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faditennis 03-12-2013 07:35 PM

Pace
 
Hello,
I play number 1 varsity singles high school tennis, and this summer i'm planning on joining some tournaments. I consider my self as a 3.5 -4.0 players, and I'm always aggressive.
My problem is that I always lose to slow tennis players, their shots are always slow. I thrive off of fast pace, and i don't know how to handle slow players. Please help me.

thank you

Timbo's hopeless slice 03-12-2013 07:51 PM

move your feet, watch the ball, take your time to set up the shot..

in theory, it should be easier but it relies on the player staying calm and (especially) getting in to good position.

also, don't try to second guess yourself in the middle of the stroke just because it feels like you have so much time.

decide where you are going to hit it, get set, execute..

and good luck!

Nostradamus 03-12-2013 08:13 PM

Agree, with feet movement. small quick steps are must just like being in windy conditions. You have to remember, as Mats Wilander always tells you,
"your feet and movement is just as or more important as having beautiful strokes and having great shotmaking" It doesn't matter how beautiful your shots are if your feet doesn't move well.

fuzz nation 03-13-2013 05:09 AM

Not a rare issue you've got there by a long shot. Once we get used to redirecting the ball from a stronger hitter, it gets tricky to get the same bite and control on our own shots when the incoming ball is flying slower than usual. It takes a bigger rip at the ball to add the pace we want, but that bigger swing typically comes with the tradeoff of less consistency.

Consider that when a strong opponent hits a harder ball toward you, your own swing timing is in sync with that incoming ball. If the ball takes longer than expected (or preferred) to fly into your hitting zone, it can be easy to swing a little ahead of the ball - that's a control killer. That's why the idea of deliberately moving the feet is key for proper positioning. Can't sit back and wait for that slower ball to fly into your strike zone.

Sometimes taking those slower balls on the rise can be a big help, but you need to get confident with that sort of shot and also get used to both recognizing when you can use it and how to move to the right spot in time to hit it well. It requires your forward swing to start ahead of the ball actually bouncing in your court.

One of the tips I spotted in Tennis magazine that actually stuck in my brain for more than a day addressed the issue of hitting a slower ball. The cue was to remember to never add more than about 5% pace to most any ball you hit. It's not too tough to put a little more pepper on any ball with average pace, but teeing off on a marshmallow of an incoming shot is too often a recipe for a donation to your opponent's point fund. This general thought has been helpful for me and I've also repeated it to a few of the kids I've coached to help them keep different shots under control.

Nellie 03-13-2013 07:02 AM

I like to position myself close to the baseline or even inside the court when I am playing an softer hitting opponent. For me, taking the ball earlier allows me to keep the timing/feeling of a playing a harder hitting opponent. Also, don't try overhit (my main problem) to add pace to the rally, because it leads to excessive errors. Instead, try to use a lot of angles and put the opponent on the defensive.

Power Player 03-13-2013 07:12 AM

One advantage to playing a soft hitter is you have more time to set your feet and be balanced. Just focus on that every shot, and don't worry about creaming the ball back.

Mick3391 03-13-2013 10:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by faditennis (Post 7269657)
Hello,
I play number 1 varsity singles high school tennis, and this summer i'm planning on joining some tournaments. I consider my self as a 3.5 -4.0 players, and I'm always aggressive.
My problem is that I always lose to slow tennis players, their shots are always slow. I thrive off of fast pace, and i don't know how to handle slow players. Please help me.

thank you

Sounds like you have too much time to think. Same deal with my son, hit it slow to him and he makes mistakes, slam it and he does well.

You have to react, when a slow ball comes over it gives your mind too much time to think, this causes errors.

sureshs 03-13-2013 11:06 AM

Perhaps you are overhitting the ball? Then add topspin and don't go too close to the lines.

slowfox 03-13-2013 12:30 PM

Is this a variation on the "how to play a pusher" threads?

LeeD 03-13-2013 01:15 PM

Exactly, poster #9.
Most modern kids can hit well against hard hitting 4.5's, but lose.
Unfortunately, they also lose to tenacious smart, slow hitting junk balling 4.0's.
Take experience to slow down your mind, but quicken your feet, be patient, yet know when to attack.
When you start to beat those pesky 4.0 pushers, you rise another level to 4.5.

Mick3391 03-14-2013 10:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeeD (Post 7271054)
Exactly, poster #9.
Most modern kids can hit well against hard hitting 4.5's, but lose.
Unfortunately, they also lose to tenacious smart, slow hitting junk balling 4.0's.
Take experience to slow down your mind, but quicken your feet, be patient, yet know when to attack.
When you start to beat those pesky 4.0 pushers, you rise another level to 4.5.

Lee, you give facts but don't explain them. I'm curious, why, specifically do some have a hard time with soft shots, is it that they lose concentration, think about it like I think?

Like I say, I get shocked when I slam it over to my son and he jams it back no problem, but if I just tap it, it seems plus I know him, that he has real problems.

My son has concentration problems, and thinks too much about what he's going to do, so when I slam it, or when we do drills at the net he has no problems, at the net you don't really have time to think also, but soft shots, forget it.

Just want to know why specifically you state what you do. Thanks.

LeeD 03-14-2013 10:52 AM

I'll allow YOU to figure out the WHY part. I can only state tendencies from observations off 55 years of competitive sports.
Even in something as basic as dodge ball, a quick, reactive person can make it down to the final 4, but after that, it takes concentration, learning tendencies from other throwers, knowing the physical setup around you, avoiding basic mistakes, and knowing which side of which player who has the ball to stand. It's the nuances that permit success, besides the basics.

LeeD 03-14-2013 10:55 AM

Yeah, and if I EXPLAINED everything every post, that would leave no room for YOU to post your own opinions!
I gotta leave some room for the other guy, you know.

Mick3391 03-14-2013 10:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeeD (Post 7274157)
I'll allow YOU to figure out the WHY part. I can only state tendencies from observations off 55 years of competitive sports.
Even in something as basic as dodge ball, a quick, reactive person can make it down to the final 4, but after that, it takes concentration, learning tendencies from other throwers, knowing the physical setup around you, avoiding basic mistakes, and knowing which side of which player who has the ball to stand. It's the nuances that permit success, besides the basics.

Thanks, yea I was thinking, just off watching my son, that it gives too much time to think.

LeeD 03-14-2013 11:00 AM

OR, his strokes are too short, or his timing works off only pace, or, .......
Notice how when you volley, it's relatively easy to volley a flat hit moderate pace ball. You can volley like Rafter/Cash.
Then, when the ball is hit slow and loopy, topspin or heavy slice, your volley goes to pot.
Same thing.

dpick 03-14-2013 03:27 PM

I agree with everyone else here, it sounds like you're over thinking the shots. Take your time, set your feet, and work them around the court since you should be in charge of the points.

HughJars 03-15-2013 12:19 AM

What Ive found helps me against pushers and soft hitters: The Wegner Method. I try the ball all the way to my hands. Keep both hands on the racket as long as possible and let my hands lead me to the ball. Then I watch the ball closely. By doing this, I dont hit early, and my hands lead me to the ball.

With all the time available to you with the ball travelling so slowly, its easy to overthink the shot/footwork/grip. Just play simple tennis and lead with the hands. Dont think.

Timbo's hopeless slice 03-15-2013 02:01 AM

here we go...


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