Has anyone here just completely changed there game

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by ttwarrior1, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. ttwarrior1

    ttwarrior1 Professional

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    I used to go for winners almost non stop when the ball would come back to me , being a big guy and all. I always wanted to end the points quick. Id have good days and bad.

    As an accident a year and a half ago i started doing drop shots. I mean a drop shot on 70 percent of all my shots. I would chip serves back and then on the next shot go for a drop shot winner. Even if they knew i was going to do it, they still couldn't hit it. Probaly because i would clear the tape by just inches and then it wouldn't bounce. Slight spin but not extreme.

    I'm not sure why more people don't do it, but its my best shot now and half the time people won't even run up after it.

    You can only do this in singles. The doubles opponent at the net would hit or slam it away for a winner. But works for me in singles.
    Its usually effective when you aim on the ad side about 3 feet past the net , but not sure why.
    Now if i can just get rid of my horrific second serve. Just doesnt seem right to be able to play your best tennis at almost 40. Just makes me wonder what i could of done when i was younger.:)
     
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  2. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Well, the problem with this type/style of play is that it only takes you so far and then it collapses quickly - better players are looking for any opportunity and once they see what your up too, its all over. Its similar to the moonballing routine - sure it works if players can't hit overheads but that is at a fairly low level.
     
    #2
  3. eman resu

    eman resu Semi-Pro

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    Well, I went from...

    pinpoint to plataform serve.
    2hbh to semiwestern 1hbh
    baseline to serve and volley
    grip 4 1/2 to 5 1/4 and back to 4 1/2
    27 to 28" racquet
    trying to add speed and consistency to my game
     
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  4. only4theweak187

    only4theweak187 Banned

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    Good luck with that.
     
    #4
  5. Gemini

    Gemini Hall of Fame

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    I went from:
    Oversized to mid/mid-plus racquets
    Platform to Pinpoint stance
    Heavy (excessive) topspin to moderate topspin
    High tension (70s) to low tension (low 50s)
    Baseliner to more All-Court
    Defending to Attacking
     
    #5
  6. Zachol82

    Zachol82 Professional

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    I agree with papa completely. Also, I'd like to add that against higher-level players, that hits with a lot more pace, it's not going to be that easy for you to hit an effective drop-shot like that.
     
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  7. jdubbs

    jdubbs Hall of Fame

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    Does anybody still play with you? I personally would hate to play a guy who dropshots 70% of the time.

    Anyway, I have definitely revamped my game on my comeback after a decade off:

    1. Go for more winners, and move my opponents from side to side to set up points

    2. Went mostly away from a hard flat first serve into a spinnier, better placed serve that enabled my first serve % to go way up.

    3. Put away short balls into corners

    4. Switched to a semi-western FH grip.

    My game looks so much better than 5 months ago when I started up again, it's like 2 different players and I can't WAIT to play tournaments now.
     
    #7
  8. only4theweak187

    only4theweak187 Banned

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    Agree with guy above me.

    No one wants to play with a junk baller, especially one that drop shots as much as he can.

    I'm young, and my wheels are fast as hell, you keep doing that to me, i'm running the ball down and smacking the ball either right at you or for a winner, pretty easy.

    And also people dont like to play people who F with their team lineups and screw other teams over.
     
    #8
  9. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, I too have started to (over)rely on a particular shot that wins me tons of free points: The topspin moonball.

    It's like a drug, this shot. I rally (singles or doubles) until I get a ball I like. I topspin it nice and high. Whether singles or doubles, I follow it in as soon as I know it will be bounced. It then shoots up and goes over the opponent's head. If they can reach it at all, they have to wave it back and I am standing there waiting to hit an overhead or volley.

    I have not met a single player (3.5-4.0) who can do a thing about this shot. If they try to hit a swinging volley, the timing is tricky (and if I aim away from them then it is a running swinging volley). If they try to hit an overhead out of the air, they often hit it defensively or mistime it. If they try to take it as a baseline overhead, it might bounce over their heads.

    The only time I can't hit this shot is when I am playing in a bubble with very low ceilings or I am playing someone who hits very low slice.
     
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  10. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    You can tell from ttwarriors posts that he is the kind of guy that thrives on getting under his opponents skin. I think this is his preferred way to win matches. Nothing wrong with this (I guess). Some people would compliment you for winning the "mental game".

