Improving from 3.5 to 4.0

Wesley J

Rookie
Hello everyone,

I'm trying to get to the next level. Constructive criticism is appreciated.

UPDATE:
11-18-2017

Last competitive match of the year vs Dwayne in the 3.5 league playoffs.

Bad news: I'm ending with an L.

Good news: I'm confident that I have a good grasp of the things I need to work on to get to the next level which will be my focus for the next 2-3 months until leagues start up again.

1) Return of serve
2) Watching the ball all the way from contact to follow-through (just realized over the past week that I haven't been doing this)
3) Compact strokes
4) Better stroke decision making and execution on deep and short balls.

Dwayne won 6-3, 5-7 TB: 10-5


 
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ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
Funny. I was just watching this on YouTube and was going to post this here as a good example of the 3.5 match.

Biggest things I was going to mention is developing your strokes. A lot of your game is blocking back shots. When you do take the racquet back you tend to almost volley stroke the ball. You do have a nice stroke and follow-thru, but just looks like you need the reps to get some confidence there.

Good stuff.
 

kingp1ng

New User
Good hitting for a beginner. There is no one thing I'd say needs improving, because as a beginner, everything needs improving. Just play a lot and you'll get better. Or you could play in group lessons (usually not that expensive). Simply watching people, learning from them, and applying their technique to your own 1v1 practice will help.

I hate internet tennis ratings btw. Everyone rates differently. I must say, that's not a 3.5 rating.
 

Wesley J

Rookie
Good hitting for a beginner. There is no one thing I'd say needs improving, because as a beginner, everything needs improving. Just play a lot and you'll get better. Or you could play in group lessons (usually not that expensive). Simply watching people, learning from them, and applying their technique to your own 1v1 practice will help.

I hate internet tennis ratings btw. Everyone rates differently. I must say, that's not a 3.5 rating.
What makes it not 3.5?
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
What makes it not 3.5?
Meh. Don't get wrapped up in ratings as much as taking whatever good tips you get. In AZ this would be a high 3.0 or low 3.5 depending on match play. Other areas it could be mid 3.5. It's all over the place, but that's all moot when you win matches.

So keep practicing and trying to get input when ya can.

Cheers.
 
Don't really care about the rating, if the league OP is playing in is meant for players rated 3.5 in that area, then calling it a 3.5 league match isn't inaccurate.

I'd recommend OP develop some type of weapon, typically a nice forehand put away shot on short balls. Every other shot should be practiced to put yourself in a position to achieve your put away forehand. Your forehand swing speed does need to improve if you want it to be a weapon. I'd recommend taking one or two private lessons just to get the mechanics of that down. Work on muscle memory for different type of forehands off short balls, then drill yourself with a practice partner.
 

Wesley J

Rookie
Don't really care about the rating, if the league OP is playing in is meant for players rated 3.5 in that area, then calling it a 3.5 league match isn't inaccurate.

I'd recommend OP develop some type of weapon, typically a nice forehand put away shot on short balls. Every other shot should be practiced to put yourself in a position to achieve your put away forehand. Your forehand swing speed does need to improve if you want it to be a weapon. I'd recommend taking one or two private lessons just to get the mechanics of that down. Work on muscle memory for different type of forehands off short balls, then drill yourself with a practice partner.
I feel like I have a weapon in my forehand but I tend to get tense in matches where there are big changes in pace and I ended up resorting to a lot of "blocking" as the first responder pointed out.

In the one I posted, he had a killer first serve but a dinky second serve. I was going to move in for his second serves but then he started alternating strong/dinky second serves which threw me off as well. That led to me not being sure if I could break him which led to me playing very safe during my service games (I always felt in control during them as he didn't have any weapons that I felt could threaten me).
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
I feel like I have a weapon in my forehand but I tend to get tense in matches where there are big changes in pace and I ended up resorting to a lot of "blocking" as the first responder pointed out.

In the one I posted, he had a killer first serve but a dinky second serve. I was going to move in for his second serves but then he started alternating strong/dinky second serves which threw me off as well. That led to me not being sure if I could break him which led to me playing very safe during my service games (I always felt in control during them as he didn't have any weapons that I felt could threaten me).
You were quick to recognize the dink 2nd and move in. That's good anticipation.

OTOH, notice how closely Floyd was standing to receive your 2nd: once you start working on your serve, especially the spin, he won't be able to do that anymore.
 

RetroSpin

Hall of Fame
Getting to 4.0 requires primarily consistency and learning to keep the ball deep enough that your opponent has trouble pressuring you.
 

NuBas

Legend
One poster was right, don't get too worried about ratings but with respect this is more 3.0.

