We can and should be attacking the net a LOT more as rec players

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Power Player, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Messages:
    4,759
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I'm feeling a Smart Net Targets™ thread coming.
     
  2. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    19,992
    Location:
    On my iPhone
    5263 enters the thread in attack mode. A stunning development.

    Not really.

    Anyway, I addressed those exact points multiple times, so he most likely came in with trolling intentions and did not read the thread.

    Maybe jealousy since no one is talking about triangles anymore?
     
  3. spun_out

    spun_out Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Messages:
    215
    Well, at least I am saying that there is a potential strategic blind spot in regards to how one should come to net, although not many in this thread agree. I am saying that it is a good strategy to hit a relatively easy shot like a moonball to bh and come into net and force your opponent to hit a more difficult shot. In fact, I think this works better than a more traditional approach, which in itself is a risky shot.
     
  4. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    19,992
    Location:
    On my iPhone
    Exactly. And I do not think it is a new idea at all, nor did I ever say it was.

    In fact, it is an OLD idea that is not used nearly as much at the rec level anymore.

    If I could summarize this thread it would be this - TRY IT. Try attacking the net more, and working on your skills up there. It really does make a difference in your game and allows for variety as well.
     
  5. PhrygianDominant

    PhrygianDominant Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Messages:
    2,014
    I like the tip that, if you can see inside your opponents ear, then you can attack the net. (3.0 version)

    Granted that is the one sentence version. Probably more true is if you have just hit a shot where you expect your opponent to be stretched and moving off court, then you should come in and split at the service line, looking for an easy volley. (4.0) version

    Better is if you are about to hit a shot where your opponent will be stretched off court, you should be prepared to come in after it. (5.0 version)

    If you expect to be able to hit that aggressive approach shot that stretches your opponent you should be close to the baseline so you can step in and take it on the rise. (6.0 version)

    or something like that. I took a basic idea and expanded it in two directions temporally, as it becomes more nuanced and intricate as the level is improved.
     
  6. blip

    blip Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2011
    Messages:
    179
    Stop telling people how to beat me! LOL

    Actually, I have been employing this tactic more and more. Either way, if I'm up or down, it gives me an action plan. When down, it could be that little bit that brings me back or when up it could put the match away.

    What I try to do is not give my opponent the chance to come to the net. This means no short balls or shots they can take advantage of. This also means taking the net when they give up the short or lazy ball.
     
  7. LakeSnake

    LakeSnake Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Messages:
    569
    Location:
    Tempe, AZ
    OP, I like it. As a beginner, I do get smoked by line-painting passes by my 65 year old partner almost every time I come to net, but I'm not going to stop trying!
     
  8. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,412
    Wow, funny how your every defensive post fits exactly if you turn the tables on whose thread it is in. I'll save this for next time he comes to troll
     
  9. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,412
    Yes, I agree. This is an excellent tactic that should be tested against opponents at all levels. I first saw it used in the Pros years ago. Amazing how often it work too.
     
  10. Velvet Ga el

    Velvet Ga el Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2013
    Messages:
    362
    This post really doesn't add much, nor does it contradict PP's original premise, which is that capable players who CAN volley and CAN hit approach shots still don't come to the net.

    I can walk down to any rec league match on any given weekend and see a ton of players who play tactical strategies that don't mix well with their technical skills. Guys who play a ton of doubles and have great hands who think they need to stay anchored to the baseline in singles play. Guys with incredible forehands staying anchored to the deuce court and being forced to hit backhand after backhand. Guys with impressive kick serves double faulting far more often than they should because they think they need to hit flat bombs to rack up those aces. Surely, they must not have read the same tennis books you have, then, because all of them would be playing much smarter tennis than they do had they done so.

    Poorly marrying technical ability with tactical strategy is precisely PP's point. Far too many players these days with good hands, good approach shots, and good reactions stay anchored to the baseline not because it's the optimal strategy for them, but because, much like PP grew up watching net-adverse Agassi, they constantly watch Nadal and Djokovic jackrabbit around at the baseline while treating the net like a once-a-decade dalliance that will break up their tennis marriage.

