Playing with bright sun

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Coach Chad, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. Coach Chad

    Coach Chad Rookie

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    Played yesterday in Orlando, and the sun was very bright and was a factor. Twice I lost the ball in the sun...first time I attempted an overhead smash and hit it into the net...I completely lost the ball in the sun....second time, I let the easy smash bounce...my thoughts were that it was better to aim at a smart target than swing blindly. Does anyone have any pointers? Won 6-2 and 6-4 on the sun-drenched court.
     
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  2. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Baseball cap, or visor. Sunglasses.
    Allow the guy looking in from the side to take the overhead, as a forehand volley or high bounced groundstroke.
    Smart teams like to lob into the sun, so you can't see the decending ball. You usually can spot the ball up to it's zenith, then disappears on it's way down.
    The only other shot is to line up for the overhead, but tap it back 10' over the net and safely soft enough to illicit a passing shot, not another lob.
     
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  3. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Try blocking out the sun with your offhand.
     
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  4. Coach Chad

    Coach Chad Rookie

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    Yes, good idea. I point my off hand in the air on a smash anyway.
     
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  5. kopfan

    kopfan Rookie

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    That is what we called outdoor game where you get sun, wind, rain, temperature that will affect the game. Avoid overhead if sun ray affect you. Try using another way of hitting the ball, like swinging volley, etc. Once court change, you can do overhead and hitting lob back.
     
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  6. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    Proper fitting wrap around sunglasses keep light from entering from the top, sides and and bottom.

    [​IMG]

    Don't have a nose piece that is too big or thick frames that can block any of your view.

    Brown maximizes contrast in bright light. Yellow maximizes contrast in low light. A yellow- brown or amber lens seems a good all around color.

    Very dark grey lenses can make a tennis ball appear as a dark blob on the side of the court opposite the sun.

    Polarized lenses block the glare off of hard courts, fences and vehicles parked on the other side of the court (if no wind screen is present.)

    Many think Oakley's have the least distortion, and would be a good choice if you've got the dough. (I like the Half-Jacket XL pictured above, but it is not for everybody.)

    For prescription wearers who don't use contacts, single vision rather than progressive/bifocal lenses seem to work best - the progressive/bifocal distorts rather than helps on balls in the lower part of the lens, and your contact point is too far away to need near vision correction.

    No question that bright sunlight increases your risk for cataracts later in life - most sunglasses block virtually all of the harmful ultraviolet rays.



    A hat with a brim keeps the sun off of the lenses, decreasing glare even further.
    A dark underside of the brim keeps reflected light from bouncing off the brim and down to your sunglasses/eyes.



    If you play doubles, another advantage to a righty-lefty combination - neither will ever have to serve into the sun (unless it's a really long match starting around noon).



    Keep working on your slice and kick serves. Sometimes the sun is just too tough to hit your usual first or second serve - but you can still win with a ball toss to the left or right.
    Definitely practice serving in the sun to gain experience.
     
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  7. Bagumbawalla

    Bagumbawalla Hall of Fame

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    A floppy hat with a "brim" all around can help. You can shape it to suit your need. With a cap, with a bill, you can position it to the left or right to help block the sun.

    You can serve from different positions on the court (within reason) to avoid looking driectly into the sun.

    You can turn your body in relationship to the court (sort of like the McEnroe serve) to avoid the sun.

    You can adjust your toss.

    You can get glasses that have lenses that flip up and then leave them up to act as a sun shade.

    You can have a ball kid hold an umbrella on a stick to block the sun. Check the rules on this one first.

    You can buy 300 lbs of dry-ice and mix it with water in a machine that creates a cloud-cover on your side of the court.

    You can fly out here to the Central Valley in California, where we live in constant gloom.
     
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  8. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Are you getting the valley fog with a vengeance?
    Playing here in Berkeley, if we show up at 11AM, the fog is so thick we can't clearly see two courts off to the side, and high lobs have the fog completely hiding the ball. We CAN see our opponent's, so it's not that bad.
    Then at noon, the fog magically shifts, the sun comes out, and it's pure blinded overheads with some really dark shadows from the tall cyprus trees.
    Before the end of the third doubles sets, the fog returns and everyone scampers to put on their jackets and long pants, the the courts start to get wet and slippery again.
     
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  9. Bagumbawalla

    Bagumbawalla Hall of Fame

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    In the Valley we live in a kind of bowl, surrounded on all sides by mountains that hold in the general haze all year. During winter there is morning fog that lingers. When it lifts, it reveals a solid-gray low cloud cover that last to about March or April, when we have 3 or 4 good days- followed by a blistering summer.

    We visited the LA area for thanksgiving- clear-blue skys all day. As we drove back into the Valley it reminded me of Humphry Bogart in "The African Queen"-- going back into the the leech-filled river to pull his boat.
     
