What keeps people from reaching their full potiental.

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Tim Tennis, Jun 13, 2004.

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What keeps people from getting close to their full potential.

  1. Just don't have time to work on their game.

    50.0%
  2. Are happy with their level of play. Don't really care.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Learned and grooved bad habits, weak mechanics.

    50.0%
  4. Have no idea about grips and hand placement.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Tim Tennis

    Tim Tennis Professional

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    I guess this question is for teaching pros or maybe could be better answered by the tennis players themselves.

    Why do so many recreational players, even though many of them are very competitive, never get close to their full potential?

    You got to love the game.
     
    #1
  2. perfmode

    perfmode Hall of Fame

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    Time and Money...

    Most people don't have it.
     
    #2
  3. Max G.

    Max G. Hall of Fame

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    Well, I for one know why I'm never going to reach my full potential - the second option, but not quite.

    A several years ago, after seeing Pete Sampras play on TV, I decided that Serving and Volleying was way cooler than staying back, and that I wanted to be a serve-volleyer.

    I basically work on the strokes that I consider "fun" (and play the shots I consider "fun") rather than the ones that would improve my play most.

    I've basically "unlearned" the topspin backhand through disuse; or, rather, it's as bad as it used to be while the rest of my game has progressed.

    I know for almost a certainty that if I had concentrated on my baseline game instead of playing around with volleys, I'd be a better player than I currently am.

    (Better singles player. The serve and volley has done wonders for my doubles, completely coincidentally. )

    I'm still working on that elusive goal of "pure S&V against all opponents" - not there yet, against power servers/good returners I don't get a racquet on a first volley because I can't approach off a decent enough serve/approach shot. I'm working on this despite knowing that it's basically a dead end, game-wise; I'm only 5'7, and won't ever be particularly tall, I'm almost as tall as my dad already.

    But hey, it's fun. And I'll end up winning an equal amout of money this way as I would otherwise - a grand total of zero.
     
    #3
  4. Tim Tennis

    Tim Tennis Professional

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    Hi Max,

    First no one ever reaches their full potential and only a few are ever lucky enough or work hard enough to even get close to it. Height is only a disadvantage on the serve (and only to some extent) if you are relatively short and can be a real advantage on setting up to hit your ground strokes. Sure you have to ge quick.

    You said, "I'd be better if I had concentrated on my baseline game instead of playing around with volleys that I'd be a better player than I currently am." Can't you have your cake and eat it too?

    Anyhow thanks for the reply. It kind of bothered me that you seemed to be happy with where you are because obviously you are a very good tennis player.

    You got to love the game.
     
    #4
  5. AndyC

    AndyC Semi-Pro

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    hmm lots of reasons.. mostly they start too late.. if u want to learn a sport u're going to have to learn it young.. probably no later than your teens.. there are very few players who make it in a sport when they start after 15. the only example I can think of is Greg Norman the golfer who started 16 was scratch at 19 and was professional a year after.

    after that it's various things.. bad technique.. lack of time to practice.. lack of application.. BUT that's why they are recreational players!
     
    #5
  6. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    For us amateur players, I would it's time and money issue.

    I put 50-60 hours for my job and manage to get 7-8 hours
    of tennis per week. I think I should put at least 10-20 hours
    if I really want to go beyond 4.5. I could put all of these hours for taking private lessons but that's lot's of money.

    Most of amateur players improve rapidly up to 3.5 and then
    80-90% of them stuck there at around 3.5-4.0 forever.
    If certain life events allow you 6 month to 1 year of free time
    to concentrate on tennis only, you go beyond 4.5+....
     
    #6
  7. Kobble

    Kobble Hall of Fame

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    Learned bad habits is my answer. I know from experience that even if you have the time and money it is tough to break bad habits. Bad habits are like endospores, resistant to many forms of attack, including heat, radiation, and chemical agents. :lol: Even at the pro level, I have rarely ever seen anyone transform their game by eliminating inefficient flaws. I even see students at my local tennis facility already grooving less than ideal mechanics for all their strokes during lessons. I have an old tape of Sharapova and Golovin when they were really young, and they had nice strokes. These students at my facility are not building strokes they are building obstacles. One day I saw the instructor bring out the camcorder to record them and show them what they are doing. I saw them show up for a session a week later, and just laughed in my mind. I mean, you could get strokes like that with a Dummy book and an untrained eye to critique you. People like that are only going to become a headache for the better instructors. These people have the time and money, but I would bet any fulltime job/ family man 4.0 or better on this board could beat them.
     
    #7
  8. Max G.

    Max G. Hall of Fame

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    Well, maybe I can have my cake and eat it too. I had a very good match today, against Michael Price. Back in 9th grade, he had been my tennis camp instructor, and I set myself a goal - to be as good or better than him by the end of high school.

    Last summer, I played him on a regular basis, didn't win a single match in about a dozen or so attempts.

    This was our first match this summer, and it was basically dead even through and through - we had to stop at the two hour mark, at a score 7-6(5) 2-6 2-2, because he had to go work (he teaches the little kids at the local club).

    My serve was working, and I could get to net off of both first and second serves; (except for a slight glitch when I was up 4-1 in the first set and hit three doublefaults in one service game :oops: ) On return of serve, I started out mostly staying back and working my way in, but changed to chip-and-charge off return of serves in the tiebreak, seeing as how I hadn't done that enough.

    So yes, I'm definitely improving, and am quite ecstatic.

    (And I got myself a fun new toy, the dropvolley, about a month and a half ago. :D)

    ...but I also remember another match from a year or two ago, when I was dead even with him playing from the baseline (before my volleys were good enough to even try serving and volleying, though I wanted to). My game clearly regressed for a bit while I made the transition. And I know I'll never be as good on clay as I could have been - I used to love playing on the stuff, but now it takes all the bite out of my volleys.

    All in all - I'm very happy with where I am. I'm somewhere between a 4.0 and 4.5 - and since I'm going to a tiny div. III, school, I might have a chance of being on the Harvey Mudd College tennis team next year.

    But if not - oh well. Tennis teams are a very easy way of getting lots of court time, and practice partners, and opponents - I could do all that manually if I needed to.

    And I'm loving the game, every second of it.
     
    #8
  9. Tim Tennis

    Tim Tennis Professional

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    Hi Max,

    Thanks for the great post. Sounds like you are really enjoying your tennis. Great. I am kind of like the coach you play. We have three high schools in our local area. I even helped with one of the teams. I play with the kids from all three schools. I will tease them, make fun of their game sometimes, challenge them, once in a while make some suggestions. I love playing then and is if fun watching them progress each year. I can tell you, I am very competitive, and don't give them a break but there is nothing I enjoy more when some of them really get their game going and just leave me in the dust.

    You got to love the game.

    Ed
     
    #9
  10. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    Most players just want to do the same routine which is often against the same player(s). To improve, a player should be practicing skills and playing every week. The best way to improve is match play thus most of the best players are tournament players. Even tournament players will plateau off and not improve if they continually play at the same level, dont play against better players and dont try to add new weapons to thier arsenal. I think that most of the best open players today concentrate too much on the baseline game and could improve thier games by practicing more aggressive allcourt games.
     
    #10
  11. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

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    Bad habits has to be the #1 issue in limiting players. I have my own share of bad habits as well. Lack of time is not a good enough excuse as you can have a well focused practice in less than an hours time.
     
    #11

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