Scouting the player

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by dlam, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. dlam

    dlam Rookie

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    What are the basic things you look for when playing a new player in terms of weakness.
    Serve?
    Forehand?
    Backhand?
    Volley?
    Handle heavy slice or topspin?
    mental toughtness?
    other?

    what seems most importart when sizing the opponent?
     
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  2. Alchemy-Z

    Alchemy-Z Hall of Fame

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    Not sure what level you play at but for USTA league play.

    My 2 things I look for

    1. I look for fitness + age
    2. which side they spend warming up more (typically their favorite stroke and the one to avoid)

    Biggest thing for real...league tennis has some people that have been playing in it forever it seems. I have a few team mates that have been swinging a stick with USTA since 1996 and these guys have pretty much played everyone or a0 tleast seen them play...unless it's a new kid...so often I just ask their advice.
    My captain is very good about this in fact while we are being told the line up and what courts we are on he always throws in a few tips before sending us off.

    sometimes you can see the instant reactions when right out the gate you hit 2 to 3 different shots to their weaknesses and instead of trying to figure yours out they fall into a defensive shell and at that point that match is yours.
     
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  3. SweetH2O

    SweetH2O Rookie

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    I have the biggest problem with big servers. If I can get most points into a rally and find a rhythm, I'm going to have an enjoyable match, even if I lose.

    So their serve is the biggest thing I try to find out about early on. After that, I look at how good they are at overall consistency, if they have trouble handling pace or lack thereof, and then individual strokes to pick on.

    Basically I try to compare my strengths/weaknesses to their strengths/weaknesses to see what I can use against them. Things like their fitness and mental strength will show themselves during the course of the match.
     
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  4. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Scouting....
    1. Height of ball bounce on first and second serves.....you now know how high to hold the racket... Fast serves, you shorten your backswing.
    2. Tendency to hit spin serve as first serves, and when....
    3. Forehand...how consistent, how strong, can it handle low and high balls?
    4. Backhand..can he keep it low, how are the lobs, can he hit offensive shots with it?
    5. Does he come to net? Does he have an overhead? Does he tend to volley short angles or deep placements?
    6. Return of serves. How does he handle high backhands? Serves into the body? Wide forehands?
    7. How does he move after 4 shots?
    That's a LOT of info for you to process...
     
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  5. chatt_town

    chatt_town Hall of Fame

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    The first thing I pay attention to is their movement. I obviously don't run them all over the court in warmup but I can pretty much tell what they will move like if have to take 2 or 3 steps to hit balls. I pay attention to if they are left or right handed....and then I watch their groundstrokes. I even find out early as to which shot they prefer to hit. How? I hit it right to them and not to the left or right. I will do this say 3 or 4 times. Most people will move towards the shot they like the most. So that's the shot I try to keep them from hitting at the beginning of the match unless both are absolute terrible shots...then I go to the T everytime with every ground stroke.lol


     
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  6. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    I don't have the brainpower for analyzing my opponent's game.
    So I just play to my own strengths and try to dictate. Sometimes works, sometimes doesn't.
     
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  7. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Vague generalities only at first:

    Footspeed, stamina, first serve pace, groundie consistency, these are so basic you don't even have to really think about them, you just get a feeling of whom you are playing.

    As the match progresses, I'll pick up more nuanced factoids like he runs around his BH on second serves, he doesn't deal well with passing shots right at him, he is easy to wrongfoot by going behind him etc. These I use on important points only so as to maximize the value of the information.
     
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  8. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

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    1. Does he/she have up-to-date fashionwear?
    2. Are they wearing neon colored shoes?
    3. Are they carrying a 6 racquet bag or larger?
    4. Does the racquet bag name match the racquets they use?
    5. Do they wear a hat indoors?
    6. Do they wear sunglasses indoors?
    7. Do they go through extensive stretching motions by the net as you are waiting for them to get their butt on the court to start warm-up?
    8. During warm-up are they blasting balls at top speed all over the court so you can't or choose not to chase after their shots?
    9. During warm-up when you come to the net for some volleys, do they suddenly lose total control of their shots and you maybe get one decent ball to volley and the rest are over your head or into the net?
    10. Are they difficult to deal with during simple introductions?
     
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  9. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    I've become personally very mixed on the subject of "scouting players." If anything, I'll take advice from people who have beaten them before, and test it out in the warm up to see if it's still valid. (In my latest beatdown from a top junior, the advice was to hit into his body as he shanks a lot, I tried it during the warm up and his footwork was great and he was stepping around body shots with ease. Needless to say it wasn't going to be my plan of attack anymore!)

