Me hitting a few balls (5.5)

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by tennis_pr0, Nov 26, 2011.

  1. tennis_pr0

    tennis_pr0 Semi-Pro

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    I actually did make an adjustment on my backhand, it took me about two weeks to get comfortable with it, but my backhand does feel better now. It is more reliable. I agree with the posts that my backhand did have a flaw to it before. I plan on posting a video of point play very soon, so you will be able to see my full game, forehand, backhand, serves, footwork, etc.
     
  2. Mikeadelic

    Mikeadelic New User

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    He made very valid points. 5.0+ serves will hit the back curtain on indoor courts well before the second bounce, without exception. You've got at least two serves there that land on the second bounce before reaching the back curtains, and those that do don't sound like gunshots when they hit the curtains. I've corrected two of my students on their serves where they're making the same mistake as you are on their legs. Stop flaring that back leg in the opposite direction of your front leg. Just go and watch a bunch of pro videos and you'll realize that not a single pro on the ATP have knees pointing in opposite directions during the load phase of the serve.

    I know you're only showing us videos, and it is possible to misjudge in videos. But I've done enough video analysis for myself and some of my junior students (who have high sectional / top150 national rankings) to have a pretty strong opinion on whether you're a 5.5 or not.

    You're good enough to teach without a doubt. As long as you don't pass on the hitches in your technique to your students, your hitting ability should be irrelevant past a certain level. Coaches are there to identify and correct errors, not have their students copy everything the coaches do. Juniors should be hitting against their peers for the most part anyway, and if one of your students beat you in a practice set, you're only the last in a long line of coaches regularly getting their asses handed to them by their star pupil(s).

    Just don't call yourself a 5.5 and add to the confusion about NTRP ratings in the tennis community.
     
  3. maggmaster

    maggmaster Hall of Fame

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    I don't know that one can quantify that every 5.5 serve will hit the backdrop without exception. That sounds like a sweeping generalization and I doubt that you have the credibility to make it. Perhaps if you are a futures umpire I will except your claim without the requisite proof. That being said, this gentlemen has stated that he is going to post a match play video, can we all just hold off on our baseless criticism until it gets posted?
     
  4. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    The vast majority of tennis teaching pros are 5.5 - usually guys who have played at a high level (tops on a college team), pro tour or satellite.. And then they slip some and teach.. That half to one point of slippage doesn't really impact their form but its their athleticism that falls..

    I wish people would consider this before claiming they are 5.5. Compare this guy to Tonlars..come on now.
     
  5. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    I agree with this post. I think the OP is a great player but you absolutely can not compare him with Tony. And OP believe me, you know you have to be pretty good if were comparing you with Tony Larson haha:)

    But heck, who knows, he could be. I think NTRP are way to subjective
     
  6. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    That's not true.

    That's not true either. In a traditional pinpoint stance (for a righty), the left knee points to the right net post and the right knee points to the side fence or slightly back of that.

    This TT obsession with ratings is getting pathological. Winning matches is what matters.

    Agreed! But, this conflicts with your post about most coaches being higher rated players.

    You just said that you can't tell much from looking at videos. If he's winning matches at that level, then he should be honest about that.
     
  7. gould2000

    gould2000 New User

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    Thanks for putting these up. I always appreciate seeing other peoples strokes.
     
  8. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    OK, having looked at your new video I can see some effort to address some stuff on the back hand but you still fundamentally have the same quirk which I noticed first time around.

    You make contact fine and hit out in front but your swing path is very horizontal right through the hitting zone - you don't get under the ball enough for it to be a reliable top-spin backhand when push comes to shove. I have no doubts you can drive the ball flat when you can get to it easily, but for shots you have to run for you'll be left with the option of a go-for-a-dead winner or resorting to slice with no in-between.

