During a long point

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by sureshs, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    There were several multi-stroke points when I played last night. I was moving side to side. I noticed that while the first couple of groundies was good, the next tended to go down in quality. I felt hurried and hassled, and caught myself jumping into the shot one time.

    How do you maintain the same stroke consistency over a multi-stroke point, along with all the running? Do you do a mental and physical reset after each stroke? How do you get over the feeling of losing track of where you are and where your racket head is?
     
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  2. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    It's almost all mental for me. When I get in those long rallies I can start to doubt my ability to keep it going. I start to feel like I'm going to hit an UFE. Lo and behold if it doesn't come true!

    What I try to do is hit the tenth ball like the first. Watch and hit. Don't force things that aren't there.

    Sometimes I can do it.
     
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  3. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Confusion sets in for me after a few balls in a row in a real match when I am moving instead of just hitting rally balls. I don't see clearly and I don't know where I am. I try to remember to come to the neutral position after every stroke, but sometimes that also goes.

    But definitely vision is the biggest problem.

    How to correct it?
     
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  4. wallabeechamp

    wallabeechamp New User

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    For me it is remembering to breath efficiently and correctly. Staying as loose and relaxed as possible.
     
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  5. isilra

    isilra Rookie

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    This is what makes you closer to the professional level. A 5.0 also can hit a ball as good as a pro but when it comes to consistency, they make more mistakes than a pro. I think it is a matter of practicing, if you make long rallies everyday for years, than you learn how to stay loose and relaxed in any condition.
     
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  6. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    a lot of it is balancing ability and fitness. for someone with better balance even simple standing is different internally. at motion the difference becomes more stark.
     
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  7. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    Maybe you lack focus OR your court positioning/movement are bad?

    you're thinking too much of other stuff and not looking at the ball: will i make the next point, will this be a winner, can i keep this up? etc...

    Focus:

    positioning yourself, still looking at the ball, bouncing/running/sidestepping to get in position, still looking at the ball, swinging through the contact zone, still looking at the ball, and so on...

    Court positioning / Movement:

    I recall you questioning if there is strategy in tennis. This is where it comes in. You're hitting on the run poorly because you are doing one of two things wrong: A) You're not constructing your points well enough (directionals, shot selection, etc...) and/or B) You're not getting into the right position to cut off tough angles and benefit from your previous shot (i.e. approaching after good shots, getting back to the court after being pulled out wide, aide and split stepping appropriately, etc...); Fitness matters in this respect as well.

    Or maybe your stick is too heavy for you or not headlight enough? ;)
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2013
    #7
  8. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

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    What are you focused on during the rally?

    Try and focus on what the right shot to play is and whether you're positioned correctly, rather than focusing on where your racket head is.

    Also, if the problem is that you're rushed, maybe try hitting some loopier shots or back up off the baseline a bit.

    If you're just getting winded, then that's normal.
     
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  9. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Long rally? What's that?
     
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  10. ramos77

    ramos77 Semi-Pro

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    I do my very best to avoid them
     
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  11. The Meat

    The Meat Hall of Fame

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    I sometimes push and make my friends go for the corners, really helps with this problem. Also I enjoy it when they make a mistake :)
     
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  12. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Breathing and balance seem to the main issues to address.

    Vision is probably a lost cause. My progressive multifocals blur the vision during motion, especially when tracking the ball in the vertical direction, which is the direction in which the refractive index changes. Add to that the effect of the glasses slipping during movement causing differential movement wrt the eye.

    But at least breathing and balance can be addressed.

    And also putting away shots when there is an opportunity instead of allowing the opponent to recover.
     
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  13. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Are they sport specific progressive lenses? These have an enlarged distance zone and a wider intermediate zone I believe.
     
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  14. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I have never heard of them. I tried prescription sports glasses once. They curved all the way to the sides. I could not play with them. It was a total waste of money. One shop told me they could not be made for my prescription, while another shop said they would do it, and I believed them.

    I will look into this sport specific progressives.
     
