Opponent says I "bounce the ball too much"

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by leroy_sunset, Oct 17, 2013.

  1. leroy_sunset

    leroy_sunset Rookie

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    As established in a previous "sandbagging" thread, I suck pretty bad at tennis. This is best manifested in my double faults. My headgame is pretty weak, so I bounce the ball quite a bit at the line, to clear my head and focus.

    Today in a ladder match, my opponent complained on the switchover. He started by straight-up saying "you're really starting to annoy me." When I inquired what exactly was annoying him, he said "you bounce the ball too much. 14 bounces is too much. They would penalize you at a tournament for taking too much time."

    I informed him that I had 25 seconds between points (wrong, it's actually 20) but because we clear our own balls, it just had to be "reasonable." I said I have never timed my bounce routine, but I was pretty sure I was way south of the time limit. I also said that the officials at nationals never said a word, I did the same routine in front of multiple roving judges. I also bounce the ball 11 times, I know my own routine, but he insisted it was 14 bounces.

    At first, it did mess with my head a little and created some mental chatter when I was at the service line. Then I just shook it off, went back to what I usually do, and beat him soundly. We talked more after the match, and he also took umbrage with the fact I do my routine before both the 1st and 2nd serves. He felt that was totally unnecessary.

    When I got home, I timed my routine. Less than 10 seconds.

    So, what gives? Can you call a time violation on your opponent when they are serving? I would think not. I always play to the pace of the server when I am receiving. I've never had anyone complain before. Maybe he was just mad that I aced him after lulling him to sleep with my bounces?
     
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  2. leroy_sunset

    leroy_sunset Rookie

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  3. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

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    The time you refer to is meant to be from the end of the previous point to the beginning of the next point.

    So from the moment the last rally ends by being called out, going into the net, whatever ... to the time you actually hit your serve.

    If you bounce the ball 14 times it's a good bet that you are going over the time limit.

    Most people won't begrudge you a little extra time after a particularly long point, or before a particularly important point, but doing that on every (or even most) points is rude and against the rules.
     
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  4. leroy_sunset

    leroy_sunset Rookie

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    Yes, I know. Personally, without ballkids, I feel like this time limit shouldn't really start until you have two balls in your pocket.

    I walk (usually from the baseline) to the backstop and collect the balls, then walk right to the line. On top of which, even though I take time bouncing the ball, when I look up often my opponent isn't ready to receive and I halt my toss to wait for them out of courtesy. I did that at least 3 times today. I don't see how any of it is rude.
     
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  5. Alex78

    Alex78 Semi-Pro

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    Leroy, if you still double-fault a lot - despite all the bouncing you're doing - bouncing is not really helping you, or is it?
    I can understand any opponent who gets distracted by this, and I'd consider it a kind of gamesmanship on your side as well.
    Just practice your serve a little more, do it with and without the bouncing and see where it gets you.
    In my personal opinion, a couple of bounces will do the job, if you need more time for yourself, take it away from the service position. To me - again personally - taking that position at the baseline is a sign for your opponent that you're about to hit, and bouncing excessively seems like you're then trying to throw him off his rhythm and catch him sort of unaware.
    Just my two cents.

    edit: I'm assuming that your opponent, on the other hand, won't try to screw you up himself, of course ;)
     
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  6. leroy_sunset

    leroy_sunset Rookie

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    I think it helps. My toss sucks, and it helps me to focus on getting it higher.

    Personally, I feel it's no more distracting than the cough my opponent uttered after he hit every serve, or the funky service motion that another guy has. It's in no way gamesmanship. Bouncing is for me, not for them.

    I bounce it 9 times with the racquet and catch, then bounce twice with my free hand, then serve. Literally the exact same thing every time. The double bounce lets him know the serve is coming. There is no surprise whatsoever. I guess Conners did a 10+ bounce routine at the line. Roddick was 10+ at the line.
     
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  7. Alex78

    Alex78 Semi-Pro

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    That's why I suggested practicing your serve without bouncing the ball excessively. See if you can get to tossing the ball with more consistency. Shouldn't be all that hard, actually.


    Bouncing is equivalent to dragging out play, which the other behaviors you are citing are not. That's a big difference (to me).

