Improving

TrojanTennis

New User
When you get to 4.0 level and are over 45 years of age, what do you go improve your game? Take clinics? Drill?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

5263

G.O.A.T.
When you get to 4.0 level and are over 45 years of age, what do you go improve your game? Take clinics? Drill?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
learn more modern strokes that use better rotational forces and better backswings.
 

ChaelAZ

Legend
When you get to 4.0 level and are over 45 years of age, what do you go improve your game? Take clinics? Drill?
Many of our 4.5 guys have past program training or work with a pro often. If you can find higher level clinics those can be great for the training and finding higher level folks to hit and work with. The other check is fitness and footwork.
 

heninfan99

Talk Tennis Guru
Disagree. 4.0 players still have a lot of room to grow in the technique department. I think technical work has more potential than fitness, barring outsider cases like being severely overweight or exceptionally weak or something.
It might but at 45 and over you're probably time crunched with work and family therefore I conclude it's easier to work on tactics and fitness than honing technique.

If you have hours of free time then, yes, you can improve technique but it's much better to peel away extraneous technique and use what you have. What little time one has as a senior player should not be frittered away on getting the modern forehand or as Brent Abel puts it: lag, snap & wipe. :)
 
When you get to 4.0 level and are over 45 years of age, what do you go improve your game? Take clinics? Drill?
The 3Fs: footwork, fitness, focus [ie mental toughness], and spacing.

Strategy; shot selection.

After a certain point, there is a bigger payout in things like the above rather than obsessing over emulating Federer's FH. That point varies by individual but I'd say by the time you hit 4.0 and have been playing for a while, it will take a monumental effort to change technique but not nearly as much to focus on the "other stuff".

Think about your matches: is the outcome generally determined by stroke technique or by who made more errors?
 

fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
It might but at 45 and over you're probably time crunched with work and family therefore I conclude it's easier to work on tactics and fitness than honing technique.

If you have hours of free time then, yes, you can improve technique but it's much better to peel away extraneous technique and use what you have. What little time one has as a senior player should not be frittered away on getting the modern forehand or as Brent Abel puts it: lag, snap & wipe. :)
Disagree. 4.0 players still have a lot of room to grow in the technique department. I think technical work has more potential than fitness, barring outsider cases like being severely overweight or exceptionally weak or something.
I think you're both right. The OP is 45, so working on fitness is night-and-day more important than it was perhaps 12-15 years ago. Once beyond the "warrior years", we need to make a deliberate effort to sustain our physical resilience on the courts. I think that's just the reality of this sport.

This OP also wants to improve, so I'd say it's also essential to step into less than comfortable settings. That means facing more challenging opponents, grinding with tough hitting partners, and buying into the potential frustration of learning new habits instead of reinforcing mediocre ones that will limit his (or maybe her?) development going forward. That means some instruction or coaching.

Without seeing our pal TrojanTennis in action, it's impossible to know what's exactly right for helping with overall improvement. But I don't think that it's likely to happen without addressing both departments.
 

Knox

Semi-Pro
It might but at 45 and over you're probably time crunched with work and family therefore I conclude it's easier to work on tactics and fitness than honing technique.

If you have hours of free time then, yes, you can improve technique but it's much better to peel away extraneous technique and use what you have. What little time one has as a senior player should not be frittered away on getting the modern forehand or as Brent Abel puts it: lag, snap & wipe. :)
This makes no sense...

Working on fitness also takes time. If you don't have time to work on technique how are you going to find time to go to the gym?

And consider this: 1 hour of deliberate technical practice will improve a 4.0 players game far more than 1 hour of physical fitness training.

All that aside, though, what grown adult with half decent time management skills can't find a couple hours per week to do some training? Plenty of people say they "don't have time" but they're lying to themselves. What they really mean is that they don't want to reallocate how they spend their time.
 
Last edited:

heninfan99

Talk Tennis Guru
This makes no sense...

Working on fitness also takes time. If you don't have time to work on technique how are you going to find time to go to the gym?

And consider this: 1 hour of deliberate technical practice will improve a 4.0 players game far more than 1 hour of physical fitness training.

All that aside, though, what grown adult with half decent time management skills can't find a couple hours per week to do some training? Plenty of people say they "don't have time" but they're lying to themselves. What they really mean is that they don't want to reallocate how they spend their time.
Doesn't work that way.
 

StasTs

New User
I'd say drills and fitness. I'll try to explain my vision:
1) You're 45+, you don't want to change dramatically your strokes mechanics. It's just too late, it takes minimum 2 years to get back on your level and still could fail on important points in matches.
2) Drills (both live balls or feeding) are helping you to fix/improve smaller errors in your current stokes. These smaller fixes and drills could dramatically improve performance on some important aspects of the rallies. Example could be: inside-out/in on short ball for winner, redirect to long line after 2-3 cross balls. Even 2-4 hours (1-2 times a week for 2 hours) on drills session helps a lot. Based on your level, you should be knowing such drills yourself. Just find 1-3 people around your level to train together. Don't need to be individual training with coach, could be easily be 4 people on court + coach or 2 people without coach.
3) Fitness is very important as it's already state where you're losing your tennis level just because of fitness unless you spend good amount of time on it. Improving technique but losing fitness = equal level of tennis at best.

