4.0 - 4.5 Practicing

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by newpball, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. newpball

    newpball Legend

    Joined:
    May 28, 2013
    Messages:
    5,486
    Location:
    Northern California, USA
    So I like to watch player practice.

    Now what I see almost always is A is a few feet behind the baseline and B also a few feet behind the baseline.

    Nice strokes, sometimes with a good amount of spin. Wanna do forehands or backhand? Sure we do that!

    But the position does not change, it is almost like the players are moving on a fixed railroad track positioned a few feet behind the baseline. Short balls? Well easy, just let it bounce twice. A drop shot? Come on now, don't break the flow! Sharp cross courts? OK nice, next ball please......

    Is my observation fairly typical?
     
    #1
  2. lightthestorm

    lightthestorm Rookie

    Joined:
    May 8, 2013
    Messages:
    314
    Yes. When we practice groundstrokes before a match or even practice, we stand on or behind the baseline in the middle part of the court and just exchange from there.

    Not crosscourt or dropshots or anything like that.. ball should always land dead center in no man's land (or somewhere close to that).
     
    #2
  3. newpball

    newpball Legend

    Joined:
    May 28, 2013
    Messages:
    5,486
    Location:
    Northern California, USA
    That is nice, but my point is that they only practice this, nothing else.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2013
    #3
  4. lightthestorm

    lightthestorm Rookie

    Joined:
    May 8, 2013
    Messages:
    314
    For how long do they practice this?
     
    #4
  5. newpball

    newpball Legend

    Joined:
    May 28, 2013
    Messages:
    5,486
    Location:
    Northern California, USA
    Every time I see them they are practicing this.
     
    #5
  6. Tyler91

    Tyler91 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    Messages:
    298
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    I see it at my club, too. ...they do for 60-90 minutes. Seems incredibly boring...But, these are good players (4.5), so I assume they know what they're doing.
     
    #6
  7. 10isfreak

    10isfreak Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2012
    Messages:
    566
    I do that often... when I warm up or for the first hit or so, to get things started properly. Beyond these exceptions, we transition forward, step in and out of the cort, etc. If all yo do is coast to coast tennis, don‘t be surprised when a pusher makes you look sillly. LOL

    Great post: I also see this ALL THE TIME!
     
    #7
  8. josofo

    josofo Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Messages:
    571
    people in my town do this as well.

    maybe every once in a while i catch people playing the play to 16 hit first couple balls easy game. but rarely do i see the good players in my town playing sets.
     
    #8
  9. SuperJimmy

    SuperJimmy Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2005
    Messages:
    129
    Location:
    Beaverton, OR
    4.5 here, I do that all the time as well though I do tend to run after sharp cross courts and hit approach shots on short balls, though I dont chase after drop shots, especially in the first 15 mins or so. Usually I hit for 30-45 mins, then move to points or a set. Here's something to consider:

    Unless I am playing a match, playing points, or doing drilling (with a basket of balls), I don't go for winners, drop shots, or sharp angles because then there is too much 'deadtime' between hitting. With only a can of balls, once you start going for those shots, you spend more time retrieving the ball from the fence rather than actually hitting. With only a limited amount of time to play, especially if you have to pay for courts, you want to get in as much ball-on-racquet hitting as possible.

    With a basket of balls, you can work on anything to you heart's desire...because you have so many balls you can practice patterns and shots multiple times without stopping. It just isn't feasible with only a few balls. Plus, if it isn't a private lesson with a coach, you are still spending a lot of time inactive since most likely, your partner will want to do these drills too and so you will be there feeding and picking up balls for a large period of time as well. This isn't so bad since drilling can make you very tired so a long break is nice.
     
    #9
  10. ShoeShiner

    ShoeShiner Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    Messages:
    165
    #10
  11. Mike2228

    Mike2228 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Messages:
    312
    Location:
    860 CT
    #11
  12. gregor.b

    gregor.b Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,204
    Location:
    Brisvegas
    You would be surprised how much you can improve by just hitting up and down. It allows you to get rhythm and feel the shot. This in turn allows you to build confidence. Then you become a much better player.
     
    #12
  13. Mike2228

    Mike2228 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Messages:
    312
    Location:
    860 CT
    Yea, I agree on all points.
     
    #13
  14. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,954
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Who is they? What you describe in the OP is the normal way to warm up. But groundstroke practice might, and in my experience does, entail lots of different variations.
     
    #14
  15. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,954
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    #15
  16. MomentumGT

    MomentumGT Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2007
    Messages:
    637
    Location:
    Riverside/Stockton CA
    #16
  17. HughJars

    HughJars Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Messages:
    1,078
    If I had a dollar for the amount of times I read a post like this on these forums....:rolleyes:
     
    #17
  18. spaceman_spiff

    spaceman_spiff Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2005
    Messages:
    1,513
    Location:
    The crappest town in Britain
    You know when you hear people talk about how they play well when they practice but struggle in matches? This is why.

    As good as it is to hit lots of groundstrokes, you have to keep in mind that the two most important shots are the serve and the return. Rally practice doesn't really help you with either (returns are significantly different from groundstrokes).

