go-to pattern of play

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by pushing_wins, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. pushing_wins

    pushing_wins Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 12, 2006
    Messages:
    2,802
    cc fh, short ball, inside out fh winner

    could sticking to a simple pattern like that add .5 ntrp to your game?
     
    #1
  2. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,234
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Yes, if you get that short center ball from your opponent, and you can execute that shot every time.
    Playing your peers, you seldom get that short ball you can run around, and in reality, you will miss as many as you make, of that inside out winner attempt.
    Against someone bad, you can look half a level better than your are.
    Against someone good, you often look worse than you really are.
     
    #2
  3. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Messages:
    6,436
    the key in bold. at the lower level excution is much more important than tactics and deception.
     
    #3
  4. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,444
    IMO if you can highly improve just the ability to recognize, execute well and consistently
    on the attackable ball, you can likely improve close to a full ntrp.

    Most players rally ability far exceeds their ability to capitalize on the good looks
    they earn.
     
    #4
  5. aceroberts13

    aceroberts13 Professional

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Messages:
    1,029
    Location:
    100 Miles Away; Ready to Strike
    What's the best advice you can think of for closing that gap?
     
    #5
  6. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,444
    For starters,

    More practice and focus on learning to recognize what is an attackable short ball..
    ...for the individual player and their skills.
    Most don't have any thoughts on this topic and have hardly approached it from
    this perspective.
    Most seem to think any short ball is attackable, which they are not. Some short balls
    are actually very effective attacks or winners themselves, much less could they
    be attackable in reply.

    Figure how you will attack different attackable mid court or short balls.
    Regular practice at the attacks you expect to execute on the various attackable
    balls.
     
    #6
  7. aceroberts13

    aceroberts13 Professional

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Messages:
    1,029
    Location:
    100 Miles Away; Ready to Strike
    Good stuff. I started a thread about this hoping to get more. I think a big mistake a lot of beginners or lower level players (myself included) make is failing to recognize how "dirty" a lot of points are in a match. There aren't nearly as many baseline rallies and such in a match that you think there are. Court positioning, movement, anticipation, racquet prep, and a thousand other things are so immensely important in points and you hardly ever think about that stuff when you are just practicing or having a friendly rally.
     
    #7
  8. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Messages:
    6,436
    yes. many errors happen because players try to attack balls that they should not have attacked with their skill level.

    this is similar to hitting a baseball. you don't want to miss that ball over the plate but you don't want to expand your zone either.
     
    #8
  9. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,444
    good analogy imo.
     
    #9
  10. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,444
    Thanks,
    I look at the game as 3 main levels, but is mostly played in just 2.
    1st is rally and 2ond serve...................................basic ball in play type stuff
    2ond is attackable mid court balls and first serves....attacking and forcing
    3rd is volleys, overheads and big first serves...........finishing

    sure, all volleys are not put aways, but maybe the general idea is there

    Mostly played in the first 2 areas with lots of rallying and some attacking, but
    not to much true finishing skills at net or really big serves, and there is no
    shame in this...just how it shakes out.
    Too many attempts to finish in the first 2 areas where you should rally or
    attack/pressure imo.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2012
    #10
  11. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    Messages:
    7,160
    The only thing you completely determine in a match is your serve. Any go-to pattern of play needs to start there.
    Wide serve, forehand into the open court; middle serve, serve and volley; etc. whatever pattern you choose, whatever you are comfortable with, starts with the serve.
     
    #11
  12. pushing_wins

    pushing_wins Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 12, 2006
    Messages:
    2,802
    the idea behind my proposed pattern is

    - never change direction
    - dont waste time practising any DTL shots
    - most players can hit a harder DTL than CC
     
    #12
  13. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,444
    if you never change direction, you always hit back to them, right?
     
    #13
  14. pushing_wins

    pushing_wins Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 12, 2006
    Messages:
    2,802
    no, my thought was to always hit cross court

    but hitting a cross court off a dtl is more difficult than hitting dtl off cc
     
    #14
  15. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,234
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    ??????
    But if you always hit CC, even a moron can figure where you're hitting your next ball.
     
    #15
  16. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2007
    Messages:
    2,032
    Bingo...

    ...most important shot in the game is the serve. A strong first serve can produce a return that puts you in the drivers' seat from the get-go. The second serve has to go in, but it can't be a helium ball, either. You need a second serve that will at least let you start the point on neutral terms. By the same token, second most important shot in the game is the return, where getting a lot of returns back and putting pressure on the server, if possible, leads you to the patterns that work for you. It's no accident that Murray and Djokovich, arguably the two best players currently on the ATP, both of whom have very complete games, are also two of the best servers and returners in the game...
     
