Strange Little Things That Helped You

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by DolgoSantoro, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. DolgoSantoro

    DolgoSantoro Professional

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    Are there any tips or things you tried that you thought were really weird but somehow helped your strokes? If so, what?

    I have one, today I noticed that when Safin hits a backhand he juts his left elbow out like he's trying to elbow someone behind his back. You can see it in this clip

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrCyCbXe1d0

    So just for kicks I tried it out and noticed I was hitting my backhand a lot cleaner and harder.

    Feel free to comment or share something weird you found :)
     
    #1
  2. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Whenever I get myself in a funk (I usually get myself into a funk for a week or two where I'm just not hitting well), and it's usually because I'm not moving my feet. I'd like to do this:

    Put keys or coins in my non-ball pocket during warm-ups, so if I hear the jingles, I know I'm moving my feet. If I'm not hearing the jingles, it reminds me to move them feet.
     
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  3. 2ManyAces

    2ManyAces Rookie

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    I exhale like Roddick.
     
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  4. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Corrected for you :)
     
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  5. 2ManyAces

    2ManyAces Rookie

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    true dat. I also stare into my opponents soul. Freaky.
     
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  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Positive attitude, confidence in my shots, and willing to miss a few to tune in later. Works wonders for a whole match.
     
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  7. PhrygianDominant

    PhrygianDominant Hall of Fame

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    My forehand is pretty streaky. It is a modern, open stance SW with a finish around my upper left arm, topspin for control, but mostly pretty flat. It is probably my most technically correct stroke, and I absolutely need it to win a game. It is very good at my level when it is on, but can go off for a few points. If it goes off....I prepare early and point at my contact point with my left hand (righty) as I am getting set up, racquet back, start my loop, etc... I don't move that pointing arm until I start my swing to contact. This usually irons it out.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2012
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  8. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Sort of along the same line, I flex in front of my opponent. If that doesn't work, I **** bricks. :shock:
     
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  9. rufus_smith

    rufus_smith Professional

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    During the pre-match warm-up, I will hit several groundtrokes by hitting the ball way out in front of me, more so than I would in the match. Really helps me get off to a good start on my groundies.

    Sometimes in warm up, I will pactice some serves standing about one foot inside the baseline and try to not fault. I think it forces me to get more arc or spin on the ball to get the ball in the serve box in a shorter distance. I think it helps to prevent long faults, my nemesis, when doing proper serves.
     
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  10. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    For my daughter, the opposite works. She has a tendency to hit spin serves short. I have her practice and warm up by trying to hit them long - about halfway between the service line and baseline. They usually still land in.

    When she does this she ends up with deep serves with a lot more spin.
     
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  11. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Focusing on getting my left shoulder pointed at the incoming ball on FHs. Makes sure I have a complete unit turn and don't need to muscle the ball.
     
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  12. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I stopped imbibing heavily before matches. Man I play a lot better now.
     
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  13. ThoughtCrime

    ThoughtCrime Rookie

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    Just before I hit a ball, I imagine "lines" of how I am going to hit the ball with my racket. It's hard to describe, but for say a slice, the lines go from low to high across the ball if you get what I mean. That and visualizing hitting the ball, it may sound strange but it helped.
     
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  14. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    I try to make sure that I drop my left shoulder when I serve. That seems to help to pull the ball down into the court.
     
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  15. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    I think for most people this will end up with them pulling the ball down into the net. For me, the thought process is to have everything going up and to have the wrist snap bring the ball down. That's when I'm serving the most effortlessly and consistently.
     
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  16. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    My hitting coach tells me to watch the ball with my back foot.
     
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  17. USS Tang

    USS Tang Rookie

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    I warm up with non-dominant hand. Then, once match begins, I switch. Psyches them all out. Never fails.
     
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  18. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I like it. Reminds me of one of my favorite comedies:

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. danno123

    danno123 Rookie

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    I've been working on moving my feet while hitting. When hitting a forehand, I'll either: (1) hit closed stance and hop approximately 180 degrees; (2) hit open stance and pivot on the ball of my outside foot while hitting; or (3) hit closed stance but allow my back leg to swing forward as I hit, so I end up in an open stance at the conclusion of the shot. On my one-handed backhand, I do #3. I incorporated these movements to help speed my recovery after the shot but they actually have helped my strokes.