    PP's OP was a great post that, when taken on its broad merits, is a reminder to marry our actual skills with the tactics that best suit them and to remain flexible in our approach to the game. In his particular case, it means coming to the net more to utilize his volleying ability even though his natural inclination is to stay at the baseline ala Agassi. Nothing wrong with that, and although it may not apply to everyone, I think he's generally correct in that rec players come to the net far less often than they should for their skill sets.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014
  11. 10isfreak

    10isfreak Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2012
    Messages:
    566
    So this portion of your comment was meant to be read like indications on a box of frozen chicken wings: the cooking method is only suggestive and results may vary. :lol:
     
  12. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2004
    Messages:
    4,821
    Of course. Slice approaches are very similar to how they were hit 30 or 40 years ago. Now with oversized stiffer racquets, poly string and modern technique you had better hit a GOOD approach to really set up your volley. Why because its easier then ever to deal with the floating slice and rip a nice angled or dtl dipper back. Yeah a good low over the net skidding slice is going to work.

    But caan you hit good approaches consistently - ones that actually challenge 5.0 players. I kind of doubt it. And if you COULD wouldn't you already go to the net? I bet you do.

    OP seems to think that your opponent will be so shocked that you will just win free and easy points for all of eternity.

    You need a whole game built around the net game to use it at the 4.0 - 5.0 level IMHO. I am very tall - and I like doubles so I understand your thinking..

    What I am saying is that for a lot of players their best chance to win is to stay back. Start hitting a bunch of shots that you don't practice regularly and you aren't going to win a lot of matches.

    I find that people like to win - and are pretty good at picking ways that help them win. But you only have the strategic options that your skill set allows. For net play to be a real option you had better be excellent at it. It needs to be an actual weapon because the shots need to get to the net are higher risk.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014
  13. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,412
    Maybe or maybe not, but it mirrors pretty much the type comment he has repeatedly made related to my threads. So I appreciate your point here and agree that there is little reason to come in and be negative, even if you feel that the topic has been widely covered throughout history and is blatantly obvious. There are always some players that it hits home with for a new perspective...to bad he couldn't realize that in the post of others. That said, I didn't just come in with that point, but really feel Guy made an excellent point that went right to the heart of things. I guess we can just disagree.

     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014
  14. Edburger

    Edburger Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2014
    Messages:
    164
    Location:
    Sverige
    I think, maybe, you refer my thread?

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=493217

    If so, thank you for the compliment.

    This guy knows where it is at.

    Old saying, there is nothing new under the sun.

    Me, maybe my English not so good so am misinterpreting - but think point of thread is, many rec players overestimate skills needed to come to net. Overestimate difficulty. Think they are not good enough. Often it is untrue.

    Me, I think, comments by GuyClinch in this thread very telling. Players scared of passing shots. Scared of dippers. Scared of lobs. Coming to net, it seems very technically difficult. Power Player describes an experience I have seen many people have. Once you start attacking net, putting opponent under pressure, suddenly scary baseline shots start to break down. Look much less scary.

    There is a reason S&V is most masculine form of tennis. As Becker used to say, you need big brass balls. Make your opponent beat you. At rec levels, it will often pay off.
     
  15. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Messages:
    5,090
    I like your points about net play, but I don't know about this specific remark. Most male rec players I see give matches away because they try to play too "manly" and end up beating themselves up against players with a little more common sense.
     
  16. Edburger

    Edburger Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2014
    Messages:
    164
    Location:
    Sverige
    Admit, that last line a little... funny. Not so serious. But still, I think, S&V very masculine - proactive. To attack - requires courage. To keep attacking when you lose points - requires more courage. There is saying in movie - when the game is on the line, winners want the ball. Men, want to control destiny. I come to net, I am saying - beat me or lose. If I die, I will die on feet.

    Of course, always play smart tennis. Courage without intelligence, just stupid. But smart not always conservative. This is what I say. Easy to think smart tennis is hit high % shots and wait for error. Sometimes smart tennis, play in way increases chance opponent make error.

