4.5: Josh v Scott

10+ years ago I played my one and only wood racquet tournament there. Used a JK Pro staff strung with synthgut at 54 lbs. I practiced a couples times a week for about a month. Ended up winning the singles and mixed doubles.
I still have a JK, complete with the wood press. I think I'll take it out and try it just for the heck of it.
 
Trying to be straight to the point, sorry for the language.

My take on your game:
Lots of sitter volley, you should really look into your volley shots man, look up edberg and practice the volley that actually threaten people.
You don't want your volley to attract lobs, passing shots, or more shots back, otherwise it is not a volley but a point giver.

If you want to earn the name of S&V, at least make your volley a killer, not a sitter.
Ouch. Well, I actually got the same vibe as I was playing [didn't take advantage when I had the chance] but it's not like I'm unaware of what I need to do. I think it had something to do with the pace and location of the incoming.

What timestamps are you considering?

0:54 [drop volley that ticked the net]

1:00 [decent 1st volley CC <not high % going for a winner>, decent 2nd volley, drop volley into the open court but he ran it down and I erred by trying to half-volley the response]

1:52 [not a great volley but it was mostly defensive due to a poor approach]

3:07 [sitter. my best chance all match for a putaway but I just didn't execute it inside-out like I wanted to; the next volley was defensive because of time]

4:31 [drop volley is not high % since I'm on the SL and his subsequent lob was pretty darn good]

5:33 [volleying behind Josh; produced a weak reply which is all I can ask for]

5:49 [sitter]

8:52 [good volley]

9:23 [good volley: I caught him inside the court. But then I erred on the drop volley.]

9:34 [sitter; the return was very good]

9:41 [sitter; again, tough return]

9:46 [good drop volley]

9:53 [pretty good half volley pickup]

10:05 [could have done more with the 1st volley; definitely could have put away the 2nd]

10:13 [good passer by Josh]

10:19 [decent drop volley]

Out of 16+ volleys, I count 5 sitters [where I had a reasonable opportunity to do more but didn't]. Would you agree?
 

pencilcheck

Professional
Ouch. Well, I actually got the same vibe as I was playing [didn't take advantage when I had the chance] but it's not like I'm unaware of what I need to do. I think it had something to do with the pace and location of the incoming.

What timestamps are you considering?

0:54 [drop volley that ticked the net]

1:00 [decent 1st volley CC <not high % going for a winner>, decent 2nd volley, drop volley into the open court but he ran it down and I erred by trying to half-volley the response]

1:52 [not a great volley but it was mostly defensive due to a poor approach]

3:07 [sitter. my best chance all match for a putaway but I just didn't execute it inside-out like I wanted to; the next volley was defensive because of time]

4:31 [drop volley is not high % since I'm on the SL and his subsequent lob was pretty darn good]

5:33 [volleying behind Josh; produced a weak reply which is all I can ask for]

5:49 [sitter]

8:52 [good volley]

9:23 [good volley: I caught him inside the court. But then I erred on the drop volley.]

9:34 [sitter; the return was very good]

9:41 [sitter; again, tough return]

9:46 [good drop volley]

9:53 [pretty good half volley pickup]

10:05 [could have done more with the 1st volley; definitely could have put away the 2nd]

10:13 [good passer by Josh]

10:19 [decent drop volley]

Out of 16+ volleys, I count 5 sitters [where I had a reasonable opportunity to do more but didn't]. Would you agree?
0:24 can be a great approach but you make a sitter and that in turn bite you back as your opponent starts to move you around
0:51 another potential good approach but you make it a sitter so you get attacked again
1:04 is a sitter for sure but at least you kept it low not too bad but not deep enough
3:06 could have been a good approach but not deep or low enough so it didn't threaten your opponent to hit a passing shot
3:10 is another example of a sitter that allow your opponent to attack, you didn't even try to move him

...

