First USTA Match

Moon Shooter

Semi-Pro
I finally got to play my first USTA match. It was 6.5 mixed doubles. I had a good time we have a great/fun team and I played pretty well. Unsurprisingly my serve and serve receive was pretty weak. We ended up splitting sets and won the tie break.

One issue I had was I felt I wasn't able to warm up my serve before the match started. Perhaps I was doing it wrong. But we had 4 people all trying to warm up a few serves with 3 tennis balls right after our regular warm up. (which also involved quite a bit of chasing the same 3 balls in the net etc) I hit a few in the net and then would have to wait to get the ball and I definitely didn't feel like I my serve was warmed up. I had about 10 serves but with the long delays involving trying to get a ball out of the net without interrupting others who were serving there was no way to really get anything close to dialed in. probably 5 went in the net 3 went long and 2 were in. I am used to warming up my serve by hitting about 24 balls with about 4 series of 6 balls at a time. It only takes me a few minutes but it requires many more tennis balls. This was just taking forever to get a tennis ball and then serve one at a time. Do we have to warm up with just the 3 balls we use for the match? Does anyone ever get on the court early with a bucket of balls to warm up their serve? This was an away match so I couldn't really warm up at a public court before I went in the facility, and it was raining outside anyway. I feel like we should have let the other side serve first. Any suggestions for this?

One interesting event happened. One of the opposing teams had a 3.35 (according to tennis record) guy playing with a 2.91 (according to tennis record) female. They lost straight sets to two of our 3.0s. I guess the 3.5 guy got upset about one of the line calls and right after he served right at our guy who was at the net - not the one receiving. He also tattooed our guy with an overhead at some point. The guy on my team was very easy going about it, I think because he had a heart attack in the past. He said as long as they don't hit the wires (indicating around his heart) he'll be fine. But his female partner was a bit more upset. Whether the serve was intentionally hit at our guy or not was unclear. The woman thought it was but the guy said he wasn't sure. Given the opponent's level I would think if he had to jump out of the way it probably was intentional but I didn't see it so I can't say for sure. So anyway, a bit of drama to round out the day.
 

Mongolmike

Hall of Fame
For most people the mandated warm up is not enough time. Some don't care, but it's a time constraint to try to get as many matches in without lengthy delays for leagues starting after yours. Play USTA matches long enough and you'll occasionally have a 9pm match that doesn't START til 11pm. It happens. No need to get upset, just know that the only guaranteed start time is generally the first scheduled matches on the evening.

As for the not enough time to warm up, here are some options:

1) It is what it is. Be efficient, get used to it. Maybe stretch before you take the court to warm up a little bit. I've seen many people jump rope or use stretch bands. Be ready to go at your time. Don't "run to the bathroom quick" after you've just been assigned a court and told to head out. Get your knee brace on, tighten your shoes, adjust your hair, etc before. Your warm up time starts and you can either hit balls, or use it to chat, go to bathroom, check your phone, whatever. And if you make play offs, they will literally time you. You have limited time. Use it wisely.

2) You can add 1 or 2 unofficial balls to the warm up. I wouldn't do more than 1 or 2. As for serves, it's tough to get nice and loose. Many people win the toss but elect to receive first because it's tough to warm up the serve in limited time.

Also, use the warm up to observe your opponent. Do they have a weak backhand? Do they seem slow moving? They have trouble at net? Lot of spin on serve? Observe, then see if it is true when the points count. And if you are playing doubles, talk to your partner. "Hey...guy in the red hasn't hit a backhand over the net yet." Or, "She is only bunting her serves. Maybe we play in a bit on her serves and be more aggressive " etc.

3) If it is a home match, maybe you can sneak on an empty court if available (home court advantage), but you are rarely afforded that luxury at away matches. Again, home court advantage.

I occasionally will google map outdoor courts near the away facility, and hit a few dozen balls before hand, but you want to be respectful to your coach and team and be 15 minutes early, so not so sure warming up 30 minutes before is that helpful.
Just don't be "that guy/that girl" who always rolls in 3 minutes before match time. It's selfish and rude and nobody likes it.