    In general, I wouldn't recommend using pro's behaviours as an argument why you should/could do the same.
    It's rec tennis, and by all means, most of us are not professionals, who can be expected to be able to cope with stuff like this.
    Chances are, you'll just run into quite a few people who don't like these tactics, and in the end, you'll have to ask yourself if you want to enjoy playing tennis or if you prefer "being right" in your own ideas.
    Noone will sue you for bouncing, but I just think that a few bounces less would do the job as well.
     
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  8. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Nole, we are honoured that you are taking time out from your busy schedule on the way to the year end finals to post a troll thread here on the lowly TW message board. Life on the ProTour must be really boring, maybe you need a new gf. Glad to hear your pre-serve ball bounce routine is down from 19 to only 14. That is a bit better but would even annoy Ghandi.

    What are you doing playing in 2.0 nationals, I didn't know they had such a low level, that's some major sandbagging don't you think? To get rid of that monkey-mind noise in your head hire a tennis psychologist onto your team. With your obvious OCD, I'm surprised you don't already have one, Jeff Greenwald, PHD could help you a lot or buy his CD's.

    Put a new battery in your timer, there's no way you can bounce the ball 14 times in 10 seconds. Maybe also a remedial math class to correct the discrepancy between 11 and 14 bounces. Look on the positive side, if you made it to 2.0 Nationals, at least you are amongst the best of the sub-mediocre. You need some better quality practice time at the club bar to bring your mental game up to 2.5. Don't underestimate the mental game of tennis at the rec/club level and the need for self-delusion, alcohol and some herb helps.

    I can see why your opponent got annoyed with you, I fell asleep just reading your post. If you need more then THREE BOUNCES MAX you need to get some serious therapy for your OCD. Sorry if this comes off harsh or insulting, but this is the internets and that's what we do here. Thanks for the opportunity to help you.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2013
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  9. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    I can fully understand why watching 11 bounces each and every point would drive one bonkers.
     
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  10. Tamiya

    Tamiya Semi-Pro

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    Adopt habit of taking practice swings when other side is readying to serve.

    (Hey, it worked for Wimbledon! :) )
     
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  11. Bdarb

    Bdarb Hall of Fame

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    It's annoying but if it's legal tell them to mind their own business. If it is too long (which I would guess it is) maybe shorten it up a bit. If bouncing the ball 11 times helps you why wouldn't bouncing it 5 times or six times. As long as you are focusing on that, the number of bounces shouldn't matter.
     
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  12. Rorsach

    Rorsach Hall of Fame

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    If you bounce the ball that many time before every serve, you would quickly find the court deserted by the time you looked up from your bounces and find me enjoying a beer in the club house.
     
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  13. leroy_sunset

    leroy_sunset Rookie

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    Tom, you're the only reason I still come to these forums.
     
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  14. IA-SteveB

    IA-SteveB Professional

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    You've got to love uptight "tennis people."
     
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  15. leroy_sunset

    leroy_sunset Rookie

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    I have played this guy plenty of times before, singles and doubles. He had never mentioned this before, nor has any other player (including my wife, not prone to holding back). He's kind of the club d-bag, no one really likes him because he's a bully and a sore loser. We get along OK, and I am sure we will continue to do so.

    FYI, last time I played him in a ladder match he was complaining and actually mad that I won two points from the ball trickling over after hitting the tape. It was as if I loosened the net cord or something. This time, the complaints came after I took 7 straight games and aced him to close my service game.
     
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  16. IA-SteveB

    IA-SteveB Professional

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    That's one thing I have never understood about tennis. Why do players apologize for a point like that? If I was good enough to hit the net cord at will for an easy point, my points would certainly come from dotting the lines. It is just funny that a player would apologize or expect one for getting a lucky point. I don't see many baseball players saying sorry to a pitcher when a homerun hits the top of the wall and bounces over. Hockey players don't apologize for a poster that goes in. :) Anyway, I don't want to derail your thread.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2013
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  17. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    If you really bounce the ball 14 or even 11 times before each serve I'd never play you again socially after the first time. I also don't think it is possible to do that much bouncing before each serve and still serve within 20 or even 25 seconds of the end of the last point. Even if you somehow were managing to squeeze in that many bounces into the legal time period between points I'd still never play you again socially.
     
