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. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,954
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Thanks Andre. I'm enjoying your thread. Best of luck to you also.
     
    #51
  2. Mike2228

    Mike2228 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Messages:
    312
    Location:
    860 CT
    I just created this thread today. It tells a little about me and where I am right now. It has a short video of me hitting some practice serves. I'll eventually add some footage of match play.
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=458482
     
    #52
  3. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,954
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    I wouldn't worry about it Mick. You made an honest estimate of what you think your NTRP might be and put it out there. It's pretty high, so there's going to be some skepticism. I recall challenging any USTA computer NTRP 3.0 (my league isn't USTA) to a match a while back and it stirred up some controversy ... particularly with one TT poster (NTRPolice, if I recall correctly) who was, at that time, a USTA computer rated 3.0, but who turned out to be closer to between a 3.5 - 4.0 in skill. He also turned out to be very helpful in certain threads.

    What I hope you don't feel compelled to do is to get out on your injured leg to get videos. It's really not that important that the skeptics be quieted. Let us all wonder just how good you are for a little longer ... at least until the ligament heals. :) Focus on getting vids of Mick, Jr.
     
    #53
  4. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,954
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    I'll be checking it out as soon as I finish replying to posts here. Thanks.
     
    #54
  5. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,954
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Thanks for the observations and tips beernutz. I know you're right. My laziness and lack of proper movement is a major shortcoming I have to change to get better results.

    The rope work sounds like it would be fairly difficult for me, but just what I need. :) Your post worth much more than $.02. :)
     
    #55
  6. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,954
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Ok Dimcorner. We can track each other's progress. Looking forward to any vids you can post.
     
    #56
  7. Mike2228

    Mike2228 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Messages:
    312
    Location:
    860 CT
    You can add me to the group. I'd love to attain 3.5 status sometime in the foreseeable future. If I continue playing/ practicing 4 or 5 days a week and continue getting my weight down I think I have a chance.
     
    #57
  8. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,954
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Ok then Mike. It's officially a 3.0 to 3.5 group. :) Definitely a realistic goal, imo. The more the merrier.

    But get rid of that "If". There's no trying, only doing. Trying is lying. We will do something every day, no matter what, toward our goal ... even if it's just an hour of shadow swinging, exercises, running in place, meditation, etc., etc.

    At least that's the plan. :)
     
    #58
  9. Mike2228

    Mike2228 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Messages:
    312
    Location:
    860 CT
    Very true. I WILL continue working and playing. :cool:
     
    #59
  10. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,954
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Some practice serves from yesterday. Very weak. I think it will be a few weeks before I start to feel strong again. But need to get out on the court and exercise the muscles.

    Hit today with the guys from Long Island (down here for the Sony Open in Miami). Wow, those guys (dennis10is, Pickle9 and J011yroger) can play. Very nice strokers of the ball. I imagine they compete at a pretty high level, but can't really estimate because of my relative inexperience.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKiYX3s7MAY
     
    #60
  11. corbind

    corbind Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2010
    Messages:
    1,308
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Hey Tom, nice to see some videos. Wish the camera were higher up off the ground but still we get a reasonable idea of play. Noticed some commented about your serve but I have a different philosophy.

    Your serve goes in most of the time and it works. Opponents are not teeing off on it so it's fine (particularly as you said it does not hurt your body). I like your attacking shots and that's really neat to see for a senior. Your opponent hit some short floaters where you came in and took care of them alright. Just my style and maybe conjecture but it seems drop shots on those would eliminate any chance of Mr. Speedy getting them. That guy has wheels. I'd just drop them over the net.

    If somehow he decides to burn up his energy to fly in and try to get them at best he'll flip them up to you for a smash. Worst case he lobs you and you don't expend any energy trying to get it. After 4-5 drop shots the opponent will have no energy and won't be much good for a second set. I'll continue to watch/read this thread. All in all it's nice to see your game.
     
    #61
  12. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,954
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Thanks for the helpful comments corbind. Post some vids if you can. By the way, I now have a way of getting a higher perspective (about head high) on the vids. Still not optimal height though.

    You're in Chicago, eh? The Tennis League Network is there ...
    http://chitowntennis.com/ . I met some players from Chicago during last year's TLN tourney at Crandon Park on Key Biscayne in Miami.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2013
    #62
  13. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Messages:
    1,008
    Love the aggressive mindset Tom!
     
    #63
  14. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,954
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Yeah, the problem is developing the patient mindset, anticipation, quickness, movement, fitness, preparation and consistently solid stroke technique to make it pay off. :)
     
    #64
  15. Mick3391

    Mick3391 Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Messages:
    1,161
    Location:
    WA State
    Tom, got my camera! Full race one from RadioShack, delivered today. Next play with Mick will probably be Thurs or Friday.
     
