Pushing serves.legit strategy?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by dlam, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    i guess that´s true
    also, some people seem to train only at high-speed. like they give out medals for hitting hard:)
     
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  2. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    For sure, there are no medals given to hitting soft.
     
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  3. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    you´re actually confirming my point
     
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  4. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.
     
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  5. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

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    I know a guy who hits these weird "roller" serves. The serve goes about 50-60 mph, but he imparts topspin on the ball plus a high trajectory so it gets a really good bounce. That serve is really good for what it is considering most people put way too much side spin on their ball causing it to situp after the bounce.

    That type of serve wont be consistently exploited much until high levels of 3.5 play.
     
    #55
  6. mmk

    mmk Professional

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    Right, drop shots never win points
     
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  7. Big_Dangerous

    Big_Dangerous Legend

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    I think you are very delusional.
     
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  8. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Saw how effective that serve is when a guy had to serve underhanded and used a looper hit with a western grip.
     
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  9. Big_Dangerous

    Big_Dangerous Legend

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    Marco Scutaro of the San Francisco Giants won NLCS MVP, and not a single one of his 14 hits in that series were home runs....
     
    #59
  10. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    Back to the original topic, not sure if OP is talking about patty-caking serves in or just utilizing a true "second serve" that is slower and has a lot of spin.

    Sometimes when I'm tired, or the pressure of the match gets to me, I'll stop my first serves all together and just serve second serves, but I feel guilty about it and always prefer not to do this.

    But I will never just "dink" it over or remove almost all pace altogether. I even try to put some zip on my second serve. I don't feel good winning matches when I tried to be as "gentle" as possible.

    i would rather lose a match by starting off @ 100% and finishing at 80%, than winning a match by finishing @ 30% by moon balling it, dinking serves in and drop-shotting everything.
     
    #60
  11. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    I don't understand why someone would prefer to lose a match by hitting hard, rather than win a match by playing smart.

     
    #61
  12. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

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    I just had this conversation yesterday with my wife.... and I agree 100%.

    Sure there are many constraints: money, family, time, injuries... but when you play with a regular group, or groups, of people you get to know a bit about them... and when it appears from the outside that they don't have any overwhelming constraints to even at the minimum working by themselves on their serve with a bucket of old balls... I don't get it.

    How can you be unhappy with a crappy serve (for example) that has no pace, no focus and is not helping your game... you play multiple times a week.... your game really hasn't improved over the 5-8-10 years that I've seen you play... and you never work on the side to improve?

    Some people invest a lot into improving things... their income, their marriages, their tennis game, their health/fitness... and others just settle. Then complain about it. I don't understand. Why play if you are miserable about it, but don't invest in the game either??
     
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  13. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Seriously? There are no medals for hitting screaming winners either, that's the whole point of this thread , there's only medals for winning matches!
     
    #63
  14. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    And nothing wrong with that! Kali's economy is founded on delusion (as well as illusion--Disneyland/Hollywood) and has managed to propel it into the eight largest economy on the planet. In the state's North West corner, known as the Emerald Triangle, mind altering/stress relieving canabis (with a pinch of paranoia) is a billion dollar crop, supplanting the once thriving lumber and fishing industries.

    LeeD does play in Berzerkeley, the capitol of the brain trust driving this economy and can't help but probably having some of this "think" rubbing off on his game by contact--after all he does have to breath the same air. He hangs out at some courts with a rose garden helping filter out some of the pollutants funneling down Ashby Ave from San Francisco, just across the bay. Nothing wrong with some (or a lot) of delusion, if you can keep the ball in the box. If you think of all the time we collectively waste hitting the fuzzy ball, that could be more productively spent, with better mindbody benefits, making macrame instead.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012
    #64
  15. Tennishacker

    Tennishacker Professional

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    This is the problem why many players never improve, and are stuck at there their level.
     
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  16. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Scenario....
    You're looking for partner at the courts. Who would you play with/against?
    One pusher soft hitter, who cares only about winning, never hitting out, dinking lots, but able to hit topspin, AND lob really well.
    Big hitter, choosing to try to play a high level of good tennis.
    Both are the same level!
    Who would you rather play with/against?
     