PS. Sorry for bad English :(
 

NLBwell

Legend
The 3Fs: footwork, fitness, focus [ie mental toughness], and spacing.

Strategy; shot selection.

After a certain point, there is a bigger payout in things like the above rather than obsessing over emulating Federer's FH. That point varies by individual but I'd say by the time you hit 4.0 and have been playing for a while, it will take a monumental effort to change technique but not nearly as much to focus on the "other stuff".

Think about your matches: is the outcome generally determined by stroke technique or by who made more errors?
Disagree. Your ceiling is set by your strokes. Yes, you can improve within your level by fitness and win close matches you used to lose, but you won't make a big jump. You shouldn't be emulating Federer's forehand. At a 4.0 level, you just need to be fixing significant flaws in your strokes. This will take learning correct technique with some kind of lessons and a lot of repetitive practice. Just the focused practice several times a week will get you in better condition and you are becoming a better tennis player. It would still take a lot of time to get much better fitness even if you aren't working on your strokes.
 
Disagree. Your ceiling is set by your strokes. Yes, you can improve within your level by fitness and win close matches you used to lose, but you won't make a big jump. You shouldn't be emulating Federer's forehand. At a 4.0 level, you just need to be fixing significant flaws in your strokes. This will take learning correct technique with some kind of lessons and a lot of repetitive practice. Just the focused practice several times a week will get you in better condition and you are becoming a better tennis player. It would still take a lot of time to get much better fitness even if you aren't working on your strokes.
One's ceiling is not an either/or between strokes and the 3Fs: it's a combination plus other factors.

However, I believe most people spend about 80-90% of their energy on stroke technique and the remainder on everything else. That's one of the reasons I believe the bigger payout is the other stuff: I think people have hit diminishing returns on gains from stroke improvement while the other stuff is relatively untapped.
 

Fairhit

Semi-Pro
One's ceiling is not an either/or between strokes and the 3Fs: it's a combination plus other factors.

However, I believe most people spend about 80-90% of their energy on stroke technique and the remainder on everything else. That's one of the reasons I believe the bigger payout is the other stuff: I think people have hit diminishing returns on gains from stroke improvement while the other stuff is relatively untapped.
Yes, I think you are right here.

At 45 and 4.0 you already have worked on technique, is the area where everybody that wants to improve works the most, to keep tweeking strokes has only so much potential, meanwhile other areas are left untapped and could generate the most drastic improvements.

You could change your FH yet once again and gain a couple of km/h and a little more rpms but it would be more beneficial to learn where to put your normal FH than to give it a little more power, is a much more noticeable improvement to be faster and have a better preparation than to have a harder BH.

To improve you have to take care ef everything and without knowing what specifically OP needs to work on, I'd say that he/she has to cover the areas that he/she has "neglected" and in most cases those areas are fitness, footwork, strategy and mental strength.
 
Yes, I think you are right here.

At 45 and 4.0 you already have worked on technique, is the area where everybody that wants to improve works the most, to keep tweeking strokes has only so much potential, meanwhile other areas are left untapped and could generate the most drastic improvements.

You could change your FH yet once again and gain a couple of km/h and a little more rpms but it would be more beneficial to learn where to put your normal FH than to give it a little more power, is a much more noticeable improvement to be faster and have a better preparation than to have a harder BH.

To improve you have to take care ef everything and without knowing what specifically OP needs to work on, I'd say that he/she has to cover the areas that he/she has "neglected" and in most cases those areas are fitness, footwork, strategy and mental strength.
Yes, this is the line of thought I was following.

For example, my BH could be OK. Maybe [not saying definitely] more benefit lies not in executing the BH better but deciding what kind of BH to hit [TS, slice, loopy, etc] and to where [up the middle, into the open court, behind the opponent, to her opponent's BH, angle, short, etc]. I think many underestimate how important those factors are [and, IMO, they are more important than the stroke quality itself].

[edit] Also, these decisions don't show up in the stats directly [they might show up indirectly in the error count].

This is just a generalization. I'd have to watch matches to get a sense for his skills and how he applies them as well as the 3Fs and other factors in order to judge where the biggest payout is.
 
Last edited:

tennisbike

Semi-Pro
Everyone need to find your own "medicine". Look up OODA loop. Pay attention to yourself.

My thought is, as I am pushing over 55, I first need to find balance meaning manage general health, stress/mental health, work and responsibility. I try to enjoy tennis as much as I can, when I get on the court, or thinking or rethinking about tennis, thinking about how to coach my boys. I started selling some of the sticks I do not play any more.

When I do play matches, I try things, experiment. Even if I lose, I was working on something. Growing, challenging, changing and learning is fun! When one stop doing that then .. that is growing old and stepping closer to death.
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
One's ceiling is not an either/or between strokes and the 3Fs: it's a combination plus other factors.

