Do you hit better in practice or in matches?

Do you hit better n practice or in matches

  • Practice/training/hitting around

    Votes: 41 64.1%
  • Match play

    Votes: 15 23.4%
  • Equal

    Votes: 8 12.5%

  • Total voters
    64

HughJars

Banned
I've heard a lot about players hitting the ball well in practice but once they get on the court they don't play at the same level. Ian Westerman talks about it quite a bit in his podcasts. There is a sports psych podcast that touches on it quite a bit too.

For me its the opposite. In matches I hit more consistently, and serve better than I do in practice. Alluding to the whole process v outcome, conscious v subconscious thing put forward in the Inner Game of Tennis/Wil Hamilton I think this because in practice I'm consciously focussing on individual aspects of performing a skill - eg: take back on the forward, footwork, pronation during serve.

Once I get on the court for a match my focus is more on executing strategy, thinking about where I want to place the ball, watching the ball closely and keeping an eye on my opponent's position. The internal focus on skill execution dissipates, and becomes more external.

I have a mate who is talented at all sports, and he beats me on the tennis court regularly. In the warm-up and hitting around he looks horrendous, but once the match starts his game rises out of nowhere. Has a massive competitive spirit, and succeeds in every sport he tries. Football. Golf. Ping Pong. X-box. B*stard. :)

Before taking up competitive tennis most of my tennis just involved playing matches with my mate. I did little practice and hitting around. Ratio of matches to training was about 3:1. Now its about 1:3. So being more accustomed to playing matches might be another reason why I find it more comfortable to play matches than hitting around at training.

Just wondering what the general trend is out there is and people's thoughts on this.
 
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PhrygianDominant

Hall of Fame
In practice I am actively changing things and it can be frustrating when it doesn't work. In matches I try not to think at all and just do/play. I tend to get inspired in match/point play and come up with some good shots. I didn't used to be this way, in fact quite the opposite. I couldn't shake the practice mindset in play and got frustrated often. That's not to say that it can't change back, but at the moment I play better in matches.
 

spaceman_spiff

Hall of Fame
In matches, my groundstroke strategy is to take the ball early and move my opponent around, hitting angles or hitting behind him. Seeing the gap I want to hit to helps me set up for the shot I want to hit. In practice, it's like there is no purpose for each shot, so I don't focus as much.

It's similar for serves. In a match, I have chosen a particular serve for a particular reason, and that helps me focus on hitting the serve the way I want to. When I'm just serving a basket of balls, I lack that purpose and focus.
 

HoyaPride

Professional
Practice.

The reason is simple. When I'm hitting around, I start off the "point" from the middle of the court. Neither player has an advantage from the outset.

When playing points, you're already backed into a corner on the ROS. Even if you're serving, you can get caught off balance if a return gets hit back to your feet, which rarely ever happens when hitting around (not when beginning a rally anyway).

So I'd say most players hit better when simply hitting around because they're usually better positioned from the first ball strike.
 

BHiC

Rookie
I hit better in practice. I am looser because there is less accountability if I miss a shot. I can hit out on the ball without worrying quite as much that it has to go in. In a match I tend to tense up a little bit and not play as well because I don't want to lose.
 

GoaLaSSo

Semi-Pro
A lot of people (like me) just get tight in matches. It is harder to hit with confidence than it is in practice when there is no pressure.
 

goran_ace

Hall of Fame
Definitely matches. I've always been more of a gamer, better when something is on the line and more loose in practice.
 

HoyaPride

Professional
A lot of people (like me) just get tight in matches. It is harder to hit with confidence than it is in practice when there is no pressure.
That too. I'm wondering who the 5 people are who hit better in matches than they do in practice.

You really don't have many points to give away in a game. You botch the return of a tough kick serve and you're down 0-15. Get the return back, get into the rally, and then net a short ball. You're down 0-30. Hit a return back just wide and it's 0-40. Unreturnable serve. Game.

Not a lot of margin for error there. Especially if you're playing somebody with a really good serve. Then you're faced with the pressure of (1) just starting the point on their serve and (2) protecting the points on your serve.
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
I hit very differently between practice and games/matches, depend on how you define better.

In practice I generally crank up the strokes' power and try redirection (because there's always the weird setup of 4 dudes at 4 corners and each needs to blast the ball), and not much else. It gets boring for me after 30 minutes and then I get sloppy.

