NTRP 0 to 5 in a year? Is that possible?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Stergios, Mar 2, 2013.

  1. rufus_smith

    rufus_smith Professional

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    Congrats. As long as you are not disabled you are probably already able to play above 0.0 now just by visiting this forum. I putting you at NTRP 1.0!
     
  2. Dimcorner

    Dimcorner Professional

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    I don't think it's possible but if you want to try go for it.

    Also as someone mentioned before, it's not the strokes and shots that make it hard, it's when you are playing against someone. You can make shots pretty and run drills and hit cones all day, but when you include an opponent who has YEARS of match experience to the mix then it goes out the window.
     
  3. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    here is how to become 5.0 in 1 year - (no joking, serious strategy).

    pay a 7.0 to teach you a basic slice serve, and basic block volleys.... practice that for 6 months.... you become a 3.5 player at that point.

    now, for the next 6 months, the 2 of you enter 4.5 doubles tournaments together and win a bunch of them.

    on the NTRP computer, you will be a real 5.0
     
  4. goober

    goober Legend

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    Too bad the OP is listed location is in Greece. :)

    Your plan would work, but I think the OP wanted real 5.0 skillz, not just a 5.0 rating any way possible.
     
  5. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    Without reading the whole thread....

    I would say it's not possible. BUT, if you are athletic and have good hand to eye co-ordination from other sports, you could certainly get to 4.0. This would require A LOT of work, however. But still possible IMO. That would be the cut off though. 4.5 is just too much.
     
  6. Stergios

    Stergios Rookie

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    UPDATE

    Hi Guys,

    Just a quick update before I comment on previous posts.
    I just got back from practice and I got a ton of footage as promised. Off loading at the moment and I'll try to edit them after my afternoon gym session.

    By the way I thought you might wondered what my coach is thinking about this project; So I got him on camera :) answering.

    And secondly as lots of peaople asked me if I have a good coach or tennis partner to hit with, I leaned a few interesting achievements of my coach today. He played at the Orange Bowl of 2005 at the qualification rounds and reached the finals. Pretty good, eh?

    I didn't know till today how big this tournament is for juniors.

    Cheers,

    Stergios
     
  7. Venetian

    Venetian Professional

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    Cool, looking forward to the footage.
     
  8. DakotaM

    DakotaM New User

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    I don't think this has bee mentioned yet - what if it turns out you don't enjoy playing like you thought you would? Do you have a backup plan?
     
  9. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    Most people on this board have no clue how good 5.0 players are. Most think they are 4.5 around here and they would probably barely hang-in in a real 3.5 USTA league play.

    Sorry, I like your ambition, but reaching a legit 5.0 in a year is impossible. It is possible to get to strong 3.5 or 4.0 level and you may be able to rally okay with a 5.0 player, but to get to 5.0, you need some help from genetics. Unless you already are a high level athlete, your chances of EVER reaching 5.0 is low let alone doing it in a year.

    Anyone telling you different has no clue how good 5.0 players are.
     
  10. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    ^^ what's so hard to understand 5.0? the best player I have played and lost to is currently playing ATP doubles successfully. and I have played other players around 5.0 and 6.0. they are not dime a dozen in regular america but it's hardly a rocket science to know what a 5.0 is.
     
  11. goober

    goober Legend

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    Interesting you say you don't know how badly he wanted baseball yet you doubt his passion is 1/10 of that when he started the NBA? He stated in a book started training in secret for baseball with Chicago white sox trainers while he was still playing in the NBA. Before spring training he was hitting over a thousand balls a day and studying video and working with coaches. He also played in high school so it wasn't like he was a complete novice to the game. I am not sure how much more he could have done. The big knock on Jordan was the he could never learn to hit a major league curveball. HoF pitcher Bob Feller's comment on Jordan was "He couldn't hit a curveball with an ironing board"

    There are talents in baseball that are not innately related to pure athletic ability. Hitting major league pitches is one of them. I don't think Jordan had what it takes any more than I think that he could of played on the PGA tour just because he was an NBA star.
     
