My Journey to 6.0 Has Ended... Can I Still Improve? (TennisProdigy Video Diary)

TennisProdigy vs. BallBag - Who Will Reign Victorious?


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TennisProdigy

Professional
BTW, what are the odds of this.... There’s a crappy low quality tennis court in my apartment complex with grass growing out of cracks on the service line etc.

I’ve only ever seen hackers and people playing with their dogs in there. Then exactly one month ago in 40 degree weather right at dusk I saw a young kid hit one serve.

From that single serve I knew he meant business. it wasn’t the pace that impressed me, but his flawless technique.

I got his number and immediately invited him to play indoor doubles with my cousin and dad, but due to Covid concern he passed on the offer.

with 45 degree weather at 5 15 today, we finally got out on our apartment court.

Right off the bat he didn’t miss any balls and within 10 min he was already on par with me going 100% pace off FH/BH (in practice I can be offensive no problem).

By the end he was out hitting me and it was clear his footwork and overall athleticism were obviously greater than mine.

he looks to be 19 or 20 and apparently just moved back to Maryland after finishing school in Michigan and getting a job here.

Brian was a super nice guy and didn’t mind my 2 year old son running on the court every 3 min to give me a hug or throw me a ball in between rallies.

at the end brian expressed his gratitude for me inviting him to hit so I asked him when the last time he played with another human was.

Brian replied “It’s been over 3 years...”

I’ve discovered a monster in the most unlikely of places, look out for a very one sided match between us when the weather cooperates!
 
BTW, what are the odds of this.... There’s a crappy low quality tennis court in my apartment complex with grass growing out of cracks on the service line etc.

I’ve only ever seen hackers and people playing with their dogs in there. Then exactly one month ago in 40 degree weather right at dusk I saw a young kid hit one serve.

From that single serve I knew he meant business. it wasn’t the pace that impressed me, but his flawless technique.

I got his number and immediately invited him to play indoor doubles with my cousin and dad, but due to Covid concern he passed on the offer.

with 45 degree weather at 5 15 today, we finally got out on our apartment court.

Right off the bat he didn’t miss any balls and within 10 min he was already on par with me going 100% pace off FH/BH (in practice I can be offensive no problem).

By the end he was out hitting me and it was clear his footwork and overall athleticism were obviously greater than mine.

he looks to be 19 or 20 and apparently just moved back to Maryland after finishing school in Michigan and getting a job here.

Brian was a super nice guy and didn’t mind my 2 year old son running on the court every 3 min to give me a hug or throw me a ball in between rallies.

at the end brian expressed his gratitude for me inviting him to hit so I asked him when the last time he played with another human was.

Brian replied “It’s been over 3 years...”

I’ve discovered a monster in the most unlikely of places, look out for a very one sided match between us when the weather cooperates!
Similar thing happened to me although he wasn't a collegiate. But I could tell just by looking at his form for one serve that he was worth gaining as a hitting partner.

And just last week I saw a couple of guys hammering the ball and it turns out one of them played for Pepperdine a few years ago.

So, if you keep your eyes out, every now and then you find some really good players.
 

PrinceMoron

Legend
If you are still flapping at the ball calm it all down a bit by maintaining contact between arm and chest - imagine holding a pen between your arm and tit-during the rotation
 

TennisProdigy

Professional
If you are still flapping at the ball calm it all down a bit by maintaining contact between arm and chest - imagine holding a pen between your arm and tit-during the rotation
excellent tip, easy to apply and visualize mentally. Thank you for being constructive, will do my best Thursday to apply this knowledge to my backhand(y)
 

mmk

Hall of Fame
OP - Are you in Howard County? I ask because in Montgomery we have to wear masks while playing indoors, and from your videos you don't.
 

TennisProdigy

Professional
OP - Are you in Howard County? I ask because in Montgomery we have to wear masks while playing indoors, and from your videos you don't.
Yeah HC, no masks necessary, but I would gladly wear one if required since I wear them 100% of the time when I go rock climbing.
 