    If your new way of playing is effective in tournament / league play, go for it. The name of the game is win at all cost. However if I were playing a friendly match against you and realized all you were going to hit was dropshots, I'd probably stop running after them too and purposefully start hitting the ball out of the court and into the net so I could leave sooner.
     
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  11. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    FYI: ttwarrior plays in what he calls a 3.5 league that equates to a 5.0 USTA (see post #32 on the link).

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=350335

    So, he is a 40 yr. old, 350lb. man that is able to beat 5.0's with his 130mph serve and 70% drop shots.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2011
    #11
  12. danno123

    danno123 Rookie

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    Interesting strategy. I'm amazed that it works. After all, if an opponent hits drop shots 70% of the time, you would expect most rational players to just serve and rush the net or, on service return, hit a deep return and rush the net. I don't find your strategy offensive because I believe that a player is entitled to use any shot he wants. Heck, I'd like to play someone who hit great drop shots. But, then again, I just really like playing tennis.

    Actually, there are a lot of interesting strategies one could use to defeat a guy whose entire game is based on drop shots. In addition to rushing the net, one could moonball you from side to side as it's tough to hit a drop shot from behind the baseline and, even if you did, it takes so long for the ball to float that far that a drop shot can be retrieved.

    I'm in the process of changing my game. I used to be a serve and volleyer in my youth. I'm trying to add more topspin to my game and become a better baseline player. I'm not sure I have the temperment to be a baseline player but if nothing else I'll have more tools in my bag. My league starts up next week and my goal for my first match is to moonball my opponent at least one point per game. I don't expect that strategy to work well because my moonball still isn't as reliable as my flat strokes but I figure it'll be fun to try something new and you never know whether you've really learned a stroke until you try to use it under the pressure of competitive play.
     
    #12
  13. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Lol. Try that with any decent player and you will get bageled in 20 minutes. You can't drop shot a high pace spinning bomb deep to your backhand. If you play guys that can't hit consistent deep balls then it could work. Any decent player would destroy you playing like that.

    Oh I forgot your 130mph serve! In this case drop shot away because you can't be broken.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2011
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  14. Angle Queen

    Angle Queen Professional

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    This is mostly me. Except I'm moving from hitting flat to adding spin (both top and slice). Also, the most important change has been the transition from being mostly a singles player to a doubles partner. I found the doubles play made me become more of an all-courter no matter the game.
     
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  15. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    Your sentiment and others' sentiment in this thread... I have run into many times. In tourneys, ladder play, or just hitting around. During one ladder match I was in, the guy literally told me between sets... "You do realize that's not even tennis... if you aren't going to play... then why show up?"

    It frustrates me. Like ttwarrior, I hit probably half of my balls with a slice or chop. Not just a drop shot, though. After playing ping pong for years as a chopper and after playing tennis with enough 4.0s and 4.5s, I am very capable of consistently returning heavy topspin drive coming at me with flat, hard, penetrating slice/chop. Especially forehand slice. I can also do a light touch drop slice if I want. I can put these balls deep, short, corners, whereever.

    I truly enjoy playing tennis. I enjoy hitting with machine baseliners. I enjoy the challenge of playing against different styles.

    However, I have seriously thought about changing my tennis game, though. Simply because of all the whining, furrowed brows, eye rolls, and bad sportsmanship I have received over the last 1.5 years. It really it taking its toll on me.

    In table tennis... good choppers, blockers, and slicers are respected. The table tennis community doesn't villanize the chopper the way many tennis players do. I just don't get it. I'm *not* a pusher. I'm far from that archetype.

    But when I play anyone over 3.5, it seems like many people just get frustrated with me.

    This probably is the only thing I can't stand about tennis. Most tennis players at intermediate ratings only like to play machine baseliners. Anything else just isn't tennis.
     
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  16. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    I play a guy that probably plays like you. He is very good and very fit. Can run for hours under the hot sun and is still looking to play more. He frustrates the hell out of everyone.

    When I play him, I use a combintion of exaggerated heavy topspin (becasue he has trouble controling these with his chop shots) and no-pace slices of my own. He is a tough guy to beat. Rallies usually last a long time. It is pretty much impossible to just hit through him. He can block nearly anything back and has such amazing touch and feel. He really makes you feel uncomfortable.

