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Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by guernica, May 21, 2012.

  1. guernica

    guernica New User

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    Hey everyone I just wanted to introduce myself. I just joined my first 3.0/3.5 mens doubles league that started last week. Neither of us have ever played doubles and lost 6-0 6-0 last monday but had a FANTASTIC time. As far as i'm concerned we can only improve from here haha.

    My Achilles heel is my serve, any tips on improving consistency on my serve with out causing personal pain in my shoulder?
     
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  2. jdubbs

    jdubbs Hall of Fame

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    Good place for this is the tennis instruction forum below.
    I would start with a couple of lessons from a pro to get the form down. I see so many ugly serves out there because the motion is completely wrong from the get-go.
    Start with a pro and go from there...do NOT try to learn it on your own.
     
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  3. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Welcome!

    Use the correct grip on all of your strokes. Now. Do not use the wrong grip and think you will be able to switch easily later.
     
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  4. texacali

    texacali Rookie

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    I have just joined the league scene recently as well. I have seen some bizarre serice motions, but have learned not to discount them because for better or worse, these strokes work.

    One of the more prevalent serve issues I have seen in 3-3.5 is the grip. A lot of players have a grip that allows for one hard flat serve attempt, but the same grip does not allow for very much of a slice second serve. Typically it is a 100/mph heater on the first serve and if that is not successful, a love tap second serve.

    I keep thinking of some of these guys changed their grips, they could have a pretty potent first and second serve.
     
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  5. texacali

    texacali Rookie

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    Cindysphinx...looks like we were thinking the same thing.
     
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  6. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah, we are.

    I started out as a total beginner (redundant, I know). I was doing a clinic, and one of the teaching pros (Ed) saw me using a frying pan grip (and hitting what I thought were awesome serves). He came over and shifted me to Continental and explained why I should make this change. I hit a couple of serves that went all over the place, and I told him I liked my grip better.

    He made a deal with me. He said that he wanted me to use the new grip for two weeks, and go out a few times during that period and practice it. If I still didn't like it, he wouldn't bug me about it ever again.

    I did as he said, and it was less than two weeks before I was thrilled with the new grip. As a 2.5/3.0, I had an adorable little slice serve. It wasn't much, but it was the only slice serve opponents my level had ever seen, and it won me a ton of free points.

    Thanks, Ed!!

    Cindy -- also sending out thanks to Greg from that same clinic, who forced her to use a OHBH volley with Continental grip
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2012
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  7. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    I'm afraid that might be a thing correllating with age. :) Like can't teach an old dog new tricks... I switch and change easily. The only question is ..as in anything...do you understand what you need to do? Example, I told a couple 3.5 friends to use cont grip for serving cuz it's the correct grip, but they couldn't do it to save their life. They couldn't comprehend contacting the ball with it.
     
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  8. texacali

    texacali Rookie

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    My grip epiphany came in high school...no coach or anything. Just moved my grip over to continental by chance and all of a sudden, lights went on angels sang and my serve was actually going in. Even my brother asked after where I managed to get a slice serve. Been that way ever since.

    Kinda of tough to see a guy with a decent motion using frying pan grip...especially when they send a heater short and it bounces before it even gets to the net.
     
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  9. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I wouldn't say it is age-related.

    I would say ability to change a stroke is all about motivation and discipline. I know many people who use the wrong grip or technique, and they know it is wrong. To change it, they have to commit to the new technique and never revert back to the old technique to win a point.

    The people who seem to fail at changing a technique are those who think they can toggle back and forth between the correct and incorrect techniques. They may well "understand what they need to do," but they don't develop muscle memory, confidence and consistency because they keep bailing out when the going gets tough.
     
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  10. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    What you said is interesting to me. Makes me wonder if these people play tennis so consecutively and seriously that there's no time inbetween long enough for a new technique to set in.

    For example, going from a flat bunting fh-grip serve to a continental grip serve, how much worse can your serve get if you only do a mediocre, arm-only conti serve? How much worse can you get if you go from a conti FH to a eastern FH? We aren't playing blinding fast tennis where a tiny change will disrupt results.

    The thing about correct/sound technique is that result is very immediate if you truly comprehend it, which is my point earlier. It only takes a few sessions for you to master it. But to put it to good use, ie perform in real competition at max potential, is just a matter of speed and experience and fitness. Say, if you perform slow enough, like playing with Sunday 70s group, there's no reason why you can't play every technique soundly. There's a difference between mastering/knowing how to perform a technique and performing it in a tough situation.

    That's why I wonder if the people you mention cannot afford any time to acquire sound techniques.
     
