New theory: doing drills is pointless above 3.5

WildVolley

Legend
These people on the rec courts have only been playing a few years I would have thought, or have not adapted an improvement-focused mindset.
If you have an improvement-focused mindset best to play more matches, doing 50% drills 50% match play for years is throwing the baby out with the bathwater IMO
I don't know if they have an improvement-focused mindset, but many of the adults I know who only play matches have been at it for more than 20 years. Doing a lot of match play isn't a magical technique for improvement, though I agree that sufficient match play is an important factor for those who wish to improve.

What the proper balance is between match play/practice sets and drilling isn't easy to determine, and I believe it varies based on the individual and his personality/strengths/weaknesses.

It seems that all-or-nothing advice is very popular on this board.
 

chic

Professional
I have your answer: back yourself, believe in yourself that if you attack those short balls, sure you'll miss a few, but eventually they will start going in. And then they're going in DURING A MATCH - when it actually matters. And then you're a player who is hitting winners of short balls during a match. And then the opponent starts freaking out and having panic attacks, and next thing you know you're winning all your service games effortlessly almost all because of your aura of "this guy will hit winners off my short balls - he's too good - i better play out of my skin or die trying".

drilling it out? i don't think so, if you can hit a short ball for a winner in a drill then you can hit it in a match. One possible reason you're not is that hitting a short ball has inherit risks and you're mentally freaking out. there could be all sorts of reasons, but lets focus on the mental reason. Are you ever going to overcome that mental hurdle in practice? No, because you don't freak out in practice. Because you don't have that same mental strain. Will you ever get it in practice? No.

just commit to hitting winners off short balls in matches, take the risk there, say "i'm going to attack all the short balls" and just commit and don't think about the match outcome. sure maybe you'll lose the match, maybe you'll lose 5 matches. Eventually you'll stop caring, get over your demons, and hit winners in a match where you need them. Its a different mindset
This is basically just saying sacrifice wins to practice in match rather than playing matches.

I do fine and win hitting the short ball deep and have gotten better and better results in matches avoiding shots that are low % for me. But when I play I play to win.

When I practice I do it to build technique so I know misses in match are nerves not technique.
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
All this practice ... and still no one comes to the net or hits to opponent's bh.

There should be a hit to opponent's bh drill.
 

StringSnapper

Hall of Fame
I'd say most of us don't drill enough.

I have a great HP and we always play matches. But that increases the pressure/competition which decreases the learning.

We get a lot out of the simple hitting sessions. Observe each other, get reps on difficult shots. Take risks, be loose.
"But that increases the pressure/competition which decreases the learning."

My point is that it isn't the fact you're playing matches that decreases the learning, its your mindset of how you are playing the matches. You can be loose and take risks in matches too - only your mindset is stopping you
 

StringSnapper

Hall of Fame
I don't know if they have an improvement-focused mindset, but many of the adults I know who only play matches have been at it for more than 20 years. Doing a lot of match play isn't a magical technique for improvement, though I agree that sufficient match play is an important factor for those who wish to improve.

What the proper balance is between match play/practice sets and drilling isn't easy to determine, and I believe it varies based on the individual and his personality/strengths/weaknesses.

It seems that all-or-nothing advice is very popular on this board.
Yeah I agree. Its not the 10,000 hours, its the 10,000 hours of dedicated focus on improvement.

ALL OR NOTHING
ALL THE WAY
 

ptuanminh

Hall of Fame
I'd say the exact opposite. Not doing drills is how you not get past 3.5.
I hit maybe 50 FHs, 50 BHs, 5 volleys, 20 serves in 1 hour set. I can double all those in 1 hour of drills.
 

Morch Us

Professional
So you don't have any glaring weakness? I guess in that case you are close to reaching your maximum potential.
Of course, in that case no point in drill or practice, just play matches and get more match practice.

Unless you know you have one particular glaring weakness holding you back, just play matches.
 

