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quencheu96 06-18-2013 08:46 PM

Advice for a young player?
 
Hello, i'm a young high school tennis player, and I have a few questions/requests for tips here.

First of all I have a question about my own shots. I normally hit shots that just barely clear the net, with maybe at most 5-10 cm of clearance. One of my previous high school coaches mentioned that I have good topsin, however I feel that my shots are actually pretty flat without much topspin, so what would be the case? (p.s, my shot usually just go past the T then bounce to baseline) so do my shots have topspin or not o.o

And also, i need some tips...normally during practice and fun games I can hit really good shots and I have good strategy....but during single matches I sorta tense up and end up being a pusher as I just bounce the ball over as i'm afraid that if i hit my normal shots they' wont work during the match and then hope my opponents make a mistake. This ends up with me losing quite a bit, and I'd like to find out if there's anyways i can fix this problem of mine. (ps. i dont tense up in doubles matches, maybe cuz I have a partner wit me or somethin?)

I'd really appreciate it if anyone can help me out.

Thanks in adv :)

Larrysümmers 06-18-2013 08:55 PM

keep your eye on the ball and your feet underneath of you, balance is everything.
i think playing tie breakers in practice is great, its realistic match play with pressure. plus, you can play a lot of them in a small amount of time.
it does sound like you should try hitting higher over the net to give yourself more margin for error.

quencheu96 06-18-2013 09:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Larrysümmers (Post 7516149)
keep your eye on the ball and your feet underneath of you, balance is everything.
i think playing tie breakers in practice is great, its realistic match play with pressure. plus, you can play a lot of them in a small amount of time.
it does sound like you should try hitting higher over the net to give yourself more margin for error.

Well it's not that I don't have balance, i get to the ball perfectly fine. But instead of say a winner, i just tap it over the net cuz im scared if i hit it harder itll go out or something. Like its not something wrong with my physical game, but more my mental game.

And about my shots, if im hitting is that its barely over the net, does that mean its mostly a flat shot or it has a bit of top spin?

johnchung907 06-18-2013 09:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by quencheu96 (Post 7516159)
Well it's not that I don't have balance, i get to the ball perfectly fine. But instead of say a winner, i just tap it over the net cuz im scared if i hit it harder itll go out or something. Like its not something wrong with my physical game, but more my mental game.

And about my shots, if im hitting is that its barely over the net, does that mean its mostly a flat shot or it has a bit of top spin?

It means you're mostly hitting it flat. If you add topspin on to it it should go higher over the net. Not that there's anything wrong hitting it flat :). Question what's your forehand grip?

lightthestorm 06-18-2013 09:33 PM

Then be more confident and do a full stroke for a winner down the line or cross court.

Look, I know what you are feeling. 3 years ago, as an 8th grader, I was already playing no. 2 for my high school team. We were playing the Upper State Championship*, and I was afraid of making mistakes and costing the team a win against a great team. I lost the first set 6-4 as a result of just playing too soft and playing too defensively.

However, I realized I had to become more confident in my strokes. I swung more fully, came to the Net more, wasn't afraid to serve with more power and spin on second serve... and I won the second set 6-1 and the tiebreaker 10-6.

I kept playing and won the no. 2 singles match in the State Championship 6-4, 6-4 against a senior.

Lesson is, just be confident in your shots.

Oh PS. Barely over the net I think doesn't mean much. It's about what happens in the air and after it lands.

It reminds me of when I was younger, when my coach always point to my degree of my elbow and said he always knew by looking at that if the ball was going to come low over the net or high over the net. But low over the net is better.

*our state has a playoffs split into Upper State and Lower State... whoever wins those division playoffs meet in the finals and play for State

quencheu96 06-18-2013 09:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by johnchung907 (Post 7516220)
It means you're mostly hitting it flat. If you add topspin on to it it should go higher over the net. Not that there's anything wrong hitting it flat :). Question what's your forehand grip?

Ahh, i'm using an eastern grip on my forehand

lightthestorm 06-18-2013 09:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by quencheu96 (Post 7516234)
Ahh, i'm using an eastern grip on my forehand

I really recommend the switch to a semiwestern or western forehand. Trust me, it might not be familiar at first but it will help you in the long term. I've been in that road before too.

quencheu96 06-19-2013 06:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lightthestorm (Post 7516283)
I really recommend the switch to a semiwestern or western forehand. Trust me, it might not be familiar at first but it will help you in the long term. I've been in that road before too.

Ahh thank you very much for the advice. I'll guess I'll just have to play more to get more confidence in my shots during matches.

Also about my shots, they're weird sometimes idk. Even on those shots where I really feel my strings gripping the ball for more spin, the net clearance is even lower!

And can't relate to your US competitions since I'm in Canada xD

ProgressoR 06-19-2013 07:02 AM

I am not sure net clearance is a strong indicator of whether its a top spin or flat shot, pros can hit a very hard shot which just clears the net and with a ton of top so it still lands deep.

But if its landing around the service line, then I think you want to get it deeper. So either hit it harder with same net clearance, or hit it as hard with more net clearance, and as you hit it higher over the net, you will see that you will need more top to keep it in.

And changing grip? I would hate anyone to give me that advice before I tried some of the above - especially if I liked my grip, was comfortable with it, and discovered a bit of tweaking my shot let me still use that grip and get the results I wanted.

fuzz nation 06-19-2013 09:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by quencheu96 (Post 7516915)
Ahh thank you very much for the advice. I'll guess I'll just have to play more to get more confidence in my shots during matches.