I can count more, almost every single point that you lost is because your approach sucks and your volley didn't make it up for it. I believe if you work on any one of them to the point that you can almost like play your opponent around instead letting them have the opportunity to attack, you will win most of the points.
 
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0:24 can be a great approach but you make a sitter and that in turn bite you back as your opponent starts to move you around
I was pushed to hit a defensive slice that ended up pushing him back a bit. You're saying I should have recognized that and approached after starting behind the BL?

I'm aggressive but not that aggressive.

0:54 another potential good approach but you make it a sitter so you get attacked again
Are we watching the same video? I hit a drop volley winner.

Besides, it was a serve, not an approach: I didn't watch the approach, decide erroneously it was good, and move forward. I served with the intention to volley. So, at best, you could criticize the serve for not being good enough [which I fully admit is possible].

1:04 is a sitter for sure but at least you kept it low not too bad but not deep enough
You have pretty high standards to call that a sitter given that it was wide, low, and made him hit on the run. I could have gone for more on the drop volley but that would have raised the risk so I did what was comfortable. And I still might have won the point if I hadn't erroneously decided to hit a half-volley on the next one instead of taking it out of the air.

3:06 could have been a good approach but not deep or low enough so it didn't threaten your opponent to hit a passing shot
Agreed. As I had outlined above.

3:10 is another example of a sitter that allow your opponent to attack, you didn't even try to move him
Agreed again. I didn't have much time to react so I was content with just getting it back deep. It obviously wasn't enough but I couldn't have done more.

...
I can count more, almost every single point that you lost is because your approach sucks and your volley didn't make it up for it. I believe if you work on any one of them to the point that you can almost like play your opponent around instead letting them have the opportunity to attack, you will win most of the points.
We'll agree to disagree.

At one time we were even but he's made significant improvement in the last year and I have not. Catching up will be difficult.
 
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pencilcheck

Professional
I was pushed to hit a defensive slice that ended up pushing him back a bit. You're saying I should have recognized that and approached after starting behind the BL?

I'm aggressive but not that aggressive.



Are we watching the same video? I hit a drop volley winner.

Besides, it was a serve, not an approach: I didn't watch the approach, decide erroneously it was good, and move forward. I served with the intention to volley. So, at best, you could criticize the serve for not being good enough [which I fully admit is possible].



You have pretty high standards to call that a sitter given that it was wide, low, and made him hit on the run. I could have gone for more on the drop volley but that would have raised the risk so I did what was comfortable. And I still might have won the point if I hadn't erroneously decided to hit a half-volley on the next one instead of taking it out of the air.



Agreed. As I had outlined above.



Agreed again. I didn't have much time to react so I was content with just getting it back deep. It obviously wasn't enough but I couldn't have done more.

...


We'll agree to disagree.

At one time we were even but he's made significant improvement in the last year and I have not. Catching up will be difficult.
Sorry the 0:54 is a typo, I meant 0:51.


I'm simply pointing out things I see for improvements. Typically are points lost since if you want to win, you need to look at the points you could have converted and think about what ifs and improve your shot selection next time you hit. This has nothing to do with high standard because if you don't find out the problem you just cannot improve to the next level.

Due to age and conditioning, you cannot win by stamina. One direction I believe you are already doing is to focus on approach volley and come into the net with great percentage and the goal is not hitting winners but to drive them to the corners begging for mercy and maybe once you are at the net you kill it with a volley.


There are many segments in a game that leads to a point. In your case, a common theme that reoccur that prevent your plan for fruition is that your opponent has always seems to anticipated your attack and retaliate with angles esp from his backhand side.

There could be many things you can improve on, but let's talk about the anticipation part. Why can your opponent react to it and make a passing shot to prevent you from going into the net? Is it the approach slice bad? Is it because your movement is too obvious and it makes it clear that is your play? Or is it because your slice placement is not right?

My thinking is that you need a point play drill that allows you to setup your point so you can left your opponent guessing your next shot. Your slice is simply too obvious and a good competitive players will see and take advantage of it.