In games, although the rallying is shorter, the overall, including hitting, is much better. Everything I know comes alive, angle judging, court coverage, footwork, shot variety, fitness regulation, mindset, etc.
 

spaceman_spiff

Hall of Fame
That too. I'm wondering who the 5 people are who hit better in matches than they do in practice.

You really don't have many points to give away in a game. You botch the return of a tough kick serve and you're down 0-15. Get the return back, get into the rally, and then net a short ball. You're down 0-30. Hit a return back just wide and it's 0-40. Unreturnable serve. Game.

Not a lot of margin for error there. Especially if you're playing somebody with a really good serve. Then you're faced with the pressure of (1) just starting the point on their serve and (2) protecting the points on your serve.
This mentality is very negative and also misses the flip side of the coin: your opponent also has very little margin for error. A double-fault followed by a missed shot in a rally followed by a return winner off of a weak second serve puts him down three break points. At that point, he's probably going to throw in some ultra-safe serve that shouldn't be too difficult to return and you'll start off in a neutral rally at the very least.

Personally, my whole game is designed to set up chances to win points without coughing up too many unforced errors. In practice, that purpose isn't there and I have to conciously hold back from hitting shots that would push my partner out of position, force a weak reply, etc. And when there is no purpose for each of my shots, I either lose focus or start experimenting with minor changes in technique, and that causes mistakes.
 

goran_ace

Hall of Fame
Errors in matches have as much to do with shot selection as they do with execution. In practice I tend to be more loose and more concerned with getting in a groove whereas in a match I'm more focused on the point.
 
A

Attila_the_gorilla

Guest
In matches, especially on important points, I play more within myself and focus on strategy/tactics. This brings good results. In practice, I experiment with technique a bit, work on my weaknesses and focus on being loose, rather than on the result. So I wouldn't say I hit the ball better in matches, I just play more within myself and a result oriented game. Half of the game in matches is exposing the opponent's weakness. In practice, I'm trying to expose my own weakness. I play doubles only.
 

HoyaPride

Professional
This mentality is very negative and also misses the flip side of the coin: your opponent also has very little margin for error. A double-fault followed by a missed shot in a rally followed by a return winner off of a weak second serve puts him down three break points. At that point, he's probably going to throw in some ultra-safe serve that shouldn't be too difficult to return and you'll start off in a neutral rally at the very least.

Personally, my whole game is designed to set up chances to win points without coughing up too many unforced errors. In practice, that purpose isn't there and I have to conciously hold back from hitting shots that would push my partner out of position, force a weak reply, etc. And when there is no purpose for each of my shots, I either lose focus or start experimenting with minor changes in technique, and that causes mistakes.
It's not a "mentality." It's a reality. You don't have many points to squander in a single game. It's the complete opposite of a hitting session where you can hit a ball a few inches along only for your hitting partner to return it and keep the rally going. In a real match, the point stops, and you move to the other side of the court.

And that's another reason why people tend to hit better in practice. If you're hitting balls out of bounds, I'll still run them down and hit them back, allowing you to hit more balls and develop rhythm. If we're in a match, I'm calling your ball out and that's the end of it. Nobody's going to give you time to settle into a groove in a match.
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
And that's another reason why people tend to hit better in practice. If you're hitting balls out of bounds, I'll still run them down and hit them back, allowing you to hit more balls and develop rhythm. If we're in a match, I'm calling your ball out and that's the end of it. Nobody's going to give you time to settle into a groove in a match.
That's only one side of it. Another side is that personalities like mine prefer discipline and result oriented and without it we don't function well. Let me ask you, if you practice and hit balls out of bounds but continue to hit them, what practice are you doing?
 

HoyaPride

Professional
That's only one side of it. Another side is that personalities like mine prefer discipline and result oriented and without it we don't function well. Let me ask you, if you practice and hit balls out of bounds but continue to hit them, what practice are you doing?
It depends on what type of practice I'm doing. If I'm "hitting around," then I'll return out balls, especially if they're only an inch long or so. What would be the purpose of stopping the rally if the point of the exercise is to develop rhythm and work on technique?

If I'm playing a practice set (which I really don't do anymore since I no longer play competitively), then I won't return out balls. I'll play it just as I would a real match unless...

