New mental note helping serve return and groundstrokes

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by StringSnapper, Aug 11, 2018.

  1. StringSnapper

    StringSnapper Professional

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    Ive been thinking this one simple mental note, and my serve return and groundstrokes are waaaay more consistent and i feel like i have a lot more time on fast balls.

    The mental note is "keep my off arm elbow high". Not like crazy high, but parrallel to the ground.

    My theory as to why this works:
    I feel strongly that hitting on the rise requires a really well grooved stroke, and the off arm seems to really help groove the shape of the stroke (as well as the speed i imagine, if rushed).
     
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  2. StringSnapper

    StringSnapper Professional

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    Ive also developed this nasty slice which i use on both fh and bh when the ball is low and short or really wide and low. Such an effective shot, i can block it back super deepn and flat and reach so far. I bend my knees really low and make contact low, half the time i think my opponent doesnt think its coming back, then boom a skidding laserbeam lands in the middle of the court. They think "great lets attack" but they were cought napping, prepped late, then misread just how nasty that mid court ball is, and make an error or set me up with a short ball.

    Basically if im hitting back a deep ball: i use the off arm high elbow cue+hit off the back foot. So i can hit both deep, fast and on therise shots well, and get them back from the service line.
    If the ball is deep and not fast, i try to unload mega spin and super deep, to try and generate a short ball. If my opponent tries to hit on the rise because of all the spin the difficulty level is super high, and even if he gets it back i can usually rely on my slice technique to block back a laserbeam with the complete opposite kind of ball (skidding and low bouncing). Unless my opponent has this variety aswell they will often cough up a short ball.

    Now, when i get the short ball i run in to try to take it on the rise or its apex as per the @J011yroger advice, and jist hit up the line then stay forward for a volley (not usually required anyway).

    This short ball attack is probably effective 65% of the time. Still learning on the rise and hyper aggressive play, but man, it works over half the time so it should be easy to stick to for now. My volleys are by far the weakest part of my game, but it doesnt seem to dictate win or lose in singles anyway. After a decent on the rise up the line attack, usually only a weak shot comes back that even i can deal with. Opponents make a lot of mistakes when they attack me since im only giving them extreme low slices or extreme high deep spin, so i dont need to win more than 65% on offense.

    If my volleys are particularly bad, or the surface doesnt suit volleying, or their passing shots are particularly good, once i hit my aggressive on the rise shot, i just go back to the baseline lol

    The problem when i lose seems to be if my opponent is good enough to hit serves icant return, deal really well with my high deep spiny shots, and scoop up my slices consistently. But with this new game plan im giving people headaches (and beating) that used to destroy me.


    Its funny because i seem to play worse during the warmup then solid as an ox as soon as the match starts. I think having a variety of shots for different situations does this. Every shot i hit now has intent behind it. I dont say my deep topspin forehand was **** because it wasnt a winner, because it wasnt supposed to be. But sometimes it is anyway, or forces an error. Ill take it.

    But yeah, its also like i make my opponent play worse too. Before id hit all pretty topspin shots. But i was the kind of guy whenever pulled wide, id try to hit a miraculous 1hbh dtl. Worked 20% of the time maybe. So they just kept putting me in that position. And they started to wait for the dtl shot too - even worse! Now i slice on wideballs instead. Deep, low, skidding. Difficult for them to d anything with. Or lob if they come in and get ready to slice the next one too if they hit the overhead. Keeps the point alive 95% of the time, and i can win the point in other ways (defense or attacking the right ball).
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
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  3. StringSnapper

    StringSnapper Professional

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    I feel like with these tactics im like rafa nadal, super competitive beating players from positions i have no business beating. It's like his crosscourt fh that peels off the court. Its an unfair advantage.

    A few weeks ago i lost to a guy ranked 2 spots higher than me. But i played well. The reason why i lost wast talent or technique, it was because he had better tactics. He attacked my bh a lot, and hit more forehands than me. But ever since then ive been on this mission to develop tactics that suit my game. I can move really well, but struggle with on the rise shots. I mostly was losing because of shanking or hitting errors. But this new shot selection seems to fix that,,as well as practicing on the rise topspin fhs alot and finding cues that work (like high elbow and smaller atp-like swing. Also trying to line the racquet up with the ball while in the unit turn). Now im really hard to put down, and the on the rise cues help perfectly with attacking short balls too

    Feels like a huge step forward, and very little effort has been extended on my behalf. There is hope for the adult rec player yet
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
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  4. StringSnapper

    StringSnapper Professional

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    I should mention as well @Curious the effortlessness of hitting a slice. If i'm in a 20 shot rally with my opponent, and they hit 10 topspin ATP forehands and i hit 10 fh slices... they're much more zapped physically by that exchange than i am.

    The forehand slice seems to be mostly about awareness of the racquet face angle at contact. I think the wall helps for this. If contact is below the net, you have to make contact with an open racquet face. Most balls i hit around net hight or lower (since i like to bend my knees and hit them low for some reason, seems to improve consistency - maybe because i trained the shot on the wall and that replies slices with low balls!) i hit with a very slightly open face. Too open and they'll pop up and get put away - which is what i used to do. It should almost feel neutral. In fact, i would argue, better to hit the net more often (like high up, the tape or something) and lose the point straight away than float them up.. At least in the long term. Trains you to hit biting low slices. Its just practice and repetition. But you're only focusing on how open the face is, not much else. As long as it crosses the net with not much height it'll skid pretty low, doesn't matter where it lands. I like the chop idea for this too "how fast can you decelerate the racquet at contact"
     
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