4) Be aware that this is warm up, not practice. This is NOT the time to work on a drop shot, or new slice serve. Warm up bith fh and bh. Do not avoid hitting backhands because you don't have a good one. You will probably have to hit some in the match, so hit some before the points start. Hit volleys at the net, and ask for some overheads. Unless you absolutely do not hit volleys or overheads, don't let the first one you attempt be in the game situation. Fhs, bhs, fh &bh volleys, some OHs, a few 1st AND 2nd serves...that's it. That's what you get.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
If you need 24 serves to warm up your serve, go practice elsewhere. A warm up is not the time to be taking 24 warm up serves between 4 people, even with 3 cans of balls open.

It's warm up. It's not "get dialled in". Do that somewhere else if you must. Your job in that 10 minutes is just to loosen up and bit and get the muscles warm for the various shots you will be making in a match.

We hit 8 warm up serves in general. 4 from each side.

I guess the 3.5 guy got upset about one of the line calls and right after he served right at our guy who was at the net - not the one receiving.
Likely a miss. If he could hit his spots a) he'd be a good 3.5 and b) he wouldn't lose to a couple 3.0's. I've dodged a few errant serves in my time as the non-receiver.

I've also been tattooed on numerous occasions. But it's not the OH persons fault. They are just focusing on hitting the ball. It's my partner's fault for putting up the weak sitter and my fault for thinking I might be able to reflex the ball back rather than conceding the point and turning away.
 

Chalkdust

Semi-Pro
Generally agree with @Mongolmike.
One other thing I've done to warm up serve is 'shadow' serve - pretend I'm tossing and then swing at the imaginary ball. Not as good as the real thing but 20 of those will help get the shoulder, legs and back loose.
Don't agree with the part "use the warm up to observe your opponent". I mean it can't hurt, but at least in my experience is never useful. So IMO better to focus on your own thing.
 

PrinceYonex

Rookie
We usually come to the courts 30 mins early. Gives plenty of time to warm up, including serves. This may be a luxury, if one can’t get on the court prior to the designated match time. I’d say on average I probably take 10-15 serves in warm up. The first 5-6 are just very slow, easing my shoulder into the motion.
 

Moon Shooter

Semi-Pro
If you need 24 serves to warm up your serve, go practice elsewhere. A warm up is not the time to be taking 24 warm up serves between 4 people, even with 3 cans of balls open.

It's warm up. It's not "get dialled in". Do that somewhere else if you must. Your job in that 10 minutes is just to loosen up and bit and get the muscles warm for the various shots you will be making in a match.

We hit 8 warm up serves in general. 4 from each side.

I was just wondering if anyone ever used some non-match balls to get their serve warmed up. My shoulder is not the best. Shots other than the serve rarely need a warm up for me. I think if I could get 4 serves one right after the other (and then 4 right in a row on the other side) that would be much better than hit a serve chase down a ball and hit another serve etc. My first service game was basically my warm up. Maybe that is just how it goes but there are some good suggestions in this thread though. I think I will just have the other side serve first unless my partner wants first serve in the future.


Likely a miss. If he could hit his spots a) he'd be a good 3.5 and b) he wouldn't lose to a couple 3.0's. I've dodged a few errant serves in my time as the non-receiver.

I've also been tattooed on numerous occasions. But it's not the OH persons fault. They are just focusing on hitting the ball. It's my partner's fault for putting up the weak sitter and my fault for thinking I might be able to reflex the ball back rather than conceding the point and turning away.
For what it is worth Tennis record has him at a 3.35 but his anger may have made him lack control and I don't know where my teammate was standing. The fact that he was losing to two 3.0s may have contributed to the rage. So I am not making accusations and anyway I suppose it is technically part of the game right? If you hit either of the receiving team before the serve bounces you get the point.

I guess in some "no let" tennis the net person on the receiving team can return a let (I assume he would need to let it bounce first.) But I suppose he can not return the serve (even after a bounce) unless it is a let.

