From NTRP-based 3.0 to 3.5 by January 2014 (video diary)

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by TomT, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. trader1499

    trader1499 Rookie

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    So this means if you beat me tomorrow, you will be 3.5 too since you beat a 3.5.
     
  2. trader1499

    trader1499 Rookie

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    i will lose a bunch of matches. I sent challenges to all the 4.0 players and the 4.5 lol. Those will be losses if they play me.
     
  3. corbind

    corbind Professional

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    "He Who Lobs" sounds like a fine title for ya! I've always used the word "who" when talking about people and "that" for everything else. Unfortunately that distinction is not followed any more. Occasionally I'll say something like "the person that" as opposed to "who" but yet as soon as I hear it aloud I want to restate it. Hell, we spell words wrong all the time and it's accepted into the dictionary eventually. Note that in forums I don't care all that much as it's informal. We're here to communicate and as long as the message is conveyed easily we're fine (exception is text-speak for entire posts). Yet in formal writing I cringe...

    I get more agitated when I see stuff like....

    "I could care less" (couldn't)
    "He did a complete 360" (180)
    Incorrect usage of too, to, and two and similar

    Part of my brain wants to give 'em a brake (<see what I did there?) blaming it on people typing on a tiny phone keyboard (maybe while driving). Auto-correct screwed it up? Eh, I know better. A lot of kids spent too much time smokin' and skipping class instead of learning. It was not until my last year of grad school someone pointed out I'd been spelling "maybe" incorrectly as "mabey" (I'm not dyslexic). That being said everyone gets some slack. :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2013
  4. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    Video and stats from Oct 10 league match.
    TomT (3.0) vs trader1499 (3.5)
    Location: Florence Hardy Park, Fort Lauderdale
    Result: trader1499 won 10-3

    -----------------------TomT--------trader1499
    First Serves In----------41%------------38%
    Second Serves In-------75%------------93%
    Total Serves In---------54%------------59%
    Double Faults------------6---------------2
    Service Winners----------7---------------6
    Aces--------------------0----------------2
    Unforced Errors---------23---------------19
    Winners-----------------8---------------13

    Games 1 to 3
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_W3jpNteJKo
    Games 4 to 7
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDWCuA_qgD4
    Games 8 to 13
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHqhAeozin4
     
  5. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, you see they're and their, your and you're, then and than mixed up a lot.

    The "he did a complete 360" (instead of 180) might work for an electron. :)

    Ok, so it's He Who Lobs then. haha

    Now I just have to learn how to lob well. Not going too well so far. But I'm working on it.

    Thanks corbind.
     
  6. corbind

    corbind Professional

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    Games 4 to 7
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDWCuA_qgD4

    2:18 -- Any body parts hurt on this one? Nice work. Nice winner. :)
    4:58 -- He knows he's in trouble but needs to hit that ball up at the net then retreat. See all the wide open court to his deuce side...inviting, right? Looks like a big hole and where most people would hit. I'm gonna sound odd but I'd STILL hit that ball to his ad side.

    Why? You hit to his forehand where the hole was but it's his forehand. Most anyone can hit a FH better than a backhand when retreating. If you take his short shot and hit your BH crosscort to his BH he's moving backward and to the deuce side. If you plant a ball on his BH it's just really, really hard to do anything with it.

    Games 8 to 13
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHqhAeozin4

    0:42 -- I sure did like what you did there. It's strangely difficult to restrain from pounding the fur off of short, fluffy second serves. Yet you calmly put that one away.
    0:57 -- Watch this one again. See how fast he has to run to his BH side to get to that ball? Great placement and again concentration on winning the point by being calm.

    Observations
    • Trader does not go for huge shots rather likes to keep the ball in and, well, win
    • He's more consistent so he'll win if you both just try to keep the ball in play
    • For his level he's excellent at digging out of a hole (particularly deep BH balls) so even if you hit great shots often they'll come back
    • Seems he wasn't so pleased coming to the net so hitting angle drop shots is a great way to go
    • Knowing he will generally out-consistent you, by default you have to go for risky shots (and some days that can be ugly other times fun)
    • Lot of fun points you guys played
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2013
  7. trader1499

    trader1499 Rookie

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    Tom was catching me off guard that night. He usually hit 2 hard serves, but he was hitting a baby serve and it messed me up. Hahaha. This was a fun match.