One solution might be that you don't slice but instead you hit cross court backhand deep instead and only approach slice deep if your opponent return shallow.

I also noticed that in a lot of points that you lost, you kept on doing dtl slice instead of cc backhand approach or drive that cost you the point that you should've be punishing your opponent with.

That reminds me, how many times did you hit cc backhand in the vid? it seems like you hit 0?

So I would focus on that first and see if that gives you improvement the next time you are doing to do that slice approach.
 
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NLBwell

Legend
SVNDY, the number one thing to do is improve your serve. It will make your attacking game much easier since you will be starting with a big advantage in the points. Next would be to work on chip and charge on the return to be able to use it a decent percentage of the time and throw off you opponent's serve game.
 

Trickster

Rookie
OP - haven't read the entire thread or seen your entire video. But a few pointers

1) I would want to see you really coming into the net with some aggression. Make your presence felt.
2) Volleys you have to be sharper. If you're game is pure S&V, you're aiming to set yourself for an easy volley.
3) Sort of brings me on to the next point. On the seconds you're really going to have to try build a bigger kick or go for it to game up.

Honestly thought mate enjoyed watching you play - forehand very classic in nature was quite refreshing to see.

Keep at it and like someone said previously, your opponent did look like he could roll 5.0. Don't see why you can't get there eventually
 
OP - haven't read the entire thread or seen your entire video. But a few pointers

1) I would want to see you really coming into the net with some aggression. Make your presence felt.
2) Volleys you have to be sharper. If you're game is pure S&V, you're aiming to set yourself for an easy volley.
3) Sort of brings me on to the next point. On the seconds you're really going to have to try build a bigger kick or go for it to game up.

Honestly thought mate enjoyed watching you play - forehand very classic in nature was quite refreshing to see.

Keep at it and like someone said previously, your opponent did look like he could roll 5.0. Don't see why you can't get there eventually
All valid points to one extent or another.

Regarding points 1 & 2, it's a balancing act: too aggressive and my error count goes up too much.

Serve can always be improved.

I think it boils down to how much effort I want to put into improvement.
 
Due to age and conditioning, you cannot win by stamina.
I don't try to win by stamina although I might be in better shape than my opponent.

The only way stamina would become a major factor is if there were lots of long rallies and I'm not consistent enough for that.

One direction I believe you are already doing is to focus on approach volley and come into the net with great percentage and the goal is not hitting winners but to drive them to the corners begging for mercy and maybe once you are at the net you kill it with a volley.

There are many segments in a game that leads to a point. In your case, a common theme that reoccur that prevent your plan for fruition is that your opponent has always seems to anticipated your attack and retaliate with angles esp from his backhand side.

There could be many things you can improve on, but let's talk about the anticipation part. Why can your opponent react to it and make a passing shot to prevent you from going into the net? Is it the approach slice bad? Is it because your movement is too obvious and it makes it clear that is your play? Or is it because your slice placement is not right?

My thinking is that you need a point play drill that allows you to setup your point so you can left your opponent guessing your next shot. Your slice is simply too obvious and a good competitive players will see and take advantage of it.
I'm not sure it's anticipation so much as my approach not being challenging enough and subsequently his ability to hit the passer. I recognize I need a better approach vs him than against weaker opponents.

One solution might be that you don't slice but instead you hit cross court backhand deep instead and only approach slice deep if your opponent return shallow.
Possible. But if you notice, depth is not my forte.

I also noticed that in a lot of points that you lost, you kept on doing dtl slice instead of cc backhand approach or drive that cost you the point that you should've be punishing your opponent with.
But is that the reason I lost the point or might it have turned out the same if I went CC as opposed to if I hit a better approach, regardless of spin or direction?

That reminds me, how many times did you hit cc backhand in the vid? it seems like you hit 0?
He's a lefty; I was trying to avoid his FH.

So I would focus on that first and see if that gives you improvement the next time you are doing to do that slice approach.
Some things to think about. Thanks.
 

pencilcheck

Professional
I don't try to win by stamina although I might be in better shape than my opponent.