    Me, playing aggressive S&V, I concede many more winners than a lot of players. Such is life. But also, opponents make more errors against me. Me, I feel the trade is a net positive given my skills on baseline. If it wasn't, would be stupid tennis.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014
  17. osutennis24

    osutennis24 Rookie

    Joined:
    May 22, 2013
    Messages:
    240
    Not sure what the thread has turned into, but I know my main weakness when I play a singles match is staying at the baseline the whole time and not move in. Trying to work on it, I have good enough groundstrokes that I can really punish people by coming into the net..

    problem is I have 0 faith in my volleys.
     
  18. psv255

    psv255 Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Messages:
    967
    Location:
    NY
    geez, how many ATP matches have the folks on here played lately w/ prize money on the line? it won't kill you to develop a second instinct in your game. At worst you add to your set of tools to counter different types of players, at best you move up a level and make it your strength...
     
  19. spun_out

    spun_out Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Messages:
    215
    Don't think of net as a place from which to hit attacking shots. Rather, think of it as an attacking position from which to hit shots. When I stopped trying to put away my volleys (via pace, angles, drop shots, etc.) and started focusing on making good contact like you would during warm ups, I started winning more points at net. And it was mostly because I gave my opponent another opportunity to make errors.
     
  20. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Messages:
    4,759
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    This I completely agree with. Once people have developed one weapon... start working on another one. It's only a question of which weapon makes the most sense to develop. I think this largely depends on the skill level of the player. It also depends on the type/style of player.
     
  21. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Messages:
    5,090
    Great post. Yes, smart tennis is what wins you the most matches, whether that be aggressive or conservative.
     
  22. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,412
    I agree....there is very little that is new under the sun...but PP has made comments as though something needs to be new to have a thread, so I was just wondering if he thought this thread was unique or new.

    So what is GuyClinch in this thread telling you?
     
  23. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    19,992
    Location:
    On my iPhone
    Thanks for your thoughts. When I come up with a name and act like my post is a brand that should be flooded through the boards you are free to compare us. Until then, realize that my post is an observation with no intention besides discussion and needs no capitalization or catchy title to brand throughout the boards. But I appreciate you coming in, and trying to give me a "taste of my own medicine", as that comes off as really mature for a coach.

    On to the good stuff - Edburger, thank you for linking to your original post. I really, really liked it a lot. Sure, S&V is an old concept, but everything in tennis is. I truly enjoyed your thread on it, and would encourage anyone here to read it - especially his first post which is very interesting stuff.
     
  24. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    19,992
    Location:
    On my iPhone
    You just nailed what the thread is about. To the T. There are a ton of players out there that have to work on their volleys but it will pay off. For the exact reasons you highlighted.

    I think it is worth putting the work in. You will win more matches once you get your confidence at the net.
     
  25. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,412
    And I ask you to "realize that my post is an observation with no intention besides discussion and needs no capitalization or catchy title to brand throughout the boards." I would have thought through the years you would have noticed that I use Caps, all Caps, underline, bold and a variety of tools in the effort to be more clear. Was it you that came up with the whole TM conspiracy theory? Sort of like the conspiracy theory about MTM profits from this forum and the connection of MTM and the Targets...baseless attacking misinformation. Good that you recognize how the lack of maturity in your comments when they are just as applicable in your thread.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014
  26. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    19,992
    Location:
    On my iPhone
    I'm going to repost Edburgers first post in here because so many points are in it.

    "After I beat better players, often they say "Sho bre, how can I serve volley like you?"

    Quick search this forum, see many people wanting to play S&V. But, most threads concentrate on technique. Serve with good placement, hit deep slice, get good half volley, good overhead, work on footwork etc. Yes, these things important. But, seems to convince players that if find S&V tough, is because technique not good enough.

    S&V very much about tactics and mentality - IMO, even more than baseline. I feel, most players could play S&V effectively with existing skills + bit of confidence and smarts.

    So my top 5 (non-technique) tips for effectively S&V:

    1. Commit
    Sounds obvious but so many player, get passed few times in a row, stop coming in. Do not worry, being passed. What is one pass, or two, or ten? You can lose many points, and still win match. Edberg and Rafter, even in matches they win, get passed many times. Some matches, they lose half points they come to net on. But, they keep coming to net anyway. They know, might lose coming to net, but not going to win any other way. Don't panic, and back your tactics as best way to use your skills.

