Spectating adult league tennis

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by AR15, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. AR15

    AR15 Professional

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    I was watching my team play last night and I had an ironic observation that I'd like to see if anyone else shares.

    When I watch the players in my league, as a spectator, they don't seem to look like they play as well as they do when I'm actually playing against them. From the spectator point of view, it looks like their shots do not have as much pace as they seem to have when I'm playing against them.

    The irony (to me) is that when I have watched (live in person) professionals play, their pace (and skills) seems much higher than I was expecting from seeing them on TV.. I don't think I want to be on the receiving end of a serve from Djokovic.
     
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  2. goober

    goober Legend

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    I have the same view.

    Rec players usually don't look all that great even up to 5.0 from a spectators perspective. I think the problem is comparing them to people we actually pay to see in person such as pros or at least go out of our way to see such as D1 match or national junior tournament. Nobody sits around watching club level matches for fun. I really didn't do it until I started captaining and I was forced to.
     
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  3. omega4

    omega4 Rookie

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    Same for me but with regards to golf.

    I watch pro golfers on TV and they don't look like they swing their clubs that much faster than me.

    Then I go to the Masters and watch them live. These pro golfers swing their clubs so much faster than I ever could, even if I had no intention of hitting an accurate shot.

    Although, I must say when I went to watch a live NFL game, the field looked much smaller in real life than it does on TV. It had me thinking for a second that I could play pro football!

    Just for a second though as NFL players look pretty big in real life LOL.

     
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  4. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    My opinion on this is the TV angle has a lot to do with it. You don't appreciate how hard they are hitting it because the viewing angle makes it easy to follow in a simple straight line up and down your TV. Also, you also don't get much of an appreciation for the height of a pro topspin serve, for example, as you're viewing from much higher up and behind.

    Basically, TV totally takes the difficulty of what you're seeing out of the equation. The same can be said for a lot of other sports, or events. Another that comes to mind is Formula 1. Mind blowing live, because the speed, braking, noise etc are amplified vs watching on a TV.
     
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  5. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    The biggest surprise comes in table tennis. You can buy a true pro spec paddle and rubbers for around 100+ bucks, and have only a 5 by 4.5 feet area to defend, and you are towering over the net. Yet it appears like an ocean when playing against a high level player.
     
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  6. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I notice this too. Some guys I play that hit a hard heavy ball don't look like they hit as hard from a spectator's view.
     
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  7. Alchemy-Z

    Alchemy-Z Hall of Fame

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    It's like pulling teeth watching my team they can be up 8-1 in a tie break and then squander 6 or 7 points in a row lol

    I have got in the habit now if I finish early i ask the other guy if he wants to continue to hit while the team finishes up instead of us stopping and watching.

    now I do go to my wife's matches but watching her bounce around in her little tennis outfits distracts me almost completely from play lol
     
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  8. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    This.

    I watched some of that documentary about aspiring Jr. players "Unstrung", much of it shot from court level. The pace and kick on these guys shots was incredible, from that angle they looked better than any pro...but none of the people in the doc ever made it past the top 50, I believe.

    On the other hand. I've watched guys from the next court at my club and thought, "oh my god, that guy is blasting it, looks like a pro!!"...and then I get on the court with them and it's no big deal. Then you watch the same guy from up in the gallery, and again, it's no big deal.

    Perspective is a big factor.
     
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  9. IA-SteveB

    IA-SteveB Professional

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    I totally see where you are coming from. I would like to get video of myself playing because I never feel I am hitting with the pace I think I am and I might be. I just wonder what my game is like from the opponents perspective.

    When I watch others in my club league play, I feel the same way. The game seems a lot slower than when I am in it.
     
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  10. Chivo

    Chivo New User

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    Sam Querrey is in "Unstrung" current ranking is #20.
     
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  11. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    So true, but there's such a huge gap between even a good rec player and a pro. It's like watching your High School b-ball team and then going to watch an NBA game.

    Sure you have those two kids who can dunk and anyone on the team would beat you big time in a pick-up game, but they look like they have no ups and look extremely slow compared to the pros.

