Skills and Fitness diary (with video)

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by dizzlmcwizzl, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    Hitting with someone really good

    So this guy that was a player for a high division II tennis team about 5 years ago recently moved into our area. I have been hitting with him because he has not found any better players yet.

    Anywho, here is a recent hitting session. Until he starts moving me around I feel like I can at least hang with him. However, there is nothing I can do to hurt him so when he wants to win a rally he just throws the switch.

    The video is uneditted and we are warming up for the first 15 minutes. We play some games starting about the 17 minute mark. I won my first service game and did not come close after that.
     
    #51
  2. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    Played a little dubs Sunday ... I felt really good. On the court are 2 established 4.5s and two new 4.5s. Probalbly all of us are near the bottom third of the local 4.5 band however. Video Provided Here

    Personally, I felt like I returned well and my movement was good. I have been concentrating on getting the ball further away from my body on the backhand. This has helped with consistency.

    Interestingly during the match I was returning serves to the backhand really well. During one game we won 9 of 10 points served to me on the ad side. We ended up winning 2 of 3 sets even thoguh my partners return was off.

    My stats for the match:

    Served 77% first serves winning 80% of first serves in play.
    Returned 72% of balls into the court winning 65% of the time I got the ball in play and winning nearly half of all points served to me.
     
    #52
  3. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

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    Diz that vid is listed as private.
     
    #53
  4. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    #54
  5. Mick3391

    Mick3391 Professional

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    You SUCK! Seriously dude!

    I'M TOTALLY JOKING:)

    I see these videos and it's hard to know how good someone is doing, not sure why, but I can't tell on videos like these for some reason.
     
    #55
  6. Maui19

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    Great tennis! That definitely looks like 4.5 dubs to me. You are moving well, and not nearly as much falling back on BH, which I recall you used to do a while ago.
     
    #56
  7. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    Yea ... I have experimented with many different recording positions but truth be told most amateur video is pretty weak. Especially if the subjects are not very good.
     
    #57
  8. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    Thanks I have been working hard on getting into the correct position. It is amazing how much better my strokes feel when I work to get into the right spot, versus adjusting mid stroke to hit a ball.
     
    #58
  9. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    Serve and Volley

    I am looking for feedback on my serve and volley technique. Please be as helpful as you can. Further explanation below.

    ________________________________________________________________

    I have been working on my singles game because this year the USTA has instituted singles lines for 40+ players. While singles is not my strength I figure that might happen occasionally this year so I should prepare.

    I am playing a middle level 4.0. He is 52 years old and is a hot ticket on the 40+ singles tour. He is very quick but rarely comes to the net. His ground strokes are all flat and hard ... so he often varies from hitting unreturnable shots when he is in rhythm to missing badly when he is not.

    I am a 4.5 primarily doubles player so this is more practice than challenge. I ended up beating him 6-3, 6-0.

    Of the 44 points I approached the net I won 32. On 16 of the 44 points he could not return my serve in play. I moved those points to the back of the video since they are less interesting.

    Of the 28 returns he got into play when I came to the net, I won 16 and he won 12. Those points are all in the front of the video.
     
    #59
  10. Moz

    Moz Hall of Fame

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    You seem to lose precious fractions transitioning from the serve finish to actually moving in.

    I would be expecting to see you hand with more forward momentum and then explode into the court with the initial steps. As it stands there seems to be a pause after you send the serve down.

    edit....having another look it looks like the issue is more pronounced serving on the deuce side - frequently you seem to land with your feet behind the baseline.

    I'd imagine someone with a decent topspin return would make this very uncomfortable for you.

    I only skimmed the thread so apologies if the reason for this has already been covered. Good luck.
     
    #60
  11. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    Thank you for giving me something to think about ...

    I had been starng at the video and wondering why it seemed my ad side serve and volley was yielding better results. I am going to experiment with improving the serving footwork.
     
