Am I Wasting My Time?

apjones01

Rookie
I'm a relative newbie to the sport, but a local instructor (coached collegiality, now gives private lessons) has told me I'm now a 3.25/3.5. I posted my name and number at my local court in hopes of finding new hitting / playing partners. Someone reached out to me asking to play, indicating he's a "beginner / advanced beginner." My instructor has told me people will routinely exaggerate their levels when reaching out. I've had one other person reach out to me indicating she had taken several group lessons and was "ready to play." You would have thought she had never seen a tennis ball before.

I've committed to play / hit with this new person, but now thinking it'll be a mistake. Will this be a waste of time?
 

chic

Semi-Pro
It's hard to gauge because those with tennis exp routinely undersell themselves and those who have only played recreationally don't understand how much they don't do. Worst case you destroy him and then don't play again. Worth a try though.

I find it's easier to find players on my level by practicing serves and scouting out people who can actually hit, then asking for their numbers for the future. Apps and websites are unreliable.
 

apjones01

Rookie
It's hard to gauge because those with tennis exp routinely undersell themselves and those who have only played recreationally don't understand how much they don't do. Worst case you destroy him and then don't play again. Worth a try though.

I find it's easier to find players on my level by practicing serves and scouting out people who can actually hit, then asking for their numbers for the future. Apps and websites are unreliable.
Is this because you don't have critical mass in your area? Or because people are flaky and/or flat-out lie?
 

5263

G.O.A.T.
Is this because you don't have critical mass in your area? Or because people are flaky and/or flat-out lie?
its mostly because weaker players tend to not have much perspective on the levels and intermediates don't have much more....
 

chic

Semi-Pro
Is this because you don't have critical mass in your area? Or because people are flaky and/or flat-out lie?
It's partially critical mass, but I think a larger issues (that may be less common in major metropolitan areas) is that once people find a group or a couple consistent partners they stop checking the apps/websites and treat emails from them as spam.

I actually messaged some of my current hitting partners online, never heard back, then ended up in the same group through others I met in the park :-D
 
I'm a relative newbie to the sport, but a local instructor (coached collegiality, now gives private lessons) has told me I'm now a 3.25/3.5. I posted my name and number at my local court in hopes of finding new hitting / playing partners. Someone reached out to me asking to play, indicating he's a "beginner / advanced beginner." My instructor has told me people will routinely exaggerate their levels when reaching out. I've had one other person reach out to me indicating she had taken several group lessons and was "ready to play." You would have thought she had never seen a tennis ball before.

I've committed to play / hit with this new person, but now thinking it'll be a mistake. Will this be a waste of time?
Why not ask your instructor to give you a few names? He must have other students who are roughly the same level.

Find out where USTA plays league and go watch various levels to see where you fit in. Maybe even talk to some of them after the match [not everyone will be receptive].

Go to the local clubs and ask for someone tennis savvy to give you a tour and point out the various levels.
 

apjones01

Rookie
Why not ask your instructor to give you a few names? He must have other students who are roughly the same level.

Find out where USTA plays league and go watch various levels to see where you fit in. Maybe even talk to some of them after the match [not everyone will be receptive].

Go to the local clubs and ask for someone tennis savvy to give you a tour and point out the various levels.
This is a good idea. Although I think he might be reticent to do that as it won't exactly lead to me paying for more lessons :rolleyes:
 

apjones01

Rookie
For the record, I hit with the guy this morning, though he had to cut it a bit short as his shoulder was hurting. Turns out the guy's only experience with tennis was two group lessons. He wasn't in great shape and his racquet looked like something he pulled out of a dumpster.

Surprisingly, he wasn't that bad! I was definitely better (and he apologetically acknowledged that), but it wasn't a night / day difference. Upon chatting with him a bit, learned he has a fair amount of experience with badminton, hence the easier transition into tennis.
 
This is a good idea. Although I think he might be reticent to do that as it won't exactly lead to me paying for more lessons :rolleyes:
Au contraire, mon frere: it will indeed lead to more lessons. In matches your opponent will be hitting all over the place unlike your controlled lesson and what are reasonably good strokes on the practice court can break down in a match.
 

chic

Semi-Pro
Yeah, few people take the approach that having playing partners means they want lessons less.

Because once you find someone who consistently beats you the whole motivation becomes figuring out next steps to beat them. And for most that's not necessarily something they can figure out unguided
 
Join a tennis organization, the USTA, a tennis club, etc. Sometimes at local community colleges (CC) or other courts they have weekend/eve players that gather, and start playing. We had a CC near us with pick up doubles on the weekends. USTA had a listing to find matches at the various NTRP levels. They also had leagues to join and arrange your own weekly match from a list. In low population density areas, you may have trouble finding USTA leagues. ? You will quickly find out what tennis is around in your area by chatting with various players.
 