    #16
  17. StringingIrvine

    StringingIrvine Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2009
    Messages:
    556
    Location:
    Irvine, Southern California
    I'm no crazy tennis guru (usta rated 4.5) but if my understanding of directionals is correct what you said is actually opposite?

    If someone hits a cross court to my forehand the easiest shot is back at him with a cross court shot. Ball will cross the path of my body therefore its easier to return ball back at the direction. Not to mention court geometry favors cross court shot (longer distance), and the net is lower.

    Theory is all good and sticking to a game plan but I find at lower levels its hard to properly execute a solid game plan focused on a theory ie. your opponent prob does not understand the same theories and therefore will go for that 25% shot DTL instead of the CC shot. Similar to playing poker with someone who goes all in on a pair of 2's after the flop because they have a pair. Percentage says they will lose but it doesn't always happen.

    I'd read up on court positioning and directionals and that will improve .5 nrtp if you can fully understand it and put it in action.

    In recent matches i've had A LOT of success with the lull, jam, finish theory but just with court positioning. Hitting constantly to one corner and waiting for them to get lazy and hitting a jam shot cross court not nessessarly as a winner but as a jam shot. That usually causes an unforced error or puts me in good control of the point.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2012
    #17
  18. pushing_wins

    pushing_wins Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 12, 2006
    Messages:
    2,802
    ever do the drill - one person always hit cc, other hits always dtl

    the guy hitting dtl is running 2x the distance

    given:
    hitting in the same direction and trajectory is easier
    inside out is more powerful than inside in

    question:
    changing direction - whats more difficult? off DTL or CC
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2012
    #18
  19. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,234
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Your similies don't apply when you add the human factor. It only works in your mathbook PC.
    A real opponent, seeing you don't go DTL after 3 shots, camps there, daring you to hit DTL and change the path of the incoming ball.
    If I see you limping in warmups, I'll be sure to dropshot/lob you.
    If I see you hate slice shots, I'll slice you every time.
    If I see your first serve heater goes on side only, I'll camp there.
    Human's play tennis, not mathematicians.
     
    #19
  20. pushing_wins

    pushing_wins Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 12, 2006
    Messages:
    2,802
    i agree.

    after your CC forehand,

    your opponent hits CC. no brainer. you go CC

    your oppenent hits toward middle of the court. wat would you do? i would still go fh CC.

    your opponent hits neutral DTL. should you change directions? given that dtl is the easier shot.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2012
    #20
  21. NJ1

    NJ1 Professional

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2011
    Messages:
    1,362
    Location:
    NA
    Isn't that pushing, Lee?
     
    #21
  22. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,234
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    I play bad 4.0 singles.
    I also hit the ball where I want, no matter what the opponent does. He's not running around in circles, so I don't need to look at him.,
    I don't care what shot he hit to me because I've played tennis long enough to know I can hit it anywhere I want IF I take care of my end of the broom.
     
    #22
  23. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,234
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Pushing can be slice, it can be flat, and it can be topspin. Pushing is hitting the ball back with no intent to force the issue, but every intent to hang in there and wait for opponent's mistakes.
    I'd think, if slicing bother's my opponent, then my slices are not pushes, because my INTENT is to win the point ASAP.
     
    #23
  24. pushing_wins

    pushing_wins Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 12, 2006
    Messages:
    2,802
    for the sake of the arguement, i m commited to CC. i will not change directions.

    there is another problem. the wider my fh , the more he can step into the court and crank a winner. on the other hand, the wider my fh, the more his dtl fh will be angled into the court.
     
    #24
  25. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,234
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    There's all sorts of problems.
    For some players, when you hit anything into his alley, you are giving him more angle to run YOU.
    For other players, when you hit into my alley, I'll stand there, and say, "nice shot".
     
    #25
  26. StringingIrvine

    StringingIrvine Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2009
    Messages:
    556
    Location:
    Irvine, Southern California
    I think we are all correct but our contexts are different. IMO everything depends on what level you are.

    3.0 hit cross court you win because you have less errors
    3.5 hit cross court you win if opponent keeps trying crazy dtl winners or can't hit a shot on the run
    4.0 hit cross court to play it safe but you better have another game plan. as its only half of a plan.
    4.5 at this point strategy should be dynamic, a solid 4.5 player sees his opponents strategy of A is working, player then forumlates counter strategy B, opponent then has Strategy C to counter players strategy C. I'm not talking about during a rally but it could be a few points till i realize hey this guy keeps running around backhand i'm gonna hit him some short angle backhands, lets see him round around that. He counters by hitting more balls to down middle toward my forehand to take away my short angle shots, etc
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2012
    #26
  27. guitarplayer

    guitarplayer Guest

    Such great stuff.
     