    I actually do have the ability to hit the ball hard on both forehand and two handed backhand. It just depends on who I am playing and how the match is going. I am going to start mixing it up more now because I have to with them moving me up. Understand I started playing this game competatively not too long ago.

    There were two guys from the league crushing shots next to our court and hit with great form and all that, yet I beat both of them recently. I don't even know how I did it when i was watching them play, but I just keep fighting and somehow I get the win even when hitting the ball like a baby. Hahaha. This is not how I will always play, but I need more practice to be comfortable to swing away in a match.
     
  8. trader1499

    trader1499 Rookie

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    By the way. My serve sucked. I really need to get out and start practicing it again. It's been all matches and my percentage of first serves dropped so much. I am resting it now because it has been on fire from over useage I think.
     
  9. corbind

    corbind Professional

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    Trader, no need to apologize for your play. Most people don't realize videos make EVERYONE seem worse than they are and ball speeds on camera seem much slower than in person. That's just the way it is. Your game works well and should get you a lo of wins because you don't go for outrageous shots. You do a good job of keeping the ball in play and that is the way to play if you care to win. If winning is of little value you'd be teeing off on balls for the fun of it even knowing they're poor percentage shots. And you'd lose.

    I know guys who prefer to win/lose by crushing balls wherever possible so they win or lose on their racquet. I know guys who won't go for the pretty, powerful, chancy shots and win by keeping it in or lose by being too safe. Certainly it's a lot more fun winning the first way but much harder to actually get a win. Losing with the second method is tough to handle.

    Tom, I like how you show the stats for each match. That gives clues how it went down without even watching the video. I read the stats first (ignoring the win loss stat till the end). Then I watch the video and observe. All I know is a high unforced error rate usually equates to a loss in most cases. For me the unforced error rate (UE / winners) tells me how conservative a guy played and usually tells me which guy won.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
  10. Dimcorner

    Dimcorner Professional

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    Nice match.
    Seems like trader double kills all serves from ad court by stepping on the line AND crossing the middle. :)
     
  11. trader1499

    trader1499 Rookie

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    Are you talking about my foot faults? I know I'm not supposed to be stepping on the baseline, but is crossing the middle a rule too? I honestly don't know. I have to get in the habit of controlling my feet or just stand back farther.
     
  12. Dimcorner

    Dimcorner Professional

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    As far as I know you can not cross the center line before you strike the ball, and that line is an imaginary line that extends from net all the way to back fence thru the center.
     
  13. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    Video and stats from Oct 11 league match.
    TomT (3.0) vs Opponent (3.25)
    Location: Florence Hardy Park, Fort Lauderdale
    Result: Opponent 10-4

    -----------------------TomT--------Opponent
    First Serves In----------57%------------53%
    Second Serves In-------94%------------70%
    Total Serves In---------68%-------------61%
    Double Faults------------1----------------7
    Service Winners----------6----------------2
    Aces--------------------0----------------1
    Unforced Errors---------23---------------18
    Winners-----------------4---------------24

    Games 1 to 5
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EA6yokj_Wo4
    Games 6 to 9
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UeYa3tSadI
    Games 10 to 14
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5X7Bk6FK3rw
     
  14. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    I was just thinking about that today. Anyway, I think I'm going back to serving two hard serves, and hitting harder groundstrokes. I felt I was steadily improving for a while doing that, and then decided to hit softer stuff to improve stats and hopefully also my chances of winning, but it's screwing up my game. It's just a matter of hitting a few thousand more serves and groundstrokes. hahahaha

    If I'm going to lose anyway, then I might as well do it having fun. It's not fun for me to hit softballs, and I honestly don't think that that approach is ever going to make me a solid 3.5 player. I think it's going to have to happen by just being able to hit hard shots with good placement consistently. The other way is more focused on movement, fitness, tactics, strategy, etc. Which is all important, but I think that first I just need to concentrate on ball striking. So, hard serves and hard groundstrokes, along with the occasional lob and drop volley and shank, etc. hahaha

    By the way, I'm still going to incorporate much more lobbing, and offensive lobbing, into my game than I do now. Another thing that I need soooo much practice on.

    And then there's netplay and volleys, which I suck at probably more than any other aspect of my game. If it's even possible to imagine that.

    By the way also, I'll be getting a new music keyboard within the next couple of weeks or so. I'll be practicing on that a lot, so probably be playing less tennis. But maybe not. Don't know yet. Hopefully will be able to keep doing the vids and stats. Just doing a vid and posting it without editing is easy. If I take the time to omit all the non-playing stuff, then I might as well do the stats also, as that just takes a few minutes more.

