Etiquette for warming up

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Roddick85, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. Roddick85

    Roddick85 Professional

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    Does it ever happen that you play somebody new and that person doesn't know how to properly warm-up? I was at my club last week, attending the singles league and they're was this new guy that showed for the first time, he looked like someone that has been playing tennis for a while, however he was probably a 2.5, maybe 3.0 at best on a good day, but that doesn't really matter.

    When I started to warm-up with that guy, the only shot he could hit was drop shots that would fall maybe 1 or 2 feet in front of the net, when i'm standing at the baseline... After a few times I thought OK i'm just going to stand closer to the service line and try to rally, but then he started to hit angles to pass me. I tried to talk to him a bit, but the guy wouldn't even respond and had that kinda arrogant look. I ended up changing warm up partners and he played with the lesser skilled players, but still i'm puzzled to see people act like that.
    We have a competitive league, weakest players are 3.5 and strongest solid 5.0, so usually people know proper etiquette for warming up.

    I think people who play tennis generally know that when your warming up, you try to keep the ball in the center and not go for big angles and you try to keep the ball deep enough. Then you warm up volleys/smashes and then a few serves, what you see on TV basically. The whole idea is just to warm-up your muscles, not tire yourself out before even starting, but it seems some people have completely missed that.

    Ever had something similar happen to you?
     
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  2. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    As I've moved up, I see less and less warm-up weirdness.

    Even at 4.0, however, there are a lot of people who cannot seem to hit the ball back to you. I am starting to think that these are people who really do have control issues and it is not gamesmanship.

    Lately, I have noticed that if someone cannot feed a decent lob in warm-up, this means they are not a lobber and I can feel safe draping myself on the net until they show me a lob.

    I have noticed that some people struggle in warm-up to hit the ball DTL (especially right-handers in the ad court). This is license for me to leave a little earlier on poaches because they clearly struggle with directional control.

    So yeah, it's annoying. In your case, the guy probably just didn't know better. In my case, these players are leaving little clues on how to play them.
     
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  3. SpitFire

    SpitFire New User

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    IMO, you should be fully warmed up before you start banging the ball around with your opponent. That will allow for the "warmup" to consist of you feeling out your opponent for weaknesses.

    If they're having issues with warming up, then it means they should have ball control issues come match-time.
     
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  4. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I see bad warm up etiquette all the time that it drives me crazy. Most common is guys that chip the ball back and it barely makes it past the service line. I even see drop shots being attempted during warm-up. Also very aggravating is when guys want to return my serve warm-ups and they hit them all over the place. If you can't get the serve back to me then just catch it and hit it back please! I also see guys hitting winners during warm-up...sharp angles, etc. Really mind-boggling stuff sometimes.
     
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  5. aznhippos

    aznhippos Rookie

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    OP: maybe your partner was trying to hit winners and drop shots because he thought the match had started?
     
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  6. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    if he was a 2.5, he probably isn't very experienced, and doesn't know correct warm up etiquette. too bad you didn't want to explain it to him, or simply ask that he hit the ball to you so you could warm up.

     
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  7. Roddick85

    Roddick85 Professional

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    I think he was 2.5 judging from the skill level he displayed during the warm up. However, he didn't strike as someone that was new to the sport, he probably just didn't progress or stopped for a while and got back into it. As I said, I did try to talk to him but he wouldn't even answer.
     
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  8. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    That would presume that you got your own hitting partner; what are you a pro? :)

    Maybe they have ball control issues during the match, but personally I need the warm just to find my shots (especially since most people just push the ball).

    Bottom line, I try to ignore funny behavior and try to warm up normally, starting slowly/easy etc.
     
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  9. SpitFire

    SpitFire New User

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    LOL I wish! Nah, I just have friends that play as well. I make arrangements to hit with people before my match begins. Usually it's people also playing the tournament that are in different parts of the bracket.

    Also, I run lines, corners, stretch, practice serves, and hit against a wall (if there is one). All of which can be done solo.

    Another idea is to control the pace of the warm-up. Tell your opponent you want to hit to your forehand. Tell them you want to hit you lobs and do overheads. That might help.
     
