Talk Tennis

Talk Tennis (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php)
-   Tennis Tips/Instruction (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/forumdisplay.php?f=17)
-   -   3.0 . . . Anyone? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=451140)

Muppet 01-16-2013 09:47 AM

3.0 . . . Anyone?
 
I'm a 3.0 player and I use relatively heavy racquets. I've been working on my serve, which I'm hitting pretty solid now. More recently, I have switched my ground stroke grips and I am hitting a really solid TS forhand. My backhand still needs another grip change.

The problem I've noticed is that my power was already above 3.0 level with an eastern forhand and two handed backhand. My regular partner is at least 3.5 and he always beats me. I'm wondering if I continue to work on my strokes will it seperate me further from the 3.0 sector, and if perhaps I should slow down on technique improvement and spend more time playing other 3.0s? There isn't much of a tennis culture here in Boston, so most of the time I find myself grinding on skills, which is fun in itself, but maybe counter productive.

TennisCJC 01-16-2013 10:41 AM

Improve as fast as you can. When you consistently beat your 3.5 friend 6-0, 6-0, then you can slow down the improvement.

Working on skills is great, fun, and continue to do it.

Also, play matches and use the skills under pressure.

I wish I was completely satisfied.

Good Luck!

Power Player 01-16-2013 11:16 AM

Ditch the poly strings if you are a 3.0. You don't need them and it will be easier to learn with syn gut.

Syn gut is the best string to get good at tennis with. It is cheap and honest.

Keep playing the guy who beats you. I keep playing guys who beat me, and find that I can now beat them sometimes where in the beginning I would never win.

Muppet 01-16-2013 01:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Power Player (Post 7126276)
Ditch the poly strings if you are a 3.0. You don't need them and it will be easier to learn with syn gut.

Syn gut is the best string to get good at tennis with. It is cheap and honest.

Keep playing the guy who beats you. I keep playing guys who beat me, and find that I can now beat them sometimes where in the beginning I would never win.

PP,

Thanks for the reply. I agree with you that a 3.0 player shouldn't be using poly. But my strokes are more advanced than my level. I'm using more advanced strokes in a 3.0 game, when the ball isn't going right by me. I would be playing with other 3.0s if I thought they wouldn't be put off by the pace I hit with. So the poly strings are well matched for the strokes I'm learning.

I really do appreciate your advice. Please bounce it back to me one more time, in light of what I just said. I am not heavily invested in poly at this time and I do like Dunlop S-gut as an optional way to go. I also have most of a reel of Spiral Flex that I could use.

Thanks,
Muppet

Muppet 01-16-2013 01:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TennisCJC (Post 7126167)
Improve as fast as you can. When you consistently beat your 3.5 friend 6-0, 6-0, then you can slow down the improvement.

Working on skills is great, fun, and continue to do it.

Also, play matches and use the skills under pressure.

I wish I was completely satisfied.

Good Luck!

Thank you.
In return for your advice, I will lay a speck of wisdom on you:

A quick shortcut to satisfaction is goal modification (or self acceptance.)

Wodz 01-16-2013 02:56 PM

I really do not understand what you are saying.. you are playing above your own level because your ground strokes are too fast?

It sounds like you are a 3.0 trying to punish the ball but your footwork and timing are lagging behind. Can you clarify that for me mate? :)

Muppet 01-16-2013 03:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wodz (Post 7126774)
I really do not understand what you are saying.. you are playing above your own level because your ground strokes are too fast?

It sounds like you are a 3.0 trying to punish the ball but your footwork and timing are lagging behind. Can you clarify that for me mate? :)

Yeah, what's happening is I'm trying to play above my level. I can't react to the ball fast enough or efficiently enough to utilize my 'cool new strokes'. I need to get better anticipation as well. But, I remain a 3.0 who hesitates setting up matches with 3.0 players who hit with 3.0 power. My buddy rates himself at 3.5, and I can usually only get about 2 games off him per set. And he does bring his best game.

My game is 3.0, I do very well playing with other 3.0s. The ball moves nice and slow. I really don't want to tee people off by playing at that level with too much power. And I'm not skilled enough to dial down my game. I would be sporadic at best.

LeeD 01-16-2013 04:16 PM

Just hit your best normal shots and water will seek it's own level immediately.

