Crushing balls during warm up

InSydeOut

Rookie
I can warm up short ball and at the baseline nice and 'proper'. But when it comes time to match play I end up feeling like I am still holding something back, which leads me to get stiff all over again. Physically I know I am warmed up but mentally I am still unsure the maximum limit to how hard I can be swinging, holding be back from a full cut at the ball in pressure situations.
During the warming up process I just want to crush the ball long to the back fence on both wings a few times and dial it back from there. I end up doing this a few times in match and then I am calibrated and good to go. But this is not tennis warm up etiquette?
Anyone else have this issue? I seriously envy those players who don't need a warm up.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
Everyone needs to warm up when playing peers.
Nerves always plays a big part when you 1st start to take tennis seriously.
Even Fed was an emotional wreck in his early days.
After 5 years of competitive tennis, you learn to manage jitters, but it never goes away.
 

zaph

Professional
You really shouldn't be trying to crush balls in the warmup, I would find that behaviour incredible annoying as your opponent. A warmup is about loosening up to avoid injury, you should be giving you opponent rally feeds, not crushing balls.

The two most irritating things in a warmup are players who go for winners and junkballers who junkball in the warmup. I consider both to be a form of gamesmanship. They are basically trying to prevent their opponent properly warming up their strokes.

So please don't crush anything in the prematch warmup.
 

weelie

Professional
I consider both to be a form of gamesmanship. They are basically trying to prevent their opponent properly warming up their strokes.

So please don't crush anything in the prematch warmup.
I think the warm-up is for getting the feel for your shots going and sussing out what the opponent does not like. So giving rally balls for the most part, but throwing in a fast one, a slice, a high ball, is ok.
 

InSydeOut

Rookie
You really shouldn't be trying to crush balls in the warmup, I would find that behaviour incredible annoying as your opponent. A warmup is about loosening up to avoid injury, you should be giving you opponent rally feeds, not crushing balls.

The two most irritating things in a warmup are players who go for winners and junkballers who junkball in the warmup. I consider both to be a form of gamesmanship. They are basically trying to prevent their opponent properly warming up their strokes.

So please don't crush anything in the prematch warmup.
If I can't warm up then you can't warm up. I see the logic though :laughing:
 

Jono123

Rookie
I dont mind players crushing short balls in the warm-up but pls don't do it off a feed ball. That is really irritating.

As to the Op, it sounds the difference is you are too emotionally invested in the outcome hence tightening up.
 

Rosstour

Legend
I have a buddy who does this. Always tries to win the warmup. Even throws in the "C'MOOOOOOON" when he hits a nice shot. Our warmups are pretty much me feeding him balls for winners.
 

socallefty

Legend
Good players control the ball during the warmup. So, they hit within the middle of the court initially at a controlled pace, then they slowly ramp up the pace to the same targets. After a few minutes of that, they start hitting to the outer third of the court also in an controlled way so that it still cooperative rallying. If they get a mishit short ball, they might occasionally hit a winner, but in most cases will hit a controlled shot back within their opponent‘s reach. Same with volleys - good players hit them all back to their opponent and don’t go for drop/drive volley winners all over the court.

If I see an opponent who can’t control the ball during the warmup, I can pretty much count on the match being an easy win.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
One of the best 4 0's at our courts always just junks and dinks 2 bouncers in warmup. Then, when he plays, hits heavy topspin forehands and deep sidespin backhands.
 

zaph

Professional
I think the warm-up is for getting the feel for your shots going and sussing out what the opponent does not like. So giving rally balls for the most part, but throwing in a fast one, a slice, a high ball, is ok.
No the warmup is for warming up, the clue is in the name.

You hit rally balls and feeds, you don't hit winners or difficult shots to suss out your opponent.
 

zaph

Professional
I dont mind players crushing short balls in the warm-up but pls don't do it off a feed ball. That is really irritating.

As to the Op, it sounds the difference is you are too emotionally invested in the outcome hence tightening up.
I knew a guy who did that, very irritating. I don't understand why people struggle with the concept of don't hit winners in the warmup. Not a hard thing to understand.
 