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  10. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    When guys hit winners etc on me during warmup, i just stroll over and have a seat, sip of water etc. If I can't get warmed up properly I'm not gonna warm up your winners for you.
     
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  11. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    I know of at least one 4.0+ dude who absolutely kills rallies/warm-ups.

    When he's not going for winners off of my feeds, he's feeding me bullets.

    Above all, this really annoys me:

    He would hit out in a rally, and so I would just bunt it back to restart the rally. And usually, when you're just bunting out balls back, with the intention of restarting the rally, the ball is going to land short. And what does he do? Goes for a winner.

    I'm not sure if this dude has the worse eye sight in the world, or he truthfully believes all of his balls are in, and that he believes the short bunts are the result of his good shots. :confused:
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2013
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  12. colowhisper

    colowhisper Semi-Pro

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    This is what I learned as proper etiquette for the USTA 10 minute tournament warm-up time:

    Flip coin or racket spin first and determine side/serve.
    ~2 mins short court groundies (let ball bounce, not volleys)
    ~5-6 mins full court groundies, middle court and cross court
    ~1 min each at net volley/options (ask for overheads etc)
    ~2-3 mins serve to each other 3 balls at a time, catch balls unless you ask to return.

    Does this sound about right?
     
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  13. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    Looks good to me. How do we let everyone else know? By everyone else, I mean the uncool kids who don't read TW forums.
     
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  14. amorris525

    amorris525 Rookie

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    Well you listed a minimum of 11 minutes of warm up time, so no.

    I rarely see a short court warm ups at tournaments. Generally 3-4 minutes full court groundies. 2 minutes each or so at net. 2 minutes for serves. You are right about catching the balls. Unless it's near the end of the serve warm-up, I can't stand when someone returns my warm-up serves because then I don't know whether to keep serving or hit them back.
     
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  15. Fusker

    Fusker Rookie

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    Ditto. Drives me nuts. Now when somebody returns my serve I just keep hitting serves until they start catching them. Then I'll crack returns back if I'm done serving. It's only fair that when my opponent thinks warm ups is the place to "practice" returning my 3/4 speed serve, that I get the same chance.
     
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  16. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    According to the "Friend at Court" book for USTA, "warm ups" are not "practice". You should hit nice, consistent, slow-paced shots to your opponent and always to your opponent. Its not a time to practice your imagined 85 mph DTL winner.

    Friend at Court says that if you want to warm up with a more aggressive practice, then utilize one of your fellow team mates or a friend.
     
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  17. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    2+5+1+2 = 10 minutes. What am I missing, the racquet flip? Also ~ means "about" so that allows for some wiggle room.
     
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  18. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Sorry but NO. Where did you learn this? You can do this at the club--you can do anything at the club. The reason the ladies at the club warm-up close to the net is so they can catch-up on the latest gossip and the "men" are now emulating this for a little insider trading. Turn on the Tennis Channel and watch Serena and Sharapova warming-up--you will NEVER see them doing mini tennis up at the net.

    If you ever do that at a tournament you will be giving away a big factor to your opponent before the match starts. He will say to himself, "This guy doesn't event know the proper routine for the warm-up--what else doesn't he know?" You've given your opponent a huge boost in confidence and you haven't even started keeping score yet.

    The below by Amorris, is the correct warm-up procedure. You have 10 minutes, 7 minutes or 5 five minutes, depending on time and court constraints. The roving referee will warn you when it's two minutes and time to take serves. The warm-up is a time to observe your opponent's strokes and discover weaknesses and strengths, as well as a last minute calibration for your own shots. It also gives the thousands of fans pouring in to watch your match a chance to sit-down, settle in, and see and be seen by their admirers.



     
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  19. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    tennis_tom- in my experience there are lots of 4.5 and 5.0 players who do start out with mini tennis at the net.
     
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  20. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Not Senior Age Group Players. Have you EVER seen a Pro on TV use mini-tennis in the warm-up?
     
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  21. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    That's because they hit on the practice court before they actually show up.

