Eureka moments

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by gindyo, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. gindyo

    gindyo Semi-Pro

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    We have all had them, especially us who have no formal coaching. Moments when you think you have figured out tennis. Sometimes they are short-lived sometimes they are an important key to improving one's game. Had I recorded all my such moments we would already have a 100 posts thread :) . Lets have this thread to share our "AHA" moments what was YOUR:
    - Latest "AHA" moment?
    - The one that stopped working the next time you went out to play?
    - And the one that really changed your game?
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2012
    #1
  2. gindyo

    gindyo Semi-Pro

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    Am I the only one having these?
     
    #2
  3. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    My first and biggest still,
    was to watch or focus on the ball all the way into contact area.

    Back in the days before I had any coaching, I would start to really improve to
    a point, then start to get worse and worse. I would eventually get fed up and
    quit for a few years before picking up the sport again. It was a pattern I began
    to notice, so when I started playing again in 92, I decided I would stick it out to
    find out what was going wrong each time. Sure enough, after 4-6 months of steady
    improvement, I began my usual slide in performance. This time I was able to
    realize that it was due to over confidence leading me look up too soon into the
    area where I was hitting to. Once I learned to stay focused on making clean
    contact, my game continued to improve for a long while pretty steadily.
     
    #3
  4. Off The Wall

    Off The Wall Semi-Pro

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    Having had no lessons, I remember the day I discovered topspin. I was hitting forehands that my Dad fed to me from a box. I was 11 or 12. After imparting it and watching the ball dip downward, I excitedly yelled, "Did you see that?!"

    My Dad was learning tennis at the same time I was. He didn't notice.

    Needless to say, I started using it regularly.
     
    #4
  5. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    This one is easy:

    Keeping my palm facing the ground when I pull back the racquet to start my serve. It naturally puts my wrist in the proper position and makes everything flow smoothly so I can focus on the toss.
     
    #5
  6. InspectorRacquet

    InspectorRacquet Semi-Pro

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    My favorite (and most recent) AHA moment was figuring out how to hit a decent kick serve that goes in most of the time. My first goal was to get a hard-to-punish serve and then find the kick serve. Both came at once for me a couple of weeks ago and it's worked ever since.

    The one that changed my game was my forehand AHA, though I have hiccups here and there. Consistent topsin plus power equals unstoppable.
     
    #6
  7. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    The realization that tennis balls are livelier on warm/hot days. Actually, I first noticed that balls felt hard (esp Dunlop balls) and did not bounce very well on cold days/nights. The air pressure in a pressurized ball is highly dependent on temperature. As the ball warms up on a cold night, the bounce improves somewhat. This ball liveliness can affect your judgement of the bounce if you are not aware of it.
     
    #7
  8. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    For me, it was when I first learned to pronate/suppinate my forearm to hit a slice backhand. The rest is history!
     
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  9. OldFedIsOld

    OldFedIsOld Professional

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    When I learned to hug the baseline and not give up territory when my opponent was treeing and also volleying balls mid-court before they even land to throw my opponent off his rhythm. I hit some unforced errors and got hit a few times, but it was one of my biggest Eureka moments for me when playing against huge 6'5" players absolutely crushing flat balls.
     
    #9
  10. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Last night I had a(an?) Eureka moment. I had gotten there early and watching juniors finish their sessions before we oldies took the courts. Then when I got on the court a little before my partner arrived, I just started hitting some serves and lo and behold, I was using the abbreviated swing like one of the juniors! It may be a short-lived euphoria, but I found my serves were harder, more accurate and better controlled than before. I think I may have finally mastered the serve just like I have mastered all the other strokes.
     
    #10
  11. syc23

    syc23 Professional

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    I've had problems developing a consistent toss since taking up the game last August. Only this week I decided to try a Roddick abreviated motion and instead of pointing my tossing arm straight up had more of an an angle like him and then realised after 30 or so attempts discovered how consistent my toss was :D

    I found the key for me was a knee bend like Roddick with a similar trophy pose seem to have solved my toss. I concentrated on the trophy pose and didn't worry about the ball toss and everything went like clock work.

    I've modified it slightly as I start my serving motion with a hybrid stance similar to Murray but then morphing into a Roddick like trophy pose. Combined with the trunk rotation plus more leg drive, I now generate more power with my serves.
     