InSydeOut

Rookie
One of the best 4 0's at our courts always just junks and dinks 2 bouncers in warmup. Then, when he plays, hits heavy topspin forehands and deep sidespin backhands.
You need to calibrate your swing based on the opponent's shot and he does not let you do that till match play few games in. This dude really wants some cheap points.
 

nyta2

Hall of Fame
I can warm up short ball and at the baseline nice and 'proper'. But when it comes time to match play I end up feeling like I am still holding something back, which leads me to get stiff all over again. Physically I know I am warmed up but mentally I am still unsure the maximum limit to how hard I can be swinging, holding be back from a full cut at the ball in pressure situations.
During the warming up process I just want to crush the ball long to the back fence on both wings a few times and dial it back from there. I end up doing this a few times in match and then I am calibrated and good to go. But this is not tennis warm up etiquette?
Anyone else have this issue? I seriously envy those players who don't need a warm up.
i'm exactly like you... i like to "hit out", even hit the back fence a few times (especially on the serve), to get calibrated, feel loose, etc...
problem with you, is that you think your 5-10 min of hitting before a match, is the time to do this "warmup"...
when i do my "hit the back fence warmup" before a tourney, or usta match, time permitting, it's being done 1h before the match at some nearby courts.
that said, let's say i couldn't do my "hit the back fence warmup", and only had the 10min-pre-match-hit to warm up, i'm just focusing on getting my rhythm and timing... i might even send a few long (but not hard... and definitely easy enough for my opponent to hit a swinging volley on it)... but in general my goal is to find my stroke, and not miss any, even if i have to dial back the spin & speed with a slower swing. against good players with similar mindsets, i've had 10m of never missing a ball... where i'm hitting "all my shots"... high, low, slice, etc...

side note, in the worst case scenario... you'll run into a guy who has done his "warmup" an hour before the match, then knowing you didn't warmup at all, will intentionlly not warm you up (junk ball, hitting winners, crushing it, etc...)... my personal fave is to pretend to hit everything out (ie. where my "target" just happens to be 2ft long), especially if you're not the type to hit swinging volleys from baseline
 

InSydeOut

Rookie
i'm exactly like you... i like to "hit out", even hit the back fence a few times (especially on the serve), to get calibrated, feel loose, etc...
problem with you, is that you think your 5-10 min of hitting before a match, is the time to do this "warmup"...
when i do my "hit the back fence warmup" before a tourney, or usta match, time permitting, it's being done 1h before the match at some nearby courts.
that said, let's say i couldn't do my "hit the back fence warmup", and only had the 10min-pre-match-hit to warm up, i'm just focusing on getting my rhythm and timing... i might even send a few long (but not hard... and definitely easy enough for my opponent to hit a swinging volley on it)... but in general my goal is to find my stroke, and not miss any, even if i have to dial back the spin & speed with a slower swing. against good players with similar mindsets, i've had 10m of never missing a ball... where i'm hitting "all my shots"... high, low, slice, etc...
I was beginning to think I was alone on this one! :)

There are players who hit such a heavy ball that unless you fully swing out, their topspin will overwhelm your shots. It is against these players I really need to "hit out" a few times because any holding back or semi-dinking just results in a mess.
 

nyta2

Hall of Fame
I was beginning to think I was alone on this one! :)

There are players who hit such a heavy ball that unless you fully swing out, their topspin will overwhelm your shots. It is against these players I really need to "hit out" a few times because any holding back or semi-dinking just results in a mess.
well if they are already "hitting out" to you, you need to match them, and swing faster
MOST of my matches, have warmups that are about 1/2 match speed... but occasionally (25% or less?) i do run into guys that really like to crush during the warmup.
one guy i play seasonally does this... first time i thought he was just being a d*ck... like hitting it as hard as he can... problem was that he also wasn't missing... i tried to go "shot for shot" in the warmup, but predictably i was spraying... and not surprisingly i have like an 0-3 record against him... but IMO he's an exception (and hard hitting warmups are typically a faux pas)... even watching the 5.0 matches at my club, the guys typically only going half speed
 

Turbo-87

Legend
It really doesn't bother me when people swing out during warmups. The only thing that irks me from time to time is when John rifles an absurdly out serve back at me at the net when I shouldn't even be expecting a return. You know who you are, John.
 

