Waste of a hitting session

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Devil_dog, Apr 7, 2014.

  1. Devil_dog

    Devil_dog Semi-Pro

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    During a two-on-one hitting session one of the guys across the net tries to nearly bomb every shot... And this was from the very first ball.

    I was expecting to hit with this guy I typically meet up with and he happens to invite "bomber" to join us. Okay, no problem. It's always cool to do two-on-one hitting sessions and can be a great way to get a workout along with working on grooving strokes. But as I feed the FIRST ball to bomber he whacks a FH winner. WTF? So I then feed to the guy I usually hit with and it's all good until I hit back to the other guy. And he attempts to bomb another FH. But this time it sails.

    This goes on for a bit until I realize he doesn't have a backhand. So I start hitting deep to his backhand where he proceeds to dump them into the net. Nearly every time. I alternated my shots back and forth between the two guys and really focused on just hitting good shots and maintaing a rally. But bomber insists that as soon as he gets a FH - he bombs away. Probably 1 outta 10 actually go in.

    Needless to say I wasn't feeling like any of us were getting any sort of practice out of it and thankfully a pop up shower stopped the session.

    What do you all do when you encounter something like this?

    If the session went longer, I probably would have just asked him to tone down the big forehands so EVERYONE on court could work on their strokes and not necessarily just hitting winners.

    Sorry for the rant but the session seemed like a waste.
     
    #1
  2. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    You can talk to him.
    I'd bomb my first feed to "bomber's" forehand, so he can't take a full swing, exposing his forehand.
     
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  3. RoddickAce

    RoddickAce Hall of Fame

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    I sometimes try to prove a point by bombing back my shots.

    If he selfishly wants to bomb shots off my feed, then I will do the same and start blasting winners back at him, so he knows how it feels to have two shot rallies and no chance to really work on your strokes.

    Everyone can hit hard, but if you can't maintain a rally, don't do it at the expense of your hitting partners, especially if it's a paid indoor court time slot.
     
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  4. dcdoorknob

    dcdoorknob Hall of Fame

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    Just avoid the guy in the future if possible, and let your regular hitting partner know that you'd prefer he not be invited to hit with you in the future.

    I wouldn't really try to change this guy's approach. If he's like most people I've encountered like that, it's all he ever does and he wouldn't even have any idea how to tone it down.
     
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  5. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    Maybe suggest Australian? Do something where you keep score, that way he has to tone it down, or all those errors will really add up on him.
    If that does prove anything about you, it is nothing good.
     
    #5
  6. TeamOB

    TeamOB Professional

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    Play points. Have the "bomber" and the other guy take turn serving or feeding points against you. I would bet 20 bucks he tones down the pace when you start keeping score. Hitting hard is fun but not when it makes you lose.
     
    #6
  7. Gut4Tennis

    Gut4Tennis Hall of Fame

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    tell him to please hit 75%

    communicate
     
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  8. RoddickAce

    RoddickAce Hall of Fame

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    What if the person doesn't want to keep score? And I have played simulated matches and first to 21 point games with these people and they do the same thing. Great I won, the errors did pile up for him, but the situation is the same.

    Edit: Regarding your last remark, I don't need your opinion of what it proves of me.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2014
    #8
  9. RoddickAce

    RoddickAce Hall of Fame

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    This is most efficient approach, but sometimes it is hard to tell someone to "play better" or "play more consistently", because that's how he plays and we theoretically have no right to make him change.

    He could say something like, "stop playing like a pusher and try to hit winners against me". And we won't like it.
     
    #9
  10. blip

    blip Rookie

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    Say your tired and be the 2 instead of 1
     
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  11. Devil_dog

    Devil_dog Semi-Pro

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    Thanks for all the suggestions. If we had kept hitting I would have definitely said something. Switching so that he or my usual hitting partner were on the singles side was also an option.
     
    #11
  12. thejuice

    thejuice Hall of Fame

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    Once again someone online asks how they should handle a situation where all you have to do is say something to the guy. It's not that hard to say, "Hey fella, we normally just hit around to work on our strokes. Let's try to keep a rally going." If he has a problem with that then you say, "I'll tell you guys what, I'll let you beat the ball to death and work on nothing and I'll take my talents to South Beach." It's not that hard guys!!!
     
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  13. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Practice hitting sky high lobs, as high as you can hit them. If it ****es him off, tell him you're trying to make it rain.
     
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  14. Devil_dog

    Devil_dog Semi-Pro

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    LOL! Good one Tom! :)
     
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  15. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    Find new hitting partners...

    ...life's too short, and tennis is supposed to be fun, remember?
     
    #15
  16. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Give him ALL drop shots, and let's see him tee off on those.
     
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  17. SteveI

    SteveI Legend

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    Guys a dick... dump him..
     
