Mini tennis, do you use kinetic chain?

#1
We always start with some mini tennis.

Is it actually possible to use the complete kinetic chain in the FH on that short distance?
Or do you just push the ball over?
 

acintya

Hall of Fame
#5
We always start with some mini tennis.

Is it actually possible to use the complete kinetic chain in the FH on that short distance?
Or do you just push the ball over?
always try to complete the chain. if you are in rush try to shorten the swing.dont stand on the service line but 1 meter behind so you will have a little more time
 
#6
We always start with some mini tennis.

Is it actually possible to use the complete kinetic chain in the FH on that short distance?
Or do you just push the ball over?
Personally no, I use mini tennis to wake up my footwork. I coach high school teams and constantly encourage them to use it for warm-ups, too. But I also have to routinely remind them to use their feet to move through the ball and to not swing at it when they're doing this.

I'm talking about mini tennis where we're standing on the service line. My pitch is for us to use our footwork everywhere on the court, but to leave our swings/strokes at the baseline. Guiding the ball with movement makes "mini-ball" a good wake-up for that essential footwork. This is different than standing a step or two behind the service line and hitting easy, exaggerated topspin strokes back and forth without too much pace. These short-court strokes can be useful, too.

Some folks like to poo-poo mini tennis, but I think it's extremely valuable practice for anybody who has to do more than park on the baseline all day and half the night. That's pretty much all of us. Many players only learn to hit the ball with a full stroke around the baseline or hit some sort of basic volley after getting all the way up inside the service line. Mini tennis can make us much more functional when we're drawn into no-man's land and need to hit an off-speed ball to a spot with some control. I watched a LOT of high school boys at a tournament yesterday who couldn't do it.
 

Fintft

Hall of Fame
#10
You do know you can use your kinetic chain slower and faster right?
The pros can do it almost at full speed. The best player in town does that, he properly just brushes the ball, but his touch is feather light(contact point very precise).

I for one, can't do it fast, but slow.
 
#11
The pros can do it almost at full speed. The best player in town does that, he properly just brushes the ball, but his touch is feather light(contact point very precise).

I for one, can't do it fast, but slow.
Thats stupid because other player would struggle to return the ball, mini tennis is to warm ur strokes. And ive never seen a pro if they ever played mini tennis to swing as fast as possible but brush alot even if its possible, because its stupid.
 

Fintft

Hall of Fame
#12
Thats stupid because other player would struggle to return the ball, mini tennis is to warm ur strokes. And ive never seen a pro if they ever played mini tennis to swing as fast as possible but brush alot even if its possible, because its stupid.
And why is it stupid? I wish I could swing fast (like the pro I told you about) during mini tennis. Not "as fast as possible", but still damn fast.
 
#13
i am also another strong advocate of mini tennis. I like to aim for the service line but keep the ball in to simulate a ‘mini’ version of hitting deep baseline shots. To those that scoff at mini tennis, if you can’t consistently use correct technique to strike the ball cleanly with a standard fluid stroke aiming for service line, it’s only going to get worse going back to the baseline. You can’t run before you walk. If you ever watch basketball players warm up, what’s the first shot they take? A layup...and then progressively move outwards increasing the distance little by little to get into a good rhythm. Tennis is a rhythm sport as well. If you find yourself mishitting a lot, better go back to the basics and work on your fundamentals. I like using a single service box as the ‘mini court’ for mini tennis and simply focusing on my ball striking abilities. You’d be surprised how well you can hit from the baseline once you get into a good rhythm from service line mini tennis.
B


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
#14
if you can’t consistently use correct technique to strike the ball cleanly with a standard fluid stroke aiming for service line, it’s only going to get worse going back to the baseline.
I agree with this. While working on groundstrokes, if the player isn't good enough to rally properly at short court then they shouldn't even be at the baseline.
 

navigator

Hall of Fame
#15
I'm kind of curious as to when the mini-tennis warm-up began. I was out of tennis for almost three decades and when I came back... mini-tennis warm-ups. I didn't know this kind of warm-up existed. I know some of the pros do it, others don't. Somehow folks managed without these warm-ups for decades on end. Personally, I do not like them - they seem like a complete waste of time. But I have a couple of practice partners that like to start that way, so no big deal. But I am curious as to when and why they began. In the last 10 years? 20 years? Who started it?
 
