Baseline game has gone to sh*t in the past weeks

FiReFTW

Legend
Now that ive cut my tennis time by alot lately due to some problems, my baseline game has gone to complete sh*t, I didn't think it would have such a huge effect on me.

I thought I might struggle with the serve alot, since thats the shot that you tend to lose the feel for the fastest but no, serve is fine, volleys are fine, overheads are fine.. everything is fine apart from baseline where im complete inconsistent sh*t, specially on my forehand side.

And the most frustrating thing is that one day im in the zone and hitting great, while another day im complete sh*t and can't hit a barn door and balls fly on me (tho theres more bad days than good days).

I know its hard to guess what the problem might be because of no videos, but maybe anyone has and tips on what I can do to somehow manage this when its really bad like that? I feel like nothing helps, I swing fast and its erratic I swing slow and its erratic also.

Ive made so much progress in the past half year and everything from serve, volleys, groundstrokes have improved by alot, now in the past 1-2 months my groundstrokes really took a dive (alltho my backhand not much at all suprizingly, mostly my forehand) and I feel like im 10 times worse suddenly for some reason, before I had nice speed and racquet speed and could aim and hit spots and be consistent, now I can barely get a shot in.
 

Pete Player

Hall of Fame
What made you think the serve would go south? After all, it is the only shot completely under your control.

If you have other things in your mind, while playing, that would do it. Not much needs to be off in the head, and that ruins your rythm and selfconfidence after a couple bad shots.

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No more on pain meds - all contributed matter and anti-matter are still subject to disclaimer
 

FiReFTW

Legend
What made you think the serve would go south? After all, it is the only shot completely under your control.

If you have other things in your mind, while playing, that would do it. Not much needs to be off in the head, and that ruins your rythm and selfconfidence after a couple bad shots.
I don't know, usually people say that serve is the first thing that you lose feel for if you don't play often, so I thought that would be the first thing I would start to notice.

If I compare my groundstrokes and lets say 100% is my top level before this crysis.

I would say backhand is around 90% now (similar to before just slightly rusty at times)

And forehand is around 20% now (on most days) and im not even joking its gone to complete sh*t, then there are odd days when I have it back again like it was.
 

BallBag

Semi-Pro
Dead strings?

When my timing is off or I'm just not feeling it that day, I will shorten my swing and focus on contact point only instead of the other 34 things that I don't like about my game.
 

TagUrIt

Professional
Go back to the basics. Is this loss of baseline in games or warmups? Is it competitive, just for fun? You might need to take a day where you only hit forehands, start a the SL and work your way back to the BS. Sounds simple and unnecessary, but you need to get your confidence back. I don’t think you forgot how to hit a forehand. I think it maybe more mental, you’re probably overthinking it all.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
Dead strings?

When my timing is off or I'm just not feeling it that day, I will shorten my swing and focus on contact point only instead of the other 34 things that I don't like about my game.
I thought that was the reason 6 days ago when I played, balls sailing all over the place and everything and then I thought well.. ive had these strings for longer than usual.. switched racquets for the last 30 mins and I started hitting good again...

But now today I hit with the same "new strung" racquet from 6 days ago and it was sh*t again so..
 

Traffic

Hall of Fame
Now that ive cut my tennis time by alot lately due to some problems, my baseline game has gone to complete sh*t, I didn't think it would have such a huge effect on me.

I thought I might struggle with the serve alot, since thats the shot that you tend to lose the feel for the fastest but no, serve is fine, volleys are fine, overheads are fine.. everything is fine apart from baseline where im complete inconsistent sh*t, specially on my forehand side.

And the most frustrating thing is that one day im in the zone and hitting great, while another day im complete sh*t and can't hit a barn door and balls fly on me (tho theres more bad days than good days).

I know its hard to guess what the problem might be because of no videos, but maybe anyone has and tips on what I can do to somehow manage this when its really bad like that? I feel like nothing helps, I swing fast and its erratic I swing slow and its erratic also.