I don't know who gave him the sitter but my teammate got tattooed on the side. He may have started turning too slowly.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
I don't know who gave him the sitter but my teammate got tattooed on the side. He may have started turning too slowly.
That's what sides are for. I've always been taught to turn sideways with your head away and have your racket down facing the net. That presents the smallest target and keeps your racket in play to deflect a ball back.

One other thing I've done to warm up serve is 'shadow' serve
yes, if loosening up your shoulder is the key to getting your serve in rhythm then just shadow swing the serve motion can be done anywhere and will loosen you up. I do 10-20 shadow swings for FH, BH, OH/serve before I start Warmup with a live ball.
 

socallefty

Legend
No opponent is going to sit and wait for you to warmup with 24 serves irrespective of how many balls you have. You need to learn to take 3-5 serves per side and be warmed up for a match. If you are not ready after that, you need to do a lot of serve practice before you are ready to play competitively.
 

Moon Shooter

Semi-Pro
No opponent is going to sit and wait for you to warmup with 24 serves irrespective of how many balls you have. You need to learn to take 3-5 serves per side and be warmed up for a match. If you are not ready after that, you need to do a lot of serve practice before you are ready to play competitively.
I never had an issue letting my opponents hit 12 serves on both sides. We usually will hit at least 6 balls on each side in the matches I played. If you have multiple tennis balls it takes less time then everyone hitting 3-5 serves per side with everyone sharing 3 tennis balls. But I never suggested that should be the norm. I was merely asking what other people do to get their serve ready.

Do you think pros never warm up their serve before the 5 minute on court warm up? Do you think they therefore also need to do a lot of serve practice before they are ready to play "competitively" in a 6.5 USTA mixed doubles?
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Do you think pros never warm up their serve before the 5 minute on court warm up?
Pros are playing for a living. This is their job. USTA players are doing this as a hobby. They are more interested in getting to the fun part of competition than using warm up time to practice. Different mind set entirely.

We all have limited recreational time these days and no one wants to spend it retrieving balls for that one guy that needs 24 serves before he feels he can "compete".
 

Moon Shooter

Semi-Pro
Pros are playing for a living. This is their job. USTA players are doing this as a hobby. They are more interested in getting to the fun part of competition than using warm up time to practice. Different mind set entirely.

We all have limited recreational time these days and no one wants to spend it retrieving balls for that one guy that needs 24 serves before he feels he can "compete".
I never suggested anyone needs to do anything before they can "compete" that was Socallefty. I can "compete" with or without a warm up, and I can "compete" with or without a good serve. But my serve will not be "warmed up" after 5 or 6 serves separated by delays chasing a ball.

I am not talking about practicing a serve. I am talking about warming up a serve. And just because someone is a pro that does not mean their serve will take longer to "warm up" than an adult rec player. If anything a pro is likely younger and should be able to "warm up" faster. And some pros likely do feel they need to hit more than 5 or 6 serves separated by a minute for chasing down a ball before they think it is warmed up.

And yes I recognize peoples time is important so we may not have a full warm up. That is fine. Just say you won't be able to warm up your serve in USTA matches.

But this "You need to learn to take 3-5 serves per side and be warmed up for a match. If you are not ready after that, you need to do a lot of serve practice before you are ready to play competitively." is nonsense.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
But this "You need to learn to take 3-5 serves per side and be warmed up for a match. If you are not ready after that, you need to do a lot of serve practice before you are ready to play competitively." is nonsense.
That may be a bit hyperbolic on socallefty's part but I play a ton of FBI (First ball in) socially and I can't ever say that guy's serves are worse in that scenario than if they actually warm up a bunch of serves. Theoretically in doubles it may be another 15 min between warmup and the first time you have to serve. So you need to be able to serve pretty non-dialed in.