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  15. MAX PLY

    MAX PLY Hall of Fame

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    Sureshs, you may wish to check with your optomitrist or eye glasses store. I am near sighted and only wear my progressives for day to day things. For tennis, I do not wear the progressive lens and have a separate pair of glasses purely for tennis. You can also get some very lightweight frames that stay on your head without any sort of strap. I have a pair of TAG Heuer frames with rubber covered titanium stems--they never move while I play. You might also check into Silouettes (I used to use those). I have been playing in glasses for 20+ years and have always had separate glasses for tennis (oh, and have avoided curved lenses--simply cannot play with that distortion). Good luck.
     
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  16. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    suresh all these post counts you rack up here, are making you finger strong but cardio weak lol.

    suggestion - from how on, you have to run 5 miles for every post you make.... i guarantee you 50-ball rallies will be piece o cake :)
     
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  17. VeeSe

    VeeSe Rookie

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    Better fitness is your answer. If you have no problem with balance and court orientation after 5 balls, there's no reason why the others should be different unless your body is getting too tired, then other things start to come into play. Cardio training could help a lot (some long distance running, interval workouts like 400m repeats etc can go a long way).
     
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  18. Mahboob Khan

    Mahboob Khan Hall of Fame

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    I was going to say this. Yes, it appears it's a physical conditioning issue. When you get tired your technique suffers and when your technique suffers your mind suffers and when your mind suffers your result suffers. It happens to all of us even to the top players.
     
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  19. Anton

    Anton Hall of Fame

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    Make sure your splits steps are timed right and you are moving on bent legs and maintaining balance.

    Work to improve your stamina.

    Sometimes breathing is an issue too, though that is part of stamina
     
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  20. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Breathe, relax, practice, get in shape.
    Even Nadal, if he doesn't do the above, is good only for short points.
     
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  21. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Yes definitely got to lose some weight here, like 20 lbs
     
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  22. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    concentration often suffers when you are gassed. Improve your conditioning can improve concentration too.

    doesn't have too much even if you just run one mile a day that can significantly improve conditioning (of course not to world class level but compared to a guy that doesn't work out regularly.

    the most important thing is that you do it consistently and not just for 2 weeks and then lose interest. the adaptation takes some time.
     
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  23. Mahboob Khan

    Mahboob Khan Hall of Fame

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    Sureshs: Nice to see you once again.

    You have posted more than 24,000 posts here. My advice to you would be spend more time in the gym than on the computer. LOL.
     
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  24. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Yes I really need to put in more hours on the court. Gym is too boring for me. I am planning on a few hours of tennis today.
     
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  25. GoaLaSSo

    GoaLaSSo Semi-Pro

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    This may not be what you should be thinking during the point, but remember that in long rallies your opponent will also begin to feel the same way you do.

    Many people (including myself) feel like they must do something with their next shot. This impatience often causes people to over hit or make a mechanical error. In long multi-stroke points, you have to learn to be content with just hitting rally balls and reacting to each shot. Don't worry too much about the pace of your shots, but pay attention to the depth. If you have to take a bit off your shots and make it a bit loopier, that is perfectly okay. The only time you should change your mentality is when the opponent hits a crappy shot that is easy to take advantage of.

    If you find your shots are waning a bit in power, try not to think about mechanics. Think about how you want more depth and how you have to appropriately move to be in a good position for the next shot. The only mechanics you should ever actively think about with rally shots are court positioning and maybe rotation. If you begin questioning the way you swing consciously, it will lead to errors.
     
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  26. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    sureshs, if you dislike the gym, try jogging outdoors, cycling, swimming laps or rowing.

    maui thai might help as well, but that is a contact sport and generally requires quite a bit of circuit training.
     
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  27. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Good points.

    The one about focusing on depth is pretty realistic. Looking back, the depth seems to get shorter as the point grows longer, probably because the swing becomes more tentative???
     
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  28. GoaLaSSo

    GoaLaSSo Semi-Pro

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    That is what happens with me sometimes, so I would say yes. When I start doubting my swing my shots get a bit weaker or i'll miss hit.