    I've never seen anyone have an easy match against him. He makes you earn it.

    But, he is nothing like the OP. He is not just hitting drop shot after drop shot. He plays very smart, tactical tennis. I actually quite enjoy playing the guy.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2011
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  17. pyrokid

    pyrokid Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, the thing is that while it might be fun for you, it can really suck the fun out of the match for others. I personally wouldn't be disrespectful to you about it, but after hitting with you a few times to get used to the style of game in case I ever encountered it in a tourny, I don't think I'd hit with you anymore if you're talking about the type of game I'm thinking of.
     
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  18. Gemini

    Gemini Hall of Fame

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    mightyrick,

    Just my observation but I think there's a distinct difference in your situation versus the OP's. You mentioned that half of your shots are blocks, chips, slices etc. but you also mention that they're hit with a variety of placements and effects within the court. I don't see any problem with that as there's a guy I used to bowl with who's also a very good tennis player that plays this exact style. It's just another tactic in his strategy.

    It seems like the OP has completely eliminated any other tactics in his game other than chipping the return back and then hitting the dropshot. I wouldn't be very happy about playing someone with that mindset but if he's my opponent so be it. I came to win and don't have a right to tell you how to play the game.

    As a side note, junior players that bash from the baseline get frustrated with older players that slice consistently from the baseline because the DON'T know how to defend against. It's a cop out to say it's not tennis simply because YOU CAN'T HANDLE IT!
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2011
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  19. nalvarado

    nalvarado Semi-Pro

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    SP black- placement-counterpunch
    APDC- Baseline bash
    Prestige Tour- Placement/touch
     
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  20. TonLars

    TonLars Professional

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    I totally changed my game at many times. In juniors and highschool I was a very aggressive player but simply didnt have a clean forehand or technically sound other strokes, but had a solid backhand and good athleticism, and when on hit alot of winners. Had a few bad losses in there and wasnt able to beat the very top 5 or so players in our usta section consistently.

    College started similar and I kept breaking down to more consistent opposition while I kept trying to win every point so soon, playing bigger than I was capable of. One big match between both our nationally ranked teams came down to my match with the team score tied 4-4. Kid was not that great but a good grinder. I lost in 3 sets and about 3.5 hours. All the older players and coaches were vocal and with me all the way and I lost it for the team in a very winnable match if I had my game together. That loss was really hard for me and that really motivated me, along with alot of other tough things in the last year going on in life. I never wanted to beat myself again and decided to dedicate myself fully to the game. Like a solider, just completely focused on doing everything on and off the court right. Up to that point I was so undisciplined in playing, eating and working out and so mentally weak on the court. Now I was doing everything like I was on a mission. While I still didnt have great strokes other than my backhand, I was grinding away and would rally for 30 balls if I needed to. It suited my fast court coverage well. I was not only performing better and beating players, but I was enjoying the game a ton simply by not making errors like I used to going for too much all the time.

    I improved this style and started to do relatively well and moved up from playing #3-4 as a freshman to #1 as a sophomore with the same roster and winning almost every match. The matches I would lose were against very strong players who had the offense and consistency to beat my counter-punching style. Realizing at that point I couldnt advance any further, by my senior year of college I was beginning to play much more aggressively on the forehand side, although still with less than ideal form. Any time I got a short high ball it was point over, which helped alot as I hadnt had that before. From putting in so much time and effort on the court I was improving my all around game as well and developed relatively technically sound strokes for every shot.

    At some point near the end of college, and the years after playing open tournaments, I finally developed a solid and very aggressive forehand that I could take control of the point with at any time. Being aggressive and solid off both sides, along with good court coverage has allowed me to have some great results in the last 2-3 years. Just 3-4 years ago players I had close matches with Im capable of beating 6-2 6-1 or better. Playing aggressive was my personal style all along but I just didnt have the skills to do it very well as a kid. Youve got to learn consistency and fundamentals first, and then gradually increase the power and learn to be aggressive. Ive still improved my game every year after college, and still have quite a ways I could go, especially with the serve. If I can develop a good and consistent first serve, that will elevate my game even more than any other improvement Ive made. That hard loss and those hard times in that freshman year of college completely turned around my destination for my tennis game, and the discipline carried over into daily life as well, so I know that one can really turn things around when its tough.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2011
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  21. ttwarrior1

    ttwarrior1 Professional

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    Lol just the post i wanted to see and what am i supposed to do,, do what i was doing before and lose or do what i do now and win?? All i say is bring it on to the speed demons. If they want to stay behind the baseline, I'm gonna move them in. Most the time they can't get to it to hit a winner, they have to hit a dink shot themselves
     
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  22. ttwarrior1

    ttwarrior1 Professional

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    your right , thats where the 30 percent comes in. Baseline players just don't like to move in and when they do, there whole game changes.
     