  12. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    I admit I didn't read his book and baseball is not a big interest of mine, so mostly speculation on my part. but I believe in some fundamental athletic abilities that can translate between sports. doesn't mean it happens automatically but could rather be a huge boost in trying to build an athletic skill.
     
  13. Stergios

    Stergios Rookie

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    Hi Guys,

    Really exhausted at the time and I haven't finished the video editing. In the mean time have a look of how confident my coach Paris Gemouchidis is and what has to say...

    YouTube link

    Cheers,

    Stergios

    PS: I hope I'll edit the video by tomorrow and get to answer your questions in previous comments. Need to be fresh for tomorrow's practice :) Wish me luck.
     
  14. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Coach is realistic..
    Consider, it took him 8 years to get to lower level qualifier level.
    But both you and the coach have nothing to lose, so go for it.
    It's the jouney that counts, not the final goal.
     
  15. Phonco

    Phonco Rookie

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    With all the talk about Jordan I'm surprised no one has mentioned Deion Sanders. This man successfully played professional NFL football (American) and MLB baseball simultaneously. He even competed in the World Series and the Super Bowl (yes I know they're team sports, but that's not the point).

    Even if you looked back on his high school days he played basketball, football and baseball and was still able to reach State/college level in all three. He then went on to play college level baseball and football. How he found the time to train for each sport I'll never know, but imagine if he just focused on one sport.

    For Stergios, it seems like you have great tools at your disposal. With quality partners at your disposal, you should be able to get used to high level play and figure what you need to compete at that level physically regarding strokes and fitness. At that point, the only thing that should hold you back is the mind. It's similar to why a successful junior career doesn't translate to the pros. It's not just the strokes, its that they just need to figure out how to put it all together i.e. Federer compared to Hewitt. Unlike the body, the mind doesn't have a limit nor can it be measured. Some people are mentally tough, some are strategic geniuses, and some people just get it. Ultimately, I think that will be your biggest challenge. You just got to know how to win.

    Who knows? Maybe you're one of those types of people. Another Deion Sanders in the making. :)

    Good luck!
     
  16. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

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    Well stated, Lee.
     
  17. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    I agree Stergios, and understand that really you're aiming to be the best player you can be a year from now. Me too. :)

    The number (5.0 playing level) gives you something concrete to shoot for, but, given your circumstances, it isn't a realistic goal in my opinion. I think it's important to set goals that you have a realistic chance of achieving if you work hard and patiently. I think that a 3.5 to 4.0 level of play is achievable, for you, in a year. From there, given another year of hard and patient work, then 5.0 is, conceivabley, within your grasp.

    In any case, I wish you good fortune in your tennis quest/experiment.

    It will be interesting to see how you progress during the coming year. I hope you continue to inform via the Talk Tennis forums. I feel sure that I'll learn some things that will help me to improve.

    A new, separate thread would be my choice -- and, it's ok to duplicate posting of any videos you post in this thread in the new, separate thread tracking your progress.

    I think this will not only help to motivate you, but it will motivate others as well, while also probably providing lots of helpful tips and suggestions for diet, rest, preparation, practice, and match play. Plus, many years from now, when you're in your Golden Years (65 and over) you will be very glad that you kept an organized video diary of this.

    It's a great goal for a great game. One thing is sure. You WILL get lots better, and I have no doubt that in a year's time you will be able to kick my butt in a tennis match, and, if you pay the round trip airfare, then I'm willing to come over there and prove it to you. :) Or, you can come to Fort Lauderdale, USA. Either way works for me. :) (Though, I prefer visiting Greece. I hear the scenery, and the architecture, and the weather, and, oh yeah, the women over there are very beautiful. Plus, I like the food. A lot. :) )
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2013
  18. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    While there ARE MichaelJordan's, TonyGonzalez's, Dion, Bo, JohnLucas's in the world, they come once a decade, and they KNOW it from age 6, have persued sports since then, and burned out or got injured by the age of 35.
    If you KNOW you are THE athlete of the decade, you would not have gotten married and raised kids before your attempt to get good in sports.
     