Everyone who wants to improve needs to work on a bit of everything so same advice for you.
Mainly work on athleticism, being sound in fundamentals, active footwork, proper grips, and really focus when playing games.
You say you get tense, well that is the mental part of the game that you will need to develop and it comes with practice.

I see no reason why you cannot become 4.0, just keep practicing and you'll be more aware of your playing.
Kudos to you for giving us good videos and editing.. that is 4.0 filming!
 
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dct693

Semi-Pro
Like everyone else mentioned: there's room to improve many things but what I would choose is your movement and the serve. If you're going to play games, the serve is your most important shot (followed by the return of serve). A good serve sets you up to be in control of the point. Being in control means more options for you and fewer options for your opponent.

You can practice the serve alone and you are in total control of the shot. It's also the hardest shot to master because of all the moving parts, but it's worth it.

More specifically, what I will suggest might go against the grain, but I suggest you develop your second serve first. That means a heavy spin serve, whether it be a slice or topspin serve. Yeah it feels great to ace someone but how many of those fast first serves go in for each one that crashes into the net or lands way out? I find people generally have a harder time returning my second serve because it moves and curves.
 
First point looked in ....

Nice way to attack the dink 2nd at 2:04
I like how Creamcicle guy started doing two 1st serves.

Nice controlled put away at 3:52

Where did you learn to do trophy pose with tossing arm?

Next time, edit out the faults.

This seems like 3.0 strokes.
But, maybe you beat 3.5 since they spazz out like maniacs and hit it over the fence
 
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Doc Hollidae

Hall of Fame
Since you are a lefty, it's is imperative that you learn how to hit a lefty slice serve. This will win you so many free points at the 3.0-4.0 level.

After that, consistency is what will get you the most W's at the 3.0-4.0 level. Being able to hit 5-10 shots in a rally will go a long way.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Weird ratings aside (this wouldn't be 3.5 in Canada), I think there are lots of things to improve and lots of things that you have gfood basics. I think your serve is nice and loose and just needs more oomph. Similarly the FH looks fairly loose but its a bit wristy, slow and rarely develops much topspin. You are largely relying on gravity to keep your balls in the court. The bloop slice BH needs a ton of work. It's women's club league level and either needs a flatter trajectory with more under/side spin or re-imagined into either a 1HBH drive or 2 hander.
You are slim, fit and fast which will allow you to win matches without necessarily getting better at your strokes. Your larger opponent has realized he needs power to win and is developing hard strokes but is inconsistent. You need to approach it more that way. Don't rely on your speed to win. Force yourself to hit harder to win with forcing shots rather than getting things back until the opponent misses.
 

Wesley J

Rookie
Thank you everyone for all the tips and comments. They are much appreciated and I'm taking everything to heart. I'm working on getting another video of a match up for comparison.

One poster was right, don't get too worried about ratings but with respect this is more 3.0.

Everyone who wants to improve needs to work on a bit of everything so same advice for you.
Mainly work on athleticism, being sound in fundamentals, active footwork, proper grips, and really focus when playing games.
You say you get tense, well that is the mental part of the game that you will need to develop and it comes with practice.

I see no reason why you cannot become 4.0, just keep practicing and you'll be more aware of your playing.
Kudos to you for giving us good videos and editing.. that is 4.0 filming!
Thanks, practicing the editing more than the tennis apparently lol.

Like everyone else mentioned: there's room to improve many things but what I would choose is your movement and the serve. If you're going to play games, the serve is your most important shot (followed by the return of serve). A good serve sets you up to be in control of the point. Being in control means more options for you and fewer options for your opponent.

You can practice the serve alone and you are in total control of the shot. It's also the hardest shot to master because of all the moving parts, but it's worth it.

More specifically, what I will suggest might go against the grain, but I suggest you develop your second serve first. That means a heavy spin serve, whether it be a slice or topspin serve. Yeah it feels great to ace someone but how many of those fast first serves go in for each one that crashes into the net or lands way out? I find people generally have a harder time returning my second serve because it moves and curves.
Thanks for the advice! Being completely honest, this was not one of my better matches and I fell back into bad habits regarding technique. I can't use that as an excuse though because being better means being able to reproduce your play regardless of who you are playing or the environment. I actually have decent flat, slice, and topspin serves. In this particular match though, I was just going for the win and didn't feel threatened by anything he could produce other than his first serve so for the most part I hit a pedestrian topspin serve just making sure it got in. I'm working on getting another match up for comparison.

Since you are a lefty, it's is imperative that you learn how to hit a lefty slice serve. This will win you so many free points at the 3.0-4.0 level.

After that, consistency is what will get you the most W's at the 3.0-4.0 level. Being able to hit 5-10 shots in a rally will go a long way.
Thanks for the tips bro. I have that lefty slice just didn't use it much/at all in this match. The sun was bad so I was going with what I felt was my more consistent serve. I was too scared to switch it up because I wanted to make sure I won. Guess, I've gotta get more confidence in them.