    #66
  17. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    i would prefer playing against the person I have a harder time beating. i prefer to get OUT of my comfort zone.


     
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  18. jservoss

    jservoss Rookie

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    I would much rather play against the consistent player. I get much better practice when I actually get to play points rather than watching someone go for big shots and miss half of them. It will also help improve my fitness because the points are longer, which is one of the reasons I play tennis.
     
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  19. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Remember, BOTH guys are 4.0 level !!
    I'd rather play with/against the hard hitter. He's still 4.0, so misses some dumb shots, but hits 5.0 shots sometimes.
    That pusher 4.0 hit's ONLY 4.0 level shots, so boring, tedious tennis that brings no excitement, only WORK, to the equation.
     
    #69
  20. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    I would rather become a better player by playing harder matches, instead of playing a big hitter that I know I can beat because he makes too many mistakes, simply because it is more "exciting".

     
    #70
  21. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    OK, so both guys are YOUR level, whatever that is.
    Hard hitter who can miss?
    Or soft hitter who pushes and plays to WIN now.
     
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  22. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

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    It's a good question... I'd like to play them both on different days. The pusher would be harder to beat, so I get to work on my tactics and shot. The harder hitter would beat himself... so it is less of a challenge for me.

    In other words, against the softer hitter I would hit harder, against the harder hitter I would hit more conservatively.

    My approach is to do what it takes to win (short of moonballing and hooking). I do not agree with the mind set that "if you aren't hitting hard you're playing crap tennis". Anyone can hit hard. But if you can't get your hard hit shots in most of the time, that is an ego driven idiotic approach. Its the same as serves. If you are hitting your serves as hard as you possibly can, but are only getting 2 of 10 in... then your ego is hurting your game. Dial it down so you can get 50-60% of your first serves in a match is the way to go... but when you practice... THAT is the time to work on increasing the pace.
     
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  23. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Another pusher who will never hit better than what's he doing now.
     
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  24. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    The only people who seem to complain about pushers, are the ones who can't beat them.

     
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  25. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    rarely as a coach have i met with a player who was held back by not hitting hard enough
    usually you see players who have technical issues, have poor physical conditioning or footwork and may be uneducated about shot selection and general tactics of the game
     
    #75
  26. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    As a coach, you see a certain demographics...kids who's parents are paying for them to get better.
    I push sometimes. But not so much 30 years ago. Then, it was trying to get better at tennis.
    Now, at 63, it's to keep the fall off from going too quickly.
    Differerent philosophy applied, you dink?
     
    #76
  27. anubis

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    It's a matter of pride. I want to try to win by playing the best tennis I can. It isn't as important for me to win as it is to play at my best. And for me, pushing/dinking/patty-caking isn't my best tennis.

    But you're absolutely right, my w/l ratio suffers for it. My USTA record is only 50%, and my singles ladder w/ is 20%. But as long as I keep my UEs low, I'm happy, even if I lose the match.
     
    #77
  28. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    i work with a group of people who are between 40 and 70 and who have played in some cases for decades.
    the main issues are as i posted previously.
    technical deficiencies which hold them back and in some cases lead to injuries.
    inefficient footwork which leads to undue stress of joints and injuries
    if i can improve technique and footwork they can hit with much increased consistency(what you might call pushing) and also hit harder at the same time
    the third key is shot selection, the awareness to realize when to attack and when to defend
     
    #78
  29. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    You play the way you practice.
    All of you say to practice extending your skills, hitting harder, more placements.
    Then you play and push weak shots up the middle to WIN the match.
     
    #79
  30. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    i see the problem here. in your world, the hard hitter is also going for placement, whereas the pusher just pushes down the middle.
     
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  31. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    EXACTLY !
    But I do assume you play tennis, right?
    Hard hitter is not just hitting hard, but going for placements.
    Pusher is not hitting hard, and only going for GENERAL placement, like forehand side or backhand side, not hitting close to lines.
    You KNOW this is true of most pushers. Pusher are that way because they choose to play it SAFE. Safe is not going for lines.
    Hitters don't play safe, because they want to hit winners.
    Now look at the top 500 ATP pros. How many can you call pushers? I'll give you maybe 30. Out of 500.
     