    Maybe I'll take some time off from videoing any tennis, and then resume it when I've improved. I don't know yet. But thanks for the feedback corbind ... and everybody else who's made helpful and encouraging comments.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2013
  15. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    I think just standing off the baseline and the center line extension about a half a foot or so should do it. It shouldn't affect your serves at all. But it's probably a good idea to get some practice time in on that before your next match.

    There used to be a guy in the league, a 3.5, who did a rather lively dance shuffle on each serve. I'll try to find some video snippets of it. I'm sure there are vids of at least one of my matches with him. Goes back quite a few months though.
     
  16. trader1499

    trader1499 Rookie

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    It's my back foot that I'm foot faulting with. I always bring it past my stationary foot. I will have to see if I can bring it up to my other foot without going past it and still get the same balance and effect I'm looking for. I'd prefer to get my form better before trying to stand farther back from the baseline. I don't know when I will begin practicing my serve again though.
     
  17. Dimcorner

    Dimcorner Professional

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    you only need to move 6 inches or so. A few of my friends cross over when they serve as well, but they stand about 3 feet away from the center line.
     
  18. corbind

    corbind Professional

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    Yea Tom, I like how you used to serve both serves with pace. Not sure when you went to the softer serves. I suppose if I looked hard enough I'd be able to see if those softer serves are actually gaining you more points. Less DF and more getting pounded but I've not watched/tallied to see which is better.

    Whatever your first serve is -- it's great. The one you've used traditionally. Your second serve should be very, very much like your first but slightly higher and slower over the net. Obviously you make the call on serving two firsts, a first and a puff ball, a first and an almost first, etc.

    All I know is you will find the right balance eventually. I agree, if you're gonna lose, may as well err on the side of reckless than lose while being safe -- with serves. We both know the most consistent guy almost always wins. He only loses if he puts up too fluffy of shots and the opponent just hits winners off them.

    I'm glad you take the time to write the stats. Certainly I'm not the only one who likes it and if it adds just 10 extra min of care then cool. Take time off video editing if you like. It's WAY easier to digest the way you do it and I don't know I can easily go back to watching 4x the video with everything in it. Few will have the patience. I know the keyboard arrow keys help speed things up. I just watched a video earlier and was hitting <-- and --> a ton to rewind and advance.

    Hope your music does well. That should occupy you for a bit. Did you sell your old keyboard?
     
  19. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    Video and statistics from Oct 13 league match.

    TomT (3.0) vs Opponent (3.0)
    Location: Florence Hardy Park, Fort Lauderdale
    Result: Opponent won 10-8

    -----------------------TomT---------Opponent
    First Serves In----------65%------------60%
    Second Serves In-------90%------------83%
    Total Serves In---------71%------------67%
    Double Faults------------2---------------4
    Service Winners----------9---------------0
    Aces---------------------2---------------0
    Unforced Errors----------40--------------23
    Winners-----------------15---------------17

    Games 1 to 5
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6pC_WaZpLc
    Games 6 to 9
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYoV27LnzEU
    Games 10 to 13
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mo7tBV9mnyI
    Games 14 to 18
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLbnhodjOnQ
     
  20. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    When I'm serving both serves hard, then I practice that more, and so I'm just doing it a lot more and it gets grooved. When it's grooved (to, say, better than 60% consistency) it's effective and I have the feeling that gets me more points than I lose on double faults. Plus, it keeps my opponents constantly on guard, not just because of the pace, but because I can then slip in a slower changeup that's effective because it's unexpected. Plus, it's just a lot more fun playing that way than dinking second serves. (I would love to learn a good topspin serve, but so far it hurts my wrist when I try to do that. I think I need somebody to work with me face to face on that.)
    I like basically just serving two firsts, while varying pace and placement on both first and second serves enough to keep the opponent guessing.
    Yeah, that was happening to me, it seemed. Guys hitting too many winners (or just taking the offensive) off of fluffy serves and groundies.
    What I hope to do is to reduce the frequency of my league matches just enough so that editing the vids doesn't interfere with my keyboard time. Doing the stats doesn't take much time once the vids are edited. But editing out all the non-playing stuff takes about as long as the source video file is. So, for a, say, 2 hour video, I'm looking at ~ 2 hours of editing the snippets and making the files that will be uploaded to YouTube. About 20 minutes of compiling the stats and entering into the database for that. Then another 20 minutes or so to upload to YouTube. Then sending a copy to my opponent in the video, and posting here at TTW.
    Music has been a lifelong hobby and occasional gig. I started with keyboards back in 1998 because I wanted to make some original music. You can check out examples of it at:
    www.soundclick.com/thomastrotter
    www.youtube.com/themg49