Weird ratings aside (this wouldn't be 3.5 in Canada), I think there are lots of things to improve and lots of things that you have gfood basics. I think your serve is nice and loose and just needs more oomph. Similarly the FH looks fairly loose but its a bit wristy, slow and rarely develops much topspin. You are largely relying on gravity to keep your balls in the court. The bloop slice BH needs a ton of work. It's women's club league level and either needs a flatter trajectory with more under/side spin or re-imagined into either a 1HBH drive or 2 hander.

You are slim, fit and fast which will allow you to win matches without necessarily getting better at your strokes. Your larger opponent has realized he needs power to win and is developing hard strokes but is inconsistent. You need to approach it more that way. Don't rely on your speed to win. Force yourself to hit harder to win with forcing shots rather than getting things back until the opponent misses.
Thanks. You are dead on with the "largely relying on gravity" part lol. I usually can hit more topspin on my FH this wasn't one of my better matches. I'm working on getting another one up for comparison. BTW can you give me some time stamp references of the "bloop slice BH" never heard that one before haha.

First point looked in ....

Nice way to attack the dink 2nd at 2:04
I like how Creamcicle guy started doing two 1st serves.

Nice controlled put away at 3:52

Where did you learn to do trophy pose with tossing arm?

Next time, edit out the faults.

This seems like 3.0 strokes.
But, maybe you beat 3.5 since they spazz out like maniacs and hit it over the fence
Thanks for the compliments. Serving motion was just from practice and being told about the trophy pose from people I played with when I first started. That and I just like doing the pose lol.

I didn't edit out the faults because I wanted to make it clear that it was a second serve coming (I can edit out the walking to pick up the ball between first and second serve next time though).

I agree with the stroke assessment. Not my brightest moments in this game lol.

Also...creamcicle? lol
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Thanks. You are dead on with the "largely relying on gravity" part lol. I usually can hit more topspin on my FH this wasn't one of my better matches. I'm working on getting another one up for comparison. BTW can you give me some time stamp references of the "bloop slice BH" never heard that one before haha.

0:11 and 0:36 of the first vid and virtually every BH thereafter.
 

Wesley J

Rookie
0:11 and 0:36 of the first vid and virtually every BH thereafter.
HA! Dying laughing when I checked again. "Bloop Backhand" was the perfect descriptor. I'd like to think my backhand is better than that but I won't know until I can get a video of another match. One of my struggles during this match was pacing. The only "pacey" thing he hit was his first serve which was very fast when it got in. Other than that, everything else I was pretty much having to create my own pace. That coupled with wanting to win the match as well as a little lack of confidence led me to playing safer shots in rallies since I wasn't worried about anything else that he could do.
 
The easiest way to get better is to play whenever you can and with whoever is available. Hit with old men or kids if that is your only options. Just work on your groundstrokes and increasing racket speed. For me, watching some pro tennis and people that were better than me at my club really helped me get better. I would definitely try to participate in some group or private lessons to get a lot of specific help.
 

GuyClinch

Legend
Level is hard to say - guy in white can move well and looks pretty quick out there - with some practice he can really go up.. Maybe could beat some more skilled players now with speed..

But strokes could use some refinement. In general you want to use more racquet head speed and rely more on spin. Also want to develop serve into an attacking shot.. With the groundstrokes and serve - good analogy to think about is that your are throwing the racquet towards the ball - this will give you the lose feeling you want and help you use your larger muscles to create racquet head speed.

Don't fret if you launch the ball long or hit it hard down into the net when trying this. The key really is to understand that a certain swing path/angle combined with a certain angle of racquet face will ultimately give you the ball you want. Tweak those variables if the ball is not flying how you would like it..

Right now you are dinking the ball because you want it to go in. Thats certainly effective against low level players but you want to get to the point where say 70% of your 'max' stroke speed gives you the kind of ball you want..
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Level is hard to say - guy in white can move well and looks pretty quick out there - with some practice he can really go up.. Maybe could beat some more skilled players now with speed..
Yeah the NTRP system really isn't that great being a mix of self rating and match based computer assessments.
All I know is that the guys that play on court 5 and 6 of our Club Men's league hit like these two guys. Once you get up to courts 3 and 4, the pace goes up considerably and consistency improves, but still error prone, and then the court 1 and 2 players have the great serves and solid groundstrokes consistency
 

Demented

Semi-Pro
I would consider those guys 2.5's in my area. They'd get slaughtered in 3.0 singles tennis. A lot of the 3.0 doubles guys look like that though. There really should be separate rankings between dubs and singles.
 