    Matter of fact, most people hit for a while before they actually start their match. If you can get going with that little 10mins warm-up, then you're amazing.
     
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  22. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

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    Funny, cuz this happened to me yesterday. League doubles match, we were visitors. A friend tells me one of my opponents just got bumped down, but be careful cuz he still has a big game and big serve.

    So of course in warm-ups he is across from me. I am as easy going as you'd like, so I feed the first ball, a nice drop feed about 50% speed and bounce it right around the serve line. He rockets it back barely in my alley... I don't even reach for it.

    2nd feed the ball rockets about 3 feet deep on the fly. I stop and look at him/stare at him for about 3 seconds, shake my head, feed another. This one comes back to me, but his next one is basically another winner.

    I know he is capable of hitting an easier, returnable shot right at me.... and he isn't... so he must be doing it on purpose. So I start doing the same... rocket a ball wide or deep... he walks to get it, feeds me, I smash another one. I then say in a more neutral tone... "we're not getting much of a warm-up, are we?" But it didn't matter. The warm-up was a complete joke, and I was steamed.

    So we hit serves. He's got a v good serve, but he's serving to my partner. The other opponent and I are warming up serves just fine... catching the ball, waiting for opponent to receive next serve, etc. So everyone is ready and we are all at the net, and I compliment the bozo on his serve.... plus a little more... I said, "Hey, nice serve." He thanks me... and I reply, "Funny how you've got such a good serve, but you hit warm-ups like a dick." He looked at me, didn't say a word.

    During the match he probably tried to hit me 3-4x's. Because of my comments I'm assuming he was trying to hit me, but that's ok... its part of the game. I'm on the court and have a racquet. I made no reply.

    We won the match, but our team lost. Bitter sweet with the team loss, but if you want to be a total butthole... warm-up like one. Totally un-necessary. Not even sure what people like that are trying to accomplish.
     
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  23. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    A lot of senior players warm up with mini tennis. Have you considered that just because players in your area don't do it that it has nothing at all to do with what players in other areas do? Lots of seniors don't like going straight to full groundstrokes because they think they need more warmup first and think going straight to full groundstrokes puts them at an injury risk. For the 4.5-5.0 players they like it because it lets them just get the feel for the topspin before they move back.

    When you see a pro on TV warm up- they have already been hitting on another court. I have no idea whether pros do start out with mini tennis or they do not, but what you see on TV has nothing to do with this.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2013
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  24. amorris525

    amorris525 Rookie

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    2+5+1+1+2.

    Says 1 minute each at net.
     
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  25. amorris525

    amorris525 Rookie

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    The only time I've seen (or done) this in a tournament is if it is two guys/girls that know each other. In random pairings I've never seen this.
     
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  26. storypeddler

    storypeddler Semi-Pro

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    I agree with Roddick with the initial assessment of poor etiquette in this scenario. However, I also grow quickly annoyed with players who want to treat warm-up as a time for them to practice their repertoire of winners. Warm-up is to WARM UP for the match, not practice your strokes. I'll give a player like that a few chances and then simply refuse to warm up with him.
     
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  27. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    You mean like this dude I was describing?

     
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  28. PureAlph4

    PureAlph4 Semi-Pro

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    I don't see what is so offensive about someone returning your serves, as long as they're not one of those idiots lacking self-awareness who think it's an exercise in cracking winners off practice serves.

    I think warming up the mechanics of your service return is as important as any other shot. It's not about gamesmanship, unless you try and smack the cover off the ball or hit it hard straight at the server. If you're just looping the ball back with spin in a relaxed manner a metre to the side of the server, then what's the problem?

    I'll often do it once the server has warmed up a few to get in the groove, and they'll often do so in return. To me it seems completely natural unless you're keen to feel offended / disrespected.
     
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  29. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Regarding mini-tennis:

    I like it if we have time. It's a good way to get loose before going to full court strokes. Tournaments here don't have time for it as we only get 5 minutes, but even in my league matches, a lot of people like the mini. It's just a good way to stretch out to start.

