Talk Tennis

Talk Tennis (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php)
-   Adult League & Tournament Talk (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/forumdisplay.php?f=35)
-   -   What skills are most important for singles specialists? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=116894)

Cindysphinx 02-05-2007 01:40 PM

What skills are most important for singles specialists?
 
I'm trying to identify who among my 3.0 ladies players would make a good singles specialist. We want 4-5 singles specialists, and I've identified 3 clear choices. That leaves two more.

Once we eliminate players with poor groundstrokes or poor fitness or no desire to play singles, we're left with many candidates.

How important is it in singles at our level to have a big first serve? Or a consistent serve? Or good footspeed? Or topspin groundstrokes? Or slice groundstrokes? A good overhead? Is it a deal killer if someone has a weak side (e.g. weaker backhand)?

Or is it as simple as using the weaker volleyers as singles specialists?

Dunlopkid 02-05-2007 02:27 PM

At the 3.0 level, I would say that the most consistent players should play singles. Consistency is huge at the 3.0 level.

J011yroger 02-05-2007 02:35 PM

I am a born singles player, and play dubs when I have to. So maybe I can help with this. I would say the most important thing would be that the person wants to play singles, that they enjoy it. I live for competition, for that time when you are serving down 5-6 in the third set, and need to hold to get into a tiebreak. If you have someone who is competitive, and mentally tough, not someone who plays for fun and to hang out with their friends, that would be my first criteria. I love the Roman gladiator aspect.

As far as strokes go, on groundies, I would look for someone who hits through the court well, I understand that this is 3.0 but you can still watch them hit. When I give lessons, without a word from the people during the first lesson, just by how they hit, I can tell singles players from doubles players. Volleys are probably the thing you have the biggest leeway with, If you have a poor volleyer, who is otherwise a solid player, that lack of ability will hurt you more in dubs than singles. Good overhead is the same, more important in dubs than singles. As far as serving, you can get away with a not so good serve in doubles, as there is less of an area for the opposition to hurt you, and they are already under pressure from your partner. In singles you will be in more trouble with a lame serve, and conversely if you have a good serve, you will only get to serve 1/2 of the games for your team in dubs, and you will get to use that good serve for all of the service games in singles.

J

Topaz 02-05-2007 02:43 PM

Consistency!!!! And some knowledge of strategy...corner to corner, put away short balls, and having a down the line shot (at least on one side if not both) will help. Also, a strong first serve, consistent second serve...or, someone who doesn't DF often.

spot 02-05-2007 02:44 PM

The person who can hit groundstrokes deep with consistency. If you do that you can win a ton of singles matches. People who go for winners get killed at that level because they aren't as good as they believe- Just find the person who gets to the ball early, gets it back deep, and can do it repeatedly.

Cindysphinx 02-05-2007 02:45 PM

When you say "hits through the court well", are you referring to achieving depth? Or do you mean whether they actually finish the stroke? Or something else?

Dunlopkid 02-05-2007 02:56 PM

Consistency is def the key at this level.

J011yroger 02-05-2007 02:57 PM

Hitting through the court is about more than just depth its about the ball carrying back after the bounce to force your opponent back. Doubles players especially have trouble with this, as their shots are hit with placement and angle to get them where they want them (Past a net player, low over the net, angled cross return) while singles players are more about forcing the opponent back, getting them out of position. Look for people who drive the ball, more than steer it (I am sorry if this doesn't make sense I am new to the boards and it is much easier to describe and show in person rather than convey in words).

JHBKLYN 02-05-2007 04:08 PM

You should have those who want to play singles play each other and see who are the better singles players. As others said, at this level, just getting the ball over consistently is enough to win matches.

cak 02-05-2007 04:12 PM

Good point JHBKLYN. It's easy to set up a singles ladder. The top two available get to play. People who really want to play singles can work on their game, and might even make it to the top by the end of the season.

(And I'm jealous, on our team the singles players are pretty much anyone willing to play singles. And that still leaves us with less than 4 or 5.)

spot 02-05-2007 04:22 PM

Cindy- don't you think that you are going way overboard by having singles "specialists" at 3.0? At that level let people go out and play and see who enjoys playing singles. There is just no need to have people on your team that only play singles unless you have people that only want to play singles.

rasajadad 02-06-2007 03:38 AM

Cindy,
At that level (even up through 4.0), it's possible that you have players who are competent players, but have no idea or skills to play doubles. You know, bad position, wrong shot selections, can't return crosscourt, or who are really weak at net, e.g.

Move them over and don't split up a good doubles team.

rletizia 02-06-2007 04:22 AM

I always thought at any level, skill is more important at doubles and movement at singles. Why would level matter? Players are going to make mistakes no matter what and especially at 3.0 - 4.0.