Morch Us

Professional
I thought this was common knowledge. But I will state it here anyway.

The farther you are from your maximum potential (or what you are targeting even if you have higher potential), the more practice/drills in controlled environment you should do. This creates better form, and avoids developing bad habits early. Of course initial drills would be with zero pressure and easy feeds, that is the only way to start developing form (even though that is not what you will be facing in a match). But gradually you can apply pressure also in drills, like running forehands/backhands etc etc. Also instead of looking at shots only, you can also practice/drill movement/footwork/agility etc. At the same time match practice has its place. But initially when you are still learning, less match play is suggested to avoid breaking form. But still have to incorporate some matches from early to have a realistic expectation (so that you won't be disappointed when all that great form breaks down under match pressure). Eventually the more automatic your form/shots/footwork are, the more matches you should play to gain the experience and match awareness.

In summary it does not have to be all or nothing. There is always a good mix of drill/practice/matchplay, and it really depends on each individuals goals, development stage and ultimately the interest/what he enjoys doing.
 

pencilcheck

Hall of Fame
Drills is important, because drills is equivalent to off court practices.

Drills is not just doing basic cross court (even though this is important as well), you can have someone do serve and you practice serve return, you can have someone hit anywhere and you have to get to the ball and hit back to them. You can have slice drills that you practice slicing for more than 5 shots exchange.

There are a lot of things drills can help since your brain is not good at adapting, however it is good at finding patterns. If you have those drills embed into your brain, it will be a lot easier to move without thinking and hit a decent shot back.

Your logic is equivalent of saying that if someone wants to win at a hiking tournament, if one hasn't learn any of those movement skills, they shouldn't even learn how to crawl, stand, or walk, since those motion is not the same as running, and definitely not the same as running on the mountain. Therefore if you want to win, you should only run on the mountain and never do other stuff.

But you all know how this will ends up. (question: first of all, who is going to move this baby to the mountain to start practice huh?)
 
I think this is a silly take. Drills are absolutely useful from the start to the finish of someone's tennis career. It isn't just in tennis either. We see drills used constantly in everything from tennis to basketball to football to eSports. Even chess players use drills in the form of puzzles and opening prep!

Every person has something they can work and improve on and to make the claim anything above 3.5 doesn't need it anymore is laughable. With drills, your are building muscle memory and fine tuning your propioception so that when the time comes during a match, you will be able to execute what you want with little to no thought. Instead of thinking, "I want to hit this ball with heavy spin in the corner, I need to do 'x'", you can just limit your thought to, "Heavy spin in the corner".

Similar things are discussed in the book "Thinking Fast and Slow". When playing tennis, you want your strokes to be operating on System 1 (automatically recognizing and implementing what needs to be done). You want System 2 (your active cognitive thought) to be freed up to be thinking about tactics. If you are trying to learn or drill a shot during a match, you are going to suffer.

Imagine how silly it would be for a musician to go to a band practice and say, "I'll just learn what I am playing at the gig. If I keep playing gigs, I will eventually learn it because that song comes up once a set and that will be when I can practice it."

Like clearly match play is incredibly important and I think more than half of you time on court should be with match play or point play, but to say drills are pointless after 3.5 is just not correct. If you are doing "drills" where you are just basically keeping a rally and not doing anything very functional, sure, it is pointless. But if you are actually trying to improve your serve + 1, your footwork, your approach and volley, or any other facet of your game, doing 30 minutes of drills and 30 minutes of match play will be way more effective than 1 hour of straight match play.
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
This thread made me think I was "gifted" 8-B in tennis.

