Do you actually AIM at how much to clear the net??

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by user92626, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Per title.

    I ask because lately I have to aim and adjust to hit closer to the net in order to have more power or the ball will be long. I aim and adjust by hitting more thru the ball and consciously closing the racket a bit, but I thought this was a mentally tedious and ineffective way of hitting every shot because I cannot zero-in on the degree to close the racket and hitting thru the ball doesn't give a lot of topspin.

    I was amazed at how freely and powerfully tournament guys at the court hit the shot and the ball lands in a general area safe and sound which they didn't appear to do any aiming. Am I support to aim at net clearance or where or not at all?
     
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  2. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

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    Yes, 4 to 6 feet over the net for a consistent forehand that is heavy as hell. Or at least that's the goal, anyway. :)

    Matt
     
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  3. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    1st serve, 9".
    Second serve 3'.
    Forehand drive, 3'
    Backhand drive, same
    Bachand slice, 2'.
    Volleys, whatever goes deep with penetration.
     
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  4. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    I can recall something from lessons the first year I played tennis. The pro had me hit the ball with a flat stroke. I thought I had better just tap it, or it would go long. After my first shot, he said, "No, take a full swing at it, it will stay in." I was skeptical, but it did stay in, just like he said. Often we think that a ball that went way over the baseline only cleared the net by a foot. But the reality is, when we go way long, we really lost control. When you get better control, you'll realize that going over the baseline isn't too big of a worry in rallies. What happens more often is people hit into the net. Vic Braden talks about this. He sometimes covers up the net so people can't see through it. This improves their consistency, they become aware of the need to lift the ball over the net. "But won't those shots go out?" "What about topspin?" Watch other players sometime. Notice how often their shot gets stopped by the net, and how seldom they go long. As for topspin, that can help on passing shots, but it's not as much needed for rallying as people think. A flat ball will usually land in because of gravity. If you know how to figure trajectories using parametric equations, (use a TI-83), you'll see that gravity will pull many firmly struck drives into the court.

    This is why even though you might be surprised the the numbers LeeD has posted, they are correct. You need to aim by a significant amount over the net, not only so that the net won't stop it, but also so that you can have decent depth on your shots.
     
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  5. oneguy21

    oneguy21 Banned

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    Yes, aim to clear the net by 3+ feet with basic rally balls. Spin should bring them down.
     
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  6. AlphaCDjkr

    AlphaCDjkr Rookie

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    Interesting topic.... :)

    I don't aim for my net height. I believe that after a while of actually trying to focus on aiming for a certain net clearance, it gets familiarized into muscle memory. Now, my arm is used to hitting shots that clear the net by a safe margin, and actually attempting to think about how much net clearance I want can only detract from my performance. The longer you play and experiment with what does and doesn't work, the more likely you won't have to think about it at all; you'll just go.

    That's my experience on it...
     
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  7. jasoncho92

    jasoncho92 Professional

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    I just decide on how much topspin im gonna put on it
     
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  8. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    You must learn to hit with varying net clearance. For instance when I'm hitting a rally ball from the baseline, my intention is to hit the ball high over the net with alot of topspin. However if my opponent hits a sitter, I need to come inside and go for the putaway which means I must hit the ball flatter and lower in order to get more power on the shot and keep it in play. You can't hit a loopy topspin shot on a putaway, otherwise it will come right back. Also when your opponent is at the net, you want to hit the ball low so that if they get their racquet on it, they have a difficult volley rather than an offensive one if you hit with high net clearance.

    This ability should become natural once practiced enough. You will instinctively know when and how to adjust the height of your shot. Thats why it takes so long to improve in tennis, because of so much that needs to be learned and become natural.
     
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  9. jasoncho92

    jasoncho92 Professional

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    Forget all of this advice. Just smash the ball with 1 in clearance every thing so it skids at their ankles. (jk)
     
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  10. theZig

    theZig Rookie

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    sorry to be off topic, but by chance do you live in La Canada?Wondering if you're the jason I know..
     
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  11. Geezer Guy

    Geezer Guy Hall of Fame

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    Sounds like I'm the only one, but I just aim for a spot on the court. I don't think about net clearance at all (unless I hit a few into the net).
    I hit rally-balls with quiet a bit of topspin and hit winners flat and deep to the corners, so the net usually doesn't come into play.
     
