amazing volley practice by Cara Black

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by fattsoo, Apr 18, 2013.

  1. fattsoo

    fattsoo Semi-Pro

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    #1
  2. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    I got dizzy just watching that.
     
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  3. 8F93W5

    8F93W5 Rookie

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    Amazing. Makes me feel like a doofus for the way I do wall volleys
     
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  4. ShoeShiner

    ShoeShiner Rookie

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  5. Gut4Tennis

    Gut4Tennis Hall of Fame

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    omg this is epic

    i need to practice this until i can do it. might take years
     
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  6. Stergios

    Stergios Rookie

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    That's simply amazing! I'll try it :)
     
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  7. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    This is one of the reasons that Cara was able to keep the #1 ranking in doubles for an amazing 163 weeks -- only M Navratilova and L Huber (Black's primary doubs partner) exceeded that accomplishment. I seem to recall that one of her volley exhibition videos was used as an ad for a while for Babolat (or some other racquet).

    'tis interesting that Cara has both hands on the racquet in the later video but used the left hand to assist in BH volleys in her earlier video (at 16 yo).
     
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  8. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Should be listed under "trick shots"....
    Certainly an over rated skill, and yes, a SKILL for sure.
    Good players need serves and return of serves, then low volleys, hitting LOW to the opponents.
    Practicing rapid fire chest high volleys is a skill onto itself, but not really applicable to real doubles play.
    Key in doubles is to get the racket in ready position, so you can react to either side, low and high.
    Cara knows where the ball is going, since she hit the previous ball.
    Of course, if you want to practice on a wall for hours, at the expense of your serves, returns, volleys, overheads, half volleys, groundstrokes, etc., it's you game to ruin.
     
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  9. jmnk

    jmnk Professional

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    The amazing thing is - since she is not even in top 20 WTA in singles - she is easily beatable by an average USTA 4.0 man player.... :)
     
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  10. StringingIrvine

    StringingIrvine Semi-Pro

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    Nice video.
    I agree with what LEED saying this is just a skill but I do think its worth something. Increase possible hand eye coordination/reaction time. If anything i bet this would be a nice forearm work out. Full forearm workout in 1 min!
     
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  11. watungga

    watungga Semi-Pro

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    Is how I had realized why my walling groundies are so effective but not on actual court.

    However, in an actual court and the net are not installed yet, I felt like there's no pressure at all to hit the ball. It feels like walling. My eyes could clearly see where the ball is hit and where it will go.
     
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  12. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Is what Cara did relevant to real play? There are guys who can bounce the ball 20 times with the frame, but can't play good tennis. On the flip side, Federer fared very badly in a backhand aiming test on Arthur Ashe day (Serena fared the best). Now I know you will say Fed's backhand is not that good and is responsible for the H2H against Nadal, but you know what I am saying.
     
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  13. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    Yes it is relevant, but as Lee noted, mostly for hitting the high cross-court volley, which isn't as common during high-level tennis. Anything you do to improve your eye-racket coordination is going to be helpful for your volleys, though not sufficient to be really good at volleying.

    It has to be adapted to the court, but most good volleyers are good at volleying against a wall.
     
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  14. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    That's what I'm thinking. I agree that it might not be the best way to 'practice'. I burst out laughing at first, but then I wanted to at least try it just to see if I could even approximate it. Probably not, but she is holding the top of the racquet neck (and thus greatly helping to direct the racquet) with her left hand. I want to give it a shot just because I'm curious about how hard it is to do, and just how much it would stress/build my racquet hand forearm (I'm guessing not that much because of the contribution of the left hand). Definitely seems like it would be good for hand-eye coordination and anticipation-reaction time though.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2013
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  15. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    good skill... like figure of 8s in squash.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3Av2CljZwE

    you guys need to see top* squash players train, will remind you a bit of some of federer's retrieving shots ;)


    * Ramy Ashour or Nick Matthew would be a good place to start.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2013
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  16. corners

    corners Legend

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  17. corners

    corners Legend

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    Yeah, I wonder why she started using two hands as an adult when she could clearly do the same thing with only her playing hand as a kid.
     
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  18. ShoeShiner

    ShoeShiner Rookie

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    Last edited: Apr 27, 2013
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  19. martini1

    martini1 Hall of Fame

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    Starting is actually the toughest part. Once you got the first two volleys right usually you can go a few more.

    Amazing vid. Saw those a number of years ago and still amazed to see it again once in a while.
     