    I would argue that the third most important shot in tennis, at least when you're playing against a solid returner, is the third shot of the point (server's first shot after the return). If you hit a solid serve and your opponent hits a solid return, you have very little time to recover from your follow-through and set up for the next shot. That's a scenario that rally practice also never simulates.

    Rally junkies who never play practice tiebreakers/sets will always struggle against aggressive opponents who have solid serves and returns.
     
    #18
  19. hawk eye

    hawk eye Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Messages:
    2,090
    I don't have buckets of balls to my disposal but just hitting back and for an hour seems utterly boring to me. Very important part of match play is putting away stitters and approach on short balls.
    I practice these while practicting my serve. I get lost of short reply's then so I get a lot of looks at those ones.
     
    #19
  20. Dimcorner

    Dimcorner Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2012
    Messages:
    814
    I just played a tournament where they had 4.5 doubles and all those guys would have demolished these two on the videos. The amount of pace and spin was an eye opener for me as well as the fact that they didn't miss much!

    They told me one of them played club level at the university and didn't even make it as part of the team!
     
    #20
  21. Mike2228

    Mike2228 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Messages:
    312
    Location:
    860 CT
    Just based on the video I think I would match up with these guys well but I don't consider myself a 4.5.
     
    #21
  22. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2012
    Messages:
    3,032
    Depends on the situation. If I'm warming up before a match with my opponent or a friend, I'm just going to practice down the middle groundstroke exchanges. Why? because we don't have a ton of time and I need to get my shoulder loosened up.

    BUT, if I'm actually practicing with someone, away from match play, then we will do drills. Cross courts, down the line, etc.

    Just depends on the situation.
     
    #22
  23. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2012
    Messages:
    3,032
    Ya, those would be considered 3.5s in my area. In fact, I have a few 3.0 friends that could beat the pants off of them, but they're about to get bumped.
     
    #23
  24. Mike2228

    Mike2228 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Messages:
    312
    Location:
    860 CT
    I was thinking the same thing. I self rate as a 3.0/3.5ish and I think they are close to me in ability.
     
    #24
  25. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,239
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Sorry.
    While those two are at the bottom of 4.5 level, they would, in competitive play, practically breadstick you every time.
    If you claim 3-3.5, you are really no better, and can find a game at the courts without setting one up in advance.
    Those two guys, bad as they look, will easily crush anyone they meet at the tennis courts.
    Can you volley?
    Do you have a real second serve?
    Can you make your opponent run back and forth?
     
    #25
  26. Mike2228

    Mike2228 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Messages:
    312
    Location:
    860 CT
    My volleying is fair, my serving is the best aspect of my game and on the forehand side I can move players very well.
     
    #26
  27. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,239
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    I wonder, if you are truly as you say you are, why do you rate yourself "3-3.5" ??
    My volleying is very good, my serve superior to most anyone on the courts, my groundies averagely inconsistent, and I rate myself 3.5 in singles, easily 4.5-5.0 in doubles....I can't run.
    If you can lose to an average 3.5, you cannot possibly beat those guys in the vid.
    If you can beat EVERY 3.5, there is no reason to rate yourself "3-3.5".
     
    #27
  28. Mike2228

    Mike2228 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Messages:
    312
    Location:
    860 CT
    Maybe I'm being too hard on myself because I see myself as about equal to those guys in the video.
     
    #28
  29. HughJars

    HughJars Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Messages:
    1,078
    EVIDENCE

    10char
     
    #29
  30. josofo

    josofo Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Messages:
    571
    the guy in the white hat was rather good.
    the server had consistent strokes and was in good shape. i like how he attacked the net as well.

    i dont see him pushing 5.0 any time soon. but the people who said they would be 3.5/3.0 in your area. i really doubt that.

    in my area the 3.0 guys pretty much have no game. some of the 3.5 guys can play. the point that white hat put together at 3.10 c'mon.

    so to review white hat was easily 4.5. server is probably more of a lower 4.5.

    but he had a lot of positives. decent serve, could hit consistent and good 4 hands and back hands, aggressively came to net, could really cover the court.

    he would certainly be one of the better players in the 4.0 league in my town.
     
    #30
  31. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,239
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Mike 2228....
    4.5 is about average high school singles player, on a school with a full team, and a tennis town.
    Can you hang with them?
    4.5 is the BEST player you will ever see on a public court. Are YOU the best player on your courts?
    4.5 is a player who's played thru the 3.5 ranks, so has played over 4 tennis tournaments. Have you?
    And at 4.5, you cannot ever find a player equal to your skills on a public court. You need to arrange a match in advance, or hope to meet someone you know who is at least that good. And pickup doubles, you are the best player on the courts. That is 4.5, I suspect it's not you.
     