There you go. Remember that when we're on the practice courts, we can pay attention to our own technique much more than when playing points. During a match, most of our conscious attention shifts to what's going on across the net and as far as our own shots are concerned, we can only use what we've developed and can reproduce without much of any thought process.

It's important to hone our skills on the practice courts, but it's equally important to practice that unconscious recall in a match situation. Here's the catch: long term improvement will probably cost you some defeat in the near term. To get better at trusting your best shots instead of your safe shots during competition though, you'll need to take that leap of faith here and there.

During some settings where you're playing for points, redefine your measure of success for that session so that it's not about the score, but using those full shots instead of the "safe" alternatives. Even if you spend some tiebreaks or a few sets spraying the ball around, you should feel good when you're swinging away. When your default moves to those full strokes, you'll be able to call on them without thinking about it.

Nostradamus 06-19-2013 09:55 AM

Classes and academics always come first

sureshs 06-19-2013 10:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nostradamus (Post 7517291)
Classes and academics always come first

Why? They did not come first for Fed and Nadal who dropped out before age 18.

quencheu96 06-19-2013 11:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nostradamus (Post 7517291)
Classes and academics always come first

Well, my exams are over in 2 days, so i'm good. And i have a good average anyways xD

quencheu96 06-19-2013 11:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sureshs (Post 7517302)
Why? They did not come first for Fed and Nadal who dropped out before age 18.

Well they were world class players who had the potential to make a living off tennis. Not everyone can say that lol

sureshs 06-19-2013 11:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by quencheu96 (Post 7517467)
Well they were world class players who had the potential to make a living off tennis. Not everyone can say that lol

Yup I was kidding.

But not by much. Many European players at the futures and challengers level also have dropped out of school, not just main-draw pros. In contrast, most US players finish school. But see who is having more success in tennis.

quencheu96 06-19-2013 12:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sureshs (Post 7517505)
Yup I was kidding.

But not by much. Many European players at the futures and challengers level also have dropped out of school, not just main-draw pros. In contrast, most US players finish school. But see who is having more success in tennis.

Well if you look at it another way...the US players have a backup in case tennis doesnt work out that well

BU-Tennis 06-19-2013 01:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ProgressoR (Post 7516940)
I am not sure net clearance is a strong indicator of whether its a top spin or flat shot, pros can hit a very hard shot which just clears the net and with a ton of top so it still lands deep.

But if its landing around the service line, then I think you want to get it deeper. So either hit it harder with same net clearance, or hit it as hard with more net clearance, and as you hit it higher over the net, you will see that you will need more top to keep it in.

And changing grip? I would hate anyone to give me that advice before I tried some of the above - especially if I liked my grip, was comfortable with it, and discovered a bit of tweaking my shot let me still use that grip and get the results I wanted.

I disagree with that statement, yes even Nadal hits "low" over the net but his low is usually around a foot, my low is just barely skimming, like the OP. Plus, a high amount of topspin makes the ball drop down sooner and does not make it go deeper than a flat stroke.

But I do agree with the changing grip statement. I play with an eastern grip, I hit flat shots (at least off the forehand, I spin my backhands much more since I can't hit them as hard), and I have tried adjusting but its just not the way I play.

To the OP, since you are playing with an eastern grip and definitely hitting flat, your style should be to play aggressive and dictate the points. You won't be able to get enough topspin on the ball (unless you play with a straight arm like federer which allows for more topspin to be applied) to keep playing long rallys; so if your shot isn't hit with authority it will just situp and be easily attackable.

I hit the same as you and I win a lot of matches, but I definitely suffered from fear of missing when I first started out and would end up pushing a lot. I think I got over that fear when I realized I cannot play defensive and must be the attacker, and dedicated myself to that type of tennis.

lightthestorm 06-19-2013 02:40 PM

Unless you know you are going to get some sort of scholarship, I would always put academics ahead of tennis...

For example, our no. 1 high school player, Brent Lett, knew tennis was going to be the direction he was going at. He dropped out of a program and just took all honors so he could spend more time playing tennis.

And he did end up getting scholarships from colleges like Michigan and Clemson.


I don't have that type of security yet. I'm a high 3/low 4 star player, which means I will probably get to play tennis somewhere, but I need to keep up my grades too.

quencheu96 06-19-2013 03:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BU-Tennis (Post 7517689)
I disagree with that statement, yes even Nadal hits "low" over the net but his low is usually around a foot, my low is just barely skimming, like the OP. Plus, a high amount of topspin makes the ball drop down sooner and does not make it go deeper than a flat stroke.

But I do agree with the changing grip statement. I play with an eastern grip, I hit flat shots (at least off the forehand, I spin my backhands much more since I can't hit them as hard), and I have tried adjusting but its just not the way I play.

To the OP, since you are playing with an eastern grip and definitely hitting flat, your style should be to play aggressive and dictate the points. You won't be able to get enough topspin on the ball (unless you play with a straight arm like federer which allows for more topspin to be applied) to keep playing long rallys; so if your shot isn't hit with authority it will just situp and be easily attackable.

I hit the same as you and I win a lot of matches, but I definitely suffered from fear of missing when I first started out and would end up pushing a lot. I think I got over that fear when I realized I cannot play defensive and must be the attacker, and dedicated myself to that type of tennis.

Thank you very much for the tips! And once I'm done exams in two days, I'll give the western grip a shot since I already have a pretty good windshield movement with my eastern grip


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