    #11
  12. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Start with your racket face slightly open (i.e., facing upwards at a small angle) like both Roddick and Federer do (if you observe closely), and combined with your abbreviated motion, you will be up there in no time at all.

    Can't wait till tomorrow to see if my abbreviated serve Eureka sticks. Sometimes these Eureka moments coincide with all the stars being aligned, and cannot be reproduced.
     
    #12
  13. HEADfamilydynasty

    HEADfamilydynasty Rookie

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    Several.

    I've had several in the last week. every time i out of the game for winter or a break something just automatically clicks. this week it was volleys and footwork as well as touch volleys. i just started to move my feet without thinking about it let alone practicing it. my first serve suddenly turned into a topspin-slice as i was pronating correctly out of nowhere. i'm hitting short angles so easily its almost like I've practicing in my sleep. the final eureka moment of the week was hitting an inside-out forehand. i just turned my shoulders more and hit it a little late and i had an IOFH.:confused:
     
    #13
  14. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    I've had several over the last year but the most important ones:

    - stay loose and use the body to swing the arm which swings the frame whether serving or hitting groundstrokes

    - on volleys charge the ball, take it high if possible, and use you movement to drive the ball while punching/slightly slicing down behind the ball for accuracy and to keep the ball bounce low

    - most important: the mind and feet are more important than the frame and swing since without ruthless focus and efficient movement you can't hit well no matter how nice your strokes.

    - winning isn't just technique...it's technique, physique, and mind...a focused mind produces efficient technique which requires good physique and conditioning....fatigue can destroy technique...nerves can destroy technique...poor technique can drive nerves...poor technique can cause additonal fatigue...they're all related

    - find your opponent's weaknesses, fears, and things that annoy him and focus ruthlessly on them and never let him see you tired, frustrated, angry, or demoralized...he will crack.
     
    #14
  15. Djoker91

    Djoker91 Rookie

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    Well here is mine, the one that only worked for a day and never again: having the racket handle above the racket head at contact. Similar to Djokovic. I was KILLING with my forehand. After a 2 day wait, I was clearing the fence. Embarassing. The "aha" moment that has stuck with me and made be much better even today, strange enough, its putting my thumb on the first bevel while hitting the forehand. Instead of wrapping it around the handle like everyone else does, and I used to, this allows me a smooth, Federer like motion that has about 5 inches net clearance and much better control. I lost to my friend, pretty badly. Beat him 6-4 6-3, then 6-1 6-2, 2 days after because he was infuriated. Next is my other friend whom ive NEVER beat before, but if i beat him this weekend, this will be the biggest "aha" moment in my 6 year tennis career! I'll keep you updated!
     
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  16. DeShaun

    DeShaun Banned

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    I've never had a Euraka moment centered on some technical piece clicking I was ever able to carry forward. I've had plenty of days when I was laying my wrist waaay back and drilling the forehand like Federer or Del Porto; and days when I could do anything with my serve regardless of whose mannerisms (Soderling's pronounced archer's bow, Pete's massive shoulder turn, Roddick's abbreviated motion into the trophy pose) I happened to be borrowing in myriad combinations on that day. But whenever I thought some watershed moment had finally arrived with respect to the mechanics of my strokes, the leap forward seemed somehow, after a few days, to have evaporated.

    The biggest Eureka moment for me was discovering that winning over opponents whose skills were similar to mine has largely to do with simply embracing the fact that this is going to be a dog-fight and I am going to show you in so many little ways repeatedly that you will have to take this from me if you really want it.
     
    #16
  17. fasfsfgs

    fasfsfgs New User

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    Reading all those posts reminded me when I was very young. I was in one of those Tennis classes filled with kids just learning how to hit the ball. I somehow started applying some topspin in a very weird way (like a slice backwards) but it kinda worked. It was better than no topspin at all at least. Based on my weird movements the teacher said: "Next class we will learn how to do topspins!". =) It felt pretty nice.

    I don't know why but that marked me for life. haha. I was like 6 years old and now I'm 25 and I still remember that.
     
    #17
  18. HEADfamilydynasty

    HEADfamilydynasty Rookie

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    Another one.