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V

VexlanderPrime

Guest
What makes it not 3.5?
Let's be real. That's not 3.5 singles. The groundstrokes just are not there. But as others have said, don't worry about your rating, just work on getting better. The rating will come naturally. Right now, you gotta get those groundstrokes DOWN, adding pace, spin and accuracy. Way too much blocking back. You'll improve fastest by drilling your groundstrokes rather than playing matches.

Your serve looks like it is a good foundation, now you just need to add violent pace and more topspin by hitting up from 8-9 thru 12. Your split stepping look good too.
 
All I can say is you need to hit with more authority. I see too many shots just sort of babied over the net. I'm not saying rip them, but put a bit more pace on the shot.

The sound of the ball hitting the fence is pretty cool. What is it hitting?
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Hello everyone,

I'm trying to get to the next level.

Here is a video of me playing a match.

(first set part 1)
(first set part 2)
(second set)

I know there is a lot I need to work on, but i'm looking for a critique on what I should focus on.
Kudos for posting matchplay vids!!! That advice about the serve is spot on. Work on that because you can have a good one with some guidance! Your opponent showcases a low level mentality with big big useless serves and weak 2nd serve (pancake grips eventual outcome). You dont so maximize that!
 

ptuanminh

Hall of Fame
Don't listen to anyone telling u are not a 3.5. Its not an important matter. Pick an aspect of the game: forehand, backhand, serve... that you like most, work on it a lot. Then you get to 4.0
 
Don't listen to anyone telling u are not a 3.5. Its not an important matter. Pick an aspect of the game: forehand, backhand, serve... that you like most, work on it a lot. Then you get to 4.0
I agree. How you look has nothing to do with your ranking. It's all about whether you win or not. I don't understand why people can't grasp that.
 

NuBas

Legend
Wesley, regardless of whatever it is you choose to improve upon, I highly suggest finding a partner that is at a higher level than you to play with. This will help you to improve quickest.
 

Wesley J

Rookie
Thank you for the comments everyone. I actually play this guy again tomorrow morning. Hopefully I have a better showing.

The easiest way to get better is to play whenever you can and with whoever is available. Hit with old men or kids if that is your only options. Just work on your groundstrokes and increasing racket speed. For me, watching some pro tennis and people that were better than me at my club really helped me get better. I would definitely try to participate in some group or private lessons to get a lot of specific help.
Thanks for the tips. Definitely gotta work on better racket head speed. A lot of my shots in the video were painfully slow.


Level is hard to say - guy in white can move well and looks pretty quick out there - with some practice he can really go up.. Maybe could beat some more skilled players now with speed..

But strokes could use some refinement. In general you want to use more racquet head speed and rely more on spin. Also want to develop serve into an attacking shot.. With the groundstrokes and serve - good analogy to think about is that your are throwing the racquet towards the ball - this will give you the lose feeling you want and help you use your larger muscles to create racquet head speed.

Don't fret if you launch the ball long or hit it hard down into the net when trying this. The key really is to understand that a certain swing path/angle combined with a certain angle of racquet face will ultimately give you the ball you want. Tweak those variables if the ball is not flying how you would like it..

Right now you are dinking the ball because you want it to go in. Thats certainly effective against low level players but you want to get to the point where say 70% of your 'max' stroke speed gives you the kind of ball you want..
Thanks. I'm the guy in the white. You're spot on with speed being one of my strengths and I've noticed it has helped me stay in a lot of points as opposed to good strokes. Through video i've noticed one major thing that I need to work on is my swing path/angle (like you said) on lower balls. As a previous poster mentioned, I tend to rely more on gravity than topspin on my shots.

I would consider those guys 2.5's in my area. They'd get slaughtered in 3.0 singles tennis. A lot of the 3.0 doubles guys look like that though. There really should be separate rankings between dubs and singles.
Come now, that is a little hyperbolic lol.

Yeah the NTRP system really isn't that great being a mix of self rating and match based computer assessments.
All I know is that the guys that play on court 5 and 6 of our Club Men's league hit like these two guys. Once you get up to courts 3 and 4, the pace goes up considerably and consistency improves, but still error prone, and then the court 1 and 2 players have the great serves and solid groundstrokes consistency
What level is your court 5/6?

Let's be real. That's not 3.5 singles. The groundstrokes just are not there. But as others have said, don't worry about your rating, just work on getting better. The rating will come naturally. Right now, you gotta get those groundstrokes DOWN, adding pace, spin and accuracy. Way too much blocking back. You'll improve fastest by drilling your groundstrokes rather than playing matches.

Your serve looks like it is a good foundation, now you just need to add violent pace and more topspin by hitting up from 8-9 thru 12. Your split stepping look good too.
Thanks for the tips. I agree 100% with the "groundstrokes rather than playing matches" statement. I need to find a decent hitting partner though. As for the serve, I mentioned this earlier but it was super sunny outside and right in my line of sight and since I wasn't worried about his return I just did the minimum of what needed to be done (Get the ball in and win from there).