We're playing points and we've already stated that we'll "play it out." So if a ball is a couple of inches wide, we'll keep playing the point until someone hits a winner or an unreturnable error (ball lands in the net or flies several feet out).
 

TheLambsheadrep

Professional
Here's my problem - when practicing before a match, I get in the groove of hitting right back to the guy across the net. Then when the points count I still find myself still hitting balls right to him, so I'm running around plus making it extremely easy for him. It's hard for me to get out of the practice mentality.

I know when I was in high school I would have a hard time beating teammates below my ability at the beginning of the season (challenge matches) because of the same reason, plus I had some aversion to seriously competing against my teammates. It's weird playing friends for a team spot at that age
 

HoyaPride

Professional
Here's my problem - when practicing before a match, I get in the groove of hitting right back to the guy across the net. Then when the points count I still find myself still hitting balls right to him, so I'm running around plus making it extremely easy for him. It's hard for me to get out of the practice mentality.
That's kinda true...though I don't develop that tendency during a match warmup. I tend to do that when I just hit around a lot without playing many points or sets. My warmups are generally not long enough to really get "grooved." The warmup, for me, is more about getting rid of jitters than it is about getting into rhythm.

I do a lot of hit-straight-down-the-middle nowadays, but we also mix it up with King of the Court. It really just depends on who's available to hit. I have some hitting partners who are good with 10 minutes of hit-straight-up-the center (plus some volleys/overheads or whatever), 30 or so minutes of moving the ball around (without going for the outright winner) and then tiebreaks after. These are always the guys I call up first (unfortunately I only know two guys like that).
 

TheLambsheadrep

Professional
That's kinda true...though I don't develop that tendency during a match warmup. I tend to do that when I just hit around a lot without playing many points or sets. My warmups are generally not long enough to really get "grooved." The warmup, for me, is more about getting rid of jitters than it is about getting into rhythm.

I do a lot of hit-straight-down-the-middle nowadays, but we also mix it up with King of the Court. It really just depends on who's available to hit. I have some hitting partners who are good with 10 minutes of hit-straight-up-the center (plus some volleys/overheads or whatever), 30 or so minutes of moving the ball around (without going for the outright winner) and then tiebreaks after. These are always the guys I call up first (unfortunately I only know two guys like that).
I should prob redefine how I play 99% of the time. It is more of a practice match, where there's not much on the line and it's just about getting out to hit. Still, I know I should be taking it more seriously and work on my game.

Maybe I should implement a time frame of DTL hitting and then all around the court hitting before we start keeping score so I can move into a less 1-dimentional mindset of hitting...
 

HoyaPride

Professional
I should prob redefine how I play 99% of the time. It is more of a practice match, where there's not much on the line and it's just about getting out to hit. Still, I know I should be taking it more seriously and work on my game.

Maybe I should implement a time frame of DTL hitting and then all around the court hitting before we start keeping score so I can move into a less 1-dimentional mindset of hitting...
That's not a bad idea.

You're like the complete opposite of a friend I had who couldn't grasp the concept of a warmup. The very first ball you feed him he's teeing off for the corners. If he makes it, he does a solid fist pump. If he misses (more likely than not), he walks around spacing the strings on his racquet while talking to himself: "C'mon, baby, c'mon." There was no point in even trying to warmup with him. Just pop open the can, spin the racquet, hit a few practice serves and then go live.
 

Mongolmike

Hall of Fame
I play better in matches, or if something is on the line- USTA match, tourneys or even the first beer, ice cream, a tee shirt, whatever... it helps me focus because normally I am not that.... oooohhh, the mailman is here.
 

PhrygianDominant

Hall of Fame
I should prob redefine how I play 99% of the time. It is more of a practice match, where there's not much on the line and it's just about getting out to hit. Still, I know I should be taking it more seriously and work on my game.

Maybe I should implement a time frame of DTL hitting and then all around the court hitting before we start keeping score so I can move into a less 1-dimentional mindset of hitting...
That's not a bad idea.

You're like the complete opposite of a friend I had who couldn't grasp the concept of a warmup. The very first ball you feed him he's teeing off for the corners. If he makes it, he does a solid fist pump. If he misses (more likely than not), he walks around spacing the strings on his racquet while talking to himself: "C'mon, baby, c'mon." There was no point in even trying to warmup with him. Just pop open the can, spin the racquet, hit a few practice serves and then go live.
The funny part is I have had both of these. I had the hardest time seeing empty space as a target. Then I had to really struggle to learn how to rally cooperatively.
 