#16
I'm kind of curious as to when the mini-tennis warm-up began. I was out of tennis for almost three decades and when I came back... mini-tennis warm-ups. I didn't know this kind of warm-up existed.
I guess when the top spin became the dominant technique. 30 years ago we used to start warmpus with volley-to-volley rallies ))
Now in the mini-tennis warmup you can focus on the wrist action which is a part of overall kinetic chain. Like in this progression video
 
#17
Thats stupid because other player would struggle to return the ball, mini tennis is to warm ur strokes. And ive never seen a pro if they ever played mini tennis to swing as fast as possible but brush alot even if its possible, because its stupid.
See how henin is brushing the ball?


There are 2-3 videos on youtube you can see henin playing mini-tennis.
There is also one of Tommy Haas, Caroline Wozniacki etc.
Also Djokovic plays mini Tennis, saw it live at US-Open last year.
 

rkelley

Hall of Fame
#18
And why is it stupid? I wish I could swing fast (like the pro I told you about) during mini tennis. Not "as fast as possible", but still damn fast.
Use a slower version of your real stroke. It should use the kinetic chain, and the resulting ball should be spiny and slow. I find I have to aggressively move my feet to get into proper position, but this allows me time for a slow, relaxed swing.

If you're bunting the ball, or pushing it over in some way, then you're missing the true benefits.

OTOH, you should NOT swing as fast as you can, even if you have great feel and can hit a super slow, super high spin ball. That makes you a talented jerk. The point of mini tennis is to warm up your real stroke, find your contact point, AND to allow you partner (not opponent) to do the same. Your ball should be hitable for them.
 

rkelley

Hall of Fame
#19
See how henin is brushing the ball?


There are 2-3 videos on youtube you can see henin playing mini-tennis.
There is also one of Tommy Haas, Caroline Wozniacki etc.
Also Djokovic plays mini Tennis, saw it live at US-Open last year.
I LOVE watching Henin. Huge talent, great strokes. I really miss her. The whole WTA should miss her.
 
#20
And why is it stupid? I wish I could swing fast (like the pro I told you about) during mini tennis. Not "as fast as possible", but still damn fast.
Because the point of mini tennis is to warm up, not to hit extremely fast heavy spin balls that jump into your opponent.

Ive not seen a single top junior here that swings this way, infact most seem to hit even slower and more casual than me.

As my touch got better i really startes to improve this brush feel and i can swing extremely fast with thin contact like you said, and as time went on i started to do this and my coach was not hitting clean controlled balls consistently anymore and was like wtf are u doing mini tennis is a warm up not to spin and hit the ball like crazy.

Then she said what if I do it and started to hit extremely fast with heavy spin and I could barely return balls or misshit and then i saw how pointless it is.
 
#21
Because the point of mini tennis is to warm up, not to hit extremely fast heavy spin balls that jump into your opponent.

Ive not seen a single top junior here that swings this way, infact most seem to hit even slower and more casual than me.

As my touch got better i really startes to improve this brush feel and i can swing extremely fast with thin contact like you said, and as time went on i started to do this and my coach was not hitting clean controlled balls consistently anymore and was like wtf are u doing mini tennis is a warm up not to spin and hit the ball like crazy.

Then she said what if I do it and started to hit extremely fast with heavy spin and I could barely return balls or misshit and then i saw how pointless it is.
Understand your point. But I think its a good skill to learn, maybe not on the first few balls to warm up.
If you can do it in the service box it improves your feel and skill so you should be able to do it more easily in full court.

edit:
I have two 5.0 players in my team, they are really brushing the ball from mini, to full court tennis. And yes it gives me more trouble to find my rythm with them. But if their playing with other players of their level they seem not to have those issues.
Also Fed seems to brush the ball quite a bit already from the start...
 