Who likes to move and run a lot on the team? Those are my singles players.

raiden031 02-06-2007 04:34 AM

Your best bet is to have them all play against each other, just play to one set, and from there pick the ones who played the best (of those that are willing to play singles).

Ignoring that, I'd pick ones who can hit the ball most consistently. I wouldn't focus on serve, strokes, or anything but consistency. And you can't choose them based on their doubles performance, you'd have to watch them play singles since its a completely different game.

raiden031 02-06-2007 04:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rletizia (Post 1231854)
I always thought at any level, skill is more important at doubles and movement at singles. Why would level matter? Players are going to make mistakes no matter what and especially at 3.0 - 4.0.

Who likes to move and run a lot on the team? Those are my singles players.

From my experience, doubles requires better ball placement, volleying, and positioning than singles. Singles requires better groundstroke consistency and movement. At 3.0 in singles, if you can keep the ball in play, you are guaranteed to win. At 4.0, thats not really true because if you give them short balls every time, they will put them away much more.

Fedace 02-06-2007 05:01 AM

Speed is important. You must run the hills and go up and down the football stadium 50+ times and do sprint drills side to side court drills 50+ times everyday.

Cindysphinx 02-06-2007 06:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spot (Post 1230719)
Cindy- don't you think that you are going way overboard by having singles "specialists" at 3.0? At that level let people go out and play and see who enjoys playing singles. There is just no need to have people on your team that only play singles unless you have people that only want to play singles.

Well, no.

The idea of having singles specialists came from the advice on the subject from people here at TW. I asked a few months ago, and the consensus seemed to be that you need singles specialists to win team matches. If you can't win at singles, you must win all three of your doubles matches, which is a tall order.

Also, I was on a 0-12 team last season that didn't have singles specialists. Interested players kind of dabbled in singles. Despite being a doubles specialist, I was tossed out there at No. 1 singles for one match, with no practice at singles beforehand. I was whipped 6-1, 6-0 in 45 minutes. I felt like I was playing tennis on a bowling alley because the court felt very narrow to me. I was repeatedly hitting great angles to the doubles lines. I was astonished that my normally good doubles shots were being treated as "short balls" and punished accordingly. So yeah, there's much to be said for learning to play singles properly.

Regarding the idea of having the players play each other . . . we're talking about women here. Women who are friends. Women who wouldn't want it known that this or that teammate whipped them in singles and as a result was chosen to be a singles specialist. I think everyone will be happier if I just pick four people without saying why, so no one loses face. People will be free to imagine that they weren't asked to play singles not because their groundstrokes bite but because they are so invaluable in doubles.

raiden031 02-06-2007 06:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cindysphinx (Post 1232005)
Regarding the idea of having the players play each other . . . we're talking about women here. Women who are friends. Women who wouldn't want it known that this or that teammate whipped them in singles and as a result was chosen to be a singles specialist. I think everyone will be happier if I just pick four people without saying why, so no one loses face. People will be free to imagine that they weren't asked to play singles not because their groundstrokes bite but because they are so invaluable in doubles.

If you're worried about hurting their feelings, then you probably won't end up with a winning team. Take it from me though, most of the people that beat me in singles have lousy technique, yet are able to simply block back all my shots so that I beat myself. Thats why I'd say their actual performance in singles is the only decent way to determine who is best for the job.

But if you really must base it on their doubles play, pick whoever is best at the baseline. Pick someone with consistent service returns that can hit cross court or down the line without getting poached.

cak 02-06-2007 07:12 AM

Cindy, do your singles matches have time limits?

The reason I ask is many of us are saying singles players at the 3.0/3.5 level often don't look like much, but can get the ball over more times than the other guy, and that's how they win. Yes, it's truely pusher tennis at it's worst, but you get the big W. But if you have time limits you need a different type of singles player.

I play practice matches against our singles players because I don't have a singles game, and often end up at net without thinking about it. They aren't used to that, and like to try out the passing shots/lobs they don't usually try in matches. Because of that, when they stick me out to play singles I have yet to drop the first set. I confuse even good singles players, as well as myself. By the second set they are getting more savy, and my game has to morph into something ugly to win. And sometimes that isn't enough. But, if you have a time limit, and it favors whomever won the first set, you might want your good serve and volleyers to give singles a try because at the 3.0 level it would confound other singles specialists for a set.

sue20852 02-06-2007 07:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dunlopkid (Post 1230433)
At the 3.0 level, I would say that the most consistent players should play singles. Consistency is huge at the 3.0 level.

In addition, I would select strong players to play singles, only if they want to play singles. Strong players usually have more developed attributes like fitness, mobility, stroke mechanics, mental toughness, etc., than your average player.

Sue


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:16 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2006 - Tennis Warehouse