    I'm very rusty now, having not practiced or played for the better part of a decade, and have forgotten exactly how to play most of what used to be about a 40-tune solo piano repertoire back in the early 2000's. :) But I've got the itch to do some composin' again, and that will require about a year or so of getting back up to speed on playing, practicing about 6 hours a day. Maybe it will come together in less time than that, but I don't know, as I'm older now. The goal is to make some original tunes that I like before I hit 70. I'll be 66 in a couple of months.

    To answer your question about selling my old keyboard, I've either sold or given away every keyboard that I've had. I'll be starting back with an entry level Yamaha 76-key model (YPG 235 or DGX 230). Total cost for everything (keyboard, stand, bench, sustain pedal, headphones, and AC adaptor) will be something more than $500. The headphones (Sennheiser are my favorites) will cost almost as much as the keyboard. :)

    Thanks for your interest corbind. I would still love to see some videos of your playing if you ever want to post something.
     
  21. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    Video and statistics from yesterday's (Oct 17) league match.

    TomT (3.0) vs Opponent (3.25)
    Location: Florence Hardy Park, Fort Lauderdale
    Result: Opponent won 10-2

    -----------------------TomT--------Opponent
    First Serves In----------53%------------63%
    Second Serves In-------64%------------81%
    Total Serves In---------57%------------68%
    Double Faults------------8----------------3
    Service Winners---------14----------------0
    Aces---------------------1----------------3
    Unforced Errors----------33---------------16
    Winners------------------2---------------11

    Games 1 to 5
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ijk9Z3XuptI
    Games 6 to 9
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlxtqDDs3Vo
    Games 10 to 12
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FgfO44CnqU
     
  22. Dimcorner

    Dimcorner Professional

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    I liked your idea of match stats so I borrowed it on my post for my league match vid. :)

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=480459

    I think at times you serve and just watch the ball land in and wait too long to get ready for the next shot. You should be able to get more points if you get ready right after the serve.
     
  23. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    I checked out the videos and replied to your thread Dimcorner. Nice work. I'm going to try that camera perspective.

    Yes, I hit many shots that I just stand and watch. :) I agree that moving right after I serve is necessary, but tell that to my feet. :) Anyway, it's one of many things that I have to work on improving.

    That looked like a pretty competitive match in your vids. The numbers seem to bear that out. What was the score?
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2013
  24. Dimcorner

    Dimcorner Professional

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    I won 6-1 6-1 :)
     
  25. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    I think just focusing on hitting harder may potentially just groove more
    current stroke technique and footwork problems.

    Focusing on footwork will actually enable you to hit harder more often
    and with more consistency b/c you'll be in better position more often to
    take a good swing at the ball.

    IMO, anticipation and footwork are two of the most important things to
    learn in tennis. Everyone wants to focus on the the stroke but you can't
    hit your stroke properly if you're out of position.

    Most 4.5s and up can probably beat a 3.0 even if they play with their
    opposite hand. Why? b/c their anticipation and footwork are far
    superior. I played a 3.0 - 3.5 guy a few years ago with my left hand
    and won 6-0 pretty easily. I do have years of using my
    left hand from basketball, though. (but I never play lefty for tennis)
     
  26. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, good point onehandbh. There's no getting around it I guess. The footwork and prep comes before the stroke. :)

    Thanks for the reminder.
     
  27. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    Oh ok, well done. There were some nice points. I think you might breadstick me as well. Maybe I'd be competitive if I was having an unusually good day. Anyway, you're definitely better than my experience (limited as it is) of 3.0 players. Exactly what your rating would be depends entirely on results of course. Thanks Dimcorner. Keep posting vids. :)
     
  28. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    Stats and vid from Oct 24 league match:

    TomT (3.0) vs Opponent (3.5)
    Location: Florence Hardy Park, Fort Lauderdale
    Result: Opponent won 10-4

    ----------------------TomT-------Opponent
    First Serves In---------65%------------43%
    Second Serves In--------27%------------80%
    Total Serves In---------55%------------56%
    Double Faults-----------11--------------4
    Service Winners---------11--------------0
    Aces---------------------1--------------0
    Unforced Errors---------22-------------12
    Winners------------------3-------------13

