hitting with men good or bad for my game?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Rebel, Jul 30, 2004.

  1. Rebel

    Rebel Guest

    I play at women's 3.5 level. I love hitting with my husband and enjoy the pace of a good rally with him. But I find that if I step on the court with one of my female opponents the day after, I am totally thrown off by the slower speed of play; I end up mistiming my strokes and hitting balls too early. Making the adjustment during the match is really hard for me. Has anyone else experienced this?
     
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  2. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Very common, to get used to a certain pace and when the pace changes it is difficult to stay balanced, focused, and footwork feels like you just learned how to walk.

    You should be able to play against all types of players as you get better. So, I would practice with as many kinds of players as possible at your level. It is also the reason I support developing smooth consistent stroke patterns that can be relied on. A fixed wrist is also important because it helps with timing etc.


    However, most of the problem is in your feet, balance, weight transfer and torso rotation. The timing of all these elements can be difficult if your only used to implementing these precise movements at one pace.

    You can review some of my posts on strategy and game approach as this ties into how you practice. If you start now and learn this at the 3.5 level imagine how your going to play at the 4.5 level!
     
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  3. vin

    vin Professional

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    Rebel,

    For what it's worth, I have the same problem just from hitting with different men. It even happens within one match against someone who mixes up pace a lot.

    For me, the problem seems to be planting my back foot to early. Obviously when the ball is coming in fast, it's hard to prepare too early, but when I commit to my footing too soon on a slow ball it seems to mess up the timing and balance of my swing. I would guess that this is because you have to slow down your motion in order to readjust to the ball that your way ahead of. Once I am aware of this happening, I can usually fix it by consciously making a few extra adjustment steps just to keep from planting my back foot too early.

    I've also noticed that I'm more likely to commit too early towards the end of the match when I'm tired.
     
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  4. living4tennis

    living4tennis New User

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    I find that I play better against slow pace when I deliberately delay my strokes. I don't even use my usual ready position...I dangle the racquet in my left hand(I'm a righty) which forces me to wait and get in sync with the slower pace. It's a slower game you have to react more slowly. Once you start the stroke your timing is the always the same... your timing is your timing IMO.
     
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  5. Rebel

    Rebel Guest

    The posts are right on. Footwork, balance, committing too early, all are issues that I recognize when trying to adjust to different speed of play. I'll try to implement all in my match this a.m. and see how it goes. I think my main problem is having patience for lining the ball up in my optimal hitting zone, as sometimes I have to wait on it. So that is my mantra today, Patience!
     
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  6. Skinny Dip

    Skinny Dip New User

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    Oooh, good point. I'm going to try this. I notice whenever my partner gets a lead, he tries to pad it by taking more and more pace of his shots.
     
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  7. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Try getting involved with some fast paced clinics at your club (coed) or hit with some "older" guys that can still hit hard and run. I'm involved with a couple of clinics every week and they are very good sessions. I also hit with women at your level and higher and its a great combination.
     
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  8. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Slam those slow shots back at them.
     
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  9. Skinny Dip

    Skinny Dip New User

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    That's what he's counting on..
     
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  10. Cypo

    Cypo Rookie

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    Funny you should post this - I'm facing the same thing after being on vacation and playing only with men for three weeks. Like you, I enjoy the faster pace and the chance to play more aggressively and it's hard to switch back to the women's game. What I noticed though is that, more than the pace of the shots, the difference is that the women make less unforced errors - they push more if you will. Against most guys, you can risk more because they risk more and give you more points, against women you have to play more shots before a solid chance opens up. The men I play are also probably not as skilled as the women, although they hit harder - I would guess that the women are closer to the 4.5 - 5.0 level and the men 3.5 - 4.0. But I think it's good practice to play against the men, there are many skills like taking the pace out of the ball and lobbing on the run that you don't as much chance to use against most women.
     
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  11. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

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    Yes, men tend to hit harder but make more unforced errors too from my experiences. Playing against guys is ok though as long as you don't do it too much since you may occasionally play a woman with more of a power game that you will be more ready for after playing the men.

    Plus it's fun for us guys to play you ladies as long as you don't beat us!
     
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  12. dozu

    dozu Banned

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    This may not work for you.... but this is what I do. During a point, my eyes are NOT on the ball.... imo the good ole saying "keep your eyes on the ball" maybe counter productive to certain people.

    Instead, I focus on where the opponent is, when he is taking the back swing and hit, and where I want to hit the next shot. So the "mind flow" for every shot is seeing the opponent hitting the ball, and based on my pre-selected target (mostly instinctive, with 25% of the times deliberate target selection), my footwork, take-back and forward swing will automatically adjust to the incoming ball's speed, location and trajectory. With this mind set, everything is adjusted automatically, the time and length of the take-back and forward swing, the footwork, everything is on autopilot.

    And I believe for most beginners (I have been there), the "mind flow" on every shot is something along the line of: seeing the ball, staring at the ball as it cross the net, taking back the racket, and hitting the ball on instinct, without a clear target where to hit.

    Again, this may not work for you. I'd rate my self a strong 4.5 and a weak5.0 during mid summer season.
     
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  13. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Well I dont know about that. A player will go in and out of focal vision when the ball gets further away from them. Peripheral vision is good to use to survey your surroundings etc. Focal vision is good for keeping your eyes on the ball as the ball gets closer to your hitting zone.

    Focal vision needs to dominate as the ball gets nearer the contact zone. When a player goes in and out of focus when the ball is near the contact zone, in other words, when concentration breaks, this can cause hitting mistakes.
     
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  14. dozu

    dozu Banned

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    yes... actually I forgot mention that when the ball is near the contact zone, my eyes ARE on the ball, bacause I already picked my target, there is no need to look at the target when I hit the ball.
     
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