Sub 3.5 match question

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by tennis_hand, Apr 22, 2007.

  1. tennis_hand

    tennis_hand Hall of Fame

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    When you know that you won't win the match that day unless you suddenly find your best of best, will you go for paceless shots and *try* to win the match, or you will hit hard just as you rally and let the result be?

    I am thinking of the latter in my next matches, because it is more entertaining no matter the result, which does not matter to me on my first tourny. I mean even if i play those paceless shots just to get the ball back, I may not win it either. I tried it, and I got whipped by those shots with even less pace than mine.

    What is your thought?
     
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  2. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    If I'm in that scenario, rather than waste my time with paceless shots that don't require skill, I will pretend its a practice and work on some of my weaknesses, and try to paint the lines.
     
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  3. Roforot

    Roforot Professional

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    I'll go for my shots and swing free though this doesn't always translate to hard shots. I may slip him some skidding slices or put a lot of spin on a looping ball. It may not be enough but I feel better than trying to chop or bunt the ball.
     
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  4. PushyPushster

    PushyPushster Rookie

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    UE's

    I hate unforced errors. If my game is off, then I slow everything down to sub-glacial speeds until the ball starts dropping in, and then try to work back up from there. Maybe it's stupid, but I'd rather make my opponent hit 30 winners than give the game away by not putting a shot into play. The other player always seems thrilled with this decision too, ... so at least someone gets to leave the court happy.
     
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  5. penpal

    penpal Rookie

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    When I play someone who is obviously heads and shoulders better than me I concentrate less on my game and more on theirs. I pay close attention to what it is they are doing that is so good in the hopes that I can emulate some of it later on.

    As a result, I tend to try to keep the ball in play, but also to try to do things specifically so I can see how they would handle it. If they approach the net, I try to hit it low and right to them to see what they do with it. If I can, I'll hit moonballs to their backhand ... again, just to see how they handle it. Not because I think I can find a weakness and beat them necessarily (although, this might be a side benefit), but because I know they probably do have some way of dealing with these shots and I want to learn what it is.

    The best instruction I've received has been on the losing end of a one-sided match.
     
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  6. LoveThisGame

    LoveThisGame Professional

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    Good post, penpal!
     
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  7. 103xStateChamp

    103xStateChamp Rookie

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    If you want to move up in the latter smack the other player with your racket in the locker room.
     
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  8. tennis_hand

    tennis_hand Hall of Fame

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    best advice chosen. :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
     
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  9. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    The first option is called competing, the second option is called quitting.
     
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  10. vinnier6

    vinnier6 Professional

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    i go down swinging/fighting...there is no sense in floating balls back for your oposition to fire away at and gain even more confidence...
     
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  11. PushyPushster

    PushyPushster Rookie

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    competing vs quitting

    I respectfully disagree. Tennis is a very mental game. If you train yourself to give up, and just start spraying balls left and right when you're losing, then you're doing yourself a disservice. When you're losing bad, that's the time for a gut-check. Ask yourself if you're still *mentally* in the game. Are you still fighting hard for every point? I've played plenty of people that check out, upstairs, when they're down bad in the second set. You can tell they just want to get beat and go home. That's quitting.
     
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  12. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    I think you need to read the OP's and then my comment before disagreeing (hint: you're agreeing). Also, every sport is a 'mental game' and tennis requires no greater mental strength than football, baseball, cricket, golf, basketball, etc, etc - as anyone who has played those sports at a serious level can tell you.
     
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  13. PushyPushster

    PushyPushster Rookie

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    Oops

    Oops, Sorry! Please apply that comment to the folks who recommend treating the match like a practice session.

    I don't know what you mean by a "serious level", but playing First Base, in either baseball or softball, doesn't hold a candle to the mental concentration required in tennis.
     
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  14. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Me, I will try to moonball them to death.

    This has never once worked, but sometimes you have to use the last arrow left in the quiver.
     
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  15. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    A 'serious level' means, a level where you take the result seriously - where you aren't just playing socially but care about your play and the outcome of the match. The only real mental effort tennis requires is - 'watch the ball'. If it involves anything more for you, then you're just loading your head with things that aren't necessary (you shouldn't be thinking about strokes or footwork while you're playing). In that regard it isn't any different to other ball sports (although it doesn't have the added edge of fear that high impact sports incorporate).
     
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  16. PushyPushster

    PushyPushster Rookie

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    Your average Right Fielder might get the ball hit to him five times in a 3 hour game. Maybe. When the inning is over he'll wander over to the dugout and eat some sunflower seeds. If his team is hitting well that night he might get up to the plate four times. You think that level of concentration compares to the game of tennis, where you are constantly acting/reacting and repositioning yourself for every shot? Heck, just trying to force your body to keep moving when your legs start burning and your breath is short, requires far more mental endurance than anything I've encountered in baseball. And that doesn't even take into account the attempts to find out your opponent's weaknesses while covering/minimizing your own.