    Honestly if people recorded themselves and watched, they would have a real perspective and stop creating "this dude isn't a 4.0/4.5" threads. LOL!
     
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  12. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    Yes, you are right. I didn't watch the entire program. The snotty kid with the 2 tennis playing parents and the African American dude (not Young) were the 2 I saw the most of. Both looked like world beaters from court level. The African American guys kick serve seemed to bounce 12 feet in the air.
     
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  13. texacali

    texacali Rookie

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    For me, it was watching a competitive figure skater or hockey player practicing up close vs. watching on TV or high up in the arena. The sense of speed and power up close is much more evident.

    I know sometimes my team members play is affected by how cautious they are when they get into a match so the ball is not travelling as fast....I think we hit out more or experiment more in practice and pull it back some in a match. No real consequence right?
     
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  14. North

    North Professional

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    I like to watch them as living social psychology labs. Watching players' behavior & interactions in the setting of league or club tennis is very revealing.

    The only down side is that if you are cynical about human nature, watching exacerbates that lol.
     
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  15. IA-SteveB

    IA-SteveB Professional

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    +1. I like to watch a little bit of club tennis when they have to get subs to fill in. It always seems like you will get three 3.0 to 3.5 players and a sub might be a 4+. It's interesting to watch the frustration level of people playing against the sub ... glaring looks, muttering, etc. The same person will be cheering good shots when paired with the sub. Club tennis at our place you switch partners every set.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2013
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  16. AR15

    AR15 Professional

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    I wasn't scheduled to play, so I went to offer the team some support. League tennis is supposed to be a team sport.
     
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  17. VeeSe

    VeeSe Rookie

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    I have the opposite view I think. When I am watching players that I play against from the next court, a lot of the time I think "oh man, no way I could hang with that" but then when I play them, I actually do ok.

    Same thing with my serve. I recently got it videoed for the first time to see if I could notice anything to improve, and before I watched it, I was thinking "it's gonna look terrible on tape" but I was very surprised when I watched to see that it looked way better than I expected or thought that I looked while serving.

    At least one viewpoint that is opposite from yours!
     
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  18. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    It's funny, I get a different feeling watching singles vs watching dubs.

    When I watch a singles match with players at my level, it doesn't seem like they are playing that well. I see lots of non-forceful shots and missed opportunities. But then of course these are often players that can beat me!

    Yet when I watch my teammates etc play dubs, I find myself impressed. I see good net play, good positioning, good pace on shots, etc. And I think, wow, I'm not at that level. But of course I am, and I am better than many of them in dubs.

    No idea why this is.
     
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  19. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    I agree

    Tennis is harder than it looks
     
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  20. goober

    goober Legend

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    Lending support to your team is not the same thing as going to watch a club match for recreation. Put it this way- would you go to some random club and spend 2 hours watching two 3.5 players you don't know play? I highly doubt it.
     
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  21. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    You should join a more fun team. We have a big group come out to watch our matches and there is always a group going out for drinks afterward.
     
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  22. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I play ladies 4.0, and . . . well . . . if you watch a typical match you probably wouldn't be too impressed.

    Yes, some things are good. Positioning is quite solid. Volleys are usually pretty good, with good technique when players are in the front half of the service box.

    Where things break down is on the serve (too many people push or roll their second serves), overhead (if any player is hitting a lob from behind the service line, the chance they will finish the point is pretty small), and approach volley (no one has this shot so people do not transition but instead wait for a chance to sneak in).

    Then add in the fact that about 1% of 4.0 women do a split step and you've got yourself some seriously flat-footed play from the other 99%. Way too much standing around.

    Sorry, 4.0 sisters, but it's the truth. And I am no exception.
     
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  23. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Same here... we often have a few teammates who are not in that week's lineup come out to watch and hang out. Helps that the clubs / facilities in our flight are all pretty close - within max 20 mins drive of each other. There are usually adult refreshments available to enjoy while watching the tennis and making fun of the participants.
     
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