Warm up your shoulder before you step on the court. Hit a few serves just to get some feel back. You've only got 10 min in a warm up in competition so you better be ready to play without doing too much. 10 min goes fast. I think it is important to try to get to a place where you can step on the court and only hit a few of every shot and feel comfortable. For now that may mean you warm up a bit elsewhere first, then so be it. But likely there will be a time where that won't be available and you'll have to perform with minimal prep. It's good to have a mind set that you can do everything well from the beginning. Starting a match with a sense of doom because you aren't sure your serve is ready to go is not a good place to be.
 

eah123

Semi-Pro
When I start a match, I do it with the attitude that the first couple of games at least are "warm-up". That means using high percentage spin serves to "warm up" my serve, steady ground strokes with plenty of margin and spin, returning to center court. By the 3rd game, I start to hit bigger flat serves, aggressive slice serves, serve & volley, inside-out FH, hitting groundstrokes flatter/lower to net.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
When I start a match, I do it with the attitude that the first couple of games at least are "warm-up". That means using high percentage spin serves to "warm up" my serve, steady ground strokes with plenty of margin and spin, returning to center court. By the 3rd game, I start to hit bigger flat serves, aggressive slice serves, serve & volley, inside-out FH, hitting groundstrokes flatter/lower to net.
I think a lot of people do that. I like to feel out my opponent by being pretty defensive until I get a sense for what his pace and spin is like and how he is going to attack. So during that time, I'll be pretty safe. Get balls in deep. Hit body serves. Start going to corners after a couple games.
 

Moon Shooter

Semi-Pro
That may be a bit hyperbolic on socallefty's part but I play a ton of FBI (First ball in) socially and I can't ever say that guy's serves are worse in that scenario than if they actually warm up a bunch of serves. Theoretically in doubles it may be another 15 min between warmup and the first time you have to serve. So you need to be able to serve pretty non-dialed in.

Warm up your shoulder before you step on the court. Hit a few serves just to get some feel back. You've only got 10 min in a warm up in competition so you better be ready to play without doing too much. 10 min goes fast. I think it is important to try to get to a place where you can step on the court and only hit a few of every shot and feel comfortable. For now that may mean you warm up a bit elsewhere first, then so be it. But likely there will be a time where that won't be available and you'll have to perform with minimal prep. It's good to have a mind set that you can do everything well from the beginning. Starting a match with a sense of doom because you aren't sure your serve is ready to go is not a good place to be.
For me it varies how much of an impact warm ups have. Sometimes I am in stride right away. Other times it takes a bit more time. In Socallefty's defense I do think the amount of variation between an unwarmed up serve and a warmed up serve might go down as I practice my serve. So a pro may want to have a full warm up to get an extra 3 mph and an extra 3% "in" on his first serve. Where as for someone like me the warm up can make a much larger difference in the quality and reliability of my serve like maybe 15%. So there might be some validity in saying practice can reduce the importance of warmups overall.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
When I start a match, I do it with the attitude that the first couple of games at least are "warm-up". That means using high percentage spin serves to "warm up" my serve, steady ground strokes with plenty of margin and spin, returning to center court. By the 3rd game, I start to hit bigger flat serves, aggressive slice serves, serve & volley, inside-out FH, hitting groundstrokes flatter/lower to net.
According to Gilbert in *Winning Ugly*, that's what Lendl did.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
So there might be some validity in saying practice can reduce the importance of warmups overall.
Play a bunch of social matches as "First Ball In". It eventually teaches you how to get serving from the get go. Then those few warm up serves become an unnecessary but appreciated extravagance.

And if that doesn't work, just make sure you have time and place to warm up your serve before heading to the competitive match. It's still a 10 min warm up in almost all competitions. You need to be ready to go pretty quickly.
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
I have noticed that different parts of the country have different serve warm-up expectations.

In some places, one team has all the balls. They serve, and the other side returns the warm-up serves, which goes on until those servers think they have served enough. This is a *nightmare.* Between the warm-up serves that are missed into the net and the returns that fly all over the place, huge amounts of time are wasted retrieving balls.

Better, IMHO, is one team starts out with six balls -- three match balls and three practice balls one of the players happens to have. The serving team serves three each, and the other teach catches and holds them. If one is served into the net, the team that served it sends it over to the other side (and does *not* walk back to their baseline and serve it again). Then the other team does three serves. Repeat. Then everyone switches sides, so you get a total of 12 warm-up serves. If someone decides they don't need to warm up any more, they can hit returns, but they need to send them back to the server.