    Games 1 to 3
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IoAa-AGUeaw
    Games 4 to 7
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUbvz6CfOXU
    Games 8 to 11
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLSDUY1QwYY
    Games 12 to 14
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLSdbXn38_I
     
  29. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    Stats and vid from Oct 25 league match:

    TomT (3.0) vs Opponent (4.0)
    Location: Florence Hardy Park, Fort Lauderdale
    Result: Opponent won 10-2


    -----------------------TomT---------Opponent
    First Serves In---------62%------------72%
    Second Serves In--------54%-----------100%
    Total Serves In---------60%------------78%
    Double Faults------------6--------------0
    Service Winners----------9-------------11
    Aces---------------------0--------------3
    Unforced Errors----------9-------------10
    Winners------------------3-------------15


    Games 1 to 3
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWQWW1VV3GY
    Games 4 to 7
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1ZXVlLS4gs
    Games 8 to 12
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7fEQO3p5Kw
     
  30. corbind

    corbind Professional

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    Did you change your service motion in some way for the Oct 24 & 25 matches? Something is different. Doesn't seem as smooth as usual. Maybe it's just me.

    On the second serve it seems your right foot is arriving too early so it seems your body is then late or jerky to catch up? I can't identify it but something is not quite right. Then again I serve from a platform stance stance so my right foot never crosses in front of my left. You're doing pinpoint stance so it's customary for the right to cross in front of the left for easier rotation.

    Can you watch your serve (both first and second) in those two videos and then look back at a video from a month ago and see if you see any differences? Likely you'd be able to figure them out best. Now I'm really curious....
     
  31. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    I don't know for sure. Been busy and haven't had a chance to look at it closely. Could be that tossing a bit higher and/or more out into the court and away from me produces some changes.
    Again, not sure. It doesn't seem to be too much different than how I was serving a year ago, but I'll have a look when I get a chance and see if I notice anything.
    Ok. Now you've got me curious too. I remember in the match of the 25th talking to my opponent about a couple of serves where everything seemed to come together in a more or less optimal, for me anyway, serving motion. It's almost a feeling of effortlessness. The toss is far enough into the court that when I make contact I'm leaning far enough that I pretty much have to take a step to keep from falling over, and the toss is high enough that the point of contact is high enough for a steep enough angled ball trajectory from the point of racquet contact to the point of court contact. The other two main variable factors that I experiment with are when in the swing I do the max effort, and how low or high my hand is on the racquet handle. The grip is pretty much the same all the time as far as I can tell ... some sort of slight variation on an eastern forehand grip.

    Gotta go now. I'll get back to ya. More vids and stats on the way. :)
     
  32. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    Stats and video from Oct 26 league match:

    TomT (3.0) vs Opponent (3.0)
    Location: Florence Hardy Park, Fort Lauderdale
    Result: Opponent won 10-4

    ------------------------TomT--------Opponent
    First Serves In---------46%------------46%
    Second Serves In--------65%-----------100%
    Total Serves In---------53%------------65%
    Double Faults------------9--------------0
    Service Winners---------11--------------4
    Aces---------------------1--------------2
    Unforced Errors---------16-------------19
    Winners------------------8-------------17


    Games 1 to 3
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dHMj2uknF0
    Games 4 to 7
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFqCQIaL1Uw
    Games 8 to 11
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7zMte0ZFos
    Games 12 to 14
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3s9WaepNB8c
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2013
  33. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    @ corbind,
    Check out the last vid in post #782 (Games 12 to 14) from the Oct 26 league match. At 1:00 to 1:27 I do what you suggested, hitting repeatedly to that magic area at my opponents backhand. An 11 stroke rally which resulted in him making an error.
     
  34. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    Without watching the videos, I can guess this is why you lost. Am I correct?
     