PrinceMoron

Legend
excellent tip, easy to apply and visualize mentally. Thank you for being constructive, will do my best Thursday to apply this knowledge to my backhand(y)
Try not to focus on what the racquet head is doing, point the handle/butt cap down the ball path.

everything will align without you even being aware of what you are doing.
All you need to think about is getting good front leg knee bend when the ball of your foot hits the court. From that moment it is onwards and upwards exhaling throughout Enjoy the full stroke unwrapping till you are airing your armpit and the hitting arm shoulder has maxed out. That is when you can look across the net.
If you look before you hear your opponent hit the ball you have ruined the stroke. You can always try watching the ball through the string bed from behind.
 

TennisProdigy

Professional
Trying to up my game to the next level, I do my best to incorporate @PrinceMoron OHBH tips into my game. Groundstrokes and 10 point tiebreaker vs. SirShanksALot! I appreciate the instruction, I feel like my OHBH is heading towards the right direction!

 

PrinceMoron

Legend
Get a heavy headlight frame something like 390g 11pts. One that will only work if you take the racquet back early and won’t allow you to flap at the ball. You get nothing without sound mechanics

lots of your shots could be achieved with more consistency and power with sitting in a chair tennis, where the only thing happening is a little hand movement. There is lots going on currently that is just adding inconsistency and not adding any weight of shot.

BH: need to see full rotation and you holding that position. You should be able to rotate first and then move to the ball. You still look like you are trying to squeeze past two people in a corridor. Currently you could put your hands in your pockets cos your shoulders are right above your pockets. Minimum rotation you want is left hand above right pocket.

if you can’t see your opponent over the top of your shoulder you aren’t rotating enough.
Your shoulders are pretty much parallel to the sidelines at best.You have got another 90 degrees to go
 

TennisProdigy

Professional
Get a heavy headlight frame something like 390g 11pts. One that will only work if you take the racquet back early and won’t allow you to flap at the ball. You get nothing without sound mechanics

lots of your shots could be achieved with more consistency and power with sitting in a chair tennis, where the only thing happening is a little hand movement. There is lots going on currently that is just adding inconsistency and not adding any weight of shot.

BH: need to see full rotation and you holding that I position. You should be able to rotate first and then move to the ball. You still look like you are trying to squeeze past two people in a corridor. Currently you could put your hands in your pockets cos your shoulders are right above your pockets. Minimum rotation you want is left hand above right pocket.

if you can’t see your opponent over the top of your shoulder you aren’t rotating enough.
Your shoulders are pretty much parallel to the sidelines at best.You have got another 90 degrees to go
I understand the logic behind a heavier frame to learn technique but I’m not going to do that Bc I still play doubles once a week and I need something maneuverable at net.

Just compared my backhand from yesterday to Federer’s in slow motion. Even though I have better rotation now, it’s still not enough compared to Federer, you’re correct thanks for pointing that out.

I know what it feels like now to get a little more rotation, and I made some progression on the shot, so now I just gotta keep adding 10 degrees each time until I get that classic “shoulders almost parallel to the baseline + looking at opponent over the top of my shoulder.”

Appreciate the tips as always!

edit: I think I found an easy way to get my shot almost to feds and other pros level technique wise.

I noticed when hitting my BH my left foot is either perpendicular to the baseline or at a 45 degree angle from the baseline.

feds foot is PARALLEL to the baseline, so if I can copy that I think I’ll be able to achieve proper rotation on the shot!

playing doubles on Monday so I’ll test out my theory then(y)
 
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TennisProdigy

Professional
Played another set with SirShanksALot. I tried to be more aggressive with my OHBH and rely less on the slice. I also tried to maintain 75% swing speed throughout all my serves.

Played okay in this set but I played my doubles match ever yesterday teaming up with SirShankALot vs. my dad (appealed down from 4.5 and rated 4.0 this year) and a 55 year old former D1 tennis player, Alex, who currently plays 4.5 tennis in Maryland and Florida. Alex is 6'3" or so and had the biggest serve I've ever faced in doubles. He had 9 aces in 3 sets of tennis but my partner and I played very solid tennis and attacked the weaker link (my dad) to win 6-4 6-3 then we lost the third set 4-6.