    -Fuji
     
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  30. Fusker

    Fusker Rookie

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    It's a waste of time. Most of us can hit three serves in about say, 15 seconds. But when somebody's returning the ball I now have to either pause in between serves to catch their ball (assuming they're close enough which is not always the case), or ignore them and fetch them off the back fence. I don't really think that's the intent of "service warmups".

    You've "practiced" your ground strokes already and you can practice your split step and timing without smacking the ball back. Practicing the service return smacks of gamesmanship and ultimately hinders warming up the serve in a timely manner.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2013
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  31. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    The problem is that instead of you catching the ball and then hitting them back to me in a controlled manner I am forced to pay attention to you instead of warming up my serves.

    It is a courtesy thing. If you catch my serves and hit them back to me we can both warm up our shoulders for serving in a controlled manner. We can get more serves in the small window of time we have to warm up.

    However, if you decide you are more important than anyone else on the court and decide to get yours I am forced to deal with you. What this means is that after I hit a serve ... instead of hitting another one I have to wait to see what happens.

    Even if you have the control to hit them right back to me every time I have to wait before I toss anouther one up ... but the more likely scenario is that you hit them someplace other than right to me ... so I either have to get them myself or wait for you to retrieve them. All of this adds to lost warm up time for one of the most injury prone muscle groups in tennis.

    Please just catch the ball!
     
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  32. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    I've played in Senior Age Group tournaments on both coasts and no one warms-up with mini-tennis. You are right, a lot of "senior players" warm-up with mini-tennis, but NOT Senior Age Group tournament players or Pro tournament players. If you want to re-invent the wheel you're welcome to, maybe you're on to something BIG.
     
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  33. Jackofalltrades

    Jackofalltrades New User

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    Over here all serious junior tournament players learn to start warming up on court with mini-tennis. Always with practice sessions, not always with matches, due to time limits.
     
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  34. Alexc2505

    Alexc2505 New User

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    My own team mate is a nightmare for warming up. In our doubles league you warm up with team mates. He plays mainly an unorthodox spinny slice and if you warm up with him the ball comes at all sort of lengths, angles and heights. It drives me crazy that you can't have a nice steady warm up so I try to avoid warming up with him, he's a great guy and doesn't try to upset you but he just can't help it. He does win loads of doubles matches with his weird style though, so much for technuique :)
     
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  35. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    We had a WTA futures event at our club 2 weeks ago. All the girls in the pre warmup started with mini tennis. The real warmup they did not of course.
     
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  36. El Diablo

    El Diablo Hall of Fame

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    Those who say you should be warmed up before you even step on the court certainly have a point, in the best of all possible worlds, but in the real world of coming to the court straight from work or from changing a diaper, that's just not always possible. I've had occasion where I've told guys that I'm not looking to run hard during warmup --- it's not worth risking an achilles tendon in the first minute on the court. If they hit big angle winners during warmup, I simply watch the ball and pull the next one out of my pocket.
     
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  37. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    I find that the people i play usually hate warming up with me. We usually can't get a rally going as i tend to only be able to hit a heavy ball unless i'm fully warmed up. pushes them far beyond the baseline.

    Wozniacki starts her practice sessions with short court/mini-tennis... dunno about match warm-up though.
     
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  38. Roddick85

    Roddick85 Professional

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    Hey guys, just thought I should mention. The player I was talking about when I originally started this thread, one of my friends ended up playing him in the league last Sunday. He did exactly the same thing to him for warming up. During the game, the guy also tried to sell some religious/cult books to him, first time I ever hear something like this. Needless to say, my friend was creeped out and so was the pro who manages our league.
     
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  39. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    ^^ I've seen LOTS of pros start warmups with mini-tennis. Remember that their real warmup is usually 20 or 30 minutes of hitting before they come to the court for the match.
     
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  40. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

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    Now that is weird... what's next, people trying to get you to sign up to buy girl scout cookies during the warm-up? People taking names and numbers for tupperware parties, or passing out business cards to do home computer repair?
     