    In addition, you don't do any forearm supination during the main part of the swing which is a hallmark of basically every good 1HBH in modern history. It's not a major supination comparable to the pronation you often see people using on their forehands but it is well evident in the best backhands during the strike zone part of the swing - it enables a better low to high swing path, adding the benefits of a slightly different angle of attack, more loading/unleashing - and more top-spin > i.e safety and reliability.

    Both of these can be easily seen in this sequence here:
    [​IMG]

    The points to note:
    - very horizontal swing path during most of swing, your hand is too level with the racquet head during the stroke, not above it as it would be most of the time for Federer/Wawrinka/Lendl etc on a ball of that height.
    - no supination of forearm

    (note: these things hold throughout all of the backhands in your videos, not just this one)

    You also seem to be very upright throughout your backhands. Your stance never gets fully formed - which reduces the coil and unleash potential.

    That said, it looks like your grip isn't quite as far around as most who play with a 1HBH would have it these daus so that no doubt is part of the reason your stroke path developed how it did. There's nothing necessarily wrong with it but worth a mention.

    Now - setting aside the stroke analysis you can look at this another way and say how it matters in a practical sense. If I was playing against you what would cause trouble for you? In this case hitting slice to your backhand corner (short or deep) would cause you untold issues eventually - you'd be popping up floaters or short balls often if someone attacked you there. To be fair you can say that same thing about almost any club-level player but here it's something which is an obvious soft spot related to your technique. Against a left-hander (like me) I'd be hitting it there almost every rally. How much can you rely on your backhand when it's being attacked non-stop?
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2011
  9. pushing_wins

    pushing_wins Hall of Fame

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    how many games would this guy get off tonlars?

    a 5.5 that still hits with a ball machine?

    getting all sweaty and excited hitting with a ball machine?

    posting a video against a ball machine?

    on the other hand, the fh stroke look decent. but then again some 4.5 also have decent strokes and look pretty hitting against a ball machine. serve looks gay as well.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2011
  10. Lsmkenpo

    Lsmkenpo Hall of Fame

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    Sorry if I hurt your feelings, are you looking for praise only from your videos or a legitimate critique to help improve your game?

    My tone may have been a little harsh, but I see what you are doing, bending your knees without any coil, quite often with players looking for help on their serve. Most have been misled by others that bending your knees is the key to more power. The key is bending your knees to coil and transfer power like a spring that is bent backwards not pushed down (ala your video) to get that extra power and consistency.

    If I am hard on you it is nothing personal, I just get tired of correcting this common mistake over and over, than when I see someone who claims to be a teaching pro making this fundamental mistake it tends to irk me.

    Perhaps you know better but don't realize what you are doing, what our minds eye tells us is often quite different than reality when we start video analysis.

    What exactly is your intent for posting your videos, I assumed you were looking for a critique, is that right? or were you just hoping for compliments?
     
  11. gregor.b

    gregor.b Professional

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    Are you rolling up the back of the b/h a bit more? Yeah,you were making good contact but it did look like you might be tempting fate with such a conti grip and even plane take back and follow through. Tough to control a heavy kick 2nd serve return or a heavy lefty f/h to the corner.Here you can see my low to high with the last step coming forward(mostly) not side/backwards.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=kKo2W0_6Lcg#t=6s
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2011
  12. pushing_wins

    pushing_wins Hall of Fame

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    it is self-evident why he is posting the video.

    but what exactly are the fundamentals?

    what is your motivation for critiquing?
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2011
  13. tennis_pr0

    tennis_pr0 Semi-Pro

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    posted some point play. The player is a 5 star recruit I am hitting with.
     
  14. Zachol82

    Zachol82 Professional

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    You are definitely very good. It may not seem like you're a 5.5 in your match play video just because you are facing someone that is almost as good. People who are leaving negative comments should realize that it is difficult to look good while playing someone that is also a challenge to you.

    If you were playing against a 4.0, I'm sure you would dominate much, much more.