All I can say is you need to hit with more authority. I see too many shots just sort of babied over the net. I'm not saying rip them, but put a bit more pace on the shot.

The sound of the ball hitting the fence is pretty cool. What is it hitting?
Agreed. I've been calling it hitting with more conviction but authority works too lol. At the moment conviction becomes smosmiction when I get down in the game and need to win. Guess I need to work on my confidence. As for the sound. The bottom of the fence isn't secure so it's just smacking into the bottom of it and causing the vibration.

Kudos for posting matchplay vids!!! That advice about the serve is spot on. Work on that because you can have a good one with some guidance! Your opponent showcases a low level mentality with big big useless serves and weak 2nd serve (pancake grips eventual outcome). You dont so maximize that!
Thanks, I'll be posting more in the future. I actually play this guy again tomorrow. Hopefully it doesn't become a dinkfest though and I can show more of what I can do.

Don't listen to anyone telling u are not a 3.5. Its not an important matter. Pick an aspect of the game: forehand, backhand, serve... that you like most, work on it a lot. Then you get to 4.0
Thanks for the tips! I listen but only to prove them wrong in the next video!...I hope lol

I agree. How you look has nothing to do with your ranking. It's all about whether you win or not. I don't understand why people can't grasp that.
Thanks, gonna go take on Fed now :)

Wesley, regardless of whatever it is you choose to improve upon, I highly suggest finding a partner that is at a higher level than you to play with. This will help you to improve quickest.
Yep, will do. I have some people in mind but have been busy lately. I will have more time to play starting next week. Thanks again for your tips!
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Thank you for the comments everyone. I actually play this guy again tomorrow morning. Hopefully I have a better showing.



Thanks for the tips. Definitely gotta work on better racket head speed. A lot of my shots in the video were painfully slow.




Thanks. I'm the guy in the white. You're spot on with speed being one of my strengths and I've noticed it has helped me stay in a lot of points as opposed to good strokes. Through video i've noticed one major thing that I need to work on is my swing path/angle (like you said) on lower balls. As a previous poster mentioned, I tend to rely more on gravity than topspin on my shots.



Come now, that is a little hyperbolic lol.



What level is your court 5/6?



Thanks for the tips. I agree 100% with the "groundstrokes rather than playing matches" statement. I need to find a decent hitting partner though. As for the serve, I mentioned this earlier but it was super sunny outside and right in my line of sight and since I wasn't worried about his return I just did the minimum of what needed to be done (Get the ball in and win from there).



Agreed. I've been calling it hitting with more conviction but authority works too lol. At the moment conviction becomes smosmiction when I get down in the game and need to win. Guess I need to work on my confidence. As for the sound. The bottom of the fence isn't secure so it's just smacking into the bottom of it and causing the vibration.



Thanks, I'll be posting more in the future. I actually play this guy again tomorrow. Hopefully it doesn't become a dinkfest though and I can show more of what I can do.



Thanks for the tips! I listen but only to prove them wrong in the next video!...I hope lol



Thanks, gonna go take on Fed now :)



Yep, will do. I have some people in mind but have been busy lately. I will have more time to play starting next week. Thanks again for your tips!
Hey how did it go on the rematch??
 

Wesley J

Rookie
Hey, you're kinda sexy.
Thanks. I play tennis...sort of.

Hey how did it go on the rematch??
I won 4-6, 6-3, 6-3. It was pretty much a repeat of the first match. I did try different positions to handle his first serve (it was a little more accurate in the rematch than in the first one) and found that standing at a diagonal half a step inside the baseline and slightly into the doubles alley on deuce serves and standing square slightly behind the base line closer to the middle on ad court side worked best. The lack of pace made the match harder for me than it probably should've been.

I have a new video that'll be up soon (sometime Monday) against a different opponent.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Thanks. I play tennis...sort of.



I won 4-6, 6-3, 6-3. It was pretty much a repeat of the first match. I did try different positions to handle his first serve (it was a little more accurate in the rematch than in the first one) and found that standing at a diagonal half a step inside the baseline and slightly into the doubles alley on deuce serves and standing square slightly behind the base line closer to the middle on ad court side worked best. The lack of pace made the match harder for me than it probably should've been.

I have a new video that'll be up soon (sometime Monday) against a different opponent.
Yeah those pancake 2nd serves are tough. At least for me i tend to crush them right into the fence :). Nice win!!
 

Wesley J

Rookie
New league match. Any criticisms/suggestions appreciated. If you are watching the second set, turn down your volume around the 8 min mark. I make some banshee shrieks when I hit a couple of balls that were headed out. As always thank you for anyone that takes the time to watch!



