I played the #1 ranked 3.5 in Texas

#1
Some highlights of a practice match from this week, got to get out there on the courts in the heat of the day.

There’s always been something off about my forehand footwork and the way I contact the ball. Been told a couple times I should practice my strokes in a chair to keep my center of balance and I think I agree.

Anyway, thought y’all wouldn’t mind taking a break from crushing sitters on the service line and telling D1 athletes their strokes are 3.0 at best. Feel free to critique I’m looking to improve. Thanks y’all.

 
#2
pretty good tennis on both sides. you didn't say which one is you so I have no idea.

But, the thing I see is both players use a lot of arm motion and not enough body motion. Yes, both players are using some core rotation but frequently the stroke is primarily driven by a looping arm motion.

I see a lot of FHs and BHs on both sides where the body rotation is minimal and the stroke is just a push with the arm or arms on 2HBH. Try researching how to load weight into your legs and use core rotation to drive the stroke.

Also, take your chances when you get them. If you are 8 feet inside the baseline, on balance and have a waist high FH; give it a ride. You don't have to try to hit a clean winner but pick your target and take a full swing to inject some pace. There are examples of both players taking very tentative swings from offensive positions in the video. As you improve, if you don't take your chance when you get it; you will lose the point because a better opponent will hurt you when they get their chance.
 

HunterST

Hall of Fame
#8
Nice, clean play. The strokes are not stellar, but solid and they are used intelligently. I would say both guys would be middle of the pack 4.0s.
 
#9
What camera you use? Whats your history of playing and how long have you been playing?

I like your technique, its very clean and I believe you can go far with it.

What do you think holds you back from being a strong 4.0?
 
C

Chadillac

Guest
#10
How do you get to be #1 without getting moved up? He looks like a sandbagger, good stroke and play but not all out
 
#12
I don't think OP is trying to hide anything. You can check his USTA profile, looks like he got 4.0 rating now and is playing and loosing matches in 4.0 league. So he comes under that overlapping range, high 3.5 - low 4.0.

Fellow Texan here. I'm guessing only the best points made it to the highlight reel, but this is at the very least mid 4.0 type play. Anybody playing 3.5 with this game is a bonafide sandbagger.
To the OP, if you want to improve, you might have to loose some matches fearlessly, by hitting more depth. You have a good amount of spin on your strokes, which apparently cause it to land very short since you are not hitting through or using height to your advantage enough. Keep the same spin, and land the balls more deep by height or by hitting through the shot more (contact infront, and through).

It looks like you are getting rewarded in the video for short directional shots early, and it is becoming a habit which will get puninshed more by better players. Even in this video you end up running a lot because of the constant short directional changes. To break this habit try to use a lot more of deep down the middle early in the rally. This will force you to work on depth and quality of shot and at the same time will give you a break from running like a mad cow.

highlights of a practice match from this week
 
#13
Nice playing, both of you are on the right path.

Red shirt guy has a great big brushy forehand that doesn't go anywhere and blue shirt guy uses too much wrist.

Would like to see red guy compact his swing and go through the ball, and blue guy relax his arm more.

J
Thanks I appreciate that. I'm the red shirt and yeah my forehand is really loopy and tends to let me down later in matches. I lose to a lot players people would consider "pushers" because of my inconsistency and patience and it's something I've been trying to address. I practice some self-feeding and slow pace ball machine work trying to get my body behind the ball on both sides but the progress is really slow.

What camera you use? Whats your history of playing and how long have you been playing?

I like your technique, its very clean and I believe you can go far with it.

What do you think holds you back from being a strong 4.0?
I use a Sony RX100 which is a perfect camera for recording tennis IMO if you don't want to drop bank on a camera. I've been playing for about 6 years now with year breaks here and there due to injury. I took an intermediate tennis course in college but that's not saying much and since then it's been all USTA league & tournaments a long with local ladders.

If I was being honest with myself I think my forehand and my fitness is what is holding me back from winning most of the time. I actually was looking at @leojramirez 's videos the other night, he has really solid technique on his forehand side and looks like something I could try to incorporate.
How do you get to be #1 without getting moved up? He looks like a sandbagger, good stroke and play but not all out
So I wouldn't necessarily say he's sandbagging as there are local 4.0 teams that each have 2 or so former college players on their squads but on an individual level i'd say you might be right.
 