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  12. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    Here is a link to my latest recorded hitting session. Physically I feel good. My backhand is more solid than I can remember ... mostly I have spent time concentrating on getting the ball further away from my body.

    However, my forehand is totally in the crapper ... I have been working on a more open stance which feels good, but lacks zip and control.

    I just wish I was good... instead of wanting to be good.


    Mindles Ball Bashing
     
    #62
  13. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    You seem to restrain your arm a bit when you hit backhands. When I play, I tell to myself "finish the motion", because I have a bad tendency at looking where I play after I shot, making me less relaxed and more stiff when I play. So when I start the motion, no matter if it's long or short or something, I try to finish the full motion, unless I'm in a position where I can't.
     
    #63
  14. Velvet Ga el

    Velvet Ga el Rookie

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    Because it's an open forehand in name only. You never really transfer your weight from the right leg to the left leg because you're in the (pardon my language) urinating dog position, wherein you lift your left leg up for no reason. Pause the video at 1:41 and look at your finish. You'll see all your weight on your right leg at the finish because you never rotate your hips into your left leg.

    Load your weight into your right leg on the takeback and then rotate your hips into your left leg. If you leave the ground, your feet should leave the ground almost simultaneously (which, oddly enough, you do just fine on your forehand approaches).

    Right now, without rotating your hips into the forward swing, your forehand is just an arm slap at the ball. And the urinating dog finish captures that image well (side note, you'll see some pros finish this way, but only when the ball has been hard and deep, and they're completely on the defensive in their swing).

    (Another way is to think of a baseball swing. You load the back leg and then transfer into the front leg with hip rotation. You'd never willingly swing a baseball bat with your left foot in the air at contact).
     
    #64
  15. millardus

    millardus Rookie

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    Hey there Dizz

    first off, excellent progress soo far, you cant be far off your end goal I imagine.

    sorry I haven't read every post or reply, so perhaps you covered that already.

    On a Doubles tennis matter, one thing I would encourage you to do when your partner is receiving, is keep that racquet head up and perhaps more central to your body!

    It looks like you keep it pointed downwards and at an angle for quite an extended period of time even after your partner has returned.

    I think you can imagine how that would impact your reaction time if the net guy pops one back at you ;-)
     
    #65
  16. dizzlmcwizzl

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    Interestingly during a lesson I took this winter the pro noticed I was over exagerating the extension on my backhand. I was trying to emulate what I see Federer and Gasquet do on their finishes.

    What he pointed out to me is that what I was doing was using my wrist to open up on the finish. He explained that it only looks like that is what those guys are doing. He further explained that the exagerated finish that you see pros acchieve is due to rolling (or pronating) the shoulder following contact.

    Now when I watch pros with OHBH I see just that. It is not in the wrist but in the should roation that the gorgeous finish is acchieved.

    Since I have been doing this, I feel like I am using the big muscles in my shoulders and back more in my backhand. It has become much more consistent as a result.

    However, I will agree that I do not yet fully roll the shoulder on the back hand as I am still working on this. I suspect that once I do I will add more power to that wing.
     
    #66
  17. dizzlmcwizzl

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    Thank you .. you did a nice job of explaining what I have been feeling and this gives what I think the starting point to recovery should be.
     
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  18. dizzlmcwizzl

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    Thanks ... this is the singles biggest thing I have been working on in doubles. Now I do a fair job on the first volley, but on the second volley my hands always end up getting pulled in. I am really trying to figure out how to keep my hands up and out.
     
    #68
  19. comeback

    comeback Professional

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    Hi Dizz, just watched the whole thread..You are doing great and improving steadily. It's great that as the competition rises your game does..I think you will continue to improve as you play. But i would suggest doing more off court shadow drills like footwork/volley motion with strict technique to refine that part of your game. The more your technique improves the easier it is to do in match play without thinking..
     