My takeaways:

I feel I played better in the second set and even got to try some serve & volley. I was trying to stay on attack mode this match, always looking for a chance to come in.

I need to work on keeping a firm wrist as I get "loosey goosey" quite a few times.

Also, in this match a lot of the balls that I hit that went long I feel was because of bad timing (the slower ones groundies and some of the serves). I rarely feel rushed and always feel like I can get in position, but then the technique fails me.
 

Traffic

Hall of Fame
Thanks for sharing the videos. Nice shot selection and execution for the most part. You won your points with placement of your shots and not necessarily pace or overpowering shots. Maybe work on lowering UEs by continued practice. But would seem like adding more topspin with power to put additional pressure on your opponent while possibly lowering your UEs into the net or long. You've got a respectable serve, but maybe consider taking more advantage of your lefty-ness with harder slice on the Ad side and trying for the FH slice into body on the deuce side.
 

Wesley J

Rookie
Thanks for sharing the videos. Nice shot selection and execution for the most part. You won your points with placement of your shots and not necessarily pace or overpowering shots. Maybe work on lowering UEs by continued practice. But would seem like adding more topspin with power to put additional pressure on your opponent while possibly lowering your UEs into the net or long. You've got a respectable serve, but maybe consider taking more advantage of your lefty-ness with harder slice on the Ad side and trying for the FH slice into body on the deuce side.
Thanks for the tips. I'll try to hit more slices in my next match. I've been falling in love with the top spin serve lately lol. What are your suggestions for adding more top spin to my FH/BH?
 
Wesley, are you the red rooster in the video?
I LOVE these 3.5 vids. Keep 'em coming.

:03
You are split stepping AFTER server makes contact.
This will destroy your reaction time against good servers.
Split when his racket starts to move forward. Or something.

:12
you gave up on the swing.
Follow thru and give some topspin.

:17
Turn more for return of serve.
Practice this somehow

:34
Nice deep ROS !

:38
You could have gone to BH

:54
Attack the **** out of his serve.
Split, and then move forward.
Less swing, more legs.
Ends up into the court.
ATTACK that serve like a hungry dog.
Those serves need to be punished.

1:04
You hit to center of court FH and then went to net.
You got lucky here.

1:17
Should he have tracked the ball more, and moved more left to cover the line?


1:30
Nice recovery, but hit it even higher to give you more time.
Nice job in recovering to center.

1:42
Nice job following the lob into the net. LOVE IT.

2:08
Hit that lob deeper.

2:37
4:03
Aim higher and deeper.
I need to do this also!

3:45
Follow this **** in, right?

4:10
What was that ****!?!
HIT IT.

4:20
ATTACK the volley.
Move forward.
You let the ball get too low.

4:40
Turn more sideways, then run.
Stop right before hitting, plant, then take the shot. More controlled.

5:03
I like that miss.
Attack the BH

5:26
Hit to BH !!

6:14
Do the DEFENSIVE MOONBALL

6:53
EXCELLENT DEFENSIVE MOONBALL !!!

Way to go for the 2nd serve.
Practice this. But, keep going for a real 2nd.

7:57
Look at what a basic stroke deep to his BH does.

8:09
Textbook point construction!
1) Deep FH to his BH
2) Returns a short ball. You attack and hit to his BH again (learn to angle it deeper)
3) Volley.


8:48
You chip then half ass your charge, and even go sideways.
Get moving, lazy man!

9:35
You stop and watch your lob.
Assume it's in.
GO TO NET. Watch later.

10:22
Aim higher or Do the DEFENSIVE MOONBALL

10:34
EXACTLY !!!
Look at the difference in result.

10:51
FROZEN Admiring his moonball.
Lucky you're in the center, but be aware of this TRANCE.
RECOVER, don't stare!

10:54
DUDE!! Hit to the BACKHAND!!

11:29
Your chest is open. Turn first.
Stop before hitting, and plant, then swing.
Way to hit to BH, but learn a 25% pace topspin, not a slice.

11:58
Do the DEFENSIVE MOONBALL
A better player would attack, and you'd be out of position.

12:19
Way to attack that girl serve!

12:38
Recover, don't watch

12:53
DUDE!! Hit to the BACKHAND!!


Thanks for posting.
That was awesome to watch,
b/c this is exactly what I am working on myself.

What I have listed above, is material for 50 hours of lessons.
You will not do what I wrote above until you do each at least 500 times.

You want the next level? Make a list out of everything I wrote.
Then practice this **** out of it. If not money for coaching, get a friend who wants to DRILL.
As @nytennisaddict would advise, You need to play once, and DRILL 3x or 4x that.
 
