View Full Version : Best tip/advice you ever received ?

steve d
03-05-2004, 10:37 AM
This question was asked on the old board 2 or 3 years ago. I remember there was some good stuff posted about the things that helped most in ones tennis development. Unfortunately, I have lost track of the thread.

I would be especially interested in the advanced players posting what they believe was the tip or advice that advanced them to their current level.

03-05-2004, 10:52 AM
I'm a solid 4.0, knocking on the edge of 4.5. Not an advanced player, but here's my 2 cents.

To me it was recognizing when a pressure point is about to be played (breakpoint, 15-30, perhaps a gamepoint or setpoint are a few of the examples). In those situations, I simply realized that it was time to cut down mistakes and to simply play within the limits on my game. I have what I call 90% shots: they're simply shots I can make 9 out of 10 trys. Shots like a crosscourt stroke at 85% speed or a 3/4 pace topspin serve to the opponent's backhand.

On a pressure point, I ONLY play my 90% shots. I do not try anything flashy or cute. I don't do anything out of the ordinary to scare my opponent or impress onlookers. Instead I just execute shots my body have made thousands of times before.

The point is to not give away points when winning the point will put you into an incredibly advantageous position. 15-30 can suddenly turn into 15-40 when your opponent makes a stupid mistake. Winning setpoint is obviously better than losing it.

03-05-2004, 11:16 AM
The best advice given to me was when I was struggling to figure out how to win matches. An opposing coach told me to just "have fun". I lost that along the way and when I didn't think about winning or losing, it all just clicked.

03-05-2004, 11:49 AM
I get my best advice from "Sonic Serve " video on how to use hips to create leverage for power in your serve motion. Since then my service game improved dramatically and I start winning matches. I used to hate tibreaks ( my serve) now I love it.... :D

Bungalo Bill
03-05-2004, 01:04 PM
"in today's tennis, we hit with our legs" this was a huge turning point in my game years back.

03-05-2004, 05:07 PM
I have received a lot of tips etc. But the best thing i have heard was about a week ago or so.

I wanted to work on the footwork a litttle bit. After doing the simple drill, this pro told me that

"I think you are GOOD enough where you can just lay it all out on the court. You've just got to play different players and see different types of balls"

It was such a confidence booster...I still have to work on my movements and stuff. But it really was appreciated from my stand point...And I went onto play some good tennis following sunday...still lost....but...well...-_-;

Bungalo Bill
03-05-2004, 05:15 PM
good job jun!

03-05-2004, 09:35 PM
high ball, high backswing
low ball, low backswing

Of course this is modified depending on if you are hitting slice or top spin but the idea was to match the height of the racquet with the height of the ball. helped me improve my consistency, return of serve, made me bend my legs for those low balls.

03-06-2004, 08:08 AM
1)On my forehand, hold the racquet's trhoat during my takeback with my left hand and naturally turn my shoulders before hitting forehands. I've gained consistency and depth.
2)Make my forehand "bigger" by spreading my right hand on the handle a little bit more.

03-06-2004, 11:15 AM
On his deathbed, my old coach and friend, who was also my grandfather told me the secret to winning at tennis. After much hesitation I guess I'll let you all in on that little secret that would change my tennis game and my life forever(can't believe I'm doing this): He said "Just hit the ***** out of the ball"

Just kidding! One of my favorite tips on groundies is to hit with your legs, and also to coil your upper body as soon as the ball is hit. On volleys it helps me not to swing at the ball and to squeeze my grip as I hit. On serves, hitting up on the ball is one of the best tips for keeping it in.

Joe Average
03-06-2004, 08:14 PM
That when returning, treat the serve as another groundstroke. This means not to over-think the return of serve. And that's very easy to do as you're just waiting there for the serve to come. But treat it as a groundstroke coming at you ... and react accordingly. Block if you have to ... swing away when you can ... put up a defensive lob ... chip and charge ... but, most important, get it back.

03-07-2004, 01:44 AM
And Steve, as I said two or three years ago, I'll say it again...best advice was when I was a struggling 3.5 and still occasionally throwing racquets due to stupid mistakes on the court. A teaching pro, ney SAGE dispensed this gem of wisdom:

"Phil, if you're gonna toss your racquet into the fence, just make sure you don't hit the crossbar."

Following that advice saved me quite a bit of money.

Camilio Pascual
03-08-2004, 07:33 AM
I remember that question. The best answer (it wasn't mine) I saw was, "Never interfere with your opponent's attempts to defeat himself."

03-08-2004, 07:40 AM
get one more ball in than your opponent

03-08-2004, 08:14 AM
In the game of tennis, perseverance builds champions.

03-08-2004, 11:42 AM
Last year a college instructor recommended I use a continental grip instead of the eastern when serving, and after 6 months of practicing with that grip my serve is a level higher than before.

The other things I have gotten from Paul Wardlaw's book Pressure Tennis, is that one should not change the direction of the ball anymore than you have too. If you receive a crosscourt ball hit it back crosscourt. If you opponent hits up the line, hit it up the line. Only change directions on an easy ball that you can win the point with. I still sometimes go for too much too soon though, but try to be patient and play this style as much as possible.