    Also, I would just like to add that I like how your body opens up a lot during your practice video. You should try to incorporate this into your match play as well! I know it is difficult to play just like how you practice, simply because your opponent isn't giving you an easy ball. Nonetheless, try!

    Edit: I'm curious, why can't your 5.0 opponent serve consistently..?
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2011
  15. tennis_pr0

    tennis_pr0 Semi-Pro

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    Thanks Zachol. Yeah, I wanted to wait to play someone that is of a high level. He wasnt feel well and didnt play very well, but this was the best I could do with the video.
     
  16. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    Nice that you've posted some match play. Your opponent is a 5.0?? If he's a 5.0 serving and moving like that then I'm a 6.5.

    The backhands you hit at 3.40, 4.56 show up the quirks of your grip/no supination/flat swing path on short/low balls. One went into the net, the other right into the middle of the court with nothing on it at all. Both stemmed in-part from what I explained above in my post with the images.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2011
  17. tennis_pr0

    tennis_pr0 Semi-Pro

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    The grip I use is actually an extreme eastern, I am as far over as it gets. I can also generate topspin on the backhand when I need it. That being said, some of the things you pointed out are correct, and I have been, and still will continue to work to perfect it. I am always always always looking to improve, and some of your points I do think are good ones.
     
  18. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    Good call. I didn't make the posts above to browbeat you. Video analysis is a great tool when the person being filmed does it with an open mind. Of course there will always be those who offer dubious advice/pointers so the aim is to work out what is sage advice and what isn't.

    More importantly, when you ID an area which could use some attention, you formulate a couple of key points to concentrate on - not get bogged down in too many details at once. From my point of view the grip issue is a non-event. Plenty of people with great backhands have used that grip. Things you could concentrate on imo are dropping the racquet head lower in the lead up to contact and addressing the horizontal swing path which is evident in almost every backhand in all of your vids.

    One great exercise to work on this specific thing and help get a feel for it is to play short tennis inside a service box only. The whip you need to develop to hit over the ball doing that is a useful starting point to getting a feel for it.
     
  19. pushing_wins

    pushing_wins Hall of Fame

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    this cant 5.5

    there is a general awkwardness to your game. especially on the serve and how you move to short balls
     
  20. newton296

    newton296 Rookie

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    if your game was a big as your talk, you would not be missing the 2 or 3rd ball of every rally. seriously, 4.5 players would be to consistent for you. I think I would know, I am 4.5 - 5.0 usta and you would not make it at 4.5 missing so many easy shots.
     
  21. fruitytennis1

    fruitytennis1 Professional

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    Either he is a 5 star recruit who is bored out of his mind playing/toying with you...or hes not 5 star recruit
     
  22. j00dypoo

    j00dypoo Rookie

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    yeah if he's a 5 star, I sincerely hope he was sick with the ebola virus at the time
     
  23. Photoshop

    Photoshop Professional

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    maybe a little stretch to call OP a 5.5 but he seems about 5.0 IMO. And that 5 star recruit must've been sick as a dog (or he isn't giving you any respect) - why is he hitting all these dropshots and forehand slices??
     
  24. limitup

    limitup Professional

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    lol this OP is comical. You might be 5.5 in bumf*ck Idaho but that's about it. You wouldn't win a single game against a legit 5.5. Enough already, this is silly!
     
  25. Fugazi

    Fugazi Professional

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    Just saw the new vid, and while 5.5 is out of the question, the OP does seems like a solid 4.5 or low 5.0.
     
  26. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    Man, people are so arrogant about their ability to evaluate other players' levels. I don't know this guy's exact level, but I can tell he is a pretty darn good player. Beyond that, results are needed to evaluate his actual rating.

    Remember, when Tonlars first posted videos, there were lots of people saying there was no way he was a 5.5. If Oren Motevassel uploaded a video of his strokes and said he was a 6.0 level player, I guarantee people would mock him.

    You need results for these kinds of evaluations, people.
     