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#22
Understand your point. But I think its a good skill to learn, maybe not on the first few balls to warm up.
If you can do it in the service box it improves your feel and skill so you should be able to do it more easily in full court.
yes for sure, it should be quite usefull for short angles, but its not really hard to do I feel, close the racquet face and swing at the right angle to make thin contact and really brush it and you can swing as fast as possible but the ball won't lift much and get tons of spin.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
#23
Full strokes everytime for mini-tennis. It's the same thing as baseline except swinging slower.

Are you having issues with mini-tennis? How do you usually do it?
I use and advocate a shorter or more compact take-back for mini-tennis. However, the KC and follow-thru should be full/complete. I tend to use a WW finish a bit more with mini-tennis than with full court tennis.

Will often use a semi-open stance for mini-tennis -- not as many step-in neutral stances. But still employing a full KC. @FailBetter, players who just push the ball back, with a compromised KC, for mini-tennis are doing it wrong. They are developing & practicing bad habits if they the play mini-tennis this way.
 
#24
@FailBetter, players who just push the ball back, with a compromised KC, for mini-tennis are doing it wrong. They are developing & practicing bad habits if they the play mini-tennis this way.
Agree apart from certain circumstances.

Im not refering to KC that should always be connected and uawd properly.
But how much you spin the ball.
If you play against fairly beginner players ur going to push the ball gently more as opossed to brushing it alot and causing them timing problems :D
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
#25
Agree apart from certain circumstances.

Im not refering to KC that should always be connected and uawd properly.
But how much you spin the ball.
If you play against fairly beginner players ur going to push the ball gently more as opossed to brushing it alot and causing them timing problems :D
True. Against students and novice players, I'll hit some flatter feed balls and more balls with slight underpin for mini-tennis. But I'll still employ a full KC when doing so. And I'll encourage them to use more topspin, with proper footwork and complete KC.
 
#26
I'm kind of curious as to when the mini-tennis warm-up began. I was out of tennis for almost three decades and when I came back... mini-tennis warm-ups. I didn't know this kind of warm-up existed. I know some of the pros do it, others don't. Somehow folks managed without these warm-ups for decades on end. Personally, I do not like them - they seem like a complete waste of time. But I have a couple of practice partners that like to start that way, so no big deal. But I am curious as to when and why they began. In the last 10 years? 20 years? Who started it?
I remember this guy who was the "elite" coach at one of the places I practiced at coming back from a conference or something and we started doing mini after that. I feel like it was late 80s.
 
#28
Use a slower version of your real stroke. It should use the kinetic chain, and the resulting ball should be spiny and slow. I find I have to aggressively move my feet to get into proper position, but this allows me time for a slow, relaxed swing.

If you're bunting the ball, or pushing it over in some way, then you're missing the true benefits.

OTOH, you should NOT swing as fast as you can, even if you have great feel and can hit a super slow, super high spin ball. That makes you a talented jerk. The point of mini tennis is to warm up your real stroke, find your contact point, AND to allow you partner (not opponent) to do the same. Your ball should be hitable for them.
The vast majority of 3.5-4.5s I have hit with can not do mini tennis properly. It’s refreshing when I hit with someone who can do it.
 
#29
Theres a girl much weaker that plays good mini tennis at warmup, then i have a guy whos much better than her that sucks at it, he keeps crushing balls at mini tennis that fly into me or into the backfence, so moronic.
 
#31
haha yes maybe he just doesnt wants to try it
He always wants to warm up with mini tennis for like 2 mins, but he keeps trying to blast the ball at it so it hits the net or back fence often and i also have to make a very compact short fast swing or sometimes simply block it back because he hits it so hard.
 

navigator

Hall of Fame
#33
I remember this guy who was the "elite" coach at one of the places I practiced at coming back from a conference or something and we started doing mini after that. I feel like it was late 80s.
That would make sense as I played from '78 - '86... just missed it.
 
