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Old 02-07-2013, 09:38 AM   #21
10isfreak's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 566

Originally Posted by dman72 View Post
I'm sure it's exacerbated by playing on synthetic grass.

I lost to one of these guys last night in my club match. I begrudge him nothing, he was simply a better player then me last night. In our last encounter, he bowed out after losing the 2nd set due to a calf injury. I felt firmly in control of that one after finally getting my forehand groved and my first serve was going in.

But last night, he was so adept at getting the ball low to my backhand, that I could just never get my inside out forehand grooving. So, even when I managed to run around the shot, I was making way too many errors on my forehand because I felt pressured to do damage on that side.

The entire night, he simply hit low slice to my backhand, and charged the net. My lobs and passing shots just weren't working on my backhand. If it was warm out, I'd be taking my ball machine out at 5am and drilling those low shots for an hour straight.

That's tennis.
That's the right attitude.

People often identify their strategy as lacking when facing pushers. But seeing amateurs drill at the baseline, you often get the hint that they've got very average in-court game. Hitting lows balls, bending the knees and moving forward are things they rarely do and, as such, they also rarely pull them off correctly.

However, you'd do something different: facing the problem, head first. By sweating to adapt your strokes to different situations, you make yourself a better player. An important side-effect of this is that your standard, ideal position, stroke will be improved indirectly because you've bother practicing hitting those pesky low balls or those super-high loopers... in the end, your movement is more precise and you can hit more reliably under all circumstances.

Grooving identical strokes in identical situations is the best way to live the developmental roller-coaster: going from good to bad to good to bad. As you practice something, you lean it; as you keep practicing what you learnt, you perfect it; as you still do the same exercise, you experience a degradation of your skills; and, finally, you get back near to where you started and you have to climb back.

To avoid that, you just need to make sure practice is always hard: as you get better, ask more of yourself and, as I see, you already do it and that's a good sign.
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