However, I believe most people spend about 80-90% of their energy on stroke technique and the remainder on everything else. That's one of the reasons I believe the bigger payout is the other stuff: I think people have hit diminishing returns on gains from stroke improvement while the other stuff is relatively untapped.
If there are "other factors" involved, why do you keep touting your "3Fs"? why do you keep selling your incomplete instruction?

That's akin to selling or advocating for a special diet serum. When someone ask how come the serum isn't working, then you add ..oh you also have to cut back eating, exercise more.

At this point if someone is smart he'll ask : then why the heck do I still need your serum?



Anyhoo, most people spend a whole of their energy on stroke technique because stroke technique {deceptively) seems the easier. Fitness, strength and tennis movements are very tough, man. Learning stroke technique the way this board goes, ie discussing whatever random things come to mind, is 100x easier (and funner).
 

rrortiz5

Rookie
Disagree. 4.0 players still have a lot of room to grow in the technique department. I think technical work has more potential than fitness, barring outsider cases like being severely overweight or exceptionally weak or something.
Was going to play devils advocate originally and say fitness is more important but after looking back on my USTA matches since 2017 and looking at my 3 set record I’m not so sure anymore. There wasn’t really a correlation between the age and fitness of my opponent and the outcome of a 3 set match. Maybe reliable and repeatable technique is most important. Might have to rethink my entire life.....
 
If there are "other factors" involved, why do you keep touting your "3Fs"? why do you keep selling your incomplete instruction?
Because it's catchy, short, easy to remember, and covers a great deal of potential improvement. You want a complete list? There is no complete list. You're free to come up with your own that works for you. The more principles you include, the more comprehensive your list but the less likely people will A) remember it; and B) follow-through.

I could modify my "sales pitch" to "the 3Fs are very important and improvement here is highly likely to have a positive effect on your game but is by no means a complete list"? Would that make you happy? Something tells me it would not. However, if someone else benefits from the advice, that's good enough for me.

That's akin to selling or advocating for a special diet serum. When someone ask how come the serum isn't working, then you add ..oh you also have to cut back eating, exercise more.
I'm not the first to think the 3Fs are important so it's hardly a secret. It's not a "special diet serum" whose formula I control. Everyone has access to it and can tweak the proportions as they see fit. And they can modify it to their heart's content. It's more like a recipe: it's a starting point, not a diktat.

At this point if someone is smart he'll ask : then why the heck do I still need your serum?
He doesn't. He's free to make his own serum. All of the ingredients are on the label.

Anyhoo, most people spend a whole of their energy on stroke technique because stroke technique {deceptively) seems the easier. Fitness, strength and tennis movements are very tough, man. Learning stroke technique the way this board goes, ie discussing whatever random things come to mind, is 100x easier (and funner).
On that we agree.
 
Last edited:

PMChambers

Hall of Fame
At 40;
  1. Recovery is worse. So schedule play smarter. Becareful of 2-3 day tounements and don't do double and singles.
  2. Injuries happen more - Stretch do strengthening exercises.
  3. Serve action - this is something to hone with great benefits. So if you've just been using it to start points can work on.
  4. Mental - mental game should be stronger.
  5. Bad line calls - work on this, it'll get you many free points {ok joke}
  6. Technique - look at tittle changes. It's likely that you will need to end points faster so might need to flatten out and go to net. Though Fed and Djok gone the other way, Nadal tried flattening. Maybe they're all trying to get to similar place.
  7. Have fun.
 
Consider your body and especially any limitations from past injuries. Risk factors: age, past surgeries, arthritis, pain, back issues, etc.

Study your strokes in high speed video. Compare to high level ATP strokes and list differences. You need clear videos about 240 fps. Video in direct sunlight that shows shadows in the videos.

First observation and comparison on ground strokes is your shoulder turn back and then turn forward to impact. There are many threads on this.

You will find differences, a percentage of the differences will be stroke options and OK, a percentage of differences will be flaws. Decide on which flaws to change by understanding each flaw and considering working on it. How does the flaw relate to the rest of the stroke?

If you can find and afford lessons by a well qualified instructor, that is best, the most effective way to learn. But in any case, learn to look at high speed videos yourself and see what you are doing.
 
Last edited:

Happi

Rookie
I take technique over fitness any day. Technique is also easy to work on if you have the right instruction and mindset.
absolutely agree

As an older player I can out hit some younger and good players, but I will never be albe to out run them - it is a lost battle to try to get the speed of a young man again, time is much better spend to work on technique with a good instructor.
 
absolutely agree

As an older player I can out hit some younger and good players, but I will never be albe to out run them - it is a lost battle to try to get the speed of a young man again, time is much better spend to work on technique with a good instructor.
No one said you had to compare yourself against the best of the best: you could also compare yourself to your peers. How much of a benefit would better fitness yield against that cohort?

it's like that old joke: I don't have to outrun the bear. I just have to outrun the guy next to me.
 

ReopeningWed

Professional
I hit less and play the best when I spend 15 min a day just warming up by shadowing footwork. I try and cover the most court I can with the least amount of steps, and then mix in big steps with little steps.
 
Top