Here is my logic ... this happened ... true story :love:

For first 13 years of tennis ... 15 year old bad high school player to multiple 1st place wins 4.5 singles tournaments by 28:

- no coaching
- no drills
- no gym, no jogging, just tennis matches (90%+ singles)
- fell in love with tennis at 15, played hours of non-winter singles with friends at college, and hours ramped up first couple of years after college
- around 23-24 discovered tennis tournaments and started at 4.0. Also met many other 4.0s and we created a round robin singles league (12+ guys all competive as hell wanting to win 4.0 singles tournaments and move up to 4.5) ... with silly awards ceremony (lunch if I recall). I improved more this two years than the other 7-8 combined
- played 6+ 4.0 tournaments every summer as a baseline grinder, finally won one end of 2nd summer getting past my pusher nightmare guy in final ... moved to 4.5 next season
- played 4.5 singles tournaments as baseliner all over the state first 4.5 year, usually playing top seeds in first round ... some close matches but did not win once all year
- early 2nd year ... switched to s&v ... started winning and confidence grew ... won several 4.5 singles tournaments over next several years

So ... was I gifted in tennis doing that without coaching and drilling? I will answer that ... absolutely NOT gifted in tennis, always took a lot of hours for improvement. I was blessed with speed ... all the rest was a grind. This is how many of us advanced ... constant singles matches.


So I can't accept the idea it's rare for a player to improve by just playing a lot. That was certainly not true with my peers when I was in my 20s. I think the more accurate debate is "when" and "how much" coaching/drilling to include for your fastest/best/max improvement.

I think it's a no-brainer good instruction/drills at the start would be priceless, if nothing else we wouldn't have had to witness all of these ugly adult tennis strokes. 8-B But to Snapper 's point ... once an adult is down the road with a functional game, what is the best form of practice to achieve winning more matches. I think playing matches is the best for that goal ... and any additional drills/practice would be one of those "it depends". For example ... a player decides to switch to s&v but has a suspect overhead. Of course ... go do oh drills, you can get multiple match oh reps in a 1 hour session. Also work on backpedaling, try and mimic s&v match overheads as close as you can. But that's part of the problem ... no amount of oh drilling will make you 100% oh match solid/ready. I hit 10,000+ ball machine 2hbhs ... wouldn't miss one with 50-60 ball hopper ... stroke looked ok ... hit tight pattern to targets/cones. Tried to take it to matches ... not even close to 4.0+ match ready. A match is it's unique dynamic thing ... we can't replicate 100% with drills. But we need the extra reps ... so we try. Some things like serves are the easiest, but ros is the hardest because we face many types of serves.
 

nyta2

Hall of Fame
Not pointless in that you get no benefit, pointless in that you could be playing matches instead and will benefit more from that (in terms of becoming a 'better' player => defined as winning more matches).

Why does match play have to be different from drilling? Matches are the drills. Drills can never come close to match play.

Okay in a match I was out played by someone who hit skidding slices, and I couldn't get under them for topspin. So I went to a wall and hit heaps of slices to develop the shots, so I could slice back on my fh and bh.

Aside from having a decent shot (and I'm talking a decent slice here, one that can work under pressure. I'm not talking a technique-fetishized every angle of every moment must be the exact same as Roger Federers slice), there is not much more benefit from doing drills compared to other things.

But outside of that scenario, of literally having no shot / technique, isnt match play the ideal drill? Match play against a decently similar opponent. It gives you a completely balanced rounded tennis improvement.

Unless you know you have one particular glaring weakness holding you back, just play matches.

Actually I really like rallying, which i guess is a drill. But i rallied a lot when i first started and my serve, return and volleys suffered comparatively for it. I still like to rally, but I don't think it will make me a better player the fastest way.

Doubles works serve / return more.
Singles works tactics / groundstrokes/ fitness more.

I guess it depends on how you approach matches. If you go in there choking up and only hitting junk to win vs going in there and trying to play your best tennis. It takes awhile before your best tennis consistently beats junk ballers perhaps which enables you to make the jump. Why I named this over 3.5.