2-Step-Q

New User
I decided to pick up tennis and the rest of my friend group did not. Every now and then I'll have them rally with one of my extra racquets. For me it makes me focus on my strokes more because I have to send back a good ball and it really helps my explosiveness. I have to run after balls more than Gael Monfils and hit all my strokes from all kinds of angles and places. As long as they keep the ball in the fence there's training value in it. Or just get a bucket of balls and feed each other a specific stroke. It's a GREAT way to get better faster. Me and a buddy did this and we went from 5-hit rallies to 15+ hit rallies with some pace!! Hope this helps. Good Luck!
 

apjones01

Rookie
I decided to pick up tennis and the rest of my friend group did not. Every now and then I'll have them rally with one of my extra racquets. For me it makes me focus on my strokes more because I have to send back a good ball and it really helps my explosiveness. I have to run after balls more than Gael Monfils and hit all my strokes from all kinds of angles and places. As long as they keep the ball in the fence there's training value in it. Or just get a bucket of balls and feed each other a specific stroke. It's a GREAT way to get better faster. Me and a buddy did this and we went from 5-hit rallies to 15+ hit rallies with some pace!! Hope this helps. Good Luck!
This is a fair point-thanks. I guess I’m finding the people I play with maybe aren’t progressing as fast?? I play with my GF often and a 15 shot rally is pretty much impossible. But I hear you on getting better by having to chase down balls. It does provide a good contrast to more seasoned players and ball machines.
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
Just get out there and play. Maybe it will be a waste of time for the other person because your level might be much lower than theirs. So much overanalyzing by low level amateur rec level players, which most of us are. Tennis is literally the only sport where this happens. Most other sports that rec adults play, everyone knows they are just doing it for some fun and excercise.
 

graycrait

Hall of Fame
If someone who I don't know contacts me I automatically bring my hopper of balls and feed racket. If that person challenges me I am excited, if that person is a beginner but wants to get better I am excited. Pay it forward.
 

2-Step-Q

New User
If someone who I don't know contacts me I automatically bring my hopper of balls and feed racket. If that person challenges me I am excited, if that person is a beginner but wants to get better I am excited. Pay it forward.
Facts!! We all started somewhere bugging somebody that was better to hit with us. You gotta learn somehow. Pay it forward
 

Fairhit

Semi-Pro
This is a fair point-thanks. I guess I’m finding the people I play with maybe aren’t progressing as fast?? I play with my GF often and a 15 shot rally is pretty much impossible. But I hear you on getting better by having to chase down balls. It does provide a good contrast to more seasoned players and ball machines.
This happened to me, I've been playing for 3 years now and I think I'm fairly good compared to other player that have been playing for many years, I'm in a gropu class and I don't feel motivated, I'm the bets there and I like to be the worst player so I can better myself, anyways, from this forum I got the brilliant and easy for your whole life to apply tip, any tennis is better than no tennis.
 

apjones01

Rookie
Just get out there and play. Maybe it will be a waste of time for the other person because your level might be much lower than theirs. So much overanalyzing by low level amateur rec level players, which most of us are. Tennis is literally the only sport where this happens. Most other sports that rec adults play, everyone knows they are just doing it for some fun and excercise.
Totally understand where you're coming from and can't disagree. But, appreciate the fact I live in a densely populated urban area. Court time is extremely difficult to come by both from a pure availability and cost perspective.

Hey, I replied to someone recently who was a stated 3.75. He was looking for someone to play with at the exact same dates / times I play. I reached out and told him my level (~3.5). Never heard back!
 

apjones01

Rookie
If someone who I don't know contacts me I automatically bring my hopper of balls and feed racket. If that person challenges me I am excited, if that person is a beginner but wants to get better I am excited. Pay it forward.
Well then, I hereby challenge you. 8-B And if you're ever in NYC, look me up!
 
@ 2-Step-Q

What stroke techniques are you practicing?

In my opinion, the turning of the uppermost body - back roughly 90 degrees and then forward 90 degrees - is always present in high level ground stroke drives and much less present in lower level players. That is something we can see watching matches on TV, it does not require high speed video to simply see how much uppermost body turn is present. A 30 fps video of your strokes should give you a comparison.

Note- uppermost body rotation requires some trunk twisting and that may be too stressful for some backs.
 
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TennisDawg

Professional
Totally understand where you're coming from and can't disagree. But, appreciate the fact I live in a densely populated urban area. Court time is extremely difficult to come by both from a pure availability and cost perspective.

Hey, I replied to someone recently who was a stated 3.75. He was looking for someone to play with at the exact same dates / times I play. I reached out and told him my level (~3.5). Never heard back!
Well, even though your instructor says you are 3.5 it’s still more or less a self-rate until you play a tournament. I recommend you play a 3.5 tournament and see how you do against 3.5s. A 2 out 3 set match would answer a lot of questions as to whether you are wasting your time or not with these lower level players. Who knows you may actually meet up with one of them in a tournament match. In that case it would an easy 2 sets for you.
 