#14
But, the thing I see is both players use a lot of arm motion and not enough body motion. Yes, both players are using some core rotation but frequently the stroke is primarily driven by a looping arm motion.

I see a lot of FHs and BHs on both sides where the body rotation is minimal and the stroke is just a push with the arm or arms on 2HBH. Try researching how to load weight into your legs and use core rotation to drive the stroke.

Also, take your chances when you get them. If you are 8 feet inside the baseline, on balance and have a waist high FH; give it a ride. You don't have to try to hit a clean winner but pick your target and take a full swing to inject some pace. There are examples of both players taking very tentative swings from offensive positions in the video. As you improve, if you don't take your chance when you get it; you will lose the point because a better opponent will hurt you when they get their chance.
This is life at 3.0 and 3.5 :( The way to win is inhibited, tentative, safe strokes. Red takes a full backswing but slows down before impact and stiffly arms the ball.

Like you say you either have to go through the pain of hitting out and losing until you get consistent enough or stay at this level forever.
 
#17
Agree with Jolly. You could be hitting through your forehand more. You have a tendency to just arm the ball and flip over it, instead of really hitting through the ball and putting some pace behind it. You also have a tendency to hit the middle of the court. There were several instances where you had your opponent pushed back or in a defensive position and then hit back to the middle of the court and resetting the point.

Great play from a 3.5 level though. Much closer to 4.0 in my opinion.
 
#21
This is life at 3.0 and 3.5 :( The way to win is inhibited, tentative, safe strokes. Red takes a full backswing but slows down before impact and stiffly arms the ball.

Like you say you either have to go through the pain of hitting out and losing until you get consistent enough or stay at this level forever.
Sometimes I wonder if that's an issue with learning to play with Babolat PD's. They reward less fully developed strokes and people won't hit out with them because the ball flies long. I always think its better for a guy to learn with a 93-97 sq inch players frame and once he develops pace and power from solid strokes, then look at using the PA/PD's of the world.
 
#23
Great play.

What happened on the drop shot at 3:00. You had time to get to it. Were you not watching opponents racquet to detect backspin?
 
#24
Great improvements Richard. Good match.
Thanks Chael. I've been watching your channel for a while that forehand is coming a long nicely!
@rrortiz5 I'd love to see you play against @Wesley J
Bring it! @Wesley J if you're ever in the area.
Great play.

What happened on the drop shot at 3:00. You had time to get to it. Were you not watching opponents racquet to detect backspin?
Thanks and yeah I wasn't expecting Paire level backspin on the slice on that shot. I had way too much time to think about it and I ended up whiffing it and I think that scenario happens on the regular in my matchplay.

To all the comments about "hitting through the ball" and the related "hit the ball out in front of you": any vids or tips that have helped you internalize it? Being serious, want to get better.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
#25
Thanks Chael. I've been watching your channel for a while that forehand is coming a long nicely!

Bring it! @Wesley J if you're ever in the area.

Thanks and yeah I wasn't expecting Paire level backspin on the slice on that shot. I had way too much time to think about it and I ended up whiffing it and I think that scenario happens on the regular in my matchplay.

To all the comments about "hitting through the ball" and the related "hit the ball out in front of you": any vids or tips that have helped you internalize it? Being serious, want to get better.
Do you hit against the wall?

J
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
#26
This advice is above your pay grade so don't get discouraged when you can't do it, just try to work towards it, get closer to it.

The hallmark of a monster forehand is having the racquet tip pointing at the opponent after contact. Video yourself from the side. You never reach this point.



J
 
#27
Is that Tyler Uyhera? I played him in a 3.5 tournament a few months ago, he's a solid player and has really good mobility. We traded sets and I lost in the tiebreak, I was having a really bad day. He's a solid player with good groundstrokes very consistent and rarely tries to hit all out winners and he really doesn't like to play at the net. He's very consistent and runs down everything unless you hit a pretty hard winner.
 
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#32
There is no 4.0 look.
I've hit with 4.0 pushers who slice everything back and bunt their serves.
I've also hit against 4.0s who hit like maniacs.
These guys are 4.0 since they will beat almost any 3.5
 

dman72

Hall of Fame
#34
This advice is above your pay grade so don't get discouraged when you can't do it, just try to work towards it, get closer to it.

The hallmark of a monster forehand is having the racquet tip pointing at the opponent after contact. Video yourself from the side. You never reach this point.