AlexSV

Semi-Pro
Personally, I don't mind it. I'm thinking, this is their max forehand and it's no big deal. I know my pace is going to ramp up in a couple of games and their pace is going to be dropping fast.
 

johnmccabe

Semi-Pro
It really doesn't bother me when people swing out during warmups. The only thing that irks me from time to time is when John rifles an absurdly out serve back at me at the net when I shouldn't even be expecting a return. You know who you are, John.
I once shanked a serve and hit a lady on the next court
 

shadow01

Semi-Pro
This so frustrating. I stopped playing with a guy because he just wants to crush balls right after a 2 minute short court rally. Ugh.
 

socallefty

Legend
I like warmups when opponents hit hard a lot as it gets me into a good rhythm and I have fun hitting extra hard too like in practice - if they make a lot of errors, they won’t mind if I spray a bit too. Then the match starts and I will slice and junk ball a lot along with slower topspin shots not giving them any pace. Guys who like only pace self-destruct in a hurry when you don’t give them any.

If an opponent is hitting controlled shots very hard, then it is a whole different ballgame and you know you are in for a tough match.
 

Injured Again

Hall of Fame
I was beginning to think I was alone on this one! :)

There are players who hit such a heavy ball that unless you fully swing out, their topspin will overwhelm your shots. It is against these players I really need to "hit out" a few times because any holding back or semi-dinking just results in a mess.
I'm in the camp that the warmup is not about me, but about figuring out what my opponent likes and doesn't like, seeing what their tendencies are, and test feeding them some balls to see where I might have an advantage. Sure, you can get your full swings in. Sometimes after the ball crosses the net six or seven times during a baseline warmup, I'll swing at one pretty hard and aim at the corner, as much to send a message (hopefully a good one if I make it or maybe give my opponent a thought that I might be erratic if I miss it) as to get that ball out of the rotation so all the balls get used somewhat equally before the match starts. Same with warming up overheads. I'll hit two or three easily back to my opponent to see how competent they are at lobbing, then hit a hard one to a corner.

So that may get you what you need, but I think you'd be much better off figuring out how to play your opponent in the warmup rather than taking a few games in the actual match to do the same thing.
 

socallefty

Legend
I don’t pay much attention to how an opponent plays during warmup to decide how much of a threat they will be during the match. There are guys who look great in warmup who play bad when the match starts as they don’t serve/return well, get tight or can’t deal with variety and shots on the run. There are others who look bad during the warmup with ugly shots, but are fierce competitors who know how to adjust their game to prey on my weaknesses. There are some who deliberately try to mislead you during the warmup by hiding their weaknesses.

I will try a lot of different serves and point patterns during the early games of a match to really decide what they like and don’t like and how they do under pressure.
 
I have a buddy who does this. Always tries to win the warmup. Even throws in the "C'MOOOOOOON" when he hits a nice shot. Our warmups are pretty much me feeding him balls for winners.
This is hilarious to read about but must be soooo obnoxious to deal with. I’d try to pass him when he’s doing volleys and overheads, but only after I hit volleys first
 

Rosstour

Legend
This is hilarious to read about but must be soooo obnoxious to deal with. I’d try to pass him when he’s doing volleys and overheads, but only after I hit volleys first
It's all hilarious to read but yes, very obnoxious to deal with.

Nice username btw. lol
 

Aslan T

Rookie
I can warm up short ball and at the baseline nice and 'proper'. But when it comes time to match play I end up feeling like I am still holding something back, which leads me to get stiff all over again. Physically I know I am warmed up but mentally I am still unsure the maximum limit to how hard I can be swinging, holding be back from a full cut at the ball in pressure situations.
During the warming up process I just want to crush the ball long to the back fence on both wings a few times and dial it back from there. I end up doing this a few times in match and then I am calibrated and good to go. But this is not tennis warm up etiquette?
Anyone else have this issue? I seriously envy those players who don't need a warm up.
I enjoyed your AITA post. And the answer is: yes.
 

jz000

Rookie
I constantly adjust my "I don't give a damn" attitude to ease my nerves between points.

When I wanna hit big the next point - "Whatever, just try to feel the stroke and go for it."
When he drop shots/junk balls me - "Ok be careful OR is it ok to risk going big here?"
When I wanna drop shot n cat n mouse - "Ok time to be tricky, hehehe."
When I think I'm gonna lose to this scrub - "What the hell am I thinking, just play!"

Just try to have a robotic mindset - calculating/emotionless/merciless.
 
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