    2. ABC - Always Be Closing
    Glengarry Glen Ross, great movie. Look for every opportunity come to net. Especially on opponent serve. So many players, faced with S&V, cannot wait to get to own service game where can slot back into dictating with own baseline game. Do not give them rest! Chip and charge. Junk it up for short replies. Press on every single short ball. You will give away free points - no matter. Get to net and break his rhythm. Harass, harass, harass.

    3. Expect Pass, Not Lob
    For most rec player at net, number one fear is being lobbed. Lobs are slow. Adapt after you see lob coming. Sitting back on heels will always lose more points than opponent hitting good lobs.

    4. Never let opponent hit standing shot
    Only way opponent will regularly pass you at net (unless has Sampras/Nadal running FH) is if he is hitting off stable base. Every shot you hit, MUST prevent him hitting stable pass. Hit to open court ALWAYS - even if it means your own shot is weaker/less deep. This is ONLY priority for approach/volley.

    5. Learn to Read
    See where passing shot is coming. This, sounds hard, but much easier than people think.
    Know probable replies from your shots. e.g. deep forcing slice - most players reply more likely DTL than CC.
    Know what their shots look like. 2HBH - closed stance looks very different for DTL vs CC. FH - harder to read, but most rec players will have obvious differences. Pay attention.
    Know their shot patterns and preferences. Again, rec players not very adaptable here - especially in pressure situations, like hitting a pass. Be observant.
    Me, I am reading opponent's shots and combos pretty good by 2nd or 3rd service game. Not perfect, but enough to give me edge. Sure, still get wrong-footed often but overall I come out ahead."



    My opinions:

    To me - point 1 is just awesome. Nothing else to say there, I just love the mentality of it.

    Point #2 addresses a lot of the qquestions in this thread on how to attack and when to attack if you are a lower level player without a big weapon yet.

    Point 3 reinforces what I was saying about the lob. Do not fear it. It is not an easy shot to hit when you are on the run. The time to fear a lob is when you chase a drop shot down and your momentum has brought you into the net.

    4 Once again reinforces what I was saying, and is a great bulletpoint. Do not let your opponent get their balance. Move the ball away from them, this is a great example of simplifying things. Just hit to the open court, keep them moving. It is as easy a concept as anything else posted here. Maybe slide in some deep targeting as well.

    5. I find this the most intriguing thing to work on because it takes experience. But if you have the experience you should be able to do this, and it all ties into my main point. If you play a lot of tennis, you are robbing yourself of not using this knowledge you have acquired to further your game.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014
  27. Edburger

    Edburger Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2014
    Messages:
    164
    Location:
    Sverige
    GuyClinch is telling me, he is afraid of his opponent. Afraid of his ability to pass him, lob him, hit winners. And it is very common attitude, which is why I think this thread very good.

    I say, why be afraid? If you lose, does it matter if you do it getting passed at net or by unforced error on baseline? I would rather see my opponent hit a winner than me hit a UE.

    I say, be brave. Try S&V. Of course, try it smart. But do it right and give it a proper go. Like Power Player, lots of players are surprised at the results. To make your opponent beat you - that is a very difficult position for them to be in. Even many top players, baseline players, struggle with delivering winners on demand. Me, I beat many players better than me at university using this strategy. I make them play bad. I minimise my weaknesses. I win matches they say, I should not win. I am not special. Others can do this too.

    I ask you my friend - why do you find need to be negative? Here is player, found something that has made big difference to his game. He is excited. He wishes to share with the many, many other people who are in same situation he found himself.

    Why are you being the spoily pooper?
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014
  28. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2004
    Messages:
    4,821
    What you are telling me is that you don't understand the concept of percentage tennis. Its not about being afraid its about tilting the percentages in your favour.

    Approaching the net off of a well struck rally ground stroke?
    Do you understand why the pros don't do this? It's because they know the percentages aren't in their favour.

    Its not different on the rec level - if anything its worse. Yes its true rec players can't rip awesome passing shots. But at the same time they can't hit high quality skidding slice approach shots and close to the net as quickly as pro can. Nor do they have they range on their overhead. And there changes of making an error hit these shots is way way higher then hitting a generic cross court rally stroke back.

