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Doc K 01-25-2013 06:39 PM

Tournament Advice for New Player
 
OK guys, I'm looking for advice that goes beyond common sense. I've returned to tennis after a 20-year layoff and I'm playing in my first tournament in 3 weeks. Got a game plan for hitting 6 days out of 7 (3x matches, 3x practice/drill, one off day) till then. Hydration, flexibility work on the plan too.

So what am I overlooking, besides maybe packing ice packs and Advil in my bag and bourbon if things go too far south?

mikeler 01-25-2013 06:52 PM

Have fun, some of the guys playing tournaments take it way too seriously.

tennis tom 01-25-2013 07:09 PM

What level were you playing at back then?

What kind of tournament are you signed up for now?

Are you planning on drinking the bourbon or using it as linament? It may look a little strange to pull a bottle of bourbon from your bag, a couple of tall beers is more the norm, they resemble sleeves of balls a little better.

Buy a neoprene wet suit and cut off pieces for injuries as needed, it will save you money in the long run.

G'luck

OrangePower 01-25-2013 08:28 PM

How old are you? If you had 20 yr layoff, maybe 40ish? If so, don't overdo it between now and the tournament. Unless you're already in good physical shape, 6 days of tennis a week will leave you injured or at best very sore.

IA-SteveB 01-25-2013 08:42 PM

Seems like WAY too much pre-tourney playing to me. It will do more harm than good in my opinion. :)

texacali 01-26-2013 08:36 AM

I did the same exact thing almost one year ago. It was intimidating because I had not played a tourney in 30 years and little tennis in 20. Wasn't even sure I was at the right level. I mostly practiced my serve before and maybe hit some. What I had to remember was to breathe, relax and not be so anxious. I lost in the first round to a more experienced player but scores were 4 & 3....not too bad. Good luck.

slowfox 01-26-2013 11:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mikeler (Post 7165590)
Have fun, some of the guys playing tournaments take it way too seriously.

Even some park players are over the top when playing casual sets. I can think of at least 3 guys at my local courts who are waaaaay too serious. Screaming "come on!!!" so loud it disrupts traffic and dogs start barking, grunting on every shot (and they don't even hit that hard), giving *advice* to everyone... That last one I find most comical.

OP - like mikeler says, have fun. I'm planning on entering a tourney in Feb, and that's the attitude I'm taking. :)

Mongolmike 01-26-2013 04:55 PM

To the OP, good for you... you are clearly excited about this and doing all you can to prepare.

In tourneys you will probably play against people you never played against before, even if you play leagues regularily in your area- which it seems like you haven't. So to that, here are a couple of suggestions:

- When the draw is posted, start searching their names on the USTA tennislink site... see how successful they have been in other tourneys and leagues, and see if they have played vs anyone you know... then ask that person what the guy's game is like.

-since you are taking drills, ask your club pro who knows your game best to get you the phone # of another member who would be a good match for you... preferably someone you have never played against before.
When you call, if they are open to playing, let them know ahead of time that you are getting ready for a tourney and are looking to play against a "stranger" to you see if you can adjust during the match. This also lets them know to maybe bring their best game, that it is more than just a friendly get-to-gether for you. If it all works out well and they were real decent about it, offer to buy them a beer after the match as thanks.

-3rd... day of the tourney, scout the competition. If others in your draw start earlier than your match, watch them. What does their serve look like, how does their FH and BH look, is one more prone to errors, how well do they move, do they lob, do they drop shot, etc., etc.. Look at the dbls and mixed draws for your level also... see if some of the guys in your draw are playing doubles too... if so, scout them.

Good luck, more important, have fun. Keep in mind you could come away with future hitting/playing partners... so no sense making enemies!

Say Chi Sin Lo 01-26-2013 05:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by IA-SteveB (Post 7165786)
Seems like WAY too much pre-tourney playing to me. It will do more harm than good in my opinion. :)

That, and what do you do (or not do?) for a living? That's a lot of off-time to play tennis. Haha.

I agree though, that is a LOT of tennis. You want to peak during the tournament, not run on empty.

Doc K 01-26-2013 05:59 PM

Thanks to all...
 
I'm in decent shape. Not Nadal, but not Baghdatis either :)

And to answer the post about leisure time, I'm a writer/professor. Perhaps the perfect career for a tennis player. I teach at a small liberal arts college and we have some brilliant lighted hard courts, and my home club has indoor and green clay, so I've got some flexibility.

I've done a few flex leagues, and know most of the folks at my level in the area. Hoping this tourney (in suburban Jackson) will attract a few weekend warriors and more folks from across the state.

Solid advice from everyone. Thank you.

Jakes On A Plane 01-26-2013 10:41 PM

Black warmups, hood up with shades on, boom box on the shoulder, song is T.I - What Up, What's Haapnin', carry your racquets in hand. Let me know how it plays out!

beernutz 01-27-2013 03:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Doc K (Post 7168732)
I'm in decent shape. Not Nadal, but not Baghdatis either :)

And to answer the post about leisure time, I'm a writer/professor. Perhaps the perfect career for a tennis player. I teach at a small liberal arts college and we have some brilliant lighted hard courts, and my home club has indoor and green clay, so I've got some flexibility.