    Maybe you're right and I'm thinking too much. Still, if I want to win a game, it's usually going to take more than running around the court on auto-pilot.
     
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  17. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

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    Tennis is more mental than most other sports because you are responsible for a loss 100% and you have hundreds of balls to deal with so it's easy to lapse. In team sports you often can make a mistake and your teammates are there to back you up and most of the time you don't have the ball and are not in position to make a mistake but in tennis you have hundreds of chances to make a mistake and those mistakes and your opponent can get in your head. Tennis and other individual sports are generally the most mental.

    I still play baseball and soccer and played basketball and football in HS. Tennis takes more thought and determination to succeed.

    To the original poster, you can work on consistency which is how to move up or you can keep going for winners and lose quickly but maybe enjoy it more. Do what makes you happy playing tennis.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2007
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  18. Clive Walker

    Clive Walker Rookie

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    I am sort of assuming that the initial post is refering to an opponent who will simply dispatch you if you play your normal game.

    Therefore I would look to play the best tennis I can- I know that when I produce my "a" game I can stand shoulder to shoulder with most on a local level, therefore it is simply a case of doing that for more than five minutes at a time. (easier said than done). -I honestly don't see the point in just turning up and looking to minimise the damage.
     
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  19. mica

    mica New User

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    If you're just mindlessly hitting the ball, maybe; but if you're actually trying to maximize your chances against a particular opponent, you're also focusing on where you're opponent is hitting the ball from, where you're opponent is when the ball gets to you, where you want the ball to go, how much margin you have to get it there, and any one of a number of little calculations that occur in a second or two between the time the ball leaves your opponent's racquet and the time it leaves yours.

    You can't really compare a sport where the outcome of very single point depends on you with a team sport where (with the possible exception of basketball) any one player is only fully involved 50% of the time at most.


    In answer to the original question, I usually try to focus on the most damaging part of my opponent's game (eg. monster serve, speed, powerful forehand) and try to figure out a way to neutralize it. If I can't figure it out quickly enough to save myself in this match, at least I'll know for the next time I face something similar.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2007
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  20. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    Essentially, that is exactly what you want to be doing: playing on auto-pilot. If you're doing that it means there will be no inhibition in your game and your performance won't suffer due to hesitancy or indecision. Yes, you'll have (or should have) a game plan A and might need to change tactics during a match. However, those aren't things that require a great deal of mental effort. You decide to do something and then do it - but, you do it by concentrating on where you're hitting the ball. If you want the greatest focus possible, you need to break things down to their most essential elements. In tennis that is 'the ball'

    mica,

    You're wrong and, after reading your first paragraph, it should be perfectly apparent to everyone why you're getting it wrong. Your second paragraph is also wrong and for the same reasons as kevhen.
     
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  21. MariaS

    MariaS Semi-Pro

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    I played my first match against a Pusher. She was pretty consistent at it I must say.
    To each his own with the style that each one plays. But I would be bored not hitting hard shots down the line, or crosscourt, or topspin lobs. I enjoy the variety and a fast pace.
     
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  22. PushyPushster

    PushyPushster Rookie

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    Andrew,

    Your original contention was that all ball sports required the same amount of concentration. That's patently false, in my opinion. If you want to switch the argument over to how much thinking should be done during a tennis match then we can do that. Have you ever read Brad Gilbert's book Winning Ugly? I mention it, because his contention is that there are way too many players who run around the court on auto-pilot who refuse to devote any mental energy to thinking up a gameplan tailored to their opponent. After applying a few of his suggestions I found that my game improved substantially. That's one of the reasons I can't get behind your 'Just Watch The Ball' philosophy.

    Perhaps we're not speaking about the same thing, though. If you're saying that over-analyzing the shot itself (bend your legs, keep the racket above your wrist, remember to follow-through...) can cause hesitancy and poor performance, then we can agree on that.
     
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  23. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    No it wasn't. My original contention was that, quote, "every sport is a 'mental game' and tennis requires no greater mental strength than football, baseball, cricket, golf, basketball, etc, etc". That's 'mental strength', not merely concentration (they aren't the same thing).
     
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  24. PushyPushster

    PushyPushster Rookie

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    Maybe you can elaborate on the difference - It sounds like you're just splitting hairs to me.
     
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  25. mica

    mica New User

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    Yes by all means elaborate, because this:

    is not so much a valid argument as an unsubstantiated non-specific statement.

    It's much easier and more damaging to mentally check out of a game where you are involved in every single point. Differences between mental "strength" and mental "concentration" notwithstanding, that's the point, and that's what makes tennis a more "mental" game than some of those others.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2007
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