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  18. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    What he said. Just be assertive.
     
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  19. spaceman_spiff

    spaceman_spiff Hall of Fame

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    I agree with this strategy. There are a couple of games you can play with three guys that will have the desired effect.

    You can do rally points that start with a feed, no winners off the first shot. The two guys alternate after every two points, and the guy on his own plays the entire game. First to 11, and then you rotate.

    Another variation is the same game but starting with serves. The guy on his own is the returner, and the two servers alternate after every two points. First to 11, and then you rotate.

    In the rally game, once you enforce the "no winners off the first ball" rule a few times in a row, the mad bomber will eventually learn to play well with others. After he loses a few games from unforced errors, he might even start trying to play smarter.
     
    #19
  20. winstonlim8

    winstonlim8 Semi-Pro

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    I don't know about others but when I get people like that across the net, I start practising topspin lobs off both sides. I try to stay positive about the situation and chase down all his bombs so that I can get in some practice hitting topspin lobs on the run.

    Of course, the fact that it probably irritates the brainless bomber whose initial reaction is normally to hit harder and harder until he gets frustrated with his own increasing errors, is a bonus for me. I always try my best not to laugh too loudly when he walks off, though. I also try to be a nice guy, too, I must say.
     
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  21. g4driver

    g4driver Hall of Fame

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    Avoid the guy.

    There is a new young lefty 3.5 guy who is total pusher at the club where we both it. My 4.0 Captain put him on our 4.0 team. He hits loopy tospin with no pace, but it does bounce high if you let it. He pushes in singles, but he gets crushed in doubles with that loopy slow topspin floating across the middle. He beats up most of the 3.5 guys and some 4.0 guys he plays because they get impatience, or don't know how to hit on the rise.

    Some of the 3.5 guys complain about his pushing, since they can't beat him. So he calls me and asks me to hit. Ok here we go: I give him soft feed to his lefty forehand and he rips it for a winner. Ok, he doesn't get it. I walk feed him another soft feed and bam, he rips another winner. Third times a charm right? Third feed, third winner.

    I stop and yell "Your warm up is over. Let's play a match or I am out of here." He stands there looking confused, and I say "you asked me to play so I come out. I am not a ball machine or a Labrador Retriever. I give you three soft balls and you hit three winners in a row." "If you want to play a match, let's go, otherwise I am gone." He takes his crack at me.

    I beat him 1 & 2 and he called at several aces wide / long and multiple balls long. We say goodnight and part ways. Fast forward two weeks and our 4.0 team is practicing. We have 9 guys so another 3.5 friend of mine joins us, so the two 3.5s can play singles. He beats up on my 3.5 friend pretty quickly while I play doubles with three 4.0s on the adjacent court. I can see my 3.5 buddy is not having fun with the pusher lefty 3.5, so tell him to hit with my 6'5" 4.0 partner in doubles while the 3.5 lefty pusher and I hit again.

    This is a friendly practice match. He wins the racquet spin and elects to serve. At one point I challenge a particular call, and he say he isn't sure. I tell him not to call balls out that he isn't sure, and it would be a good idea to read the rules before he plays another league match. We aren't paid to play tennis, and it is supposed to be fun, but people want honest calls. I tell him treat line calls like a guilty verdict - have no doubt in your mind, if you have in doubt, don't make a call, and play the ball. The then asks for my input on the call. He asked me to walk and look at the mark on clay court. The ball left a skid mark off the line. There is an elongated ball mark with no discernable area between the line and the start of the mark. I show him a clearly out ball vs what he called out. Ok, he is new to clay and I get this, so I didn't mind trying to help him understand clay and clay ball marks. But I find the guy annoying, and the set is 6-0 rather quickly. Several of the 4.0s on my team later ask me about the discussion on the line call when I walk over to his side and I explain he asked me to come over to look at the mark. They then turn on the Captain and ask "What were you thinking putting him on your team?" lol Justified. ;)

    Sure he can hit winners off of soft feeds, but when someone rips a ball with pace, he returns the loopy soft topsin, not the winners off the soft feeds. But he called me to hit again, and I couldn't. He texts me several more time and I'm working. But he is relentless and not getting the picture. I finally told him, I wanted to concentrate on doubles (knowing he hates doubles). :rolleyes:

    A few weeks pass and he sees me playing with the same 3.5 he beat up the night our team practiced and asks me why I hit singles with the other guy, but not him. I tell him "he is a friend and I don't mind trying to help him become a better player. I am donating my time to help him, but I prefer doubles or playing against guys who beat up on me in singles. We don't get better beating up people. We get better by playing people who push our limits and stretch us to become better."

    He has never called or texted me again.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2014
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  22. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    1a: Try talk to the guy. Maybe he just needs to be asked to tone it down.