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  23. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

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    I've made plenty of changes, but mostly by just getting better, not a strategic change.
     
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  24. rfm29

    rfm29 Rookie

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    Always making changes to try and improve my game. Always small stuff....but over every year or so, all those small changes add up.
     
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  25. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    My game now is pretty different I think.

    before:
    S&V, charging the net off of 2nd serves. Almost only topspin on BH, even
    on returns. Better BH than FH.

    Now:
    Mostly stay at the baseline. better BH slice, worse BH topspin. Slice more
    on BH side.
     
    #25
  26. Mansewerz

    Mansewerz Legend

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    Lately, i've been going for more on shots, and it's working to my advantage. I'm getting more winners and getting into the net more because of short balls and loopers. I just need to make sure I can keep up the consistency as well as my form. I have some major things to fix.
     
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  27. bhupaes

    bhupaes Professional

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    Very inspiring post from TonLars (Tony), thanks!

    I am changing my game gradually also, albeit at a much lower level. More rhythm on the serve with a more consistent toss, more use of topspin at the cost of power for the sake of consistency, using the reverse forehand more often, more anticipation; also, of course, fine tuning stroke mechanics based on what I learn from various sources, including TW.
     
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  28. phnx90

    phnx90 Hall of Fame

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    Before:
    - Oversize racquet
    - Alu Power 65 lbs
    - Eastern (classical) forehand
    - Eastern (single) backhand
    - Flat strokes, went for winners

    Now:
    - Midplus racquet
    - Alu Power/RPM Blast 55lbs
    - SW, WW forehand
    - Double backhand
    - Topspin heavy groundstrokes

    Mind, pretty much all of these changes were adopted on my own accord. I never really had formal coaching for long enough to make any transition, so I can't say for sure whether these changes were for the better or worse.
     
    #28
  29. shindemac

    shindemac Hall of Fame

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    Most of my changes have been improving and adding new elements to my game. I went from a flat forehand to topspin. Bh went from slice to 1-h drive to 2-hander. Serve went from god awful flat/dink second serve, to mediocre flat first w/placement and topspin second serve. Strategy changed from having none to using directionals more and hitting/serving to opponent's backhand. My netgame is still non-existant, so I'm still a baseline basher, but hopefully a more consistent and smarter one.

    Right now, I'm trying to become a strong server and win points from service winners, or serving it wide and then hitting to the open court.
     
    #29
  30. fruitytennis1

    fruitytennis1 Professional

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    I wish i knew
    Before: Machine baseliner...relied on solid strokes and opponents errors

    Now: Agressive baseliner..attack until i get a short-ball(bigger serve helps alot)
     
    #30
  31. TonLars

    TonLars Professional

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    Good luck in your season this year (I think I know who you are but not positive, so sorry if this doesnt apply).
     
    #31
  32. fruitytennis1

    fruitytennis1 Professional

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    I wish i knew
    Its possible...
    I dont know you but i have seen you like twice. Beating up on a certain club pro
     
    #32
  33. TonLars

    TonLars Professional

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    Haha sorry, I thought you were someone else, sorry for the mixup. I think youre from Roch though but assumed too much. Either way, good luck to ya haha
     
    #33
  34. Andres

    Andres G.O.A.T.

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    When I was younger, my coach tried to mold me like the regular argentinian prototype: SW/W topspin forehand and a flatter backhand. Keeping in mind I played with a wooden Head Vilas until I was 19, no easy task.

    I grew up idolizing Goran, Sampras, Rafter and Becker, not Vilas nor Bruguera nor Wilander.

    I told this to my coach and he """"laughed""" at me. Told this to my dad and we went to a different tennis club :D

    So that's when my game started to change. Eastern forehand, one handed eastern backhand, and volleying. That was 1998.