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Don't bother. It's a facking wasteland of broken dreams and broken men.
Stick to lefty slice. A D1 5.0+ just told me it takes 2 years to develop a proper kicker.
You need to toss behind you, arch your back, and then come over the top of it.

Did you notice how your marginal 3.5 lefty serve gave you free points.
Now imagine you perfected it. More legs, deeper toss, toss more wide, etc.

Seriously, you have a ton else to work on, that you may never solve (since most people are incapable of improvement logistics)
 
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Ok, here are comments for set #2

1:18
His lob bounces at shoulder height.
Aim higher or Do the DEFENSIVE MOONBALL

1:48
Weak shot to FH, and you went to net.
You got lucky.

2:32
GREAT SHOT
Take a few steps in (inside baseline)

2:45
2:49
Turn more sideways, then run.
Stop right before hitting, plant, then take the shot. More controlled.

3:31
Hit to BH

3:38
GREAT SERVE
This is money
Practice this.
Follow that in?

4:00
EXCELLENT DEFENSIVE MOONBALL !!!
Excellent recovery to center.

4:03
MORE DEFENSIVE MOONBALL !!!
You got lucky.
4.0 eats this alive.

4:17
Nice moonball.
Move a few steps in.
Notice his short return?
If you were 2 feet inside baseline, you could attack it.

4:20
Hit to BH

4:51
Nice lob!

5:02
Aim higher.
ROS is not a winner

5:08
Key difference b/w you and FratBankerGuy
He has no idea how to attack a short ball.
He can only slice it.
Next shop, you attack topspin the short ball.
Bravo!

7:13
Nice S&V !!!

9:50
FROZEN Admiring his moonball.
Lucky you're in the center, but be aware of this TRANCE.

12:31
LOL!
 

Wesley J

Rookie
Wesley, are you the red rooster in the video?
I LOVE these 3.5 vids. Keep 'em coming.

:03
You are split stepping AFTER server makes contact.
This will destroy your reaction time against good servers.
Split when his racket starts to move forward. Or something.

:12
you gave up on the swing.
Follow thru and give some topspin.

:17
Turn more for return of serve.
Practice this somehow

:34
Nice deep ROS !

:38
You could have gone to BH

:54
Attack the **** out of his serve.
Split, and then move forward.
Less swing, more legs.
Ends up into the court.
ATTACK that serve like a hungry dog.
Those serves need to be punished.

1:04
You hit to center of court FH and then went to net.
You got lucky here.

1:17
Should he have tracked the ball more, and moved more left to cover the line?


1:30
Nice recovery, but hit it even higher to give you more time.
Nice job in recovering to center.

1:42
Nice job following the lob into the net. LOVE IT.

2:08
Hit that lob deeper.

2:37
4:03
Aim higher and deeper.
I need to do this also!

3:45
Follow this **** in, right?

4:10
What was that ****!?!
HIT IT.

4:20
ATTACK the volley.
Move forward.
You let the ball get too low.

4:40
Turn more sideways, then run.
Stop right before hitting, plant, then take the shot. More controlled.

5:03
I like that miss.
Attack the BH

5:26
Hit to BH !!

6:14
Do the DEFENSIVE MOONBALL

6:53
EXCELLENT DEFENSIVE MOONBALL !!!

Way to go for the 2nd serve.
Practice this. But, keep going for a real 2nd.

7:57
Look at what a basic stroke deep to his BH does.

8:09
Textbook point construction!
1) Deep FH to his BH
2) Returns a short ball. You attack and hit to his BH again (learn to angle it deeper)
3) Volley.


8:48
You chip then half ass your charge, and even go sideways.
Get moving, lazy man!

9:35
You stop and watch your lob.
Assume it's in.
GO TO NET. Watch later.

10:22
Aim higher or Do the DEFENSIVE MOONBALL

10:34
EXACTLY !!!
Look at the difference in result.

10:51
FROZEN Admiring his moonball.
Lucky you're in the center, but be aware of this TRANCE.
RECOVER, don't stare!

10:54
DUDE!! Hit to the BACKHAND!!

11:29
Your chest is open. Turn first.
Stop before hitting, and plant, then swing.
Way to hit to BH, but learn a 25% pace topspin, not a slice.

11:58
Do the DEFENSIVE MOONBALL
A better player would attack, and you'd be out of position.

12:19
Way to attack that girl serve!

12:38
Recover, don't watch

12:53
DUDE!! Hit to the BACKHAND!!


Thanks for posting.
That was awesome to watch,
b/c this is exactly what I am working on myself.

What I have listed above, is material for 50 hours of lessons.
You will not do what I wrote above until you do each at least 500 times.