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  18. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Thank you, I'm the only reason I come here too!
     
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  19. leroy_sunset

    leroy_sunset Rookie

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    Hence the need for the ball machine in your signature. And my dance card is full, just saying.
     
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  20. Bdarb

    Bdarb Hall of Fame

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    I don't think saying he wouldn't play with you is being overly dramatic. NEEDING to bounce the ball exactly 11 times on the other hand..
     
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  21. leroy_sunset

    leroy_sunset Rookie

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    Based on his other posts, it sounds like beernutz is cutting a lot of people out of his life. I'm concerned.
     
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  22. Bdarb

    Bdarb Hall of Fame

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    intervention time
     
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  23. italia

    italia New User

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    Bouncing 11 times is not too many. I think I saw some professionals do even more.
     
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  24. Bdarb

    Bdarb Hall of Fame

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    I see pros towel off between every point too. Do that in a social match and you're on your own.
     
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  25. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    Sounds more like projection to me. But what does a hermit like me know?
     
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  26. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    How many other players do you play who bounce the ball as many times as you do?

    Having a ball machine is a sign of being anti-social? Thanks Leroy, you are a fountain of something.
     
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  27. CurrenFan

    CurrenFan Rookie

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    Bounce it only 4 times, but start off with the Isner between-the-legs bounce and then do 3 progressively higher bounces, with the last apexing at about 15-20'. He'll get the message and shut up in the future.

    The OP said that he was doing most of the bouncing racquet- to-ground, rather than catching it and throwing it down each time. I could see doing that more rapidly than 1 bounce per second, almost like the paddle ball game with the soft pink ball on the elastic string attached to the wooden paddle.
     
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  28. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    Whatever routine works for you...

    I bounce only 4 times, but, ocassionally, I can have a couple of erratic tosses in a row, so those should be even more annoying and time consuming.
     
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  29. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I used to have a lot of trouble with my toss consistency, and a pro suggested a routine that has helped a lot.

    The rule is 3. Three bounces. That's it. Three.

    It needs to be three because the bounces have a purpose. You use the three bounces to focus your mind and your arm. The bounces occur on the exact place on the court you want your toss to land if you didn't hit it. You bounce with your elbow straight, so the toss is the exact mirror opposite of the bounce.

    So it's focus, focus, focus, toss.

    Too many bounces are a crutch. What are you thinking about when you do 14 bounces, exactly? Answer: Nothing. You're just giving yourself a chance to get tight, mostly.

    Also, doing a bunch of bounces and trying to get them in within the allotted time means your are not bouncing slowly and deliberately. Your toss is slow and deliberate, so your bounce should be also -- the bounce is the mirror image of your toss, right?

    Anyway, this has worked for me and really helped calm me down.
     
    #29
  30. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    I only bounce once. But I catch the ball every time I toss because I love to play head games. :cool:
     
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  31. Bdarb

    Bdarb Hall of Fame

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    Good advice here.
     
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  32. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    Just sit there and count out 10 seconds. That is a long time waiting for something to start.
     
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  33. dizzlmcwizzl

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    If I notice you are excessively bouncing the ball, then it is to much ball bouncing. If your opponent took the time to mention it ... it probably is to much ball bouncing. If this guy is your friend and he is merely busting your B@!!s, no biggie. But if he is a relative stranger and still feels like he should mention it ... it is a problem.


    I have never once noticed how many times I bounce the ball nor I have ever paid any attention to the number of times my opponent bounces the ball.

    So I went back and watched a match video of myself ... sometimes one, but never more than two.
     
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  34. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Good advice x'2
     
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  35. directionals

    directionals Rookie

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    Using the bounces to focus is great. But the toss is not the exact mirror opposite of the bounce. The J-toss involves a right-to-left arm movement for a right-handed player.
     
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  36. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    What's a "J-toss"? Which player is a good example to watch using it?
     
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  37. stapletonj

    stapletonj Semi-Pro

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    AHA !!!!

    NOW we see why the thread of the 135 mph pancake grip 3.0 was TRUE !!!!!!

    That OP bounced the ball 342 times before serving it !!!!!!!