The only way stamina would become a major factor is if there were lots of long rallies and I'm not consistent enough for that.



I'm not sure it's anticipation so much as my approach not being challenging enough and subsequently his ability to hit the passer. I recognize I need a better approach vs him than against weaker opponents.



Possible. But if you notice, depth is not my forte.



But is that the reason I lost the point or might it have turned out the same if I went CC as opposed to if I hit a better approach, regardless of spin or direction?



He's a lefty; I was trying to avoid his FH.



Some things to think about. Thanks.
Your opponent actually have a better BH. His FH is ok. Look at the shots that get you killed, I see the majority is BH CC from his end. And he is hitting to your FH and he is still winning the point. Avoiding FH is not a sound strategy, the real strategy is if it limit your opponent's option. DTL slice that doesn't drive him out to the side of the court is really useless and self defeating at this level.

Your CC doesn't have to be strong, as long as it is deep, it drives him out of the court, you win by coming in.
 
Your opponent actually have a better BH. His FH is ok. Look at the shots that get you killed, I see the majority is BH CC from his end.
You're overlooking the possibility that he's just as good off of both wings and that it wouldn't have mattered where I hit.

But I acknowledge that I should have tried it.

And he is hitting to your FH and he is still winning the point.
But that could be because I wasn't guarding CC enough. He hit 2 beautiful BH CC winners. I don't recall him hitting any DTL but he still hit them well enough that they gave me trouble.

Avoiding FH is not a sound strategy, the real strategy is if it limit your opponent's option. DTL slice that doesn't drive him out to the side of the court is really useless and self defeating at this level.
I disagree. Josh did not hit winners every time I sliced DTL. In fact, it was the only way I was able to consistently regain time to recover.

Your CC doesn't have to be strong, as long as it is deep, it drives him out of the court, you win by coming in.
"Deep" and "drives him off the court" are big asks when playing against someone better than you who keeps taking time away. What you're saying is technically true but so difficult to implement that I'm better off looking elsewhere for solutions.
 

pencilcheck

Professional
You're overlooking the possibility that he's just as good off of both wings and that it wouldn't have mattered where I hit.

But I acknowledge that I should have tried it.



But that could be because I wasn't guarding CC enough. He hit 2 beautiful BH CC winners. I don't recall him hitting any DTL but he still hit them well enough that they gave me trouble.



I disagree. Josh did not hit winners every time I sliced DTL. In fact, it was the only way I was able to consistently regain time to recover.



"Deep" and "drives him off the court" are big asks when playing against someone better than you who keeps taking time away. What you're saying is technically true but so difficult to implement that I'm better off looking elsewhere for solutions.
When I say good, I mean able to change directions, aim really well under pressure consistently. Some people have trouble hitting certain angle at pressure, esp since you are already 2-3 inches inside the court, the CC you hit doesn't need to be hard or very acute angle you have already cut enough time that your opponent would have harder challenge to return those. See for yourself if someone do that to you, would you be able to get to it and hit well forehand CC?

Or maybe you are saying in between the words that you have trouble hitting a CC backhand even at approach shot distance?

I don't think i'm saying you need to be able to hit nadal style topspin backhand CC, all you need is to move the ball to that place and make it stay in the air longer so it lands further instead of short. This is not impossible, and probably very doable if you practice.

If you have trouble hitting topspin backhand, that is another different story, but if you can't hit topspin backhand, a CC slice works too. I would advice practicing more CC slice and improve your slice accuracy.
 

pencilcheck

Professional
Because he's a 5.0, which means he's in the 95th percentile of NTRP, and he instructs so he not only knows how to play, he knows how to teach [2 separate skills].

I've also played doubles as his partner and can testify that he's got game.
Maybe you should reach out to him for lesson? Maybe he can help you since you have the video and you know him personally.