  27. limitup

    limitup Professional

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    Not exactly true. You can tell a lot from the video he posted. Things like pace, depth, consistency, shot selection, point construction, and other obvious things like barely being able to keep the ball in play for more than 3 balls, etc.

    While you might not be able to tell exactly how such a person would fare in match play, you can tell with 200% certainty that the OP is nowhere near a 5.5 player.
     
  28. Passion4Tennis

    Passion4Tennis Rookie

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    Op is a solid player. I don't know what this guy's results in tournament or league play is, but he can play. He's definitely above my level and probably most on here.

    He did himself a GREAT disservice by putting the (5.5) in his thread. That wasn't a wise move. Tonlars already had his up for a few years now, and it's one of the most popular ever on TT. Safe to say he hasn't had the results that Tony has.
     
  29. limitup

    limitup Professional

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    OP wouldn't win a single game against tonlars. /thread
     
  30. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    Probably not, but I would put forth that Tonlars is more like a 6.5 or 6.0.
     
  31. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    This is one of the weirdest threads I have ever seen in my life.

    Is that really a 5 star recruit ? I mean I get he was sick and all but I don't understand why 95% of the rallies are 2-3 shots followed by an error ?

    Also, you really should not have put (5.5) in your title man. That's what's getting you all this hate. I mean your a good player but I think the vast majority of people will agree with me when I say your not a 5.5... The guys at the University of Denver (DI team) are 5.5s, and I just can't see you playing on a DI team and doing well against those guys.

    JonnyS&V rates himself as a high 5.0 and is a better comparison than TonLars. And frankly I would say Jonny would easily beat this guy. Actually there is no doubt in my mind.

    What were your intentions in posting this thread? I mean what were you trying to get out of it exactly i dont understand? You were very defensive when people criticized your backhand at first and you seem reluctant to accept advice on your serve from people who are trying to help
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011
  32. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    Agreed, I dont think Tony is a good comparison. I read your previous post about the tournament results and I guess you have a point. Who knows, maybe this guy is winning 5.0 tournaments with ease. Personally, I doubt it but maybe I'm wrong...
     
  33. tennis_pr0

    tennis_pr0 Semi-Pro

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    I am a rated 5.0, but consider myself a little higher. let me rephrase the title. "Me hitting a few balls, 5.0." Is this better for you guys?
     
  34. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    you do not look like any 5.5's I have seen on video. I think most good D1 schools are full of 5.5 or so. You do not hit like that. you do not move like that.

    you look like you can play tennis but have some quirks that most coached players do not have.

    just my opinion.
     
  35. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    OP, thanks for posting your vids. I hope you post more.

    You are a good player however i have to also agree that you are not a 5.0.
    I could be wrong of course but I can't see how you would win any match in a legit 5.0 match.

    Take for example the point @6:47.
    Your partner returns your 2nd serve to your fh side. It's a decent return but not with any real pace. Yet your footwork is not the best as you do this hop and skip thing to reach it. Then as you hit your feet are not in an optimal position and you choose to hit a low percentage shot dtl on the soft side. The correct play in that circumstance should be cc or a looping return to the middle or go for a winner dtl in that order. You should have realized instinctively since you were pulled wide or late to the ball that you should play percentage there. Then after you hit, your weight and momentum is on your left foot when you should be pushing off your right there and as a result you cant turn quickly. Your partner sees this and goes cc because you've left the whole court open. What he should have done there is take a step into the court to hit with a little more power and taken away more time from you but still he plays the correct shot. THEN instead of recovering full speed to the other side in anticipation of his cc reply you do split step just inside the doubles alley. It looks like you are expecting him to hit it right back to you. Then do your ball machine shuffle for a few steps and THEN start to run. and then instead of cutting off the angle by running TO the ball, which was still possible somehow given all the previous circumstances because your partner didnt hit w/ enough power, you run STRAIGHT along the baseline. Then the ball eats you up and your forced to flail at a slice from behind you that goes in to the net.