Muppet 01-16-2013 05:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeeD (Post 7126947)
Just hit your best normal shots and water will seek it's own level immediately.

Thanks, LeeD. I guess I should just play more and risk insulting some people while my level sorts itself out. Release it to the universe, as it were.

TomT 01-16-2013 07:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Muppet (Post 7126018)
I'm a 3.0 player and I use relatively heavy racquets. I've been working on my serve, which I'm hitting pretty solid now. More recently, I have switched my ground stroke grips and I am hitting a really solid TS forhand. My backhand still needs another grip change.

The problem I've noticed is that my power was already above 3.0 level with an eastern forhand and two handed backhand. My regular partner is at least 3.5 and he always beats me. I'm wondering if I continue to work on my strokes will it seperate me further from the 3.0 sector, and if perhaps I should slow down on technique improvement and spend more time playing other 3.0s? There isn't much of a tennis culture here in Boston, so most of the time I find myself grinding on skills, which is fun in itself, but maybe counter productive.

I'm a 3.0 to 3.25 level competitor also. However, my hitting partners are generally 3.5+ to 4.0+, as most sub 3.5 players don't hit solid shots consistently enough for good hitting sessions.

Why slow down on technique improvement? That doesn't make any sense to me. Practice with better players, grind on skills, join a league[*], and play matches at your competitive level. As you improve and win more matches, your rating will go up and you can compete in league play against ever higher rated players.

My excuse ( :) ) for being a 3.0 competitor with 3.0 + strokes is that I'm typically twice as old as the people I play against, as well as being relatively inexperienced re total court time in my life. I've been sidelined for the past two weeks with a Crohn's disease flareup, but was improving before that, and I hope to continue to improve when I'm able to get back on the court again. I have no problem with bageling 3.0s and will continue to work toward being able to do that on a regular basis. :)

----------------
[*] I'm a member of Tennis Fort Lauderdale (tennisftlauderdale.com) which is affiliated with Tennis League Network (TLN). TLN began in Boston about 8 years ago and is now in several dozen metro areas. Check out Tennis Boston (tennisnortheast.com).

Power Player 01-17-2013 05:36 AM

If you are a 3.0, be the best 3.0. I don't think your strokes are that advanced or you would be rated higher. There is a lot more to a stroke then just being able to hit it when you get a perfect ball. You need to be able to hit off balance, on the run, backed up..etc to have advanced strokes. So just go out and play tennis and win matches. Don't worry about the other person's feelings and develop a winning mentality.

TimothyO 01-17-2013 05:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Muppet (Post 7126018)
I'm a 3.0 player and I use relatively heavy racquets. I've been working on my serve, which I'm hitting pretty solid now. More recently, I have switched my ground stroke grips and I am hitting a really solid TS forhand. My backhand still needs another grip change.

The problem I've noticed is that my power was already above 3.0 level with an eastern forhand and two handed backhand. My regular partner is at least 3.5 and he always beats me. I'm wondering if I continue to work on my strokes will it seperate me further from the 3.0 sector, and if perhaps I should slow down on technique improvement and spend more time playing other 3.0s? There isn't much of a tennis culture here in Boston, so most of the time I find myself grinding on skills, which is fun in itself, but maybe counter productive.

I know what you're saying from personal experience. Rest assured, until you develop the anticipation, movement, and strategy skills of a 3.5 you're not a 3.5. I strongly recommend the following:

1. When playing other 3.0s focus on strategy, anticipation, and movement. These are the skills that provide higher level players with the time needed to hit well in their faster paced games. Study and apply the Wardlaw directionals...you'll be amazed at how helpful they are. Develop the discipline to follow these strategies so you don't bring bad shot selection habits into higher level games. 2.5/3.0 is trying to get the ball over the net. 3.5/4.0 you start thinking about your shot selection and developing the ability to actually do it.

2. When playing with other 3.0s also focus on placement rather than power to support your goals in item 1. All thrust and no vector in 3.5/4.0 will make you an easy mark. You'll be a puppet in the hands of thinking players unless you can hit with power AND intelligent shot selection. When you can be the puppeteer at 3.0 you'll begin to make the transition to higher levels.

