Player Who Can't Handle Softballs

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Cindysphinx, Apr 30, 2007.

  1. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Aug 31, 2006
    I've had an interesting problem come up with one of my players. We're a 3.0 team, and this is her first time playing 3.0. Before that she played 7.0 mixed with mixed results, and she does drill classes. I was hoping she would be a rising star, because anyone who can handle 7.0 mixed should do fine with 3.0 ladies.

    In her first doubles match this season, she lost. She was very frustrated because the pace of the opponents' ball was slow, and she kept making errors. I shrugged at this complaint/excuse, saying this was just another type of ball to learn to hit and she'd get used to it.

    Now, though, I hear this complaint from her all the time. I think part of the problem is that she has a big ol' oversize racquet, so if someone hits hard to her, she can just stick that beast out. If there's no pace and she has to generate her own, there's gonna be trouble.

    What helpful (and nice!) thing can I say the next time she complains about the lack of pace from her opponent? Is the answer to a dink another dink? Is the solution to blast the ball from the get-go so the dinker has no chance to dink? I mean, I think I know the correct answer a pro would give: shorten your backswing but take a full cut at the ball with a proper finish, but I can't exactly show her how to do those things.

    What makes this difficult is that I think she believes if she plays a higher court (Court One) with opponents who can "really play," she will be able to do better. But I don't want to put her on Court One if she can't get the job done on Court Two, you know?
  2. Supernatural_Serve

    Supernatural_Serve Professional

    Jul 10, 2006
    in her case, since she appears to have no backswing (sounds like she blocks the ball back with her giant racquet and uses the pace of her opponent) her problem is different from the usual complainers about paceless balls who make a lot of errors on paceless balls because they take a huge cut at it and mishit it.

    Its almost counterintuitive, but it sounds like she needs to get her racquet back and take a bigger cut at the paceless balls which is the opposite of what most people struggling with paceless balls need.

    Maybe that would yield even more, maybe one thing for her to consider is to bend her legs and use her body more and that way she can continue to use her blocking stroke but with more body and legs in the shot she can get more pace on the ball.

    She could also take the ball earlier on the rise (more pace on the ball) and continue blocking but again that's partly why more bend and legs would benefit her

    Court 1 doesn't necessarily mean more pace (as we know, but she doesn't), it usually means better tennis players and at 3.0 that doesn't necessarily mean more pace it usually means more consistency and shot tolerance for a variety of balls.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2007
  3. Serve em Up

    Serve em Up Rookie

    Mar 14, 2007
    Check out the new thread on the tennis tips forum on hitting slow balls.
  4. cak

    cak Professional

    Feb 23, 2004
    If she's losing anyway, and she wants to play court one, why not let her play court one. Even if court one is their best players, she won't lose twice, she might even win because she thinks they are hitting harder. Sometimes it's all a mental game.
  5. MariaS

    MariaS Semi-Pro

    Mar 31, 2005
    I wish people wouldn't do that. I've had that done to me. Becomes disappointing not only to the captain but to the player too. I guess it's just human nature to wish.....
  6. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Aug 31, 2006
    Putting her on court one would mean her partners would also wind up on court one, and I think her partners like paceless balls just fine. Besides, my court one players kind of want to play court one (remember, we're one of these leagues where most captains do court assignments by strength). I'd be "stacking" for the weirdest possible reason: to make one player out of 17 happier.

    I tried her out as my partner, but it wasn't a good fit. We were frequently two-up (that was good!), but she has a 2HBH volley, so she was missing too many makeable high or low volleys and we were getting killed.
  7. penpal

    penpal Rookie

    Feb 18, 2004
    You might suggest going out and practicing with her so that she can become more comfortable with the pace of the 3.0 women.

    If she doesn't want to practice, continues to complain and cannot win a match (and your team is interested in being competitive), then I would probably just sit her. She might not like it, but you could explain to her that it seems her talents aren't suited to 3.0 women's tennis.
  8. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

    Jul 22, 2005
    I think that some of these players are good when they can set up but aren't good at moving forward into shots. If someone is going to try and hit right at then and overwhelm them with pace they can stand right in there. But once someone starts moving them up and back a little they get out of position.

    I think the only thing to say is that there are soft hitters at every line when you play 3.0. That the higher up many times its people who hit just as soft but that are more consistent. If the lower line people are hitting a weakness in her game (and thats what it is) then moving here up is likely to just make the problem worse.

    The problem is that all too often I have heard people use this excuse because they got beat by a more consistent player. Thats the common lament from someone who lost to a pusher. But at 3.0 womens league there are a lot of people who have perfected the pushing style so if she can't beat those players then she has to work on her game.
  9. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

    Jun 18, 2005
    It sounds like she needs to develop an actual technique to her swing and learn some topspin. I doubt there is a way to actually urge her to take lessons?

    The benefit of possibly putting her up at #1 at least once is that, if she loses, then she can't blame it on not being on court 1!

    Me, I'm one of those people who takes a huge swing at paceless balls and knocks 'em out of the park!

    Say a prayer for me...I'm going up as a sacrifice #2 singles player in a 3.5 match tonight!

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