    Most of the time if I try and do research I psych myself out and aim to only do that one thing, and if it doesn't work I get caught up in it mentally which is a fault of mine.

    If I go in blind, and try and figure it out as I go, I usually will drop the 1st set pretty handily if my game doesn't match up well off the bat, which is pretty much equally as bad.

    Really I can't offer any advice, but I feel where you're coming from! :razz:

    P.S. Check out their serve, if they can hit a nice consistent serve in the warm up, it usually means that you're in for a long day!

    -Fuji
     
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  10. Zolar

    Zolar New User

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    Warmups can be hard to tell. I look for bad technique, wherever it is, because that is the shot that will break down under pressure. Like a wristy groundstroke that requires lots of small muscles. They'll not be controllable under pressure. I played a guy once who had a long, slow takeback on his forehand. So I hit it harder than usual to his forehand on big points and sure enough, under pressure he slowed down and couldn't get his racket back in time. And then he hit the ball wide.

    Sometimes "bad" technique can be very steady though, and that is sometimes not a good thing though it's usually not a weapon.
     
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  11. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    I don't much worry about what the other guy does during warmup. I really need to worry about getting myself prepared.
    If I can get a pre-match scouting report, that can be helpful, but I'll get basically whatever the reporter gives me.
    Mainly, during the match I analyze what parts of what I'm doing are successful. (Coming to the net - attacking the backhand - lots of slices - kick serve or slice serve, etc.)
     
    #11
  12. dlam

    dlam Rookie

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    Played a guy I never seen before and showed up a few minutes late and he was already warm up his serve. So didn't know how good his serve was During warmup had a good backhand and forehand appeared strong at first I tested it a bit more by slicing and topspin shots to both forehand and backhand and he hit into the net on slice shots and slow pace balls on the forehand but not backhand
    I was able to hit slice to his forehand when i had the option duting the match and won
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
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  13. IA-SteveB

    IA-SteveB Professional

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    I don't really get much out of scouting during warmup. The only thing I will really notice is if I hit it to the backhand and the player steps over to make a forehand out of it.
     
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  14. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    I did this in my last practice match, little did he know my backhand is my stronger side hahaha...

    -Fuji
     
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  15. dlesser13

    dlesser13 Rookie

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    Who here warms up their first serve? I've been taught to just throw your 2nd in. I rarely warm up my first, opponents don't need to see that unless I'm trying to intimidate them :p
     
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  16. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    I never warm up first serves, my shoulder needs to be fully warm before I hit them. Usually I start hitting them in my 2nd or 3rd service games of the match. That being said all my strokes are like that. I like to hit at 70% for the first 3-4 games to get fully comfortable.

    -Fuji
     
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  17. dlam

    dlam Rookie

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    For the serves I really try to observe the amount of spin he puts on it
    I play the occasional righty players who put a reverse spin on their serves like a typical lefty serve
    Most times I am prepared for the prototype righty serve that kicks right cause thats what i see 90% of the time
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
    #17
  18. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    I always start my service warm up with my flat serve motion hit at 80 %.
     
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  19. dlesser13

    dlesser13 Rookie

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    Well you're doing it all wrong. Your second serve is arguably the most important shot and it's a good warm up similar to mini tennis. You get a feel for the ball and you should be aiming for targets as you are warming up. But to each their own I guess.
     
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  20. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Important issue... until the first point of the match is over.
     
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  21. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I always warm up my first flat serves first and foremost, at about the 80% effort as said. Maybe one or two second spin serves.
     
    #21
  22. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    Sometimes I think you are my tennis clone living on the opposite coast
     
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  23. eelhc

    eelhc Hall of Fame

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    I just picked up tennis after a 25+ year layoff. I used to play recreational tennis when I was a teenager, put the racquet down when I went off to college until my wife got me back into the game last year.

    For the first time I am playing competitive tennis (Mens 3.0 = tri-level and mixed 6.0) and I would like to start compiling a scouting report for each opponent(s) I play against. I found this...

    http://www.tennisatthenet.com/prematchscoutingreport.pdf

    But it's a little complicated/detailed for what I want to do for now. There's also an app for iOS. Are there any other resources/scouting templates I should look at?
     
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  24. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    You're somewhat overweight and balding too? :)
     
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