Practice Video

Moveforwardalways

Hall of Fame
Couldn't disagree anymore - TLM and his partner's rallying is clearly with a focus on 'Control' and 'Consistency'. Ingredients that are VITAL for match tennis.

Not sure if you have hit with an emphasis on control before but it surprising harder than its made to look. (Apologies if I appear patronising here, I don't mean to be).
Not sure how that relates to what I said. How does targeted focused practicing mean not hitting with control and consistency?
 
Well I am glad to hear that someone else can recognize the importance of hitting with control and consistency. It makes me think that many don't play real matches if they don't understand the importance of keeping the ball in the court.

In most league play that I have participated in consistency is usually number one. Most guys I have faced are very consistent and do not give away a lot of free points.
But how is hitting softly down the middle related to getting your opponent out of comfort zone? Match play is all about that, finding a pattern that your opponent doesn't like and makes him do more errors.

If anything, hitting down the middle builds the rhythm for your opponent and gives him all the confidence to dictate the play. :oops:
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
But how is hitting softly down the middle related to getting your opponent out of comfort zone? Match play is all about that, finding a pattern that your opponent doesn't like and makes him do more errors.

If anything, hitting down the middle builds the rhythm for your opponent and gives him all the confidence to dictate the play. :oops:
Not every shot was hit softly down the middle, some are hit with a little more pace and towards the sideline. I have beaten many gunslinger style players because they are all about going for big shots but are not consistent enough at it to beat me.

I move the ball around a lot and vary the spin and pace which will throw a lot of big hitters off. If they are good enough at hitting aggressively with pretty good consistency then they will probably win, but most players can't keep that game up for 2-3 sets.

I go for aggressive shots when they are high % but do not try to push it. For me hitting looping topspin side to side is a safe way of putting pressure on without much risk. Then if I get a weak enough reply I will flatten it out more and go for the winner. But I am much more about consistency rather than trying to hit to big and make a bunch of errors and give the match away.
 
Not every shot was hit softly down the middle, some are hit with a little more pace and towards the sideline. I have beaten many gunslinger style players because they are all about going for big shots but are not consistent enough at it to beat me.

I move the ball around a lot and vary the spin and pace which will throw a lot of big hitters off. If they are good enough at hitting aggressively with pretty good consistency then they will probably win, but most players can't keep that game up for 2-3 sets.

I go for aggressive shots when they are high % but do not try to push it. For me hitting looping topspin side to side is a safe way of putting pressure on without much risk. Then if I get a weak enough reply I will flatten it out more and go for the winner. But I am much more about consistency rather than trying to hit to big and make a bunch of errors and give the match away.
"Moving ball around with looping topspin, and varying spin and pace" is indeed a good match game. I play like that also. But a cooperative hitting without almost ever changing direction of the ball doesn't build that match game style IMO. So still, I don't quite get the point of this type of training, if it's used for something else than warmup or for trying to improve and/or change basic technique.
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
"Moving ball around with looping topspin, and varying spin and pace" is indeed a good match game. I play like that also. But a cooperative hitting without almost ever changing direction of the ball doesn't build that match game style IMO. So still, I don't quite get the point of this type of training, if it's used for something else than warmup or for trying to improve and/or change basic technique.
Well can you hit a 40 shot rally without missing? Believe it or not I am trying to fine tune my stroke technique in these practice sessions.
 

GuyClinch

Legend
LMAO. TLM getting bashed for long rallies. That's bizarro man..

I don't particularly like TLMs style - but all good tennis players can hit long rallies - and its traditional thing to do. One game I play is that you count down from a number - say 20 and you have to hit all the balls past the service line but in the court.

This game is a bit tougher then you might imagine - I am sure for TLM it would be pretty easy - that's why he is a 4.0.

Now that's not the only game you should play.. I do the figure 8 drill with my partner as well (one guy hits DTL and the other cross court). But for the love of god - there is nothing wrong with long rallies.

