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-   -   Getting Better Can Be a Bit Awkward . . . (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=447439)

winstonplum 12-05-2012 11:11 PM

Getting Better Can Be a Bit Awkward . . .
 
I played tennis from the ages of eight to sixteen quite regularly. And then played maybe ten times in the next fifteen years. Life just happened. Anyway, when I played again for the first time three years ago, I was playing against a 3.5 and held my own. For the first six months he owned me; then I started to get the old timing back, get fit, etc. Then the tables turned and I began to own him. Then we stopped playing because it was kind of boring for both of us. And so it goes.

I'm a pretty solid 4.0 now. I'm play 3-4 times a week. I love tennis immensely. Some of the 4.0s that owned me a year and a half ago, I dispatching quite easily now. Obviously, there's another echelon of 4.0s to beat before, IF, I could ever consider myself a 4.5, and I know that if I can call myself a legitimate 4.5 that will be the end of the road as I'm approaching forty.

I'd like to hear others' opinion/thoughts about what happened when you just keep beating a guy 3,2,2 or 2,1,2 on and on, and, well, it just gets kind of boring. Do you talk about the fact you shouldn't really be playing each other anymore? Is it awkward for you? I've had this weekday morning match going with this guy for a year and a half and it's just kind of a waste of time now. Anybody have a similar experience?

I'm not bragging. I'm sure that moving from being an out-of practice 3.5 to nudging up against 4.5 over the course of three years is probably a very common occurrence.

will3689 12-06-2012 01:36 AM

I always think that the more practice partners you have the better. Its good to play a variety of abilities so that you plays people better than yourself and people not as good so you can practice shots you wouldnt in a close match.

floridatennisdude 12-06-2012 02:40 AM

I've got a regular partner that had a child 2 years ago and his time is really limited. Currently, he plays me every week and that's it. I play him and 2-3 others every week and maybe a league match or two. Obviously, I'm more practiced than he is.

We used to go about 50/50 on who would win and it was usually tight. Now, it's around 2&3 when we play all out and he can barely survive. He's totally accepting of it. Frankly, it's his free time to excercise and he's just happy to be on the court.

Alchemy-Z 12-06-2012 05:55 AM

It's even tougher when it's family.

Growing up playing my Dad (who is a great player) I usually lost all the time.

Then I got a little more interested and we started going back and forth on wins/loss

and now I am even better and add that he is getting older it's hardly a contest.

but He still enjoys playing but would often get upset at always losing.

so now we just Hit...do some drills maybe a mini game that gives him advantage...like he plays doubles lines and I get no second serve etc..

tennis tom 12-06-2012 07:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by will3689 (Post 7049199)
I always think that the more practice partners you have the better. Its good to play a variety of abilities so that you play people better than yourself and people not as good so you can practice shots you wouldnt in a close match.

Correct, 30% with players better, 30% worse, 40% the same level.

TennisCJC 12-06-2012 08:07 AM

I would not stop hitting with the guy just because he is weaker than you. Try using the hitting time to work on new things such as S&V or attacking the net. You can also make it competitive by playing to your partners strength - for example, play a lot of balls to his forehand side if that is his strengths to make it harder for you to win.

Also, try to work in some equal or stronger competition too - find a new partner or join a leauge to get better comp.

winstonplum 12-06-2012 08:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TennisCJC (Post 7049513)
I would not stop hitting with the guy just because he is weaker than you. Try using the hitting time to work on new things such as S&V or attacking the net. You can also make it competitive by playing to your partners strength - for example, play a lot of balls to his forehand side if that is his strengths to make it harder for you to win.

Also, try to work in some equal or stronger competition too - find a new partner or join a leauge to get better comp.

That's good advice. I should start working on some serve and volley. Sometimes I think that, but then my competitive juices kick in and I play my strengths. I realized yesterday though that our competition has "jumped the shark." It's time to work on some things, even if I lose playing serve and volley.

Bergboy123 12-06-2012 10:22 AM

I think that it holds you back. When you're always winning, like every time, you develop bad habits. You don't need to push yourself, try new things, add variety to your game, etc. You win by doing whatever one thing beats the player.

TXdad 12-06-2012 10:29 AM

If it's no longer fun probably time to move on; however it is possible for you both to get something out of it, you can pick on a weakness of his (serve to the backhand, slices, drop shots, whatever) and he will get better at dealing with those and you will get better at hitting them. Comes from experience lol, hit with an ex top ten Tex open player who can crush me if knees are feeling ok.

floridatennisdude 12-06-2012 10:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TennisCJC (Post 7049513)
I would not stop hitting with the guy just because he is weaker than you. Try using the hitting time to work on new things such as S&V or attacking the net. You can also make it competitive by playing to your partners strength - for example, play a lot of balls to his forehand side if that is his strengths to make it harder for you to win.