    #65
  16. arche3

    arche3 Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    Messages:
    5,389
    I think its good that your aggressive tom. You can then play more on your terms. Make them run more. Patience is fine but you only need it to decide when to go for the winner. Most players who are really good that are older seem to play first strike tennis. No grinding.
     
    #66
  17. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Messages:
    1,294
    coach arch, what qualifications do you have to give such advice?
     
    #67
  18. arche3

    arche3 Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    Messages:
    5,389
    Non. I'm not a coach. Its my opinion on the matter as a rec player. I'm probably wrong.

    Why don't you stop spamming this thread and go answer questions from your own thread you loser.
     
    #68
  19. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,284
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Aggressive is good.
    Unfortunately, you will NEVER find a 3.5 who hits as weak as that lefty opponent of yours.
    You cannot possibly lose any point that starts with his second serve.
     
    #69
  20. Mick3391

    Mick3391 Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Messages:
    1,161
    Location:
    WA State
    Comments not just on these videos, but others as well;

    It's cool that you are playing aggressive, but if you look at your shots, you hit to your opponent. It's like when someone is used to practice only, they hit to their forehand or backhand, sometimes it can be a habit.

    DO be aggressive, DO rush mid court/net, most 3.5's can't handle that even if you lose a few, but work on hitting AWAY from your opponent, it looks like you are hitting back and forth for fun, work on hitting where your opponent isn't:)
     
    #70
  21. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,954
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Fantastic Mick. Looking forward to vids. By the way, if you have any problem with mounting the camera, and have some back fence not covered by windscreen, I've found that the clear plastic bag (resealable sandwich bag size works for my camera) method works really well. You just attach it to the fence at the four corners with wire ties. A tripod is the best way to go though.

    Thanks arche. Actually, I don't, and probably never will, have the strokes or the fitness to grind even if I wanted to. So, I expect to be working a lot on various putaway and approach ground shots, as well as volleys and overheads, in the coming months.

    It's ok luvforty, one doesn't need any particular qualifications to give advice to me.

    Your comment made sense to me and is appreciated.

    :) Do I sense a flame war a brewin? Perhaps a video flame war? One can only hope.

    Probably true I guess. But I can't even beat him yet. Very close, but no cigar.

    "Possibly" can cover a rather wide range, especially with regard to my extraordinary ability to find ways of snatching defeat from the mouth of victory. But I basically agree ... if his second serve was any slower he could get penalized for a time violation while it's in flight.

    However, regarding his serve, his first serve is generally over 100 mph and often with that wicked lefty slice. He only gets between 40% and 50% of those in, but I generally don't get them back, so that means that he's more or less guaranteed to win about half his serve points.

    Thanks Mick. Yes I know what you're saying is absolutely correct. LeeD and others have mentioned it also. Way too many shots down the middle, or right back to the opponent wherever he might be.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2013
    #71
  22. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,954
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    #72
  23. Stergios

    Stergios Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2013
    Messages:
    140
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    Hi Tom,

    I'm glad you keeping it up!

    I very much admire your effort.

    By the way how many tennis balls your pocket can hold?? It seemed like a hole basket! I can't serve if having more than two in my pocket :).

    Cheers,

    Stergios
     
    #73
  24. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,954
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Thanks Stergios. Me too, you. 3 balls in each pocket, no problem. :)
     
    #74
  25. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Messages:
    4,869
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Tom,

    This is great stuff. It's really nice to see someone chronicling their stuff.

    I'm curious how your movement is doing? I read about the Crohn's you have. When it is not flaring up, how hard is it for you to run? Obviously, you aren't going to be able to run like a 20 or 30 year old, but are there any foot, knee, or hip issues? I'm asking because the advice I'm going to give is related to movement.

    I actually think a lot in your forehand and backhand stroke in general would improve automatically if you started preparing earlier. So when the ball leaves your opponent's racquet, you see the angle it comes off, and you start to move to the location where the ball is coming, and then you turn. Once you've done this, you have completed the prep.

    Your strokes are doing great. But a lot of the consistency issues you have, I think is because you don't always start your stroke from the same body position. Which is because of late or lack of preparation.

    Good stuff.
     
    #75
  26. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,954
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    When it's not flaring (flaring = inflammation and ulceration of the colon, intestines, bowel) then I just keep getting stronger and fitter and more mobile. A byproduct of the flaring is that, in addition to the constant bloody diarrhea which makes me anemic and iron deficient, eating properly (or at all) becomes very difficult. I lose weight, and most of it seems to be muscle. I get to a point where my body isn't metabolizing protein properly.

    I'm still about 25 lbs under optimum weight. Just a couple of weeks ago I still had virtually no explosive power in my legs. I would try to get after a wide shot and there just wasn't anything there. But am slowly getting stronger and more mobile these days. Played one practice set and ate a lot yesterday. I'm very thankful for these periods when I feel relatively good.