I hate playing those guys who try to hit everything for a winner when you are warming up. If you are practicing you absolutely want some cooperative rallies.. Because you can groove your strokes much better if you just get a chance to hit more balls.

When I lived in NYC one time I saw two high level women play and they came out and must have hit several 100 ball rallies. I don't think I saw them pick the ball up even once.. They were hitting at a medium pace too..

You can bet that those two women were at least 5.0 IMHO..

Back to TLM - don't like the drop the racquet and then yank it up style - good topspin and pretty effective but it like hurts your eyes. That's probably why he gets the whacky feedback about his rallies and such not being good practice..
 
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rkelley

Hall of Fame
LMAO. TLM getting bashed for long rallies. That's bizarro man..

I don't particularly like TLMs style - but all good tennis players can hit long rallies - and its traditional thing to do. One game I play is that you count down from a number - say 20 and you have to hit all the balls past the service line but in the court.

This game is a bit tougher then you might imagine - I am sure for TLM it would be pretty easy - that's why he is a 4.0.

Now that's not the only game you should play.. I do the figure 8 drill with my partner as well (one guy hits DTL and the other cross court). But for the love of god - there is nothing wrong with long rallies.

I hate playing those guys who try to hit everything for a winner when you are warming up. If you are practicing you absolutely want some cooperative rallies.. Because you can groove your strokes much better if you just get a chance to hit more balls.

When I lived in NYC one time I saw two high level women play and they came out and must have hit several 100 ball rallies. I don't think I saw them pick the ball up even once.. They were hitting at a medium pace too..

You can bet that those two women were at least 5.0 IMHO..

Back to TLM - don't like the drop the racquet and then yank it up style - good topspin and pretty effective but it like hurts your eyes. That's probably why he gets the whacky feedback about his rallies and such not being good practice..
Double ditto to Guy's post.

Hitting in a cooperative rally, well hit balls with reasonable pace and spin (not bunting it 10 feet over the net), good form and balanced, getting 20-40 balls over the net - this is not easy to do. I don't see too many people who can do it. It's either bunting and half swings with huge net clearance or a whole lot of missing. And if you can't do long, cooperative rallies with well hit balls, what hope do you have running all over the court try to get the ball back? And it's totally applicable to competition. If you have the form and the confidence that you can do your thing and the ball's going to go over the net with some decent pace and spin you're miles ahead of most players.

At Indian Wells I saw pro after pro hit in cooperative rallies for 10, 15, 20 minutes with rallies going 50 shots on a regular basis. They hit more balls in 20 minutes minutes than most people could hit in an hour.
 

jga111

Hall of Fame
Not sure how that relates to what I said. How does targeted focused practicing mean not hitting with control and consistency?
You were referring to TLM's practice video. I was just saying that his practice was useful. Really helps you with your concentration levels. In a typical long rally where you want to 'hold your own', not go for it but keep yourself contained, then this kind of practice is extremely useful.
 

Flatballs

Banned
I'm surprised this hasn't been brought up, but tlm's left arm does very little when hitting his forehands. It just hangs by his side a bit like a T-Rex's arm. If the arm is down and lagging behind, wouldn't this make it harder to transfer weight into the shot, and hit the ball out in front? And also compromise balance through the stroke and result in leaning backwards? For a lot of his shots it seems like he almost hits them with his front foot raised off the ground. Or at least his weight on his back foot.

I imagine that it may be difficult for him to step into the court and attack shortballs. With the left arm dragging down there is going to be little momentum moving into the shot. Could be wrong...

IMO the lack of movement of the left arm just encourages hitting up into the ball, hence we are seeing the loopy top-spin with little pace. There is little horizontal component to this shot.
 
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tlm

G.O.A.T.
LMAO. TLM getting bashed for long rallies. That's bizarro man..