    In tennis you want the percentages to be in your favour. You want to be the one hitting the easy shots - and you want to leave the tougher shots for your opponent.

    What is easy and tough varies from player to player and from situation to situation. If you charted your matches instead of playing the internet tough guy - you might realize that for a lot of players coming in is not the percentage play.

    Guys like Agassi only came in on balls where he really felt the percentage was in his favour. This is a sound approach for most rec players.

    If anything for me with my size - it might be different. But I don't mock players who are less aggressive. Very often being less aggressive is smart.

    Novice tennis fans often wonder why pros hit balls back TO their opponent. It's all about percentages. This is something the rec player can take away. Being aggressive might feel all macho - but it's not always going to lead to wins.

    The OP's point is that people would WIN more if they were more aggressive and went to the net more often. Like it or not most tennis points are indeed unforced errors. So to win you want to make sure you are hitting the safest shots and your opponents less safe ones. The idea behind coming into the net is to tilt the percentages in your favour - and it can but for a lot of players it leads to hitting more unsafe shots - shots they don't practice, aren't good at - and are for them are low percentage shots.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014
  29. Edburger

    Edburger Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2014
    Messages:
    164
    Location:
    Sverige
    My friend, you are not a pro.

    High percentage tennis takes many forms depending on your skills and skills of opponent.

    For example, is not high percentage to stay in baseline rally with opponent who will out grind more than 50% of time.

    My experience, up to university level, serve and volley can be very high percentage strategy.

    But, is not for babies.
     
  30. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2004
    Messages:
    4,821
    Your point? I said that in my post. The players who are staying back have more faith in their ability to grind out then they do coming to the net. They are likely not wrong.

    Sure if you can't out rally someone - you might try S and V and coming in. But its not a guarantee of success - often times the guy who can out rally you is the superior player.

    I never said it isn't. I said that for the players that choose to stay back on more balls (not all balls) it can be the more intelligent strategic choice. Because for THEM its a percentage play. I don't think you read my post.

    Enough with the strawmen - my point is that NO - rec players don't need to be going to the net more. Rec players usually play the best way for their game. This idea that there are all these awesome 4.0 - 5.0 net players who are hanging back because no one ever told them they could attack the net is just stupid.

    Any tennis lesson - group or otherwise - will preach the importance of closing in and work on approach shots and the like.

    Let's keep it real - the good players all understand their strategic options. They understand when to come to the net for their game - to make sure they win most of the points they come in on..

    No one is saying you should always stay back, or that you can't win with an aggressive net game, or that it's not worth it to improve your net game etc. None of that stuff is worth arguing - it's all basic stuff. I just had an issue with the idea that rec players collectively are not playing to their strengths. I think they are. Over the long haul people adapt and use what works for them.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2014
  31. Edburger

    Edburger Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2014
    Messages:
    164
    Location:
    Sverige
    Based on what, you say they likely not wrong?

    I say, from observing success many players have when trying S&V with good tactics, many players ARE wrong. It is easy to fall back on the grinding and defence. The lesson - have balls!

    There are no guarantees in life. Nobody speaks of guarantees. But - attacking, forcing player to hit winners - good strategy against better players. It is harder for a better player to hit lots of pass/lob winners than it is for him to wait for inferior player to make UE on groundstroke rally.

    Make him take match from you! Have balls!

    I say, you are confusing intelligent strategic choice with conservative thinking. Ooooh, look, these players have good groundstrokes! Ooooooh, look, these players on ATP not attack net!

    I am saying - learn good S&V tactics, use them effectively, and will be surprised how effective they are at rec level against lazy players not used to adapting. They will be good strategic choice. Have balls!

    If it is stupid, how come I beat many better players than me with S&V up to university level? How come Power Player is beating players he struggle against before?

    Rec players are not good players. Even many college players are not good players.

    They have good shots. But, often play very stupid. Conservative. Constrained thinking. Dumb tactics. Poor risk evaluation. If you think otherwise, can only conclude you have never played rec tennis.
     
  32. OTMPut

    OTMPut Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Messages:
    2,326
    This is an interesting thread.