#34
I'm kind of curious as to when the mini-tennis warm-up began. I was out of tennis for almost three decades and when I came back... mini-tennis warm-ups. I didn't know this kind of warm-up existed. I know some of the pros do it, others don't. Somehow folks managed without these warm-ups for decades on end. Personally, I do not like them - they seem like a complete waste of time. But I have a couple of practice partners that like to start that way, so no big deal. But I am curious as to when and why they began. In the last 10 years? 20 years? Who started it?
 

Kobble

Hall of Fame
#35
We always start with some mini tennis.

Is it actually possible to use the complete kinetic chain in the FH on that short distance?
Or do you just push the ball over?
I don't think so. Not in the respect people imagine. Alot of kineitc chain elements are motion dependent force driven, not heavily muscular forces at that limb joint. To slow it down is using different muscle patterns. That doesn't mean it is totally useless, just not 100% carryover to baseline strokes. I would never do disproportional amounts of it.

I like mini tennis. Started doing it circa 2000. Helped me hit the ball long less at first, but also had me hitting too many short balls, which don't do you any justice either. The problem is people getting very lax and hitting shots that just set up right in the strike. You hit balls like that in real rallies and even a 3.0's eyes will light up for a put away.
 

Fintft

Hall of Fame
#36
, you should NOT swing as fast as you can, even if you have great feel and can hit a super slow, super high spin ball. That makes you a talented jerk. Your ball should be hitable for them.
I think that the point the pro was trying to make was exactly yours: "that I shouldn't bunt the ball, nor push it in any way".
 

Fintft

Hall of Fame
#37
Because the point of mini tennis is to warm up, not to hit extremely fast heavy spin balls that jump into your opponent.

Ive not seen a single top junior here that swings this way, infact most seem to hit even slower and more casual than me.

As my touch got better i really startes to improve this brush feel and i can swing extremely fast with thin contact like you said, and as time went on i started to do this and my coach was not hitting clean controlled balls consistently anymore and was like wtf are u doing mini tennis is a warm up not to spin and hit the ball like crazy.

Then she said what if I do it and started to hit extremely fast with heavy spin and I could barely return balls or misshit and then i saw how pointless it is.

Not my scenario: like I said my pro was swinging relatively fast but the ball was coming slow to me, so still hit table. Most probably someone who played in Challengers and Futurities can brush the ball even lighter then us.
That guy is an artist.
 

Fintft

Hall of Fame
#38
See how henin is brushing the ball?


There are 2-3 videos on youtube you can see henin playing mini-tennis.
There is also one of Tommy Haas, Caroline Wozniacki etc.
Also Djokovic plays mini Tennis, saw it live at US-Open last year.
Exactly and we can see (at least on the BH side) that with her fast enough brushing, the balls that get over the net, for mini tennis, are slow/hi-table.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
#39
I remember this guy who was the "elite" coach at one of the places I practiced at coming back from a conference or something and we started doing mini after that. I feel like it was late 80s.
I learned it in a college class in the very early 90s. Pretty certain that this college coach had his team doing it for their practices. Recall seeing a few pro players implementing it in the 90s. More in the 00s.

maybe you have to try soft balls:unsure:
Might try it with green-dot (qst 78) training balls. Would sometimes use these (or older regular balls) against a hitting wall.

Often, esp on cold nights, we would use the oversized foam training balls for more aggressive mini-tennis. Rallies would last longer and you could really wail on the ball and still keep it in play. They are a little bit more difficult to spin so you really had to aggressively brush up on the ball to get decent topspin. A great way to warm up your muscles & joints, hand-eye coordination, early prep and RT/reflexes.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
#40
@Fintft @heninfan99
The vast majority of 3.5-4.5s I have hit with can not do mini tennis properly. It’s refreshing when I hit with someone who can do it.
Not my experience. A huge majority of 3.5s struggle with it but (nearly) 2/3 of 4.0 players I've hit with can do it properly. And closer to 90% of 4.5s I've hit with do it quite easily.

I have seen many 3.5s and some 4.0s bunt/push the ball. Some 4.0 players try to "win the warm-up". They will drive the ball at your feet -- sometimes with low, skidding shots that make it very difficult for other players to warm up.
 