Another custom I don't see around here, thank goodness, is "calling" warm-up serves in or out. It doesn't matter whether the warm-up serve was in or out, and when my opponent hits a warm-up serve I am not watching the line. Some lady will hit a warm-up serve and then say, "Was that in or out?" I reply, "I don't know." This seems to make them mad. I was told that the point of a warm-up serve was to find your rhythm and warm up your shoulder, not serve a highlight reel blast that is too fast for the human eye to see. If they're all 3 feet long, that's fine.

But I digress. You get 12 serves. That's it. Don't waste them by chasing bad tosses.
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
Play a bunch of social matches as "First Ball In". It eventually teaches you how to get serving from the get go. Then those few warm up serves become an unnecessary but appreciated extravagance.
Yeah, First Ball In is despised, but it has its place. It teaches you to serve when you're not fully warmed up. And because your serve may not be as effective as if you were fully warmed up, it teaches you how to hold when you aren't serving your best.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
Yeah, First Ball In is despised, but it has its place. It teaches you to serve when you're not fully warmed up. And because your serve may not be as effective as if you were fully warmed up, it teaches you how to hold when you aren't serving your best.
First, first ball in is incredibly stupid.

Second, if it is used, if I'm serving, I'm going to hit 10-12 serves out to warm up before even trying to hit a serve in the court. What is the incentive to do anything different?
 

PrinceYonex

Rookie
Yeah, First Ball In is despised, but it has its place. It teaches you to serve when you're not fully warmed up. And because your serve may not be as effective as if you were fully warmed up, it teaches you how to hold when you aren't serving your best.
I totally hate first ball in. I need to warm up my shoulder, don’t want to risk injury.
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
Yes, you can surely hit 20 faults in a row during FBI and be That Guy. And you can serve a rocket and risk injury.

As for me, I will do first ball in by hitting a warm-up serve. It will usually go in, because I am trying to get it in. But it will have less on it.

Which means I get the experience of serving with some pressure to defend a serve that was not my best. I think there is value in that.

And which means I am not one of those people who says, “I don’t like to serve first because I’m not warmed up.” Me, I have had lots of practice trying to hold even with a serve that’s not warmed up.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
Yes, you can surely hit 20 faults in a row during FBI and be That Guy. And you can serve a rocket and risk injury.

As for me, I will do first ball in by hitting a warm-up serve. It will usually go in, because I am trying to get it in. But it will have less on it.

Which means I get the experience of serving with some pressure to defend a serve that was not my best. I think there is value in that.

And which means I am not one of those people who says, “I don’t like to serve first because I’m not warmed up.” Me, I have had lots of practice trying to hold even with a serve that’s not warmed up.
Or you could not be "That Gal" and not ask me to do FBI ;)

You make a good point on how to handle FBI and make the best of a bad situation, my point is, why not just avoid the bad situation.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
First, first ball in is incredibly stupid.

Second, if it is used, if I'm serving, I'm going to hit 10-12 serves out to warm up before even trying to hit a serve in the court. What is the incentive to do anything different?
in our club FBI is pretty standard for social matches since tennis court time is slotted on the hour. I will certainly intentionally hit a couple serves long but since it’s a social match, intentionally hitting 10-12 serves out is a socially unacceptable response. The incentive in social matches is to get invited back.

We only have an hour so if your shoulder needs more warm up time, come to the club early and warm your shoulder up with arm rotations and shadow overheads.

I totally hate first ball in. I need to warm up my shoulder, don’t want to risk injury.
you can warm up your shoulder before you step on the court. You can use your first service game to warm up your shoulder. FBI is a social convention. You don’t have to serve bombs from the get go in a social match.