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  20. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Bouncing the ball 20x on the frame is a good drill/exercise for hand-eye skills. If one can does this, they would probably have fair/decent tennis skills but, of course, it does not guarantee exceptional tennis skills.

    I would say that Cara's drill/exercise is very relevant to doubles. Doubles routinely requires quicker reflexes at the net than singles does. Her drill requires a high level of visual/auditory reaction time, brain/muscle reflexes, visual tracking skills, anticipation and vigilance (sustained attention & alertness). These are all relevant to tennis, particularly for doubles net play.
     
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  21. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Her drill is like climbing Mount Everest to prepare for walking up a steep San Francisco street.
     
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  22. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    Me thinks you protest too much.

    Hitting a tennis ball against a wall isn't a life-threatening exercise. It is fun! And it is best to start slow and then up the pace. Cara's example is at a very high level, but almost anyone can become a better volleyer by working the wall. And, let me tell you, the average rec player needs better volleys, even though most mostly play doubles!
     
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  23. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    I started practicing this a while ago. I've gone from not being able to hit two in a row if I was lucky, to a little faster than in this video. My volleys on a tennis court have improved some - and I attribute the improvement to practicing this. However, it isn't a major improvement and really hasn't changed the level of my game. It is kind of fun, though, once you get the hang of it.
     
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  24. thejackal

    thejackal Hall of Fame

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    suresh, I'd like you to try to hit 100 balls using any type of stroke against a wall without missing. having seen you play, I think it would be of more value than any amount of technical discussion a human mind can possibly generate.

    in nearly every single instance of a pro I either personally know, or have read about, hitting a large qualities of balls against the wall consecutively without missing starting at a young age is a constant factor in how they got to become world class. every pro has a different game qualitatively speaking (technique, style) but all of them have the same quantitative skills - the ability to hit a ton of shots in a short amount of time and controlling the shots' outcomes without missing.
     
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  25. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    I think the hand eye exhibited by Cara and Maria is great, and it looks like fun. But, to me, the strokes don't look like good volleys. When I watch McEnroe, Edberg, Sampras, Federer, or other pros with good volleys, their volley stroke doesn't seem to have much in common with what I see in the drill.
     
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  26. TonLars

    TonLars Professional

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    #26
  27. Dimcorner

    Dimcorner Professional

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    Almost looks like a badminton wall drill, but the shuttle in badminton doesn't come back the same way so it you do it a little slower but have to react to more variety of angles.
     
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  28. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    No wall here in the club ..............

    I played for 2.5 hours yesterday BTW (against humans).
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2013
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  29. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Looks like we are getting some honest opinions here.

    I am sure there are jugglers who can do a lot of things very fast with a racket and a ball that Djokovic can never do in his life. None of that would translate into tennis, though.
     
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  30. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    I'm with LeeD on this. Here's a video of Federer wasting his time not practicing serves, return of serves, etc. and instead running around the court with rope tied between his feet, tied to another player, standing on a balance beam, etc. Like LeeD, I would classify stuff like hitting the ball with your feet tied together as "trick shots".

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jwh0GfA_eo

    Granted, Cara was once the world #1 doubles player and won five GS doubles titles and Roger's accomplishments are well known.

    But as LeeD suggests it was her "game to ruin" and Roger would probably have been considered one of the greatest tennis players of all time had he not practiced trick shots with ropes tied between his legs.

    Yup, if it's LeeD versus the coaches for former world #1 Cara Black and Roger Federer I'd have to go with LeeD on this one. Clearly no benefit to this drill for hand-eye coordination, muscle development, etc.
     
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  31. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    If you took the posting of this drill as an assertion that this is all you need to be a world class player, then you are certainly correct that it isn't necessary nor sufficient.

    However, improving your eye hand coordination and racket hand coordination can be translated to tennis. For example, I'm a good juggler and I believe it has helped my tennis. A friend of mine used to be a decent boxer and even though he has unorthodox technique, his volleys are quite good.

    The advantage to a lot of these drills is that they can be practiced when you don't have access to a court.
     
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  32. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Yeah this is the news flash you want in these days:

    Suspicious-looking male carrying a bag which could conceal a big weapon seen scouting the backs of warehouses.
     
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  33. thejackal

    thejackal Hall of Fame

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    I actually would love to sit down with cara black or her brothers and talk about what type of training they did while growing up. after reading books like Outlier and Bounce, it seems like the true testament of a training method that works is if it can generate more than 1 world-class player. none of the blacks (cara, byron or wayne) were outstanding physical specimens in terms of height, strength or pure athleticism, but all of them were solid pros and doubles GS winners.

    there must be something there
     
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