Indoor Tennis vs Outdoor Tennis Advice

Jopspin

New User
This may be menial and something I should have learned by now but hey better late then never. I have recently become aware of why my game is so inconsistent and I feel like I have been bashing myself for no reason. I have mostly played outdoors for a few years, during spring and summer and have only joined a tennis club last fall in order to play a USTA league. Since then, my game has been spiraling downwards and I have been mightily struggling. The past couple of weeks with spring weather in full force, I went outside and hit with my friends and I was surprised that within a couple of minutes my strokes were grooved back and I was hitting the ball deep with spin and my timing was perfect. I was getting the ball to bounce off the court and it was a great feeling!! However, close to sunset, temperatures dropped and I felt the court was losing its "bounce" and becoming more like an indoor court. I felt like my timing was off and I couldn't penetrate the court as much. It made me really think and I have come to realize the following:
- It takes me a really long time to adjust to an indoor court... if I ever adjust at all.
- I hate playing tennis in cold temperatures (below 55 degrees or so).
- The lack of lighting and the lack of bounce indoors (and outdoors at night?) seem to really mess me up
- I wear contacts and for some reason it bugs me more indoors and I feel like I can't see the ball as well
I feel like I shouldn't play indoors and unless I figure something out I don't know if I will ever play another USTA league at my club.
Has anyone struggled with these problems before? Any tips on how to read the court and adapt strokes to it? What do you guys do when you feel the conditions are changing?
I would appreciate any tip. Thanks.
 

LuckyR

Legend
This may be menial and something I should have learned by now but hey better late then never. I have recently become aware of why my game is so inconsistent and I feel like I have been bashing myself for no reason. I have mostly played outdoors for a few years, during spring and summer and have only joined a tennis club last fall in order to play a USTA league. Since then, my game has been spiraling downwards and I have been mightily struggling. The past couple of weeks with spring weather in full force, I went outside and hit with my friends and I was surprised that within a couple of minutes my strokes were grooved back and I was hitting the ball deep with spin and my timing was perfect. I was getting the ball to bounce off the court and it was a great feeling!! However, close to sunset, temperatures dropped and I felt the court was losing its "bounce" and becoming more like an indoor court. I felt like my timing was off and I couldn't penetrate the court as much. It made me really think and I have come to realize the following:
- It takes me a really long time to adjust to an indoor court... if I ever adjust at all.
- I hate playing tennis in cold temperatures (below 55 degrees or so).
- The lack of lighting and the lack of bounce indoors (and outdoors at night?) seem to really mess me up
- I wear contacts and for some reason it bugs me more indoors and I feel like I can't see the ball as well
I feel like I shouldn't play indoors and unless I figure something out I don't know if I will ever play another USTA league at my club.
Has anyone struggled with these problems before? Any tips on how to read the court and adapt strokes to it? What do you guys do when you feel the conditions are changing?
I would appreciate any tip. Thanks.
You logic is completely reasonable... for a player without grooved strokes. Think about it. Players barely better than yourself play indoors, outdoors, in Palm Springs, (did you read the thread about shoveling snow off of the courts?) so while your observation is likely completely accurate, the solution is a lot more simple. Practice to the point where small, idiosyncratic changes, such as you describe, will not impact your game. Quite simple, really.
 

Tight Lines

Professional
It could be the surface color that could be affecting your hits. In one indoor club where my son plays at, the color is green inside against brown outside. It took my son a long long time to get used to that color scheme.

I would try hitting at a different indoor court that has a different color scheme.

Harry
 

GMay

New User
As a former PNW resident (Seattle) I always found it hard to make the transition from indoor to outdoor tennis. My husband and I primarily played indoors as the weather was just too unrealiable to count on playing outdoors plus you end up waiting forever for a court on a nice day.

Now that we have lived in AZ for several years I think that I would also have a hard time playing indoors as you have the nets making the court area seem smaller, the roof instead of open sky, etc.

I have not recommendation other than if you want to play USTA or play consistently all year round in Seattle/Bellevue you have to get used to playing indoors.

Good Luck!
 