  19. mikeespinmusic

    mikeespinmusic Rookie

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    very true should've explained more - going oldschool helped me get there

    You're right in regards to the type of racquets you're using. I should've spoken about that more. If you're abled bodied and young enough to move around well, a tweener or an over size racquet isn't going to let you develop your strokes as much as a player's frame. Sure you might win with them, but in my opinion they develop bad habbits because of the player being too accustomed to forgiveness.

    The 8month mark is where I got the most improvement switching to mid size frames and leadding up the racquets how I wanted them.


    For the bulk of that time before that I went with a tweener frame stringing tight thinking I had to compete with the majority of players that work with heavy spin. I came to realise that this wasn't my "A" Game. I can't beat these guys at their own game they've perfected for years... Then I started reading more about how the older generations played, way more aggressive, almost a fortune favouring the brave sort of attitude.
    But what got me going was learning that their tools were different.

    I gave it a try and never looked back.

    Their heavier and more stable racquets were better suited to hitting through opponents shots, charging aggressively and crushing winners - but they (the racquets) needed far greater footwork due to a small margin for error - because the shots are flatter. Which can be tricky when the modern game is a bit slower with longer rallies and the balls violently spin and dip on you.

    But I worked at it and did it anyway.

    I finally found my indentity. I like to work with feel and loose string tensions, the racquets I use help to hit accurate missles with penetration while charging the net. I cannot do that with a racquet that hasn't been customised to how I like it (this is called a depolarised racquet setup). As a bonus, if someone against me is using a standard racquet or likes hitting a lot of spin, the penetration from my "rally safe"shots is often enough either to make them cause errors, give me control of the point, or take them away from their A game and doubt themselves. It nots easy to rip a lot of spin past me because I can hit through it or flatten out a winner.

    I do have drawbacks though, I've lost a bit off my serve speed (heavier ball instead of faster now) and I don't get as many aces. I have to serve a higher percentage placement where as a my tweener racquet allowed me to boom down first and second serves and follow up with heavy spin. But my new setup does get me more chances to hit winners and charge (because the weight/penetration behind the ball causes the opponent to mishit or give weak service returns)

    I can't hit defensive spin shots amazingly because of where the weight is distributed. There's not much "loop" to my topspin compared to a heavy spinner sort of player (Polarised Racquet Setup - e.g Babolat AeroPro Drive) I have good passing shots generally, but they can be risky
    because of how flat the ball comes off of my racquet. Especially if I don't have much time. But I cover this weakness alot because I like being at the net and the majority of the players are baseline spinners that cant come to the net and approach the way I can (so I have less pressure).

    I'm not unbeatable of course, but the players who do beat me need a dam good S & V game. And there's not many that do it, or customise racquets in Australia... and they have no interest in learning....so I keep winning...

    But thats my story, you may like the idea of rigging your racquet in a similar way. You may want to be the heavier pounding baseline spinner. You may want to develop a massive serve, You may have something completely different, or you may be a good mixture. Keep at it!
     
  20. Moz

    Moz Hall of Fame

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    Mikeespinmusic - if I read your posts correctly you've gone from Australian Div 3 to 1 in less than 1 month.

    What's that equivalent in NTRP? What's the process for moving up divisions over there?
     
  21. Jay_The_Nomad

    Jay_The_Nomad Professional

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    They say you need approximately 10,000 hours of working on something intensively to master it.

    So that's 417 consecutive days of 24 hours non-stop tennis.

    Now you may debate over whether reaching 5.0 amounts to mastering tennis or whether roger federer is the only person in history to master the game. But this 10,000 hours is simply a guide to show you what it takes and it certainly looks impossible.
     
