Biggest Accomplishments For 2006

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Cindysphinx, Nov 28, 2006.

  1. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Has anyone improved a particular aspect of their game, and if so, how did you do it?

    I worked hard on my tennis in 2006. Lots of lessons, lots of practice. Several aspects of my game improved: match toughness, volleys, groundstrokes, mid-court game. I don't suck quite as much this year as last, which is a relief. :D

    I think my biggest accomplishment for the year has to be the serve, though. Before this year, I hated to serve. My first serve had nothing on it. I never knew where it would land. I used the wrong grip. My second serve was a cream puff push. I was broken all the time.

    This year, I changed my grip to Continental and practiced serving at least one hour per week. I got more and more confident in my serve and didn't chicken out on big points. I can slice or serve flat. I got a second serve that is still not hard enough but that goes in consistently such that I haven't double-faulted in a match this season. Now, the thoughts in my head before I serve aren't "Oh, God! Please don't let me double fault!" I am thinking about placement. Boy, life on a tennis court is so much easier when I know I won't lose because my serve stinks.

    Hmmm. Now I just have to figure out what to fix for 2007 . . .
     
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  2. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

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    You have not double faulted at all in 2006??????? I wish I could say that.
     
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  3. ceejay

    ceejay Semi-Pro

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    I read Winning Ugly early in the year, and then didn't lose for a couple of months. It was very useful... and I didn't swear as much as usual.

    Annoyingly, I now haven't played at all for a couple of months and will probably be ****e next time I attempt to play.

    I need to work on my serve like you did too.
     
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  4. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Wait! That would be an exaggeration.

    I did all this work on the serve in the summer and fall, mostly. I haven't double-faulted in a league match since the league season started in September.

    I did double-fault plenty in the spring season from April to July before I fixed my serve.

    And I double-faulted in practice a couple of weeks ago. I was *shocked,* I tell ya!
     
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  5. bribeiro

    bribeiro Banned

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    My serve is much better, both first and second serves, but still not as good as I want them to be. For 2007, I need to work more on footwork, first serve consistency, and 2nd serve.
     
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  6. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

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    Do you just play in a doubles league then so you only serve every fourth game? What percentage of first serves do you get in? Even when I hit safe second serves, I would only get like 95% in. Now I hit a more aggressive slice second serve and my percents are more like 80-85%.

    I think it's amazing if you get 100% second serves in. How many in a row have you gotten in now?
     
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  7. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, I play only doubles right now, so I only have to serve every 4th game.

    Percentage of first serves? Mmmmm, I honestly don't know. I tend to be rather streaky on my first serves. I had a game on Saturday where I missed every first serve but still held. I've been told I need to go for less on my first serve in doubles to get a higher percentage in. I, being hardheaded, won't listen to this because I think my partner and I win lots of easy points if I serve hard because the receivers make more errors and pop-ups. Plus, I like to serve and volley in doubles, which is easier with a faster first serve. (My groundstrokes are my weakness, so I'd much rather crash the net than try to win points from the baseline).

    I still have room for improvement on the serve, of course. My second serve goes a bit deeper now, which is nice, but the pace is not as good as my first serve. It's going to take some guts to go for more on the second serve, and I'll bet I'll start double-faulting more.
     
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  8. BiGGieStuFF

    BiGGieStuFF Hall of Fame

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    Improving on my nerves against playing strangers. For so long I pretty much just played against 2 maybe 3 people. I joined a singles league and pretty much had to learn to play against different styles. Primarily it was the nerves that I had to learn to tame. It's still there but it gets better with each match I play.

    I'm hoping I'll get comfortable enough to actually relax fully when I play in 2007.
     
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  9. Geezer Guy

    Geezer Guy Hall of Fame

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    You may never be double-faulting, but if you're not going after your second serve aggressively then you may be losing too many points.