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  10. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Well, take solace that I used to live in the SunsetDistrict of the City, 45th Ave., and we sometimes don't see any sunlight during the summer months for up to 40 days at a streak. Then we'd get 2 days of afternoon sun, hence the "sunset district" nomoner, and another streak of 20 odd days with no hint of the sun appearing thru the fog.
    Weather there is unreal beautiful in the winter months, from Nov to March, always sunny, except for the rainy days.
     
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  11. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    The OP stated he was playing in Orlando, FL. We don't have fog, mountains, redwoods, June gloom, mudslides or LeeD here. Our winters are typically mild and dry. We get our name the sunshine state during this time of year.
     
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  12. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    LeeD can be there, if you sponsor his stay.

    And remember to get good sunglasses for the lighting.

    I lived in Orlando for 2 years. Memories of the lightning still give me shivers. Imagine using the car visor to avoid seeing the ............ lightning.
     
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  13. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I can live anywhere I want.
    I have dozens of relatives on Oahu and Kaui.
    I've been to Orlando 4 times, for short stays of 4 days each.
    I've been to southern Texas coast.
    Been to NewHampshire and Georgia, NorthCarolina and NewYork.
    SanDiego looks pretty good...stayed there 3 semesters.
    Lived 2 winters in SantaMonica.
    Lived 8 years in MarinCounty, one block from Ross.
    Lived in SanFrancisco for 31 years.
    Lived in Berkeley for 12 years.
    But I CHOOSE to live somewhere in the EastBay of SanFrancisco, for the weather, the life style, and for windsurfing.
     
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  14. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    We don't have lightning here, just sunshine. :)
     
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  15. Spokewench

    Spokewench Semi-Pro

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    In my opinion, hats, sunglasses help in the summer time, but WINTER tennis is awful! Can't see a thing - the sun is just too low in the sky. Can't see the other side hit and if the ball goes up just a bit or during some parts of the day (the sun is from the side) and forget a good crisp volley.
     
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  16. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Always fascinating to see LeeD jump in and make a thread all about him. Well played my friend.
     
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  17. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Well, my first response was on the straight and arrow, but then when you talk about valley fog (I did race over 300 motocross races in the valley) I got some says.
    Then Suresh chimes in mentioning my name as did Mikeler in reply, so now I'm involved whether or not I wanted to be.
     
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  18. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    You got the order reversed
     
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  19. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Lol..i love seeing lack of self awareness on the webz.
     
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  20. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    LeeD is GOATing again.
     
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  21. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    GOAT in lack of self awareness, for sure....
     
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  22. Coach Chad

    Coach Chad Rookie

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    Good advice from charliefederer about working the slice and kick serves....tossing the ball out of the direct sun takes the flat power serve away...but as a lefty I can sure kick that serve out to the ad court...then go back to flat serves down the "T" when the sun is at my back.
     
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  23. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Low toss and rythumic motion allows you to serve without staring at the tossed ball.
     
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  24. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Back on topic. The solution is not visors/caps and sunglasses (think about it, how many Pros use sunglasses?) More Pros wear their caps backwards than forewards and I don't think there is a player in the top 100 ATP who wears a visor, since they wear headgear to absorb sweat, which a visor doesn't do.

    If you are going to play in sun all the time and if you live in Florida, I am a bit suprised you don't already know this, the solution to the sun and lobs, is to tilt your head such that the ball (whose flight path is predictable) does not cross directly across the sun itself, or if it does, it does so early enough in the flight path that you can reacquire it afterwards to hit your shot.
     
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  25. Coach Chad

    Coach Chad Rookie

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    As crazy as this sounds, the sun here in Orlando was not that hard to deal with in the late spring, summer, and early fall. Recently, it has really been a challenge. Not sure if the angle or brightness changes with the seasons...or if it's just me. Normally the head tilt you mentioned works.
     
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  26. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Most courts are oriented north-south. This time of year, the sun only gets up to maybe 40 degrees above the southern horizon around noon. So if you are on the north side looking south, lobs are going to be tough to see.

    In the summer time, the noon time sun is going to be almost directly above your head so it is much easier to track that lob.
     
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  27. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    Looks like the OP already has this one covered.
     
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  28. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I think one of the best replies was tracking with the oft hand. Not that it works 100%, because you need to actually swing at the ball some time, but it allows you to track the ball until it's descending at least
    Ideal safe overhead technique IS high oft hand, like a toss hand on the serve. So why not block the sun with your oft hand?
    Maybe because at times, you spend so much vision blocking the sun, you lose track of the ball.
    And just as you swing, while the ball is 15' high and descending, you lose the ball in the sun at the critical moment.
     
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