I don't particularly like TLMs style - but all good tennis players can hit long rallies - and its traditional thing to do. One game I play is that you count down from a number - say 20 and you have to hit all the balls past the service line but in the court.

This game is a bit tougher then you might imagine - I am sure for TLM it would be pretty easy - that's why he is a 4.0.

Now that's not the only game you should play.. I do the figure 8 drill with my partner as well (one guy hits DTL and the other cross court). But for the love of god - there is nothing wrong with long rallies.

I hate playing those guys who try to hit everything for a winner when you are warming up. If you are practicing you absolutely want some cooperative rallies.. Because you can groove your strokes much better if you just get a chance to hit more balls.

When I lived in NYC one time I saw two high level women play and they came out and must have hit several 100 ball rallies. I don't think I saw them pick the ball up even once.. They were hitting at a medium pace too..

You can bet that those two women were at least 5.0 IMHO..

Back to TLM - don't like the drop the racquet and then yank it up style - good topspin and pretty effective but it like hurts your eyes. That's probably why he gets the whacky feedback about his rallies and such not being good practice..

I think it is pretty bizarre also that on a tennis website some players think that hitting long rallys is a waste of time.
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
Double ditto to Guy's post.

Hitting in a cooperative rally, well hit balls with reasonable pace and spin (not bunting it 10 feet over the net), good form and balanced, getting 20-40 balls over the net - this is not easy to do. I don't see too many people who can do it. It's either bunting and half swings with huge net clearance or a whole lot of missing. And if you can't do long, cooperative rallies with well hit balls, what hope do you have running all over the court try to get the ball back? And it's totally applicable to competition. If you have the form and the confidence that you can do your thing and the ball's going to go over the net with some decent pace and spin you're miles ahead of most players.

At Indian Wells I saw pro after pro hit in cooperative rallies for 10, 15, 20 minutes with rallies going 50 shots on a regular basis. They hit more balls in 20 minutes minutes than most people could hit in an hour.

Yes it is pretty interesting that the better players and even pro level players practice like this quite often, but on this site you have rec players saying it is a waste of time.
 

Flatballs

Banned
Its actually pathetically ridiculous to think that maintaining long cooperative hitting rallies in practice does nothing for your game.

The opposite to this is hitting around with someone going for winners all the time.

I know what Id rather do.
 
Its actually pathetically ridiculous to think that maintaining long cooperative hitting rallies in practice does nothing for your game.

The opposite to this is hitting around with someone going for winners all the time.

I know what Id rather do.
No, opposite of cooperative in the middle hitting is NOT "going for winners". That is just lame ball bashing, and that style very rarely wins matches. The real opposite to cooperative hitting is placing the ball safely from side to side, changing direction of the ball whenever safe enough, and forcing your hitting partner to move his feet as much as possible. Hitting as many balls as possible is only good in a warmup before match. In practices, the goal should be to give as many CHALLENGING balls to your partner as possible. So move the ball around, move your and your partner's feet around.

Lame cooperative hitting is just a warmup. Or lazy men also call that "practice".
 
Yes it is pretty interesting that the better players and even pro level players practice like this quite often, but on this site you have rec players saying it is a waste of time.
That is warmup before a match, NOT a real practice. How many times do I have to explain that? :-?
 

Flatballs

Banned
No, opposite of cooperative in the middle hitting is NOT "going for winners". That is just lame ball bashing, and that style very rarely wins matches. The real opposite to cooperative hitting is placing the ball safely from side to side, changing direction of the ball whenever safe enough, and forcing your hitting partner to move his feet as much as possible. Hitting as many balls as possible is only good in a warmup before match. In practices, the goal should be to give as many CHALLENGING balls to your partner as possible. So move the ball around, move your and your partner's feet around.



Lame cooperative hitting is just a warmup. Or lazy men also call that "practice".

