Just got moved up to 4.0, new goal is 4.5

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by MrCLEAN, Dec 8, 2009.

  1. MrCLEAN

    MrCLEAN Rookie

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    What is the REAL difference between a 4.0 and a 4.5? From what I can see, 4.0s can already pretty much hit all the shots, so the higher you go up the rating scale, it seems the errors come down, the consistency goes up, and everything just gets tighter for lack of a better word. Is that fairly accurate? Just trying to come up w/ a plan for the next year or 2.
     
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  2. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    consistency, depth, accuracy , touch, better shot selection, tactics , wepons all get better. 4.0 even 4.5 level is just starting to scratch the surface of "real tennis"
     
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  3. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    Consistency will be your goal.

    Play better players to expose your weak link(s).

    Practice those weak links so you won't be exposed by better players who know how to exploit them all too well. This may involve more time with a ball machine, coach or dedicated hitting partner who will drill whatever your weak links are until they can't be exploited.

    Continue to work on your strengths to build them into real weapons.

    Be sure you are in great shape so you don't get an overuse injury from all the balls you are going to have to hit to continue to improve: www.asmi.org/SportsMed/media/thrower10.swf
     
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  4. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    ..and it depends how long it took you to get to 4.0. If it happenned fast, you should have potential to go much higher. If it took 4 years, maybe you didn't play enough or you don't have the physical skills.
    You'll need... potential for a big serve.
    eyes that can pick up fast movers and spins
    athleticism to get alley to alley and cover overheads, while still finding time to stroke fully thru the ball
    determination to want to sustain 10 ball rallys, OR, the ability to hit winners and forcing shots within 2 balls
    time to practice 3 hours a day, at least 3 days a week
    and decent practice partners, availible courts, and time to play tournaments, which is the true measure of you tennis skills
     
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  5. Blake0

    Blake0 Hall of Fame

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    To move up from 4.0 to 4.5 its basically just hitting all the shots more consistently with a good pace, and not dinking. Shot selection gets smarter, you get more mentally focused, you hit a little harder with more consistency, you basically have all the main strokes down to a solid level. Players might have added a second, third or fourth weapon into their games too.
     
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  6. no1

    no1 Rookie

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    Yea, from what I've seen, 4.5's are:

    - more consistent; I think this is most true when you hit an aggressive 4.0 shot. Normally, I expect these to come back short, but they are returned with good pace/depth

    - hit harder (not out of world hard, but just no real creampuffs that you can see in 4.0)

    - MUCH better placement. If you aren't hitting deep, prepare to run.

    - MUCH better 2nd serve. Not all 4.5's have huge serves, but both 1st and 2nd serves are much more consistent in terms of depth and placement; won't see as many freebies.
     
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  7. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Hold on just a minute. A couple of 40 yr old, 4.5 players out there mixing it up is pretty "Real tennis".

    When Fed meets Nadal, that is "Surreal".
    lol
     
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  8. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Yes, your right unless they are self rated and really are much lower. Consistency has been mentioned several times which is a big item but a couple of others are very important also. Being able/not afraid to change direction, using the angle more, being able to cover the court more effectively, having more than a couple of serves, conditioning and so forth. 3.5 & 4.0 players give away a lot of points but the higher you go, the less UE you'll see. You can probably play fairly effectively at the 4.0 level with questionable stroke mechanics - at 4.5 your mechanics should be pretty sound, maybe not perfect but pretty solid.
     
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  9. FloridaAG

    FloridaAG Professional

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    Consistency; strategy; depth; anticipation; movement
     
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  10. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    I disagree with the bolded. I think you can be 4.0 without having all the shots, which is especially true after the nation-wide rating adjustment. I went 1-7 in 4.0 singles, and 4 of my opponents got bumped up to 4.5. I would say that the common denominator of all these players that beat me was that they were consistent from the baseline and had good shot tolerance, but didn't have much as far as offensive weapons.

    In the case of singles, I would say the diff. between a good 4.0 and good 4.5 is that the 4.5 is going to be more than just a consistent rallyer, but that they will also have more offensive skills. Now there are certainly offensive 4.0 singles players (like myself), but its not really required to compete at 4.0. I think at 4.5 if you want to keep winning you gotta be able to control points more and actually pressure your opponents.
     