    So the last few days i've had trouble with my OHBH. Balls were spraying and at first i didn't understand why. so what happens next is i'm hitting today and notice that theres a difference in my setup from the fall. i wasn't getting under the ball enough nor was i laying back my wrist. once these were applied, voila, my one-hander was back and better than its former glory.8)
     
    #18
  19. thug the bunny

    thug the bunny Professional

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    ^^^^My #1 AHA epiphany not only for all time, but for all sports. Once I learned the importance of ball focus in tennis, I started applying it to all other games/sports. My golf game, for example, got much better.

    My latest AHA was using the open stance for TS FH rally shots.
     
    #19
  20. TennisA

    TennisA Rookie

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    Probably my most latest "AHA" moment was when I learned to flatten out my forehand. Before, I would always do more of a windshield wiper topspin forehand, and it would always hit the tape. Finally hitting winners with my forehand again lol.
     
    #20
  21. jdubbs

    jdubbs Hall of Fame

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    my AHA moment -really bending the knees when I serve and getting a lot more power out of it.

    Also, switching to a Babolat Pure Drive all poly setup. Ton more power.
     
    #21
  22. norbac

    norbac Legend

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    When I first started hitting a 1HBH, which has turned out to be my best shot.

    When I figured out how important the wrist snap is on the serve.
     
    #22
  23. connico

    connico Rookie

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    "throwing motion" for forehand and serve

    "Fisbee action" for backhand
     
    #23
  24. Bergboy123

    Bergboy123 Semi-Pro

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    I've had lots of those moments on my forehand but they never last. I'm really waiting for that big final AHA for my FH that will allow me to get better! I've had them on serves lots though
     
    #24
  25. Tafmatch

    Tafmatch Rookie

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    After struggling for some time with my 1hbh I discovered that I had to hit it way more in front of me. From that moment on I no longer hated my backhand but I actually looked forward to hit another one!
     
    #25
  26. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

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    Me too for serve.
    I gotta try this "frisbee" thing for backhand. Assume it's 1hbh?

    Another aha for me was stepping back a few steps from the baseline to give me more time. Before I was hugging the line way too close.
     
    #26
  27. RyanRF

    RyanRF Semi-Pro

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    This^

    Cleanly hitting the ball with the sweet-spot of the racquet is the most fundamental part of generating power, depth, and spin on all of your shots. Sometimes this concept gets away from rising intermediate-advanced players (myself included) as their racquet head speeds increase.

    Next time you go out to hit try swinging at 60-75% speed while focusing on making perfect contact every time. For me the results are always surprising.
     
    #27
  28. RyanRF

    RyanRF Semi-Pro

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    Lol,

    Ironically I realized this first in golf before applying it to tennis, even though I've been playing tennis for longer.

    If you're not hitting the ball cleanly at the sweet spot, then nothing else matters... especially your swing speed.
     
    #28
  29. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    That no matter how well I've been hitting any shot, and I've been playing tennis for 25 odd years, I can lose that shot in any one set at any time if it's important enough for me to really need to try to play well.
     
    #29
  30. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    I used to think you had to do the following in order to impart topspin. I thought when you felt the ball on your racquet, you immediately changed the direction of your swing upward. You had to do it really fast, while the ball was still on your racquet, (I thought).

    Later, I found out you only had to swing from low to high. Topspin isn't tricky at all!
     
    #30
  31. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Can't think of any AhHA moments. Just a gradual build-up of knowledge, mostly through trial and error.
     
    #31
  32. kpvols

    kpvols New User

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    ive been playing for close to 2 years now with no coach and doing well in a 4.0 league. for the first 6 months of playing my backhand went from one side of my waist to the other. then i realized how to actually hit it. which still didnt do to hot because i didnt get to hit out in front of me. about a 8 months into tennis it clicked and i felt so stupid but laugh about it now.
     
    #32
  33. TennisA

    TennisA Rookie

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    Biggest aha moments for me was noticing that my FH takeback was extremely wristy/complete crap in terms of form. Year or two later I noticed my FH developed an extremely long backswing that I had to correct. Can't remember anymore off the top of my head
     
    #33
  34. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    Finally realising that all service motions are different, including my own, and if a player (for example, me) serves best with (say) a less than ideal trophy pose (with their tossing hand at around 45 degrees instead of straight up), then that is how they serve best.