IT IS PRACTICE. There is enough variation in cooperative hitting to work on all shots. If you BOTHERED to watch the video of BOTH tlm and Federer doing cooperative PRACTICE they were able to hit forehands, run around forehands, backhands, slices and get their feet moving.
 

rkelley

Hall of Fame
No, opposite of cooperative in the middle hitting is NOT "going for winners". That is just lame ball bashing, and that style very rarely wins matches. The real opposite to cooperative hitting is placing the ball safely from side to side, changing direction of the ball whenever safe enough, and forcing your hitting partner to move his feet as much as possible. Hitting as many balls as possible is only good in a warmup before match. In practices, the goal should be to give as many CHALLENGING balls to your partner as possible. So move the ball around, move your and your partner's feet around.

Lame cooperative hitting is just a warmup. Or lazy men also call that "practice".
In my experience however most players can't do "lame cooperative hitting" at a level of execution that's meaningful.

Watch TennisBalla's video. It's a great video of two solid players, hitting right down the middle for like 50-60 balls. They're hitting a good pace (not a ton of spin but that's fine), they're balanced and in control. I don't think there are a huge number of people on this board who could hold up their end of that rally.

And I'm not saying that until you can you shouldn't practice changing directions on the ball. You should because obviously that's an important skill. You should even practice going for winners when it's appropriate.

But a player like Balla could hit a ball just like he hits in that rally, no harder, right to most people and win every game.
 

sundaypunch

Hall of Fame
That is warmup before a match, NOT a real practice. How many times do I have to explain that? :-?
You can explain things as much as you want. It doesn't mean people have to agree. You are a self proclaimed 3.0 that is new to tennis and working to improve. Based on this and fact that you haven't ever posted a video of yourself, don't expect the OP to necessarily want your advice.
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
No, opposite of cooperative in the middle hitting is NOT "going for winners". That is just lame ball bashing, and that style very rarely wins matches. The real opposite to cooperative hitting is placing the ball safely from side to side, changing direction of the ball whenever safe enough, and forcing your hitting partner to move his feet as much as possible. Hitting as many balls as possible is only good in a warmup before match. In practices, the goal should be to give as many CHALLENGING balls to your partner as possible. So move the ball around, move your and your partner's feet around.

Lame cooperative hitting is just a warmup. Or lazy men also call that "practice".


Lazy men call that practice? Are you kidding me? There is nothing lazy about continuos rallying for over an hour straight. That is another benefit it is great for conditioning.
 
You are setting a TT record for cluelessness.
You can explain things as much as you want. It doesn't mean people have to agree. You are a self proclaimed 3.0 that is new to tennis and working to improve. Based on this and fact that you haven't ever posted a video of yourself, don't expect the OP to necessarily want your advice.
Clueless is pointing to videos of pros' match warmup sessions within tournaments, and claiming "that's how pros practice". Within a tournament, all they want to do is minimize energy expenditure within warmups and maximize the number of hits. This way they can build as much feel as possible for the court conditions without getting gassed out before the matches.
 
Lazy men call that practice? Are you kidding me? There is nothing lazy about continuos rallying for over an hour straight. That is another benefit it is great for conditioning.
It is lazy if you try to avoid moving your feet and yor partner's feet, by hitting all the balls down the middle. Rather, in practices you should move the ball around, basically aiming for smarter targets close to the sidelines. If I do that with minimal breaks, I get gassed within about 40mins. In comparison, even long 2+h matches are like nothing.

Hitting cooperatively down the middle is good for the first 5-10min warmup. After that, a good practice should challenge you and your partner more.
 

Moveforwardalways

Hall of Fame
How often do you get a ball right down the middle in a match? Never. You'd be better off practice hitting on the move. Trust me it's different. But you don't have to believe me. Just don't be surprised when you get in a match and can't hit the ball in consistently.
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
How often do you get a ball right down the middle in a match? Never. You'd be better off practice hitting on the move. Trust me it's different. But you don't have to believe me. Just don't be surprised when you get in a match and can't hit the ball in consistently.

