fast track to 4.5

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by luvforty, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    say you get a joe six pack, average build, athleticism everything, in late 20s, guy is now a 3.0, and wants to get to 4.5 in the shortest time possible.... how would you do it?

    I have an idea - I'd let him only use the continental grip, and work on serves, volleys, baseline chip shots.... and his strategy will be S&V, or delayed S&V on serves, and chip-n-charge on return games?

    is this idea crazy or not?
     
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  2. Ducker

    Ducker Rookie

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    well its a bit crazy. no matter what you gotta put in the practice time. it comes down to hrs of practice

    But i guess yes. serve and volley would be the way to go.
     
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  3. Headshotterer

    Headshotterer Professional

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    Don't underestimate footwork. The better mover you are, the better you can hit offensive shots and keep up in the higher levels.
     
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  4. Tmano

    Tmano Professional

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    If you can a good tennis instructor, then perseverance, practice but that kind that aims to build your strokes and serve and foot work, endurance, stamina, wiling to get to every single ball to push your self over the limit. Mentality because you may think it's not that hard to get to a low 4.0 but to get to a solid 4.5 it's a whole different story....
     
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  5. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    Get him good coaching, and strokes that produce a lot of TS, height, and depth. Then get him hitting against hard hitters so he can maintain good depth and placement against good players.

    Have him practice attacking and putting away mid court and short balls. Basically building a tough counter puncher.

    Do this 2 hours per day, 5 days per week.
     
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  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    There IS no fast track.
    And some players can learn to play net, while other's never ever come close.
    Just gotta hit a ton of balls against a boat load of different good players. No short cuts, no fast track.
    How much time you put in affects how good you get how quick.
    And a sports competitive background helps tons.
     
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  7. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    Agree with this. That's why I was forcing my imaginary player in post to practice 10 hours per week to get in the practice time.

    Although, I do think it would take less time to become a defensive counter punching 4.5, (especially for fast people) than an attacking all court player.
     
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  8. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    The fastest way is to get a good coach, develop a solid foundation of proper strokes and grips, and hit a lot of balls. Most real people find this difficult due some combination of time and money, but that's the fastest way.

    Beyond that I don't think there are any gimmicks. A 4.5 is a very solid player. They can hit hard, with spin, direction and pace, can hit every shot at least passably and most shots pretty well. You can teach yourself, you can not play every day, but then it will take longer.
     
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  9. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    There is no fast tracking but a big serve can hide a lot of other weaknesses at the 4.5 level.
     
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  10. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    Lee: good stuff. Lotsa balls against lotsa different players.
     
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  11. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    This is true at any level. Can you say Goran?
     
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  12. babolat king

    babolat king Rookie

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    Goran's weakness was his mind. He was the most talented tennis players ever. Along with Rios, there are many that believe these two players underachieved with the talent that was at their disposal.
     
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  13. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Good point.
     
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  14. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Basically, you have to apply a 3-4 year full time with coaching program to make lower level 4.5's. That's starting with better than average athletic and genes, NO injuries, and no outside pressures.
     
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  15. Vertiz

    Vertiz Rookie

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    The "fast track" is countless hours practicing on the court. working out in the gym, and playing as much competitive tennis as you can. A good coach is almost essential as well. Note, a bad coach will not help you much, and may hurt you in the long run. In my opinion you should not teach/force him to play a certain way that is effective against lower level players, only to plateau at 4.5. Let him work hard, develop his own identity, and then see if he can maximize his potential. Why stop at 4.5 when he can go to 5? :) Wish him the best of luck.
     
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  16. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    There is no fast track. You can get to 4.0 in a short time based on athleticism and strokes, but it's a big jump to 4.5. You aren't going to win matches at 4.5 on strokes alone, you have to know how to play a match. Everyone at 4.5 is capable of hitting a decent ball and players tend to be well rounded enough that there aren't glaring weaknesses to exploit. You're up against some pretty savvy players incl. teaching pros, former college and high school players who have 10-20+ years of match experience. There's nothing you can throw at them they haven't seen before.
     
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  17. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

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    Why do adults have a more difficult time learning than our youngster counterparts? What was that thread a while back about these kids laughing at 5.0s?

    Anyway, being an adult player myself, I often wonder why I can't just "play" like these high school kids (who smoke everyone at the park).
     
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  18. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I think if an adult did not have to work, placate a S/O, and nvagate his own way thru life, adults would learn tennis as fast as any kid.
    School is not that hard, I'm sorry to say. Some people make it harder than other's, but you gotta consider your overall goal. If getting straight A's is necessary, then your priority is there, and not in tennis.
    As a 3rd year player, at age 27, my practice partners were No1's and 2's of MissionHIgh, CityCollege of SF, and the top local juniors around SanFrancisco.
    They considered me good enough to set regular practice dates with, and most became my doubles partners for at least a few tourneys.
    A couple went on to WIN pro WTA tourneys, while they were still my regular monthly practice partners.
     
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  19. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    good feedback everyone.... however it sorta got off target..

    hard work is a given.. i said fast track, not instant track.

    my real question is, with conti grip alone, is 4.5 achievable faster than otherwise (you had to learn sw fh and 2hbh).

    and i said 4.5 because that's about as far as you can go.... i know some conti only players, and i can say their upper limit is 4.5
     
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  20. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Conti grip works only if you have superior quickness and speed, since your topspin strokes aren't as powerful, and your passing shots don't dip as much, or spin enough to bother another volleyer.
    McEnroe can beat most top level 5.5's, using his conti grip. He's like 52 years old. Given a 22 year old body, he'd be even better.
    But since the grass is always greener.....la la, if you chose only conti grip, you'd be doubting yourself constantly, because every other good player uses specific grips to hit each shot.
    It would be tough to counter hard topspin high hopping shots with only a conti grip, since a slice is slower than a topspin ball, it creates less angle, and you only have a slice off that high bouncing ball.
    You can try, but your groundies will lack pace with consistency.
    And volley skills are not for every player. You need a hit and forget attitude, believing your net game will prevail in the end.
    It is NOT the current winning tennis philosophy.
     