    AH HA!

    so don't change an effective technique to make it 'prettier' unless you are darn sure you are also going to make it more effective.
     
    #34
  35. fasfsfgs

    fasfsfgs New User

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    This is by far what I know for sure and what I keep forgetting to apply, if that makes any sense. Keeping eye contact all the way to the contact point. When I remember this, it's unbelievable how better I can play. Sadly, I often forget this concept, especially at tough moments. When I remember, I keep telling myself out loud like a crazy person, "look at the ball, look at the ball, look at the ball". I have considered writing it on my arm, racquet, hand, etc, but never gone that far, yet. =p I just don't know what can I do to make this concept a natural thing on my game. Any suggestions are very welcome. =)
     
    #35
  36. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Another big realization for me was when I learned how important the contact
    point is and that the contact pt for all the shots needs to be in front of the
    body's plane to some varying extent...less for the 2 hander, more for the 1hand Bh...vary some on Fh....etc..

    learning to recognize and manage the out front contact points.
     
    #36
  37. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Lendl is a good model to emulate for the "frisbee" style 1hb.
     
    #37
  38. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    When you throw a Frisbee, the elbow goes bent to straight, right?
    I though you preferred the elbow more straight thru the swing?
    I do.
    Maybe it is another aspect you are addressing?
     
    #38
  39. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

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    Read somewhere that focusing on the seams of the ball helps. Whenever I just think the word "seams" I make better contact...
     
    #39
  40. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

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    Time to bring out some Lendl videos. :)
     
    #40
  41. slam001

    slam001 New User

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    I had one about 5-6 months ago. I played in the 4.5 local league and at the time using a Vcore95D which I thought was the right racket for me. I won some matches and lost some matches but I came across an opponent who I believed I should have won against. He took the first set, I won the second, and he finished me off in the third. Looking back, we definitely played the same way (explosive shots, but footwork lacking and difficulty in winning in matchplay). After I lost the match, I sat on the court by myself (it was late and everyone had left by then) for about an hour. I'm not really sure if I was thinking about anything but I was just completely frustrated with my game. All I knew was that I had to do something.

    I started looking at my game and equipment and realized my Vcore was too powerful for me (I was hitting many shots long during matches) so I switched back to my old Prince Diablo mids. I've had ok footwork, but I worked on my footwork and strokes and as a result have been able to win more matches. I contribute a lot of this improvement to playing different types of players in the league as well. As of today I'm playing the best tennis I've ever played in my life.

    Funny thing is that I was playing just last week and on the court adjacent was the same guy who beat me. It looked like he was playing another league match. I could see that he had not changed his style of play and was having difficulty beating a guy who he should easily have been able to beat. After he served, his footwork would slow down as he went to hit the ball and it was almost painful to watch as you could see how much it impaired his game. Looking back, I am glad that I lost to him so that I was able to experience that turning point. I guess losing ain't all that bad...
     
    #41
  42. HEADfamilydynasty

    HEADfamilydynasty Rookie

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    My eureka moment was when i realized i didn't need to swing my arm out of its socket on serve. a relaxed swing and full motion give just as much power, more consistency, more spin, and more accuracy.:D

    ^^^
    Losing isn't bad at all. All you do when you first start out is lose. Hell, I'm still losing half my matches.
    :lol:
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2012
    #42
  43. FrisbeeFool

    FrisbeeFool Rookie

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    When I starting bending my knees a little more on serves. It gave me a little more topspin and a little more margin for error
     
    #43
  44. FrisbeeFool

    FrisbeeFool Rookie

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    Frisbee golf or ultimate frisbee style?
     
    #44
  45. speedystef

    speedystef New User

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    Hip rotation on my serve, it changed it so much, it looks and feels like a proper serve now, need much less effort with my swing to generate the same amount of power
     
    #45
  46. CCH4TENNIS

    CCH4TENNIS New User

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    My Eureka moment came yesterday morning. For the past week or so, I was experimenting with the shape of my FH take-back from a small 'C' to a straight take-back based on the feedback I got on this forum and even wrote to Oscar Wegner on my FH issue. I even tried an "O' swing.

    Finally, I tried his 'think no back-swing' method and focused on finding the ball and guess what ? It actually works ! I was no longer bothered with the back-swing and was able to hit 300 balls within 3 ft of the baseline most of the time.
     
    #46

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