You might say "what about the serve - the most technically difficult shot in tennis". Maybe the serve is worth drilling, but can't you just hit a bunch of serves in a match? If your coach tells you to try something else, is it really going to benefit your overall game, 10 years down the track, if you spent 50% of your time serving buckets of balls and 50% playing matches over 100% of your time playing matches? (Aside from the serve lesson of course)

I'm sure everyone is different, but a lot of people lately here it seems have this combo of perfected technique but losing matches. Just look at Medvedev, world number 2, but world number 1 ugliest technique.
maybe you're just a magician.... https://www.tennisplayer.net/public/high_performance/chris_lewit/mechanic_magician/
personally i'm a no-talent mechanic... so i need lots of drilling.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
I think it's a no-brainer good instruction/drills at the start would be priceless, if nothing else we wouldn't have had to witness all of these ugly adult tennis strokes.
I’ve seen a huge number of club men and women that started with coaching and drills when they joined the club. Still have ugly adult tennis strokes.

Most of the people with pretty tennis strokes started as juniors or were very athletic.

As long as there are mediocre athletes playing tennis, there will be ugly tennis strokes.
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
I’ve seen a huge number of club men and women that started with coaching and drills when they joined the club. Still have ugly adult tennis strokes.

Most of the people with pretty tennis strokes started as juniors or were very athletic.

As long as there are mediocre athletes playing tennis, there will be ugly tennis strokes.
Some adult strokes are not fixable ... just look away. 8-B

It was common for players that started tennis tournaments as an adult that had success because of foot speed to have shorter strokes (particularly s&v). Most of the time the baseliners with less foot speed that were still competing at a high level (also started as adult) ended up with longer strokes because if they weren't dictating points against faster players they lost. For the most part ... ttw views longer strokes as better ... but they never got their butt kicked my a middle age flat short stroke from sideline to sideline. I had mine kicked good on one hot summer day.
 

sgrd0q

New User
If you look at, say, Federer's training routine you will see he does a lot of drills on and off the court. All sorts of things like sprinting, rope jumping, lateral lunges, medicinal ball, trampoline volleys, pepper routine, 3 cone drills, etc. Seems like a lot of time is spent on drills.

Sure match play will develop muscles and technique, but you may benefit from targeted training, a.k.a. drills. So I would say drills are not rendered obsolete at level 3.5 and above.

Every player has weaknesses (including the current #1 who has a suspect overhead shot). It's not like at level 3.5 you've perfected everything and no longer need targeted practice, imho.
 
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Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
maybe you're just a magician.... https://www.tennisplayer.net/public/high_performance/chris_lewit/mechanic_magician/
personally i'm a no-talent mechanic... so i need lots of drilling.
I've seen these two subtypes. My wife is the magician. Prefers to learn by playing. One of her friends is a mechanic. Hasn't played a match in 5 years because she's still trying to "hone her strokes" to her satisfaction.

I'm neither a magician nor a mechanic. I'm a no talent quick study. I know what to do but can't make my body do it no matter the number of repetitions. I get to my ceiling very quickly then just hang there as long as I can.
 

Morch Us

Professional
Believe it or not the most popular "group drill" session is to feel good, so that you don't feel guilty to sip hat extra beer during the social afterwords. So when you are a coach doing group drills at a club in that environment, you are forced to make people do a lot of cardio oriented drills (and not individually tuned ones).

I’ve seen a huge number of club men and women that started with coaching and drills when they joined the club
 

StringSnapper

Hall of Fame
maybe you're just a magician.... https://www.tennisplayer.net/public/high_performance/chris_lewit/mechanic_magician/
personally i'm a no-talent mechanic... so i need lots of drilling.
Similar to byebyepoly's post above yours, I would grind with my mate and play 4 hours at a time pusher tennis when I started sometimes while skipping uni classes!! I did this for years just against my one other tennis mate.

But when I started playing matches for a club in a league and vsing a different player each week, under competition intensity, with new balls flying around at lightning speeds, all those 4hr grinding sessions didn't count for much. That taught me hit to hit a slow pusher ball back with dead balls, 3hrs in with dead legs. The league matches taught me what it took to win under league match conditions. It's like I wasnt playing the same game

Heres another unpopular opinion:
Being a mechanic vs being a magician depends on how you train and your training mindset more than anything else
 

StringSnapper

Hall of Fame
You just didn’t absorb it ... or give it a 360 spin.

