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-   -   Give me one piece of advice to help me win tonight. (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=441945)

Surecatch 10-03-2012 10:09 AM

Give me one piece of advice to help me win tonight.
 
I'm playing my last match tonight. I'm in a non-USTA 3.5 singles league. I'm 0-5. It's a typical story...all the games are close, but I just haven't learned to put people away yet. I've practice all the time, light bulbs are going off occasionally....a real game is coming together. Very soon, I'm going to cross that rubicon and start winning close instead of losing close. I want that first victory to be tonight. Last match, I got close........lost to the league champ 6-4, 6-4. I pressed him hard. Previously, I'd lost to him 6-1, 6-2.

Tonight's the night. Anything to help is appreciated. My time is now. The sooner I can conquer this, the sooner I can dominate and move up. I play so much better against players with real games than I do against players with pusher games. I expressed this frustration to a coach I've been getting lessons from and he said "don't worry, just keep working...you are developing a real tennis game. One day when it all comes together, pusher games won't be able to touch you anymore."

I'm right at the lip of that cup.

RF20Lennon 10-03-2012 10:11 AM

Trust your shots and go for it! Sometimes I get nervous and become defensive but just go for it you might miss some but if it clicks you're on!!

JRstriker12 10-03-2012 10:20 AM

Keep up the hard work. It may take a while, but watch out when your whole game starts clicking.

I remember being in your spot. I just came back to tennis after a long break. Couldn't win a match. Kept at it and a few moths later I crushed a few opponents that used to beat me and drive me nuts.

I'd say don't put the emphasis on winning. You can't control winning, focus on playing well and playing your best. How you play is the one thing you usually can control. Putting to much pressure to win tonight may derail the whole thing.

If you have a problem closing out a lead, IIRC from Winning Ugly, just pretend you're behind and play like you have to catch up.

Sakkijarvi 10-03-2012 10:34 AM

Here's what I told my kids when I was teaching them tennis some years ago.

When you are the underdog, playing someone better or a better team, when you get a chance to win a set or the match, go for it. What I mean is at set or match point, think ace or winner, not rally. Better players can always dial it back to out-steady you, so if you play passively, you'll watch the few chances you have to win ... slip away.

Over and over again.

IMO you are better served going for it, two serves for an ace, that kind of thing. What I see often in my own circles is the lesser player ... (whom may well be 'lesser' because of the inability to win that handful of points that matter, to put the other guy away when they have the chance) ... get conservative just when they're up 5-1, or at set or match point. Then lament yet another loss, letting it slip away.

Be aggressive ... you have nothing to lose and even if you do go down, you'll go down fighting.

TennisCJC 10-03-2012 10:58 AM

Play 3/4 speed. This sounds passive but it usually results in a more aggressive game. Most people pull back under pressure and end up playing timid and decelerating racket speed. On EVERY stroke (except volleys), think accelerate to 3/4 of maximum speed. If 10 is as fast as you can swing, you want to swing at 7.5 through out the match. All serves and ground strokes should be 7.5 out of 10. This level is also low enough to allow plenty of room for consistency and placement.

Govnor 10-03-2012 11:01 AM

Hit it to his backhand on every shot.

You're welcome.

Mike Y 10-03-2012 11:03 AM

Go for a tweener. If you pull it off, your opponent will be so in awe of you that he will just give you the match.

NTRPolice 10-03-2012 11:05 AM

Never let up and never lose focus. If you're "in it to win it" then you need to come out strong and maintain that level the entire course of the match. A hunter does not turn their back to a downed or wounded prey. Make "nice nice" time is after you've finished them. Some people will even try to "chat you up" during the match as "strategy".

You should be as focused on the first point as you are on the last. Your level of focus determines what type of shot and the quality of the shot that you play. If you lose your focus will you find yourself playing stupid and unusual shots that you normally wouldnt play, like hitting extra hard/soft, or going for more/less.

Cindysphinx 10-03-2012 11:16 AM

My goodness. Relax already. No good can come from putting too much pressure on yourself.

There are no quick fixes. Just take your time, set up on every ball, and hit a quality ball every single time. If you hit four *quality* balls in a row, you will win that point.

That's the number: Four. Four quality balls in a row.

Good luck!!!

GenesisTurbo 10-03-2012 11:20 AM

don't do stupid shots, trust in yourself, stay focus and you will do fine.

