Form dip

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by domosborn, Jun 4, 2010.

  1. domosborn

    domosborn Rookie

    Mar 1, 2010
    Recently (Past 2 months or so) I have had the worst run of form. I played really well in a doubles tournament in early april and since then I have won about 2 sets. I Prefer singles although have played in a doubles team and I choked majorly (We needed to win our final set to win the fixture, was 4-2 and 40-15 up and lost 7-5, completely my fault, let my partner down) and that shook me up. Combining this with completely re-making my backhand, and its not gone well. My first serve % is way below what it should be, and My forehand does not feel anywhere near as dependable as it did. How can I fix this.
    I also used to have sevre anger issues on court, but in recent times I have overcome them, however I can feel them creeping back in.
  2. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Dec 28, 2008
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Practice and play more.
    Relax and allow your strokes to come thru.
    Don't think so much about score and winning, which you obsess with. Think more about smooth solid strokes, smart choice of shot, and where to go.
  3. domosborn

    domosborn Rookie

    Mar 1, 2010
    I playe 4 times a week. Theres no more time for practise (ALL my free time is study, tennis or at them gym haha) =\. Thing is, im not that bothered abotu winning, As long as I feel I'VE played well. never happens anymore
  4. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

    Feb 21, 2007
    What they said... addition, tennis, or any other athletic endeavor, tends to be an up and down thing. Mentally, the most important thing to do is to believe in yourself and to have patience...your game will come back to you, it might take a little longer than you want, is all. One of my hitting partners plays a very big, aggressive game...big serve, big groundies, goes for a lot. There are days when he owns me, days when he can't hit a fat bull in the hind end with a shovel. I tell him two things:

    - You're not going to play well every day. Nobody does. And the more risk you take, to an extent, the more you risk having a bad day as opposed to somebody who's strength is consistency...the ability to get lots of balls back. However, you like to play aggressively, and that's fine, so you have to accept the ups and downs, and realize, when you're having a down day, that there's an up day in the near future.

    That leads to another sermon, which is that one of the most important aspects of the mental game, I feel, is to be yourself. If you're naturally conservative, you're probably going to base your game on consistent stroke mechanics, tried and true tactics, and getting so many balls back that you give your opponent every opportunity, as Vic Braden said, to take gas. If you're this type of player, you need to know how to play aggressively, because if your Steady Eddie game isn't working, you need to do something else. But until you need to step beyond the Steady Eddie approach, that should be your A game, not just because it's what your strokes and tactics are suited to, it's also what you're most comfortable with mentally.

    On the other hand, I can do the Steady Eddie thing if I have to, but it ain't me. It's too nerve racking for yours truly. I'm happiest trying to take control of the point quickly, pressing the attach, and using my variety to force errors or hit winners. Does it work? You know how that goes...some days you eat the bear, some days the bear eats you. But it's much of my whole approach to life, and because tennis is supposed to be at base, a game, I'd rather do what's fun for me on the court and let the chips fall where they may. I have bad days, and even bad stretches, but if I'm patient and believe, my game always comes back to me.

    - I don't believe in overcoaching people or micromanaging my own efforts on the court, but usually there's a root cause, and if you can figure it out, you can usually come up with a simple key to help pull you out of the slump. There are three meta-keys that I always go to first:

    - Am I moving well? Most of the time, when you're having a bad patch, you tend to freeze mentally and turn into a statue on the court. Get your feet moving, even if you don't exactly know where you're going, and things will probably pick up.

    - How's my balance, especially when I contact the ball? There's this myth that tennis players run, stop, hit the ball, and start running again. If you look at the top players, they never stop moving. They're always in motion. The move very quickly to get in position to hit the shot, they slow down, gather themselves, and flow through the ball, then they reaccelerate to get to the next ball. The "gather themselves" part is where you're dynamic balancing act is critical. If I'm suddenly slapping my forehand into the net, or long, it's probably because (a) I'm not moving well and (b) when I do get to the ball, I'm lunging for it, off balance, and that ain't gonna produce a very solid contact. So before you worry about the specifics of a shot or shots that's troubling you, check your movement and balance and fix any bugs.

    - Are you trying to do too much with your strokes? What this really is, is that, when we're struggling with a shot, we tend to add more curlicues to it, which usually isn't a good idea. Very interesting discussion by one of the commentators at this year's French re Djokovich's serve...which, and I hadn't noticed it before, has a couple of hitches in it. And his serve, which is normally one of his strengths, has been letting him down. KISS is the principle here, or as Mies Van Der Rohe said "Less is more." Go back to the simplest, most compact form of the stroke that's causing you problems, and the chances are everything will sort out sooner than later.

    The meta meta to these three concepts is a real basic philosophy which, to quote Ken Kesey is summed by the phrase "You've got to stop going through the same door." Or, another common way of looking at it is "Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." If you're game isn't working, change something. It almost doesn't matter what it is, but I think the three meta concepts, above, are the place to start. Think outside the box. If you're a dyed in the wool baseliner, try some S&V. Just doing something new and different usually sharpens your perceptions of what the game of tennis can be, and often provides a way out of whatever morass you're in. And who knows? You might like S&V...
  5. 1stVolley

    1stVolley Rookie

    Apr 18, 2010
    Rather than continuing to analyze or ruminate about your strokes and level of play, focus on (1) always starting a match with a plan and (2) be aware of what your opponent's weaknesses are.

    Concentrate on following your plan and only switch to another plan when it is abundantly clear that the plan is not working. When you choose "plan B" make sure it is a plan within your capabilities.

    Think more about your footwork because tennis players are more prone to find issues with their stroke mechanics and neglect footwork problems. One of the biggest footwork problems is improper spacing from the ball. If you can't properly and consistently space yourself from the ball it doesn't matter how good your stroke mechanics are--you will constantly be "improvising" and improvising in tennis means inconsistency.

    Always analyze what your opponent's weaknesses are and hammer them as much as possible. Try to hide your own weaknesses by smart court position, charging the net (if your groundstrokes are failing), etc.

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