    #69
  20. Bert123

    Bert123 New User

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    I think cardio exercise is best way to get good results in natural way and be fit,
    i also doing cardio exercise in morning....
     
    #70
  21. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    On Monday I played the best match of my recent memory. I have attached the link here.

    I was playing a guy that should have beaten me ... he has been a 4.5 for 3 years with a league record of 12-7 over that time.

    I am a doubles player that got hooked up with him in a season ending tournament.

    Summary is that he is almost a pusher ... I say almost because even though he usually wins with speed and putting the ball back in play he tries to hit winners on the forehand and he is not as consistent as you would expect a true pusher to be.

    Any who, I attacked him with a consistent barrage of serve and volley on my serve. When he served I tried to be patient and wait for opportunities to attack. The off season work and improved fitness has definitely helped.
     
    #71
  22. Pet

    Pet Semi-Pro

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    Hi Dizz!

    I have a friend with the same motivation like you.

    The best advise is that you must to reduce some pounds. To do this and works well for tennis is run. Run over 10km (in miles about 7 miles) 2 - 3 times a week.
     
    #72
  23. dizzlmcwizzl

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    Great in theory but that much pounding would likely injure me in the short term and even if it did not I would not be able to do this and play tennis at the same time.

    I suppose in a perfect world where becoming the best possible tennis player was my only motivation .... I would hire nutritionists and trainers and work myself into that kid of shape.

    However, in the world where I exist, I merely hope to slowly improve my fitness while also getting to enjoy the game.
     
    #73
  24. dizzlmcwizzl

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    Have not posted in a while ... mostly because I do not shoot as much video once we go outside. I plan to shoot some tonight however, and I will be posting that once I have it edited.

    However, I thought I would take a moment and track some recent developments in my game.


    1st ... I ran through a course of Insanity and P90x from November till May and my fitness level increased dramatically. I did not lose much weight however because all of the extra exercise made me more hungry and I ate through it. Now that have I stopped those programs I have lost some of that fitness and put on some weight. I am still down overall but nutrition remains my biggest sticking point.

    2nd ... In my first season of 4.5 I had a good season. I went 10-10 on the season playing a mix of 1st and 3rd doubles. Our team made the playoffs and the coach put me in the lineup. I felt that showed he had confidence in me. Basically I feel my goal is to become a consistent contributor at 4.5 and I feel like I am on my way.

    3rd ... I played a practice match the other day with some high 4.0 players. I knew I was a superior player to them but what surprised me was that I was not rushed one time during the match. The pace was such that I was able to play with real control. All of them remarked how much better I had gotten. There really is something to the idea that playing up will make you better.

    4th ... This I did not expect. I usually rely on a good 1st serve percentage (60%). I achieve this by only going for pace 1 out of 3 first serves. Instead I try and mix up spin and placement. However, what I got into the habit of this year is to go for the big one even less often. Basically I found that getting free points occasionally (on big serves) was not as effective in the long run as getting almost every first serve in. By the end of the season I would only hit a hard flat serve once in ten attempts and usually only when the opponents started to creep in.

    Finally, I am going to make a real commitment to nutrition this year. I have already Frankensteined together a workout routine that is more tennis based and less strenuous than the Insanity program. Nutrition will be the key for me ... as it has always been.
     
    #74
  25. Gyswandir

    Gyswandir Rookie

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    Hi Dizz

    Enjoyed the latest match video. Wile you have some technically unorthodox shots, you use them effectively and your tactics, at least in that match, are very good.

    I think you're in the same boat like me, where you don't have enough time to fitness train beside playing tennis. So, I'm curious if you can share what you've come up with as a nutrition/training plan?
    I also like to eat and can only afford 3x1.5hrs per week.
     
    #75
  26. Velvet Ga el

    Velvet Ga el Rookie

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    Have you every thought about swimming? I used to hate it, but all of the strokes really help build up shoulder strength necessary for the serve. You already have a big serve, but I suspect it would be even more lethal if you built it up swimming. And it cures the problem you post above (joint strain from running/contact cardio).