    I have been trying something similar. I have lost a lot of matches, even to players who i regularly beat from the baseline. But i have been improving. What gives me motivation is that i see almost everyone at the other end of the net utterly pi$$ed - during and after the match, even if they had won. It seems they did not feel like they played tennis! And i love it. I would love it even more when i start winning. Yes i am wicked.

    When you play s&v you elevate the battle onto a different mental strength plane. You need different level of guts both as the s&v-er and the baseliner facing the s&v-er.
    You almost need to be a Stoic (Stoic with a capital S) to do well. And thats why it is difficult in the beginning, but not insurmountable.

    This is not about % tennis anymore for either player. As a baseliner you cannot play % tennis to pass a s&v-er. Does not work by definition. and vice-versa.

    The guts part can be trained. A lot of rec players play the way they see on TV and see other play and most importantly follow the initial few lessons they take from a pro (almost all of which start with hitting forehands and backhands from baseline; i am yet to see a pro that starts his adult beginner by making him hit volleys first even though it is intuitively and technically an easier stroke to learn than a full fledged fore-hand or a backhand). No one is taught or told to be gutsy. This is only occassionally self taught, rarely a pro teaches the mental part to a rec player.

    And by s&v i am referring to Edbergian s&v and not Fed style incursions on the back of short balls. You come in on all of your first serve and something like 90% of your second serves. And you come in on the back of pretty much all of your second serve returns.
     
  33. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2006
    Messages:
    8,631
    Agree with your observation, but I found Dave Smith's book, Coaching Mastery, to offer a breath of fresh air concerning the progression of what new players are taught. He doesn't promote teaching S&V to beginners, but he does do a great job of pointing out just how many shots require a continental grip, including volleys. He also makes a very reasonable case for teaching volleys early on, even before beginners start figuring out how to take full swings at the ball.

    Lots of teaching goes quickly to forehands and backhands, but Dave makes big-time good sense with this perspective. I might also pick up his other book at some point, but I'm a little overloaded with reading material right now.

    ...more coffee...
     
  34. johndagolfer

    johndagolfer Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Messages:
    797
    Its not different on the rec level - if anything its worse. Yes its true rec players can't rip awesome passing shots. But at the same time they can't hit high quality skidding slice approach shots and close to the net as quickly as pro can. Nor do they have they range on their overhead. And there changes of making an error hit these shots is way way higher then hitting a generic cross court rally stroke back.

    More than percentage tennis, this paragraph is why I feel the OP is only partially correct. Unless a player has a forcing ball or is facing a pusher, as the OP suggested he had big trouble with in the bottom paragraph of his original statement, getting to the net and adequately defending it from a lob or decent passing shot isn't applicable to everyone. No matter how much some people practice, due to personal limitations, they may never feel comfortable at the net. At all levels we can see examples of where volleying isn't for everyone.

    What I do really like is the OP's concept of being aggressive. I feel that today's game has turned into a game of attrition and grinding. But I also feel there are other ways of being aggressive that don't require charging the net as often as a lot of posts in this thread suggest. While I think that having a decent volley is necessary, especially in rec tennis, I think that another form of aggression that needs to really be developed is attacking the mid-court ball or taking the ball on the rise which would lead to easy to put away short balls or even tap vollies into the open court.
     
  35. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    Messages:
    5,361
    I am in my late 50s and attacking the net was commonly accepted as the hi-percentage way to play back when I learned to play back in 1970s. It is funny to see GuyClinch argue for the conservative baseline game and PP and Edburger argue for the aggressive game.

    Personally, I think aggressive tennis is still the high percentage play. But, it comes down to personality and skill set. Some people just don't like taking risk and will not play attacking tennis.

    But, I still think coming in and forcing your opponent to hit a small target with a passing shot or lob is the high percentage play. You have to accept that you will get passed but if you can come in and win 60% or more, then keep coming in. Being relentless is part of attacking.

    Also, it is really fun to hit volleys, 1/2 volleys, approach shots, overheads and to mix in S&V.

