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-   -   Getting better Headgame (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=447010)

Skiddywompus 11-30-2012 03:44 PM

Getting better Headgame
 
So I'm still in high school, and I am my schools 2nd singles. My play on the court is improving vastly, but I was wondering if there is any tips that could help me get better due to my headgame. Keeping cool, know what to think, The little things they don't really teach you. I pay attention to where the other player is at on the court, whether they are playing back, up, If they are good at certain strokes, etc. But I am just wondering if there is anything that could give me that little "edge" that I might have not been told about. Any response is welcomed. Any challenge to make me 'think' about what I should do in the situation is also welcomed.

Be honest, Thanks!

LeeD 11-30-2012 04:04 PM

You should post a vid of your match play, so we can see your strokes and what you need, what you are missing, and what your strengths are. Without knowing your game, all replies are blind, but of course, universally applicable to some extent.
For instance, if you're 5'3" tall, we shouldn't advocate big hitting tennis and serve/volley. Instead, we'd advocate getting in unreal condition, outrun and out manuever your opponents, keep the ball in play, and force your opponent to beat you with clean winners, instead of you going for the big winners and missing to lose.

Bagumbawalla 11-30-2012 04:18 PM

This is avery vague and broad question, full of naive hopes and expectations.

1, The main way to get better is through hardwork and practice.

2, Work at improving all aspects of your game. If you have weaknesses, they will not be secret for long, and your opponents will take advantage of them.

3. If you work hard and practice, your game will improve and you will, therefore, become stronger mentally, because you will have confidence in your game and your strokes.

4. You know you are improving when you no longer have to think about your next move. Your strokes and placement choices will come without conscious effort.

5. Find a book of practice drills and practice the patterns until they become natural. You can also find drills and coaching ideas on various internet sites and youtube.

You ask about what you should "think" about in various situations. In a match, during actual play, you should do very little thinking. Do your thinking when you practice, or between points, if you have to-- Imagine you are a samurai, in a battle situation- once you stop to think, you are doomed.

NLBwell 11-30-2012 07:39 PM

Mentally, everyone is different and you have to find what works for you. That's one reason playing lots of matches is important.
You need to be able to dispassionately analyze what is going well or going badly. This is usually difficult for emotional high-schoolers (it was for me). What worked for me is that even if I get angry about missing a shot or something bad happening, I learned to forget it and start thinking only about the current situation in the match before the next point. In that moment of calm, you can analyze what is working, what is not, and what you would like to do on the next point.

boramiNYC 11-30-2012 07:55 PM

^^^good advice on controlling emotion. during a match get busy analyzing the opponent and yourself and what needs to be done to beat the guy instead of getting stuck by all the feelings. feelings are for the after party celebration. match is a work time. down to business.

kiteboard 11-30-2012 08:22 PM

Look at my threads about: lull-jam-finish and improving quickly.

goran_ace 11-30-2012 11:35 PM

1. Don't let your mind get ahead of yourself, but also don't think too much about the past. Play in the now.

2. Play every point like it matters.

Hi I'm Ray 11-30-2012 11:54 PM

The question is extremely broad, could be hours of typing or even talking...

Larrysümmers 12-01-2012 08:49 AM

meditate before playing. i find when playing tennis the mellower you are, the better you tend to play. I play best when my mind is absolutely blank.

Skiddywompus 12-02-2012 03:33 PM

All of these responses have been helpful. Thanks alot! I am going to try and get a video up so that I can get some critiquing in before the season starts.

dominikk1985 12-02-2012 03:59 PM

Am I the only one wanting to make an inappropriate comment?:D

I would say the best thing you can do is playing shot by shot and don't worry about the score. the goal should be as many quality shots as possible. when you make a bad shot forget it and try to make the next one good again.

treating points differently (especially BPs) often leads to bad results.

LeeD 12-02-2012 04:03 PM

What is a "quality" shot?
Is hit hard, forcing, and IN?
is it safe, pushing, and drives our opponent's nuts?
Is it within our limits?
Is it just beyond our normal limits?
And "don't worry about the score"....does that mean we play to hit.....or should we play to win...

dominikk1985 12-02-2012 04:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeeD (Post 7043439)
What is a "quality" shot?
Is hit hard, forcing, and IN?
is it safe, pushing, and drives our opponent's nuts?
Is it within our limits?
Is it just beyond our normal limits?
And "don't worry about the score"....does that mean we play to hit.....or should we play to win...

I would say a quality shot is a shot that you can repeat quite consistently (not always- then it is too safe:)). so always use as much depth, spin and power as you can control but not more. over time those factors should gradually increase. swinging for the fences and occasionally hitting one is not quality shots (although many rec players tend to believe that their fluke shots are their normal level and they are just "off" 80% of the time they are playing.

I know a point always counts the same but I think if there is only a slight abberation from your goal in accuracy, power and spin (i.e. a close miss) it is still a quality shot (even if you miss 15 in a row to the same spot-that would be a great way to start since it is much easier to correct when you miss consistently only one way then if you are all over the place). but if you miss a mile or also miss another of your goals of power and spin (i.e just float it back) it is not a quality shot.

LeeD 12-02-2012 04:44 PM

I can certainly respect your opinion.
But my thinking is, if I really want to WIN, and not look good, I'd reign in my Ad and Break points shots, hit more consistently, get it in, and allow a chance for the opponent to make a mistake to my benefit. Sometimes, that would mean pushing, when my strokes go downhill.

dominikk1985 12-03-2012 12:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeeD (Post 7043490)
I can certainly respect your opinion.
But my thinking is, if I really want to WIN, and not look good, I'd reign in my Ad and Break points shots, hit more consistently, get it in, and allow a chance for the opponent to make a mistake to my benefit. Sometimes, that would mean pushing, when my strokes go downhill.

I often did that. My best game always was a combination of junking and hard shots. this usually really disrupts the rhythm of my opponent (think dolgopolov but not as good of course:)).

However I think for my game it would have been better to always play consistently good.

fuzz nation 12-03-2012 03:50 AM

I coach high school teams and also teach on my own. One book that I've read (more than once) has been the single best thing to advance my understanding of "head management". It's Vic Braden's book, Mental Tennis. As both a player and a coach, this read has been invaluable for me.

The one thing that constantly echoed in the back of my head pretty much every time I'd finish a section of this book was something along the lines of "man, I wish I had this book back when I was in high school". It's full of exactly the wisdom you seem to be looking for here. I've passed copies of it along to other adults and also a couple of the kids I've coached and I've caught nothing but positive feedback from everyone.


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