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- The lack of lighting and the lack of bounce indoors (and outdoors at night?) seem to really mess me up
- I wear contacts and for some reason it bugs me more indoors and I feel like I can't see the ball as well
...............................................
For high speed video applications I looked up the levels of lighting indoors and outdoors in direct sunlight. See Reply #11:
http://www.kinovea.org/en/forum/viewtopic.php?id=435

Surprising, the level of lighting outdoors in bright sunlight was almost 100X that of indoor lighting levels recommended for tennis courts.

Lamps also lose their light output level as they age so especially if lamps are only replaced when they stop working the indoor light levels can be low.

Your eye iris adjusts in diameter for different light levels. If your eye lens has more imperfections for larger iris diameters it might focus worse in lower light levels than outdoors in direct sunlight when the diameter is smaller. Check how well you are seeing indoors.
 
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Jopspin

New User
I'm glad that I'm getting some understanding of my agony with indoor tennis. Yes practicing would be ideal.. only that club protocols prevent members from booking multiple courts at a time, so I'd be lucky to end up with one court time a week. Some weeks I had to play a USTA match without any warm up and those are the times when I was royally trounced.
The color of the surface DOES make a difference!!!! Thank you Tight Lines. I was worried if I brought it up, people would start to think that I am paranoid about every single detail. I actually find myself favoring a Blue/Green paintjob like the US Open courts rather than the Green/Green or Green/Brown.
I agree about tennis in Seattle/Bellevue being mostly an indoor culture as I would expect in most northern tier states. Lucky you GMay!! I bet AZ is way better tennis community.
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
I'm glad that I'm getting some understanding of my agony with indoor tennis. Yes practicing would be ideal.. only that club protocols prevent members from booking multiple courts at a time, so I'd be lucky to end up with one court time a week. Some weeks I had to play a USTA match without any warm up and those are the times when I was royally trounced.
The color of the surface DOES make a difference!!!! Thank you Tight Lines. I was worried if I brought it up, people would start to think that I am paranoid about every single detail. I actually find myself favoring a Blue/Green paintjob like the US Open courts rather than the Green/Green or Green/Brown.
I agree about tennis in Seattle/Bellevue being mostly an indoor culture as I would expect in most northern tier states. Lucky you GMay!! I bet AZ is way better tennis community.
Indoor is much easier than outdoor, no wind, sun, and varying temperatures. But it does take a while to get used to indoor lighting. When I first go indoors in the fall it is harder to see the ball, but after about 3-5 times I am fine with it.

But unlike you I will play at least 3-5 times a week in the early fall and then in winter at least 5 days a week. So then it is actually easier indoors, everyone has a bigger serve indoors and the ball seems to go through the air quicker and skid through the court faster.

Indoor is better for quick strike tennis and net rushers and of coarse big servers. There are some guys that I play indoors that can give me a lot of trouble returning their serve, but once we go outdoors it is not near as difficult.

I do agree about the bounce though, I play with a lot of top spin and looping shots and definitely get more high bounce outside when it is warm and especially when the sun is on the courts. Indoors the ball does not jump as high. I much prefer outdoor tennis, like Rafa says indoors is artificial tennis.
 

Jopspin

New User
For high speed video applications I looked up the levels of lighting indoors and outdoors in direct sunlight. See Reply #11:
http://www.kinovea.org/en/forum/viewtopic.php?id=435

Surprising, the level of lighting outdoors in bright sunlight was almost 100X that of indoor lighting levels recommended for tennis courts.

Lamps also lose their light output level as they age so especially if lamps are only replaced when they stop working the indoor light levels can be low.

Your eye iris adjusts in diameter for different light levels. If your eye lens has more imperfections for larger iris diameters it might focus worse in lower light levels than outdoors in direct sunlight when the diameter is smaller. Check how well you are seeing indoors.
Interesting!! So if a camera struggles with more blurriness indoors and that has to be compensated for by adjusting the shutter speed, then that lends more proof that vision is more of a challenge indoors. I appreciate the perspective about the iris... My optometrist did not even have an idea why I would see worse indoors when playing tennis.

Where did you however get the 100 foot-candles or 1,076 lumens/m² recommended value for indoor tennis courts?? Seems pretty low to me. Would such a requirement fall under the international building code, OSHA, or any scientific establishment or simply the most practice-able value?
 