Those that don't get that ttw inside joke are so lucky.

8-B
With some of the responses here you'd think I was talking about a new post modern tennis training technique: the training of no training

I'm not even gonna start on about how upset I am for being unappreciated and not worshipped like a god, people down at my feet and/or serving me grapes, for creating this thread and sharing the best ever free knowledge.

Nor am I going to mention my $50 "ultimate tennis training" program which is a steal. No.
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
With some of the responses here you'd think I was talking about a new post modern tennis training technique: the training of no training

I'm not even gonna start on about how upset I am for being unappreciated and not worshipped like a god, people down at my feet and/or serving me grapes, for creating this thread and sharing the best ever free knowledge.

Nor am I going to mention my $50 "ultimate tennis training" program which is a steal. No.
Brother @nyta2 had the key post. We are all right here ... just a bunch of mechanics and two Magicians talking past each other in our own reality. Well ... my reality had a fantasy island ... ignore that.
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
@StringSnapper,

Read the article @nyta2 posted: trying to get a magician to train like a mechanic [or vice versa] is very likely to fail miserably. The further to one extreme one is, the harder it will be to change to the other way.
If we defined the spectrum from those not interested in anything technical even at the start ... to a lifetime tweaker ... my guess is it's a small percentage at the extremes for rec players. Since ttw ... I discovered I can be extreme mechanical (anal 8-B ) learning something new (2hbh). Then once I decided I basically had the stroke ... that was the end of it other than reps ... no tweaking/adjusting. Seems to me the line between how one learns vs how one practices isn't the same thing (personality).
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
If we defined the spectrum from those not interested in anything technical even at the start ... to a lifetime tweaker ... my guess is it's a small percentage at the extremes for rec players. Since ttw ... I discovered I can be extreme mechanical (anal 8-B ) learning something new (2hbh). Then once I decided I basically had the stroke ... that was the end of it other than reps ... no tweaking/adjusting. Seems to me the line between how one learns vs how one practices isn't the same thing (personality).
Fair enough. I also think the same person can move along the scale for different strokes/scenarios.

For example, I have consistency problems with my BH TS so am much more likely to adopt a mechanic approach; I certainly don't expect that it will suddenly start working at 4-4 in the 3rd set.

But fully trust my net game. I definitely don't approach this as a mechanic. I have faith that whatever scenario I'm facing, I'll be able to come up with the right shot. Not that I always succeed but my faith remains.
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
Fair enough. I also think the same person can move along the scale for different strokes/scenarios.

For example, I have consistency problems with my BH TS so am much more likely to adopt a mechanic approach; I certainly don't expect that it will suddenly start working at 4-4 in the 3rd set.

But fully trust my net game. I definitely don't approach this as a mechanic. I have faith that whatever scenario I'm facing, I'll be able to come up with the right shot. Not that I always succeed but my faith remains.
Yes ... spend your tweaking/changing time only on what needs it. Using your bh ts as an example ... seems like completely different buckets 1) needs technical change 2) just needs more reps. Even with the simpler #2 ... we are back to OT question ... what type of bh ts reps/practice would best help with more consistent bh ts in a match. If you have no issues with the ball machine, then maybe hit more in drills and practice matches. My guess given your level it comes down to what happens a lot ... you have the shot but don't include it as one of your trusted "go to" shots in a match that matters. That gets us back to Snap's provocative theory ... best practice is matches. I am adding an additional criteria ... best practice is a match that losing matters to you. I never found another way to get a stroke match ready other than matches that mattered to me. Interestingly ... or not ... I was a significantly better player in tournaments than in my practice matches. That had nothing to do with working on stuff or how hard I was trying ... it just was.

