I got schooled by a beginner...

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by joeyscl, Mar 21, 2007.

  1. joeyscl

    joeyscl Rookie

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    Just today i went to the tennis court to hit some serves. Then i saw this guy hitting the wall, so i offered to hit with him. Left handed...likes to hit heavy slices off both sides, hits slice 100% of the time on bh, and hits slice 25% of the time on fh. His slices had heavy sidespin and were really throwing me off... and even when i pound the ball back, he could always run it down and slice it back. When i asked him "do u usually play by urself?" He said "yah, ive only hit the wall a few times and trying to pick it (tennis) up." and i was like "you've gotta be s***ing me". Anyway thats that. He looked late 20s. im 17. Im a strong 3.5, and im got schooled by a "beginner". What do you think?
     
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  2. lawrence

    lawrence Hall of Fame

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    aha maybe he was lying about just picking it up?
    i guess theres a chance that his playstyle was just heavily in favour against yours by chance, or perhaps hes a natural or something
     
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  3. lethalfang

    lethalfang Professional

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    Well I've an idea what to do if I ever play you: slice slice slice like there's no tomorrow. :-D
     
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  4. isuk@tennis

    isuk@tennis Rookie

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    lol @ u getting schooled by slices i would slice back
    if power ain't working why waste energy
     
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  5. kimizz

    kimizz Rookie

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    I once played this older lady..much more experienced than me but pretty weak. She also hit 100% bh slice and had a weak forehand. It was hard for me at first. I wasnt used to hitting with a slicer. But luckily we had plenty of time and I totally took control of the match.

    1)If u cant hit a super first serve I suggest taking power off and adding some extra top spin to the serve. She was totally screwed when she tried to return serves with slice when the ball was somewhere around her head. Those serves had little power but she couldnt destroy me because she only hit slice.

    2)I didnt try to hit winners all the time. Instead I started to hit Nadal like forehand...of course the power wasnt even near Rafas FH but the topspin was huge. Again ball so high that she was screwed...

    After the match she sayd I wasnt playing in a proper manner(LOL), she actually thought that my topspinners were cheating in some form...
     
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  6. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    um...you must not be very good then. ever thought of that? haha i am kidding. i would slice dropshot him....wait thats what i do with everyone on my backhand.
     
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  7. Sakumo

    Sakumo Semi-Pro

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    HIT HARDER

    Lol, I'm just messing around. I would just try to counter punch or push him to death.
     
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  8. TennisKevin

    TennisKevin New User

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    ive been schooled by someone not as good as me. i play baseline, and this guy would just block everything back and the ball would land between the baseline and the service line. he gave me so much junk that i would go for too much and my game self-destructed. last time i played him i beat him though. he just took you out of your game. no big deal, its probably happened to all of use. unorthodox playing styles tend to mess with us.
     
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  9. no skillz

    no skillz Rookie

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    I played against an older guy, maybe 50's who had great control and placement but weak shots. Mostly sliced and had flat forehands, almost pushing the ball around the court. At first he was beating me 1-2 but then I started to slice to his backhand and rush the net. From there I beat him 6-3.
     
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  10. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    I can't imagine how this would ever happen. Even if he can keep his slice shots in, if he's not keeping them deep consistently, you should be able to put away his short balls. How was his serve? I suspect if he was a beginner the serve would be a very weak part of his game.

    I'm at the point now as a strong 3.0 to weak 3.5 that nobody that may be athletic but just picked up tennis would ever beat me.
     
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  11. kimizz

    kimizz Rookie

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    Tennis is a weird game. You really need to play a lot till you can really control beginners.

    First, beginners dont play like most of the players do...they are the kings in mixing up the pace and depth simply because its pure luck how their strokes end up in the court. To them its not about style, only goal is to hit the ball back to the court with some weird spin :D.