3. When playing with higher level friends pay attention to the above to increase the time you have but also focus on "seeing the ball big". For example, I have some higher level friends that let me return serve when they practice serves. That's been VERY helpful in "slowing down the ball" for me even in fast paced exchanges. Playing 3.0s exclusively won't help you see the ball better. You MUST play with players who hit with pace to develop the timing need for your strokes. Item 1 above will give you a larger margin for error in timing. Another example: my wife has said hitting with me has been a tremendous help hitting with woman since they don't hit with nearly as much pace given her level. After hitting with me she said that she feels like she has all the time in the world in her matches.

Again, I can't stress enough how important it is to study shot selection. Not only will it improve your time available it also improves your strokes, even at 3.0. Instead if feeling frantically rushed with sloppy strokes you'll find more time to prepare well and hit smoothly, with confidence. Focusing on strokes and even footwork without shot selection is a huge mistake imo since they're so intertwined.

I know that tennis is traditionally taught starting purely with strokes but as a relative noob (two years this past fall) I strongly feel that's a HUGE mistake and wish I had been taught differently. It's like teaching folks how to play football or baseball with zero reference to the field and opponents. "Here's how you throw and catch a football. Now, go play football". "Here's how you hit a tennis ball, now go play tennis". Makes no sense.

The thing is, deciding where to hit the ball isn't that hard and making the right choice, once taught, MAKES IT EASIER TO HIT THE BALL WELL! :D Making easier shots builds confidence and reduces frustration but teaching pros almost never address that with new players. And just as strokes can be introduced with varying levels of complexity so to can shot selection.

tennisfan2k 01-17-2013 06:52 AM

Tom, hope you get back to the court soon.

I joined the same league as you and just had my first match, it was amazing. The only thing I am not sure is the players rating comparing to USTA rating, the league has players ranging from 3.0 to 4.5, don't know how they calculated that, and not sure if the ratings are accurate USTA ratings.

Quote:

Originally Posted by TomT (Post 7127530)
I'm a 3.0 to 3.25 level competitor also. However, my hitting partners are generally 3.5+ to 4.0+, as most sub 3.5 players don't hit solid shots consistently enough for good hitting sessions.

Why slow down on technique improvement? That doesn't make any sense to me. Practice with better players, grind on skills, join a league[*], and play matches at your competitive level. As you improve and win more matches, your rating will go up and you can compete in league play against ever higher rated players.

My excuse ( :) ) for being a 3.0 competitor with 3.0 + strokes is that I'm typically twice as old as the people I play against, as well as being relatively inexperienced re total court time in my life. I've been sidelined for the past two weeks with a Crohn's disease flareup, but was improving before that, and I hope to continue to improve when I'm able to get back on the court again. I have no problem with bageling 3.0s and will continue to work toward being able to do that on a regular basis. :)

----------------
[*] I'm a member of Tennis Fort Lauderdale (tennisftlauderdale.com) which is affiliated with Tennis League Network (TLN). TLN began in Boston about 8 years ago and is now in several dozen metro areas. Check out Tennis Boston (tennisnortheast.com).


Muppet 01-17-2013 07:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TomT (Post 7127530)
I'm a 3.0 to 3.25 level competitor also. However, my hitting partners are generally 3.5+ to 4.0+, as most sub 3.5 players don't hit solid shots consistently enough for good hitting sessions.

Why slow down on technique improvement? That doesn't make any sense to me. Practice with better players, grind on skills, join a league[*], and play matches at your competitive level. As you improve and win more matches, your rating will go up and you can compete in league play against ever higher rated players.

My excuse ( :) ) for being a 3.0 competitor with 3.0 + strokes is that I'm typically twice as old as the people I play against, as well as being relatively inexperienced re total court time in my life. I've been sidelined for the past two weeks with a Crohn's disease flareup, but was improving before that, and I hope to continue to improve when I'm able to get back on the court again. I have no problem with bageling 3.0s and will continue to work toward being able to do that on a regular basis. :)

----------------
[*] I'm a member of Tennis Fort Lauderdale (tennisftlauderdale.com) which is affiliated with Tennis League Network (TLN). TLN began in Boston about 8 years ago and is now in several dozen metro areas. Check out Tennis Boston (tennisnortheast.com).