J
Last lesson I took..on volleys... I was hitting with the instructor... he was making the same point to me, that I should get the sensation of finishing way out in front. I started hitting absolute rockets.

Then I went and played a match and after missing 3 of them 5 feet long under pressure, went back to my normal stroke. Hitting like that, in my experience, requires constant maintenance, ie practice captain obvious.
 
#35
Hey y'all, I'm back almost a year after I posted the previous video. I thought it would be better suited here than starting a new thread.


I'm in the red hat playing against a quality opponent that's a lot higher up in the ladder than I am so I came into this match thinking I was going to need to serve well to stay in it. He's a UTR 7 (I'm barely a 6) and a solid performer in USTA league in my area. We ended up splitting sets 7-5 6-7(4) with me serving for the match at 6-5 (at 6:20 in the video.) Come to find out afterwards he has an injury to his left wrist requiring surgery and forcing him only a slice on his backhand. I didn't notice at all the entire match and goes to show my lack of attention haha.

I've made improvements in some parts of my game but have remained stagnant in most besides my fitness. I feel as though this match very much displays my weaknesses and criticism is much appreciated. It was hot and windy as hell in that afternoon and most of the time that works in my favor with the type of game I play (scrappy pusher). Not sure if I'm rambling on as it's 1AM over here but thanks for watching!
 
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#36
Hey y'all, I'm back almost a year after I posted the previous video. I thought it would be better suited here than starting a new thread.


I'm in the red hat playing against a quality opponent that's a lot higher up in the ladder than I am so I came into this match thinking I was going to need to serve well to stay in it. He's a UTR 7 (I'm barely a 6) and a solid performer in USTA league in my area. We ended up splitting sets 7-5 6-7(4) with me serving for the match at 6-5 (at 6:20 in the video.) Come to find out afterwards he has an injury to his left wrist requiring surgery and forcing him only a slice on his backhand. I didn't notice at all the entire match and goes to show my lack of attention haha.

I've made improvements in some parts of my game but have remained stagnant in most besides my fitness. I feel as though this match very much displays my weaknesses and criticism is much appreciated. It was hot and windy as hell in that afternoon and most of the time that works in my favor with the type of game I play (scrappy pusher). Not sure if I'm rambling on as it's 1AM over here but thanks for watching!
Man you improve a lot. Your opponent is good. But its actually not a bad match up for you. You had decent chance of winning it. His BH is really weak so take advantage of it. I will be on the tip of my toes ready to attack once i give him a ball on that wing. A highball to the BH seems to work really well. Do that for 15 mins and he will forget how to hit a FH.
Stop leaving the ball in the middle of the court. Your opponent can attack short balls. Your forehand needs some work, make it more compact, your prep needs to be simplified.
 
#37
Hey y'all, I'm back almost a year after I posted the previous video. I thought it would be better suited here than starting a new thread.


I'm in the red hat playing against a quality opponent that's a lot higher up in the ladder than I am so I came into this match thinking I was going to need to serve well to stay in it. He's a UTR 7 (I'm barely a 6) and a solid performer in USTA league in my area. We ended up splitting sets 7-5 6-7(4) with me serving for the match at 6-5 (at 6:20 in the video.) Come to find out afterwards he has an injury to his left wrist requiring surgery and forcing him only a slice on his backhand. I didn't notice at all the entire match and goes to show my lack of attention haha.

I've made improvements in some parts of my game but have remained stagnant in most besides my fitness. I feel as though this match very much displays my weaknesses and criticism is much appreciated. It was hot and windy as hell in that afternoon and most of the time that works in my favor with the type of game I play (scrappy pusher). Not sure if I'm rambling on as it's 1AM over here but thanks for watching!
What impressed me the most was your shot selection: when he pressed and put you on the defensive, you didn't go for the low % hero shot but instead opted for the neutralizing one.

Did you notice that he didn't volley that well? He missed a high % and the ones he made were not crisp. And he also got too close to the net and didn't recognize the lob until quite late. You could have deliberately hit short and then passed or lobbed him.
 

atatu

Hall of Fame
#38
Hey y'all, I'm back almost a year after I posted the previous video. I thought it would be better suited here than starting a new thread.


I'm in the red hat playing against a quality opponent that's a lot higher up in the ladder than I am so I came into this match thinking I was going to need to serve well to stay in it. He's a UTR 7 (I'm barely a 6) and a solid performer in USTA league in my area. We ended up splitting sets 7-5 6-7(4) with me serving for the match at 6-5 (at 6:20 in the video.) Come to find out afterwards he has an injury to his left wrist requiring surgery and forcing him only a slice on his backhand. I didn't notice at all the entire match and goes to show my lack of attention haha.