I just don't know why someone would waste a post to trash talk instead of helping out. Anyway.
 

pencilcheck

Professional
Got to agree with Jolly here...

@pencilcheck, maybe you should be getting tips from @S&V-not_dead_yet and not the other way around.

That was like from way back last year man, you think I stay the same? Also this is not a match, nor competitive, I'm not sure why an year old video provide any clue as in what I can provide in terms of help. Show your a year old video Slowtwitcher, and let's judge whether you are worthy of helping others.

Also based on this logic of thinking that also sound strange: if this is how tennis works, then coaches shouldn't be weaker than the player, why is Severin coaching Federer? Who is that nobody? Why is coaching even useful if the coach can't play like the player? As long as the suggestion makes sense, there are things that the player cannot see that others see. The improvement will be there but it is up to the player itself to implement.
 
Also based on this logic of thinking that also sound strange: if this is how tennis works, then coaches shouldn't be weaker than the player, why is Severin coaching Federer? Who is that nobody?
Sure, coaches can be weaker than the players, often are at the elite level. But you don't think Severin gets snarky and bossy with Feddy, do you?
 

pencilcheck

Professional
Sure, coaches can be weaker than the players, often are at the elite level. But you don't think Severin gets snarky and bossy with Feddy, do you?
This depends on the coaching style, and different player react to different coaching style, some requires more sparta way of coaching, some might just need someone to setup the drills, some might just need some target training, or might be more of a philosophical talk about the game, attitude and what to do at what certain time on pressure or not, etc.

If coach don't even know what their student is lacking and be able to convey that to the student then it is a useless coach. This quality does not translate based on how skilled you are in tennis, a lot of those stuff is very subconscious stuff and highly related to how people think about the game. This goes to the student as well, a lot of stuff also is hard to teach, some people have the talent and they get it through their body and some just don't.

An excellent coach makes it happen regardless of their student's capability and starting point, a mediocore coach just bully their student to do the drills that they understand.

So I wonder which type Jolly is, and through this interaction on the web, I'm guessing the later.
 

diddyac

Rookie
This depends on the coaching style, and different player react to different coaching style, some requires more sparta way of coaching, some might just need someone to setup the drills, some might just need some target training, or might be more of a philosophical talk about the game, attitude and what to do at what certain time on pressure or not, etc.

If coach don't even know what their student is lacking and be able to convey that to the student then it is a useless coach. This quality does not translate based on how skilled you are in tennis, a lot of those stuff is very subconscious stuff and highly related to how people think about the game. This goes to the student as well, a lot of stuff also is hard to teach, some people have the talent and they get it through their body and some just don't.

An excellent coach makes it happen regardless of their student's capability and starting point, a mediocore coach just bully their student to do the drills that they understand.

So I wonder which type Jolly is, and through this interaction on the web, I'm guessing the later.
There's a lot of logical truth to the approach you are discussing, I agree, a coach may not be able to execute as cleanly as the player they are teaching, or may simply have a better understanding of the game and unable to execute at all

I think what it boils down to when giving advice is to have some form of track record

So the argument based on the skill level of the person giving advice, is always a valid - because one would hope that advice being given is from someone who's 'been there, done that' - or knows how to execute it themselves, thus there is some level of credibility and validity to the advice given

The second validation would be actual real world experience as a teacher / coach / mentor - someone who has taken these ideas, concepts and actually taught someone that has shown improvement directly in correlation of that person

And if neither are prevalent, then i don't know what more to say :laughing:
 
This depends on the coaching style, and different player react to different coaching style, some requires more sparta way of coaching, some might just need someone to setup the drills, some might just need some target training, or might be more of a philosophical talk about the game, attitude and what to do at what certain time on pressure or not, etc.

If coach don't even know what their student is lacking and be able to convey that to the student then it is a useless coach. This quality does not translate based on how skilled you are in tennis, a lot of those stuff is very subconscious stuff and highly related to how people think about the game. This goes to the student as well, a lot of stuff also is hard to teach, some people have the talent and they get it through their body and some just don't.