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  21. babolat king

    babolat king Rookie

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    I doubt McEnroe would even struggle against top level 5.5 players.

    The first step for a lower player moving up is fitness and consistency. Ive seen first hand on the high school and college level, the kid with ugly strokes and pushes but extremely fit beat kids with better strokes and more training.
    Consistency is really the only difference between usta levels. There are 3.0's that can rip the cover off the ball but 1 in 20 wont win you a lot of matches.

    I think if you can get both of these factors better, you will improve dramatically.
     
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  22. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    hence the idea of conti only....

    if you teach a guy conti serve, then 2 other grips for the fh and bh, but without volleys, he will never get to 4.5
     
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  23. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

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    Sounds like a bad idea. What do you do on return games? Chip and charge every point?
     
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  24. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    block the first serve, come in if you get penetration... otherwise slice from baseline until you get chance in.

    2nd serve, chip charge.
     
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  25. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Serve and volley / chip and charge isn't a viable game on every point. Even low 4.0 players have decent lobs or passing shots, especially if you get someone who can moon ball well.

    I don't viably see why someone would want to get to 4.5 as fast as they can, but not have the game to get better. Obviously there are some top notch 5.0+ players who serve and volley, but most of the time they do have a solid ground game to back up their net rushing tactics.

    -Fuji
     
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  26. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    I don't get the OP's original idea except for the fact that he thinks people spend too much time thinking about the fh.

    Still, it seems to me that developing an all around game might be the best strategy for a fleet footed player to advance quickly. That doesn't require not learning grip changes on baseline shots. I don't think learning baseline shots with grip changes will slow down the player's advancement.
     
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  27. ATP100

    ATP100 Professional

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    No matter what ideas you use, you have to play a lot of matches.
     
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  28. babolat king

    babolat king Rookie

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    ^^^Yes^^^^
     
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  29. HSCoach

    HSCoach New User

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    On crazy side to me for avg guy, avg athleticism, because the strategy you suggest requires high athleticism.
     
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  30. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    assuming he doesn't already have racquet skills from other sports (squash and such) i think he should focus on:
    - Being a good pusher: running down every shot and playing high %, low risk shots. (model after Ferrer).
    - Do return of serve drills. Lots of them.
    - Having a consistent good serve. Doesn't have to be the fastest or highest kicking, just very consistent and fast enough to start rallies at neutral or better.

    It won't be pretty, but it will be effective in matchplay. If the guy has a squash background, you can get fancier and will want more net play and drop shots given he'll already have great hand-eye coordination, good movement when at net and should have pretty mean slices/volleys as well.
     
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  31. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    I think your approach of building a conti-gripping super attacker for this type of player is the exact opposite of what you should do.

    To me, and attacking super player with all conti grips would only make sense if the guy is tall, has outstanding hand/eye coordination and is an above average athlete. S&V requires explosive quickness and outstanding reflexes. The guy you described has none of these attributes.

    Just teach the guy to play good solid well rounded tennis so he can enjoy the game.
     
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  32. GrandSlam45

    GrandSlam45 Rookie

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    In this discussion, there hasn't been a lot of emphasis on return of serve, which is huge. 4.5 players usually have big serves, difficult kickers, and can serve lots of aces. To be a strong 4.5, you have to return well... not just block the shot back, but return with pace and put the other player on the defensive.

    Otherwise you'll have a very difficult time breaking serves, and therefore, winning matches.
     
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  33. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

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    How does someone practice return of serves? Most people I know have crap serves. Asking them to serve a bucket at me is a waste as they will fault most of them or just dink 'em in. I guess I can pay a coach to serve at me, but are they willing to do that for an hour??
     
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  34. Vertiz

    Vertiz Rookie

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    ^ In response to this. If you find a good coach, you can ask him/her to do whatever you want and he/she will do that for you. You're paying your coach to improve your game. If your return needs improvement, they will improve it. That may or may not mean returning 100 serves a day. In regards to knowing a lot of bad servers, all I can say is get to know people with better serves. This is more of a social problem than a tennis problem...haha.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013
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  35. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    Ask those same people to serve at you from their own service line. Makes it easier for them to get in the box, it's easier on their shoulder, and to you the returner it simulates returning a much bigger serve.
     
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  36. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    This is also a great way to practice returning kick serves since the ball will jump even higher.
     
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  37. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Theoretically, it could work. However, probably not the best path for most players. For people who can develop big serves, solid volleys, and the ability to take the ball on the rise, it could work pretty well. This would require a live arm, excellent hand-eye coordination, and quick feet (not necessarily fast running or being an overall top athlete). Most people would do better with a more all-around game.

    Incidentally, you can hit the ball harder with a Continental grip than a Western or Semi-Western grip because you have more freedom of motion for the swing. Hitting it consitently with topspin is a different matter.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013
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  38. dennis10is

    dennis10is Banned

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    No, let him sit down with a ton of chips, 1000 lb of bacon, 2000 gallons of beer, have him read the tennis tips and instruction thread from the beginning. That should be enough.

    Another method is for him to post as many posts as he can, the more you posts, the better you think you are. That's a fact.
     
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  39. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    As far as posting on this forum goes remember:

    You've got two ears and only one mouth -
    but you have 10 fingers.
     
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