    I honestly believe if 2 players are somewhat equal in relative skill and one attacks while the other stays back, the attacking player has a slight advantage. Especially on hard courts, and especially on hard courts at non-pro events as these hard courts are not resurfaced very much and are faster than what the pros play on. Even on clay, I would say the attacking player has a slight advantage because threading the needle on a pass or lob is just more difficult than blocking a volley into the open court.
     
  36. torpantennis

    torpantennis Legend

    Joined:
    May 3, 2013
    Messages:
    6,831
    Words of truth. We're REC players, we do what we enjoy doing. If you enjoy coming in, then do it! If you have fun playing on court, the results will also most probably come.

    I enjoy running, grinding and hitting at full power. I'm really a sweating addict TBH. I enjoy lateral movement, but hate forward movement. I also hate hitting volleys. Surprise surprise, I don't approach net all that much. And surprise surprise, I run around a lot of BHs, move the ball from side to side, and hit heasy topspin on FH. I should really lure the opponents to net more, as I also enjoy attempting passing shots.

    So please, do approach the net all rec players. I'd at least enjoy playing against you. And that's the objective for us all rec players, to ENJOY the game, isn't it?
     
  37. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    19,992
    Location:
    On my iPhone
    Exactly. And those are the people you want to attack. They sit back and grind with safe balls and wait for you to make a mistake. Just like you said, they are not going to attack, so that means their passing shots are not going to be very consistent. The %s will be in your favor if you hit to the open court and follow that shot to net.
     
  38. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,412
    Just the kind of improper assumptions driving this thread it seems. Grinders don't sit back and wait for a mistake like a pusher...they grind you down with angles and pace mixtures, driving you to mistakes in position, technique, and decisions...often if you can stay in the point long enough, they will hit the winner having you out of position.

    Just because you don't sense their attack in the same way, does not mean they don't have excellent passing shots. Often they do and love the target you create with mistaken assumptions above.

    By all means, approach and volley if it suits your game, opponent can't handle the pressure, or it is your preference. But, just like Edburger clearly misread what GuyClinch's post shared, the above comments are wrong at least as often as they are right at any reasonable level of tennis.
     
  39. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    19,992
    Location:
    On my iPhone
    Tell us what a reasonable level of tennis is.

    Because I rarely encounter a player who can grind as effectively as you described at 5.0 or below. And I play in FL where the talent pool is pretty vast.

    There are no assumptions being made here. My post is from firsthand experience.

    Edburger did not misread anything. He has addressed everything you have brought up in a clear manner actually.

    How can someone who does not attack and go for passing shots suddenly become good at it when you have them lunging for a ball and are rushing the net? I am curious how that is possible.
     
  40. LakeSnake

    LakeSnake Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Messages:
    569
    Location:
    Tempe, AZ
    Does that mean that players should be coming in to net as much as 50% of matchups?
     
  41. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,412
    Edburger made assumptions about GuyClinch that Guy addressed as incorrect. Guy covered them clearly imo.
     
  42. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    19,992
    Location:
    On my iPhone
    No he did not. You are just coming in to stir up trouble and are siding with the one guy you can latch on to for support.

    Let me explain what I mean. Guyclinch says that the guy who can out rally you from the baseline is the better player. First of all, that glosses over my OP which stated that many players are content to simply use your power to get balls back until you make a mistake. Are they actually a better player or you playing into their hands and allowing this to happen?

    Well, that is what I decided to answer for myself on the court. I play guys who do that all the time if I am a bigger hitter and have better technique then them. They are not going to out hit me, but they do know I am not a superman, and at some point I will make a mistake, because I am a rec player and that is what we do.

    I usually beat them on a good day with baseline winners. But what if you are having a bad day? What do you do then? That is one of the points I made original that you both have glossed over.

    So I decided on one of those bad days that it was time to attack. I know Im going to hit my forehand heavy to their weak side and they will get it back, but it is an attackable return. So I crash the net. I do it over and over and it works. I am ending points easier. I am making them play a game they do not like because THEY are now the ones making the mistakes just from the act of me coming to net.

    This is why a net game at the rec level works. Because even the most consistent rec players are not pros. They can not grind with perfect angles as you are describing, and they most likely have not seen a lot of guys crashing the net. They are used to guys who give them pace from the back, and they love to use it against them.