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  12. Tennis Dunce

    Tennis Dunce Semi-Pro

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    Nothing like trying to return a deep, penetrating shot from the ankles with consistenct. Much more difficult than say, sitting on someone's topspin strokes and punishing them.
     
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  13. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Interestingly I had been trying to learn to hit with more topspin by brushing up, but I was not doing it correctly or something because the ball arched up very high and long. So, I decided to the same stroke but this time aimed the foot of the net, and the ball landed in with ton of topspin. LOL.

    But it's hard to keep doing that in the long run because I don't feel I have control over the shot.
     
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  14. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    User...
    You gotta switch the grip over a bit, to balance the upward stroke, face angle, and ball height off our rackethead. Obviously, your racketface is facing the sky, causing with your new stroke, a higher ball. So close the racketface, wrist, arm, or grip.
     
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  15. Slicendicer

    Slicendicer Guest

    No. What most pro's practice is hitting spots on the court... 3 spots on each wing 1. 1' from base/side line 2. 1' from service/side line 3. sharp angle inside service box. Same spots, now on the service line/ hash mark. Both FH and BH, every angle, and every depth of shot is practiced. During matchplay, fill in the blanks.

    Practice hitting spots, THEN add pace... control is key... controlling spin and placement is the Mecca.
     
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  16. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Good advice, but maybe wasted on most on this forum.
    I practiced like that, but with 5.5 and better players.
    Most here are closer to 3.5, if that:(:(
     
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  17. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    slice,

    That's something I definitely need to practice. Currently I literally can't will myself to hit angled shots close to side lines for fear of hitting out. I try so hard to hit angle but the ball still lands quite center. What I can do slightly better is hit straight, dtl. LOL.
     
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  18. oneguy21

    oneguy21 Banned

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    aim 20 feet above the net every time

    lower the margin to 15 feet for approach shots since you need a flatter drive.
     
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  19. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    THAT I dont' need to aim or train. It's already natural. LOL.
     
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  20. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Oneguy is a good guy, but he's kidding....
    Besides hitting about 10,000 more balls, turn the shoulders on each and every groundie. This gives you some control in direction.
    Slice low and short. Topspin high over the net, like 5' or so, and go for depth. They are different strokes for different purposes.
     
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  21. Slicendicer

    Slicendicer Guest

    I'm the opposite, I aim center and hit the sides... :)

    Thats just one of many drills... pretty simple really. We'd hit 1000-1500 dead ball feed per day. If the courts were open. Add to that matchplay and "academy" drills and coaching... we'd be on court 10 hours + per day.
     
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  22. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Wow, 10 hours a day ON THE COURT is a bunch.....:shock:
    And most players here say they play 1.5 hours a day, 3 days a week, and will they turn pro?
    Yeah, best practice is feeding and getting fed 40 low forehand volleys, so you can volley deep crosscourt, down the line, and drop angle.
    Then backhand volleys, then stretch volleys, then backhand overheads.............
     
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  23. Slicendicer

    Slicendicer Guest

    Uhhh... no. I've seen some very talented juniors come up through the USTA Georgia Juniors... didn't see one player that would EVER make Top 20. I trained with Skoville Jenkins 5x per week. He's the most recent pro I've hit with, and that was 4 years ago.

    To really excel at tennis as a junior considering wanting to go pro, you should combine matchplay (getting whooped by better players), dead ball feeds/strategy concepts, live ball feeds, cardio, and strength/endurance training 6x per week, min. 5 hours per day... with access to several coaches and a lot of players to beat up on you. :)
     
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  24. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Dat's about EXACTLY what I've been saying all along, the last 2 months, about getting good in tennis.
    5-6 hours a day on the court and hitting, 6 days a week, at least 2 separate 1/2 hour serve practice hitting over 200 serves each week.
    I know that. Most juniors here are too busy playing yahtsee....
     
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  25. Slicendicer

    Slicendicer Guest

    Unfortunately, most parents can't afford that kind of set-up. Or, they are too absorbed in their own lives and forget that once you have children... your life is now about them. And, a lot of the kids who are fortunate enough to have the world on a string... they don't give a ****, they have zero work ethic. They've never had to work for anything their entire lives... I seen all too many times... I lived it for years at RCS.
     
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  26. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Yup, given the 5.0 strokes, it now becomes 70% mental whether you make it, try a bit, totally give up, or something in between.
     
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