If you’re not spraying balls, you’re not pushing your envelope.

FiddlerDog

Professional

The biggest thing I noticed was that he missed 4 shots and made 6.
This is exactly how practice should be done.

Like Thiem hitting half his feed balls long/net, one thing I’ve always done is never apologize for an out ball during practice rally.
I even say to hitting partner, “Don’t worry about my enjoyment. Go for your shots, hit big, hit long, this is what practice is for. Close out short balls”
I only practice with people who get this. This also raises the level of ball that gets hit to me.

This is why playing USTA before strokes are developed is the #1 tennis development killer.
Result is someone who is terrified of making errors who never learns to hit a tennis ball.
Doubles is even worse b/c there is a team needing points for pointless “sectionals”, and a hacker pusher partner who wants to win.
That is why they never develop a true free swing, even after many years of playing

Like Thiem demonstrates, failure is endemic to successful practice.
Let me say it again, he missed almost half of the hand feeds.
The simple truth is that most people are not mentally equipped to improve at tennis.
If you’re not spraying balls like Thiem, you’re not pushing your envelope.
 
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WildVolley

Legend
Some of your practice should be pushing your envelope. Some of your practice should be for consistency, and some should be finding the middle ground.

Bruce Lee said something to the effect that no one becomes a world class sprinter by jogging. If you want to learn how to hit hard shots that land in, you've got to practice hitting hard shots, and that means a lot of misses. This is a situation where having a ball machine, a coach, or a cooperative practice partner makes a big difference. Someone who wants to hit long rallies isn't going to be happy when you're just cranking on the ball to discover how hard you can hit it.
 

DCNJ

New User
While I hate to agree with TTPS, I've also heard some coaches mention that as (for instance) a forehand gets better, that player should be missing about the same amount, or that if someone doesn't double fault at least occasionally they're also not playing optimally. One has to *correctly* apply percentage tennis...
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.

The biggest thing I noticed was that he missed 4 shots and made 6.
This is exactly how practice should be done.

Like Thiem hitting half his feed balls long/net, one thing I’ve always done is never apologize for an out ball during practice rally.
I even say to hitting partner, “Don’t worry about my enjoyment. Go for your shots, hit big, hit long, this is what practice is for. Close out short balls”
I only practice with people who get this. This also raises the level of ball that gets hit to me.

This is why playing USTA before strokes are developed is the #1 tennis development killer.
Result is someone who is terrified of making errors who never learns to hit a tennis ball.
Doubles is even worse b/c there is a team needing points for pointless “sectionals”, and a hacker pusher partner who wants to win.
That is why they never develop a true free swing, even after many years of playing

Like Thiem demonstrates, failure is endemic to successful practice.
Let me say it again, he missed almost half of the hand feeds.
The simple truth is that most people are not mentally equipped to improve at tennis.
If you’re not spraying balls like Thiem, you’re not pushing your envelope.
Some truth to what you are saying, but also need to take a little off and improve consistency.
 

socallefty

Legend
I do a 90-min hitting drill every week with 2-3 different guys. In every two weeks, I probably work on accuracy drills for 45 mins, footwork/hitting on-the-run/changing-angles drills for 45 mins, consistency drills for 30 mins, adding power/hitting winners drills for 30 mins and serve/return drills for 30 mins on average. I do the consistency drills mostly because my younger, more erratic partners want to do it and typically I make it more interesting for myself by trying to hit every ball deep outside the service box - I’ll mentally think of it as a miss if I hit a ball in the box.

These are separate from the 1-hour private lesson I have with my coach every week - we do whatever drills he thinks are good during the lesson and it includes some rallying against him and playing tiebreakers occasionally. In a month, we end up working a little bit on every shot including 1st/2nd serves, returns, volleys, overheads, BH drives, BH slices, FHs, passing shots, putaway winners off short balls, approach shots etc. with a lot of focus on footwork/hitting shots on-the-run and adding higher pace/spin over time to all my baseline shots and serves. I’m one of the few 4.5 players at my club who still takes regular lessons but I feel that I need to do it to maintain my level as I am also one of the oldest ones playing a lot of singles (130-150 matches a year) and doubles (100 matches) in my fifties.

Adding pace/spin and accuracy to smaller and smaller targets while on the move is always the priority ONCE you reach an advanced level where you can hit hundreds of shots without missing while you hit at a comfortable pace against someone who gives you a clean ball to hit. This rarely happens unless you are an experienced 4.5+ player and have a drilling partner who is as good. Until then, consistency drills should not be ignored and are a vital part of improvement for the first few years of playing tennis. The pros have already put in tens of thousands of hours of practice over 15-25 years by the time you watch their practice and their needs are different. Even an older 4.5 player who may not practice much anymore has probably spent 1000s of hours practicing when younger including many drills focused on consistency.
 
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WildVolley

Legend
Yeah but dont forget pros have great timing balance and position so they can afford swinging like crazy
you probably dont

try to hit like Rublev here and see what happens lol
...
I think the point is that you should spend a little time during your practice (if healthy) trying to hit the ball like Rublev. No one thinks we rec-hackers are going to hit it as well as a guy who makes millions of dollars a year playing competitive tennis. I suggest doing it after you've fully warmed up and keeping the full power drills fairly brief. Hitting very hard is going to wear you out quickly and most of us need to also work on a lot of other things.

I can assure you that Rublev didn't develop that forehand by repeatedly hitting safe balls with 6 feet of net clearance and low pace. (Though I don't doubt that Rublev also trained and can hit a much safer shot when he needs to.)
 

mrmarble

Rookie
I think the point is that you should spend a little time during your practice (if healthy) trying to hit the ball like Rublev. No one thinks we rec-hackers are going to hit it as well as a guy who makes millions of dollars a year playing competitive tennis. I suggest doing it after you've fully warmed up and keeping the full power drills fairly brief. Hitting very hard is going to wear you out quickly and most of us need to also work on a lot of other things.