    Does this make sense? Does it clarify anything for you?
     
  43. torpantennis

    torpantennis Legend

    Joined:
    May 3, 2013
    Messages:
    6,831
    Maybe because aggressive grinding really requires great fitness. Many rec players tend to lack in fitness, compared to their skill level IMO.
     
  44. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,412
    Haha, more made up stuff....nowhere did I reference "perfect angles" or even suggest it, but nice distraction.

    And it doesn't clarify because it is off topic. Edburger made false assumptions about Guy's game, based on the posts....Guy addressed that...maybe you missed it
     
  45. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    19,992
    Location:
    On my iPhone
    Ok, I see you want to argue and derail the thread instead of having a conversation.

    You should read the posts and explain how you possibly can not understand what I just posted. It is in NO way off topic. I created this thread, and I know what the topic is. It is in plain view in post #1 and clarified above.

    If other people beside your friend Guy want to chime in and tell me how I am off topic, I will gladly clarify anything. Your input is noted.
     
  46. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,412
    I know it can be hard to follow, but I didn't say it was off topic for your thread, but that it was off topic to my post about Edburger's post,...which you addressed improperly. your interest is noted...
     
  47. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    19,992
    Location:
    On my iPhone
    It's weird,I look up and I see where Edburger multi quoted and addressed everything that was said. Can you be more specific?
     
  48. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,412
    he answered...


    showing Edburger double faulted. Guy is not afraid of his opponenent and Guy was not talking about himself in his comments.
     
  49. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2004
    Messages:
    4,821
    No. What I said is that the guy with more consistent strokes from the backcourt is often the superior player overall. So changing up is no guarantee of success.

    There is no automatic tennis ying/yang that says guys with a strong backcourt game are susceptible to coming in. That's what I meant..

    Obviously if you are losing - you can try something different but it doesn't often work. OMPT on this thread mentioned that


    I am saying this is the rule - not the exception. How do we know this? The assumption should be that people are intelligent and will go with what works. I reject the assumption that tennis players suffer from mass stupidity.

    We have all gone to the net. If we met with extraordinary success we will keep going. If we are met with failure we stop.

    I play mostly doubles nowadays - so I am going to the net anyway. But for singles you can absolutely run into more trouble.

    The main issue is that hitting a good slice approach is a high degree of difficulty shot in place of a very safe one. Half volleys are a similar issue with the S and V.

    Hit say a good serve - and you often get a weaker reply back. The guy staying back will often hit this to the open court to take command of the point. But with the half volley you have to get in off your serve and hit a nice half volley to set up your finishing volley.

    I know I cost myself a lot of points with this because my half volley's aren't strong enough - or occasionally I just muff them outright.

    The replacing of an easy shot relative to the player for a more difficult one can turn the odds against that player. That's all I am saying. It's not percentage plays for a lot of us.

    If anything its EASIER for a pro who can afford to block off large amounts of time for shots that amateurs rarely hit. Federer might only hit 5 half volleys in a match but can spend hours and hours practicing them against pro level returns.

    Now if you want to water down your argument to 'hey guys you should practice going to the net - you will eventually get free points.' Then we can be in agreement.

    But in the short term - its not some missing secret that players don't get. Especially the good tennis players you outline. 5.0 players for example are REALLY good - then often teach. They know the value of coming in. The ones that stay back - they are likely picking the smart option for them.
     
  50. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    19,992
    Location:
    On my iPhone
    Ok, so what you are saying is you are not good at half volleys and choose not to use them due to UEs.

    Makes sense.

    I am saying people should be practicing this stuff more. Volleys need to be practiced, but they are not impossible shots or shots that take years to effectively hit.

    Being less aggressive is smart if the person you are playing is not taking advantage of it. But when someone is less aggressive to me, I make them become more aggressive by rushing net and making them prove they can pass me more times than I can end the point.

    I practice this now. I am not saying you just go out there and do it. Practice it first. Maybe take a lesson or two. What is wrong with adding to your tennis ability?

    If more rec players worked on their net skills and half volleys, there would be a lot less whining and complaining about losing to pushers.
     

Share This Page