    2)Those with some experience(but not too much) try to apply the teachings they`ve learned in the past but still lack the execution. So instead of just trying to put the ball over the net they try to hit a textbook groundstroke and fail in it very often. When this happens the player might start to feel depressed and frustrated..."all these hours and Im getting beaten by a beginner"

    In these situations its important to understand that you dont need to kill the opponent just because hes a beginner and your an experienced player. If you can get past that u realise how everything youve learned in the past is doing to work for ya...you start to control the opponent. This is what happened to me...
     
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  12. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Have the posters on these boards gone absolutely mad?

    Fact: Beginners suck. They can't control anything much less get the ball into the court. Let's not even talk about "mixing it up with pace and depth". LMAO

    We could go as far as saying they are lucky to make contact with the ball half the time.
     
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  13. SlapShot

    SlapShot Hall of Fame

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    A big 'ol +1 on this one. When people are just starting out, they are lucky to keep the ball in play 3 strokes in a row.

    Odds are, either the guy was full of it, which I can totally believe, or you're not a true 3.5.
     
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  14. soyizgood

    soyizgood G.O.A.T.

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    Never underestimate the power of the force. Your over-confidence was your undoing. When playing against "lesser" players, you have to realize that player has nothing to lose, but everything to gain from playing you. Those players are probably the most dangerous because they are not under any pressure nor do they feel they must win. They play for fun and learn on the go.

    Hitting the ball is just one part of the game. It is also a thinking man's game. You need to maximize your strengths, find your opponents weaknesses, and control the flow of the match. You have much to learn as well, don't forget.

    Now move along and prepare for the next challenge.
     
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  15. kimizz

    kimizz Rookie

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    They dont mix it intentionally but u can never guess where they are hitting. They just hit it and sometimes its backspin,sometimes flat sometimes a drop shot cause the ball hit the frame. And yes often they hit wide... I was talking about beginners playing against those who are still trying to learn the basics of groundies.(those who have played for few months)
     
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  16. kimizz

    kimizz Rookie

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    But reading some of the past posts...how much you guys sucked when you first strated? Cant hit the ball?Cant keep the ball in play for 3 strokes?
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2007
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  17. SlapShot

    SlapShot Hall of Fame

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    I was terrible when I started - it took me quite a while to learn to control shot depth and velocity. I came from baseball and kept trying to knock the life out of the ball. Come to think of it, I still try and knock the life out of the ball.....it's just that now I can keep it in play.
     
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  18. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    The above is a perfect description of me and EVERYBODY who has ever picked up a racquet when they first started playing (beginner). Yes, this includes federer, sampras, agassi, borg, laver, and YOU.

    To even contemplate that a beginner is able to mix his shots with depth and spin is crazy.
     
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  19. Jracer77

    Jracer77 Rookie

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    Absolutely.....a beginner beating a 3.5?......not gonna happen.
     
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  20. shindemac

    shindemac Hall of Fame

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    Maybe he wasn't a beginner. Maybe you aren't as good as you think. Think about why you lost. Was it him forcing his game onto you, or were you losing to yourself.
     
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  21. Ripper

    Ripper Hall of Fame

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    Actually, kimizz is right. Yes, beginners suck; believe it or not that's their "weapon". They don't mix depth and pace at will. They play in a, totally, irregular manner and it's difficult (imposible) to predict where their shots are going to go... specially for them! If you're just one level above a beginner, you could have trouble with one of them. As you get more mileage, you should be able to wipe the court with their butts. If not, you need help :)
     
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  22. SlapShot

    SlapShot Hall of Fame

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    The problem with that is, the poster claims to be a 3.5. A legit 3.5 should clean up against a beginner, regardless of style of play.
     
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  23. kimizz

    kimizz Rookie

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    Maybe I need to explain more of my point. I guess its hard to determine a beginner...someone who just picked the racquet up or something else? As a beginner I meant someone who can barely keep the ball in play and the technique is random. Just get the racquet to the ball and touch it.