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  32. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    going for placement is not the same as going for the lines.
    and atp pros are not going for the lines they are going for placement
     
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  33. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    You must be a professional anal person.
    We know ATP pros only go for close to lines maybe one out of 3 shots. They have to play defense sometimes too.
    You are in your little world of black and white, hardly a qualified coach who is supposed to be teaching REALITY, not pure theory and diction.
    No wonder so few players get good with coaching. The coaching world is filled with guys like you.
     
    #83
  34. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    we don't draw pictures in the score sheets, we just write down the score...

    I dunno, play the way you want I say.

    Only rules are OVER the net and INSIDE the lines..

    Death to all pushers, though!!!!
     
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  35. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Voice of reason? Can't have this on a FORUM, can we?
    Lots of players here are in awe of the shots of the pros. I can see why, they don't practice shots like that, and they don't PLAY shots like that.
    They play to win NOW, which means delaying the getting good part for later.
     
    #85
  36. Plestor

    Plestor New User

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    Cool and how many of them hit lots of unforced errors? What is the average rally length in a pro match?
     
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  37. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    You can push every match, win most of them, and never be a 5.0 level player.
    Or, you can learn to hit hard, then figure out how to get some IN, make 5.0 or better, and miss a bunch trying to beat a peer, knowing if you don't hit out, you'll give THEM a chance to hit their best shots against you.
    But then, you're now playing 5.0 and better tennis.
    In the pro player level, lots of guys can choose to hit softer and be more consistent....and get beat by a hard hitter. They have to balance their defense with some amount of offense.
    YOU and I, being mostly 4.0, can get better by learning how to hit harder. We can win more matches right now by pushing also. Which is your preference?
     
    #87
  38. Big_Dangerous

    Big_Dangerous Legend

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    It's not like any of us are really going pro anyway...
     
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  39. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    For sure, 97% of us have no chance of turning pro.
    But do we want to push and dink, lob and moonball to play 4.0?
    Or would you rather be caught hitting screaming winners, smart angles, forcing shots near the sidelines, while still playing 4.0?.
    Good tennis, or pure dink percentage tennis?
    Your choice.
     
    #89
  40. goober

    goober Legend

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    Welcome to LeeD' black and white world.

    There are more choices than 2 extremes. In fact 80+% of 4.0s don't play at either extreme.
     
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  41. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    The world must first be controlled by the mind.
    First and foremost, we must decide what kind of game we are to play...you'll agree? We just can't go out there every time and "see what happens".
    So, pick a defensive dink, moonball, lob, and softballer's game or....?
    Plan to hit every ball hard with a purpose, a direction, for a reason.
    That is the mental part. The physical part is another ball game.
    This thread concerns the mental part. Nobody here needs to only push his serves.
     
    #91
  42. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

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    Sometimes you just have a find a way to win. I learned this is 3.5 adult league last year when I accidentally found a way to win by simply slicing all of my backhands to my opponent in a really tough match.

    I know it sounds strange, but I was losing most of the topspin drive backhand to backhand exchanges. This caused me to try to "up" the other areas of my game and rely on more "go for broke" shots. This caused me to break down in the first set, losing 7-5. I was down 4-1, got some "good percentages" and came back, but ultimately the law of averages struck and those "go for broke" shots could not carry me.

    After losing the first set I was almost ready to give up because I knew that my play couldnt get much more "favorable" for me and that it would only get worse. I pretty much gave up.

    -I started rolling my serves in attempting to save some strain on my shoulder.
    -I mostly hit to the center of the court, as hard as I could as if I was practicing.
    -I started slicing all my backhands.

    For some strange reason, he just could not handle my slice. His timing was so off he was spraying balls all over the place. He tried to slice back at one point, but because he has a 2HBH, I guess he never learned the slice or practiced it very much.