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  11. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Cindy,

    Actually in my experience all the people I met that don't play with sound techniques do so because 1) they can't comprehend the technique 2) it takes too much effort physically and mentally and not worth it. They need to play now with what they have. They're not confident whether they understand correctly, their endeavor worths the trouble.
     
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  12. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    I have friends for whom it is a matter of , I dunno, 'pride' maybe, to be able to say they have never been coached.

    One of them was watching my 12 y/o son train the other day and said to me quite disparagingly 'gosh, you can see he's been coached from day one'.
    ('yes, that's why he can double bagel you in twenty minutes', I thought, but didn't say )

    Anyway, it got me thinking and asking casually around the club regarding what the 'average player' thinks about coaching.

    (this is a confronting thing to do if, like me, you are a a coach!)

    So, based on this incredibly scientific survey, I can report that your average 3.0-3.5 club player has almost zero interest in changing their techniques or paying attention to 'what the pros do'

    In fact, the great majority were quite dismissive of some of their number who had 'started getting private lessons at age 45'
    Apparently, this isn't quite the 'done thing'.

    I have no idea what this means, exactly, but I thought I would share it with you all..
     
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  13. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Timbo,

    I think you've touched on something.

    If you ask me what I think, I'll tell you...I used to look down on getting coached. Probably from peer influence, and very subtle hints that you're a loser if you have this much time and money or are this serious. There are the looks that I can beat you and I never got coached.

    Today, I'm all for getting a coach if you don't get the results you want. It's freaking frustrating to see unbelievably bad tennis.

    I'd get a coach if I had money and time -- I'm competitive by nature--, but I could barely get out of the house just to play these days. I do pay alot of attention to 'what the pros do' though and try to improve everyday. I have a little ocd on 'doing things the right way' (at least in my mind).
     
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  14. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Oh, wow. I so totally disagree. :)

    If you go from an Eastern on your serve to a Continental, your serve percentages will drop off a lot. This, my friend, is embarrassing. Here you are, DFing your head off, losing to people you used to beat. Your doubles partner is whispering, "Just get it in" and "Wow, what happened to your serve?" Add in some pressure, and are you really going to hit two Conti serves match point down, or are you going to bring out the frying pan?

    If you stick with it, you'll get the hang of it, of course. Trouble is, if you only play a couple of times a week and have little time for practice it can take a very long time to master a change in technique. It's not a matter of "comprehension." It's a matter of execution.
     
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  15. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Yes. Exactly. Consider things from their perspective, though.

    Taking instruction costs $60-90 an hour, and people have bills to pay.

    Even if you do take lessons, the payoff is *way* down the road and in no way guaranteed. You might spend all that money and still wind up at the same NTRP level of your buddies, except that your wallet is thousands of dollars lighter. Many of us know people who spend the butter and egg money on tennis lessons; the reason we know them is because they remain at the same NTRP level no matter how many lessons they buy.

    Even if the lessons "take," maybe you will move up an NTRP level or two. So what? Who says it is more fun at a higher level? Improving is hard work. Why put all that work into a hobby?

    Tennis players are crabs in a barrel sometimes.

    I think many league tennis players have a deep-seated fear of being left behind. They don't want everyone else to move up or move on without including them -- who would? So if a buddy starts taking lessons, they worry that their peers will get better than them and they will soon be the player who rides the bench or can't find a partner.

    It also makes them ask themselves some tough question that they would rather not ask: "Am I satisfied with where I am?" "If I want to get better, how am I going to do it without instruction?"

    Yeah, there is a lot of whispering when someone starts taking lessons. I think many in their tennis orbit secretly hope the lessons don't result in tangible improvement.
     
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  16. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Cindy,

    I guess I overestimated people's ability to learn. Honestly. I was thinking an eastern serve wouldn't be much better than an average conti serve where player performs soundly.

    You're right. Comprehension and execution aren't same thing. However, this sport like any other sports mostly comprise of natural human movements. No performance sport asks you to come up with new, non-innate body movements. So, to comprehend it is to know how to execute it. This isn't a big leap. :)
     
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  17. guernica

    guernica New User

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    well it was not my intentions to start a great debate about 3.0/5 players wanting to learn new grips or not on their serves.

    HOWEVER I had my 2nd match of the season tonight in wich I won all of my service games which I was pleased about as I just "went for the". I have had a serving specific lesson in the past but was using an extremely light head liquidmetal that i think was causing a lot of my previous shoulder pain as I have attempted some of the drills that I was shown with no pain so far.

    I also was the jerk this week that went for a 1 hbh down the line and put it right in the opposing teams net players mouth.
     
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  18. josofo

    josofo Semi-Pro

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    practice. a lot of good videos out there
     
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