Advice

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by arun_mrk, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. arun_mrk

    arun_mrk New User

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    When I have 40-0 lead, I try to go for some extravagant shot and lose points.
    Whereas when I'm @ 30-30 or 30-40 or 40-30, I try to be very conservative without going for edges and mostly keep the ball in play eventually losing the point.
    Any thoughts or tips on how I can get over this?
     
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  2. psv255

    psv255 Professional

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    A healthy aggressive mentality when 40-0 up never hurt anyone, but try not to fool around and execute as you would if you were just starting the service game. Play percentages unless you are fairly sure you can go for a bit more. Then, hit a well-directed approach and follow in, or if you're confident and your opponent's behind the baseline, an occasional disguised dropper.

    As for tighter situations, think about what troubled your opponent up to that point (be it some form of spin, depth, direction) and try to play within yourself, again sticking to percentages unless you have a clear opportunity to strike.

    Either situation warrants good shot selection and not something "extravagant."

    Hope this helps!
     
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  3. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    One of the key mental disciplines in tennis can be developing the ability to "count to one". That's my catch phrase for focusing only on the next point and playing it to the best of your ability. When it's done, mentally wipe the slate and think about what to do for no more than the next point.

    This mental ritual can be good for lots of things including staying sharp once we've got a lead or staying in a match when we fall behind. Sure, it's smart to change what isn't working, etc., but this idea of playing only "this point" can be a good way to avoid creating too much pressure or letting up at a less-than-vital moment in a match. Let's face it, every point is vital, right?

    Most players need to consciously work on this mental ritual to get good at it, but it can make a huge difference in terms of playing a better, smarter game more often. Revisit a basic plan after each point, even when returning serve, and you'll know what to do when the action restarts.
     
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  4. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

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    I think a safe ploy to use when up 40-0 is to hit two "first" serves. Catches them off-guard when they are looking for an easier 2nd serve, and you should be able to hit one decent first serve in two chances. Or, if you have a good second serve like a kicker, hit that with your first serve... again, you have some lee-way.

    Brad Gilbert has some interesting thoughts in his book "Winning Ugly: Mental Warfare in Tennis" about important points, when to go for shots, key games in a set or points in a match... not always what you would think.

    Its a good read, and like the title indicates, he is always strategizing during a match and preparing prior, which I think is very important... if you have played an opponent before... do you give any thought ahead of the match as to how you are going to dictate play? You should... you know what your opponent likes to do and should know what his weaknesses are.... mentally prepare for a few minutes ahead of time to exploit his game and protect yours.


    If your opponent likes to warm-up with 8-10 shots then calls out "ready yet?" and you rather hit for 4-5 minutes and take 10-20 practice serves... show up early with a bucket of balls and just drop hit a bunch and get some serves in. If their backhand is weak, go over in your head how you want to attack him.... of if they are a pusher, what have you tried or would like to try different that can cross them up, etc.
     
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  5. Coach Chad

    Coach Chad Rookie

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    I also get very agressive when up 40-love...just being honest. However, no matter how extravagent or agressive I become, I still aim for the smart targets. Try not to go for "edges".
     
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  6. ATP100

    ATP100 Professional

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    Think about this..."What is receiver thinking".
     
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  7. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    It makes no sense to base your shot selection on the score. Your focus should be on: (1) executing your shots, one shot at at time, and (2) executing your gameplan, one point at a time. This is all that matters in a tennis match, and all you can ever do to win the match in any event. Until the match is over, the score is irrelevant.

    As for gameplan, first, you have to understand that tennis is a percentage game. Your shot selection should always be based on giving yourself the best chance of winning. Second, you have to understand what the basics of high percentage tennis are, and then execute based on those basics with discipline.

    PS: As fuzz nation said above, the only point that matters is the one you are playing. Your goal should be to win that point, nothing else.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2012
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  8. Coach Chad

    Coach Chad Rookie

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    Limpinhitter...I believe you are correct...you should not base your shot selection on the score...I am just being honest...when I am ahead I am more aggressive, and when I am even or behind, I am more conservative. Perhaps someday I can reach that level where score does not matter...until then, I intend to play more tennis, have fun, and try to reach that goal.:cool:
     
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  9. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    That does not agree with BG's Winning Ugly. He says to play the score.

    Even at the club level, savvy older players win by playing the score. They play a little more conservatively on tight points and let the opponent make a UE.