    Now i'm not trying to pick on you or insult you but that one play demonstrated a lot of weaknesses. Those moves should be instinctive to any 5.0. I think any player who gets results at the 4.5 level should be able to beat you. Your forehand is good but almost every rally was 3 shots. Not a 5.0.
     
  36. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    Why not keep posts more along the lines of technique advice.

    It's obvious the opponent was unable to play 5.0 level tennis. At the same time it's also obvious that the OP is under no illusion that he's Federer or whoever. Observations and technique comparisons etc would be useful for more the OPer.
     
  37. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    ok. good point. So here's some more input...

    I think you should retool your backhand and work on footwork not necessarily in that order. Set your ball machine to do random if possible. Or pick any one of the things ppl have mentioned and try it that way for a day instead of grooving what you have now in those areas. Then post another vid in a week or two and everyone will help you and you should be able to improve this way.

    You seem to do that hop skip thing often when running to your fh then you hit the fh with a pretty closed stance which carries your momentum away from center of the court. I think a more open stance or at least less closed is better giving you the chance to get weight on the right foot to push off of. This automatically gives you at the very least one step less to get to the ball. Usually more. One step less will cut your flailing slices way down.

    Also it seems that every time you hit an approach shot with an io fh you charge the net, then stop, then back up, slice the ball w/o authority and then run back to the baseline. Why not keep charging? You're giving up the advantage every time you do that and now the opponent has the advantage without even having to work for it.

    Another thing nobody has mentioned is that in the 9 mins of tennis on that vid you didnt hit any cc forehands. Not even one. There were many times during play that you should have went cc but every time you went down the line or well into opponents ad court. Anyone who's good will figure that out and start camping out there just waiting to hit it cross court.

    And.. I don't think you are recovering to the proper location after you hit often. At best you usually end up about 2-3 steps short of where you should be. Case in point @ 7:50. You return his serve with a loopy shot and then go into your ball machine routine. The opponent is telegraphing big time he's going to slice it yet you continue to shuffle horizontally 5 feet behind the baseline and you dont even reach to where you should be angle wise. about 2 steps short. you're still in the same half of the court when he hits it.
    In this situation you should have been almost half way between midpoint mark and left side baseline AND one step into the court. His slices are not fast and penetrating or biting so you should have expected he was gonna float it back. Which he did because he saw you were too far from behind the baseline and he attempted a drop shot which had you beat but it went into the net just barely.

    Given your strokes against his i think you should have crushed this guy but you need to make better decisions on court. The other guy never had to run full out for a shot because of where you decided to hit it each time.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011
  38. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    I was willing to go along with 5.0 until the match play video. To me it looks like someone that hits a lot on a ball machine but has little match experience. The match play video looks like 4.0 footwork and strategy at best. Some very basic and obvious problems.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011
  39. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    so if you are rated 5.0...........WHY is your signature 5.5 LOL
     
  40. MarinaHighTennis

    MarinaHighTennis Professional

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  41. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    wow good break down. i agree-if he really was 5.5, he could choose to go low percentage, and make the winner. but of course....
     
  42. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    The guy you played was obviously sick and pretty much out of it. Watching him wander around between points was painful and he just bailed out of the points a lot. He did have some big shots when he tried - hard to determine his level. I was impressed by your foot speed and the placement of your serve (even though the serve wasn't particularly big). It would be good to see a better match video, hopefully the hatcheting doesn't bother you too much.
     
  43. togood4u

    togood4u New User

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  44. willroc7

    willroc7 Rookie

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    1. Work on your footwork. Do the footwork drills you have your students do. There is more to it than simply split stepping. You should be a lot lighter on your feet moving around the court. This also leads into 2.

