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View Full Version : Wisdom and secrets you have accumulated over the years...


Woodstock_Tennis
05-15-2006, 11:32 AM
Would like to know what little things you have picked up over the years that the rookies might find helpful as they start out.

Things that might help you on your serves, fh, bh, slices that most people don't know about.

For example, off the top of my head I can think of two things I've picked up

1) On every hit I make sure to take an exhale grunt, makes sure I'm relaxed and not holding my breath as the point goes on. Most people prob. do this but for my first half year into tennis was holding my breath on everyshot lol.

2) Was having an awful time on second serves, noticed I was hitting the ball to flat. So now I get my grip but put my pinkie finger under the butt of the cap, this assures I don't hit a flat ball and thus gives me a nice breaking kick or slice.

Bungalo Bill
05-15-2006, 11:49 AM
Would like to know what little things you have picked up over the years that the rookies might find helpful as they start out.

Things that might help you on your serves, fh, bh, slices that most people don't know about.

For example, off the top of my head I can think of two things I've picked up

1) On every hit I make sure to take an exhale grunt, makes sure I'm relaxed and not holding my breath as the point goes on. Most people prob. do this but for my first half year into tennis was holding my breath on everyshot lol.

2) Was having an awful time on second serves, noticed I was hitting the ball to flat. So now I get my grip but put my pinkie finger under the butt of the cap, this assures I don't hit a flat ball and thus gives me a nice breaking kick or slice.

In today's tennis you hit with your legs.

vkartikv
05-15-2006, 11:52 AM
Never let your eyes wander into neighbouring courts where some femme fatale may be playing...

Jokes aside, I try to focus on placing my serve instead of speed and leave the aces for breakpoints. Of course, it took a Fed. to teach me that..

Andres
05-15-2006, 11:55 AM
Never let your eyes wander into neighbouring courts where some femme fatale may be playing...
One true habit I can't get rid of yet. :p
Any female tennis player has a plus, only because she plays tennis, in a tennis outfit.

If she's extremely ugly outside the court, she's just "ugly" in the court. If a gal is good looking outside the court, inside the court, for me, she's a goddess... :p

Awful, but true, I know... but hey... I'm a man first, tennis player second, after all :p

chess9
05-15-2006, 12:11 PM
Train 3-4 hours for every hour you play.

Take regular lessons from your pro.

Stay lean, which means eating right.

Don't fear losing. NO FEAR!

Have fun playing. If it isn't fun, there's bowling.

-Robert

Geezer Guy
05-15-2006, 12:29 PM
Normally - not always - I hit a fairly flat first serve, and a topspin or slice second serve. HOWEVER, if my first serve is a let I go for a hard flat first serve (again) and if THAT misses I go for a hard flat second serve. I figure with 3 chances, I'm almost CERTAIN to get one of those hard flat first serves in. It doesn't always work - I've double-faulted doing this before, but USUALLY I'll get one in and if it's on my "second" serve it really surprises my opponent.

They never seem to pick up on the fact that if my first serve is a let they're going to see two more first serves.

kevhen
05-15-2006, 12:31 PM
Not a bad idea to hit 3 first serves since you are in the groove and should be able to calibrate in on the third one and get it in a higher percent and also really surprise the opponent on the those let points. Plus your opponent is really anxious to return a second serve after waiting for awhile after the let so he might be too anxious and try to rip back your hard third serve.

kicker75
05-15-2006, 02:23 PM
Have fun. When it comes down to it...for 99% of the people who play, it's only a game.

If you're in that 1%...

...Federer and Nadal are supposed to beat you...they have higher rankings and I mean, they're Federer and Nadal.

lucky leprechaun
05-15-2006, 03:51 PM
I think racquet head speed is so important now, where in the beginning I didn't think it was much an issue.

armand
05-15-2006, 04:02 PM
Only bring one ball to the service line, none in your pocket. Your 1st serve % will increase by about 30%.

AngeloDS
05-15-2006, 04:36 PM
Tennis isn't about how beautiful your strokes look, what strategies you imply or whatever. They do help but in the end, whoever keeps the ball in play and keeps it in the court will win. They only start to matter once you truly get to 5.0+ levels (not self-rated).

Kaptain Karl
05-15-2006, 05:00 PM
BB, chess9 and Angelo are on track. (I'd advise against following the Flat 1st Serve stuff....)

Buy a block of lessons, making sure you get on the court in-between them for practicing what you're learning. (At least six lessons; preferably 12 or more.)

Learn the importance of warming up and cooling down properly. (Ask your Instructor.)

Practice consistency and consistenly. Instead of first going for winners, see how many times you and your partner can safely hit the ball back and forth. Get on the practice court at least three hours a week.

If you're not having fun ... you should have your Instructor change the program ... or you should change Instructors ... or you should try another sport. [Gasp!]