    1b: If you don't feel comfortable talking to him about it, jut let his blasted shots go by without making any attempt to go for them. That will send the same message.

    2: If that doesn't work, play points. Point only counts after ball has crossed the net three times. Or you can up that to five as needed.

    3: If that doesn't work, don't play with him again.
     
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  23. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    I know someone like this, it's stupidly annoying. It doesn't take long for me to to challenge him play some sets because the fool would just crack winners off of feeds.

    He would decline and say he doesn't like playing matches. Yeah no s***, cause in a match, randomly bombing shot would have consequences.
     
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  24. g4driver

    g4driver Hall of Fame

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    Tell him to play a match against you or you are walking away- it only took three balls off of soft feeds for me to say - no more.

    Those guys clearly do not get it, so if you hit with the guy next time , and he starts ripping soft feeds, tell him he can either play you in match or he can play alone. It he doesn't want to play, pack up your bag and walk away. It solves the problem by getting rid of him if he don't want to play a match or it gives you a chance to destroy him in singles. Either way, he won't be hitting winners off your soft feeds and wasting your time.
     
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  25. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Or I simply won't hit with him? I've refused to warm up with him because I knew it would be a complete waste of time. I'd get "warmed" by retrieving balls.

    Sometimes we'd go as group, and people would warm up as they arrive:
    Zero consistency player: "Hey man, you want to hit/warm up?"
    Me: "Naw man, I'm bird watching. I'm not ready yet."
     
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  26. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I used to play with a very competitive 4.0 who would only softball and dink during warmups, but he was a hard hitting S/V player during point play. Sometimes, he would actually just low lob on warmups, never hitting any groundstroke whatsoever.
    Point starts, he crush's low topspin shots.
     
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  27. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    Ntrp...

    ...is shuffleboard for yuppies. If you want to play real tennis, give it up and move on...
     
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  28. Devil_dog

    Devil_dog Semi-Pro

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    Sorry to get off topic but your post got my attention because that's how I typically warm up, too. I just want to loosen up when warming up and rarely hit anything too hard or precise. I'm rated 4.0-4.5 but I warm up like a total novice. Really freaks out the opponent when I crack my first "real" serve or return at the beginning of the match. LOL.
     
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  29. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Sounds like the dude don't want the opponent to be warm, haha.
     
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  30. winstonlim8

    winstonlim8 Semi-Pro

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    I won't dink but I won't try to thump the ball either. I always thought warming up, I should try to stroke the ball cleanly and return it to the other guy so that he can also do the same for me and we both get our muscles stretched and warmed up properly before playing a game.

    But you meet all kinds when you play regularly, I guess, though the stupid ones who think warming up is the time for hitting winners seems to predominate. Another reason why I refuse to spend a whole session hitting balls mindlessly. THAT I would consider a real waste of my time.
     
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  31. anantak2k

    anantak2k Semi-Pro

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    Communicating is definitely the most efficient approach.
    I think it also depends on how you communicate. I mean it's a hitting session. Would you rather get a good workout out of it or spend most of the time picking up balls that the said person is spraying because they are just trying to whack every single shot. I think in this case you DO have the right to ask them to change what they are doing. It's your time too and if you want to hit shots with your racket over doing nothing but picking up balls that sail long, you have the right to communicate this to the other player.

    Think about the guy who is whacking every ball, technically they don't even need a hitting partner. They can just bounce feed the ball to themselves and take a whack and then go pick up their own balls on their own time instead of wasting the time of other players.
     
    #31
  32. RoddickAce

    RoddickAce Hall of Fame

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    Good points, I guess it's true that this is part of tennis's unwritten code of etiquette that most people follow.
     
    #32
  33. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    No point communicating with such people
     
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  34. Devil_dog

    Devil_dog Semi-Pro

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    You're absolutely right. The "bomber" was just plain oblivious or inconsiderate to the hitting session. And after the first few shots he cracked I was just letting sail long or watching winner fly by me. Not a good constructive session at all. Like I stated originally, I'll likely not hit with this guy in the future and if I do it'll be to play a match.
     
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  35. jdubbs

    jdubbs Hall of Fame

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    had a hitting sesh with a guy yesterday that kept moving me around the court. I didn't mind it because its a good workout, but when I would hit shots to the corners in response to his shots, he wouldn't even move for them.

    Kind of made me mad, but I was stoked to at least have a good hitting session with a solid fellow 4.5 (there are a lot of hackers at my club who always seem to have oodles of time to play and always want to hit with me).
     
    #35
  36. samarai

    samarai Rookie

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    communicate

    if u cant communicate to him that its not how u want to hit then its really a "you" problem. There are a couple of guys at my courts that do that. Hit all out on every shot. I just avoid them. that's how they like to hit, Im not going to change that.
     