#41
@Fintft @heninfan99

Not my experience. A huge majority of 3.5s struggle with it but (nearly) 2/3 of 4.0 players I've hit with can do it properly. And closer to 90% of 4.5s I've hit with do it quite easily.

I have seen many 3.5s and some 4.0s bunt/push the ball. Some 4.0 players try to "win the warm-up". They will drive the ball at your feet -- sometimes with low, skidding shots that make it very difficult for other players to warm up.
Mid to high 4.5s can generally do mini. But there are some who still don’t do it correctly. The weaker ones I’ve hit with tend to do it wrong. The majority of 4.0 players I’ve encountered still hit too flat to make the ball drop quickly in a short court.

It’s typically the older generation players that can’t do mini because they didn’t learn tennis in the topspin era.
 
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SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
#42
Mid to high 4.5s can generally do mini. But there are some who still don’t do it correctly. The weaker ones I’ve hit with tend to do it wrong. The majority of 4.0 players I’ve encountered still hit too flat to make the ball drop quickly in a short court.

It’s typically the older generation players that can’t do mini because they didn’t learn tennis in the topspin era.
How old is this older gen that you speak of? I learned tennis in my early 20s around 1973 (or late '72). I have pretty much always hit with topspin. Mind you it wasn't heavy topspin since racket heads were fairly small (probably in the 65-75 sq" range). No stiff or textured strings either IIRC. As racket head got larger, with open string patterns, I was able to produce even more topspin. When I learned mini-tennis 25+ yrs ago, I was about 40 and hitting with moderate topspin. So were most ppl I was hitting with. Full disclosure: most ppl I was hitting with since my 30s were younger than me.

Thinner & textured strings allowed for more TS.

In my late 40s, I was hitting with even more topspin than my my early 40s -- as were those I was hitting with. Heavy topspin at 50 with newer strings and the WW finish. Dropped back down to 4.5 in my early 50s (injuries, a factor). Most players I hit with, except for the 3.5 players, hit with adequate topspin for mini-tennis.
 
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#43
How old is this older gen that you speak of? I learned tennis in my early 20s around 1973 (or late '72). I have pretty much always hit with topspin. Mind you it wasn't heavy topspin since racket heads were fairly small (probably in the 65-75 sq" range). No stiff or textured strings either IIRC. As racket head got larger, with open string patterns, I was able to produce even more topspin. When I learned mini-tennis 25+ yrs ago, I was about 40 and hitting with moderate topspin. So were most ppl I was hitting with. Full disclosure: most ppl I was hitting with since my 30s were younger than me.

Thinner & textured strings allowed for more TS.

In my late 40s, I was hitting with even more topspin than my my early 40s -- as were those I was hitting with. Heavy topspin at 50 with newer strings and the WW finish. Dropped back down to 4.5 in my early 50s (injuries, a factor). Most players I hit with, except for the 3.5 players, hit with adequate topspin for mini-tennis.
Good for you. I wish more players I meet could do mini tennis properly.
 
#44
You do know you can use your kinetic chain slower and faster right?
No, it’s IMPOSSIBLE

I play mini tennis with my table tennis and lawn bowling technique, and use my manly tennis technique only when I move back to the baseline.

Why anyone plays mini tennis I’ll never know. When I play mini tennis, I end up warming up the wrong parts of my body.
 
#45
No, it’s IMPOSSIBLE

I play mini tennis with my table tennis and lawn bowling technique, and use my manly tennis technique only when I move back to the baseline.

Why anyone plays mini tennis I’ll never know. When I play mini tennis, I end up warming up the wrong parts of my body.
They were all told "you just can't do it":

 
#47
We always start with some mini tennis.

Is it actually possible to use the complete kinetic chain in the FH on that short distance?
Or do you just push the ball over?

Personally I start with a very abbreviated swing without much leg, but generally build into more full chanin swings. the end contact is more of a brush instead of a hit though.
 
#48
Personally I start with a very abbreviated swing without much leg, but generally build into more full chanin swings. the end contact is more of a brush instead of a hit though.
Admit it ... you are so talented you can brush the ball, your hair and your teeth at the same time. Chael got skills.
 
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