- KK

lucky leprechaun
05-15-2006, 05:24 PM
Only bring one ball to the service line, none in your pocket. Your 1st serve % will increase by about 30%.

Hey I like that one :mrgreen: Sort of the carrot and stick approach to improving your first serve percentage. I, for one, would hate to have to walk over to the fence and get my second serve ball every time. If I can just hang a cheeseburger on a stick in front of my head, I could probably get myself to aggressively move forward also. I like it!!

Kaptain Karl
05-15-2006, 05:45 PM
adley's tip reminds me. If you're having trouble with your first serve ... play several practice matches where YOU get only one serve per point. I promise your percentage will improve....

- KK

35ft6
05-15-2006, 06:12 PM
If the guy doesn't instinctively go to the service line for some mini-tennis, 9 times out of 10 they're 4.5 or below.

If a guy is wearing a perfectly clean, nicely pressed, matching tennis outfit, he probably sucks.

If a guy pulls out a Prestige Classic or old Pro Staff, he's going to be decent. At least. And if it's a Pro Staff, and he's 35 or older, he's going to charge the net a lot.

Everyone "used to be better."

papa
05-15-2006, 06:19 PM
Only bring one ball to the service line, none in your pocket. Your 1st serve % will increase by about 30%.

So everyone is surpose to wait around as you go to the fence to get the next ball or do you expect your partner (doubles) to keep it for you? I had a partner who thought he would try that but "his partner" didn't think much of the idea.

Thing I'll tell everyone is don't play with those that think arguing is part of the game - legit gripes are one thing but the nit-picking crap isn't fun. These folk are generally wrong most of the time anyway and its not worth playing with or against them.

Also avoid playing with the "vision impaired" players that call everything near the lines "out" - this incidently, isn't necessarily an age related issue. If you can't see the lines well enough to make correct calls, take up bocce.

Woodstock_Tennis
05-15-2006, 06:31 PM
Some good tips here, and aye I can't count how many tennis chicks have been my downfall.

armand
05-15-2006, 07:55 PM
So everyone is surpose to wait around as you go to the fence to get the next ball or do you expect your partner (doubles) to keep it for you? I had a partner who thought he would try that but "his partner" didn't think much of the idea.For you, your 1st serve percentile would go up by 50%! You follow?
Anyway, when I play doubles, I never go against my partner.

lucky leprechaun: lol carrot and stick that's a good name for it.

Kaptain Karl: You always spell my name wrong. It hurts. Please watch out for it next time.

Kaptain Karl
05-15-2006, 10:34 PM
adely - Sorry. I must be dyselxic with "e" and "l" together.

- KK

1171
05-16-2006, 06:14 AM
Hit ball to forehand, then backhand, then forehand, then backhand, etc, etc.

Just keep it in play, see how fit your opponent is.

Tennismastery
05-16-2006, 06:26 AM
Tennis isn't about how beautiful your strokes look, what strategies you imply or whatever. They do help but in the end, whoever keeps the ball in play and keeps it in the court will win. They only start to matter once you truly get to 5.0+ levels (not self-rated).

Of course, if you don't have 'good strokes' you seldom will ever get to the 5.0
level! So, the real question should be, how good do you want to be? If you want to see how good you can get and what your potential will allow, then using whatever strokes that feel comfortable or strategies that seem to feel good at early stages, will seldom lead you to reaching your true potential.

If you pick up a racquet and say, 'Gee, I want to play tennis but I don't care how good I could become,' then such a strategy will work. However, if you pick up a racquet and say, 'gee, I wonder how good I can become in tennis,' then what your strokes look like and what strategies you employ will have everything to do with your success.

Those who adopt a 'use whatever grip/stroke/strategy' learning mantra will be like the millions of players who stagnate far below their abilities, and end up usually becoming a 'tennis dinker' since most ruedementary methods do not allow for prolific shot making.

That would be my advice from 32 years of tennis teaching: Make sure you have a goal in tennis. Your technique, your method of practice and your progression will all be dependent on this goal.

Remember that you can play a piano with two fingers and even play a few songs, relatively quickly. Learning to use all your fingers and to coordinate them takes time and diligent practice USING GOOD FORM. Tennis is no different. You can hit a tennis ball a million ways over the net...hell, I can hit it over the net with the grip! That doesn't make it the best way for me to learn! Hope that makes sense to everyone.

papa
05-16-2006, 06:36 AM
For you, your 1st serve percentile would go up by 50%! You follow?


You know adely, you do make an interesting point to a degree. As an example, I've been one of those players who, while serving, likes to have all three balls - might seem strange to you but call it habit or whatever, I want to know exactly where those three balls are. I do not like points interrupted by loose balls and have stepped on enough to take any chances. Now of course, I seem to have accumulated a large collection of shorts - some of which are one ball jobs while the others can hold two without any problems. Apparently there is no standard when it comes to pocket size.