    Before I knew it, I was up 3-0 having broken him twice. I won the set 6-2 and won the tie break 6-10. This guys team went to the 3.5 adult league sectionals but after this loss they never put him in singles again lol... I kept an eye on him ;) but I guess I beat a "doubles player". Previous to that he played all singles. LOL
     
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  43. anubis

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    Don't know where you guys play, but where I come from, I'm in awe of watching a 4.0 match. They look pro to me, no one pushes in my area at that level. They serve so fast that I'd run away from the ball if it was served to me. Their groundies are easily faster than my hardest forehand. Its picture perfect tennis IMO.

    Now the 3.0's in my area, that's a different story... but 4.0s, never. And don't even get me started on the 4.5's. And the one 5.0 that I'm friends with is sponsored by Prince and Addidas.

    But then again, watching ppl that are better than you can have an illusion of "magical" when you don't understand what they are doing. Perhaps once you're in the 4.0 club, then looking around at other 4.0s you tend to notice little differences, and could even label some play as "pushing"... even if that same play would demolish a 3.0 without even trying.
     
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  44. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

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    A lot of 4.0's can rally really well but their play is nothing like their rallying. 4.0 also has a broad range of players too. You have upper level rec players, fresh out of high school players, and former high school and college players all in the same mix.

    4.5 is where the practice starts to reflect the play. From 2.5-4.0 practicing isnt anything like play. I know a 3.0 guy that once had a great topspin forehand. He practices it constantly. Somehow, when he plays a match, he resorts to using a full power forehand slice... he has a nice serve too, but under pressure it never goes in. You can occasionally catch a 4.0 like that. You wont catch any 4.5's like that though lol.
     
    #94
  45. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    Is this the way you talk with people in your everyday life, or is this kind of behavior reserved only for internet forums?
     
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  46. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    I think it has a lot to do with the fact that you don't see yourself play too often. I don't think I look that good as a player, but when I see myself on tape or I am put up to a radar gun it honestly surprises me. I look a lot closer to the people that look great then I think I do while I'm playing. If that makes any sense. When I watch 5.0 guys practice, they seem amazing. When I'm hitting with them however it's a totally different story, I don't feel as though I'm that far away from them. Match play, I lose way more then I win against these higher level guys, but it doesn't seem unreasonable that I will eventually be able to compete with them.

    -Fuji
     
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  47. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    If you look good while playing tennis, count your blessings, Fuji.

    When I see myself on film (which has only happened 2-3 times), I am shocked at what a Hot Mess I really am. I mean, the knees are not bent. The arm comes down prematurely on the serve and there is no weight transfer. My shoes must have wads of gum under them, as they seem plastered to the earth most of the time. It seems to take me forever to reach a ball, and nothing before or after looks smooth. It is a friggin' miracle that I can put a ball in the court.

    I try to remember this when things are not going well. If I am going to play like that, what can I expect?
     
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  48. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Bahahah! Well I should say, my legs look good on film. I have pretty lazy hands which is a bad habit of mine, but my footwork is well above average for my level.

    I know that feeling of looking slow on film. I saw a comparison between last March and this past September, and the difference is just huge. It seems like before I was just patting everything in! Now on video it looks almost as good as a TT 3.5... :razz:

    Cindy, do you stay on your toes lots during the match? When I used to have not as consistent footwork, I noticed I was often stuck to the earth as you put it! It really helps with recovery to be on your toes! :)

    -Fuji
     
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  49. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Oh Fuji. Fuji, Fuji, Fuji. I know what to do. I know I should stay on my toes. I know I should keep my feet moving. I now I should keep my racket in front.

    But I'm under a lot of stress in a match. There is a lot going on. So I know what to do, but I just don't.

    Now if you'll excuse me, I have a session with my hitting partner scheduled. I will start off great, but after a while my feet will stop moving, my racket will drop, and it will be business as usual . . .

    :: sigh ::
     
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  50. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Haha poor Cindy! Have you read the "Inner Game of Tennis" You might need some Zennis in your life so you can focus on technique, rather then stress!

    That being said, when I play I'm basically only thinking of technique, very rarely do I notice what else is going on. :razz:

    -Fuji
     

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