    #27
  28. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,234
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    I figure, any short board needs to be attacked.
    If you don't, you're caught in NML retreiving his shot, you can't go backwards, so you might as well hit an approach and move forwards to one side of the serviceline/center, usually the DTL side on DTL approaches.
    Kinda cut your losses there.
    If it's a dropshot you're chasing, you need to be aware of the dropper's intent as you run in. If he stays back, you drop angle. If he moves well in, best ploy is a short dump to his weaker side, hoping he digs upwards, so you can step in and put it away. Short dump to his weaker side, a smart player lobs deep CC, so you can't just rush straight in.
    Practice conti gripped approaches from both sides and the center.
     
    #28
  29. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Messages:
    6,436
    I think going CC most of the time is a good strategy. my coaches told it to me all the time.

    however this is not an absolute. it just means you should hit more CC than DTL shots. hitting CC is no magical strategy, a good player has to do more. at the lower levels hitting CC till you get a short ball and then attack might work but the higher you get the more DTL shots you will hit.

    the CC is like a fastball in pitching. it is the bread and butter pitch but you have to change it up often enough.

    Even pros hit 60-70% of their shots CC as this is a good option in most cases but the higher you get the more DTL shots you will see (for example fed and novak hit a lot more DTL than average tour players-because they can).

    what is bad is hitting DTL without a purpose. if you don't know what to do with the ball probably hit it CC. A DTL should be a forcing shot.

    however against a good opponent a simple blueprint like this won't work because he will camp there and use that to his advantage. remember he can also counter angle you if you CC him all the time.

    at the lower levels execution is much more important than anything else but as you get higher you need deception. If a good player knows what is coming he will crush it no matter how hard you hit it.
     
    #29
  30. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,234
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    I'd bet, between two relatively equal level baseliners, they both hit mostly CC, but DTL garner's more than twice the winners than their CC's. Good players cover the obvious.
     
    #30
  31. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Messages:
    3,995
    Location:
    1313 Mockingbird Lane.
    my pattern is to hit it where they aint.
     
    #31
  32. Roforot

    Roforot Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2004
    Messages:
    1,198
    Which short balls shouldn't be attacked? If you don't attack them what do you do w/ the ball?

    I'll try to answer my own questions, but I assume you're talking about short severely angled shots and esp. those which have fallen below your knee by the time you reach it.

    I usually will either slice it back crosscourt and backup (I'm assuming the guy can't keep hitting these angles) or hit a drop shot and close into the net.
     
    #32
  33. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Messages:
    3,949
    Location:
    A green and pleasant land
    strategy 101 right here - first job hit it where they aren't! :)
     
    #33
  34. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,444
    To answer the first question...any ball that you don't get to in good shape, for a
    good contact point on balance. Also any ball short that may come to an area where
    you don't have the attack shot to make good things happen. Example- sort of wide to the
    Bh side. It could be a high, soft, shorter ball, but if your Bh is not up to putting
    on some good pressure thru slice or TS, you are better off not going for a full
    attack.

    What are non-attack options? I call them safes...like in shooting pool when you
    don't have a good option. When you play a safe, you put them where you want
    them and give yourself time to recover. for example with the Bh situation above-
    you might just loop up a high TS roller to their weaker Bh. This can buy you time
    to recover and keep them from counter attacking. Also this is a good time to
    use depth if you have that skill to place one. This is also a great time to place one
    at their weakness and maybe they won't be as smart as you, and they may attack
    even though they don't have that shot...because they think ANY shorter ball
    must be attacked, :)
     
    #34
  35. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,234
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Post 28.
    When you're inside NML, the point is ready to end. You can end it, or your opponent can end it. I like to think I can control my destiny, so I'll hit the forcing shot.
     
    #35
  36. pushing_wins

    pushing_wins Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 12, 2006
    Messages:
    2,802
    hit it where they arent too early is a bigger mistake

    hit it to where they are and dare them to take the risk
     
    #36
  37. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,234
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Certainly there is room for hitting behind the opponent, in every one of our thoughts.
     
    #37
  38. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,444
    Sure if mobility is a big issue, but most players are looking to move and stay in
    shape.
     
    #38
  39. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,234
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    I still question your baseline only mentality, and maybe pushing a little too.
    If you're reaching forwards into NML and decide to extend the point, you are leaving yourself either backpeddling back to your baseline, OR, you move forwards into net position off a weak rallyball.
    Neither is a good option. Speed or lame.
    Anyone who backs up after moving to NML, hits a rallyball, is susceptible to DTL at where he was, wide CC to force a backpeddling player to move sideways, or drop shot right where you should have been, since you're backpeddling away from the net.
    You're giving him 3 easy options, all 3 of which makes you look awkward and kinda not strategic.
    Smart ploy off any short ball. Attack it DTL first option deep, move to service line and splitstep.
     
