variety

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by lendl lives, Jun 11, 2004.

  1. lendl lives

    lendl lives Semi-Pro

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    one of the things i'm learning now that i'm branching out into league play and not just hitting with my small circle of friends is that i need to increase my variety of shots. i just can't kill the ball on everyshot like i feel i can against players who hit with pace and whom i've grooved my strokes too. i need to learn to hit defensive loopers, slice forehands, better angles, drop shots, lobs and most importantly i have to learn to play better at the net.

    man i feel like roddick at the net. it's so uncomfortable for me and i'm not sure i understand why. i might hit a strong approach and turn in on a ball but i always feel like i'm out of position or that i'm going to get passed basically i'm just not very good at coming to the net. my overhead (thanks to bungalo) is much better so i'm much more confident..... but when i come to the net i feel like i can't get in front of the ball. i should have posted this in the rants and raves.
     
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  2. lendl lives

    lendl lives Semi-Pro

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    also bungalo,

    i've never even thought about consistency before. before i've played with 5-6 guys who hit with pace and the game just flowed. now i'm playing 4.0 singles and i'm playing a range of guys who are really bad pushers to guys who aren't pushers but don't give you any pace and are very patient. it is only in this context that i've started to think about things like consistency and rally pace. part of me feels that i'm too good a player for these guys and they are messing up my game. i feel like i don't want to work hard against these guys cause i already now i'm better. yet if i don't try hard its possible i might lose.....wheew ok i feel better i got all this off my chest.
     
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  3. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    It is very difficult to do (what I am about to say). Try not to look at the person that beat you but the aspect of the game that beat you. We all know that the number #1 thing to have in tennis is - consistency. You can not play against different styles without it and overcome them.

    Consistency allows you to learn and focus on how to play defense and when to take the offense and with how much. You stay within your limits.

    When someone beats you or you beat someone else, 9 times out of 10 the match was won because someone made less mistakes and therefore was more consistent. So focus on the aspect of the game that really beat you. Instead of saying "I hate playing pushers because they dent hit the ball right with any pace", say "I need to improve my consistency, it really lacks and was proven to be a weakness by a guy that just gets the ball back with different looks.

    That way it will motivate you to practice whatever aspect to improve your game. Power is rarely the winning aspect of a match.

    When you finally cross that bridge and now focus your game around being consistent - a whole new world of tennis opens up. A lot of players never get there and depending on their talent and gifts will never reach their maximum potential in this game.

    The key aspects of the game are:

    1. Consistency

    2. Depth

    3. Placement

    4. Power

    As an example of how to think: With a score of 40-15 for every game played in the match (server favor, except one game) and the game ends on the next point, there are 5 points or chances per game. If the game score goes to 6 - 4. That means you will have 50 tries to get most of the points. And hopefully will balance out to where you when 6 - 4. Or 150 tries if the match went to 3 sets.

    Now my math maybe a little off, but that is not the point. Out of the 150 attempts you have to win, how many of those tries are lost because you made a mistake? We all know what the research says. So you get the picture. You want to win a majority of those attempts. This means you have to be more consistent.
     
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  4. Moumine

    Moumine New User

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    Also make sure you vary your backhand, in the style of someone hitting topspin followed by backspin followed by flat (if the shot received permits) and permutations thereof. Works a treat against anyone.
     
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  5. BigboyDan

    BigboyDan Semi-Pro

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    Play only serve and volley with your friends (when you are on serve) for the next four months - after that, what you experience will determine what you should learn, you'll know.

    Oh, and play doubles; McEnroe did.
     
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  6. Cypo

    Cypo Rookie

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    BB You really hit the nail on the head ! Especially

    "When you finally cross that bridge and now focus your game around being consistent - a whole new world of tennis opens up. A lot of players never get there and depending on their talent and gifts will never reach their maximum potential in this game."

    I'm not saying I've crossed it, I'm about in the middle I guess, but I'm starting to know (meaning I still forget, or it isn't instinct yet) that those occasional great shots I can hit have their time and place, but they're icing. The meat and potato's are the solid, 'these aren't going to miss' shots.