    NOW I understand !!!!
     
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  38. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Yes, he heated up the ball with all that bouncing making it travel faster, good observation.
     
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  39. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Meh. Maybe so. I don't know how literal this approach is intended to be. It makes a very good visual for those of us in Toss Kindergarten.
     
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  40. directionals

    directionals Rookie

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  41. Baxter

    Baxter Professional

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    Yes, you're bouncing the ball too much.
     
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  42. RetroSpin

    RetroSpin Hall of Fame

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    If someone is bouncing the ball more than 3 or 4 times in a match, I infer gamesmanship. Either that or they are OCD.

    Do it and don't expect me to cut you any slack on line calls. Forget about playing socially too. Life is too short.
     
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  43. sovertennis

    sovertennis Semi-Pro

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    ..And let's not even discuss repeatedly catching the toss...
     
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  44. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    Even Nadal rarely bounces the ball 11 times or more but the big difference is that there is an umpire keeping time in professional matches and the player can get called for taking too much time. That doesn't happen in recreational or other self-officiated matches or at least I have never heard of it happening. Bouncing the ball 11 times on every serve in a league, tournament, or social match is definitely inconsiderate and possibly gamesmanship.
     
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  45. TimeSpiral

    TimeSpiral Professional

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    So a guy you beat rather easily found something to complain about? I'm stunned! Lol.

    Scenario building!
    Let's imagine a relatively comfortable straight sets win, 6-4, 6-4. Let's say you get your first serve in 60% of the time, and you double faulted four times. Let's say a few of your services games saw multiple deuces, and your opponent was able to get into about 30 in a couple games too.

    What do we say here, you had to serve about 56 points in the set in order to win? Sure. Sounds about right. Let's say the "normal" pre-serve routine once you're at the line is 5 seconds (that's about how long I take, if you count the long points). You claim your ball bouncing takes 10 seconds.

    My pre-serve routine takes about 4.6 minutes over the course of one set.
    Your pre-serve routine takes about twice that, or 9.3 minutes. Feel terrible that you've inconvenienced your opponent by a whopping five minutes per set. How dare you!

    I don't care if you bounce the ball a dozen times. At least you're at the line and I can prepare to return. Some guys mope around at a snails pace collecting balls and I swear there's 45-60 seconds spent in between each attempt at starting a point. Now that drives me nuts.
     
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  46. Jay6060

    Jay6060 New User

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    I also think you are bouncing the ball too much. I expect a few bounces then a serve (if you are a ball bouncer as some people don't bounce the ball before serving); so I am in a ready position to return serve, which makes 10+ seconds seem longer than if someone is walking around the court etc. wasting time that is also annoying but the receiver is probably not in ready position while that is happening.
     
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  47. leroy_sunset

    leroy_sunset Rookie

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    Basically this. I think it boils down to the fact that he's a sore loser, but his comment made me think.

    Yup, I'm at the line ASAP even if I am tired from the previous point to respect the time rules.

    FYI, I tried a shorter routine tonight (8 bounces). I double faulted a lot more. I think my first serve percentage was unchanged. I lost.
     
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  48. IA-SteveB

    IA-SteveB Professional

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    That is weird. A shorter bounce routine made you double fault more? You are thinking and analyzing things way too much, but that's just my opinion. :)
     
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  49. emilyhex

    emilyhex Rookie

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    I hate to play devil's advocate, but maybe you need to bounce the ball more. I mean, you say it improves your focus. More bouncing should equal more focus? If you have an extra 10 seconds to spare in your warmup, you might as well use that time to bounce and focus. I'm thinking your double faults will likely decrease as a result of more bouncing. Just a thought.
     
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  50. Bdarb

    Bdarb Hall of Fame

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    It wasn't bouncing the ball that made you double fault.. lol You sound like a very weak tennis player mentally. I'd hazard a guess that you are thinking about your ball bouncing too much and not your serve. I would imagine the last match in your head you're saying "there, bounced the ball eight times, three more to go, and I cant do those this time." Just focus on your serve not your bounce.

    I mean seriously, if you bounce the ball eleven times EVERYTIME.. you're thinking too much about your serve routine and not enough about the serve.
     
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