    #39
  40. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,444
    I'm looking to see if anything above is accurate.
    I'm not ever suggesting pushing and no way a BL only mentality...so no.
    If I'm extending the point from NML, it is a way better decision than trying
    an aggressive attack that is low percentage. If I extend the pt, they have to
    do something very good to beat me, but taking a low % attack just gives away
    free points with missing
    ......so no.
    The idea with a safe is to hit so you are not caught in transition, but even if
    you do get caught a bit, it's a better position than NML...so no.
    Not giving any easy options, but even if that was so, it beats missing due to
    a silly attack attempt missing and it also beats standing in NML, which opens
    up just about everything....so no.
    If attacking any short ball was the best option, likely at least one pro would do it
    and it would make him a star. No pro even attacks every 3rd short ball, much
    less every short ball. All pros play "safes" at times, although due to their skills,
    they have a strong answer in most situations. Most rec players should be
    more picky since they have less skills to call on.

    I know some players with limited mobility have to play more in NML to enjoy this
    great game and that is fine. It's just not good mainstream advice for the avg player.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2012
    #40
  41. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,234
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    OK, I get it now.
    YOUR average player only hits groundstrokes, doesn't move well, is constantly late to every ball, and never learned the transition game.
    MY average player hits all the strokes, expecially the transition game, tries to get to the ball as much as he can, and doesn't mind hitting low volleys, half volleys, or overheads.]
    Your average player is playing modern tennis, but learned in the past 20 years.
    My average player is playing a allcourt game, and favors net play over baseline bashing.
    YOU average is what's being played nowadaze up to 7.0.
    MY average was the old style all court player now almost extinct today.
    But, in my defense, I never said everyone had to approach net with a forcing shot, I only said I would.
     
    #41
  42. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,444
    Clearly Lee likes to play in NML, which is likely driven due to mobility issues, but
    are there other posters out there who feel that NML is actually a coverage
    position on the court, and not mostly just a area of the court you don't want to
    get caught expecting a ball?
     
    #42
  43. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,444
    You confuse me on this.
    How do you get to claim being a all court player by getting caught or choosing
    to play a lot of shots from NML? That is really a "no court" player isn't it?
    All court is working well from BL as well as the net and learning to transition without
    getting caught in NML too often, due to the poor coverage of that area.
    Why would you think I'm speaking of BL bashing when I post of transitioning
    skills? Seem a strange conclusion imo.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2012
    #43
  44. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,234
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Wow, a black or white person, no shades of gray.
    YOUR teaching is based on baseline play, like Nadal, Ferrer, Roddick.
    My ideas came from the era of Laver, Newcombe, Roche.
    I know I cannot implement a successful 4.0 baseline game.
    I know my only chance at mediocrity is to get to net, and rely on my volleys and the weak passing shots of other 4.0's.
    There is almost NO shot I can hit from inside the baseline that I can't hit for a forcing shot, if I get there.
    If I run back to the baseline from NML, my opponent, usually a peer, will exploit my BAD position by hitting one of the 3 shots I mentioned, putting me on the defensive.
    1. Deep right at the sideline I just moved from.
    2. Short angle CC, to make me change my direction AND run hard and wide.
    3. Drop shot DTL, right where I should have been, but just vacated to play YOUR style of game.
     
    #44
  45. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,658
    DLee, you know you will be insulted, reminded in every post that you are old and mobility impaired, and that your advice does not apply to the average player, since you are below-average. Why are you acting all surprised now?
     
    #45
  46. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,234
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Sure, whatever.
    I KNOW I suck at tennis, I always say it. My vision is failing, my wheels are coming off, my rotator cuffs needed surgery maybe 10 years ago, and I play about once a week, during the season.
    So what, I know tennis is much as anyone, have watched tennis for 30 years, but most importantly, have played sports all my life without ever having to work and pay the bills, like you guys.
    Crossover is a great learning tool.
     
    #46
  47. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,444
    I thought you wanted to quit lying to stir up things.
    We can play your way if you like.
     
    #47
  48. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,444
    black or white??
    How is transition to net thru NML baseline play?
    Did Laver or Roche play in NML as a tactic?

    Can you get a quote from me that supports staying at the BL?
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2012
    #48
  49. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,234
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    A player who moves forwards after hitting the ball is attacking.
    A player who moves backwards after hitting the ball is retreating.
     
    #49
  50. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Messages:
    3,995
    Location:
    1313 Mockingbird Lane.
    when you get a short ball, you gotta do something with it, that's the whole point of working the point. ill play a smart high percentage attacking shot then come to the net.
    high percentage and attacking: its like having your cake, and eating it too
     
    #50

Share This Page