I can assure you that Rublev didn't develop that forehand by repeatedly hitting safe balls with 6 feet of net clearance and low pace. (Though I don't doubt that Rublev also trained and can hit a much safer shot when he needs to.)
It’s all about repetition but if balance and positioning are crap even reps won’t work
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.

The biggest thing I noticed was that he missed 4 shots and made 6.
This is exactly how practice should be done.

Like Thiem hitting half his feed balls long/net, one thing I’ve always done is never apologize for an out ball during practice rally.
I even say to hitting partner, “Don’t worry about my enjoyment. Go for your shots, hit big, hit long, this is what practice is for. Close out short balls”
I only practice with people who get this. This also raises the level of ball that gets hit to me.

This is why playing USTA before strokes are developed is the #1 tennis development killer.
Result is someone who is terrified of making errors who never learns to hit a tennis ball.
Doubles is even worse b/c there is a team needing points for pointless “sectionals”, and a hacker pusher partner who wants to win.
That is why they never develop a true free swing, even after many years of playing

Like Thiem demonstrates, failure is endemic to successful practice.
Let me say it again, he missed almost half of the hand feeds.
The simple truth is that most people are not mentally equipped to improve at tennis.
If you’re not spraying balls like Thiem, you’re not pushing your envelope.
When you were the poaster formerly known as TTPS, you claimed videos of pros practicing was just for show and their real practice was done behind closed doors.
 

zaph

Professional
To me this just sounds like another ball basher trying to justify why they are sending the ball into the back fence. Any fool can hit a tennis ball hard if they don't have to hit into the court, the skill is in having controlled power.
 
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FuzzyYellowBalls

Hall of Fame
That is the general consensus
I posted the theory first although I'm sure many thought it, I like to claim small victories. My favorite theory is/was that TTPS and Fidler and any other "interesting" poster is some social media marketing intern at TW "churning" the message boards to keep posting and activity going. Unfortunately, there are some who claim to have played with TTPS so kind of ruins that.

There is one type of doubles partner I have, more often they are 4.5, that will swing away at all serve returns, with 40-60% success kind of like that Monfils training vid. I aim for 80-90% return success away from the net guy even if my returns aren't spectacular and prefer to attempt to win my points at the net. It took me awhile to digest that hey, some of the younger and more powerful partners I have do what works for them, no reason to tell them to change, and they do win the points they get the returns in, at a very high percentage, but they also give away many points on serve return.
 

HuusHould

Professional
I haven't read the other posts, but I agree with the statement. "You only have to look at how rarely these guys lose before the semi finals, to realise that, you can't just go out there and be yourself, you have to play above yourself, that may mean losing in a flurry of unforced errors, but at least you've given yourself a chance to win the match...." (Courier on how to play the big 3). I've realised that sometimes you just need to hit the ball harder more often to get the timing. Esp/eg in reply to floaters, you'll embarrass yourself a bit early on by hitting "easy" balls into the back fence, but you'll reap the rewards in the long term. Do a few thousand against the wall first!
 

ubercat

Professional
My hack justification for swinging fast is when I often only get a small piece of the ball the shot still goes reasonably deep
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
Depends upon the style you want to play. What is wrong if a rec player, even a male, wants to emulate someone like Chris Evert or Billie Jean King? Good consistent tennis without spraying a lot of balls.
 

HuusHould

Professional
I recently was playing matches against a guy with a good all court game, who used to come into the net when he had me on the ropes and would occasionally serve and volley. He had fairly predictable patterns as well. I probably won at least 75% of our sets/matches and the most he beat me by was 7/5 6/1, when he served about 15 aces in 2 sets. He then found "winning ugly" in a clubhouse and at the end of 2019 he won like 7/11 sets against me, through playing less predictably and getting to the net more. One day he needed to shorten the points for some physical reason so he started S&Ving behind his 2nd ball (used to only come in behind his 1st). and in the wind with lively balls, I sprayed a lot of passing shots and lost 3/6 3/6, he beat me subsequently (a few matches later) 6/3 6/2 playing the same way. But he went from someone who I knew if I worked hard against I was unlikely to lose to, to someone whose game I had some trepidation about and only felt safe in a set after securing a double break, (where in the past one was sufficient), simply by playing more aggressive tennis.

With some tips on how to manage my passing/lobbing game from this forum, I was able to actually win a higher percentage of the last 15 or so sets we played than I had at any point in our rivalry, but if I had to play him r1 of a tournament I'd still be more wary of his new more aggressive gamestyle. The moral is that you should be looking to play as aggressively as possible! How you attack is up to you, but attack is the best form of defense!
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
It is incorrect to take spraying balls in practice and try to linearly apply it as a common practice and acceptable. There certainly are instances coaching where the technique and feel of a particular stroke outweighs the ball outcome, but in all of it the end focus becomes to master the technique and apply it with consistency. Having an understanding of what Domi was working on would shed a lot of light on that. Have seen 100's of practices of his and in most he is in fact keeping the ball in. So most likley something the coach was working on with him required a different focus than that.

But no, going out and spraying all the time is NOT some magical key to rec tennis success.
FFS.
 
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Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
My feeling is once a ball sprayer always a ball sprayer. Hitting balls all over the place doesn't just suddenly come under control because you just keep hitting hard and hope it does.

Only those with innate hand eye skills, good timing and well practiced footwork will learn to hit hard and controlled.

That being said, all children should be encouraged to swing hard when young no matter the sport. That's the time to develop the motor skills that can carry you forward.
 
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