    For instance, say you hit 20 second serves in a match. Say all 20 go in, but your opponent successfully returns 18 of them. On the other hand, say you really go after your 20 second serves and only hit 15 of them in, but your opponent only returns 10 of them. Your percentages may be worse (and no one likes double-faulting) but you've got to be brave enough to fail occasionally to succeed in the long run.
     
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  10. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    No argument there, GeezerGuy. I do plan to take my second serve to the next level in 2007, hopefully before I meet someone who can punish it more than my current opponents.

    Then again, what I have noticed at my level is that even if my second serve has less pace and more spin, my opponents can't hurt me too badly. They'll either step up and crush it but I can still get it and continue the point, or they'll step up and crush it into the back wall.

    For now, though, I'm awfully happy to have made the progress I've made. I mean, you shoulda seen my little 2.5 serve a year ago. The event that convinced me I had to learn to serve better was a singles match in Sept. 2005. I finally met a singles opponent with an approach shot. She ate up my little push serve and beat my butt, and good.
     
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  11. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

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    Geezer, your analogy may have some holes in it. In your scenario, she wins 2 points and the point is neutral (or slight opponent's advantage) on 18 of them when she serves weakly but safely. When serving aggressively she loses 5 points but wins 5 points and the other 10 points are neutral. She has actually won more points with the safer serve at this point (+2 instead of just even). If her groundstrokes and vollies are strong then it's better for her to serve safely.
     
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  12. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

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    At 3.0 level, opponents can't take advantage of a weak serve very often or if they try to they often make mistakes so it's pretty safe to hit a safe serve.

    As you improve, you will want to add more spin to your first serve in doubles to give yourself more time to get to net and less pace for your opponents to use against you. Otherwise you will be hitting difficult low first vollies while standing in no-man's land.

    Right now your opponents probably just block back your hard serves and take bigger cuts at your softer serves.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2006
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  13. Jack Romeo

    Jack Romeo Professional

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    things i improved:
    1. forehand - more consistent, more versatile and i can also hit more winners from this side now
    2. serve - better placement, higher percentages, more aces, less double faults, higher percentage of winning points on both first and second serve.
    3. match toughness - i don't get down on myself anymore when i start off a match in bad form. i can work my way into a match now, unlike before.
     
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  14. bribeiro

    bribeiro Banned

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    I completely forgot about this, I have that same problem.
     
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  15. amx13

    amx13 Semi-Pro

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    For me its was the backhand, wich was pretty much non-existent before I got a power-v-grip. Now I hit some great winners on the backhand side. Now I need to focus on my serve.
     
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  16. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    I have to say the biggest change for my game, I got right here off of this Forum. Namely, using lead tape to "Safinize" my racquets and completely change my game. Three cheers for the TW Forum!
     
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  17. Geezer Guy

    Geezer Guy Hall of Fame

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    Well, maybe the math of my example didn't work out, but I was trying to simply show that just because your 2nd serve is "in", doesn't mean it's "effective". Better to go for a LITTLE more on your second serve - even if there's the OCCASIONAL double-fault - than to just concentrate on getting 100% of them in the box.

    Starting the point off in the offensive is more important than starting the point off in a defensive position.

    Within reason, of course. I agree that a lot is determined by the strength of the returner.
     
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  18. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Geezer, you are, of course, correct. Since we are all responding to text, without any other information, we put a lot of our own "spin" on posts. But, I will say that: if you never fall while skiing, you aren't skiing aggressively enough. And if you never double fault in singles, you are not serving hard enough.
     
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  19. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

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    Yeah I could get close to 100% of my serves in by hitting soft but if I do that against 4.5 guys I will lose 80-90% of the points as they go on the attack. So I have to hit a bigger second serve and take some double faults to win maybe 30% of my second serve points instead of 10-20% against slightly stronger opponents.

    100% percent in at the 3.0 level is great though, so I wouldn't change a thing. Work on your new more aggressive second serve when hitting first serves and then by the time your are 3.5 your should be able to hit those for second serves.
     