An excellent coach makes it happen regardless of their student's capability and starting point, a mediocore coach just bully their student to do the drills that they understand.

So I wonder which type Jolly is, and through this interaction on the web, I'm guessing the later.
All fine and dandy but you're not a coach, are you?
 

Demented

Semi-Pro
You're not going to win many matches against any opponent unless your forehand is able to penetrate the court and drive them off of the baseline. I'd start every match with some exploratory balls to figure out the conditions(ball quality, temp, humidity, wind) and then try to decide what type of forehand is called for today. Figure out what type of ball will get you results and then commit to a pattern of play until your opponent makes adjustments. In the heat, high balls can be deadly because the bounce can be obnoxious. On a cooler day, that same ball would be a hanging meatball begging for someone to club. I find that deciding I'm going to run a particular pattern over and over keeps me focused and stops me from playing junk balls down the middle. Even if the other person is forcing you out of your desired pattern, fighting to get back to it can keep you from losing focus/mental lapses as the match wears on. This is just a suggestion but you may want to look at your short ball down the line and work on flatting it out. You don't seem to be hitting it hard enough to justify the amount of arc/topspin you put on it. A flatter ball that stays lower will win you more points as you follow it it in.
 

pencilcheck

Professional
All fine and dandy but you're not a coach, are you?
I think you are very confused. OP asked question about how to improve, I provide my feedback. I'm not sure how your question has to do with this. If you want OP to listen to you, then provide your own feedback that actually makes sense and is better than mine first.

I don't think OP really cares if the advice is coming from a coach or not, otherwise he wouldn't post here.
 
I think you are very confused. OP asked question about how to improve, I provide my feedback. I'm not sure how your question has to do with this. If you want OP to listen to you, then provide your own feedback that actually makes sense and is better than mine first.

I don't think OP really cares if the advice is coming from a coach or not, otherwise he wouldn't post here.
I am not confused at all. You posted a lengthy justification arguing about the efficacy of different coaching methods. But you are not a coach so you don't really know much about that. Now I have had coaching from people who train national juniors and I never heard them tell them (or anybody) that if you volley, you ought to be like Edberg.

This is not about the OP, good on him for being patient with you. This is about you. Reflect on how you communicate. If you aren't exactly the cat's whiskers at the net, best not to grandstand. Oh, if you still must, please go ahead but then Jolly is going to own you silly and you are going to whine some more about it.
 

pencilcheck

Professional
I am not confused at all. You posted a lengthy justification arguing about the efficacy of different coaching methods. But you are not a coach so you don't really know much about that. Now I have had coaching from people who train national juniors and I never heard them tell them (or anybody) that if you volley, you ought to be like Edberg.

This is not about the OP, good on him for being patient with you. This is about you. Reflect on how you communicate. If you aren't exactly the cat's whiskers at the net, best not to grandstand. Oh, if you still must, please go ahead but then Jolly is going to own you silly and you are going to whine some more about it.
Oh, another coach, great. If all it takes is to say i'm a coach versus not a coach to get more credibility that makes sense, no wonder so many coaches has youtube channel where almost all their coaching videos are just rephrase of other channel, or they give tips that doesn't seems to work.

What OP will do with my advice is on him, if you can't make a good advice then you are useless in this thread. People call those who just want to create fights online a troll and you are one as well.
 

Slowtwitcher

Hall of Fame
I am not confused at all. You posted a lengthy justification arguing about the efficacy of different coaching methods. But you are not a coach so you don't really know much about that. Now I have had coaching from people who train national juniors and I never heard them tell them (or anybody) that if you volley, you ought to be like Edberg.

This is not about the OP, good on him for being patient with you. This is about you. Reflect on how you communicate. If you aren't exactly the cat's whiskers at the net, best not to grandstand. Oh, if you still must, please go ahead but then Jolly is going to own you silly and you are going to whine some more about it.
Don't go too hard on @pencilneck or he'll report your posts...
 