  22. Stergios

    Stergios Rookie

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    Hi Dakota,

    I can see you play tons of tennis. And to have a friend to help you out is more than valuable I believe.

    You got it very right. And I'm glad the message has come across indeed. How probable would be for one to achieve something bold if s/he's aiming lower than that?

    Thanks once again for commenting.

    Stergios

    PS: I'll get to your next and interesting question shortly.
     
  23. Stergios

    Stergios Rookie

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    Hi Tennis_balla,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    I think that others would agree with you. Although as understand by reading all these comments even 5.0 looking shots is a kind of a big deal as well, to achieve.

    I also understand that playing is quite different from practicing. Especially if you have a good player who's giving you good paced balls. Today I played a match for the third time since I begun this project.

    The first match was on friday and it was terrible. The second was on Monday and it was better. And the third today and it was way but way better. All with the same person. Oh, and guess what? I got some footage too (feeling anxious already :)) to show it you.

    What would you advice me to do in order to toughen up and get this aspect of the goal straightened?

    Cheers,

    Stergios
     
  24. Stergios

    Stergios Rookie

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    Hi Marosmith,

    Noted! I have already packed my camera and it will be all the times with me. Ok, most of them :).
    I'm also searching to find footage of me just before the project. I've already have some of my serve. Although it's the best of it since I never thought that the rest would be such a nice thing to have a few months later.

    I'll get it up by today.

    Thanks,

    Stergios
     
  25. Stergios

    Stergios Rookie

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    Haha...No, it's a give your 100% campaign! :)
     
  26. Stergios

    Stergios Rookie

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    Hi Rkelley,

    I'm glad you came across this thread.

    I totally get you. I see many people at the club I'm practicing at whom have learnt things in a very awkward way. And, at first to my surprise, they were driving mad and out of court (I'm exaggerating a little bit :)) technically sound players.

    Of course I see you have to study all aspects to excel. So, I'm heading up and I spent time not only to practice and to strengthen up but also to read books about strategy and the mental game. Fingers crossed all that will add up eventually.

    As for the physical condition you mentioned as well as being injury free, I have to tell that sadly I learnt that the hard way early on. And I now take greater care of my body and I still keep improving the process.
    I also found very helpful the books Tennis Anatomy and The Anatomy of Sports Injuries.

    Thanks for posting,

    Stergios
     
  27. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    Name names. What 5.0 have you beaten? There aren't that many of them out there.
     
  28. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    Does anyone know of a person who has done this before? I certainly don't nor have I even heard of one. The best personal example I know is a guy who went from a weak 3.0 to a solid 4.0 in a year but he was a former college scholarship baseball player in his mid 30s who had great hand eye coordination and runs like the wind. In singles, he can probably beat some of the lower tier 4.5s who play primarily doubles but after two year ends as a 4.0 he has yet to get a bump to 4.5.
     
  29. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    @ mikeespinmusic,
    I've been thinking of leading up one of my racquets. How do you do yours?
    (This is, strictly speaking, a bit off-topic I guess. But I figured a couple of posts wouldn't hurt, and also considering that Stergios might be experimenting with this during the coming year.)
     
  30. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    @ Stergios,
    How's the video editing progressing? It's good that you're editing them, as watching unedited videos with lots of non-hitting stuff in them can be something of a chore, and often causes me to stop watching.

    But the interview with your coach/instructor sounds like a great idea, as well as some videos with you just talking about what you're doing and why you're doing it ... and also specifics on how you're doing it (ie., regarding scheduling, practice routines, drills, match competition, recovery/rest/sleep, equipment, diet, nutritional supplements, and how you handle the various problems, both small and big, that are sure to arise during the coming year).
     
  31. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    No, not from totally inexperienced to 5.0, but back in '75-'76 I went from never having played tennis to what I would guess is about a low level 4.0 (re my recent experience with NTRP rated players) in a little over a year. I was 27-28 yrs old, very athletic, very fit, and at the courts every day for 6 to 8 hours. Of course I wasn't actually hitting/playing all that time. I'd guess about 4 hours doing something on court each day. So, I'd guesstimate about 1600 hours of actual court time.