Thanks for the tips Tom. I looked into Tennis Northeast about a year ago, but I found that I would need a car to be able to meet people for matches all around Greater Boston. I decided a couple of years ago not to keep up the expense of a car as I can get anywhere I need to go on public transportation. I guess Tennis Northeast is not a need for me. My budget is a lot more comfortable without carrying a car. When the outdoor season picks back up in May, I'll look for some more organized tennis to join.

I hope your Crohn's gets better soon.

Muppet 01-17-2013 07:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TimothyO (Post 7128694)
I know what you're saying from personal experience. Rest assured, until you develop the anticipation, movement, and strategy skills of a 3.5 you're not a 3.5. I strongly recommend the following:

1. When playing other 3.0s focus on strategy, anticipation, and movement. These are the skills that provide higher level players with the time needed to hit well in their faster paced games. Study and apply the Wardlaw directionals...you'll be amazed at how helpful they are. Develop the discipline to follow these strategies so you don't bring bad shot selection habits into higher level games. 2.5/3.0 is trying to get the ball over the net. 3.5/4.0 you start thinking about your shot selection and developing the ability to actually do it.

2. When playing with other 3.0s also focus on placement rather than power to support your goals in item 1. All thrust and no vector in 3.5/4.0 will make you an easy mark. You'll be a puppet in the hands of thinking players unless you can hit with power AND intelligent shot selection. When you can be the puppeteer at 3.0 you'll begin to make the transition to higher levels.

3. When playing with higher level friends pay attention to the above to increase the time you have but also focus on "seeing the ball big". For example, I have some higher level friends that let me return serve when they practice serves. That's been VERY helpful in "slowing down the ball" for me even in fast paced exchanges. Playing 3.0s exclusively won't help you see the ball better. You MUST play with players who hit with pace to develop the timing need for your strokes. Item 1 above will give you a larger margin for error in timing. Another example: my wife has said hitting with me has been a tremendous help hitting with woman since they don't hit with nearly as much pace given her level. After hitting with me she said that she feels like she has all the time in the world in her matches.

Again, I can't stress enough how important it is to study shot selection. Not only will it improve your time available it also improves your strokes, even at 3.0. Instead if feeling frantically rushed with sloppy strokes you'll find more time to prepare well and hit smoothly, with confidence. Focusing on strokes and even footwork without shot selection is a huge mistake imo since they're so intertwined.

I know that tennis is traditionally taught starting purely with strokes but as a relative noob (two years this past fall) I strongly feel that's a HUGE mistake and wish I had been taught differently. It's like teaching folks how to play football or baseball with zero reference to the field and opponents. "Here's how you throw and catch a football. Now, go play football". "Here's how you hit a tennis ball, now go play tennis". Makes no sense.

The thing is, deciding where to hit the ball isn't that hard and making the right choice, once taught, MAKES IT EASIER TO HIT THE BALL WELL! :D Making easier shots builds confidence and reduces frustration but teaching pros almost never address that with new players. And just as strokes can be introduced with varying levels of complexity so to can shot selection.

Thanks Timothy. I'll definitely have to get a copy of Wardlaw Directionals. I'm glad you posted, as you really get where my game is at. Does Wardlaw cover movement as well as shot selection? I feel like I need to buy myself more time with anticipation and efficient movement. I'm also hoping that hitting a higher quality ball will force more weak replies, but I will only test that theory on more capable players.

Thanks again for your thoughtful reply.

TomT 01-18-2013 12:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tennisfan2k (Post 7128835)
Tom, hope you get back to the court soon.

I joined the same league as you and just had my first match, it was amazing. The only thing I am not sure is the players rating comparing to USTA rating, the league has players ranging from 3.0 to 4.5, don't know how they calculated that, and not sure if the ratings are accurate USTA ratings.

That's fantastic tennisfan2k! Man o man I'm chomping at the bit to get out there. Hopefully will be able to salvage the last half of the Winter Season.

Re the comparison of TLN ratings to USTA ratings. Hard to tell, since I've never played USTA. I feel sure that some of the TLN people would be rated a half point lower or so in the USTA. Some others (like me) I think would be about the same, and still others maybe a little higher. Anyway, the TLN ratings seem to be relatively accurate for the TLN leagues they're associated with.

If you win a majority of your matches this season (against similarly or higher rated opponents), then your rating will undoubtedly be increased, whereas with USTA my understanding is that this might not happen re your results in a two month period.