2-Step-Q

New User
@ 2-Step-Q

What stroke techniques are you practicing?

In my opinion, the turning of the uppermost body - back roughly 90 degrees and then forward 90 degrees - is very present in high level ground strokes and much less present in lower level players. That is something we can see watching matches on TV, it does not require high speed video to simply see how much uppermost body turn is present. A 30 fps video of your strokes should give you a comparison.

Note- uppermost body rotation requires some trunk twisting and that may be too stressful for some backs.
I'll usually start FH crosscourt shots then move to BH crosscourt then volleys depending on how we all progress. If my FH isn't on point I'll just keep hitting buckets of FH's until I feel comfortable with it or until I realize my forehand just isnt going to do it that day.

It's also funny you mentioned the turn because that was huge problem I had with my backhand that I never fixed until my partner was feeding me a bucket of backhands. He noticed that my takeback was extremely short and I was hitting a lot of balls late. We fixed it and now my backhand is almost as confident as my FH! Just gotta be open to constructive criticism
 
@apjones01 , The chances of you being in Tennessee a ... I24 NW of Nashville we could have a hit.
Dude, Nashville blew my mind. You guys have to pay to use outdoor courts! What kind of madness is that? For a metro area Nashville doesn't have that many public courts it seems. Here, thanks to being a college town, we have over 40 courts within a five miles of each other you can play on for free basically sun up to sundown (and then some on lite courts).
 

apjones01

Rookie
Dude, Nashville blew my mind. You guys have to pay to use outdoor courts! What kind of madness is that? For a metro area Nashville doesn't have that many public courts it seems. Here, thanks to being a college town, we have over 40 courts within a five miles of each other you can play on for free basically sun up to sundown (and then some on lite courts).
I feel better now...
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
Just get out there and play. Maybe it will be a waste of time for the other person because your level might be much lower than theirs. So much overanalyzing by low level amateur rec level players, which most of us are. Tennis is literally the only sport where this happens. Most other sports that rec adults play, everyone knows they are just doing it for some fun and excercise.
That's not fair for tennis.

Tennis is a more specialty sport than say soccer or basketball. With basketball, u can play with another beginner where both only shoot hoop for fun.

In tennis, you need to be able to hit the ball over to have tennis. A total or near beginner cannot even make contact right.

I really stretch myself to play with very overweight men, old men, and women. They can't hang well. Points are very short and full of UEs.

None of them play singles at any costs, any handicaps.

They pick doubles and it can get so bad, via partners, that most of the time i cannot get in "game mode".

We play in horsing around mode. I horse around and try dumb things. Not exactly the best time but what can i do?
 

graycrait

Hall of Fame
Here, thanks to being a college town, we have over 40 courts within a five miles of each other you can play on for free basically sun up to sundown (and then some on lite courts).
I live in a town of 200K and we have free 16 public access courts, 8 if the college has a match.
 
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I live in a town of 200K and we have free 16 public access courts, 8 if the college has a match.
I was on one of many trips to the Nash and wanted to hit for an hour or two while my friend was at work. You should have seen my face when they said it was $6 an hour to hit on the park distric outdoor courts.
 
Thanks for rubbing it in
Would it be bad, adding insult to injury, if I added we have loads of drop-in groups, too. USTA aside from May to October, one can literally play doubs every night Mon-Fri and do a two-a-day on Sat and Sun here when it's not raining for usually the cost of a can of balls with six to seven different, long established self-organized groups.
 

apjones01

Rookie
That's not fair for tennis.

Tennis is a more specialty sport than say soccer or basketball. With basketball, u can play with another beginner where both only shoot hoop for fun.

In tennis, you need to be able to hit the ball over to have tennis. A total or near beginner cannot even make contact right.

I really stretch myself to play with very overweight men, old men, and women. They can't hang well. Points are very short and full of UEs.

None of them play singles at any costs, any handicaps.

They pick doubles and it can get so bad, via partners, that most of the time i cannot get in "game mode".

We play in horsing around mode. I horse around and try dumb things. Not exactly the best time but what can i do?
This is very well said. Taken to the extreme, is it worthwhile or fun for Rafa to hit with a 3.0? Probably not, because anytime he puts any pace and/or spin on the ball, it will lead to an UE.
 
This is very well said. Taken to the extreme, is it worthwhile or fun for Rafa to hit with a 3.0? Probably not, because anytime he puts any pace and/or spin on the ball, it will lead to an UE.
Rafa would be smart enough to devise a drill that equalizes the skill differential or even puts himself at a disadvantage. For example, the 3.0 could serve in either service box. Or Rafa has to turn his back to the net until the 3.0 contacts the ball. Or...
 
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