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  20. dave333

    dave333 Hall of Fame

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    i improved all of my game, mostly thanks to yale tennis camp for my groundies, and nick bolletiris sonic serve and TT for my serves.
     
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  21. Owen0501

    Owen0501 Rookie

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    Accomplishments for 2006!

    Falling back in love with tennis again!
    I joined a new club and walked into the mens first team
    I did a two week tennis academy programme in La Manga Spain and won a couple of doubles comps over there.
    Bought a ball machine
    Joined TT @ the warehouse and feel a part of the community and with your advice I've started winning those damn first sets again!

    But my biggest accomplishment for 2006 is........... Coaching my 6'3" 14 yr old son to win his first comp and my 10 yr old son to win 1 singles and 2 doubles comps in the year.

    For the future:
    2007 - I'm taking a formal recognised coaching course
     
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  22. Trinity TC

    Trinity TC Semi-Pro

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    Same for me...except the "winning those damn first sets" thing.:p
     
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  23. Tim Tennis

    Tim Tennis Professional

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    I don't think I have improved

    Wow, that is a very good question that all tennis players should ask themselves. I would have to say that I don't think I have improved any part of my game from the previous year which is very discouraging for me because I like to think that I improve somehow every year. I am working on some changes in mechanics and tactics which if I can get them incorporated into my game I hope to be a much better player next year.

    Best regards,

    Ed
     
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  24. looseswing

    looseswing Professional

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    I improved my overall consistency (play better on my worse days), but I feel like the amount of days where I play beyond my level has gone down as well sadly.
     
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  25. vkartikv

    vkartikv Hall of Fame

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    Playing more from the baseline - accomplishment

    Downside - failed to keep up resolution of giving up racquet-whoring/hoarding
     
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  26. new2tennis

    new2tennis New User

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    At the beginning of the summer I played my girlfriends 14 year old sister and it was the first time I had played in years and maybe my 4th time ever and she destroyed me. This killed my pride and so I worked hard and by the end of the summer I beat a buddy of mine who played number 1 JV in high school and another who played #4 varsity in high school (we are sophmores in college now). When I played my g/fs sister again I destroyed her and it was very gratifying.
     
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  27. Boris

    Boris Rookie

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    My tennis goal from a couple of years has been to step up to 4.5. However, improvements in tennis are not constant but come in waves (at least for me). If you had asked me a couple of months ago I would have been quite disappointed. From 1-2 months the changes I have been incorporating in my game have come together, and a feel a definite improvement has taken place.

    My forehand has stepped to 4.5 level. It has improved so much that I find myself hitting harder than necessary for just the pleasure of being able to hit hard. Need to come down to Earth, because I hate donating points.

    Backhand (1H): this has never been a huge problem for me. I found that, when I miss, it is typically because of late preparation. Need earlier preparation on backhand

    My serve is getting better, more power and more spin. This is due to several small adjustments in the mechanics. I just doublefault a bit too much for my liking (on good days 1-2 a set, on bad days 4-5, but thanks God most days are good), but I definitely go for a lot on my second serve, and I get a lot of free points. Guess I occasionally mess up with the toss. Need to improve toss consistency.

    My footwork has improved a lot, I am keeping my butt down when I am hitting and between shots. I have lost about 14 pounds, so my speed is much better.

    Now if I can just get a decent overhead, the job is almost done :)

    Goals for 2007:

    - improve overhead
    - improve overhead
    - improve overhead
    - make serve toss more consistent
    - avoid hitting hard all the time on the forehand
    - prepare earlier on backand

    Looks ambitious, doesn't it? :)
     
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  28. goober

    goober Legend

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    Unfortunately my game is still pretty much the same from last year. I need to practice and probably work with a pro on specific things, but for various reasons I end up playing practice matches mostly. I guess though I must have improved somewhat since have beaten a couple players this year I have never beaten before.
     