Fusker 10-03-2012 11:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TennisCJC (Post 6933506)
Play 3/4 speed. This sounds passive but it usually results in a more aggressive game. Most people pull back under pressure and end up playing timid and decelerating racket speed. On EVERY stroke (except volleys), think accelerate to 3/4 of maximum speed. If 10 is as fast as you can swing, you want to swing at 7.5 through out the match. All serves and ground strokes should be 7.5 out of 10. This level is also low enough to allow plenty of room for consistency and placement.

I'd tweak this bit of advice as my recommendation and say that you should make sure you start at 75%. Basically, you want to work your way into the match and as you get your groove going, you can ramp up from there to 100%. Lots of guys come out banging away at 100% and next thing they know, they've lost the first set by throwing UEs in all over the place.

TheCheese 10-03-2012 11:50 AM

Just play consistently and hit to his weakness when you have a chance. Don't try for winners, just keep the ball in play with moderate pace and play strategically.

Surecatch 10-03-2012 12:10 PM

Thanks folks. I love reading your tips....I take a little from everything. To address some of the points, I don't put much pressure on myself to win, I just really want to. haha Seriously, who goes out there to lose? But yeah, playing well is always number one. When I lose and play well, I am supremely satisfied because I know that progress has occurred and winning will come. I know that at some point I will be hard to beat if I just keep working. Then I will dominate. Then I will move up to 4.0 level. This is my ambition now. I practice every day in some form or another, and it's amazing when some light bulb goes off in my head. For instance, I used to operate in the mindset that I could try to go big on my first serve and then play it ultra safe on the second. At some point I realized that to get to the next level with my serve I would have to first practice and develop it, and then both serves would be formidable. Now my first serve is not too much "bigger" than my second, but both are dialed down from when I tried to crush a first serve and would send it to the fence or something.

The guy I'm playing tonight is beatable, but all the guys in my league are. This sounds self-serving but I am younger and much more athletic than anyone in my league. I just haven't been playing long and they have been playing for years and are crafty. As an adult, I played for a year in 2006, about three months in 2009, and I just started up again in late July. But I'm taking it seriously this time and attempting to become a real tennis player. I'm getting coaching, taking drills classes, and playing in two leagues. When I'm not doing that, I'm practicing or watching tennis with a "learning" eye. I learn a lot from watching DVR matches over and over again. I really pay attention to what the pros do and why it does or doesn't work for them.

Thanks again, tennis peeps'......I got another half hour before I start getting ready. Further advice is appreciated. I'll post tomorrow on how I did.

floridatennisdude 10-03-2012 12:12 PM

Go in not worrying about winning. If you win, great...you are 1-5. If you lose, no big deal. You have nothing to lose so just have a good time doing something you enjoy doing.

Surecatch 10-03-2012 12:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by floridatennisdude (Post 6933707)
Go in not worrying about winning. If you win, great...you are 1-5. If you lose, no big deal. You have nothing to lose so just have a good time doing something you enjoy doing.

And despite my overzealous way of transmitting my situation here on the board, that is what I always do. Tennis is fun. I play the game because I love it. Thanks.

Tennis is life. Life is tennis.

North 10-03-2012 12:24 PM

Forget about winning or losing. Have fun. Watch the seams of the ball the whole match to keep focus. Remember to breathe. Forget about winning or losing.

TheCheese 10-03-2012 12:31 PM

Play consistently and make him show you that he has the skill to beat you. Don't beat yourself by thinking you have to go for broke to beat this guy and end up making tons of UFEs.

dcdoorknob 10-03-2012 12:46 PM

Sounds to me like you're playing decently in general, but just psyching yourself out mentally on the big points.

I know for me a problem I can run into on the big points is focusing on how much I want to win the point, and not on how I intend to win the point. "Man, I really want to win this one" doesn't actually help once the point is started. For me I started making myself forget about the outcome of the upcoming point and instead just focus specifically on what I want to do that point, and getting prepared to execute in that way.

Tennisguy3000 10-03-2012 01:00 PM

Act like every point is the last point you will ever play in your life ;-) Adding (mental) dyer consequences to losing the point helps too...

If this doesn't work for you, just play & have fun.... also works great. Sometimes a combo of the two depending on the score ;-)

Good Luck!

spot 10-03-2012 01:04 PM

Serve every single ball to the backhand.


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