    2. You spend a lot of time watching your own shots, especially on the serve. It might be that you aren't always expecting them to go in, but you look lazy after you serve. Look at 2:20. You hit a good serve and get a defensive return from his backhand. It lands in the middle of the court barely past the service line. As he hits it, you are in no-man's land watching your serve, and have to retreat to the baseline to set up for your shot. If you had already quickly recovered back to the baseline after hitting your serve, you could have read that the ball is short and get your weight moving forwards into the court, allowing you to drive it with your forehand, either crosscourt or inside out behind your opponent. The percentage play is the easy crosscourt shot. In this situation you need to be aggressive and RIP it crosscourt. Because of your positioning, you are only able to guide it crosscourt. You are lucky to win the point here because your opponent does nothing with his forehand here (rolls it short) and misses the easy pass with his backhand as you roll your approach right to him. A higher level (or healthy?) opponent will eat you up on those kind of shots.

    3. Work on hitting when you are stretched out or on the run. See your return at 3:07. You are reaching for it and just dump it over the net. Your opponent should have put this away for a winner with his forehand.

    4. Find an opponent who is trying.

    5. Work on your backhand take-back. See what other posters have said about it.

    In my area you would be rated around 4.5.
     
  45. equinox

    equinox Hall of Fame

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    Disagree.

    Tony wouldn't win a maindraw round in futures event against a committed itf ranked player.

    7.0 Top 150. makes a living. give or take.
    6.5 Journeyman challenger player. top 400. struggles make living.
    6.0 decent itf futures player. wins FT rds and can't make/hold CH jump.
    5.5 decent open player, itf failing qualifying player.
    5.0 top club player, teaching pro. won club champs 8x in row.
    4.5 top league competitor. Best of the hackers. lives breathes tennis.
    4.0 intermediate hacker. owns social comps, but really sucks.
    3.5 weekend hack, angry business man with pot belly.
    3.0 what's a let? score?


    Anyone making 5.5 claim should be able to backup with previous / current national / itf record.

    Notice didn't mention 5.5 in league. That's because there is none. OPEN or nothing.
     
  46. msunderland71

    msunderland71 New User

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    87
    If you worked towards getting the racquet lower a bit earlier in the BH stroke there would be less chance of it going wrong when you are rushed. Dropping the arm down so quickly just before the forward stroke adds to the complexity, but you obviously hit a good shot when you have time.
    It's hard to change things to the point where it is natural and you don't need to think about it. So you need to weigh up whether it's worth trying to make changes. How old are you if you don't mind me asking?
     
  47. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Messages:
    4,092
    * equinox' list

    yeah, that works.

    ('cept I only managed a couple of club champs, lol)

    OP isn't as good as he thinks, but he's a decent player nonetheless. I think 5.0 is probably valid (ITN 4)
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012
  48. 10sEmporer

    10sEmporer Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2011
    Messages:
    62
    Location:
    tennis court
    equinox list - awesome !
     
  49. TonLars

    TonLars Professional

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2006
    Messages:
    1,479
    Location:
    Minnesota, USA
    Hi equinox, im not sure of your definition of "committed" ranked player, but ive already beaten several, a couple as high as current 600-something. I dont totally disagree with you though; I might be somewhere in between a 5.5-6.0 but much closer to 6.0, just going on results. Id call a 6.5 player a solid main draw futures or challengers player, and Ive found I am a ways away from top 300-400 players as Ive been beaten quite handily on a few occasions against them last year.

    But if I actually played futures regularly, I have no doubt I would get into some main draws and eventually pick up some wins here and there and be ranked myself. I might do a few this year, but I still prefer to play open money tournaments with similar competition.
     
  50. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    Messages:
    3,412
    Didn't mean to make this a "how good is tonlars?" conversation. Just pointing out that judgments based on short video clips aren't going to be very precise.

    I'd agree that 5.5 can only be proven by results.

    P.S. I'm never sure about calling 4.0 intermediate, considering that 4.0 and above makes up only 5-10% of the tennis playing population.
     

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