HughJars

Banned
That's only one side of it. Another side is that personalities like mine prefer discipline and result oriented and without it we don't function well. Let me ask you, if you practice and hit balls out of bounds but continue to hit them, what practice are you doing?
I'm with you on this. Hitting balls for the sake of it is mindless and boring to me. There's got to be something specific I'm working on, or something game based about the activity that brings out my best
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
I'm with you on this. Hitting balls for the sake of it is mindless and boring to me. There's got to be something specific I'm working on, or something game based about the activity that brings out my best
Where I play, the majority prefer rallying. Basically 2, 3 or 4 guys stand at the baselines and hit ground strokes over and over. I participate as much as I can but I always find myself bored and unmotivated after 30, 40 minutes. I have a feeling that many people do not like to play games having to deal with hard work (mentally and physically) or otherwise losing.

I'm competitive and relatively serious and at the same time remain friendly and positive. I can understand how difficult it can get to thread between these aspects.
 

HughJars

Banned
Where I play, the majority prefer rallying. Basically 2, 3 or 4 guys stand at the baselines and hit ground strokes over and over. I participate as much as I can but I always find myself bored and unmotivated after 30, 40 minutes. I have a feeling that many people do not like to play games having to deal with hard work (mentally and physically) or otherwise losing.

I'm competitive and relatively serious and at the same time remain friendly and positive. I can understand how difficult it can get to thread between these aspects.
Sounds like a typical practice with my league team. They ask me to come along for 'practice', and they end up just standing at the baseline wacking balls mindlessly. They dont even try to sustain a rally - they go for big hero shots down the line. Drives me crazy! The captain of the team is notorious for this - but unlike the others once he hits the court for matches he's unbeatable. Hasnt lost a game all year. Has horrible technique but just one of those players who knows how to win. The others are complete opposite. They have several one on one coaching lessons a week, look great when they are hitting with the coach, but once they step on to the court for a match they crumble into a million pieces. None of them have won a match of singles this year.

In practice I ask if they want to do something structured or play a practice set - but no, they are happy to just talk crap and wack balls at each other. They literally go out their way to avoid any form of competition almost like they are scared of it. One of them even commented to me how he plays just to get better, and doesnt worry about winning. Fair enough for sure, tennis is great that you can chose to play the game however you want for your own personal satisfaction, but why play in a team competition then?

Suffice to say I dont bother practicing with them anymore.

When I practice I like to take it seriously. I'll still have a laugh, but its got to either be structured drills, game based, or focussed towards improving something specific or else I dont bother. Id rather hit serves on my lonesome.
 
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HughJars

Banned
And is it me, or has anyone noticed in videos of pros hitting around they make really strange almost lazy mistakes? I saw a vid of Fed the other day from a few years ago and he hit a couple of balls into the net that were straight up the court - cant imagine him doing this in the heat of battle.
 

PhrygianDominant

Hall of Fame
Practice situations are more hitting friendly imo.
That's true. In practice I am trying very hard to be cooperative, friendly, and productive.

In matches and am trying very hard to be cruel and ruthless. I want them to want to quit playing. This isn't normal, but advantageous in match situations.
 

PhrygianDominant

Hall of Fame
And is it me, or has anyone noticed in videos of pros hitting around they make really strange almost lazy mistakes? I saw a vid of Fed the other day from a few years ago and he hit a couple of balls into the net that were straight up the court - cant imagine him doing this in the heat of battle.
Yeah I also think the pros are relaxed at practice. They are trying to get their rhythm and also grooving the routine that makes them feel prepared come match time. They are purposefully not going all out in practice because there is nothing on the line and they need it for later.
 

HoyaPride

Professional
I'm with you on this. Hitting balls for the sake of it is mindless and boring to me. There's got to be something specific I'm working on, or something game based about the activity that brings out my best
Then don't hit balls mindlessly. You can play a continuous point where the objective is to move the ball all around the court during a rally. That way you can improve your consistency off the ground while also working on angles, different spins, etc.
 

5263

G.O.A.T.
Alluding to the whole process v outcome, conscious v subconscious thing put forward in the Inner Game of Tennis/Wil Hamilton I think this because in practice I'm consciously focussing on individual aspects of performing a skill - eg: take back on the forward, footwork, pronation during serve.