    #31
  32. newpball

    newpball Legend

    Joined:
    May 28, 2013
    Messages:
    5,486
    Location:
    Northern California, USA
    Oh no, not again, another nice topic ending up in an one-upping match on ratings. :cry:
     
    #32
  33. josofo

    josofo Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Messages:
    571


    well i agree with you. i have seen these guys as well and they spend too much time hitting groundies.



    if you are rallying you will get about 1000 percent more out of it if on short balls you move your feet and practice attacking it than letting it bounce and hitting another rally ball.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2013
    #33
  34. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    7,495
    If that guy is a 4.5 then I'm a 6.0.

    Self-rating is a cruel game to play publicly...
     
    #34
  35. newpball

    newpball Legend

    Joined:
    May 28, 2013
    Messages:
    5,486
    Location:
    Northern California, USA
    Thing is that once they play a match the play is completely different.

    One member commented on the rhythm aspect. Well I think that is certainly pleasant and fun playing but I think it is not a good preparation for effective match play.

    For effective match play I think you need explosive power (think footwork and strokes) and concentration for each point and then some rest. Take one point and rest a bit, take the next rest again, and so on and after two games you rest a bit more and then the same thing repeats. You have to learn to concentrate everything you have for each individual point.
     
    #35
  36. RobFL

    RobFL Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2009
    Messages:
    296
    I play in national age group tournaments, which generally ranges from 4.5 to 5.5. Those guys in the video are 4.0. Would love to draw them. A 4.5 beats them around 2, 1.
     
    #36
  37. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,239
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    If the player's had shots instead of pure ambition, desire, and hustle, they would be much better placed in the ranks of 4.5.
    They don't, of course, which is why they are relegated to the very lowest level of "4.5" tennis.
    Very little separates a 4.0 from a solid 4.5....if the 4.0 can hit shots.
    But both would trounce any playground player they ever meet on a public tennis court.
     
    #37
  38. Old school Paul

    Old school Paul New User

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Messages:
    58
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I would rate these guys 4.0 and not at the top. I play 4.5 and I would love to see them across the net in a tournament. Tat said I hit with my son who is is a 5.0 and we rally from the baseline warming up for a minimum of 20 minutes before doing drills working in depth and pace.
     
    #38
  39. Mike2228

    Mike2228 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Messages:
    312
    Location:
    860 CT
    I'm not the best player that plays at my usual location but there are regulars there that I think would probably put a decent whooping on those guys, one of whom says he self rates as only a 4.0. I see him as a fair bit better than the guys in the video. I'm not saying I would beat the guys in that video but I don't think I'd embarrass myself trying either. So basically what I'm saying is if the guy I know from the park is truly only a 4.0 then these guys are lower than the 4.5 rating being advertised.

    Maybe the guy I know is being modest with his evaluation of his level and that would throw my estimation of myself and those guys in the video off.
     
    #39
  40. HughJars

    HughJars Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Messages:
    1,078
    Ratings ratings ratings, ego lashing, chest beating, you suck/ Im better than you - the classic American upstart mentality.

    Plenty talk the talk, but no one walks the walk

    yawwwwn

    Welcome to TW!!!!
     
    #40
  41. Mike2228

    Mike2228 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Messages:
    312
    Location:
    860 CT
    I in no way meant to brag or degrade anyone. I apologize if I came off that way. I've just seen players who appear more talented than the two guys in that video self rate lower than 4.5.
     
    #41
  42. HughJars

    HughJars Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Messages:
    1,078
    There is just so much of it around here!!! Someone has the courage to put a video up of themselves (yes I know this isnt a specific example) and KABOOM it becomes a chest beating ego tripping s*ag off match! Where the humility??? I remember people doing this in primary school
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2013
    #42
  43. Mike2228

    Mike2228 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Messages:
    312
    Location:
    860 CT
    I guess assessing someones ability and rating it is pretty pointless in the grand scheme of things.
     
    #43
  44. josofo

    josofo Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Messages:
    571
    some of that goes around. where people are overly negative towards good players.


    however the argue the rating game seems to be a fun game, because we get a lot of different opinions. this particle video wasn't even posted by the players in vid is my understanding.
     
    #44
  45. newpball

    newpball Legend

    Joined:
    May 28, 2013
    Messages:
    5,486
    Location:
    Northern California, USA
    All nice but the topic is hijacked.
     
    #45
  46. HughJars

    HughJars Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Messages:
    1,078
    Yer, sorry about my rant and hijacking the thread. Most people have good intentions on here. I get some great advice and read some really interesting stuff. Guess Im just peed off its raining and willl be for the next week so no tennis...
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2013
    #46
  47. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Messages:
    2,178
    Location:
    DE
    Usually I play ... when I practice I do just that and I practice. Serve and volley ... returns .... whatever I need to work on.

    However I usually play doubles and in doubles I rarely get to hit groundies. Because of that I have a guy that I hit with that we use it for cardio ... we will hit groundies exclusively for 90 minutes .... just blasting the ball ..... it is great fun.

    Here is an example
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2013
    #47
  48. ATP100

    ATP100 Professional

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2010
    Messages:
    1,027

    You seem to be getting better, good job.
    One thing, when the ball is coming at you, move left or right,
    you seem to plant when this happens.
    You obviously hit better on the move, like most people.
     
    #48

Share This Page