We all learn different ... including what we learn from matches. Magician or mechanic ... plan on a lot of hours however you spend them. fyi ... I consider fitness ... fitness drills separate from what Snap was considering. He can correct me if that is wrong.
 

TennisCJC

Legend
For me, you want a combination of drills and competitive play. Spending 30 minutes twice a week hitting just serves will help most of us win more matches. Hitting 10-20 overheads with a practice partner will improve your overhead faster than just playing matches. I also like to work on just basic forehands, backhands and volleys in drills. I hit with a partner 2 or 3 times a week and we spend about 60% of the time drilling - warm-up, cross court groundstrokes, volleys, overhead and serves, and then 40% of the time serving and playing points. If you play in leagues, you'll get lots of competitive play in the league matches. I think you should mix in a fair amount of basic drills and serving drills to improve.
 

socallefty

Legend
If you have very bad technique due to never being coached, it is possible that drills might not help you much as you are just practicing/grooving bad shots and you will not start hitting with more spin or more pace consistently if the technique is all wrong. You are not going to improve much by playing all matches either above 3.5 as your technique holes will be exposed by the time you reach 4.0. You are better served by taking coaching lessons in that case and then doing drills to practice what the coach is teaching you.

Otherwise, I have a feeling that those who think drills are not helpful have never done purposeful drills to develop specific technique, fitness or movement skills. Many players just go and do baseline hitting with no purpose or play points with no serves and consider it practicing drills - I would agree that this does not contribute much to improving your % of winning matches. The only time that this kind of purposeless hitting might help is if you are rusty from not playing much or you are still at a very low level where you are still learning shot tolerance and keeping the ball in the court.

All advanced players drill a lot when they practice including college players and pros. Adult players who I’ve seen improve the fastest drill a lot purposefully also. Some drills that help to improve are:

- Consistency Drills - hit without making errors for 20, 30, 50 shots. You can do them where every ball has to land outside the service box or within 3 feet of the sideline to make them more like match play.
- Accuracy drills - hitting at targets like cones or small areas of the court - crosscourt, DTL etc. close to the sideline, deep, short angles etc. These can be done from deep positions, mid court, short balls etc.
- Drills to inject pace and hit winners. You win points only by hitting winners.
- Footwork drills - improve lateral movement or up/down movement
- Shot patterns that are 2-shot or 3-shot - like CC FH followed by DTL BH followed by DTL FH winner, hit all shots crosscourt while partner hits all shots DTL
- Endurance drills like Spanish X drill where you are not allowed to take water breaks until your legs and lungs are burning.
- Drills to work on specific shots like volleys, overheads, 1st serves, 2nd serves, returns, drop shots, finesse shots, CC-FH, CC-BH, DTL-FH, DTL-FH, BH slice etc. It helps if a coach has given some tips to work on and then you work on executing it during a drill session.

I agree that a mix of match play and drill sessions is better than playing all matches or doing only drills especially if you want to move up by 1 or 2 NTRP levels within a couple of years. If your technique is somewhat textbook, you will improve from repetition drills working on specific things and that’s why all tennis academies and coaches do drills a lot. The best players were coached a lot and drilled a lot when they were kids - if they played only matches as kids, they would have a low ceiling for improvement just like adult beginners who only play matches.
 
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ubercat

Professional
I find cardio tennis sessions great half way house. It's not a real match for ranking so u can experiment and it has those king of the hill bits where you get some pressure And it gets my fatness moving.
 

socallefty

Legend
I find cardio tennis sessions great half way house. It's not a real match for ranking so u can experiment and it has those king of the hill bits where you get some pressure And it gets my fatness moving.
If you are out of shape, I guess you can consider it an endurance drill which improves your shot tolerance when you are tired. But, if you are very fit, cardio drills don’t do much to improve your ability to win tennis matches - at least for me. I would rather do Spanish X-drills, footwork drills or even interval sprints to improve my endurance.
 