I've done a few flex leagues, and know most of the folks at my level in the area. Hoping this tourney (in suburban Jackson) will attract a few weekend warriors and more folks from across the state.

Solid advice from everyone. Thank you.

Millsaps? Is there another one of these in in Jackson? :)

axel89 01-27-2013 04:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Doc K (Post 7168732)
I'm in decent shape. Not Nadal, but not Baghdatis either :)

And to answer the post about leisure time, I'm a writer/professor. Perhaps the perfect career for a tennis player. I teach at a small liberal arts college and we have some brilliant lighted hard courts, and my home club has indoor and green clay, so I've got some flexibility.

I've done a few flex leagues, and know most of the folks at my level in the area. Hoping this tourney (in suburban Jackson) will attract a few weekend warriors and more folks from across the state.

Solid advice from everyone. Thank you.

Bs no way you are as fit or more than a top50

3fees 02-05-2013 08:11 AM

^ Warm up for at least 45 minutes before your matches, take 30 minute-45 minute break before match time, stay loose.
^ Shorten up the Tennis Court aim 2 to 3 feet good from the lines
^ Ya only need to return the ball good one time better than opp to get the point
^ Dont double fault on serves, you'd be surprised how many players mishit slower 2nd serves( if they cant use your power-they are lost without a clue.)
^ Dont get upset if ya make a mistake, get over it, next point is too win.

:)

spinorama 03-08-2013 02:39 PM

Your over analyzing this. Go out there and have fun and stay loose. A YOUR game and don't be afraid to lose.

spinorama 03-08-2013 02:40 PM

I mean to say "play YOUR game"....typo

mhj202 03-09-2013 06:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mikeler (Post 7165590)
... some of the guys playing tournaments take it way too seriously.

OMG! This is sooooo true. Like the OP, I took a 15 year break from tennis after college (ended D-II college tennis career senior year with a lateral meniscus tear in the knee at the play-in round of team nationals) and just really started playing again about a year ago.

I played my first tournament match this evening (I play lots of matches at my club but they don't count for anything other than pride) and the guy I played tonight took it way too seriously.

I knew it was going to be interesting when I got there earlier than I had planned (traffic was light and I had never been to this club so wanted to make sure I had extra time just in case I got lost) and he was already there and doing serious stretching and calisthenics (no joke) in the lobby more than 30 mins before match time.

When the match started, he took 3-5 min breaks during changeovers, 2 min breaks between almost every game and then at least a 5 min break after the first set.

Even worse, he was calling anything that was within 6 inches inside the line as out and then complaining about any ball I called out, even if it wasn't close. Eventually, even the guys on the court next to us (who were also playing in the tournament) started telling me that I was getting hooked.

Life's too short -- I didn't want to argue with this guy so I went to the tournament director and requested a line judge. Once he found out who i was playing, he laughed and said this wasn't the first time he had to line judge on his court.

In any case, I ended up winning but didn't enjoy playing with this guy at all.

tennis tom 03-09-2013 08:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mhj202 (Post 7261707)
OMG!

Life's too short -- I didn't want to argue with this guy so I went to the tournament director and requested a line judge. Once he found out who i was playing, he laughed and said this wasn't the first time he had to line judge on his court.

In any case, I ended up winning but didn't enjoy playing with this guy at all.

YES!!! Good going!

SpitFire 03-10-2013 05:11 PM

I'm also coming back to tennis after a 15 year hiatus. I'm really giving it a go playing competitively, in spite of having a demanding home life with a wife and two little girls. I try to average a tournament a month, but we'll see how that goes. So far I've placed 1st in 3 tournaments and lost in the quarters to the first seed in my areas Major Zone tourney (I'm still fuming over that 3-set loss).

Since I'm no longer a young pup. I'm 32, so I still have a LOT left in me. However, I still have to really take care of myself.

Tournament Prep. Begins the week before with tuning down the intensity of my workouts. Fresh strings the week before. New enough that they still have all the pop I need, but not so fresh, I don't know how they'll play. Bags packed and ready to rock the night before. I usually pack a fresh set of clothes for every match I expect to play along with extra shirts in case I need them. Lastly, a good pair of sandals. A full nights' sleep is a must every night.

Tournament day. Wake up early...get to the courts at least an hour and a half before my match is scheduled. I like to have friends warm me up before I check in for my match. I take a pre-workout supplement a half hour before my match, usually as I'm checking in. Upon "warming-up" with the opponent, I'm feeling them out for their weakness that I plan to attack. Depending on how the match plays out determines what I do next.

Post Match. If I win, I go into recovery mode. Shoes off, birkenstocks on. If I have another match scheduled for later in the day, I usually just go sit in my car and try to get some sleep. If I'm done for the day, then I go home, ice and heat my muscles and try and get as much sleep as necessary. Rinse and repeat as long as I'm winning. If I lose: I go sit in my car and have a pitty-party after congratulating and finish acting like a good loser.

goober 03-11-2013 07:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SpitFire (Post 7263903)
Since I'm no longer a young pup. I'm 32, so I still have a LOT left in me. However, I still have to really take care of myself.

In adult recreational league and tournament tennis 32 is a young pup. Trust me.


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