Oh, another coach, great. If all it takes is to say i'm a coach versus not a coach to get more credibility that makes sense, no wonder so many coaches has youtube channel where almost all their coaching videos are just rephrase of other channel, or they give tips that doesn't seems to work.

What OP will do with my advice is on him, if you can't make a good advice then you are useless in this thread. People call those who just want to create fights online a troll and you are one as well.
I didn't say I am a coach. I said I have had coaching from coaches who actually, in person, trained and train national juniors. Who's talking about Youtube coaches?

Are you even listening or do you just get triggered so easily, snowflake? It's not about all it takes is being a coach. It was YOU who brought up Luthi coaching Fed and then gave a detailed dissertation of coaching approaches that one would assume come from first hand experience. But apparently not.
 
You're not going to win many matches against any opponent unless your forehand is able to penetrate the court and drive them off of the baseline.
Perhaps more true if I were 5.0. At 4.5, there are plenty of matches to be won without such an impressive FH.

I'd start every match with some exploratory balls to figure out the conditions(ball quality, temp, humidity, wind)
Apart from wind, I highly doubt the other factors you mentioned would change my game plan ["ball quality"? How much different can a new can of balls be when practically everyone uses either standard Penns or Wilsons?].

and then try to decide what type of forehand is called for today.
I don't have so many FHs that I need to worry about choosing one. I may try to hit more TS for more margin or I may flatten it out a bit if I'm in the zone but that's about it as far as variation goes.

Figure out what type of ball will get you results and then commit to a pattern of play until your opponent makes adjustments. In the heat, high balls can be deadly because the bounce can be obnoxious. On a cooler day, that same ball would be a hanging meatball begging for someone to club. I find that deciding I'm going to run a particular pattern over and over keeps me focused and stops me from playing junk balls down the middle.
Don't underestimate "junk balls down the middle": they are high % and cut down on the angle the opponent gets. Sometimes, that's the smart shot.

Other times, it's the best one can muster against a superior opponent; it certainly beats making an error going for too much.

This is just a suggestion but you may want to look at your short ball down the line and work on flatting it out. You don't seem to be hitting it hard enough to justify the amount of arc/topspin you put on it. A flatter ball that stays lower will win you more points as you follow it it in.
True but a flatter ball has less margin and results in more errors and I suffer from that more, especially on the FH. So any extra TS/margin is a positive, even if it means a weaker approach. I can't win the point if I err on the approach.

What I could have done is slice the approach; that actually comes naturally to me, in both singles and doubles. For whatever reason, I had decided to play a more traditional shot [to my detriment].
 

Demented

Semi-Pro
True but a flatter ball has less margin and results in more errors and I suffer from that more, especially on the FH. So any extra TS/margin is a positive, even if it means a weaker approach. I can't win the point if I err on the approach.
I'm not saying that you should remove all topspin but you need to drive it directly at the corner without hitting up on it unless you're late and the ball has already fallen too much. If you're in the court to hit a short ball then your goal should be to take away time. An arcing topspin ball is going to sit up after the bounce and give them way too much time to read your momentum and choose pass or lob. In this scenario, it's doubly difficult because you're hitting into his forehand but against everyone else you want to stretch their backhand as quickly as possible since they're likely to be late.

Apart from wind, I highly doubt the other factors you mentioned would change my game plan ["ball quality"? How much different can a new can of balls be when practically everyone uses either standard Penns or Wilsons?].
The difference between a 90 degree day and a 55 degree day can make a solid foot of difference in bounce height on a high topspin ball. It can be the difference between successfully getting it above their ears or dropping it at ideal chest height. I find Wilson balls to be much more firm for longer in a match. It's easier to crush Penn balls much sooner. The more expensive model line balls as opposed to the cheap ones tend to bounce higher and for longer. Wilson/Penn take the ones that pass to tighter tolerances and sell them in the expensive cans under the higher quality labels while the ones that barely made muster get put into the 2.99 cans.
 

