lines and accidentally hit winning drop shots. He'll won't hit many of these, but when he does it's irritating, and hurts your confidence.

This is why your game looks bad. But if you play your game and not worry about it, you should still win easily. Just learn from them. Mixing up your shots and giving paceless balls can confuse an opponent.

35ft6
07-29-2007, 08:39 AM
there was a period back in the days when i was in the same situation as you are. the reality is that you're not that good as you think, and your opponent isn't as trashy as you perceive him/her to be. you should focus on your game and find out what you can do to improve it. That's great if that was your experience, but don't assume the whole world must operate only in ways you've experienced. It's exactly as I've described. When somebody is inconsistent, I start turning it down and down further until they start getting some balls in, but by then I've kind of shut down mentally.

If it's a match situation, I don't have this problem. I have no qualms with taking every one of their unforced errors and going to the well over and over again.

Again, I'm talking about just hitting with somebody. In a match, I've never had this problem. In a match, if a person is playing bad, I'm more than happy to make him play worse. I'm not going to make it easier for him. But if I'm practicing, I'd like for them to get some balls back, so I'll let up. And I find it's hard to get motivated again once you're basically giving somebody a hitting lesson.

boojay
07-29-2007, 10:09 AM
I find it's not so much that I don't beat poor players, or even that I don't beat them by much, but that I feel my game looks lousy while playing them.

There are some reasons for this. It's hard to get a rhythm off their shots. This is a technique that some advanced players use intentionally! Also, since the poor player has little control, his shots aren't "safe", he'll hit the lines and accidentally hit winning drop shots. He'll won't hit many of these, but when he does it's irritating, and hurts your confidence.

This is why your game looks bad. But if you play your game and not worry about it, you should still win easily. Just learn from them. Mixing up your shots and giving paceless balls can confuse an opponent.

Ah, that's the word I was looking for, "unintentional". Thanks. But yah, I share your sentiments almost exactly. While such an experience is certainly frustrating as hell, it's also a great learning one. Of course it's difficult to recognize this fact when you're playing against such a player, but upon looking back, you can reflect on the deficiencies in your game that made it harder than it should've have been if you were truly the better player. What's important is to improve and not commit the same mistakes over and over again. It's challenging as hell, but everyone goes through it, it's part of the learning process.

lude popper
07-29-2007, 10:40 AM
hitting against good strokes is like skiing powder: it's easy > it makes people feel more skilled than they really are > this is why some people love hitting against teaching pros, because pros put the ball in your hitting zone with such rhythm-producing repetition. Hitting against off-pace junk requires more skill. Watch what a good teaching pro does with junk; he just keeps placing the ball perfectly back into the strike zone. Pushers and junkers tend to expose how bad your stokes are. If you can't control their ball enough to impose your will, you need to improve.

Regarding pushers > you need to serve and volley. Charge the net before they defense you to death. If they are pushers, than they should be hitting the kind of balls that allow for solid approaches. If you can't hit a good approach (i.e., if they're passing you), or if you can't finish at net, than who is the pusher?

boojay
07-29-2007, 10:54 AM
hitting against good strokes is like skiing powder: it's easy > it makes people feel more skilled than they really are > this is why some people love hitting against teaching pros, because pros put the ball in your hitting zone with such rhythm-producing repetition. Hitting against off-pace junk requires more skill. Watch what a good teaching pro does with junk; he just keeps placing the ball perfectly back into the strike zone. Pushers and junkers tend to expose how bad your stokes are. If you can't control their ball enough to impose your will, you need to improve.

So are you saying it's a good exercise to track down junk balls and return it to the strike zone of your hitting partner (i.e. during warmup rallies)? Cuz I did that ALL the freaking time. A little while ago I had created a rant thread about receiving junk feeds when practicing and how I always had to chase down shots while always getting the ball back with good placement and pace (a rally ball) to my partner, only to have him T off for a winner. I had stopped doing that and just started playing matches when things got out of hand and beat the pr|ck(s) :D.

lude popper
09-13-2007, 08:30 PM
So are you saying it's a good exercise to track down junk balls and return it to the strike zone

God no. It's not a good exercise. Nothing fun about it. Can't imagine doing it willfully. I do it for money, and I always feel dirty when I punch out. But that's because my socks are green from the pre-cambrian metabasalt Blue Ridge Mountain granules.

I meant to say that it takes skill to turn junk into a good feed.

ananda
09-13-2007, 10:39 PM
when i play singles with these guys (SLOW pushers), i beat them squarely. But when we play doubles they not only beat me, but its getting worse day by day. and i know they are mentally beating me.
1) they keep slowly lobbing/floating the ball and i cant handle the slow pace. sooner or later i net the slow ball, or hit it out even tho i am not putting much force.
2) they keep giving the ball to my partner (who is very new). rarely does the ball come to me, and when it does i have lost all focus. and i make errors.

Last two days, i have been losing 6-0 6-1 in doubles, whereas i beat the best of them (my trainer) 6-1 the day before that (he's not a pusher).

i am reading this thread for tips. Please bold face your tips, if possible so they can be caught with a glance.

Some suggest playing a pusher game back with them. I find that distasteful, its like playing badminton, lobbing back and forth all day.

Another suggested I use a loose grip so i play fluid shots even with slow balls. I am using that.

Any suggestions for how to handle a situation where both opponents give the ball only to your (weak) partner. I have NO other people to play with, so if i dont play with these guys, i wont get to play at all :-(

ananda
09-13-2007, 10:54 PM
Plus, my partner was saying in the middle of the 2nd set, why don't you come to the net more, i think they are taking over the net on you... what an idiot. I am like i CANNOT come in cause they are lobbing over your head every time and your overhead is so bad, grandmother in the nursing home can hit it harder than you. I really wanted to say that but i didn't cause i am such a nice guy....

haha, nice guy. i play this slow pusher dude who is so overweight he cant move. i simply cannot put the ball more than a foot away from him somehow. i just land up giving the ball right back to him no matter where he is, and he has me on the run.
so b4 i know it i am down 2-5. then carefully i have to get myself back to 6-6 (lost one game due to some double faults at deuce), without giving him any dropshots cos he cant run, while he's dropshotting me every other ball!
he goes away thinking he whupped my butt!

Best part is that that guy is faaaaar from nice guy!

NLBwell
09-15-2007, 07:09 PM
I was going to post this in a different thread, but it seems to pretty much fit here. The situation in slightly different, though. My friend and I play tennis a couple times a week we are 4.0 and 4.5 players. We both hit the ball pretty hard and have good serves, so it isn't uncommon for us to go to a tiebreak with no serve breaks. Today, we just got worse and worse. After both of us hitting normally while warming up, we started off both of us double faulting twice in our first two service games, then went to 3x per game. As I got worse, he got worse than me and then again I got worse than him. By the end I was hitting drop shots 15 feet wide, he was hitting lobs that bounced twice before they got to the net. We were pushing just trying to get the ball to land in the middle of the court and hitting the back fence or bouncing it into the net. It was just an avalanche of horrible play. We just fed on each other getting worse and worse.