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  11. crash1929

    crash1929 Hall of Fame

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    4.0 has all the shots? what? not even close. there are usually huge holes in a 4.0's game that a 4.5 can pick apart. I'm 4.5 and have a number of friends who are 4.0. When I play with them I feel like I'm just toying with them. Their serves are inconsistent and weak- especially the second. They don't have any shots that can hurt me. They will always flub a ball if I just decide to rally with them. I can hit every shot harder and more acurate then they can and on a more consistent basis.

    The 5.0's in SF are pretty good. When I play them I'm sure they feel the same way about me. -).... although i can not tell a lie the scores are more competetive.... I'm still trying to get my first set off a 5.0...problem is not many of them around! gone 6-7 adn 5-7 on a number of occassions. the way I'm playing now they are lucky they aren't around.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2009
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  12. pgreg

    pgreg New User

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    There is a wide range in the 4.5 level. Many 5.0s play at the 4.5 level simply because the 5.0 league is so vacant. However, that is why the USTA is making such a push to bump players up.
     
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  13. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    whatever you beleive is reality:). seriously, 4.5 players mixing it up are playing real tennis at a level us mortals can relate to. fed and nadal are masterpieces like the mona lisa or the sculpture of david that the mastery ans artistry to produce is admired by all but rarely attained. as you put it "surreal".
     
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  14. dlk

    dlk Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, it's like life. The more you learn, the more you realize what you don't know:)
     
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  15. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    I know a guy involved with the USPTA who's resume includes having been a rater back when they'd use trained eyes to determine the NTRP's of players. I'm going to ask him about what wound be the contributing factors that would make him see a player as either 4.0 or 4.5, but we've had some discussion on the general topic and one idea has stood out for me.

    As players progress beyond the middle ground of 3.5-4.0, one of the not-so-empirical aspects in the games of these stronger players is that they are less likely to try a low percentage option when they're defensive or trying to stay in a match. It's not too hard to spot a stronger player's technique since a lot more of the balls that they hit seem to be in their wheelhouse. What's more difficult for a player to recognize in his or her own game, or for a computer to determine, is whether a player can stay cool and still employ varied tactics under fire. The 4.5 hitter is significantly less likely to hit the panic button.

    That's more or less my understanding of it. While a 5.0 would probably beat a 4.5 with one or more developing weapons, a 4.5 will usually handle a 4.0 by trading the same variety of shots, but with more reliability and shrewdness in their game instead of pure heat.
     
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  16. roc17355

    roc17355 Rookie

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    My $.02

    In my experience it is 3 things in particular. Obviously you have to be very consistent sp I think that goes without saying. If you want to work on certain shots I would say

    A) 2nd serve - not only do can you use this as a weapon, you dont want your oponent to be able to immediately go on the offensive because your second serve is weak. Placement and spin are more important then pace. You need to have your opponent continually guessing where you may go with it.
    B) Volleys - No matter what, one of the mian differences I see between 4.0 and higher is the ability to volley and volley well. The higher level players get to net and end the point with one volley. It's placed well has pop and doesnt come back. Lets be honest, It's much easier to end the point at net than hit winners from 6 feet behind the baseline.
    C) Lastley I would say a sound strategy and execution of said strategy. Once you start playing the better players you have to be able to identify your strengths, their weakness and exploit both.

    Just my $.02.
     
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  17. MrCLEAN

    MrCLEAN Rookie

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    I didn't say they have all the shots, I said they PRETTY MUCH have all the shots, which implies there will be some holes, but not many. The 4.0s you play don't sound like the 4.0s I play, then again, most of them just got moved to 4.5, so there were no HUGE holes that you speak of.

    I guess I'm lucky that am physically able to execute just about every shot (still working on a bigger kick serve), but I'll need to improve overall consistency, fitness, shot selection, and movement/footwork. Was 3.0 in 06/07, 3.5 in 08/09, so I'll keep plugging away for the next year or 2 and see where we go...
     
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