Slowtwitcher

Hall of Fame
Josh turns his head ir order to see the incoming ball touch the strings. It's not really a tick, it helps tremendously with contact. I wish I could do it consistently and not rush to see where the ball is going.
 

Papa Mango

Semi-Pro
Gasquet does the same thing on his volleys, especially the BH:

Careful now, every TT 2.5 will be trying to turn their.... wait its Gasquet.. nevermind
Josh turns his head ir order to see the incoming ball touch the strings. It's not really a tick, it helps tremendously with contact. I wish I could do it consistently and not rush to see where the ball is going.
Bolded be the problem, and he does it on OHs too. It looks like he's looking (pun pun) behind contact, as SnV said if it works for him ...
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
You're not going to win many matches against any opponent unless your forehand is able to penetrate the court and drive them off of the baseline. I'd start every match with some exploratory balls to figure out the conditions(ball quality, temp, humidity, wind) and then try to decide what type of forehand is called for today. Figure out what type of ball will get you results and then commit to a pattern of play until your opponent makes adjustments. In the heat, high balls can be deadly because the bounce can be obnoxious. On a cooler day, that same ball would be a hanging meatball begging for someone to club. I find that deciding I'm going to run a particular pattern over and over keeps me focused and stops me from playing junk balls down the middle. Even if the other person is forcing you out of your desired pattern, fighting to get back to it can keep you from losing focus/mental lapses as the match wears on. This is just a suggestion but you may want to look at your short ball down the line and work on flatting it out. You don't seem to be hitting it hard enough to justify the amount of arc/topspin you put on it. A flatter ball that stays lower will win you more points as you follow it it in.
Man, what universe are you living in?

Any decent player says "want to play a set?" Then digs a few balls out of the cart and starts playing.

J
 

eman11

Rookie
Watch as my buddy Josh [lefty] gives an object lesson on how to punish short balls.

From the very first point, I knew I was in trouble.

Our two previous official meetings were 3rd set TBs [he won both]. But he's been taking lessons and it showed...big time.

Comment away. You needn't advise me to hit deeper...I know, trust me.

Hey man,

I could say a lot, but for starters, I see that maybe your backhand is the shot that needs most improvement. Your timing was not there, it seemed like. I think you should swing more with your body than your arms (it seems to me you tend to try and "push" your bh in rather than "swing" it in).
What I see you do is bring your arms back, which is good, but you raise them, which you then have to drop them again in order to strike at the ball.
Try to just pull your arms back and have your dominant arm (right arm) fully extended.
Also, make sure you are looking over your dominant shoulder when prepping for the swing (this is a good checkpoint... you will see Djokovic and others do it in the video).


This video should give you a good perspective as to how the pros hit their 2 handed backhands :)

Hopefully this helps!
 
Josh turns his head ir order to see the incoming ball touch the strings. It's not really a tick, it helps tremendously with contact. I wish I could do it consistently and not rush to see where the ball is going.
It appears he's looking further back than the contact point. Hard to tell from the angle, though.
 
Hey man,

I could say a lot, but for starters, I see that maybe your backhand is the shot that needs most improvement. Your timing was not there, it seemed like. I think you should swing more with your body than your arms (it seems to me you tend to try and "push" your bh in rather than "swing" it in).
Yes, I have quite a few flaws on the BH, not the least of which is getting jammed.

What I see you do is bring your arms back, which is good, but you raise them, which you then have to drop them again in order to strike at the ball.
Try to just pull your arms back and have your dominant arm (right arm) fully extended.
Also, make sure you are looking over your dominant shoulder when prepping for the swing (this is a good checkpoint... you will see Djokovic and others do it in the video)

This video should give you a good perspective as to how the pros hit their 2 handed backhands :)

Hopefully this helps!
Yeah, the TTT guys do a great job. I'm aware of what I need to do but haven't yet bridged the gap between knowledge and execution.

Thanks!
 
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