HuusHould

Hall of Fame
If I approach off of a short ball 50 times in a row and then come to net it's going to feel a lot more natural in a match when I get a short ball to then follow it to net.
This is one area of a players game that really requires a lot of drilling. If you only practice it during the match, you'll back off and retreat to the baseline (Medvedev/Hewitt style) as soon as you miss an approach shot or get passed. After regular drilling, you'll still miss sometimes, but have more confidence that you'll execute more often than not if you keep at it.
 

ubercat

Professional
Well I m a poor excuse for a net player. In the cardio sessions you have to go to the net. I m actually winning a few points at net in doubles. Which is a big deal for me as I wear glasses and play at night under the amazingly crap lights at Melbourne park

And I don't think it matters what level your cardio or how you get it Just bloody do it you ll live longer.
 

HuusHould

Hall of Fame
As someone mentioned earlier it's to do with repetitions. Any aspect of the game that doesn't come up very often, eg running down and dealing with drop shots needs to be drilled. Something like that may only come up once or twice a set, but if a smart opponent realises you don't do it well, it'll come up more often. Some people have the talent and/or patience to experiment and wing it effectively during matches, but most players don't.
 

socallefty

Legend
I did the best consistency drills I’ve ever done in my life with my coach today. We did an all-court drill for 94 shots and then a crosscourt drill where I was in the lefty FH corner hitting to him standing in the righty BH corner for 336 shots without an error. Then we switched to crosscourt with me in the lefty BH corner and did 126 shots in a row without an error. Since he actually made the error to end the first two drills, I actually hit half of 554 shots (277 shots) without an error before I missed a BH to end the last drill.

After that I was so pumped that when we played a tiebreak with serves, I lost 10-6 which is more points than I usually get as he is a UTR 12 who is only 30 years old. Had an ace, return winner, service winner, BH half-volley winner at the net and two outright FH winners for my six points as he didn’t make a single unforced error as usual. Doing the consistency drill actually gave me the confidence to serve and hit more aggressively as I felt in a good groove and went for my shots. He said it is the second best lesson we’ve ever had.

Just sharing as I am pumped and feeling like I shouldn’t make any unforced errors against my same-level opponents during my singles matches this weekend.
 
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Aretium

Hall of Fame
I honestly believe 50-100 shots in practice is worth one match shot. Or something like that. Why you gotta work hard
 

socallefty

Legend
Respect but what did you do in your best lesson???
It was last summer. We did a lot of footwork drills which also is conducive to getting into a good groove. I then played a 7-point TB without serves (off feeds) with my coach and he wasn’t playing seriously till he got into a 5-2 hole and then tried to come back playing 100%, but I held him off 7-5. It is much easier to get points off him if we are playing points without serves as usually better players tilt the point in their favor mainly with their serves/returns - with feeds, I try to pound his feed (only weak ball I get from him) into a deep corner and put him at a disadvantage that he has to recover from on every point.

After my hour was over, his next student was an ex-college player in his thirties and he asked me to stick around till he was warmed up and then play two 10-point tiebreakers against his student. I won both of them easily even though he was standing behind his student and giving him coaching tips between points.
 
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socallefty

Legend
I honestly believe 50-100 shots in practice is worth one match shot. Or something like that. Why you gotta work hard
When you do drills against an ex-ATP player who was on the outer fringes of the tour just 7-8 years ago, you face heavy shots with so much ‘action’ that it puts a lot of pressure on your shot prep and footwork. On top of it, he is yelling out minor adjustments I need to make and helping me improve. He also custom designs feed drills for me to work on specific aspects of my game.

After a lesson, the balls and serves hit by my same-level 4.5 opponents in matches look like slow watermelons with very little spin for the next couple of days. For me, it is a huge benefit to take these weekly lessons.
 
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WB338

New User
If you are happy with your current level of play, then by all means focus on matches. If you are trying to improve your game, you need drills/coaching, repetition, and more repetition.
 
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