I see you played Tanaka and that the match was fairly competitive. Fantastic! From the score it looks like you were getting stronger as the match progressed. There's some vid of my latest match with him on my YouTube channel, 388mg.
(If you want any scouting tips, email me.)
Best wishes. Hope you make the playoffs and are a contender for the Winter Season championship.

TomT 01-18-2013 01:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Muppet (Post 7128961)
Thanks for the tips Tom. I looked into Tennis Northeast about a year ago, but I found that I would need a car to be able to meet people for matches all around Greater Boston. I decided a couple of years ago not to keep up the expense of a car as I can get anywhere I need to go on public transportation. I guess Tennis Northeast is not a need for me. My budget is a lot more comfortable without carrying a car. When the outdoor season picks back up in May, I'll look for some more organized tennis to join.

I hope your Crohn's gets better soon.

Thanks Muppet. Isn't the bus service good enough there to get you around to the various courts? Tennis Fort Lauderdale - Boca Raton covers a pretty spread out area also. Since I'm the oldest guy in the league I make them come to my home court which is right down the street from my house. :) Once in a while I'll travel, but not too often. I guess you can't get away with that, eh?

Too bad, I think you'd enjoy it. The founder and chief league administrator is in your area. One of the coolest things about it is that they have an open, year-end tournament at Crandon Park in Miami every Nov.

Best of luck in finding a league this spring.

By the way, I apologize for the off topic sidebar to tennisfan2k, but he's in my area, and now in my league. We'll probably play our first match at courts that are between his home courts and mine, about 20 miles from my house.

One other thing. When I mentioned that I have no problem bageling 3.0s that doesn't mean that I normally bagel 3.0s (I don't) but rather that I don't care if it hurts their feelings or whatever. I get bageled more than I bagel. It's part of the game to use bad losses for motivation to improve.

tennisfan2k 01-18-2013 07:22 AM

Thanks. My goal is first to secure the playoff spot, then challenge the 4.0+ guys. You have been progressing steadily, based on your match scores. Hope you will be back soon.

Quote:

Originally Posted by TomT (Post 7131300)
That's fantastic tennisfan2k! Man o man I'm chomping at the bit to get out there. Hopefully will be able to salvage the last half of the Winter Season.

Re the comparison of TLN ratings to USTA ratings. Hard to tell, since I've never played USTA. I feel sure that some of the TLN people would be rated a half point lower or so in the USTA. Some others (like me) I think would be about the same, and still others maybe a little higher. Anyway, the TLN ratings seem to be relatively accurate for the TLN leagues they're associated with.

If you win a majority of your matches this season (against similarly or higher rated opponents), then your rating will undoubtedly be increased, whereas with USTA my understanding is that this might not happen re your results in a two month period.

I see you played Tanaka and that the match was fairly competitive. Fantastic! From the score it looks like you were getting stronger as the match progressed. There's some vid of my latest match with him on my YouTube channel, 388mg.
(If you want any scouting tips, email me.)
Best wishes. Hope you make the playoffs and are a contender for the Winter Season championship.


Muppet 01-18-2013 08:56 AM

This morning I signed up for a 3.0 to 3.5 clinic at some indoor courts, the next town over. It will last 8 weeks, 1 session per week. I've been hovering at 3.0 for a long time. Maybe by the end of the summer I'll be a solid 3.5; that would be nice.

anubis 01-18-2013 09:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Power Player (Post 7126276)
Ditch the poly strings if you are a 3.0. You don't need them and it will be easier to learn with syn gut.

Syn gut is the best string to get good at tennis with. It is cheap and honest.

Keep playing the guy who beats you. I keep playing guys who beat me, and find that I can now beat them sometimes where in the beginning I would never win.

Poly is good for players who can't keep the ball in play. Soft, powerful syn gut strings strung at the low end of a tension range is a recipe for a 3.0 to hit the ball long quite often. Instead, if they used a stiff string, low powered poly, with greater access to spin, it will be much easier for them to keep the ball in play.

IMO, the one and only goal in tennis is to keep the ball in play. If you can't hit it within the lines of the court, you can't win. It doesn't matter if you hit with a ton of TS, or if you have 65 mph groundies if they don't land within the court.


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:18 AM.

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