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Where did you however get the 100 foot-candles or 1,076 lumens/m² recommended value for indoor tennis courts?? Seems pretty low to me. Would such a requirement fall under the international building code, OSHA, or any scientific establishment or simply the most practice-able value?
The original link I used on the Kinovea thread above is no longer working.

Here is another from the same organization. Page 21.
http://www.sportsbuilders.org/tennis/Sprecher.pdf

It adds horizontal and vertical lighting levels, a refinement that I don't think was in the first link.

Another lighting reference:
http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/light-level-rooms-d_708.html
 
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Govnor

Professional
To me, the lighting is the biggest issue. I did find that I adjusted to it over time though. My sight isn't great, but I don't yet wear glasses, so when the light starts to go, it takes a lot more concentration.
 
Get an Eye Exam with Your New Contacts

I had a bad experience recently with my contacts.

2010 - I had my eyes examined 3 years ago. The prescription was for tri-focals and contacts. There is considerable astigmatism which contacts don't correct.

After I got my exam a set of contacts were ordered for me to try. They seemed OK and I expected that they would not be as good as my glasses because contacts cannot correct astigmatism. In bright sunlight they were fine, but for driving at night I avoided using them. I ordered 6 pair to be used mostly for tennis and other occasions.

I was happy with the tri-focals. But I was increasingly unhappy with the contacts especially for indoor matches.

2013 - I put off getting my next eye exam until this year. When I got it there were only slight changes, +1/4 diopter changes.

Again, I was given a set of contacts to try about +1/4 diopter stronger that my 2010 contacts. They were a noticeable improvement over my 2010 contacts. However, I did not feel completely satisfied, so before ordering some, I ask to stop in the optometrist's office and have my eyes checked wearing the new trial contacts.

The exam showed that the new contacts were not correct and could be considerably improved by increasing the diopters (1/2 diopter more). I was told that sometimes the lenses come in out of specs which does not seem to make sense. Also another unclear possibility about the lens being on the eye or in front of the eye affecting the prescription ..?....

But since my eyes had not changed much from 2010 to 2013, how good had the 2010 contacts that I had been wearing for the last three years been!

The newest contacts work much better than the 2010 contacts or the 2013 trial contacts.

I don't have a clear picture of what happened - but the procedure of having the patient "try" a pair of contacts and decide on their own whether they are OK is very flawed. I am going to be very careful to have my eyes tested with my next pair of contacts and not just try some and order a quantity of them.

BTW - between the age of 40 and 50 most human eyes lose the ability to accommodate (change focus by changing the shape of the eye lens).
Close up focus in most affected so that reading glasses are needed.

Govnor, if your "sight isn't great" and it is more than this common close up focus issue, get some contacts as they are fine for tennis.
 
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Jopspin

New User
Indoor is much easier than outdoor, no wind, sun, and varying temperatures. But it does take a while to get used to indoor lighting. When I first go indoors in the fall it is harder to see the ball, but after about 3-5 times I am fine with it.

But unlike you I will play at least 3-5 times a week in the early fall and then in winter at least 5 days a week. So then it is actually easier indoors, everyone has a bigger serve indoors and the ball seems to go through the air quicker and skid through the court faster.

Indoor is better for quick strike tennis and net rushers and of coarse big servers. There are some guys that I play indoors that can give me a lot of trouble returning their serve, but once we go outdoors it is not near as difficult.

I do agree about the bounce though, I play with a lot of top spin and looping shots and definitely get more high bounce outside when it is warm and especially when the sun is on the courts. Indoors the ball does not jump as high. I much prefer outdoor tennis, like Rafa says indoors is artificial tennis.
I completely agree!! I am not a big server or a quick striker which is why I'm probably doomed to struggle indoors unless I beef up my serve and net game. So basically it depends on your style of play and we can't generally say that indoor tennis is easier. And yes I too think that indoors is artificial lol
 

stapletonj

Professional
My overheads are much better indoors than out.
I believe it is because it is easier to see the ball b/c indoors your background that you are seeing tha bell against is yjr roof, which is only a matter of feet away. It is much easier to gague where the ball exactly is and how fast it is dropping. Outdoors, your background, essentially, is Pluto.
Also, indoors, the lobs can't be ridiculously high. Outdors, no limit...
 

onehandbh

Legend
Make sure you don't wear sunglasses when playing indoors.

