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Dasol 12-18-2012 07:20 AM

First Time Tennis Club Experience
 
Hi,

I went to a local tennis club for the first time in the US last week (I am an international student), and it was also my first indoor tennis game. I played a doubles match with other guys there and they looked 40s or 50s.

They played pretty well (I do not know their level), and my impression was that they tended to hit with slower pace than most of players that I met on hard courts. My usual hitting partners are younger than they are and many of them are graduate students like me. So, I am used to play with relatively fast pace and we just make fun of others when some of us hit moon balls.

The people that I played with at a local club did not hit absolute moon balls, but they tend to hit with less power and the trejectory of balls is just higher. Their shots were pretty accurate and consistent, yet it was a little bit boring when I was up to the net, since balls are just moving above my heads.

After the match, I was curious whether they intentionally slowed down the pace for a game plan and whether looping is a common winning strategy at a tennis club. But I did not ask since it was my first time there and I did not want to be rude or offending.

Sure, I can make my own pace when they loop, but I do not know whether I can improve my tennis at this tennis club. I can definitely learn how to play more consistently and accurately with those players, but I am wondering whether my play style or swing pattern might be impacted too.

So, question is whether this kind of looping style is common at a tennis club in the US. If so, I can play with these people and no need to look around other clubs. But if not, I want to try other clubs too.

Also, one guy came to me and invited me to come to a mixed match this weekends. I have not played a mixed match in the US before and am wondering if one should serve to a female player with less power. Do you guys serve to a female player with less power so that it might be easier for her to receive, or you don't mind at all?

Thanks!!

goober 12-18-2012 08:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dasol (Post 7068948)
Hi,

I went to a local tennis club for the first time in the US last week (I am an international student), and it was also my first indoor tennis game. I played a doubles match with other guys there and they looked 40s or 50s.

They played pretty well (I do not know their level), and my impression was that they tended to hit with slower pace than most of players that I met on hard courts. My usual hitting partners are younger than they are and many of them are graduate students like me. So, I am used to play with relatively fast pace and we just make fun of others when some of us hit moon balls.

The people that I played with at a local club did not hit absolute moon balls, but they tend to hit with less power and the trejectory of balls is just higher. Their shots were pretty accurate and consistent, yet it was a little bit boring when I was up to the net, since balls are just moving above my heads.

After the match, I was curious whether they intentionally slowed down the pace for a game plan and whether looping is a common winning strategy at a tennis club. But I did not ask since it was my first time there and I did not want to be rude or offending.

Sure, I can make my own pace when they loop, but I do not know whether I can improve my tennis at this tennis club. I can definitely learn how to play more consistently and accurately with those players, but I am wondering whether my play style or swing pattern might be impacted too.

So, question is whether this kind of looping style is common at a tennis club in the US. If so, I can play with these people and no need to look around other clubs. But if not, I want to try other clubs too.

Also, one guy came to me and invited me to come to a mixed match this weekends. I have not played a mixed match in the US before and am wondering if one should serve to a female player with less power. Do you guys serve to a female player with less power so that it might be easier for her to receive, or you don't mind at all?

Thanks!!

Tennis clubs are mostly filled with people in the 40-60 year range playing doubles. Sure there may be some 20-30 somethings, but generally there will be not as many. I would ask around and see if you can find what you want at these clubs. Generally if you want competitive play at your age group you may have to set up things yourself. Join tournaments, leagues, teams, internet meetups. Once you get to know enough people you can have regular hitting partners.

Mixed matches at clubs are generally social. I would start out medium pace on your serves. If she can handle it, dial it up. If not dial it down.

tennis tom 12-18-2012 08:24 AM

Welcome to America, where you from mate? If you want to get better at tennis find a good coach and stick with him for 5-15 years. Use these matches to practice what you've learned. Then sign up for age-group tournaments and see what it holds up and what breaks down.

Since you're young and should be able to move, you should be knocking down the high floaters these old chaps are serving up to you--sounds like you're too tight-to-the net if you aren't using these for overhead practice. You should be back-pedalling and taking their setter short lobs for free points with your overheads.

Mixed should be a good opportunity for you to cougar-up and maybe find an alimony to pay for those tennis lessons with your coach. In mx'ed, serve only top-spin seconds to the ladies, that way you don't look like the bad guy, bullying them with your big heater, they can't handle the spin.

Have fun with these blokes, just remember they will never offer balls, so arrive a bit late making one of them have to open. Expect bad calls, it's not "polite" at 'ye old club to point out their blind cheating ways, let go of it, to make things move along so as to hit the maximum number of balls for practice.

You are there to get better--they are there to run to the bar as soon as the big hand says times up, slug a few belts and play liar's dice for some respite from the witch back home. If you find a rare old codger who is a straight-up old school player, marry his daughter and get a job with the firm. You must keep track of the score because they will never call it out except for 40-5 and match point in their favor.