Which means I get the experience of serving with some pressure to defend a serve that was not my best. I think there is value in that.
I think so too.
 

schmke

Hall of Fame
in our club FBI is pretty standard for social matches since tennis court time is slotted on the hour. I will certainly intentionally hit a couple serves long but since it’s a social match, intentionally hitting 10-12 serves out is a socially unacceptable response. The incentive in social matches is to get invited back.
How much time does FBI really save? Say each player misses three serves before getting one in. That is 12 serves total where everyone is standing around. You might as well have had everyone hit 6 warm up serves (2 serving at a time) in roughly the same amount of time.
 
If you can find a four ball can of balls it will help even things up for the dubs warm-up. Or, sneak in a few decent balls for the warm-up, but be prepared for the "ball aficionado" to discover your stealthy move and start asking questions as to ball origins? There are those clubbies who freak-out when there are more than three balls on the court-- this messes with their finely tuned ball sensibilities which is critical to their on court mental health. If you can cultivate a stash of a variety of all different balls matching the game balls, this will send them to into their straight-jacket getting into their heads early. If they enquire into where the additional balls came from, just play dumb.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
Yes, you can surely hit 20 faults in a row during FBI and be That Guy.
My shoulder is more important than getting a serve in with as few reps as possible; we're not on a clock. I've never deliberately missed 20 serves but I have missed 5. If that's selfish [not being considerate of other people's time], then I'm selfish. If they don't ask me back because of that, I'm fine.

Neither would I start a volleyball match without multiple warmup spikes.
 

PrinceYonex

Rookie
in our club FBI is pretty standard for social matches since tennis court time is slotted on the hour. I will certainly intentionally hit a couple serves long but since it’s a social match, intentionally hitting 10-12 serves out is a socially unacceptable response. The incentive in social matches is to get invited back.

We only have an hour so if your shoulder needs more warm up time, come to the club early and warm your shoulder up with arm rotations and shadow overheads.



you can warm up your shoulder before you step on the court. You can use your first service game to warm up your shoulder. FBI is a social convention. You don’t have to serve bombs from the get go in a social match.



I think so too.
Call it overkill, but I do warm up my shoulder before reaching the court and also want to hit a bunch of warm up serves. It feels to me that I need not only a targeted warm up of the shoulder but of the whole kinetic chain— knees, hips, shoulder, wrist — in the precise way it moves in the service motion. My first few warmup serves always feel tight, I just need to loosen up the entire motion, and really nothing does that better than hitting a few really easy motion, very loose, and slow paced serves.
I’ve never actually had anyone complain about me insisting on hitting some warm up serves. It’s just so conventional, even when someone prefers FBI, they’ll always permit some warm up serves. It’s never really that much time, and I’d prefer to take five minutes out of the ground stroke warm up if it gives me the time to hit some serves.
 

blakesq

Hall of Fame
I play 4.0 men’s doubles matches. We generally warm up with used balls, maybe have 6, 7, 8 balls on the court during warm-up, then we open the new balls when we begin the match. We usually warm up with used balls because we often lose the new balls on our indoor courts if we open them up for warm-ups.
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
Or you could not be "That Gal" and not ask me to do FBI ;)

You make a good point on how to handle FBI and make the best of a bad situation, my point is, why not just avoid the bad situation.
I never propose FBI. I just let others decide. I think FBI saves time or is a wash.

How much time does it save? Hard to say. We do FBI both sides.

But when there is a warm-up (no FBI), there will definitely be 12 warm-up serves per player, minimum, with some ball chasing. It's pretty unusual in FBI for someone to hit five or six missed serves. Most people get their second or third serve in -- and since they would be entitled to two serves had there been a warm-up, I think FBI does save time.
 

Ronaldo

Bionic Poster
We usually come to the courts 30 mins early. Gives plenty of time to warm up, including serves. This may be a luxury, if one can’t get on the court prior to the designated match time. I’d say on average I probably take 10-15 serves in warm up. The first 5-6 are just very slow, easing my shoulder into the motion.
Got to the courts 90 minutes early. My whole team was already there. Go figure....................other team showed at 7pm. They left by 8.
 

