How to deal with the softer hitting players?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by leeuk22, Oct 13, 2011.

  1. leeuk22

    leeuk22 New User

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    62
    Hi guys the title says it all really I'm a fairly good player English rating of 8.1.
    I seem to struggle more against players that don't put any pace on the ball! How can I improve on this?
    Any feedback will be appreciated

    Thank you
     
    #1
  2. Caesar

    Caesar Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2011
    Messages:
    765
    Take your time, and use it as an opportunity to strike the ball perfectly and work the angles.

    Work on your slice backhand. Hitting topspin to those sorts of players is the worst thing you can do.

    Soft hitters also give you a lot of opportunity to approach the net. They generally suck at passing shots so put the pressure on them to hit good lobs. They'll miss more than they get if you're playing good approach shots.
     
    #2
  3. spaceman_spiff

    spaceman_spiff Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2005
    Messages:
    1,510
    Location:
    The crappest town in Britain
    Also, improve your serve, especially the placement.

    If you can hit solid serves with good angles, those players will end up hitting high and short, giving you a chance to move in and hit easy approach shots or winners.
     
    #3
  4. coolblue123

    coolblue123 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,778
    Location:
    Rockville, MD
    Lure to the net as well. Usually volleying is often a weakness as well since soft shots makes for terrible approaches.
     
    #4
  5. thug the bunny

    thug the bunny Professional

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2011
    Messages:
    813
    Location:
    Out of the comfort zone
    See the "help with pushers" thread..
     
    #5
  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    36,435
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Since you already crush weak hitting beginners, just treat them like they're beginners, more mentally than physically.
     
    #6
  7. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Messages:
    3,976
    you must practice to find the balance where you are not overhitting
    but not pushing either
    3/4 pace /intensity usually works
    also you have to stay close to the base line because some of their dinks could catch you in an awkward position trying to dig out there short ball
     
    #7
  8. salsainglesa

    salsainglesa Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Messages:
    743
    hit upwards, get racquet trajectory under the ball, open face a little bit, hit chest high and give all the racquethead speed to spin. it won't be all spin... good luck! practice practice.... shoot to the corners
     
    #8
  9. qwanta

    qwanta New User

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2011
    Messages:
    74
    I always have difficulty getting more spin without hitting the ball too hard on these shots. Do you reduce your stroke backswing, or do a regular takeback with more of racquet drop? (or something completely different?) any tips appreciated.
     
    #9
  10. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    36,435
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    I don't believe hitting heavy topspin slow moving balls is the key to beating soft hitters. I say, hit harder. If you can't, you should not think you can beat them.
    OTOH, if you need that heavy topspin shot, you first have to establish YOUR swingspeed, exactly the same in length, angle (swingpath), and speed, so you have a basis to KNOW how you swing. Then, you hit thousands of shots using both that aggressive swing, and also your normal rallyball, in case you get caught off balance.
    Now, having BOTH those shots, you are ready to pummel the slow ball hitter.
    No short cuts, just experience, practice, and more practice.
     
    #10
  11. BobFL

    BobFL Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Messages:
    3,692
    Location:
    Orlando
    I say: hit even softer! That will stun them and they won't be able to play!
     
    #11
  12. dozu

    dozu Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    4,546
    this may very well be effective against a lot of softies... many like pace and don't know how to generate pace.
     
    #12
  13. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    Messages:
    2,385
    My personal recipe:

    - Make sure to wait for the ball to come all the way into the contact zone. I can tend to pull the trigger too soon with softer hitting players.

    - Attack the net. If they can't put pace on the ball then I have no reason not go all Johnny Mac on them. Come in on everything. See if they can pass you. It often works well to approach up the middle with no pace. They then have to either generate their own pace for a passing shot, which they probably can't do very well, or they'll lob you. Set-up about a meter inside the service line. Being back that far won't hurt you against much against their paceless passing attempts, and it will be pretty hard to lob you in that position. Don't be affraid to mix-up the depth of the approaches. Generally go deep, but occasionally go short and make them run in - best to keep the ball low. Go for some corner approaches too, just to keep every one honest. Slicing the approach off the backhand is really comfortable for this - safe shot for you, sets up a high pressure shot for them.

    - When you volley their softly hit balls, think angles, not trying to punch it deep. You'll have time to take one or more steps towards their softly hit ball. Come up from your deep position, get your racquet out in front, and softly angle the put away. If they start anticipating that and running up, hit slightly deeper right at them. The ball and their feet should simultaneously arrive at the same location in the court.

    - Can they handle pace? If they can't then when you get one that you like just send it up the middle or cross court hard. Remember to wait for the ball to come all the way to you. It should not be a super high risk shot for you, and if they can't deal with pace it should generate unforced errors.

    All of this assumes that they really can't hit with any pace. If it's more a Mecir kind of thing, where he's choosing not to hit with pace until he sees something that he likes, then it's harder. Mostly then it's the first bullet of waiting for the ball and not hitting too early.
     
    #13
  14. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    Hey Spaceman, an OT question. The use of the word "we" in your signature implies that you are taking responsibility for the wrongdoing of others. Why do you do that? Of course, I've seen this use of the word "we" many times and always wondered why it was used rather than the word "they."
     