    I didn't have to work and had plenty of money to finance my hobby during that time. Never took an actual lesson from an actual certified pro, but had the benefit of being part of a group of similarly motivated, similarly obsessed, very athletic guys. It was a great experience for me, and we all got a lot better during that time.

    Then, circumstances prevented me from playing (maybe once or twice a year I'd get out and hit, but tennis was no longer an obsession, as other pursuits had taken its place), until last year, and now I'm struggling just to become a solid, say, 3.5 player.
     
  32. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    I go pretty frequently to watch local Div 1 matches at University of Washington.

    Most of the players there are 5.0 players (and a few 5.5s).

    The thought that someone who never played tennis before and after a single year can play a competitive match with any of these players is a joke. It doesn't even pass the smell test.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2013
  33. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    Washington is #14 in the country right now. I'd rate their NTRP higher than how you did there.
     
  34. Mike Y

    Mike Y Rookie

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    Anyone can self rate at any level, so it is technically possible to go from never played before on March 1, 2013 to self-rating at 5.0 on March 1, 2014.

    However, it is virtually impossible to self-rate at the lowest level, 3.0 for the 2013 season and have a computer rating of 5.0 for the 2014 season. Even if you beat everyone 6-0, 6-0 in league matches, at most you can get red-lined up to 3.5, then beat everyone there 6-0, 6-0 and be bumped up to 4.0 at the end of the year for the 2014 season. But that is assuming you have zero learning curve, and if you start out winning 6-3, 6-2, or losing, then you are not going to be bumped up. And that is assuming that you play enough matches, and play enough quality opponents (and beat them handily) to get bumped up, and you are at the mercy of both your captain and your opponents. It is possible that you can play 10 bad 3.0 opponents and win 6-0, 6-0 against each of them, and still be a 3.0 the following year. So going from having a rating of 3.0 in one year to a 5.0 rating the next year simply is not going to happen.

    But at far as going from beginner to someone that plays like a 5.0 in one year, sorry, it is not going to happen. Tennis is one of those sports that in order to perform at a high level, you need a combination of both skill and athletic ability. Just being an elite athlete is not enough to beat someone who is both highly skilled and a good athlete. The skill takes a long time to learn, both the physical skill and the mental skill, and you can only learn how to put together complete matches by playing them. And each level gets exponentially harder and you have that much more to learn. So again, it is just not going to happen.

    If you had a goal of going from beginner to 4.0, then that is a very unrealistic goal, but it is within the realm of possibility. Or a better goal is to go from beginner to 3.5 level. That is definitely possible, and not that easy to do.
     
  35. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    BTW, there is no NTRP 0. An absolute novice would be a 1.0 player.



    .
     
  36. Stergios

    Stergios Rookie

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    UPDATE

    Hi Guys,

    Just a quick update. Very exhausted at the moment but happy of today's practice. But the update it's about the video which I'm excited to say that's being upload it on YouTube.

    I'll post a link in a few minutes before I fell asleap in a standing position :).

    I also wanted to tell you that I've read all the comments so far and I'm very happy to get so much feedback. I also start to feel that I'm making some new online friends here and I'm very happy about it.
    I will get back to your comments one by one after I get some sleep :) zzZ!