  35. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    If you guess it's because of DFs and UEs (more importantly perhaps, UEs to winners ratio), plus bad serving (hmmm, that pretty much covers everything, I think), then I think you would be correct. I went up 3-0 in this match, and in those first 3 games I had 1 UE, 1 DF, 4 service winners, 1 ace and 3 winners. It was pretty much downhill from there. hahaha :) This is the basic pattern of most of my matches, and from that pattern I think it can be assumed that lack of optimum conditioning and fitness are the main reasons for my poorest playing, and that improvement is primarily a matter of getting on the court each day and hitting as many balls as I can. At least that's the current 'plan'. :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2013
  36. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    Stats and vids from Oct 28 league match.
    A couple of good points that I won are from 0:39 to 0:55 in the Games 4 to 7 video, and from 4:52 to 5:07 in the Games 8 to 13 video. There were a few others, including the first point of the match, but I liked those the best. Mostly I just made a ton of errors as usual, but on a positive note, the second serve % is much improved, and in this match I hit pretty much out (ie., hard) on both first and second serves, so total serves in % was 61% which isn't too bad. Need to come up to at least 75% though.

    TomT (3.0) vs Opponent (3.5)
    Location: Florence Hardy Park, Fort Lauderdale
    Result: Opponent won 10-3

    ----------------------TomT---------Opponent
    First Serves In---------44%------------64%
    Second Serves In--------91%------------92%
    Total Serves In---------61%------------71%
    Double Faults------------2--------------1
    Service Winners----------8--------------2
    Aces---------------------2--------------5
    Unforced Errors---------26-------------10
    Winners------------------5-------------14


    Games 1 to 3
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQHoGaUD4is
    Games 4 to 7
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sOZQteZHeQ
    Games 8 to 13
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsLJOD56imY
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013
  37. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    Stats and vids from Nov 9 practice match.
    My first match since the tourney at Crandon Park. I'll post a vid of some points from that tournament soon. Lost all four of my matches in the rounds before last Sunday's playoffs.

    Anyway, in yesterday's practice match (an 8-game pro set) I decided to hit all serves with more or less my basic service motion (as opposed to just tapping them in), but not to hit out as I had been doing for a while. It paid off with 79% first serves in and no double faults. Also, the unforced errors to winners was much better. As a result, I finally won a match (even though it was just a practice match), and broke my rather long string of losses.

    Sunday I'm probably going to play at least one league match, maybe two, against higher rated opponent(s).
    ------------------------

    Nov 9, 2013
    TomT (3.0) vs Opponent (3.0)
    Location: Florence Hardy Park, Fort Lauderdale
    Result: TomT won 8-7

    ----------------------TomT---------Opponent
    First Serves In--------79%------------56%
    Second Serves In------100%------------79%
    Total Serves In--------82%------------63%
    Double Faults-----------0--------------5
    Service Winners---------7--------------6
    Aces--------------------0--------------2
    Unforced Errors--------21-------------21
    Winners----------------18-------------16

    Games 1 to 5
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECzLPcRg4Nc
    Games 6 to 10
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuyesNTCgZU
    Games 11 to 15
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7cR9fEEieE
     
  38. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    Both of my prospective opponents cancelled today. That makes approximately 12 cancellations for this season for various reasons, mostly rain.

    I have a question for anybody. How does one send a private message to somebody? I don't see any resource for that at TTW. People can send me private messages via links provided in my profile, as I haven't hidden my identity. But, I don't see how one might send a private message (that is, a message that will not appear as a post in any thread) to an anonymous TTW member who doesn't provide a publicly available email address in their profile. Some forums provide this capability. Apparently TTW doesn't. Is that correct?
     
  39. corbind

    corbind Professional

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    Been 5 days...you been rained out again?
     
  40. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    Been sick. Crohns's inflammation intensified. Gonna try to hit against the wall tomorrow.
     
  41. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    Some points from each of my four matches at
    the Tennis League Network 2013 End Of Year Tournament
    (Nov 1 to Nov 3) at Crandon Park Tennis Center on Key
    Biscayne in Miami. (Note the aerial geese attack
    at 3:24 to 3:35)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Xz9_LA5Uu8

    Some pictures from the tournament:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWK2eykq710

    Division Champions for 2013 (with current rating and city)
    Elite - Eli Panell (4.5 Miami)
    Advanced - Vipul Chawla (4.25 Washington, D.C.)
    Competitive - Ivan Loukovnikov (3.75 Boston)
    Skilled - Gabriel Muse (3.5 Boston)
     
  42. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    On Sunday, played first league match since most recent Crohn's flare. Lost 8-1 (8-game pro set), but felt ok. The gut seems to be healing following infliximab infusion on Friday. League matches scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday.
     
  43. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    TomT, are you using LESS shoulder turn on the takeback of your serves?
    Something is different from last year. Your motion seems more compact, and quicker.
     