    It is really hard to be good at tennis mentally unless you have trained for a really long time. Something that helps me with being a little less tentative is deciding where I want to hit my next shot as early as possible. When my opponent's shot leaves his racquet I approximate where I am gonna return it from and decide what place on the court I am gonna try to place it. Don't change your mind unless you have to, because hesitation also can lead to miss hits.

    Another huge huge huge tip that many rec players don't follow is to hit cross court more often. Cross court is a much safer shot under most circumstances and gives you more room for error than hitting up the middle or down the line. A lot of the time you will notice pros send back most shots they have difficulty with cross court so they can have a higher chance of it landing in.
     
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  29. Mahboob Khan

    Mahboob Khan Hall of Fame

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    A strange thing happened yesterday. I was playing against one of my Assistant Coaches. This boy is only 17 years of age. I am 63. I beat him first set 6/2, and in the second I am down 3-4 but I have a break point to level it 4-all. I hit a sizzling short cross-court winner but he somehow got to it and returned the ball back cross court, I hit a great down the line deep and I thought the point was mine but he got to it and returned it cross court (at this stage I decided not to wrong-foot him but rather make him run to enjoy the point), I took couple of steps back, got adjusted and hit a sizzling down the BH winner and moved forward but he somehow got to it and hit a great defensive lob which landed on my baseline, I sprinted back and reversed the ball back but he was at the net and tapped the ball for a drop shot winner. Instead of 4-all the score is now 3-5 down. At this point we got our coaching class so a comeback by me was pointless (I was out of breath also), and he won the second set 6/3.

    Yes, tennis is a strange game and that's why we play it.
     
    #29
  30. Rogael Naderer

    Rogael Naderer Semi-Pro

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    So you played 2 'winners' but the point was still live?
     
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  31. Mahboob Khan

    Mahboob Khan Hall of Fame

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    They looked winners to me but he returned my winners on this occasion. LOL.
     
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  32. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    What would you say would be the level of the ass coach in US NTRP terms?
     
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  33. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Sounds like you are out of shape and can't grind a point. You need to run and lose weight, but I have a feeling you won't committ to that.

    One thing that will help instantly (besides having better footwork) is breathing right. I always inhale on opponent's contact and exhale on mine. It is just easy to remember and it keeps me focused.

    You have to get your footwork right though for this to ever really pay off. It takes a few weeks of being tired and then suddenly you get it and you will find that you actually save tons of energy out there now that you are hitting with balanced form.
     
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  34. Mahboob Khan

    Mahboob Khan Hall of Fame

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    Ass Coach?
     
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  35. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I tried that once a long time ago, but didn't pursue it long enough.

    Recently, I am trying to incorporate proper breathing in every aspect of my life. I will try this again.

    Do you exhale only through the nose or also through the mouth?
     
    #35
  36. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    Practice long rallies in matches on purpose.

    That is the best way to build up "shot tolerance" and not become anxious to end the point after just a few exchanges.


    (This is NOT the way you will want to play forever - in the future you are going to want to exploit short balls by hitting approach shots and coming in.
    You are going to want to hit your first serve for aces.
    You are going to want to "go for" flat put-aways in to the open court.)


    But to build shot tolerance you may want to play a few "pusher" on purpose, and try to outlast him with back court rallies using safe shots.

    While this may not have any immediate appeal for you, it may be just the thing you need both to get over your low shot tolerance, and to build up your stamina (may be better for you running on the court than in a gym.)
     
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  37. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Mouth too I think. Most great players that I have seen hit or have hit with are somewhat loud on the exhale. It is a rhythm and focus thing as well as a way to remember to breathe.

    If you start by taking in air when you are split stepping, you will see the rest comes naturally.

    I learned this by sitting right on the court last year at the Sony tourny. I could hear breathing on off times..like I would hear the player grunt quitly when the other player was hitting the ball. Thought it was echo, but the players were breathing in on opponent's contact and out on theirs.

    Someone to check out is Ferrer. It is pretty easy to hear him do this.
     
    #37
  38. Anton

    Anton Hall of Fame

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    Yep - I try to land the split step at the moment of impact on opponent's racket, so you can begin reacting to ball direction asap.

    You begin split step and inhalation just a tic before opponent hits the ball.
     
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