    The most frustrating part, is even knowing it, even having played it and won with it, I still have to fight down the desire to hit glorious winner after glorious winner.
     
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  7. Tim Tennis

    Tim Tennis Professional

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    Here we go. Consistancy is wonderful. Depth is wonderful. Placement is wonderful. You can compete very successfully with these elements even up to the 4.5 level but to compete successfully on the upper levels of college tennis and professional tennis it is curcial to have some kind of power element. I just got through watching some of the best college players in the South and some of the lower level APT players compete. The players who competed with just consistancy, depth and placement envariably got blown off the court by the players that had some kind of power element in their game and this was on clay. The game has changed. Sure the big three will win you club championships,high school matches, and a few college matches but if you do not have a strong power element in you game that is as far as you will go. So it all depends on just how good you really want to be and how far you want to go. Might is Right. The days of wimp tennis are over.

    You got to love the game.
     
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  8. Cypo

    Cypo Rookie

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    Of course Tim ! But you didn't see them hitting those shot on the first rally ball. The emphasis on consistency is because without it, you're trying to hit those wonderful power shots in situations where they're very low percentage. The goal of course is to be able to hit powerful shot consistently, but everyone needs to take a reality check - how many points are you giving away and how many are you making ?

    It probably also makes a difference if you're playing with one group on a regular basis, or whether your playing tournaments and/or league matches. With a group of friends 1) you know their play and you can set-up power shots more easily and 2) winning is less important than playing full out and having fun. But if you really want to win, your first job is not beating yourself.

    We had a league match yesterday and my opponent went down swinging. I won the first set 6-1, she took the second 6-0, and I took the third 6-3. In the second set, she hit winner after winner with a wicked forehand slice I couldn't touch, but she couldn't maintain that level. Maybe she's thinking now, "well, I lost, but I am still a better player", but I'm checking the internet to see when they post the results, because my team now moves into first place.
     
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  9. Tim Tennis

    Tim Tennis Professional

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    Cypo,

    So well said. Actually, I was surprised at how quickly the top players would go for their power shots. The top players seemed to be able to take control off of almost anything on their side of the court.

    I think my concern is that once you develop habits of competing that are built around waiting for your opponent to make a mistake and you have been successful in doing so it becomes very difficult to get outside the box to take your game to the next level with the power shots you need to win and control the points when you do have the right opportunity.

    Interesting swing in the scores, wicked forehand slice, you don't see that too often. You must have adjusted and kept the ball on her backhand or maybe she just had a melt down. You better watch out. She is mad now and will develop a wicked backhand slice. Just kidding.

    You got to love the game.
     
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  10. Cypo

    Cypo Rookie

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    You're right - you can get into a sort of numb state of mind playing "safe" shots all the time, and especially if your opponent is in better shape and/or (more often for me :-() younger than you are, you can't keep up for three sets, so you've got to have some way to end the points more quickly.

    She was the weirdest player I've ever played. Her backhand slice was sharp as well, but not as sharp, and I'm used to that. She played all kinds of spins and varied the pace, I felt like I pupet getting jerked all over the court. But heavy topspin to the forhand she often sent flying so I just concentrated on playing those to her in the third.
     
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  11. Tim Tennis

    Tim Tennis Professional

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    There you go. Great reply, I was really curious as to what you did to win the third set. You went to your power topspin forehand to her forehand that she liked to slice and took her completely off her game. You broke the code.

    You got to love the game.
     
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  12. Cypo

    Cypo Rookie

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    It's all relative though isn't it ? The heavy topspin shot is a safe shot for me - I don't make many unforced errors with it - although it could be considered a power shot (for a girl of course !)
     
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  13. Tim Tennis

    Tim Tennis Professional

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    Cypo,

    Excellent point. Maybe we need a definition of just what a power shot is. My def. would be, Any shot that requires significant racquet speed to execute properly. To me, you can hit with power and still have a very safe, conservative shot.

    You got to love the game.
     
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