    My point was this. Ppl that have even a slight exp with tennis usually starts to hit top spin, or they try to do it. They try to imitate the pros, they try to do the textbook strokes. But unfortunately this is very hard at first, so they play with other players who are also trying to learn the basics. Then suddenly they are playing someone who doesnt care about the technique at all. They just hit with no care of the style. Never even heard of knee bend...and I tell you the ball can go from the back fence to a perfect down the line shot or a super sharp crosser. Some people tend to hit BH slice if they are not told that topspin is more suitable for BH. And this might come as a complete suprise to someone who still tries to learn to do a topspin rally.

    Warneck dear, just read my posts more carefully. I didnt say beginners mix with intentions...and dropshots...I meant a beginner might hit a dropshot when hes trying a forehand winner :) its beacause they have a lot of frame shots. The beginners you refer to, the ones you can anticipate. Those guys in my eyes are the ones that are allready trying to lean the proper technique but suck in it.

    So the conlclusion is that you need to get more experience with the traditional techniques before you can destroy beginners.

    Maybe the beginner i refer to is a "pusher" with not much of experience...
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2007
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  24. SlapShot

    SlapShot Hall of Fame

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    But again - the OP said that he was a "strong 3.5", which leads me to think that either:

    1) the "beginner" wasn't as much of a beginner as he said

    or

    2) the OP isn't a 3.5

    In general, I agree with the thought that a beginner will have trouble handling junk. But when you are at the 3.5 level, you should be able to take this junk and do something with it. 3.5 isn't a pushover level of tennis when you're talking about USTA league levels.
     
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  25. Hot Sauce

    Hot Sauce Hall of Fame

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    I'm going to have to agree with this.
     
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  26. joeyscl

    joeyscl Rookie

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    Well, let me put it this way. I can pretty easily nail my forhands corner to corner, BH too on a good day. I can keep a pretty good rally with my 4.5 (rated by pro at the club) friend whos a club player. We werent playing games, so i didnt "lose" to him by any chance. Just he was getting alot more points than I thought he would. ANd yes, i did do drop shots, those were about the only shots he couldnt get. (Obviously if we were rallying, i wasnt going to hit Drop shots to him every time) He also has no overhead/difficulty with high balls, so i wasn't going to hit lob/moon balls at him too much either. Just his ability to run down every ball and slice them back nice and deep was bothering me. I guess it's because no one i ever hit with uses that much slice...
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2007
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  27. joeyscl

    joeyscl Rookie

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    Btw, when i say "beginner" i dont mean skill wise, i mean someone who is "just starting out" and who *SHOULDN'T* be as good as he is. And trust me, he was *CONTROLLING* his shots.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2007
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  28. SlapShot

    SlapShot Hall of Fame

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    How can you judge how good someone *should* be if you don't know how much they play. It sounds to me like this guy didn't hammer the ball, but could get it back consistently and kept you from going on offense on a regular basis, which to me indicates that he was pretty good.

    People develop skills at different speeds - maybe he had an athletic background and was able to pick up tennis relatively quickly.
     
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  29. Hot Sauce

    Hot Sauce Hall of Fame

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    If you're confident you're a strong 3.5 then the guy probably just lied.
     
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  30. LarougeNY

    LarougeNY Professional

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    don't worry about it. I lose to junkballers, but then hold my own against people that play well (obviously that ends once you get to a certain point though). I think the only way to beat them is to play "dirty"-meaning play the way they do.
     
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  31. Voltron

    Voltron Hall of Fame

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    Last time I played a beginner, I won, 0 and 0. I agree with your statement that beginners suck, they can't keep the ball in the court at all.
     
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  32. shojun25

    shojun25 Professional

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    dont worry... i feel your pain.

    I was playing this old man (around 55) and he only has 1 arm (the other got amputated). He has this plastic ball holder in his throwing arm and thats how he can serve. He has crazy groundstrokes, but his follow through looks funny. Pretty much.... he owned me, but he was way better than me.
     