However, when I'm playing, I must admit that I drible the "third" ball to the fence behind me. For some reason, having two balls in my pocket does create some little problem for me - hard to keep two when I'm serving good.

So, your comment is well taken and who knows, I might give it a try - old dogs can in fact learn new tricks.

max
05-16-2006, 06:48 AM
This is an old one, used in doubles when you're at the net. After your partner has served and the other team is returning, do a little foot shuffling to suggest you're poaching. This can jazz the serve returner into hitting the return poorly. Of course, it would be wrong to do this deeking while your partner is serving.

Bungalo Bill
05-16-2006, 08:17 AM
This is an old one, used in doubles when you're at the net. After your partner has served and the other team is returning, do a little foot shuffling to suggest you're poaching. This can jazz the serve returner into hitting the return poorly. Of course, it would be wrong to do this deeking while your partner is serving.

Next, you should put some taps on your shoes to really throw them off. :cool:

DrewRafter8
05-16-2006, 07:11 PM
Power Thrills, Placement Kills (Especially on passing shots, used it tonight)

Win by all means necessary

Stick your racquet out and good things will happen

Oh, and everybody's favorite "When in doubt call it out" (Kidding)

ironchef21
05-16-2006, 07:19 PM
Don't be afraid to swing hard on your 2nd serve.

10ispro
05-16-2006, 08:22 PM
If the guy doesn't instinctively go to the service line for some mini-tennis, 9 times out of 10 they're 4.5 or below.

If a guy is wearing a perfectly clean, nicely pressed, matching tennis outfit, he probably sucks.

If a guy pulls out a Prestige Classic or old Pro Staff, he's going to be decent. At least. And if it's a Pro Staff, and he's 35 or older, he's going to charge the net a lot.

Everyone "used to be better."


None of this has any basis in reality. At My Club Our Entire Womens interclub team all start at the service line b/c the old Pros taught them this is how to warm up. They are all 3.5 and below

Conversely, our Men's Team who are all 4.0 and above all automatically goto the baseline and warm up. I am one of the few who starts with my partner in Pre-warm up with Volleys, but pretty much skip mini Tennis.

I rarely see any juniors ever start at the service line for warm up except the
12 and unders or 10 and unders, and many of them have a hard time even hitting from the baseline.

At one time I used to have my own Theories on how good people were based on what racquet they used and tried to gauge or guess someone ability by what racquet they used until I played a Tournament against a Guy who showed up with One Wilson Racquet , I forget the model, its the pyramid shaped one, walked onto the court and kicked my *** and walked through the next 2 rounds until he had to default in the semi's b/c of a work conflict--I found out shortly there after he played for UCLA and coached Johns Hopkins as well as being the Head Pro at a local club...

On the other hand, there are a ton of wannabe Players who buy everything their favorite player uses, so even tho they have no idea how to use something like a Prestige or Pro Staff 6.0--they own it.:mrgreen:

Rep. Timothy Calhoun
05-16-2006, 08:40 PM
'Wisdom and secrets' huh? Here's mine: Keep your secrets to yourself!

katastrof
05-16-2006, 08:58 PM
My half a cent: Play with different people with different abilities. But, much more with those that are better than yourself.

Rep. Timothy Calhoun
05-16-2006, 09:04 PM
Ask people to give out their secrets.

10ispro
05-16-2006, 09:54 PM
My half a cent: Play with different people with different abilities. But, much more with those that are better than yourself.

Actually Training should be divided into 1/3s.
Train against or play against a 1/3 who are not as good as you to insure to can always win against these people.This will have the most pressure b/c you are always expected to win.
1/3 against people at your same level, which test you mentally and physically and look to keep your winning percentage above 50%. Pressure should be split, but this is where many people will put the most pressure of themselves to overcome and push past this level.
and
1/3 against people better than you. This is where you should have the least pressure to win, but a perfect opportunity to gain experience against different shots, different pace and often an entirely different rythmn.

35ft6
05-17-2006, 07:30 AM
None of this has any basis in reality.I wasn't saying that what I was saying was the Divine Truth. In my experience, the stuff I posted is "true." In your experience, maybe not. It's a big world. :cool:

brucie
05-17-2006, 01:10 PM
DONT FEAR LOSING

also I used to think I had to prove my true ability on every point, so did stuff that I shoudnt iv been hitting topspin serves since I was bout 11 hitting many doubles each game but going at 1st and 2nd, without forecing power but being aggressive over winter now 16 iv mastered it hit like maybe 2 or 3 doubles in 5 sets and hit 2nd serve as hard as 1st just add topspin it kicks heavt too. But my point is dont try to show off too much but if you do eventually it will click and you will master it!