Can't maintain a warm-up rally? Might not just be your opponent....

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by HughJars, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. HughJars

    HughJars Professional

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    Interesting thing I've noted, I rallied with my coach the other night and we could of gone for hours. Then I rallied with my hitting partner last night and it was a different story. We are about the same level.

    Difference is, my coach has the skill to get all of my shots back and place them nicely between the service and baseline for me to hit.

    A lot of people around here complain about their opponent not being able to hit the ball back...

    Its a two way street....

    That is all.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2013
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  2. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    yes i know what you mean.
    i have a different problem. i need more warm up, stable relaxed warm up, and my partners are just all over the place, can't return to the middle, starting to rally and do "points". i hate that, and i am prevented of warming my strokes properly.
     
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  3. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    Too often during warm ups I hear players exclaim, "Nice shot!" after a player hits an unreachable shot.

    Either the guy is being a jerk and trying to hit winners during warm up or, more likely, he can't control his shots. Either case is not good but it certainly doesn't warrant a "good shot!".
     
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  4. pingu

    pingu Semi-Pro

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    What I found out especially with recreational players is that they can't control. I know some of them do try :) I normally warm up myself with the wall first.
     
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  5. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    When doing a warm up rally, I always go for several things:

    1. Try my absolute hardest to get every shot right back to the person
    2. never hit winners
    3. Swing at 50 to 60% of my maximum pace
    4. not hit too deep

    It's just a warm up, not a time to show off. Getting the arms moving, the core moving. A time to get the muscles oxygenated.
     
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  6. HughJars

    HughJars Professional

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    Yeah sometimes when I'm warming up or rallying I 'accidently' hit to their backhand and feel guilty about it.... Suffice to say I don't play a very high level, but still...
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2013
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  7. GBplayer

    GBplayer Semi-Pro

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    I like to start off short within the service lines for toch and then move back. You are only limbering up. A lot of players seem unable to put the ball on target. I was warming up with someone last night who only seemed to be able to hit hero shots. He is able to hit it very hard being a big lad. I got fed up after 5 minutes, and asked him to return some balls for me to warm up, as it appeared I was just feeding him. To which the reply was an apology as he was trying to return them to me! The funny thing is everyone always says good shot when he launches them, thereby encouraging this behaviour. The reality is he hits as hard as he can and hopes for the best.
     
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  8. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    During warm-ups in practice in college our coach used to make us start off hitting with a partner inside the alleys. Really makes you focus. Stand slightly to the side (not right in the middle of the alley) so you can go forehand to forehand down the line, then move to the other side and go backand to backhand down the line. You don't have to hit every ball inside the doubles alley, but do your best and after a while you'll find it realy isn't as hard as it seems to keep 80-90% of those balls inside the alleys at a light rally pace.

    Another warm-up drill for accuracy I did with my coach in juniors was to play 'hit the hash mark.' Pretty simple concept: rally until one of us hit the hash mark on the baseline.

    The point of these is to give you a target in mind so you're not so casual about your warm up. The tennis court is too big to merely go about hitting keeping it within the sidelines. These types of drills give you visual guides to get you thinking about more precise targets.
     
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  9. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    OK, so the things I just mentioned are really intended more for tournament players and not recreational players, but I think they can still be adapted. Try the alley warm up, but make your goal to keep roughly 50% or better of your shots inside the alleys (also make sure there's an empty court next to you in case of errant shots). Also, you don't stop if you miss the alley, you still keep hitting.

    Putting the ball right on the hashmark may be too tough for rec players so you can adapt that drill by putting a towel or a hula hoop down somewhere in no man's land and use that as your target (be careful not to trip on it!). Also maybe put a time limit on it. If no one hits the target in 3-4 minutes of hitting just end it and go onto your next drill or matchplay.

    also, these are things you would obviously only do in practice and not something you can do in your ten minute warm up before a real match.
     
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  10. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    there are some pushers out there who purposely feed winner balls and then compliment you overly on them to make you think you are roger federer (and then lose with 65 UEs):).
     
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  11. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    I'm trying my best to hit the ball directly to the person, preferably their fh side. I feel guilty when I send it away or mishit. Lately I notice that I also feel bad when I occasionally pop the ball with excessive topspin, ie it lands uncomfortably high for them.