I was extremely pleased with my volleys and active movement at net, my technique and physique are both improving week by week, so for now I'll continue on my current path and see where it leads me!

 

TennisProdigy

Professional
Your'e playing better than last time we played. I'm looking forward to Friday.
Thanks I’ve been working diligently on my game, I definitely feel like it’s been paying off!

I bet you’ll be playing better than the last time we played too, could be an instant classic like our first match xD
 

Colin52

New User
Nice playing! Enjoyed the vid

My 2 cents......on the topspin backhand your back foot is in the air at contact, the stroke at 20.13 is one example, i think you would be better off keeping that on the ground, it feels very unstable when i tried it!

Slice looks nice though(y)
 

pencilcheck

Professional
Your serve is still not a weapon, if you want to win 4.5 consistently you need a better serve.

Mark who worked with essential tennis, who is also a 4.5 will 6 0 you easily.
 

TennisProdigy

Professional
Your serve is still not a weapon, if you want to win 4.5 consistently you need a better serve.

Mark who worked with essential tennis, who is also a 4.5 will 6 0 you easily.
Correction: If I want to win consistently at 5.0 then I need a better serve. I won every single match playing 4.5 tennis my last season of USTA 4.5 tennis except one match that I lost in 3 close sets Bc I was sick which is how I got bumped up to 5.0 where I currently sit :giggle:

I’ve never played Mark but he looks like a solid player and if I ever had the opportunity I would gladly take him on in a set and/or match!

I wouldn’t be so quick to judge the outcome of the match though. If you saw Fabrice Santoro playing you probably wouldn’t think he’d have the capacity to get games off of Djokovic let alone beat him xD
 

3virgul14

Rookie
If you want to become a better player, just watch your opponent. He has a much better balance, more efficient service game although his dynamic is simpler compared to yours, much better positioning and better re-direction of the ball. His execution is not good enough with the ground strokes but that is a matter of practice.
 
D

Deleted member 765152

Guest
Just watched the video. Yeaaa....no. Neither you nor your cousin has a realistic chance against MEP @GSG.
And MEP is not even a prodigy.
But only 1 way to find out for sure...
 

jmnk

Hall of Fame
Correction: If I want to win consistently at 5.0 then I need a better serve. I won every single match playing 4.5 tennis my last season of USTA 4.5 tennis except one match that I lost in 3 close sets Bc I was sick which is how I got bumped up to 5.0 where I currently sit :giggle:

I’ve never played Mark but he looks like a solid player and if I ever had the opportunity I would gladly take him on in a set and/or match!

I wouldn’t be so quick to judge the outcome of the match though. If you saw Fabrice Santoro playing you probably wouldn’t think he’d have the capacity to get games off of Djokovic let alone beat him xD
wait, you are computer rated USTA 5.0 right now?
 

Grip n Rip

New User
I don’t mean to brag but... My main youtube channel has 1.45 million subs. So I think that should at least qualify me to step on the same court as MEP :cool:
And yet that doesn't seem to be enough attention for you.

I bet you've only "reactivated" because you were jealous of GSG views and think you could be the next GSG, come in here talking smack about our King hoping to get a match, maybe launch another channel
 

TennisProdigy

Professional
wait, you are computer rated USTA 5.0 right now?
Yup I’m currently computer rated 5.0. Played 3 seasons of USTA from 2012-2015. First season at 4.0 in Maryland I won every match in straight sets and bumped to 4.5 (all singles).

Next season at 4.5 in Columbus, Ohio I went about 50/50 and stayed 4.5 (all singles).

Then my last season at 4.5 back in Maryland again I won every match in straight sets with the exception of a close 3 set loss when I was sick and my captain couldn’t find a sub (all singles). Got bumped up to 5.0 and never played USTA again. I also stopped playing tennis for 3 years after that last USTA season as well.

And yet that doesn't seem to be enough attention for you.