Indoor (and outdoor courts at night) with dim, low quality,
and/or uneven lighting make it harder for me to see the
ball well.
 

Jopspin

New User
My overheads are much better indoors than out.
I believe it is because it is easier to see the ball b/c indoors your background that you are seeing tha bell against is yjr roof, which is only a matter of feet away. It is much easier to gague where the ball exactly is and how fast it is dropping. Outdoors, your background, essentially, is Pluto.
Also, indoors, the lobs can't be ridiculously high. Outdors, no limit...
Funny it is quite the opposite to me. It way easier for me to track the ball outdoors and keep my eyes on it with the abundance of light. However I do agree that with Overheads, I would have to make an exception and say I would much rather hit an overhead indoors when I don't have to weave through pluto and sun to see the ball.
 

PK6

New User
I hate outdoors!!! You have to deal with the sun/wind/sirens/trucks/cars with music blaring/planes/helicopters/motorcycles... to many elements. Indoors you don’t have to deal with this.
 

Traffic

Hall of Fame
Resurecting a 5y/o thread? Nice. But it was interesting to read since OP lives near me.

I have found that my vision had diminished over the years. I am much more impacted by changes in lighting of indoor courts. I'm sure my son, with great vision, is also impacted...though he doesn't understand why.

Discounting the obvious changes in sensory input (no walls for sound to bounce off of, different scenary, etc) and also the fact that light levels during the day outdoors are like 1000 lumens vs indoors is like 10.

But indoor courts have direct lighting vs indirect (which I prefer). The light fixtures might be in a row or might have islands of fixtures. Ceiling height also makes a big difference. Bright-dark deltas really wreak havoc on my vision.

So one of the ways that I've been combating that is to wear a hat. It does 2 things. It provides something to help whick away sweat from going into my eyes. And it provides a bit more consistency with what the peripheral of my eyes are seeing. It helps me block out some of the variations of my surroundings and also helps to buffer differences in indoor lights.
 

brc7

Rookie
I definitely love indoors. Better lighting, less noise and outdoor factors that can destract me, and so on. Outdoor courts feel like "limitless" to me which affects my game.
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
I completely agree!! I am not a big server or a quick striker which is why I'm probably doomed to struggle indoors unless I beef up my serve and net game. So basically it depends on your style of play and we can't generally say that indoor tennis is easier. And yes I too think that indoors is artificial lol
I should have said it’s easier to hit hard serves and aggressive shots indoors. So it’s easier for that style but not so much if you are more of a defensive player.
 

moonballs

Hall of Fame
I agree sometimes the outdoor lighting under bright summer sun is way too bright. The glare off the white lines painted on hard courts often interferes with the eyes. It is never a problem for the har tru courts.
 

Hmgraphite1

Hall of Fame
Trouble with indoor is you get used to it, going back out in spring is tough.
Played alot this past summer outside and my feet are killing me.
All that extra air helps bring the ball down, nets are crappy, lawn guys blow all the crap onto the court. People leave their crap there, water bottles, ball cans, pick up after yourselves. Don t leave balls there unless it never rains . What a mess, probably thought they were helping someone out, just all the litter , no one picks it up. pick an up your crap.
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
since we're resurrecting old threads... i'll post an old article that i re-found, and helped me transition to hard court indoor.
they were lightning fast, and was having trouble getting used to them...
http://www.tennisserver.com/turbo/turbo_10_01.shtml
takeways
* indoor == fast, and stays low
* fh - on neutral balls focus on more spin and depth since court is faster, less of a liability leaving a "sitter" since ball is gonna travel faster
* bh - slice more,.. keep it low
* serves - flat and/or slice (avoid top/kick)
* s&v, c&c more
* when given a chance (contact: inside the court, above the net) attack earlier/more often (ie. take advantage of "ideal" conditions)... attack net more often
 
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