Gilbert's ideas to attack your opponent's weaknesses has really made me think more about how to more efficiently play each one of my opponents and not just have one game plan, but to make small modifications too it to take advantage of any weaknesses.

03-08-2004, 11:52 AM
Don't worry about the point you just lost - it is history...Relax, play with confidence and

Just win the last point of the match!

joe sch
03-08-2004, 12:06 PM
Read "Inner Tennis" and I have done so a few times :wink:

03-08-2004, 12:26 PM
It's impossible to find THE best tip I've ever received... I think there's been one for each level of improvement, enabling me to go one step further each time. The first ones, I can't even remember them... "Serve with a continental grip?" That was rather earth shattering. Or what about "Coil and uncoil on your groundstrokes".

The last one I received that was really useful was maybe along the lines of "Trust your game, not only 1 or 2 shots that you do well. Trust it in its entirety, be proud of it as you step onto the court, whatever the opponent." It helped me in tournaments, as I can easily get intimidated by the situation.

03-09-2004, 11:54 PM
"Forget about the rules about patterns and go with the flow." I used to mainly approach down the line, serving second serves to backhands, passing crosscourt, etc.,especially under pressure. I'm still using these patterns, but with better mixed up on pressure points. I sometimes S&V on ordinary second serves on breakpoints.

03-10-2004, 06:57 PM
Hit it where they aint.

03-10-2004, 07:37 PM
"in today's tennis, we hit with our legs" this was a huge turning point in my game years back.

Any chance you could expand on hitting with your legs? Your recent description of a two-handed backhand was one the most articulate pieces of writing describing a tennis stroke I've read in recent memory. A similar description of how to incorporate your legs would be very much appreciated.

03-15-2004, 01:25 PM
If you're having trouble serving, focus on keeping your tossing shoulder up a little longer.

As soon as you hear a let cord, start moving forward (works about 90% of the time anyway....)

03-15-2004, 04:30 PM
Audiodude, I think BB means use your legs to:

A) Get into position

B) Generate power

C) Allow you to hit with correct stroke mechanics. Correct use of the legs is an integral part of a stroke.

Tim Tennis
03-16-2004, 05:00 AM
Win with honor. Lose with honor. Just do your best and have fun.

03-16-2004, 10:55 AM
The tip mentioned about playing within yourself and skills during important points such as 15-30/30-15 is important and very helpful. If you almost always win that point you will do well in matches.

Marc C.
03-17-2004, 09:08 AM
"Your only as good as your second serve"

03-17-2004, 09:28 AM
I got my best advice last week:

"Do not think twice"

03-17-2004, 09:49 AM
A couple of my faves are:
"I must play the best tennis I can today or I will lose this match." (That may have come from "Winning Ugly" or "Inner Game.")
Also, "Focus your mind on the print on the ball."

Both are on a page of notes that I keep in a folder in my tennis bag. I review them a few times a match on changeovers. I also keep them posted at work near my monitor.

Tennis, it isn't a passion, it is an obsession.

03-27-2004, 01:57 PM
I feel like I should preface my "Top 10 Tips" with the fact that I am a 3.0 player, as my "tips" are pretty basic:

1) Don't overrun the ball. I am fast on the court, but as a result I was getting way too close to most balls. When this was pointed out, my shots improved dramatically.

2) Get your racquet back early. I only incorporated this recently, after watching the pros in Memphis. It just makes it so much easier to hit a clean shot.

3) Watch the ball. All the way to the racquet. If you forget, start saying the word "ball", out loud (but quietly, lest your opponent thinks you're nuts), over and over.

4) Generate power with your body, not your arm. Concentrate on "turning in" to your shots.

5) Low to high. I still struggle with this one. :oops:

6) Think about your grip. Does it feel "right"?

7) Hit it deep. Consistently. How many points have I lost because I gave my opponent an opportunity to work the angles on me?

8) Stay calm. I think it was Arthur Ashe that said you want to be "physically tight, but mentally loose". Visualize successful shots; not unsuccessful ones. Relax and have fun. It's a game.

9) Get in position. Take lots of little steps. Don't hit the ball where it is; move so that the ball is where you want it to be.

10) Watch the ball some more. :wink:

03-28-2004, 06:47 PM
Lean into your two-handed backhand.

03-28-2004, 06:55 PM
Hit the ball with the strings not the frame... =/

03-28-2004, 07:35 PM
No way! I paid for the whole racquet--I'm gonna hit the ball with the whole racquet! :P

(The sad truth at my level is that I have won a few points with off-the-frame shots. Passes for a drop shot. :oops: )

03-29-2004, 09:19 AM

I started running back on December 1st and it has made tennis so much more enjoyable. I've lost 36 pounds, can run up to 10 miles straight, am quicker, and love the feeling of seeing my opponents out of breath when I'm not even winded.

I'm 36 and in the best shape of my life. No longer bent over trying to catch my breath after the first two games. I can stay out there and sprint every point without worrying about getting exhausted.

You can't imagine the increase in confidence I have knowing that I can go hard every point!!!


03-30-2004, 11:24 PM
Practice makes you luckier in games

03-31-2004, 11:14 PM
in regards to serves "Spank it"