Ive made so much progress in the past half year and everything from serve, volleys, groundstrokes have improved by alot, now in the past 1-2 months my groundstrokes really took a dive (alltho my backhand not much at all suprizingly, mostly my forehand) and I feel like im 10 times worse suddenly for some reason, before I had nice speed and racquet speed and could aim and hit spots and be consistent, now I can barely get a shot in.
Fitness?
How long have you been back? Might need a little more time to get your prep and swing timing back.

I would also echo @BallBag regarding making sure your strings aren't dead.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
Go back to the basics. Is this loss of baseline in games or warmups? Is it competitive, just for fun? You might need to take a day where you only hit forehands, start a the SL and work your way back to the BS. Sounds simple and unnecessary, but you need to get your confidence back. I don’t think you forgot how to hit a forehand. I think it maybe more mental, you’re probably overthinking it all.
Games and competitive play mostly, in warmups its actually much better for some reason.

Say....

Before crysis

Warmup and gameplay was around 70-100% depending on day, both

Now warmups are 60-90% while gameplay is very poor.
 

Pete Player

Hall of Fame
... im not even joking its gone to complete sh*t, then there are odd days when I have it back again like it was.
I think, the odd days are, when you are at the task of playing tennis. On the rest of the days you might not see the ball and move a touch sloppily; spacing is off, you are late or early, run the ball at your lap and need to knive some magic shot from awkward position...


——————————
No more on pain meds - all contributed matter and anti-matter are still subject to disclaimer
 

FiReFTW

Legend
Fitness?
How long have you been back? Might need a little more time to get your prep and swing timing back.

I would also echo @BallBag regarding making sure your strings aren't dead.
No ive played very often before, now im playing much less often, I didn't have a long break, just playing less often as of now.
 

Traffic

Hall of Fame
I thought that was the reason 6 days ago when I played, balls sailing all over the place and everything and then I thought well.. ive had these strings for longer than usual.. switched racquets for the last 30 mins and I started hitting good again...

But now today I hit with the same "new strung" racquet from 6 days ago and it was sh*t again so..
Another thing that is somewhat related, is the perception of how you used to play. 3 mos ago, you might have been in great (tennis) shape and have good muscle tone for your swing. However, with 2mos off, you might need a few weeks to get your swing muscles back into shape. Being sore could also contribute to compensating in areas. Maybe not bending knees as much. Maybe racquet take-back is too late since your swings aren't as smooth or fast.

Your perception of how hard you used to be able to hit might be contributing to slight miss-hits. Might need to build up your strokes for simple rally balls to shots with more pace.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
Another thing that is somewhat related, is the perception of how you used to play. 3 mos ago, you might have been in great (tennis) shape and have good muscle tone for your swing. However, with 2mos off, you might need a few weeks to get your swing muscles back into shape. Being sore could also contribute to compensating in areas. Maybe not bending knees as much. Maybe racquet take-back is too late since your swings aren't as smooth or fast.

Your perception of how hard you used to be able to hit might be contributing to slight miss-hits. Might need to build up your strokes for simple rally balls to shots with more pace.
But I didn't have a break, I played very often before, now for the past 1-2 months im playing less often thats all.

And ive actually been focusing on fitness alot more now, so that part should be even better now, or maybe im tired from that and my footwork is lazy on court...hmm

I do feel like my footwork has been sloppy and lazy, it would make sense then that my warmup is fine because im not moving much..but when I start playing and are getting run around my lazy footwork is the major cause for the problems.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
The worst thing is that I expect alot from miself and worked hard and always strive to get better and have big expectations out of my self and am perfectionist, so something (forehand in this case) getting so much worse than before is really disapointing to me and im disapointed in miself and harsh on miself for it, hard to accept it and its very disapointing to me.
 

Pete Player

Hall of Fame
The worst thing is that I expect alot from miself and worked hard and always strive to get better and have big expectations out of my self and am perfectionist, so something (forehand in this case) getting so much worse than before is really disapointing to me and im disapointed in miself and harsh on miself for it, hard to accept it and its very disapointing to me.
Enemy number 1. Expectations.