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  29. BiGGieStuFF

    BiGGieStuFF Hall of Fame

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    Does that include me :) I'm dying for a rematch hahaha
     
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  30. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    I went from a dink second serve to a topspin serve that is a weapon. People have enough trouble attacking it that in most matches I can use it exclusively.
     
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  31. goober

    goober Legend

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    Yup my win over you surely was one of the crowning achievements of 2006. :)

    Rematch anytime- probably won't be in Houston though for another year tho.
     
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  32. BiGGieStuFF

    BiGGieStuFF Hall of Fame

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    Then that means one of my goals for 2007 will be to beat the Goober
     
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  33. Duzza

    Duzza Legend

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    Found the perfect racquet
    Finally fixed the high 2hander's
    Improved to the point of people being amazed at what grade competition I played last season
    Blasting my serve, I really need to try one of those speedo thing's, I reckon it's about 100-105 mph if not more
    Good dropshot
    Great slice serve
    Good reliable 2nd serve
    Consistency
    in 2007:

    Buy a AP Belt
    Improve footwork and speed massively
    Competition standard and so on.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2006
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  34. BiGGieStuFF

    BiGGieStuFF Hall of Fame

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    Man I'm trying to get someone to buy me one for christmas. That's one of my goals for 2006 :)
     
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  35. Duzza

    Duzza Legend

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    That is exactly what I am doing! Haha. I mentioned the idea to my mum :p.

    Another achievement was my consistency. Soooo much better now
     
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  36. BiGGieStuFF

    BiGGieStuFF Hall of Fame

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    I can't recall but do you remember how much shipping was for the AP belt?

    I've been very disciplined on trying to stay down on my own but I notice that when I'm fatigued I go back to standing too erect on my shots.
     
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  37. maverick1

    maverick1 Semi-Pro

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    I think I have just improved my game overall, can't think of of any one area in particular. Over the last 17 months since taking up tennis, I have gone from about 2.5 to 3.5.

    I feel pretty good that the USTA just bumped me to 3.5 after my first season as a self-rated 3.0. That is not the biggest accomplishment though.

    There is one player that I have played about 4 times in the last year and a half. He used to be totally in control most of the time, typically winning each set 6-2, as recently as June. But when we played a couple of weeks ago, I was winning 6-3 5-3 when it started raining. I was hitting the ball deeper & faster than I did previously against him, and this took him out of his comfort zone for the first time. It was an unbelievable feeling to turn the tables on someone who used to instill sense of hopelessness in me when I faced him.
     
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  38. DrewRafter8

    DrewRafter8 Professional

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    My greatest accomplishment for 2006 was simply getting back into the game. I had a lot of rust to shake off. I had not picked up a tennis racquet for four years. I'm almost at the 4.0 level that I was when I left the game and my goal for next year is to end at 4.5. Overall, I'm just happy to be back playing!
     
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  39. ubel

    ubel Professional

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    Being able to actually rally with someone far above my current level. Can't even begin to describe how absolutely great that felt :p
     
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  40. BiGGieStuFF

    BiGGieStuFF Hall of Fame

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    Where did you find the cute nadal avatar ;)
     
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  41. ubel

    ubel Professional

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    Wtf.. that's not Nadal, that's Monkichi. jeez :p
     
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  42. llamalordoftennis

    llamalordoftennis New User

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    Hmmm...accomplishments....accomplishments. Switched from 2hbh to 1hbh.....pretty consistent topspin slice first serve, and a kick serve. Yeah and I don't suck as much now as I did in January. Prettay good year if you ask me :D
     
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  43. Andy270211

    Andy270211 Semi-Pro

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    SERVE!

    Before coming here, I couldn't hit serves AT ALL.

    About 1 out of my 20 first serves go in.

    I would double fault a whole game sometimes.



    I just played a tournament today.

    Double faulted only 6 times in 4 matches.



    I now average about 6 out of my 10 first serves and 19 out of my 20 second serves.




    WOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOO~
     
    #43

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