I've made improvements in some parts of my game but have remained stagnant in most besides my fitness. I feel as though this match very much displays my weaknesses and criticism is much appreciated. It was hot and windy as hell in that afternoon and most of the time that works in my favor with the type of game I play (scrappy pusher). Not sure if I'm rambling on as it's 1AM over here but thanks for watching!
Caswell ??
 
#41
TR "dynamic ratings" are pretty much fictitious
I think they work best in a relative manner: ie I will tend to lose to the people above me and beat the people below me. There are a few below me that will [and have] kicked my *** so I can't figure out why they're not higher or why I'm not lower. But overall it's a useful comparison tool. Of course, when you step out on the court, all of that goes away.
 
#42
Man you improve a lot. Your opponent is good. But its actually not a bad match up for you. You had decent chance of winning it. His BH is really weak so take advantage of it. I will be on the tip of my toes ready to attack once i give him a ball on that wing. A highball to the BH seems to work really well. Do that for 15 mins and he will forget how to hit a FH.
Stop leaving the ball in the middle of the court. Your opponent can attack short balls. Your forehand needs some work, make it more compact, your prep needs to be simplified.
You are dead on about the balls in the middle of the court . They have been getting eaten up in all my matches lately and the more I try to hit out into the ball the more my balls hit the fence. It's like a battle between defensive and aggressive hitting that I don't know exactly which side to walk on.

There's a poster on here with this Rich H Tennis channel that has a nice compact swing that I've been trying to take notes from. Dude has a clean game all around.
What impressed me the most was your shot selection: when he pressed and put you on the defensive, you didn't go for the low % hero shot but instead opted for the neutralizing one.

Did you notice that he didn't volley that well? He missed a high % and the ones he made were not crisp. And he also got too close to the net and didn't recognize the lob until quite late. You could have deliberately hit short and then passed or lobbed him.
YES! I been trying to preach the deep moonball neutralizing shot to some of my practice partners but they're not having any of that "pusher" style tactics. So often my serve gets smacked back at my feet and my only option is to spin it back deep.

You know weird enough because of the couple of volley winners he hit during the match my mind felt like he was a great at the net and was ready for the ball to come back.
Yep you got it. (y)
 
#45
YES! I been trying to preach the deep moonball neutralizing shot to some of my practice partners but they're not having any of that "pusher" style tactics. So often my serve gets smacked back at my feet and my only option is to spin it back deep.
Their loss. You will have a more complete game and the ability to use varied shots under varying circumstances.
 
#46
From my experience of play more defensive style in the first 4 years, there was a moment when i flipped the switch and tried to become offensive. And i love it. my advice is you should definitely take a more agressive line. The game is more fun this way. Once you have both defense and offense in your game, you won't lose a set to those kinds of players in the video.
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
#50
Hey, nice vid. I’m not a coach but it I played you,here is what I would be thinking - you don’t have many weapons yet and are not very consistent (consistency can be a weapon as well). So I would basically just play heavy spin shots to safe places on the court, focuson your backhand and see if you would make a mistake or give me a short ball.

The good news is that you can do the same thing. This guy was blowing easy volleys, so he is not comfortable at net. I think both of you are both trying to hit small targets on the sides of the court that you are not really going to make on a regular basis.

If I was you, I would play my matches and focus on hitting deep and heavy down the middle of the court off both sides. It looks like your backhand is stopping abruptly and robbing you of power. Looks like you don’t have confidence there. I know that feeling. What you need to do is go practice on getting a full upper body turn on the backhand as early as possible. Feels like some of your back is showing to the opponent. The other thing is to make sure you smoothly drop the racquet low enough (left hand under right for righties) and most importantly, follow through so the racquet finishes high on the other side of your body. Most likely you are holding up on your bh because you think it will go long. So working on all those things will fix it. I am not a coach, but these were all things I was coached on and it works.

A good example of bad backhand prep is the first vid you posted last year. First or second point, blue shirt guy. He didn’t turn his body at all. That’s a recipe for no power on the backhand.

And then again, for match strategy just focus on hitting deep and in the middle before going for angles. At 3.5 you want to learn to outlast your opponent and get the feeling of not missing very often.
 
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