——————————
No more on pain meds - all contributed matter and anti-matter are still subject to disclaimer
 

Pete Player

Hall of Fame
Yes but you can't possibly tell me that anyone that works hard on something wouldn't be disapointed if something he was doing was not up to par and started performing badly.
I am not. That’s the point. Mindset entering the court is, what I’m talking about.

One shot, one point at a time. I bet you can still win points being a good tactic, yet your fh is off.


——————————
No more on pain meds - all contributed matter and anti-matter are still subject to disclaimer
 

FiReFTW

Legend
I am not. That’s the point. Mindset entering the court is, what I’m talking about.

One shot, one point at a time. I bet you can still win points being a good tactic, yet your fh is off.


——————————
No more on pain meds - all contributed matter and anti-matter are still subject to disclaimer
My fh has been so erratic lately that I expect and see it being **** before i even start playing lately lol.

Already accepted it and gave up before even trying lol..
 

BallBag

Semi-Pro
My fh has been so erratic lately that I expect and see it being **** before i even start playing lately lol.

Already accepted it and gave up before even trying lol..
Try to spin it for a positive. Hitting like sh1t happens but it's better when it happens during practice. Use it as an opportunity to work on working yourself out of a rut. Try different things like shorter swing, longer swing, closer to the base line or further, different contact points, maybe tigheter strings or looser strings. You probably changed something and don't even realize it. Either way it's better to work this out now than during a match.
My personal favorite is just grabbing a tigher racquet, you must protect your confidence during a match, and blaming the equipment is usually good for that.
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
Now that ive cut my tennis time by alot lately due to some problems, my baseline game has gone to complete sh*t, I didn't think it would have such a huge effect on me.

I thought I might struggle with the serve alot, since thats the shot that you tend to lose the feel for the fastest but no, serve is fine, volleys are fine, overheads are fine.. everything is fine apart from baseline where im complete inconsistent sh*t, specially on my forehand side.

And the most frustrating thing is that one day im in the zone and hitting great, while another day im complete sh*t and can't hit a barn door and balls fly on me (tho theres more bad days than good days).

I know its hard to guess what the problem might be because of no videos, but maybe anyone has and tips on what I can do to somehow manage this when its really bad like that? I feel like nothing helps, I swing fast and its erratic I swing slow and its erratic also.

Ive made so much progress in the past half year and everything from serve, volleys, groundstrokes have improved by alot, now in the past 1-2 months my groundstrokes really took a dive (alltho my backhand not much at all suprizingly, mostly my forehand) and I feel like im 10 times worse suddenly for some reason, before I had nice speed and racquet speed and could aim and hit spots and be consistent, now I can barely get a shot in.
You’ll just have to work through it over time and you will. Improvement is never linear. You’ll take 2 steps forward and then 1 back. Sometimes you’ll take 3 steps backwards for awhile and then finally take 5 bounds forward. It’s just tennis.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
You’ll just have to work through it over time and you will. Improvement is never linear. You’ll take 2 steps forward and then 1 back. Sometimes you’ll take 3 steps backwards for awhile and then finally take 5 bounds forward. It’s just tennis.
I know but its extremely frustrating.

In the last 2 months leading up to this ive made huge improvements in my fh and ive figured out some new found things that have significantly improved the spin, pace and consistency.
And it feelt so exciting, like woooow, ive made a huge huuge step forward.

And now ive fallen badly compared to then, and my fh is worse than it has been for months...tho theres a small sample size so far but still...so you can imagine my frustration then, can you relate?
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
I know but its extremely frustrating.

In the last 2 months leading up to this ive made huge improvements in my fh and ive figured out some new found things that have significantly improved the spin, pace and consistency.
And it feelt so exciting, like woooow, ive made a huge huuge step forward.