    I didn't see this video earlier, but I'm glad you posted it. Going back to the leg lifting I posted about earlier ITT, this video shows (at least) two great examples of you hitting from a more grounded position, albeit from neutral stances instead of open stances (specifically, the approaches at the 1:08 and 2:52 marks). When you stay grounded and work your weight from right foot to left foot on your forehand, your ball gets much more penetration into the court because of better pace. When you lift it up, you tend to roll the ball into play with your arm, and while you get it deep doing that at times, you'll get more consistent depth building from the feet up into your shot.

    Great stuff though, from your game to the work you've done to get your body in shape.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2013
    #76
  27. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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    Dieting really sucks, but I have find that my fitness comes from exercise and weight loss comes almost exclusively from diet. I feel so much better with exercise, but I do not lose weight unless I am really watching my diet (I have to really limit my carbs - lots of Chipotle salad lunches).

    Good job on the season. It is a real accomplishment to go 50/50 after being bumped to 4.5 where ex college players go to make rec players look bad.
     
    #77
  28. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    I got one of those NutriBullets and have become a juicing fanatic. :) No more bread, pasta, desserts, sugar, processed or canned stuff. Only whole foods. Lots of various meats, including bacon. Eggs. Lots of various raw veggies and fruits, especially berries. Lots of various nuts and seeds. Hemp and coconut oil. Good stuff. I've stabilized at between 175 and 180 lbs. Feel better than ever.

    Best of luck with your program.
     
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  29. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    I did swimming for a while but I have a family so I have to adjust my schedule to work within my obligations.

    As it stands I can work out everyday from 5:30-7:00 in the fitness center where I work. They pretty much have all of the dry equipment I need. Swim center schedule is not as convenient.

    When I was doing insanity and later p90x we would use the projector and had a group of 5-10 folks doing it together every day. That was very motivational. It is to hard for me to do insanity and play tennis though .... these joints dont need that kind of pounding.
     
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  30. dizzlmcwizzl

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    Well to be honest it is not the time to train and play ... it is the ability to both train and play. Once school starts again I will workout every morning and play 3 times a week in the evening. However, if I ramp up the intensity of my training I am to sore to play .... When I was doing insanity last year I dialed back my tennis to only on off days.

    On MWF .... This year I am going to everyday using the insanity warmup routine .... 12-15 minutes of nice dynamic warmup and stretching.

    Then

    I have screen captured some some videos from the Jeff Salenstien website for a training regimen that emphasizes tennis skills. I have added in the timing elements using my video editor so I have 5 or 6, 25 minute videos that I will rotate through after warming up. I will conclude these workouts with ab work for p90x and a cool down stretch.

    On Tuesday and Thursday I am going to complete the Xstrech from p90 and the Yoga from Insanity. These emphasize flexibility which I sorely need.


    As far as nutrition:

    My wife has been told to try gluten free for health reasons and I have decided to be a supportive husband. Basically this means lots of meat and veggies and less process foods. With a little self control I hope to make that work for me.
     
    #80
  31. dizzlmcwizzl

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    I finished in the top 4 of our club ladder again this year. This time I played one of my good buddies in the first round. He is also a low 4.5 but plays almost exclusively singles whereas I almost always play dubs.

    We have played 6-8 times before and he holds a career lead in H2H as I have only won against him twice. His strengths are his ground strokes and his service return. He loves it when I come to the net because a target helps him. We played Thursday and early on he passed me 3 or 4 times in a row so I changed up my game plan and went big on the serve and stayed back most of the time. I ended up winning 6-2, 7-5. Here are the match highlights ... it is heavily edited to just 5 minutes long of the best points we played.

    Ladder Semis 2014


    One thing did interest me was that this match included the fastest serve I have ever recorded.

    Fastest Serve I have caught on video
     
    #81

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