    When hitting an approach shot, I don't chip and charge, I hit a chip while charging.
     
    #19
  20. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Hope that works for you.
    For me, the things done during a stroke are incidental to the movement you need to hit the stroke. If it comes, great. If it don't, I still needed to hit the ball.
    Just too many little setup steps to ever run thru the shots for me.
     
    #20
  21. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    I love the idea of looking at the ball like a clock face to get better extension with my strokes - this also works well with some of my students. When the ball is over on my right (forehand) side, I think of hitting the ball out at 3 o'clock, and when it's on my left (backhand) side, I try to hit it out at 9 o'clock. This has been especially helpful when looking for a good move with a one-handed backhand.

    Keep in mind though that almost no tennis tips are universal and some can actually be sort of a placebo. If one of my kids is swinging wrong and perhaps using too much arm to hit the ball, I might cue them to tune in to the feeling in their legs and feet just to get their heads out of the way of their swings. These sorts of tips are probably the strangest of all.
     
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  22. Gonzalito17

    Gonzalito17 Hall of Fame

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    Rufus Rios used to do that with his serve in warmups, while at the same time holding four balls in the toss hand, each one to be tossed. Another example of the extraordinary control in RIos' hands.
     
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  23. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    In my last couple of matches I've been doing this more and it has resulted in much more effective approach shots. But they're not just chips, they're driving slightly undercut backhands or forehands with pretty good pace that have very low net clearance, go deep, and skid. Very difficult for my usual opponents (generally, anything from 4.0 down) to handle ... even if I hit those shots right back at them.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012
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  24. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    seeing a big jump in improvement involved losing quite a bit of muscle mass and improving overall coordination esp more and better use of the core region. stop working out and lose weight and improve flexibility of the core and strength of extremities, hands and feet.
     
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  25. rufus_smith

    rufus_smith Professional

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    Cool, thanks. Rios is an all-time fav of mine. I'm going to try the four ball toss today for kicks:).
     
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  26. CheekyMullet

    CheekyMullet New User

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    I just have to dig this one up and thank the OP for this input. My 2hbh has been pretty awful. From the start I have tried to adopt the both-hands-straight-takeback and I just have never got the timing right for different paces and ball heights. So when the matches matter and going gets tough I have mainly sliced all my backhands. But its a shot to only hold me in point.
    For a month now I have tried to emulate what Safin does/did and boy how it has changed my game from the backhand side. I have much better control, better topspin, get cleaner contact, more power if needed and I can return a serve with two hands now. I still have a lot of work to do with my backhand but this tip has helped me immensely. Thank you!
     
    #26
  27. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    Little gems that have helped me:

    1. Get the hand outside of the contact point when serving for a rightie the angle from the hand to the contact point looks like this angle \.

    2. Oscar's take the hand to the ball slowly and pull up and across helps my FH and 2 HBH.
     
    #27
  28. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    i used to have a bad habit of not looking at the ball during my swing/at contact. i do everything right, but look away to where i want to hit the ball at the last moment. bad habit.

    cure.

    i focus on the ball in detail: what kind of spin is on it, where on it's surface i'm going to hit it and i try to feel the ball against my racquet at contact as i swing through/across/up/down on it. sometimes i try to read "US Open" or whatever is written on it.

    focusing on the details of the incoming ball ensures that i'm looking at it as i approach it and during contact. it also forces me to make up my mind beforehand about where on the court i'm going to hit it.
     
    #28
  29. lobman

    lobman Rookie

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    This is akin to one of Gallwey's Inner Tennis suggestions when he talks about "Riding the ball." Especially when receiving serve as well as when hitting and returning ground strokes, I try to focus on the ball, its flight from my opponent's racquet to mine, and nothing else. Gallwey's notion is that by focusing on the ball you "park your mind in order to keep it out of trouble." For me, I get into trouble when I consciously focus on the shot I plan to hit, where my opponent(s) are standing, what the score is, etc. So to try and keep my mind uncluttered this seems to help. (I know, some think this is voo-doo or bumper sticker psychology or whatever, but it works for me and others.
     
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