    Back then I was around 5'9' and 14. My serving wasn't very good though. With time, I grew taller (6'4''), and made my serve a real asset. Combined to my already good volleying, some old school S&V was in order :)
     
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  35. ttwarrior1

    ttwarrior1 Professional

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    just wish i could get a 2nd serve and i could beat a bad pro on a good day.
    Never have or will figure that one out.
     
    #35
  36. Sanavan

    Sanavan Rookie

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    I changed a little over the years too:

    95sqi to 90sqi
    11.3oz to 12.7oz
    Eastern FH to Semi Western FH
    63lbs to 45lbs
     
    #36
  37. enishi1357

    enishi1357 Rookie

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    I like to change in a big way to see what works and what doesn't. The last couple of years no one can tell i play like the way I do now but at least now i took in what works and made it into a weapon.
     
    #37
  38. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    Key point there. It ain't easy to drop or hit short if opponent hits deep ball with pace.
     
    #38
  39. y11971alex

    y11971alex New User

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    Drop shots

    Yes. I have changed my game completely just by October. I've decided to go all-out serve and volley because I want to enjoy tennis to the maximum.

    You would know that a player has more angles at his disposal when he is closer to the net. You'll also need to be careful of the drop shop return. Playing a drop shop off a drop shop is much easier than off anything else.
     
    #39
  40. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    personally my game has improved drastically in the last 6months or so. i am far more consistent and slightly better mechanics than ever before
     
    #40
  41. Squall Leonheart

    Squall Leonheart Rookie

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    I don't care how good your serve is; there is no way a pro would get defeated by 70% drop shots.
     
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  42. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    ^very true.
     
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  43. Sanavan

    Sanavan Rookie

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    That is true!
     
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  44. goober

    goober Legend

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    He posted some vids of his serves. They were uh- very interesting. Go watch them and you will see where he is coming from :)
     
    #44
  45. ttwarrior1

    ttwarrior1 Professional

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    Good stuff
     
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  46. Alchemy-Z

    Alchemy-Z Professional

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    Yes

    basically

    I went from Defensive counter punching to> net attacking and trying to end rallies in under 10 shots.
     
    #46
  47. PhrygianDominant

    PhrygianDominant Hall of Fame

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    first off....typo in the thread title. bad form

    I have always wanted to be an all court attacking player....I believed I was for a long time. Sadly I am not. I don't have the serve for it, and I don't have the control over the racquet head to cover the whole net in singles.

    However, after switching to a 2hbh and working on my forehand footwork, I can play a pretty aggressive baseline game. Someday I may, with experience, get good enough to come to net as a suprise or for the variety. someday....
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2013
    #47
  48. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    There have been two significant style changes for me over the years.

    When I was in high school and early college I was a defensive counter puncher. Back then, when we played with stone racquets, everyone was coming to the net, usually approaching to their opponents bh. I had a 2hbh, so I could pass people pretty effectively off that side. Also, since folks were coming in off the first or second ball, I didn't have to keep a lot of balls in play before I needed to hit a pass. Worked great.

    In college however I realized that I had this huge serve (relative to my competition anyways) and a top/slice second serve (unusual at my low-ish level). I was wasting that advantage by staying back, so I learned to S&V. Did that for years. The biggest issue was that at my level it was really more serve and intimidate. I didn't have to volley all that well to win the point (often didn't have to volley at all), and again I didn't have to keep a lot of balls in play to win. Against players who could handle my pace I got killed.

    Now, after many years of mostly not playing, I started playing again about six years ago. I eventually changed my fh to a modern forehand. I've gone on a mission to become more consistent while maintaining good pace. For the last two years I've really been focusing on playing hard, but consistent ball from the baseline. I still come in when I can, but it's way less than I used to.
     
    #48
  49. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    Messages:
    4,078
    Yes, about ten years ago I switched from a classic FH to a modern open stance FH, this had the flow on effect of changing my game plan as I now hit inside out to the opponent's BH much more than I once did as the heavy top spin makes it a more effective shot..
     
    #49
  50. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    35,753
    Change is inevitable.
    I went from conti forehands and 2hbh to W forehands and 1.
    Dink only works against the speed challenged lower level players. After that, you're setting them up at the net.
     
    #50

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