    No particular foot, knee, or hip issues that I know of.

    I believe that you just might be quite correct in your assessment. It became apparent to me as I was reviewing the latest video snippet.

    Ok.

    This makes sense to me, and I think that a main reason why my prep is late is just due to laziness, both mental and physical, and because of that laziness (whether I'm sick or healthy) I think I just might have unwittingly taught myself some very bad tennis habits. Thanks for your observations and suggestions mightyrick. Proper prior preparation prevents **** poor performance. Eh? :)

    Post some videos. (I love tennis videos. :) )
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2013
    #76
  27. corbind

    corbind Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2010
    Messages:
    1,308
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Tom, I'm diggin' your serve.
     
    #77
  28. Mike2228

    Mike2228 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Messages:
    312
    Location:
    860 CT
    #78
  29. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,954
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Ok, here's some vids of yesterday's debacle, my first match of the 2013 Spring Season league in the Tennis Fort Lauderdale affiliate of the Tennis League Network. My opponent (in green) is a 3.25 in this league. I'm a 3.0. He won this match 6-0 6-2.

    This is about as bad as I can remember ever playing. Very lethargic. I mean there's relaxed (relaxed is good I think), and then there's absurdly relaxed. To call this a lackluster match would be like saying the universe is fairly large. This match could be used as the benchmark for the complete absence of luster -- like a black hole of sorts from which nothing, not even luster (the shiniest of all ... things), could escape.

    However, perhaps interestingly, there was no time during this match that I didn't think I could win it. After dropping the first set at love, I started out 2-0 and 40-love in the second set ... and then things went downhill rather quickly for me after that point. Pretty much entirely due to my mental state I think.

    I didn't feel too good during the whole thing, and on the brink of going up 3-0 in the second set it suddenly occurred to me that we might have to play a third set. I think that subconsciously I sort of coasted after this point. It's just this sort of cavalier nonchalance stemming from an aversion to physical exertion that I need to change if I'm going to win enough matches to get to a 3.5 rating. I can't blame it on my physical situation. There's always going to be something to deal with.

    The first video is of the only winner that I hit during the entire match. A down the line backhand passing shot.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CX-K_n726kY
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HG1geejHsE8
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Jsm6mp7Xso
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_99Xv_4i9E
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6L65CS2p9o
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPBky_J0Z5A
     
    #79
  30. Mike2228

    Mike2228 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Messages:
    312
    Location:
    860 CT
    It happens Tom. Yesterday I played with a friend who is more than twice my age. He is considerably more fit than me though to be honest. We played 3 sets. He won 6-1, 6-2, 6-3. I couldn't get a a rhythm serving and my backhand which is never very good to start was worse than usual.

    Today though, I played two sets of doubles and my team won both sets. My serve was as good as ever and mu forehand was fairly strong.
     
    #80
  31. tennis ratchet

    tennis ratchet New User

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2013
    Messages:
    71
    looks like he likes the drop shot return, that can be frustrating. i saw you hit some nice shots in the clips i watched.
     
    #81
  32. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,954
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    At least you can play 3 sets Mike. I'm not sure I could right now. And good going in the doubles. Accentuate the positive.
     
    #82
  33. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,954
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    To be fair, he's actually a better player than might be evident from those clips. It was super windy during our match which I think bothered him a bit. Anyway, thanks for the kind words. You saw some shots that you would actually consider nice? :)

    But yeah, I agree that good drop shot returns can be difficult. Especially for somebody with my mobility problems.
     
    #83
  34. Mike2228

    Mike2228 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Messages:
    312
    Location:
    860 CT
    #84
  35. corbind

    corbind Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2010
    Messages:
    1,308
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Holy WindFest! Was there a tornado rolling through? The camera was shaking and things blowing in front of it. Incredible curve on serves with wind doing much of the work.

    Lotta balls just died in the wind. I despise playing in high winds. Bless you both for going out there and playing nevertheless.
     
    #85
  36. Mike2228

    Mike2228 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Messages:
    312
    Location:
    860 CT
    That curve is by design. :)

    And yea, at times the wind was quite bad but I've played through worse.
     
    #86
  37. Passion4Tennis

    Passion4Tennis Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    Messages:
    245
    #87
  38. Mike2228

    Mike2228 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Messages:
    312
    Location:
    860 CT
    Yea, and another interesting quirk is that the courts are carpeted. I've never seen that anywhere else.
     
    #88
  39. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2005
    Messages:
    3,164
    You probably already know this, but if you're getting blurring vision, you
    are risking passing out, etc.

    How is your breath during long points? Are you getting enough
    oxygen? Are you tensing up too much?
     