    Cheers,

    Stergios
     
  37. jason586

    jason586 Rookie

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    Last year, I had a goal to go from basically a beginner to playing quality 4.5 tennis in a 12 month period, but I did not make it. I am playing solid 4.0 though with over 1000 hours of court time in a year.
    I am in my late thirties and semi-retired, so I was/am playing 25+ hours a week (6 days/week x 4 hours/day), and I had access to playing better players daily which helped tremendously. I also watched tennis, read tennis, youtubed tennis everything from racquets, strings, technique, strategy, etc - basically obsessive on every front of tennis. I am shooting for 4.5 by the end of this year now. The difficulty has become finding better players than myself to continue to raise my level of play on a daily basis. It was easy in the beginning because nearly everyone was better than me. I do have a 5.0 friend who played college tennis that I play sets with once a week to help measure my growth, but nearly everyone else who I play regularly is 3.5-4.0 (singles).
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2013
  38. Stergios

    Stergios Rookie

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    Hi guys,

    Here it is finally. That's how my serve looks at the moment. More strokes will come as we go on. I hope you like the video. And I'm VERY anxious to get your feedback!

    As I posted earlier I will get to the questions of previous posts in tomorrows brake. Since then have fun and don't forget to smile :).

    Cheers,

    Stergios
     
  39. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    Clearly you were not an NTRP of 0 at the start of the project. That was at least a 3.0 serve in your first video segments. Also clearly you have made signifigant progress in a short time so "well done".
     
  40. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Lower your hitting hand. Don't bend your elbow so much. You start out with a relaxed Fed/DJ elbow bent, then almost hit your right ear with your rackethand. That is TOO much elbow bend and does give control and loses lots of swingspeed.
     
  41. maggmaster

    maggmaster Hall of Fame

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    Eeesh I don't know lee that serve looks pretty good, his racket is snapping through the power curve from dropping down behind the head through extension. Everyone is a bit different physiologically and if he were a kid in my clinic I would be giving him a lot of effort based praise. Looks good Stergio, you must have worked really hard :)
     
  42. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    Huge improvement on the serve! Looks like pace is pretty good. What's your consistency like?
     
  43. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Looks like a first year serve taught almost very good. That hand that close to the right ear is a deathknell for power. He starts out pretty good, then bends too much.
     
  44. Avles

    Avles Hall of Fame

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    Awesome that you can have daily lessons with an ATP pro-- hope you'll keep us posted on your progress!
     
  45. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Location:
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    Another problem I see is that his body, arm, legs, all go forward, but his racket is lagging behind....almost like his racket is too heavy for his armstrength.
    And if you look at his swingloop overall, he hits the ball before his rackethead achieves full speed.
     
  46. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
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    I gave you a thumbs up and subscribed to your channel. The serves you hit from 1:01 to 1:25 looked (and sounded) pretty good. A marked improvement from December. But still lots of room for improvement, as LeeD has already pointed out some things that need attention. I'm sure lots of others will also.

    Also watched (and thumbs upped) the short video of your coach talking about your program. :)

    Keep the videos coming as often as possible. Thanks. Very enjoyable.
     
  47. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

    Joined:
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    good improvement so far on your serve.

    critique: as you jump your legs are pushing your whole body forward. instead think jumping up. and you want to push your pelvis forward more right before contact so it can snap back to counter balance the forward inertia of the upper body, so you won't be falling forward instead you should be well balanced when you are landing.
     
  48. AbsoluTennis

    AbsoluTennis New User

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2012
    Messages:
    34
    nice Improvement!

    if u want to get further u will have to try to chance to a continental or backhand grip to get spin/pronation on ur 2nd/1st serves. your 1st serve looks good because u can accelerate a flat serve well with a forehand grip.

    i also recommend that u try to lag ur racket in the trophy position and than accelerate from this point on. at the moment u don t stop but swing thru and lag to late.

    but watching ur improvement so far i m sure u can handle this.

    btw.: where are these clay courts?
     
  49. tommyfr

    tommyfr Rookie

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    Location:
    Cebu, Philippines
    Stergios, Just a question on methodology. How do you know what level you would be at after 12 months. NTRP is as far as I know only fully used in the US and you are presently in Greece I guess.

    You would need to win (like 6-2) over 4.5 level players and play even with 5.0 players. How to go about that?
     
  50. axel89

    axel89 Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
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    you won't even make 4.0 ntrp gl though
     

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