Once I get on the court for a match my focus is more on executing strategy, thinking about where I want to place the ball, watching the ball closely and keeping an eye on my opponent's position. The internal focus on skill execution dissipates, and becomes more external.
I think this is good stuff above....
 

spaceman_spiff

Hall of Fame
It's not a "mentality." It's a reality. You don't have many points to squander in a single game. It's the complete opposite of a hitting session where you can hit a ball a few inches along only for your hitting partner to return it and keep the rally going. In a real match, the point stops, and you move to the other side of the court.

And that's another reason why people tend to hit better in practice. If you're hitting balls out of bounds, I'll still run them down and hit them back, allowing you to hit more balls and develop rhythm. If we're in a match, I'm calling your ball out and that's the end of it. Nobody's going to give you time to settle into a groove in a match.
The reality is that both opponents have an equally small number of points to squander/win. Your mentality is how you view that reality and allow it to affect your decision making.

Some people hit better when there are no negative consequences for missing and they are able to get into a rythm. But, some people are not able to reach their potential when there is no consequence/reward for focusing on individual shots or creating and executing a plan. Also, some people simply have a particularly strong serve and/or return game, and such strengths aren't rewarded when simply rallying with a buddy.

I'm one of the latter. I can hit ok when rallying, but my shots are more effective in point situations because they are designed to execute a plan. Having a reward for executing a plan gives me reason to focus more on my shots than I would if I'm just hitting around. Also, I have a strong return game and a decent serve game. Because of that, I'm able to beat players in point play who are better than me at practice rallies.
 

HoyaPride

Professional
Where I play, the majority prefer rallying. Basically 2, 3 or 4 guys stand at the baselines and hit ground strokes over and over. I participate as much as I can but I always find myself bored and unmotivated after 30, 40 minutes. I have a feeling that many people do not like to play games having to deal with hard work (mentally and physically) or otherwise losing.
This depends on your perspective on the game too. You can love the sport of tennis but yet hate competitive tennis. I believe that this is what Agassi meant when said he "hates tennis." If you've been playing tournaments your whole life, and have been waking up at the butt crack of dawn to practice since you were 9, then it's easy to see how someone could have this sentiment.

Competitive tennis, particularly from an early age, has a special way of sucking the fun out of life. Sometimes people just want to go back to what made them fall in love with the sport in the first place, which was often just hitting a yellow, fuzzy ball with a parent, coach or even against a wall.
 

dknotty

Semi-Pro
It varies for me... if I'm hitting well during practice then switch to a match I play lousy... but if I play badly in a practice then start a match I play pretty well.

WTF???
 

HoyaPride

Professional
The reality is that both opponents have an equally small number of points to squander/win. Your mentality is how you view that reality and allow it to affect your decision making.
But I'm not talking about "my" mentality or any other type of tennis philosophy. I'm simply saying that "hitting around" almost invariably gives you more balls to hit. And it's easier for most people to develop a rhythm when they get 400 cracks at the down-the-line backhand rather than a handful. You have only a few opportunities to "get it right" in a match whereas you have unlimited opportunities to do the same in a practice session.

Some people hit better when there are no negative consequences for missing and they are able to get into a rythm. But, some people are not able to reach their potential when there is no consequence/reward for focusing on individual shots or creating and executing a plan. Also, some people simply have a particularly strong serve and/or return game, and such strengths aren't rewarded when simply rallying with a buddy.
When the OP asks "Do you hit better in practice or matches," are you including serving into your definition of "hit?"

I'm one of the latter. I can hit ok when rallying, but my shots are more effective in point situations because they are designed to execute a plan. Having a reward for executing a plan gives me reason to focus more on my shots than I would if I'm just hitting around. Also, I have a strong return game and a decent serve game. Because of that, I'm able to beat players in point play who are better than me at practice rallies.
Okay. Your opinion is on the record.

I don't necessarily consider holding serve easily to mean that I'm "hitting" better. When I say "hit," I'm thinking of the cleanliness and accuracy of my ball striking. My matches have never really had particularly long rallies. And most of the time I was attacking a particular vulnerability rather than hitting the ball the way I really wanted to hit it.
 

HoyaPride

Professional
It varies for me... if I'm hitting well during practice then switch to a match I play lousy... but if I play badly in a practice then start a match I play pretty well.