You want the next level? Make a list out of everything I wrote.
Then practice this **** out of it. If not money for coaching, get a friend who wants to DRILL.
As @nytennisaddict would advise, You need to play once, and DRILL 3x or 4x that.
First: Wow, awesome analysis, thank you for the time you spent writing that out.
Second: You didn't have to change "black rooster" to "red rooster". I don't get offended easily. I actually thought that was hilarious and liked the name and may use it as my tennis nickname in the future haha so kudos :) At least you didn't call me black/red riding hood or something.

Now on to the analysis...

Just wow @ the late split step, I went through numerous serves on YouTube's slow-mo and saw it. I'm landing a good bit after the hit, that could be a main cause of return of serve struggles. Maybe try to time it about half a second sooner cause in the a lot of the slow-mos I watched, the ball was almost at the net when I came down. Thanks for pointing that out as I never even noticed. I'll work on that.

Those 2 moonballs were just so good I had to stop and appreciate lol, but yeah I had gotten worried it was going to go out so I was using jedi mind tricks to will it in. I'll work on following those in though :).

Also, you make a good point about the opportunities for the BH attacks. I think my thought process in the moment was that I had more margin for error hitting to his FH side (more space, less chance for an unforced error), which you can see in a couple of points where I hit forehand and then attack backhand when his return is more to the center of the court.

Thanks again for the tips on the first set. Yes I did write a lot down and am looking forward to working on them especially that late split step which apparently I do on the majority of service returns.
 
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Wesley J

Rookie
Stick to lefty slice. A D1 5.0+ just told me it takes 2 years to develop a proper kicker.
You need to toss behind you, arch your back, and then come over the top of it.

Did you notice how your marginal 3.5 lefty serve gave you free points.
Now imagine you perfected it. More legs, deeper toss, toss more wide, etc.

Seriously, you have a ton else to work on, that you may never solve (since most people are incapable of improvement logistics)
Thanks for the bode of confidence lol.

Ok, here are comments for set #2

1:18
His lob bounces at shoulder height.
Aim higher or Do the DEFENSIVE MOONBALL

1:48
Weak shot to FH, and you went to net.
You got lucky.

2:32
GREAT SHOT
Take a few steps in (inside baseline)

2:45
2:49
Turn more sideways, then run.
Stop right before hitting, plant, then take the shot. More controlled.

3:31
Hit to BH

3:38
GREAT SERVE
This is money
Practice this.
Follow that in?

4:00
EXCELLENT DEFENSIVE MOONBALL !!!
Excellent recovery to center.

4:03
MORE DEFENSIVE MOONBALL !!!
You got lucky.
4.0 eats this alive.

4:17
Nice moonball.
Move a few steps in.
Notice his short return?
If you were 2 feet inside baseline, you could attack it.

4:20
Hit to BH

4:51
Nice lob!

5:02
Aim higher.
ROS is not a winner

5:08
Key difference b/w you and FratBankerGuy
He has no idea how to attack a short ball.
He can only slice it.
Next shop, you attack topspin the short ball.
Bravo!

7:13
Nice S&V !!!

9:50
FROZEN Admiring his moonball.
Lucky you're in the center, but be aware of this TRANCE.

12:31
LOL!
Yeah, I've gotta work on my approach shots a little more. Half the time I'm running straight into them instead of setting up for it.

FratBankerGuy? LOL.

Thanks again for all the tips. I'll do my best to implement them.
 

Wesley J

Rookie
Practice One Set Match with my hitting partner, Nick.

(7-6-2017)

Nick won 6-1.


Consistency wasn't there in this match and couldn't hold serve or break because of it.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
Just wow @ the late split step, I went through numerous serves on YouTube's slow-mo and saw it. I'm landing after the hit, that could be a main cause of return of serve struggles. Thanks for pointing that out as I never even noticed. I'll work on that.
You should be landing after the hit. Watch the Bryan brothers doing volley practice [this applies for any incoming shot, not just a volley]: notice Mike at net lands slightly AFTER Bob on the BL strikes the ball:


Or this one from Feel Tennis:



Why do you want to land after opponent contact? Because the landing time is when you want to be optimally balanced and poised to react to the incoming ball. In order to react to something, that something has to have occurred already [you can't react to something that hasn't happened yet; that's "anticipation" and is another topic]. So it's not optimal to land before or even at opponent contact because then you haven't yet figured out where the ball is going. Optimal landing time is just after opponent contact when you've figured out where the ball is going.

Timing this is tricky and takes a lot of practice. Again, watch Mike Bryan and compare when Bob hits the ball to when Mike is landing.

Now, if you're a beginner, you may want to land simultaneously and as you get better, delay it just a bit. What you don't want to do is land so late that the ball is already by you.
 

Bender

G.O.A.T.
Agree with what the first few posters are saying. Forget about the ratings.

Improve your technique and a higher rating will follow (eventually).
 
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