  44. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    I don't know. I'm always trying so many little tweaks here and there that I can't keep track. I do know that it isn't grooved at the moment. So, in my most recent match I just hit slow ones in the hope of just getting into the point. I could almost see my opponent's mouth watering. He was so anxious to hit winners off the nice easy serves I was giving him that I think he missed more than he made. hahaha

    Anyway, assuming you're referring to the serves in the tourney vid I posted, is the "more compact, and quicker" change you notice for better or worse in your opinion?
     
  45. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    First match coming back from a week dealing with a Crohn's flare.
    But I can't really blame that for my predictably poor play. Just need
    to hit a few thousand more of every type of shot. hahaha

    Nov 17, 2013
    TomT (3.0) vs Opponent (4.0)
    Location: Florence Hardy Park, Fort Lauderdale
    Result: Opponent won 8-1

    ------------------------TomT---------Opponent
    First Serves In---------67%------------58%
    Second Serves In--------86%------------82%
    Total Serves In---------72%------------65%
    Double Faults------------2--------------2
    Service Winners----------0--------------3
    Aces---------------------0--------------0
    Unforced Errors---------22-------------17
    Winners------------------7-------------15

    Games 1 to 5
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZmeY5N-vZQ
    Games 6 to 9
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCZK-52gp74
     
  46. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    Tuesday match cancelled. Opponent had to pick up his wife at airport. Wednesday was rained out. Scheduled to play best of two sets league match tonight. Unfortunately it's not looking too promising outside. Somewhat dark with clouds (it's 4:48pm now), and is actually drizzling very very slightly at the moment. Maybe we'll be lucky and it will move on and be dry enough for us to play at 7pm. If so, then vids and stats will follow of course.

    UPDATE: Well, it's now raining cats and dogs, buckets, whatever. No way it will dry out before lights out at the courts tonight. So, my opponent and I agreed to cancellation.

    Next scheduled match is for 9:30am tomorrow morning against a 3.5 guy who I've never beaten. By the way, he ran in the recent NYC Marathon.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2013
  47. corbind

    corbind Professional

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    Before watching your videos I always look at the stats (they're cool) and as I read along I was like, hmmm, kinda even. That is until we get to UE to Winner ratio (UE/W). You're at about 3 UE for each winner and he's about even. That is the only stat that stands out. If you did not include UE or Winners I would have a very hard time guessing who won since it's so even.

    I ponder what's driving that ratio to typically be higher than your opponent. Certainly if you're a 3.0 and you play any players higher (3.25, 3.5) then your UE/Winner ratio will go up because in that scenario you'll be playing more consistent players and you'll try to go for more than you can produce. I get it! I think most people you play are not 3.0 so we can assign a certain amount of that to playing better players.

    Since we can't really change an oppoent, let's focus on some general things that may or may not apply to that ratio.

    1. You've gone for "more" than you can reliably keep in the court (error by aggression)
    2. Not waiting for a good ball to go offensive but trying for a winner off a neutral rally ball (pump the patience)
    3. Mentally just zoning out (like when you're driving and realize you were not watching the road and realize you're a mile farther than you last remembered)
    4. Just wanting that point to be over and going for broke due to physical exhaustion (long rally)
    5. Trying to hit a normal rally ball to a safe zone but simply missing due to skill consistency
    6. Distraction from another court
    7. Delay in recognizing where to go as ball leaves opponent's racquet
    8. Setting up feet in sub-optimal place

    Eh, my list is not all that great but I'm gonna tell you that EVERYONE does these during every match. Just last night I was in the third set 4-4 and I was hoping they would not hit to me. I was tired, mentally not there, and just wanted it to be over and that almost never happens. Still I screwed up the last two shots of the set to lose it. Although I was fully stretched out they were pretty easy. Grrrrrr.

    Anyway, we know how winning works -- make less errors than the guy on the other side of the net. Simple right? Guy with more patience to hit the center mass wins. That is provided both players are of equal skill but one chooses to play safe. But that kind of tennis does NOT appeal to a great many rec players who'd rather go for broke or try that tenth DTL winner only to have made 1 of 10 but remembers that "great" much to the detriment of having lost a few games for that one nice shot. See it every day.