Also, try to work in some equal or stronger competition too - find a new partner or join a leauge to get better comp.

I get why people say this and it can be good advice. But I want to practice my A game too as well as my B and C. Especially if I am playing the weaker opponent on day 1...knowing that day 2 or 3 is an opponent that will test my A game.

Ie, Federer doesn't play around when he's up big. He will finish someone off quick knowing that his body needs the rest and his game needs to get to max performance by the end of the week. Same theory, minus the millions of dollars on the line. Details.

LeeD 12-06-2012 12:44 PM

King of a puddle or just another fish in a big sea?
Expand your horizons, play more different players.
I used to play lots with a No.2 for a Div111 school. He'd beat me mostly 4's and 2's, and in the last 30 sets, every single time. He was also my doubles partner.
When we played tournaments, I'd usually go deeper than him. In doubles, he'd hold me up, me failing every single match.
I quit tennis for motocross, he got better and eventually became a solid A raked NorCal player.
Expand your horizons, but don't forget your roots.

Maui19 12-06-2012 01:56 PM

IMO, if you want to get better fast, play against the best competition you can find that doesn't completely overwhelm you. There is no substitute for playing against speed.

dizzlmcwizzl 12-06-2012 02:14 PM

I have a buddy that when we started playing about 10-12 years ago was my equal on the court. I could out serve him but his groundies were always better than mine. When I had kids and finished grad school, he took command of our rivalry. Then he had kids and I spent more time on my tennis and he fell behind. It goes in cycles.

Now we play once a week and that is all he plays. It is mostly just an excuse to drink and socialize after a hit. It works out because he always wants to work on something specific. So usually he is working on serve and volley ... so I get to focus on returning. It all works out.

Now even though we are not close in tennis skills ... it is not about competition it is about spending time with a good friend.

beernutz 12-06-2012 02:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by winstonplum (Post 7049126)
I played tennis from the ages of eight to sixteen quite regularly. And then played maybe ten times in the next fifteen years. Life just happened. Anyway, when I played again for the first time three years ago, I was playing against a 3.5 and held my own. For the first six months he owned me; then I started to get the old timing back, get fit, etc. Then the tables turned and I began to own him. Then we stopped playing because it was kind of boring for both of us. And so it goes.

I'm a pretty solid 4.0 now. I'm play 3-4 times a week. I love tennis immensely. Some of the 4.0s that owned me a year and a half ago, I dispatching quite easily now. Obviously, there's another echelon of 4.0s to beat before, IF, I could ever consider myself a 4.5, and I know that if I can call myself a legitimate 4.5 that will be the end of the road as I'm approaching forty.

I'd like to hear others' opinion/thoughts about what happened when you just keep beating a guy 3,2,2 or 2,1,2 on and on, and, well, it just gets kind of boring. Do you talk about the fact you shouldn't really be playing each other anymore? Is it awkward for you? I've had this weekday morning match going with this guy for a year and a half and it's just kind of a waste of time now. Anybody have a similar experience?

I'm not bragging. I'm sure that moving from being an out-of practice 3.5 to nudging up against 4.5 over the course of three years is probably a very common occurrence.

Good thing he didn't get bored and dump you during this six-month period.

winstonplum 12-06-2012 08:45 PM

^ touche.

10touches

CFreeborn 12-09-2012 08:04 PM

Join USTA and play some tournaments @ 4.5. That should give you a pretty good idea of where you fall in the scheme of things.

Tennis Truth 12-10-2012 10:02 AM

If someone is getting 2 or 3 games from you per set, then they are obviously good enough for you to hit with. Your levels are not THAT far apart.

If you are beating somone 0-0, or 0-1, then it might be time to move on to playing someone who challenges you more. After several of those kinds of beatdowns, usually each player realizes it is not that competitive.

rkelley 12-12-2012 01:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by winstonplum (Post 7049126)
. . . and I know that if I can call myself a legitimate 4.5 that will be the end of the road as I'm approaching forty.

At 40 4.5 isn't the end of road unless you have specific physical limitations or time constraints on practicing (which most of us do). But if you're in good shape and everything works, you have to be playing at a very, very high level before being 40 in and of itself is an issue - IMO.

winstonplum 12-13-2012 09:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rkelley (Post 7059695)
At 40 4.5 isn't the end of road unless you have specific physical limitations or time constraints on practicing (which most of us do). But if you're in good shape and everything works, you have to be playing at a very, very high level before being 40 in and of itself is an issue - IMO.

I'm not sure I understand what you're saying. Anyway, I probably will never have enough time to do all the practicing, outside of matches, to move past 4.5

TimeToPlaySets 12-15-2012 05:50 AM

I think it's time for you to join some local social tennis mixers and find a whole new crop of hitting partners. You should know a bunch of people, not just one.


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