I'm a VERY slow starter. Any help???

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by HunterST, Dec 12, 2009.

  1. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

    Jun 12, 2009
    It seems like it takes me the first set to get warmed up and into the match. Virtually every match I have I drop the first set (a lot of times pretty bad) and then either win the second set or lose it very close. I don't know why this happens. The warm ups I usually have are pretty crude: just hitting from the baseline for maybe 10 minutes, doing a little net, and taking maybe 6 serves. Ideally I'd try to get a longer warm up, but I can't really make that happen. Any advice on how to start playing closer to my best from the beginning? Is anyone else a slow starter?
  2. Rambler124

    Rambler124 Rookie

    Jul 26, 2008
    Read Brad Gilbert's Winning Ugly. Quick read and good tips on how to start your match before you even hit the court.
  3. Blake0

    Blake0 Hall of Fame

    Feb 17, 2009
    I used to be a slow starter..now i'm a fast starter..but slow down after the first 2 games..

    Try hitting before hand, don't worry about playing great the first couple games (keep the ball in and get your rhythm going). Don't go for too much until you start to feel like you're playing better. Make sure you move your feet plenty, especially when you first start, that helps me get pumped up. Play consistently for the first few games. Keep the ball in so you can hit more balls and get going faster, if your opponent keeps messing up you get free points, but if he's beating you, you'll have to try to jump up your game right away.
  4. GPG

    GPG Semi-Pro

    Jan 30, 2009
    It used to happen to me sometimes. I remember that I got baggeled once in the first set and then came up to win the next 2 sets for something like 6-3, 6-4
  5. mental midget

    mental midget Hall of Fame

    Oct 7, 2008
    i've got the exact same problem. for me, it's basically a function of not playing as regularly as i'd like. i play in a 5.0 league full of guys who play a couple times a week; i'm lucky if i can make it to my scheduled match once a week, and so i can pretty much bank on going a break down in the first set after chasing my toss around for a game or two.

    there's good advice already posted here--concentrate on high-percentage play for the first few games, play controlled tennis, get some ball strikes under your belt, hold off from pulling the trigger, don't be afraid to run a little bit.
  6. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Legend

    Aug 12, 2004
    Sounds silly but you might try some warmup exercises before you got on the court. You might look goofy but I find that they do help..
  7. bertrevert

    bertrevert Hall of Fame

    Feb 22, 2004
    Syd, Oz
    I reckon I'm not hitting my stride before at least 30 mins.

    You're right: how do you get properly warmed up in a 5-10 min warmup?

    If you can find a quiet place out of the way, where no-one's looking, go try this (tis an exercise from ol b/w footage that Harry Hopman put his players through).

    Jump up and down touching your knees to your chest 20 or 30 times at least.

    Certainly gets the blood pumping if nothing else!
  8. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Legend

    Aug 12, 2004
    I like the intosport.com warmup progession..
    Some of the exercises they recommend are goofy but effective.

    I'd check that out.. If your looking for stylish warmups jumping rope is probably the best. However some of the goofier options can provide results.

    They recommend things like walking lunges, arm hugs while side step jogging, jogging butt kicks, straight leg walk, high knee jogging, trunk twists, side steps with hugs and circles. I also like hip circles (which they don't include), arm raises and a few other exercises they don't list.

    I have found that doing exercises like this is helpful before tennis and a gym workout.. However they can be kind of embarrasing.. Heh.

    Brad Gilbert has some over on Sportskool as well I think.. If your playing an important match its well worth looking into as you might not have much time to warm up. In the pros they often will actually warm up and then hit before the match even begins so they are very warm even when they are doing the pre-match hitting.

  9. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation G.O.A.T.

    Oct 20, 2006
    Not a rare condition at all.

    Bottom line is that you've got to get your motor running before the match starts up. If you already do workouts in a gym or at home, you can do a few rather light exercises with weights along with a little cardio to get things better warmed up. This is only to get the circulation going in your muscles and stretch them out a little bit, not any sort of workout that will fatigue you.

    Sometimes if you go to an indoor club to play in the off season, there won't be anything more that you can do than run in the parking lot, etc. That's better than nothing if you're looking for a head start.
  10. Slazenger07

    Slazenger07 Banned

    Sep 29, 2009
    Im generally a fast starter, what I do is concentrate on playing high percentage tennis, hitting with lots of spin and getting lots of net clearance with my forehand and just trying to be as solid as possible, hitting well inside the lines and not making many errors.

    Helps being lefty too cause I think alot of times it takes a few games for my opponents to get used to my spins.

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