PrinceYonex

Rookie
Got to the courts 90 minutes early. My whole team was already there. Go figure....................other team showed at 7pm. They left by 8.
Damn, 90 minutes of warm up? There’s some point, at least at my age, when too much warm up can just end up leading me to exhaustion too quickly in the match itself.
 

Ronaldo

Bionic Poster
Damn, 90 minutes of warm up? There’s some point, at least at my age, when too much warm up can just end up leading me to exhaustion too quickly in the match itself.
We are all in our 60s & 70s. Btw, we left the match at a local park on HC, took all the beer, went back to our club, played another set, and opened a few decks of cards.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
How much time does FBI really save? Say each player misses three serves before getting one in. That is 12 serves total where everyone is standing around. You might as well have had everyone hit 6 warm up serves (2 serving at a time) in roughly the same amount of time.
it actually saves a lot of time. Everyone is in position to get balls back to the server quickly. And very often guys actually make their first serve. Some folks are actually pretty accurate without much warm up. Especially if they are used to FBI.
 

Ronaldo

Bionic Poster
it actually saves a lot of time. Everyone is in position to get balls back to the server quickly. And very often guys actually make their first serve. Some folks are actually pretty accurate without much warm up. Especially if they are used to FBI.
First Ace In
 

Moon Shooter

Semi-Pro
In social doubles we will generally just do a ground stroke warm up and then right before the persons first serve of the night they can hit a few practice serves. Usually they will do about 6 on the deuce side and then serve right after. I put winning and losing in social doubles as barely above a clinic drill so it is fine.

Social singles after the warm up rally we will just hit a hopper of @ 24 balls pick them up and play our match.

Obviously, neither of these options will work for an organized match.

I saw a video from fuzzyyellowballs.com where Pat Rafter said throwing a small (think peewee) football at a high trajectory is a good way to warm up the shoulder. I think that makes some sense as long as you go easy. Even if you can't find an open court, barring bad weather, you should often be able to at least toss a smaller football around. But I would say make sure you go nice and easy with proper form. It's easy for older people to overdo it throwing a football.
 

Ronaldo

Bionic Poster
How about first overhead in? You know, so that you can save time not warming up your overhead.
I demand a do-over following my first few shanked overheads.
FBI... smh
Greatest OH ever? Mishit off the top of the racquet, drops over ftw!
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
How about first overhead in? You know, so that you can save time not warming up your overhead.
I demand a do-over following my first few shanked overheads.
FBI... smh
People barely ever warm up their overhead. Like two overheads then "I'm good" is pretty standard. Everyone spends 6 minutes of a 10 min warmup with groundstrokes (in doubles no less) and then hit a couple volleys and overheads, a few serves then time's up. If anything they should spend 2 min on ground strokes and the rest of the time on volleys, overheads and serves.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
People barely ever warm up their overhead. Like two overheads then "I'm good" is pretty standard. Everyone spends 6 minutes of a 10 min warmup with groundstrokes (in doubles no less) and then hit a couple volleys and overheads, a few serves then time's up. If anything they should spend 2 min on ground strokes and the rest of the time on volleys, overheads and serves.
How much do you think this has to do with lack of control? I start out at 50% and work my way up and I can typically control it to go right back to my opponent. Assuming he can control the lob, I can get a lot of reps in a short amount of time. But if neither I nor my opponent has control, we're going to be spending a lot more time retrieving.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Playing in a 7.0 mixed tourney with my spouse this weekend. First match is against a crafty older pair that beat us 6-3 7-5 2 years ago.

They were running behind so one of the tourney directors timed our warmup and I ended up getting only 2 serves in before she told us we had to get going.

I must admit my serve was off all match. Couldn't really get a rhythm. But I just relied on the rest of my game to get me through my service games. We started off out of sorts as they were a hands team with great placement but no power and we were both overhitting the soft balls until we got a feel for them.

Then at 3-3 our timing and feel for their shots came around and we cruised. 6-3 6-0. Had 40 Love leads in every game in the second set.

But never really served well all match. Had to play some men's doubles this am just to get the rhythm back. But that's tennis. Sometimes you've got to find ways to win when some part of your game is off.
 
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