And now ive fallen badly compared to then, and my fh is worse than it has been for months...tho theres a small sample size so far but still...so you can imagine my frustration then, can you relate?
Yes, most tennis players can relate. Stop be such a drama queen. ;)
 

FiReFTW

Legend
Try to spin it for a positive. Hitting like sh1t happens but it's better when it happens during practice. Use it as an opportunity to work on working yourself out of a rut. Try different things like shorter swing, longer swing, closer to the base line or further, different contact points, maybe tigheter strings or looser strings. You probably changed something and don't even realize it. Either way it's better to work this out now than during a match.
My personal favorite is just grabbing a tigher racquet, you must protect your confidence during a match, and blaming the equipment is usually good for that.
I think I didnt change something in my technique, it feels the same.
its my timing and positioning thats off i feel, i just dont have it down.. you know when you feel it you have good spacing and you see the ball clearly and your timing is spot on consistently.. now it just feels like my timing and spacing and contact is all over and im late or stretched slightly or hit it off center or even shank more than before.
 

navigator

Hall of Fame
The worst thing is that I expect alot from miself and worked hard and always strive to get better and have big expectations out of my self and am perfectionist, so something (forehand in this case) getting so much worse than before is really disapointing to me and im disapointed in miself and harsh on miself for it, hard to accept it and its very disapointing to me.
Stop caring so much. It's a silly game. You're welcome.
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
You are relatively new to the sport. Also based on your videos, you also love hitting much more flatter than others with the same level of experience as you have. Of course, you'll struggle when you take a break of a few days since you neither have the muscle memory developed over many, many years nor do you have a huge margin for error on your shots. Once you get your car back and you're back to your routine you should be good again. Or for more immediate results, hit more like Nadal than your idol Fed :giggle:
 

FiReFTW

Legend
You are relatively new to the sport. Also based on your videos, you also love hitting much more flatter than others with the same level of experience as you have. Of course, you'll struggle when you take a break of a few days since you neither have the muscle memory developed over many, many years nor do you have a huge margin for error on your shots. Once you get your car back and you're back to your routine you should be good again. Or for more immediate results, hit more like Nadal than your idol Fed :giggle:
Haha great post.
You have a good point :D

Last time when i hit with my buddy some weeks ago i imitated nadal for fun, whippy fast buggy whip and even his grunting and its true that its basically impossible to miss deep or the net :laughing: was funny.. i should make a vid of this once...actually a good idea, il do that and post here once!

Would you people be interested in such a vid of immitating strokes?
 
The worst thing is that I expect alot from miself and worked hard and always strive to get better and have big expectations out of my self and am perfectionist, so something (forehand in this case) getting so much worse than before is really disapointing to me and im disapointed in miself and harsh on miself for it, hard to accept it and its very disapointing to me.
I've mentioned it multiple times: having high expectations and a perfectionistic attitude is probably hurting you more than helping you.

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=patrick+cohn+perfectionism

Perhaps rather than trying to micro-manage your game, take a deep breath and just play. Don't judge. Observe and try to incorporate those observations into subsequent shots. Let the bad spell pass on its own rather than trying to manage it out of existence. And try not to be so hard on yourself.
 

Keendog

Semi-Pro
Haha great post.
You have a good point :D

Last time when i hit with my buddy some weeks ago i imitated nadal for fun, whippy fast buggy whip and even his grunting and its true that its basically impossible to miss deep or the net :laughing: was funny.. i should make a vid of this once...actually a good idea, il do that and post here once!

Would you people be interested in such a vid of immitating strokes?
Sure!
 

Keendog

Semi-Pro
I've mentioned it multiple times: having high expectations and a perfectionistic attitude is probably hurting you more than helping you.

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=patrick+cohn+perfectionism

Perhaps rather than trying to micro-manage your game, take a deep breath and just play. Don't judge. Observe and try to incorporate those observations into subsequent shots. Let the bad spell pass on its own rather than trying to manage it out of existence. And try not to be so hard on yourself.
This. Don't sweat the small stuff. You've made huge improvements, start enjoying yourself more
 

FiReFTW

Legend
Today I had 1 hour lesson with coach after some weeks and we fixed the problem fairly soon, 15 minutes in I was hitting great again.

