Dose of Reality

fe6250

Semi-Pro
I had the opportunity to play two sets of tennis with the club pro last night against two of the better players in the club. This pro played full out and easily dominated the match. In looking at his serve, speed, and court presence he was so much better than anyone else on the court it was scary. This pro isn't even close to being the best pro in the club and no one in the club is close to being able to compete at a professional level. It reminded me of just how weak I really am at this sport in the grand scheme of things.

I'm more determined than ever to just enjoy the sport.
 

smoothtennis

Hall of Fame
Yeah, amazing sometimes isn't it? I recently had the good pleasure to watch a doubles match in person with some local 5.5 guys, one of whom has played some futures. Uhhh...WOW is all could say. The energy was just so high. It wasn't just how incredibly hard they could hit the ball, it was that they were returning them for rallys. I was kinda blown away just watching.
 

Katlion

Semi-Pro
I know, it really is amazing. But when you watch pro tennis live, like when you are actually there, it doesn't seem like they are hitting that hard, but they are. I cannot imagine sitting right behind Andy Roddick while he is hitting a 150 mph serve... or actually being the one who is returning Andy Roddick's 150 mph serve, with such ease that Federer does... It really is amazing, isn't it?
 

tbini87

Hall of Fame
I had the opportunity to play two sets of tennis with the club pro last night against two of the better players in the club. This pro played full out and easily dominated the match. In looking at his serve, speed, and court presence he was so much better than anyone else on the court it was scary. This pro isn't even close to being the best pro in the club and no one in the club is close to being able to compete at a professional level. It reminded me of just how weak I really am at this sport in the grand scheme of things.

I'm more determined than ever to just enjoy the sport.
a dose of reality is great from time to time! puts things right back into perspective. i have gotten to hit with some ex college players (who don't play much anymore) and i was still pretty amazed. their ability to hit every shot in the book and paint the lines was awesome.

did you guys dominate the match?
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
Yeah, I hear ya! You get your little mojo going and you think you're Actually Playing Some Tennis. Then you get a look at someone who can really play. Ugh.

In our clinic the other day, our pro wanted us to work on passing shots. My two lesson mates were on one side of the net; they were to be the Passors. I was on the other side at the net, and my job was to be the Passee.

The pro wished to demonstrate what a crosscourt passing shot should look like. He said to me, "Feed me a ball."

I innocently blooped a ball over to his forehand at the baseline and got ready to volley. He wound up and *crushed* that ball in a way I had never seen a ball be crushed. I mean, I've seen top players kill a ball, but I've never been at the net when they did it. It was *way* harder than I've seen a 4.0 or 4.5 guy hit. I was "ready" to try to volley it, but I literally did not move. Nothing. Even though I knew he was going to pass me crosscourt.

Then we did the drill, with the three of us hitting these pitiful little passing shots. It kind of puts things into perspective.
 

maleyoyo

Professional
My favorite part of taking lesson with the tennis pro at my club is playing points with him during the last 10 min of my lesson. The things that impress me most are his footwork and ability to read my shots. My so-called winners are just a joke to him, as he just GLIDES over and hit the ball before I could recover.
To put things into perspective, I went out and hit with a 3.0 and I can just imagine how the tennis pro feels when playing with me. The 3.0 guy seems to play in slow motion and I have plenty of time to react to everything he can throw at me.Then I went to play a 3.5 and the obvious difference is he can get to more balls.
Lesson from all this? Footwork and fitness. The tennis pro told me that if I hit with him often enough I could (slowly) get used to the pace and spin as my skills gradually improve, BUT it's useless until I can get to the balls in time on a consistent basis.
 

saram

Legend
I spent the last half of last year hitting with a former top 20 player in the world. He's in his late 40's. He coaches at a major university and believe me--he offers a severe dose of reality when you play him. He beat me 4 and 4, but I know he could have crushed me with bagels had he really chosen to. It was amazing to see his precision on a shot with heavy pace. His defensive lobs hung up in the air long enough for me to go to Starbucks and get a cup of coffee and return prior to hitting them. When I got too close to the net--he backed me off by putting one on my chest.

After my first day with him, I had two options to head in. One was to realize I suck in comparison to him and take up golf again. The second option was to hire him as a coach and learn as much as I could. I took the second option, and get humiliated via him all the time--but when I play others at my skill level--it is a breeze. No one hits with his pace, precision, or speed on the court.

Taking my weekly doses of reality via him have really sharpened my game, confidence, and thought processing during every point played.

I have found that taking the dose of reality as food for thought and improvement to be the best motivator.
 

Moz

Hall of Fame
At least they are all your age.

I hit for a bit today with a 14yo girl and she friggin smacked it. I was late on everything.
 

LuckyR

Legend
One thing that makes tennis such a vexing pursuit is that everyone will on occasion hit a ball just as well as the best player of all time. The difference is that it is a rare occasion for club players and a 90% shot for Pros. And even if you progress to the point where a Pro-like shot is attainable 15% of the time, you will lose 6-0, 6-0 to someone who can hit that shot 90% of the time.

The steps from beginner to Pro seem infinite and large.
 

fe6250

Semi-Pro
Only get better hitting against better players. I'd relish the chance to get whipped by a 5.5+.