Bring money to buy your own drinks afterwards because as soon as it's over they will flee to their t-times or back to their witches. They are using you for some exercise and you are using them for some practice.

sureshs 12-18-2012 08:39 AM

Old people dominate clubs. The juniors disappear once they go to college, and those below 40 are busy raising families and making money and moving for new jobs.

rufus_smith 12-18-2012 09:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tennis tom (Post 7069046)
Welcome to America, where you from mate? If you want to get better at tennis find a good coach and stick with him for 5-15 years. Use these matches to practice what you've learned. Then sign up for age-group tournaments and see what it holds up and what breaks down.

Since you're young and should be able to move, you should be knocking down the high floaters these old chaps are serving up to you--sounds like you're too tight-to-the net if you aren't using these for overhead practice. You should be back-pedalling and taking their setter short lobs for free points with your overheads.

Mixed should be a good opportunity for you to cougar-up and maybe find an alimony to pay for those tennis lessons with your coach. In mx'ed, serve only top-spin seconds to the ladies, that way you don't look like the bad guy, bullying them with your big heater, they can't handle the spin.

Have fun with these blokes, just remember they will never offer balls, so arrive a bit late making one of them have to open. Expect bad calls, it's not "polite" at 'ye old club to point out their blind cheating ways, let go of it, to make things move along so as to hit the maximum number of balls for practice.

You are there to get better--they are there to run to the bar as soon as the big hand says times up, slug a few belts and play liar's dice for some respite from the witch back home. If you find a rare old codger who is a straight-up old school player, marry his daughter and get a job with the firm. You must keep track of the score because they will never call it out except for 40-5 and match point in their favor.

Bring money to buy your own drinks afterwards because as soon as it's over they will flee to their t-times or back to their witches. They are using you for some exercise and you are using them for some practice.

:) nice humor

tennis tom 12-18-2012 09:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rufus_smith (Post 7069118)
:) nice humor

Thanks, we try.

JRstriker12 12-18-2012 09:53 AM

I would talk to the membership coordinator at the club and see if you can find players and leagues at the club that fit your interest.

It may also help to know your NTRP Level - so if you are a 4.0 for example, you can ask or find out who are the players who also play at or above your level.

Maybe ask if the membership coordinator has a contact list of players who are at or above your playing level and looking for hitting partners.

At my local club we have singles and doubles flights where most of the top players at the club play - I'd ask if your club has anything similar.

I'd also agree that most club members tend to be older, but don't look down on them. Considering these guys were consistently and accurately putting the ball over your head, you may have a thing or two to learn from them. Sounds like it would have been a good time to work on your overhead and movement. Also, there are some older guys who can still play high level tennis, so not every dude with grey hair will bore you with their tennis.

OrangePower 12-18-2012 09:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dasol (Post 7068948)
So, question is whether this kind of looping style is common at a tennis club in the US.

I don't think it has to do with US vs other countries, but rather the age and level of play of the people you were playing with. Some clubs have mostly older members in the 3.0 - 3.5 level range, while some clubs have a more varied membership with stronger and younger players also.

One thing you might do is browse through the USTA tennislink site to see what teams are in your area at a higher level (4.0 - 4.5), and see what clubs they are affiliated with, and then maybe try out those clubs.

http://tennislink.usta.com/Leagues/

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dasol (Post 7068948)
Do you guys serve to a female player with less power so that it might be easier for her to receive, or you don't mind at all?

Word of advice: be clear with your expectations before you play mixed. It can be fun to play socially, but don't expect high quality tennis. Often the female player is significantly weaker than her male partner. Anyway, since you are new to the group and are just playing for fun, I would be gentle with the female player.

dizzlmcwizzl 12-18-2012 01:21 PM

As stated ... clubs in the US tend to have players either still on their parents dime or players that have moved past having to tend to their children every night. So very few players in the 25-40 age groups.

Remember that the majority of recreational players are 3.5 level or lower. So while most of the groups that play in the club will be relatively old and usually at the novice level there will be other folks that play at a very high level.

I am personally am involved with 3 different groups that play different nights and as a low 4.5 I am one of the least skilled among us. Even though we are old no would claim that our games lack pace.

Look around, be patient, and find a suitable group. Perhaps the best way to facilitate this at our club is to join the tennis ladder. As you play greater variety of folks you will find more than a couple at your skill level. Put yourself out there, let them know you are interested in contract time and as long as you are a cool dude someone will invite you in.

max 12-18-2012 03:48 PM

Older guys are at clubs because younger guys with families are busy busing kids to baseball games, etc.

tvu 12-18-2012 04:34 PM

Exactly. It's pretty hard to get court time when you have really young ones.

NumbersGuy 12-18-2012 05:13 PM

With regard to club mixed doubles, if you’re truly concerned about fitting in, my advice is to take your cues from the other man. If he isn’t serving hard, or wide slices or kicks (another thread correctly noted that the latter two seem to give women 4.0 and below more trouble than pace) to your partner, and you can see from his serves to you that he clearly has those shots, serve in kind to his partner. So ideally if you win the toss, elect to receive or choose side so you can get the lay of the land. Clearly this match is about more than winning.

TomT 12-18-2012 06:21 PM

Dasol, where are you? If southeast Florida, then send me an email and I'll give you the scoop (as far as I know it) on the local clubs, leagues, etc.