    #14
  15. gregor.b

    gregor.b Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,205
    Location:
    Brisvegas
    Depth and angles.If you push them back behind the baseline then they either hit short and you come in or you rush their shots and mess up their timing.Come in and put away the easy volley.
     
    #15
  16. jdubbs

    jdubbs Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2010
    Messages:
    2,276
    I think he means "we the people." As in a democracy we voted in elected officials to make laws, laws like the death penalty. Which Spaceman disagrees with.
     
    #16
  17. Caesar

    Caesar Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2011
    Messages:
    765
    All citizens should acknowledge collective ownership of the actions of their directly elected government. Representative democracy should not be treated as a method of abrogation of responsibility.
     
    #17
  18. Mick

    Mick Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2006
    Messages:
    8,363
    i am a soft hitter but i place the ball very close to the baseline so better players will beat me but the ones who are not better would either give me a short ball to put away or they would give me the point by hitting the ball out. LeeD is right, the ones who would give me trouble are the hard hitters. if they could hit 3 or 4 consecutive hard shots and move me one corner to the next, i am toasted.
     
    #18
  19. adamX012

    adamX012 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2011
    Messages:
    312
    English rating of 8.1? Is that similar to NTRP 8.1? Any differences? Thanks.
     
    #19
  20. salsainglesa

    salsainglesa Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Messages:
    743
    same backswing the trick is When you accelerate the racquet, and the open racquet face.
    You hit the ball from underneath.

    One thing that helps me a lot, is having my weight in the back hip, and back foot.... all energy is going UPWARDS... I know it sounds counter intuitive to formal tennis dogma, but it works...

    If the ball is low, STAY low, do not straighten your knees, stay there the whole stroke...
    If the ball is high, let it get to your contact point, chest high is just right.

    The angle at wich the ball leaves the racquet face must be slightly upwards, the effect makes the ball fall...

    finally, swing FASTER! but, wait for the ball to get into your contact point
     
    #20
  21. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    Messages:
    7,130
    Move your feet. Then move your feet. Those shots aren't as easy as they seem and it's easy to get lazy feet.
     
    #21
  22. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    19,698
    Location:
    Central Florida

    Lots of bunny steps will get you in perfect position to hit a great shot most of the time.
     
    #22
  23. the rebel

    the rebel Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Messages:
    106
    i have the same problem than you sometimes. i'm about 5.0 all court player with a one handed backhand and when i play vs a soft hitter i LOSE PATIENCE they drive me CRAZY with their lobs or all defense gamethe BORING is the word but 2 things will help you... CALM and PATIENT!
     
    #23
  24. jk816

    jk816 Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2010
    Messages:
    157
    I agree, placement is key against this player. Most ofter hitters of this type I've played against either couldn't or did not feel comfortable generating their own pace, but would happily take advantage of any you provide redirecting a harder hit ball of yours. Don't oblige them. You'll either overhit for errors or make their game better while wearing yourself out.

    Put softer balls deep in the corners (often to the BH side), where their weaker shots will result in floaters. Come in and put away the floater. It isn't "studly" impressive tennis, but you'll win, and likely easily.
     
    #24
  25. olliess

    olliess Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2009
    Messages:
    572
    More like "zen master" impressive tennis. :)
     
    #25
  26. Mick

    Mick Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2006
    Messages:
    8,363
    haha. a few months ago, i play against this guy. i think he's a 3.0 but he liked to give advices to everybody and his advice to me was to hit harder. my hitting partner who was a lot better than me wanted to shut him up so he asked the guy to play me and show me how i should play. i bageled him in 15 minutes but afterward he continued to tell me i've got to hit harder :D
     
    #26
  27. the rebel

    the rebel Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Messages:
    106
    i was a defensive player until i realize than playing offensively put my game on another level and in the same time you can save more energy with shorter rally playing defensive is very demanding for the body cause you always running corner to corner p.s sorry for vocabulary mistake cause french is my first language!
     
    #27
  28. Mick

    Mick Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2006
    Messages:
    8,363
    yeah. playing defensive only works well if your opponent is the type who would make a lot of unforced errors. i would say i am a defensive player but i am a decent volleyer, so when the situation demands it, instead of hitting hard from the baseline, i would move up to the net to take the ball out of the air.

    i have had some french classes in high school. je parle un petit peu francais, il est tres difficile :)
     
    #28
  29. InspectorRacquet

    InspectorRacquet Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Messages:
    427
    Like most people have said, moving the feet is key.

    However, one thing that is usually overlooked is the technique. A proper forehand (or backhand) technique and swing path allows you to swing fast, hard, and still keep the ball in the court (even against soft hitters).

    The average rec player doesn't use proper technique, which makes soft hitters a nightmare. FYB has very good videos for the basic "pro" forehand/backhand, and once you learn it, hitting to the corners and mixing it up will win you the game.

    Winning easily only comes when you achieve the ability to move better and use the pro stroke at the same time. For me, it came all at once once I stopped scrambling after my inconsistent strokes and bought time to move well.
     
    #29

Share This Page