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  41. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

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    I would love to warm-up BEFORE I warm-up with my opponent... its just not realistic most times:

    a) if you are a visitor for a league match, it doesn't work too well to warm up at your own club, then drive 30 minutes to the match club

    b) show up to the visitors club 20 minutes early and expect to be allowed to jump on a court... if there is one open... to warm up with a team-mate

    c) warm-up at own club for home matches... if there are courts open maybe, but usually not

    d) warm-up outside in northern climate cities during Nov-March? Not likely.
     
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  42. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    We are talking about apples and oranges here, read the original post that started the thread above. That's what I'm responding to. On your own time, you can do whatever you want to, but in the 5, 7 or 10 minutes, after the coin-flip, just before a match, the OP has outlined the proper conventional "warm-up" procedure, automatically done by tournament players around the world.

    If you want to do your personal pre-"warm-up" practice, for the real match warm-up, standing on your head with your buddy, that's fine with me. But, if you come-up to the net, before a tournament match and expect me to do mini-tennis with you, I'm just going to laugh at you under my breath, and say this guy has no clue and you'll be giving me a big boost in confidence before even playing a point. I'll be saying to myself, how much more is this guy ignorant of proper technique, footwork, timing, tactics and strategy?

    If you're so delicate that you're going to pull a muscle by hitting a real tennis stroke from the baseline, then find a pro who knows how to teach you the proper stroke technique, so you don't have chronic tennis elbow. Or, do a slow ten minute jog around the block to warm up your delicate body.

    What good does it do you to go up to the net, jumping around like Tracey Austin, practicing something that you will never use once the match gets started?--are you really a serve/volleyer?--most players today are serve/"retreaters". All that jumping around didn't do Tracey any good, her career was meteorically short lived and she went out with "back-problems". All your tennis points are going to begin at the baseline, I want to get "calibrated in" for the match from there.
     
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  43. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    That's usually what they're talking about up at the net doing mini-tennis.
     
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  44. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    We are lucky enough here to be able do b) or c) for about 100% of our USTA or local league matches. It is very rare that a venue we use doesn't have courts available for warm up at least 30 minutes prior to the start of our matches. The only time we have problems are the few times when multiple league matches are scheduled on the same night at our local (9 court) club. Then the worst that usually happens is that you might have to warm up on a hard court then play your match on the dirt.

    I have personally never done a) or d). In fact I think the few indoor courts we have here are more crowded in July - August with people trying to escape the heat or the rain than at any other time of the year.
     
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  45. sovertennis

    sovertennis Semi-Pro

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    The warm up should be like a game of catch: Begin with slower paced ball, then pick up the pace gradually. It should be cooperative, with all shots (groundies, volleys, feeds) being returned directly to the opponent. If my league/tourney opponents don't do this, that's their issue; I'm not trying to win the warm up.
     
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  46. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I don't like doing the mini tennis warm up but it is a nice way to get some blood to your arm while gradually increasing the effort you are putting into your shots. I'd say that if the pro's do it, I would not just dismiss it without some consideration.
     
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  47. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    This is how urban tennis myths get started, once again we are talking about the post coin toss "warm-up" not what's done for training/practice two hours before a match. I defy you to show me any pro match seen on TV where men or women pros do mini tennis after the coin-toss warm-up.

    If you have proper stroke technique, you can get "blood to your arm", hitting from the baseline, using the force of gravity to return shots reaching your opponent's baseline easily.
     
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  48. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

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    That would be so nice if it happened like that. My thinking exactly. In fact, I don't even want to show my opponent my best shot or serve during warm-up... I WANT to hit everything exactly back to him... that is my aiming warm-up to hit it exactly back. I don't want him to see that I can hit the lines or serve down the T or out wide.
     
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  49. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

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    In the summer for away matches, I google outside courts nearest the site and take my bucket of balls with me. Doesn't matter if the courts are crap or not.

    For home matches, if there are open courts, I'm on them until about 10 minutes prior to the start time.

    For now, early spring, for away matches... stretches and shadow swings will have to suffice.
     
    #49
  50. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    2,707
    YES !

    YES!

    And YES!
     
    #50

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