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  33. Hot Sauce

    Hot Sauce Hall of Fame

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    So... he had a 2h bh? :p
     
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  34. AJK1

    AJK1 Hall of Fame

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    Another user who's made a public fool of himself........
    Why tell people you got flogged by a beginner?
     
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  35. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    Yeah I agree with you, the rating part of the OPs post puzzles me. I KNOW I am a pretty strong 3.5 because
    1. I have a better than 50% win rate as a USTA 3.5 league player,
    2. I have NEVER lost to a 3.0 in singles in informal club matches and,
    3. I have ocassionally beaten 4.0s in informal (non-USTA) matches, maybe once out of every 10 times I've played one.

    No way a true beginner is going to beat me or any other person I play with, whom I would also rate as being a 'strong' 3.5.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2007
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  36. Silentgunz

    Silentgunz Rookie

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    omg dude me too i just got schooled by a beginner who all he is does is slice and chop the ball, and i dont know y i couldnt win. My forehands were going out over and over and i never thought of changing anything. I was freaken pissed. I didn't shake hands with him or anything. I just ran straight to my car and floored it home like a panzy. I was ****, it is the biggest upset that my town has ever seen.
     
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  37. joeyscl

    joeyscl Rookie

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    That guy was good, period. Like I said before, we werent playing a match. I know he has trouble returning slices and high balls, thats why i wasnt hitting them. I was just surprised that he was able to get almost all my groundies when i was hitting them corner to corner when he is a Self-proclaimed "Beginner". Most of his returns were deep, low skidding slices, and he WAS making me running from side to side (meaning he had control of the Ball). Again, i was just surprided at how good this self-proclaimed beginner. And again, I'll restate that I can trade groundies offensively with my 4.5 (rated by club pro and others) friend who plays at a club (even though i can never beat him in a match, of course).
     
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  38. Ryoma

    Ryoma Rookie

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    Beginner is ok, but pusher is harder to deal with. They too have mixed shots because they can't control their shots. They will pick low percentage and has irrational shot selections. That's their weapons. Like once in a while they will be able to return my serve with a cross court drop shot by framing the ball. LOL
     
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  39. lordmanji

    lordmanji Guest

    i think then that you should reconsider your choice of a label for him. instead of beginner which means "just picked up the racket" perhaps a "park/club player" is a better description?

    theres this guy on my team that slices EVERYTHING. backhand, forehand. i cant rally with him because i cant even warm up for one thing and also i dont feel its fair that i have to work that much harder than him just cuz he cant hit a decent normal groundstroke. keep in mind i have no issue with rallying with someone who mixes in a slice every now and then.
     
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  40. tennis_hand

    tennis_hand Hall of Fame

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    he said to pick the tennis up, right? so he must have played a lot before, and probably stopped for some time and now to "pick it up". people try to be humble and say they are beginner most of the time. and he may just take it easy and only slice. so probably if he uses his drive, he will make u look even more of a beginner. lol... just kidding. ;)

    actually what u described sounds like my buddy in tennis. he got injured for 5 years and now took some coach lessons to pick it up. when i started play him, his is always slice with occasional forehand drive, and volleys. No decent baseline rally. but I was always thrown off by his slice. Well, i wasn't good then to handle him, and also i seldom play people who slice so much. Now I learn to keep the ball deep to force his weak short returns to exploit his style.

    so don't underestimate those good slices. Agassi even said his wife's slices were not easy shots to return. I agree they are not the best people to rally with. u can't warm up and u can't get ur timing right.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2007
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  41. tennis_hand

    tennis_hand Hall of Fame

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    agree with what you said. ignore drak. :p
     
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  42. kimizz

    kimizz Rookie

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    Well hitting winners isnt easy, especially when the opponent eats the power from your strokes with slices. When you play someone who hits hard they bring a lot of power to your strokes as well. With a slicer you need to generate all of the power yourself.