She said I was hitting in akward positions, stretched, too close... spacing was all off, and I was hitting all over the stringbed.. and the biggest reason was footwork, it was just lazy and I was too upright and poor moving.. it sounds like such an easy thing to notice and change but I guess sometimes you don't notice things even if they are obvious, even tho it feels a bit dumb now.

Anyway I just focused on staying much lower instead of upright and I instantly felt more dynamic and more balanced in my strokes instead of before when I was too upright I was not in great balance and losing balance mid shot also etc... and I really started to get a much better feel for my shots, and played great after when we played a tiebreak to 11 also.
 

Fintft

Legend
Today I had 1 hour lesson with coach after some weeks and we fixed the problem fairly soon, 15 minutes in I was hitting great again.

She said I was hitting in akward positions, stretched, too close... spacing was all off, and I was hitting all over the stringbed.. and the biggest reason was footwork, it was just lazy and I was too upright and poor moving.. it sounds like such an easy thing to notice and change but I guess sometimes you don't notice things even if they are obvious, even tho it feels a bit dumb now.

Anyway I just focused on staying much lower instead of upright and I instantly felt more dynamic and more balanced in my strokes instead of before when I was too upright I was not in great balance and losing balance mid shot also etc... and I really started to get a much better feel for my shots, and played great after when we played a tiebreak to 11 also.

Good for you!

I was about to bet it was footwork and fitness in general.

Much lower and a wider base(based on some video posted here) and not forgetting to split stepping each time (helps me as well).

As a band aid, you may want to stay a bit further behind the baseline.

As for your bad strings after 6 hours, poly can lose tension pretty fast and pros cut them after 10 h of play I think. That's why I love full bed natural gut.

I also liked this advice, coupled with shadow swings between points:
When my timing is off or I'm just not feeling it that day, I will shorten my swing and focus on contact point only instead of the other 34 things that I don't like about my game.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
Good for you!

I was about to bet it was footwork and fitness in general.

Much lower and a wider base(based on some video posted here) and not forgetting to split stepping each time (helps me as well).

As a band aid, you may want to stay a bit further behind the baseline.

As for your bad strings after 6 hours, poly can lose tension pretty fast and pros cut them after 10 h of play I think. That's why I love full bed natural gut.

I also liked this advice, coupled with shadow swings between points:
Yeah I was sure footwork was responsible aswell, amongst other things, but im actually suprized that only by fixing my footwork and wide base it basically completely fixed it, I didn't expect just 1 thing to be responsible so much and make the difference so HUGE... but I guess it must have also been mental a bit aswell.. bad footwork and bad contact and bad spacing and not hitting as well as I know I can because of it, and then it got into my head aswell and I wasn't confident, so that must have had some affect aswell.
 

bitcoinoperated

Professional
I often take huge breaks from tennis. The first thing that goes for me is staying relaxed (which is already a battle for any rec player ayway) and then the more errors there are the worse it gets.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
I often take huge breaks from tennis. The first thing that goes for me is staying relaxed (which is already a battle for any rec player ayway) and then the more errors there are the worse it gets.
Yes, being relaxed and loose is the most crucial thing, if you get tight sometimes your racquet can't really swing freely and lag nicely, it becomes more of a bunt and the ball flies.
 

Fintft

Legend
Yeah I was sure footwork was responsible aswell, amongst other things, but im actually suprized that only by fixing my footwork and wide base it basically completely fixed it, I didn't expect just 1 thing to be responsible so much and make the difference so HUGE... but I guess it must have also been mental a bit aswell.. bad footwork and bad contact and bad spacing and not hitting as well as I know I can because of it, and then it got into my head aswell and I wasn't confident, so that must have had some affect aswell.
By that time you were also on your second or third hit, so you had time to relax, get into the flow etc.?

Never the less most of us agreed here, that footwork would give us most bang for the buck.

For spacing I'm supposed to elbow someone on the FH takeback (while on the 1H BH you have to know where to place your foot), plus extending the non dominant arm (parallel to the bl?) as some people posted here.
 
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