    Oh, in case you wonder, I screw up EVERY TIME I PLAY. Let me say that a little louder: I SUCK every time I play. UE? You betcha. Easy putaways into the net? Dammit. Getting scared when I'm down in the set and I'm serving a second serve at 5-40? Hard to admit...but affirmative. So remember I'm just a rec player, too. I may play at a different level, but to a degree I fail in everything I've mentioned in this post.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2013
  48. corbind

    corbind Professional

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    Footwork is so important in tennis. A guy can have great strokes when stationary and a ball machine is shooting right to him but does terrible when he has to run, set feet, then swing. So when I see an opponent running to get to a shot that's my cue to punish him by closing in to the net. Yea, I know my game is different than the vast majority of (baseline) players but I'd like to think I'd still pressure opponents after my good shots.

    Take a look at these:

    3:18 -- this guy just returned your serve from OUTSIDE the doubles line. You hit a glorious shot in the corner and that big man had to run 7 miles to get there. I really though he was gonna fall as he began to swing as he was hauling... As SOON as you hit that shot and realize it is going in move up at least to the service line. You know the guy is gonna hit a terrible shot running that fast and far. Run to the service line near the T center court. Likely he's gonna hit a lob and cross court...and did. He hit it right to where I said I'd set up. Had you been there you'd hit a short ball now to the other side of the court. If he runs for it GOOD! Wear him out. If not he's still demoralized for expending a ridiculous amount of energy getting that ball back. Nevertheless he did a great job getting the ball back.

    4:28 -- After you hit this ball you're smart to stay on the ad side but the mistake is you're still behind the baseline. You hit CC short about to the service line. Hitting that short opens up his options to go DTL or wide back toward you. He chose CC (easier shot) and hit it short will you were still by the baseline. More important is your return made him run. Watch the video. When you see a guy's legs pumping fast to get to a ball you are in control. As soon as you see him running like mad you should move in maybe 6-10 my guess. That minimizes his wide angle CC but would put you in bad shape if he goes DTL. Yet that DLT shot is not as likely cuz it's harder.

    5:35 -- You hit a nice serve. Notice you hit the magic spot (deep BH corner)? As such move in at least 6' on that one. He's on the defensive and just trying to get it back. If you identify early it's gonna hit the corner and move in 10' you can take that lob out of the air and drop it to the deuce side. Again, lot of ifs there. If you're a baseline player moving in on that may not be appealing. Further that guy hit a very nice return to put you on defense as he hit your BH corner and pushed you back. So not you're behind the baseline and he's got a short ball and chipped it for a winner.

    -------------------------------

    All in all, he's a 4.0 and you're a 3.0. I'd expect him to win every game but you got one so I'd say you did good. Not sure the format but you guys always play first to 8 or 10 games to win? I'm certain if you played 3 sets you could squeak out more games due to exhaustion. Making any guy run a lot (double for a big man) takes away his will to go for balls later in the match due to sheer muscle exhaustion. You know, drops shot then lob?Sadly last night I fell victim to that strategy turned on me and can hardly move today.
     
  49. corbind

    corbind Professional

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    0:25 -- hmmm, not recover to middle of court at all (any idea why?)
    0:34 -- had he mad that shot lob it
    0:47 -- not a good enough ball to come in on
    1:27 -- perfect recovery (getting to the right place)
    1:43 -- move in
    2:13 -- Opponent made me laugh
    2:38 -- You made me laugh and him too cuz you hit CC to the deep corner (winner) instead of any shot DTL. Sometimes things just work out! I'm still laughing at his reaction.
    3:15 -- Love your shot selection. You chipped it to keep it low and almost made it
    4:27 -- made him change directions and run (I always like that)
     
  50. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    My UE/Winner ratio is consitently bad against all my opponents I think. :) The last one was especially bad I think because I was feeling worse than usual (though still better than during the recent flare.)
    Yeah, I've been mentally and physically tired for most of the season I think. I'm just routinely missing shots that I should be routinely making. Part of it is lack of skill, and part of it is physical and mental fatigue. I played a bit better in the recent tournament against rated 3.0 and 3.25 guys than I did against the 4.0 guy I think. The 4.0 guy, by the way, hasn't been playing very much or very well lately. I would say he's about 3.5 now, if that.
    I would love to be a successful pusher. I'm just not capable of it. I'm not missing shots because I'm going for too much. The vast majority of shots I miss are just routine shots to stay in the rally. Or routine volleys. That is, they should be routine shots, but I'm missing them. Bad anticipation, bad recovery, bad footwork, bad prep in general, etc. Just lazy, loose, nonchalant playing. Half the time I don't even look at the ball. It's a wonder, really, that I hit any decent shots at all. Including serves.
     

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