    9 out of 10 players I play with are 3.5 or below. While I'm comfortable with them, my level has become like theirs. I can't rally or play games with the few higher level guys around anymore :)
     
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  12. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    As you know, you are what you practice.
    If you practice hitting soft balls to the forehand of your opponent, little spin and short NML depth, you WILL hit those shots when you're pressured against a good opponent, even if you really intended to hit the lines.
    Gotta separate warmup from practice, practice from competitive hitting, and competitive hitting from actual match play.
    Often, competitive hitting can have the hardest shots, most speed and spin, and going for the most.
    But still, each is different from the other.
     
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  13. DirtBaller4

    DirtBaller4 Rookie

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    I played a guy who insisted on warming up with high looping top spin shots that kept landing on the baseline. At 3.5 it's a terrible way to warm up, so I just cut him short and said, "let's start, your not giving me anything I can hit anyway"
     
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  14. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    Of course HughJars. This is why people clamor to play with better players.. Better players not only rally better - you feel better about your tennis against them..

    Even when they beat you its often with clean nice deep shots - hit to the open court. With pushers its just a a lot of randomly sprayed garbage that you shank into the net. Accordingly both players look like crap..
     
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  15. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    More incentive to get out of 3.5 level tennis.
    And yes, some 4.5's do this, but not many. The ones who fake their warmups are usually the ones who really care about winning pusher level tennis.
     
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  16. HughJars

    HughJars Professional

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    My mate who I play regularly warms up terribly. I mean, he literally struggles to hit one over the net, especially on his backhand (if you can call it that) and gives me nothing to get into a groove on. Then when we play, he's as consistent as high-grade oil...its quite frustrating. He's not faking in the warm-up, he just needs a competitive environment to play his best tennis. Quite amazing actually. Probably opposite to a lot of players out there who play worse in actual matches.
     
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  17. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    HA, try warming up to someone who goes for winners or unreturnables off of the feed.

    When s/he hits it out and you bunts it back in an attempt to restart the rally, s/he goes for another winner or unreturnable.
     
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  18. josofo

    josofo Semi-Pro

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    i can make a lot of balls in a row at a slow to medium pace.


    but what is the point. if i want to get better i should practice my normal forehand in warm ups and that is usually what i do. (i dont go for the lines though)
     
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  19. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    Just do as the pros would do when something like that happens. They would let that ball go and start another rally with another ball. I have never seen a pro trying to get an out of reach ball in the warm up :)
     
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  20. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Pros have ball kids/people to fetch them balls. We don't. It's mind-numbingly annoying to have to fetch all 3balls in less than 10 strokes.

    Yeah, that's how this hitting partner hits. He literally goes for winners/unreturnables on feeds and floaty-rally-restarting balls.
     
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  21. Slippery

    Slippery New User

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    Yes it tough. At the clubs mens night, warm up consists of a few balls over the net a couple serves from each side and the slice fest begins. It makes it tough for someone who needs to find their groove and get limbered up. Before I know it I am usually down 3 zip before I can find my serve and make some decent swings oh well that's probably why the better players avoid our club night which is too bad.
     
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  22. chuckd

    chuckd New User

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    I can warm up just fine and very "cooperatively" if it's just my opponent and me. If we have to share the court with another pair who are also warming up, my control goes out the window.
     
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  23. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    I'm guilty of that. I'm actually being sarcastic much of the time when I say it (especially to the players who are trying to hit winners in a warmup rally), but nobody seems to have gotten the irony yet. :)

    I play lots of different players, some of whom just haven't developed enough control yet to sustain a practice rally. These are the sorts of players who aren't necessarily trying to hit winners during the warmup rally, but whose stroke mechanics is just somewhat erratic, ie., not grooved yet. Typical of most 2.5s, and many, but not all, 3.0s to 3.25s.
     
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  24. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    Hitting to the backhand about half the time in a warmup is what you're supposed to do. Even if a few of them are 'accidents', it's ok, I think. :)
     
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  25. Jay_The_Nomad

    Jay_The_Nomad Professional

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    If I'm playing with some guy who kills the ball on every warm up shot, I usually let it go and pick the balls up two to three times MAX and hope he gets the idea. Usually they do. But every once in a while they don't and when that happens I usually just pick up all the balls and pass all of it over to their side of the court at one go so they have to go pick up all the balls on their side. Sends the message across clearly.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2013
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