Agree. Although I didn't play against this guy and got the opportunity to play with him - I loved the opportunity and always appreciated getting beat by better players as it makes you better and it points out your weaknesses. I was just in awe of how much gap there is between a 4.0 and a 5.0 - it's huge.
 

GRANITECHIEF

Hall of Fame
Only get better hitting against better players. I'd relish the chance to get whipped by a 5.5+.
I got whipped by a 6.0 last nite, 6-2,6-1. The only way for me to score a point was to take a huge risk and hit the ball with as much force and accuracy as i could muster. And for long stretches there was nothing i could do, he was just banging winners pasting the lines off shots of mine that i thought were good.

None of this, "just be consistent" crap. If I didn't put the ball away then he would, period.
 

tfm1973

Semi-Pro
i used to help train and coach my friend's son throughout junior high and high school. used to beat up on him pretty mercilessly when we played practice matches - a lot of bagels and breadsticks. i'm a big proponent of playing full out or he'll never know how much more work he has to do. sure enough he starts making me work more. then he starts stealing a set here and there.

fast forward to just before he leaves for college on a partial scholarship to a division III school. we play and he bagels me love, love and love. and it wasn't even as close as that. i must've seemed to him to be moving in slow motion.

so he's in this division III school and he's . . . on their practice squad. ugh. so that means i might not even be fit enough to fetch water for their team. *sigh* :(
 

goober

Legend
Who needs reality. I want to live in fantasyland- dress like a pro, sandbag big time, pump my fists with c'mons! for no apparent reason:)

lol- j/k beatdowns every so often are good to reinforce the point you aren't really any good at this sport so you better be having fun and enjoying yourself.
 

GRANITECHIEF

Hall of Fame
i used to help train and coach my friend's son throughout junior high and high school. used to beat up on him pretty mercilessly when we played practice matches - a lot of bagels and breadsticks. i'm a big proponent of playing full out or he'll never know how much more work he has to do. sure enough he starts making me work more. then he starts stealing a set here and there.

fast forward to just before he leaves for college on a partial scholarship to a division III school. we play and he bagels me love, love and love. and it wasn't even as close as that. i must've seemed to him to be moving in slow motion.

so he's in this division III school and he's . . . on their practice squad. ugh. so that means i might not even be fit enough to fetch water for their team. *sigh* :(
I have this to look forward to with my boy as well. Right now he's 12 and is training with the intent of becoming a pro. He's already spanking winners out of nowhere on both sides and has great hands at the net.

I'm a 5.0 and we sometimes have very close rally games. I'd put him at solid 4.5. I can still beat him pretty good on serve and return so he isn't taking sets yet, and in fact doesn't even want to play sets, but i know it won't be long.

Its going to take some dedicated training on my part to stop him from regularly beating me before he's 15. When he does start beating me regularly, it'll suck, but it will be completely awesome at the same time.
 

fe6250

Semi-Pro
Who needs reality. I want to live in fantasyland- dress like a pro, sandbag big time, pump my fists with c'mons! for no apparent reason:)

lol- j/k beatdowns every so often are good to reinforce the point you aren't really any good at this sport so you better be having fun and enjoying yourself.
Amen brother! But I love the sarcastic start to this post!
 

tfm1973

Semi-Pro
I have this to look forward to with my boy as well. Right now he's 12 and is training with the intent of becoming a pro. He's already spanking winners out of nowhere on both sides and has great hands at the net.

I'm a 5.0 and we sometimes have very close rally games. I'd put him at solid 4.5. I can still beat him pretty good on serve and return so he isn't taking sets yet, and in fact doesn't even want to play sets, but i know it won't be long.

Its going to take some dedicated training on my part to stop him from regularly beating me before he's 15. When he does start beating me regularly, it'll suck, but it will be completely awesome at the same time.

he's 12?!?! ugh. as a tennis player i've already had my moment in the sun. okay it wasn't really that sunny. more overcast than anything else but i had a brief moment or two in my youth. but as a father i would be ecstatic if my daughter could play 4.5 level tennis at age 12 AND (more importantly) she continues to love the game.

big kudos to you and your boy! you must be extremely proud. don't you dare ever let him beat you without a fight! make him earn it. :)
 

GRANITECHIEF

Hall of Fame
he's 12?!?! ugh. as a tennis player i've already had my moment in the sun. okay it wasn't really that sunny. more overcast than anything else but i had a brief moment or two in my youth. but as a father i would be ecstatic if my daughter could play 4.5 level tennis at age 12 AND (more importantly) she continues to love the game.

big kudos to you and your boy! you must be extremely proud. don't you dare ever let him beat you without a fight! make him earn it. :)
Yes I am extremely proud, and i make it a policy never to go out on the court without giving it everything i've got.
 

WBF

Hall of Fame
granite: awesome! My father the same (5.0-5.5) and didn't give me any breaks. Hell, he still doesn't, although I think it's more to do with him knowing everything about my game... Anyhow, it helped a ton. I do the same with my fiancee now (she started summer 06).

That's cool that he's motivated, can't say I had the same aspirations back then :p
 
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