WTF???
Haha. That is pretty weird. I think that most people tend to play the way they practice. It's hard to be late all the time, lazy with your footwork, etc. and then suddenly get to the match and "turn it on." Of all the sports I played, tennis was the hardest to just "turn on" because so much of it is based on habit and repitition.

Some of you, however, may be like Allen Iverson where you don't need practice.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d29VsG35DQM

But in tennis, there's no compensating for a lack of technique with athleticism (beyond a certain level). In basketball, there's no way a good 16-year old Girls' Varsity player is going to beat me one-on-one (with a long layoff from the sport). But in tennis, a good 16-year old junior has a very real chance of beating you, particularly if you haven't touched a racquet in a while.
 

BMC9670

Hall of Fame
That's true. In practice I am trying very hard to be cooperative, friendly, and productive.

In matches and am trying very hard to be cruel and ruthless. I want them to want to quit playing. This isn't normal, but advantageous in match situations.
Also, many players will go for more in practice as there is nothing "on the line". In a match, they may play more conservatively so as to keep UEs down. I see this a lot in both adults and juniors. It's not that they play better in one or the other, but may play differently. One of the harder things to balance mentally in tennis, IMO.
 

spaceman_spiff

Hall of Fame
But I'm not talking about "my" mentality or any other type of tennis philosophy. I'm simply saying that "hitting around" almost invariably gives you more balls to hit. And it's easier for most people to develop a rhythm when they get 400 cracks at the down-the-line backhand rather than a handful. You have only a few opportunities to "get it right" in a match whereas you have unlimited opportunities to do the same in a practice session.
I get what you're saying, but some people need a reason to focus or a situation that triggers a particular response more than they need to develop a rythm. Some people could have 400 cracks at hitting a particular shot in practice and miss quite a lot because there isn't much much motivation for hitting well. On the other hand, those same people might be able to consistently hit that same shot in a match because the potential reward will cause them to focus on setting up and executing.

For example, when a buddy of mine wants to practice crosscourt backhands, I lose focus after the first few shots of the rally and then just start getting sloppy. But when I'm playing matches or practice sets, I can hit crosscourt backhands (aggressive, neutral, or defensive) more cleanly and consistently because the point situation gets me to focus on setting up properly and executing the shot.

Another buddy of mine tries to hit too hard in practice rallies, but he settles down in matches and focuses on making his opponent run, minimizing mistakes, and setting himself up for easy put-aways.

When the OP asks "Do you hit better in practice or matches," are you including serving into your definition of "hit?"
Yes. As with groundstrokes, my serves are better when I have a reason to focus. I can serve ok when I'm just practicing, but I can serve better when I have a reason to create a plan and focus on execution. It helps me get my toss in the right position and visualize my target.

I don't necessarily consider holding serve easily to mean that I'm "hitting" better. When I say "hit," I'm thinking of the cleanliness and accuracy of my ball striking. My matches have never really had particularly long rallies. And most of the time I was attacking a particular vulnerability rather than hitting the ball the way I really wanted to hit it.
If you're facing a decent returner and are holding easily, then that means you're hitting your serves well and/or hitting your other shots well. If you're holding easily without hitting any shots particularly well, then you're facing weak returners who are probably complaining about how they play so much worse in matches than they do in practice.

If you're constantly playing weak returners who can't improve their return game, then maybe you are better off just rallying with them.
 
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Fintft

Legend
A lot of people (like me) just get tight in matches. It is harder to hit with confidence than it is in practice when there is no pressure.
Same here, especially if the technique is not perfect, mainly b/c it's easier to be more relaxed and fluent in practice.

Second while in matches I might be paired with what I perceive to be inferior players (and won't like losing to those), most (if not all) of my practice partners are better then me (I want to benefit from their strokes, it helps hone mine/get e rhythm + my movement).
 

TomT

Hall of Fame
I think I hit a bit better in practice, warmups, non-match play. Why is that? Not sure. I'm guessing that in match play I'm considering too many variables and possible ways of hitting the ball, whereas in practice I just swing away intuitively. So, even though the practice approach might seem to be the looser one, the net effect is that I'm closer to being "in the zone" in practice and warmup than I usually ever get in match play. But, like I said, I'm not really sure why I tend to hit better in practice and warmups than in match play. But I'm pretty sure that I do.
 
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