    If you are 40-0 up, it is a chance to try out something new, like serve and volley or something you want to test under pressure. At 30-all, not so.

    "Goal should be to win the point" - of course. It does not provide any useful information. Sometimes points are won by defensive play, sometimes by taking a risk.
     
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  10. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    I play the score too. At 40-0, 40-15, or 30-0; I may go for a bit more if serving or throw in a S&V. You don't want to be foolish but a wee bit more risk or aggression. If I have less than a 2 point lead, I normally stick with more conservative play - serve to the weakness, play it deep until you get something to attack.
     
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  11. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Depends on player temperment.
    If you're a robot, feeling nothing, always go for the percentage play.
    If you're an artist, you need something to stoke your game, raise it above it's depths, so going for a winner when you're ahead is the most likely stimuli for your game.
    Going for a winner while behind works less well, as even if you hit it, you're gonna need to play 2 more points, at least. Chances of 3 winners is slim.
     
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  12. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    You will win more matches if you just focus on execution of your shots and gameplan, and not let the score impair your focus or thinking. Overplaying or overhitting does not improve your chance of winning the point, it reduces your chance of winning the point, no matter what the score is. Just like underhitting and/or underplaying, which is the equivalent of not fully executing your shots and your gameplan, also reduces your chance of winning the point.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2012
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  13. Coach Chad

    Coach Chad Rookie

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    I understand limpin...the mind is a funny thing!
     
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  14. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

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    40-Love service games are really rare. If you're constantly having 40-Love games then someone is "out of level" or streaking really hard. With that said...

    If I see a shot I will take it, regardless of score. The whole "keeping it play" is going to be a losing attitude most of the time. I prefer to hit a winner and end the point. I think "keeping it in play" is just "waiting for the lottery", while "hitting a winner" is basically just "going to work". It doesnt mean be hyper aggressive and in time you will know this point in your game.

    You never, ever, want to let off the gas. Letting off the gas is the exact moment a strong opponent will "streak back" and turn that 40-Love game into a deuce game. Then what do you have?

    Yes, its embarrassing to double fault and lose the AO but you need the confidence in your game to not let the pressure get to you.
     
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  15. USS Tang

    USS Tang Rookie

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    Limpinhitter is right. Unless your opponent is vastly superior to you, remember that you are essentially playing against yourself. In other words, you are your own opponent. For that reason, be sure to execute each shot. Do not worry about the score. Think of yourself as a golfer. You are playing the course. Each shot is critical. Do not make any mistakes.
     
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  16. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Yeah, be a pusher, never try to hit harder than you know you can, and never make a mistake, never try to stretch beyond your capabilities.
     
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  17. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Like anything else, it takes practice and discipline to be able to fully focus on execution and put the score out of your mind. But, the very first time you try it, you will improve your chance of winning over the very last time you didn't try it.
     
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  18. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    That's a strawman and a non-sequitur, Lee.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2012
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  19. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Even if your opponent is vastly superior to you, the best you can ever do against any opponent is to execute your shots and your gameplan to the best of your ability. Your gameplan will vary slightly depending on the strengths and weaknesses of your opponent. But, failing to fully execute your shots, or altering your shot selection, based on the score is not a winning approach under any circumstances.

    Mistakes are unavoidable. But, if you make high percentage shot selections you can reduce the chance of hitting UE's and leaving yourself out of position, and increase the chance of hitting winners successfully.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2012
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  20. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

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    Worst advice ever.

    -You can definitely hit a non-push shot without over swinging.
    -"Never make a mistake" is about as valuable as saying "never lose".
    -It's perfectly acceptable to make mistakes if you're capable of hitting winners.
    -Stretching beyond your capabilities is how you get better.

    Because these are common themes in rec tennis I can see now why many players plateau so early. It's exactly how people get stuck moonballing rallies, having no topspin backhand, and no second serve.

    They do just enough to get by. Instead of becoming the worst 5.0 they want to become the best 3.0. Low standards; low level of play; low results; low potential.
     
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  21. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

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    I'm pretty sure Lee was being sarcastic.
     
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  22. USS Tang

    USS Tang Rookie

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    LeeD, I call you out. Who said anything about pushing? Come out on the field of battle and we'll find out who the pusher is.
     
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  23. USS Tang

    USS Tang Rookie

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    LeeD, I over-reacted. My apologies.
     
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