trouble handling heavy pace

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Rickson, Jun 12, 2005.

  1. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    The guys I play are only around a 2.5 so I have no problems dealing with them, but when I play against heavy hitters, I faced an uncommon problem for me, heavy pace. One guy I played can really wack the ball and before I face someone like him again, I'd like to know the best strategy against power hitters.
     
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  2. TwistServe

    TwistServe Guest

    Handling pace is really about getting used to pace. I have a friend that played for the a division1 univisiity team. When he just joined them everyone was hitting the ball so fast and he just couldnt handle the pace. After about 6 months everyone got used to everyones pace. When they went out to UCLA it was like day one again. The pace was at a whole new level! I guess in short you have to practice with the pace to get used to it. There's really no other way around it.

    Some tips tho.. you can to use the pace of the player and instead of going through the ball as much, just try to add spin and be light on the racquet. If they're running you around they its gonna be tough. YOu need to get practice partners that are hard hitters.
     
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  3. Kana Himezaki

    Kana Himezaki Semi-Pro

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    Practice with the pace? Too general. Your eye gradually adjusts slightly. However, almost always, even if you can see it a little better, it's not going to matter, because the ball is still going to get to the spot just as fast. Adjusting doesn't help much.

    The main reason with time you're able to adjust is because you get used to preparing for that kind of ball.

    Add spin and be light? Adding spin won't help much if you're having trouble meeting the ball. That won't improve your chances. Being "light" on the racquet is another faulty term -what's it supposed to mean? Do you want him to slow down his stroke?

    Again ineffective. With natural body mechanics and simply getting ready for the shot, the swing is naturally relatively fast. Swinging slow actually requires getting in position and preparing better than usual.

    Adjus

    The best thing he could do would be to make his stroke SIMPLER. Shorten the backswing, don't aim for your normal cut at the ball -your objective is to bring the racquet back fast in position with a more compact swing. Keep your followthrough.

    The pace from the other people will carry over, and you'll be able to take your followthrough without meeting the fast balls late.

    Make your stroke simpler.
     
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  4. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    I tried the topspin tactic and found that my balls were coming up short, barely going over the net. I seemed to find a bit more success with a flat drive, but I wound up netting the ball too many times from my smaller margin for error, but the flat returns were going back with heavy pace because the heavy hitter's pace was used against him. I'll have to find a way to return heavy pace with more topspin, but with more pace.
     
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  5. TwistServe

    TwistServe Guest

    Never change your strokes because your opponent is doing something you're not used to. Just like when you play a pusher, many players start pushing back instead of doing what they do in practice! Do not allow your opponents to change your strokes !

    You can adjust and change tactics and strategies... but do not change your strokes during a game.
     
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  6. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Good advice, Kana. A shorter backswing and compact stroke would help a lot.
     
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  7. TwistServe

    TwistServe Guest

    Another thing you can do is to look for a weakness. Maybe he only hits heavy with waist high balls.. Throw in some big loopers and see what happens.. Throw in some low balls and see what happens.. Throw in some no pace balls and see if he still hits them hard.

    Take him out of his comfort zone and he wont be able to hit hard balls.. Unless he's like gonzo.. and he'll eventually error out.
     
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  8. Kana Himezaki

    Kana Himezaki Semi-Pro

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    A simple correction.

    You do not allow your opponent's to change your strokes. You make them simpler from the start.

    You take a huge backswing, you take your racquet and body back all the way -is it any wonder this causes you to be late on a hard-hit ball?

    Also, most of a shot's complexity is within the backswing and setup. You're not changing most of the stroke, you are changing the backswing and setup.

    Making it simpler improves the timing greatly, and allows you to stay in the rally and keep up with the pace.
     
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  9. mucat

    mucat Hall of Fame

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    I agree with TwistServe, the best way to learn to handle pace is to get use to it, play with someone who can hit heavy pace. It is all about timing, once you get use to it, you don't even notice the pace at all. The hardest part is finding someone who can feed you heavy pace ball, in where I live anyway.
     
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  10. tennisplayer

    tennisplayer Rookie

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    Kana's advice is good. I hit with my coach, a 5.5 player, and he hits a huge shot. But he worked with me to handle such balls.

    Basically, it's all about preparation, and cutting out the flourish - just execute the bare fundamentals. As soon as I make my stroke, I start bouncing on my toes, with knees slightly bent, in preparation to position myself. It takes some fitness to get to the ball after it is struck. Then you need to position yourself appropriately. I concentrate on the footwork - for the FH, I plant my right foot as in an openstance stroke, with the racquet in an abbreviated takeback, and shoulder rotated. I make the stroke off the planted right foot, and immediately move towards recovery and preparation. Similarly, for my 2HBH, I plant my left foot with shoulders rotated and racquet in an abbreviated takeback, make my stroke off the planted foot, and head towards recovery.

    When playing a slow ball, I take my time to position myself properly, usually open stance for the FH and semi open for the 2HBH, and take a huge cut with topspin. You can afford to have a bigger backswing for such balls.

    Well, give it a shot and see what happens!
     
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  11. TheGreatBernie

    TheGreatBernie Rookie

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    Hi all,

    I had the same problem before when I started hitting with better players. It's simply adjusting to the pace. I had to do a better job of anticipating shots but once I did that, it was as if I was hitting with my usual partners. IMO, that's the best way to get better -- playing people better than yourself.
     
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  12. defensive4

    defensive4 Rookie

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    love playing hard hitters, i can get my shots in alot more for some reason :confused: but when faced with a sitter i usually put it in the net or hit long.
     
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  13. krnboijunsung

    krnboijunsung Semi-Pro

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    Many people get the idea that you have to hit hard against hard hitters. That is dead wrong. It's actually the opposite. The power used from your opponent can be used back at him. Just like Kana said, a shorter backswing leads into the shot and uses your opponents energy to hit the ball back. It's like a trampoline. You don't HAVE to press in hard to make the other person fly higher. You can use the energy from the other person's jump to generate your own power to fly higher.

    Yes that is confusing. But my point is hitting hard against hard hitters ain't the way to go.
     
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  14. toughcookie

    toughcookie New User

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    I agree with TwistServe's advice. I remember playing a big, flat stroker and once I got used to the pace, I got fairly comfortable. I would also like to add, once I went back to hitting with less fast paced hitters, I was swinging too early.

    I'd love to get to hit with a big, flat hitter again.
     
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  15. Mahboob Khan

    Mahboob Khan Hall of Fame

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    Well, you have to train the "power" also. I mean if you play quite frequently with power hitters you will get used to their pace!

    The only other advice I can give you is this: Watch the ball as you hit it, and watch it early from his racket so that you react and prepare early!

    Also train in short burst of activities i.e. short sprints!
     
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