    But I think your opponent wanted a compliment and thats why he sayd hes just starting...he wanted you to say "wow a beginner, your really good for someone with that little experience" ;)
     
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  43. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Because you want to have an honest and thoughtful discussion with others about what happened, and perhaps share insite with the others on the board and perhaps gain some perspective that will help you in your playing?

    Tennis is one of those things where you have to get good before you can realize just how bad you are. And if you are honest about where you are right now, and focus on getting better, then you will. If you try to keep up a charade of being a better player than you are it will detract from your efforts to improve as a player.

    Everyone who has ever played seriously has been thrown off by a player with unorthodox strokes. Everyone loses to pushers and junkballers when they are learning about control. Everyone who hits the cover off the ball loses to control players while they are learning about point construction and consistency.

    The thing is that when you respect others styles of play, and realize that if they beat you that they are a better player (at least that day) and you stop whining about how you lose to players you "Should" beat, and start addressing things, then you will become a better player.

    Once you gain consistency, and begin to master point construction, you outgrow the pusher. Once you gain match toughness and shot variety, you outgrow the junkballer. Once you establish mental fortitude, pattern play, footwork, and percentage tennis then you outgrow the natural athelete with unorthodox strokes.

    Honestly you really outgrow all of the pushers, junkballers, and unorthodox strokers, when your serve becomes a real weapon. Right around the 4.5 and 5.0 level depending on your game, you have the ability to just serve them off the court, and deal with their game the rest of the time.

    If you watched fed or Roddick, or any top player, try to maintain a warmup rally or casual hit with a 2.5 or 3.0 player, you wouldn't think that they were any higher than 4.0. (Obviously this doesn't apply to match play)

    The OP has not made a public fool of himself, the people that make fools of themselves are the ones who post "I am a 5.5 player, how do I beat a pusher?" or "I serve 130mph, what grip should I use?"

    J
     
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  44. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    I used to play with this guy, whom had played tennis maybe 10 times previously, and I had played roughly once a week for 3 years previously. I was probably an average 3.0 and this guy would be considered a beginner based on his level of experience.

    However this guy was a D1 college baseball pitcher, who obviously had great hand-eye coordination, and while having pretty lousy tennis technique, he was able to keep the ball in play very well. A natural when it came to a pusher's game. Him and I were about equal, usually close matches and sometimes he won, sometimes I won. Although he started to improve more than I did and started winning most of the matches later on. Eventually I stopped playing for 2 years, but now I'm back as of last summer, focusing only on improving.

    From that experience I see how hard it is to get your game to the point where you can beat ANY beginner convincingly. I know I'm at that point, because I've developed so much since then. There's no way a 3.5 would lose to any of these talented beginners like I described above.
     
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  45. Ripper

    Ripper Hall of Fame

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    Also, it's quite common for people who've been playing for an important amount of time to refer to themselves as beginners or say that they've "just" picked up tennis. There's a guy at my club who's been taking 1 hour classes with a professional instructor EVERYDAY for the last 7 months, who says he's a beginner. If you sum up the total hours on court he has, maybe, he has more than some people who've been playing for years...

    Edit: Humans and their mind games... Oh right, I'm human, too :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2007
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  46. Mark Vessels

    Mark Vessels Guest

    Maybe when he said he was trying to pick it up he meant trying to improve his tennis game after a while :confused:
     
    #46
  47. Ripper

    Ripper Hall of Fame

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    Many are not being humble, quite the contrary. Like someone already said, they want people to say "wow, you're so good...". Look, when you're suspicious about someone who says he's a beginner, do a little "research" on the guy and, maybe, you'll discover how full of crap he is. For example, many people who used to play recreationally and, one day, start taking it seriously, tend to say that they started that day.
     
    #47
  48. Jracer77

    Jracer77 Rookie

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    This also brings to mind the people who say "I haven't played in a year" and then miraculously go out and play near error free tennis. I guess they want to be praised on how great they are for not having played in a year. Ya....right.
     
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