    #89
  40. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,954
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Thanks for the vids Mike. I enjoyed watching them. I put them in full screen mode and everything is very clear. Nice camera perspective. Excellent vids. I "liked" both at YouTube and subscribed to your channel.

    You made some nice shots, and serves. Lots of seemingly effortless power.

    Our games are similar in many ways, and particularly so in that neither of us moves enough. I think this is mostly just a mental thing. Staying mindful of the need to keep the feet moving. I know that we both can move more and better than we currently do. It's just a matter of doing it, making it a habit. What do you think?

    Keep the vids coming!
     
    #90
  41. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,954
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Thanks for the concerned comments onehandbh. I know that blurring vision is a sign that all is not well. Probably not getting enough oxygen, and tending to rush things (via some tensing) when stressed and overheated.

    Improvement in fitness level is slowly but steadily happening. It's mostly a matter of getting out and playing as much as possible. Played a 3-setter today. Legs were jelly at the end, but no blurring of vision during this match. Feel great, even though I lost the match, as I write this. Have another league match tomorrow morning.
     
    #91
  42. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,954
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    I'll assume you're talking about the vids of my first match. Thanks for the blessing. :) The ball was curving especially a lot on certain sidespin groundstrokes.

    Today was not windy and I played a bit better. Not sure if that's because the air was relatively calm or just that I got a good night's sleep.
     
    #92
  43. Sup2Dresq

    Sup2Dresq Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    Messages:
    2,032
    Location:
    South Florida
    Good luck Tom
     
    #93
  44. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,954
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Thanks Sup2Dresq. Looking forward to hitting with you and Drakulie some day. Maybe best to wait until I'm considerably stronger, as I'm guessing that you're far enough above my current level that it would be almost incomprehensibly boring for you at this time. :) But it will happen soon enough, now that the connection has been made. I'm looking forward to playing on the clay (Classic Har-Tru?) of your club's courts. Or, you can always come and sample the gritty, weathered surfaces (having not been resurfaced for about 30 years) of the four (lighted ... till 9pm) Hardy Park hardcourts.

    The guys from Long Island said that the Hardy Park courts play slower than their home Har-Tru courts. :)
     
    #94
  45. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,954
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Some videos of today's match. My opponent is a 2.5 in tennisftlauderdale.com . He won our match today. The score was 4-6 6-2 6-1. I played him twice before a few months ago, winning 6-2 6-1 and 6-1 6-4. Apparently he got a bit better and I got a bit worse. Anyway, we'll have at least one more match during this Spring 2013 Season league. If I win the next one (next Saturday), then we can play a rubber match.

    His girlfriend and dog accompanied him. I think they might have been sending out some sort of mind-disrupting subliminal signals at me. I remember wanting a cigarette after the first set. I guess that's not so unusual since I've smoked about a pack and a half a day for over 50 years, but I never bring the cigs to the tennis court and I don't remember ever wanting to smoke while playing tennis before today. Maybe I should cut down? :)

    Here's the vids, presented for your amusement, criticism ... whatever. Oh, by the way, the video perspective is a bit lower as I'm no longer using the bag on the fence method (makes it look too hazy, imo), but have returned, hopefully temporarily, to the taping it to the garbage can container method. I really must get a tripod. Also by the way, the best way to view these videos is in full screen mode with the sound fairly loud. It's like you're right there, seated by the back fence. :)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNtxHhbD2VM
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsK9A-NAlUs
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNa_8FhGBmg
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjSw_mRqLW4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-m0LUZ2IsrU
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2013
    #95
  46. corbind

    corbind Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2010
    Messages:
    1,308
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    How about three pieces of Velcro? You probably have that in a closet or junk drawer somewhere. Just wrap them around the camera and Velcro to the fence (about head height).

    [​IMG]
     
    #96
  47. Mike2228

    Mike2228 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Messages:
    312
    Location:
    860 CT
    Thanks for the vids Tom!

    And I actually quit smoking a little over a year ago. I wasn't easy to quit but it is worth the effort.
     
    #97
  48. Vilgan

    Vilgan New User

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Messages:
    25
    Hrmm, girlfriend showing up to watch probably also spurred him to play better. I know it'd have an effect on my play, typically towards the better.
     
    #98
  49. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,954
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Below are vids of the first 5 games of my match today (Sunday, April 7), a league match in the Spring 2013 Season of the tennisftlauderdale.com affiliate of the Tennis League Network.

    My opponent is 3.25, 28 yrs old. He won this match 6-2 6-1. All I've got on video is the first 5 games, after which the score was 3-2 in my opponent's favor.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qt9rDQWGCoc
     
    #99
  50. psv255

    psv255 Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Messages:
    967
    Location:
    NY
    Some nice serving, Tom. Looked like you were doing well at first, was it your energy level that sealed it?
     

Share This Page