I bet you've only "reactivated" because you were jealous of GSG views and think you could be the next GSG, come in here talking smack about our King hoping to get a match, maybe launch another channel
Lmao this is quite the humorous post! Firstly, someone else brought up GSG first, stating that I MIGHT be able to beat him when I reached my peak form.

Second, I will never be able to get the same views in the form of tennis as GSG, he is a legend that shall never die in my eyes.

Lastly, I starting posting on this account again because I wanted to follow up on my challenge to see if I can reach a 6.0 level, something that I still believe might be possible :)
 
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ServeBot

New User
Would love to see the matchup vs MEP. Most of the players he has beaten have been exploited due to their weakness at the net/overheads. That seems to be your game. I don't think he can exploit your lack of pace/spin on serve or groundstrokes. I think with your movement the dropshots won't be effective compared to the other players he's played against. Going to come down to your volleys/overheads at the net IMO! Assuming you are in shape, would be a fun one to watch!
 

TennisProdigy

Professional
Whoa man. He has a 26 inch vertical and out ran an NFL running back in middle school. He has the potential
Actually I just measured my vertical a few days ago it’s a little over 27 inches now.

I’ve never specially trained my legs before with weights in my entire life but I now have a leg routine that I do after I’m done rock climbing in the weight room.

I was actually even (we each won about half the time in very close races) to my friend during freshman year of high school only. After that the gap widened more and more and he ended up playing running back and wide receiver for the ravens.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
It's hell getting old.
I ran about 200 yards today....actually a slow jog....and I was pooped.
 

TennisProdigy

Professional
It's hell getting old.
I ran about 200 yards today....actually a slow jog....and I was pooped.
No one can beat age. That’s why I want to try to reach my full potential before it’s too late. I believe I have until about age 42 to do that.

In order to delay the effects of aging as long as possible, I currently eat only one meal a day consisting of nutrient dense foods and about 2300-2500 calories — macros: about 30% protein, 30% fat, 40% carbs.

Based on research conducted by myself (I have a bachelors degree in biology) and numerous scientific studies that I’ve read, I truly believe that one of the keys to longevity comes from fasting and caloric restriction which will increase the rate of autophagy in ones body among other beneficial effects.

I also voluntarily undergo a 3 day water only fast at least once a year, and I am currently taking supplements for: fish oil, a probiotic, multivitamin (every other day), NAD+ (expensive but recent studies make this supplement very enticing), and Ceylon cinnamon + turmeric/ginger once in a while.
 

Keendog

Professional
No one can beat age. That’s why I want to try to reach my full potential before it’s too late. I believe I have until about age 42 to do that.

In order to delay the effects of aging as long as possible, I currently eat only one meal a day consisting of nutrient dense foods and about 2300-2500 calories — macros: about 30% protein, 30% fat, 40% carbs.

Based on research conducted by myself (I have a bachelors degree in biology) and numerous scientific studies that I’ve read, I truly believe that one of the keys to longevity comes from fasting and caloric restriction which will increase the rate of autophagy in ones body among other beneficial effects.

I also voluntarily undergo a 3 day water only fast at least once a year, and I am currently taking supplements for: fish oil, a probiotic, multivitamin (every other day), NAD+ (expensive but recent studies make this supplement very enticing), and Ceylon cinnamon + turmeric/ginger once in a while.
That only extends the end years of your life, and those years are ****ty anyway.

You could move to Okinawa as well
 

TennisProdigy

Professional
That only extends the end years of your life, and those years are ****ty anyway.

You could move to Okinawa as well
Life is what you make of it, and you only live once. If I work hard to maintain good mental health and decent physical health as my age increases, I can think of a plethora of activities I would find extremely rewarding including but not limited to:

Helping raise my grandkids (if either of my kids decide to have kids).
Traveling the world with my future wife.
Variety of online games.
Trying to become a chess grandmaster.
Learning pickleball if for some reason tennis is no longer playable for me.
Chasing fishing world records.
Trying to win a WSOP bracelet in Texas Holdem.
 
