Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by slowfox, Oct 5, 2013.
At the rec level, who wins? The soft baller with good placement or the go-for-broke big hitter?
3.5 and below and I would say the soft baller with placement wins. 4.0 and above and I think who ever is better at there game style would win. 3.5 and below and I don't think there are too many who can hit relatively big shots without making lots of errors. At the top 25% of the 4.0 level and above, you begin to see players with more pace that are still consistent.
But, a 4.5 retriever can win just as much as a 4.5 smasher. It will come down to the better player in their style.
Depends on he level and what style of play you mean by big hitters. Generally the soft baller will win at lower levels (3.5 and lower), as the aggressive player will miss too often. However the big hitter will often progress to higher levels quicker, as their serve and groundstrokes tend to develop quicker.
From my experience, the most successful players at mid rec levels and above (4.0+) tend to be counterpunchers and grinders. As these are the players who hit hard enough to stay in the point, but don't lose the point by going for broke on silly shots all the time.
Trying to blast the ball for a winner early in the rally only really becomes a viable tactic around 5.0 or higher, as until this point the consistency doesn't exist when hitting with pace. At lower levels you tend to only see players blasting winners early in the rally if there is a big skill difference between the players.
In reality you want finesse and power to progress. A softballer on the ATP tour will hit with more pace than a 5.0 big hitter, and the most powerful players on tour will hit with much narrow margins from much worse positions than a recreational softballer. Players like Federer, Nadal and Djokovic can hit huge forehand winners and they can also hit thread the needle passing shots at full stretch, so both combined is clearly much better than either by itself.
I'd argue that there is no such thing as a go-for-broke player above 4.0 because players that make a habit of going for broke won't win enough at 3.5 and 4.0 to ever get bumped up to 4.5. The big-hitting, aggressive players at 4.0/4.5 will have already figured out that they need to set up their big shots and pick the right moments, give themselves some margin for error.
In higher levels, you need to be able to deal with both.
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