IA-SteveB 12-19-2012 08:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sureshs (Post 7069078)
Old people dominate clubs. The juniors disappear once they go to college, and those below 40 are busy raising families and making money and moving for new jobs.

I have to agree with you on this. That's exactly how my club is. In men's league, it is very rare to have <40 year olds playing. I am considered the young guy at 40. haha

maggmaster 12-19-2012 09:00 AM

My club has over one thousand members. Daytime members tend to be old or house wives but us night time guys who play until 11 are mostly younger guys looking to improve. Younger being from 29-43 Juniors play in the early afternoon, when school lets out.

goran_ace 12-19-2012 09:57 AM

Same situation at my club. Early morning seniors, daytime housewives, afterschool kids, men play at night. A lot of juniors, 40+ and 65+ players but not a lot in between. That said, because there are not a lot of guys aged 25-40 who play a lot, the ones who do play seem to be always looking for a sub or a fourth for dubs, especially if you have a lot of availability or can play on short notice. If your club has a bulletin board put a note up there with your name/number and when you are available. If not, ask one of the pros or club staff to introduce you to some guys.

As far as leagues go in my district, if you're a woman playing 3.0, 3.5, or 4.0 you can pretty much pick any day of the week, day or evening session and you'll find a team to play on. Mens leagues play evenings only, there are 3.0 and 3.5 leagues that play two days a week, 4.0 on one day, 4.5 on another.5.0 is non-existant. There were only a handful of 5.0 teams (and half of those guys were 4.5's playing up or subbing in to fill out the lineup) and they folded because they got bored playing the same people over and over again.

jmnk 12-19-2012 10:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dasol (Post 7068948)
[...]

The people that I played with at a local club did not hit absolute moon balls, but they tend to hit with less power and the trejectory of balls is just higher. Their shots were pretty accurate and consistent, yet it was a little bit boring when I was up to the net, since balls are just moving above my heads.

[..]

so to clarify. You are slightly appalled that they had the nerve to hit an accurate ball above your head while you were camped at the net? As opposed to hit at you so you could volley more easily? Gee, indeed, these folks have no idea about playing tennis.....

chatt_town 12-19-2012 02:17 PM

Sounds like "typical" club doubles. Some of them may have had movement issues. You will sooner or later though run across guys even at that age that are going to smoother the net. It sounds like to me that match spent a lot of time hitting ground strokes. I say that because looping balls would cause the net person to get balls vollied at his chest or feet if they were coming in as they should be. I have a 2 ball rally min when playing doubles and 0 patience for rallying if I'm serving.lol As far serving to women...you give it to them just like you give it to the man. No reason for them to be out there if they can't play. Well that is more for league play I guess, but if you are just being social I guess you don't want to take her shoulder off or anything. :)

Peace,

Chatt_town


Quote:

Originally Posted by Dasol (Post 7068948)
Hi,

I went to a local tennis club for the first time in the US last week (I am an international student), and it was also my first indoor tennis game. I played a doubles match with other guys there and they looked 40s or 50s.

They played pretty well (I do not know their level), and my impression was that they tended to hit with slower pace than most of players that I met on hard courts. My usual hitting partners are younger than they are and many of them are graduate students like me. So, I am used to play with relatively fast pace and we just make fun of others when some of us hit moon balls.

The people that I played with at a local club did not hit absolute moon balls, but they tend to hit with less power and the trejectory of balls is just higher. Their shots were pretty accurate and consistent, yet it was a little bit boring when I was up to the net, since balls are just moving above my heads.

After the match, I was curious whether they intentionally slowed down the pace for a game plan and whether looping is a common winning strategy at a tennis club. But I did not ask since it was my first time there and I did not want to be rude or offending.

Sure, I can make my own pace when they loop, but I do not know whether I can improve my tennis at this tennis club. I can definitely learn how to play more consistently and accurately with those players, but I am wondering whether my play style or swing pattern might be impacted too.

So, question is whether this kind of looping style is common at a tennis club in the US. If so, I can play with these people and no need to look around other clubs. But if not, I want to try other clubs too.

Also, one guy came to me and invited me to come to a mixed match this weekends. I have not played a mixed match in the US before and am wondering if one should serve to a female player with less power. Do you guys serve to a female player with less power so that it might be easier for her to receive, or you don't mind at all?

Thanks!!


chatt_town 12-19-2012 02:20 PM

well damn..I just turned 44 in September. I guess I better start accepting reality and find some old farts to hit with. :)

Peace,

Chatt_town

Quote:

Originally Posted by maggmaster (Post 7070687)
My club has over one thousand members. Daytime members tend to be old or house wives but us night time guys who play until 11 are mostly younger guys looking to improve. Younger being from 29-43 Juniors play in the early afternoon, when school lets out.


OrangePower 12-19-2012 03:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chatt_town (Post 7071152)
well damn..I just turned 44 in September. I guess I better start accepting reality and find some old farts to hit with. :)

Peace,

Chatt_town

LOL I'm 43 turning 44 in a few months... so will also be making the transition from "younger" (per maggmaster definition) to "old fart".

All downhill from here; hopefully I can remain competitive at 4.5 for a few more years before they put me out to pasture.


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