That only extends the end years of your life, and those years are ****ty anyway.
Not according to the research I've done: autophagy and caloric restriction has been shown in animals to not only extend lifetime but, more importantly, quality of life. Think of the difference between spending the last part of your life bed-ridden vs running marathons.

You have to A) be aware the research exists; B) believe the research and its applicability to humans; and C) execute a plan.

A & B are easy; C is a b#@%h.
 
Life is what you make of it, and you only live once. If I work hard to maintain good mental health and decent physical health as my age increases, I can think of a plethora of activities I would find extremely rewarding including but not limited to:

Helping raise my grandkids (if either of my kids decide to have kids).
Traveling the world with my future wife.
Variety of online games.
Trying to become a chess grandmaster.
Learning pickleball if for some reason tennis is no longer playable for me.
Chasing fishing world records.
Trying to win a WSOP bracelet in Texas Holdem.
You obviously are in the habit of setting goals and lofty ones at that. People like you achieve way more than those who do not set goals.
 
To the thread title question OP, I'm just an older returning player, having started at 9, but quit multiple times for long stretches over my life, now current aim to reach a consistent 3.0 and hoping my knees don't give out when pushing my footwork. My 2c is, from your form seen in the videos, there's a decent chance where I think you could reach 5.0 like those playtesters on TW with refinement and improvement. As mentioned, nice slice, good volley/half-volley(?), overhead & netgame. Have you considered trying a heavier racquet like the RF97 or an older wilson like a tour 90 or kps88? maybe those can help train a fuller swing and prep on groundstrokes.
 
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Keendog

Professional
Life is what you make of it, and you only live once. If I work hard to maintain good mental health and decent physical health as my age increases, I can think of a plethora of activities I would find extremely rewarding including but not limited to:

Helping raise my grandkids (if either of my kids decide to have kids).
Traveling the world with my future wife.
Variety of online games.
Trying to become a chess grandmaster.
Learning pickleball if for some reason tennis is no longer playable for me.
Chasing fishing world records.
Trying to win a WSOP bracelet in Texas Holdem.
Well it's good to have ambition I guess
 
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Johnny505

Rookie
You say you're 30 years old now, you might as well give up the game now and do something less strenuous or give up life completely.
 
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TennisProdigy

Professional
To the thread title question OP, I'm just an older returning player, having started at 9, but quit multiple times for long stretches over my life, now current aim to reach a consistent 3.0 and hoping my knees don't give out when pushing my footwork. My 2c is, from your form seen in the videos, there's a decent chance where I think you could reach 5.0 like those playtesters on TW with refinement and improvement. As mentioned, nice slice, good volley/half-volley(?), overhead & netgame. Have you considered trying a heavier racquet like the RF97 or an older wilson like a tour 90 or kps88? maybe those can help train a fuller swing and prep on groundstrokes.
my racquet already has a swing weight of about 335, about the same as the RF97 I believe, I think this weight is adequate for my current level so I’m not considering a switch at the moment.

Is it fair to say 6.0 level is at or better than every male college player in the USA? NCAA national champion level? Or a top 4 D1 collegiate player?
My ultimate goal is to take a set off my friend Collin Johns who started tennis at age 14, we met when he was 16 and I was 19, and he reached a career high of 975 on the ATP tour, I consider him to be a 6.0 player when he was actively playing

You say you're 30 years old now, you might as well give up the game now and do something less strenuous or give up life completely.
TBH I feel much sharper physically and mentally now at 30 with my current lifestyle than I did when I was 20 in college :)
 

TennisProdigy

Professional
Full Uncut Warm up from yesterday with @BallBag

Last time we played was almost exactly two years ago. First time we played we tied, second time (two years ago) I won in straights but it seemed like ballbag was having an off day in the outdoor conditions (it was March so I'm guessing he was more accustomed to the indoor conditions still).

Poll created for fun, will post the full match in a day or two!

The only spoiler I'll throw in is that I don't think either of us would've lasted another 5 minutes on court after we stopped playing...

 
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