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  37. ShahofTennis

    ShahofTennis Semi-Pro

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    Sarcasm rushes in where Courtesy dares to tread.

    I like to use the following phrases:
    "THAANK You for doing that"
    "Woooooww"
    "How's the arm?"
    "Lady Troubles?"
    "Easy there"

    A good friend of mine used to try and hit past me all the time when we first started off hitting with each other. Though it may have been a very sarcastic transition, it also had a lot to do with just playing what we threw at each other. That's ultimately why you're there right? To play the game of tennis. Granted you may not like this person, and have matches to prepare for. Everybody kind of starts off with a little of what looks like egocentrism, but it's really just them trying to impress you or someone else. What's tennis without more than one person? I figure they want partners who'll practice/play with them regularly, so they'll try to put up a good performance.
    Needless to say that some people and their parents (juniors who have ever dealt with someone else's helicopter/call challenging/behind the fence/or bleacher sitting chirpers as parents, you know what I mean) DO need a reality check when it comes to respecting hitting partners and match opponents.

    Communication is key.
     
    #37
  38. Bdarb

    Bdarb Hall of Fame

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    This drives me insane!

    I play in a Sunday morning men's group, and its made up of a mix of people, but mostly older 4.0's. Theres one guy I always get put up against for one of our two matches because I'm young and I hit hard but this guy is like 30, 250 lbs and built like a **** brick house. I can hang with him, and beating him isn't that bad because hell get frustrated when he doesn't blow someone off the court. So the match ends up being blocking a shot back and him smashing it into the netting. I'm there to play tennis. I'd rather play tennis and lose then let him beat himself and win. It's like I'm not even playing, just he is lol.

    Same thing though, youll feed the ball and it sounds like a gun going off when he cracks it back, warm ups and all. The first couple I times I started just smashing the ball back not even trying to get it in, then he started to get it. It's rude and selfish, people aren't there to be his backboard.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2014
    #38
  39. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    For a practice bring a hopper or a cart full of balls, like a pro has. Most pros just are human ball feeders and do very little or no teaching. With a cart or basket full of balls you can practice what you need to. Serve and let 'em hit wherever they choose to. If your trying to rally to groove ground strokes, stuff as many balls into your pockets as you can, you can probably hold a dozen or more with a vest or jacket, stuff as many in your pockets as you can.

    If it's the five minute match warm-up and they're practicing their 100+ mph winners, I'll sarcastically start keeping track of the score, this seem to help sometimes. There are narcissistic morons out there everywhere. They would need a team of psychiatrists to fix them this late in their life--just bring a lot of balls--grin and bear it. I had an angry a-hole like this crash my practice just yesterday, I won't speak or hit with him again if I can help it. I the end it was amusing to see how f'ed up he was, I pretty much just zen'ed it out.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2014
    #39
  40. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    I keep some really old balls in my tennis bag for guys like this. You can count on them to lose some in the parking lot, and this way it doesn't matter.
     
    #40
  41. Matthew Bance

    Matthew Bance Rookie

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    You've gotta get used to different styles of play, in a way he's helping you get used to fast shots
     
    #41
  42. damazing

    damazing Rookie

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    I had a similar experience this week. A new guy I hadn't hit with before asked to hit together and the first shot I fed to him he rips for a winner.

    I've had this happen before and did what I usually do, hit super top spin feeds to his back hand so that they are near shoulder level. He misses the next 5 balls and then I give him a feed to his forehand which he tries to rip to make up for all of his misses, but of course he misses long.

    Not real productive but it still beats sitting on the couch.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2014
    #42
  43. Devil_dog

    Devil_dog Semi-Pro

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    Aw man, c'mon. I've played with all sorts of players with all sorts of pace and power. But from the very first feed or two shots and he drills one to the corners or hits it waaaay long when you're trying to warm up? No thanks.
     
    #43
  44. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    There is a point where it becomes a waste of time.

    There's a guy who plays at the public parks and I avoid him like the plague. I have hit with him just once. He is huge muscle bound guy with arms and legs 3 times the size of mine. His chest and shoulders are massive. He thinks playing tennis is for him to take a huge and I mean huge swing at every forehand and knock the poo out of it. Of course, he is erratic as they come and can rarely get 2 balls in a row in the court. Massive swing on the FH where racket head is laid back at the wrist and the loop is huge. Most of the racket is visible sticking out from behind his body due to the huge take back and laid back wrist. Think Soderling style swing only much bigger. Yes, he can hit it hard and with a lot of spin. But, he cannot handle pace or changes in pace that require him to adjust his timing.

    Total waste of time.
     
    #44
  45. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

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    Reason number 1,238,439 to buy a ball machine.

    It's so hard to find someone at the same level with the same approach and expectation from a practice session. Ball machines are the perfect solution. They can be set up to do countless workouts.
     
    #45

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