So in a tennis match you never get a ball down the middle? Where do you come up with this? In every tennis match there are definitely shots hit down the middle, even at pro level.

If you watched my video even though we were both hitting most shots close to the middle a lot of shots were not right down the middle. there are some shots were I am not even in the view of the camera, so the ball was obviously not hit every time down the middle of the court.

So I am going to be surprised when I get in a match and my opponent does not hit every shot right to me? You are really getting ridiculous now. Do you think that I have never played in a real tennis match yet? Wow you must be the only guy that has played in a match I guess LOL.

I have played a lot of matches and probably my only strong point that I have is court coverage and getting the ball back consistently. So hitting on the move is not something new to me. I win most of my points by counter punching and moving the ball around. I play a grinder style of play and to do that effectively I have to be willing to play long points and keep the ball in the court.
 
So in a tennis match you never get a ball down the middle? Where do you come up with this? In every tennis match there are definitely shots hit down the middle, even at pro level...
Sure, some balls come down the middle, bounce at around the service line like most of your balls. But those are the balls which you should attack on, placing the ball close to either of the sidelines. Putting a relatively short central ball back into the middle is a big no-go. No opponent will ever do that. And definitely no pro will ever do it, LOL.
 

GuyClinch

Legend
Still think TLM would benefit from a more normal forehand - even if he had to take a step back a level..

I'd like to see him get in a position where the left arm is across the body - along the baseline - and the racquet head is up.. Later the left arm can wipe across - while the swing is through the ball - with a hand turn for some topspin..

I get this works at the 4.0 level.. But just don't see how this drop the racquet low and yank it up with your arm strategy is going to allow further advancement..
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
Still think TLM would benefit from a more normal forehand - even if he had to take a step back a level..

I'd like to see him get in a position where the left arm is across the body - along the baseline - and the racquet head is up.. Later the left arm can wipe across - while the swing is through the ball - with a hand turn for some topspin..

I get this works at the 4.0 level.. But just don't see how this drop the racquet low and yank it up with your arm strategy is going to allow further advancement..

You are probably right, I have tried raising the racket and getting the left arm accross the body more and it does add power to my forehand. But it seemed like I could only do it on more moderate to slow paced shots, once the pace picked up I did not have enough time to get this extra action into my forehand.
 

Flatballs

Banned
In my experience however most players can't do "lame cooperative hitting" at a level of execution that's meaningful.

Watch TennisBalla's video. It's a great video of two solid players, hitting right down the middle for like 50-60 balls. They're hitting a good pace (not a ton of spin but that's fine), they're balanced and in control. I don't think there are a huge number of people on this board who could hold up their end of that rally.

And I'm not saying that until you can you shouldn't practice changing directions on the ball. You should because obviously that's an important skill. You should even practice going for winners when it's appropriate.

But a player like Balla could hit a ball just like he hits in that rally, no harder, right to most people and win every game.
Id like to see this vid - any idea where I can find it? :)

Thanks
 

Flatballs

Banned
You are probably right, I have tried raising the racket and getting the left arm accross the body more and it does add power to my forehand. But it seemed like I could only do it on more moderate to slow paced shots, once the pace picked up I did not have enough time to get this extra action into my forehand.
Another thing with your current forehand it looks like your putting a lot of effort and muscle into hitting the ball. There's grunting and heaving and clenched teeth - the whole lot. Like me with my serve....I think in the long run you could be vulnerable to injury - like tennis elbow.

I reckon a few modifications with your forehand technique, including utilizing that left t-rex arm, and relaxing your hitting arm and grip on the racket could potentially add more power to your forehand.

I acknowledge that it is already probably very effective for the rec level, but I reckon it could even be better. :)
 
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GuyClinch

Legend
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9_840isSsI

In light of my recent "hitting flat" video, this is an interesting contrast to the OP's video when looking at the trajectory.
Wow great video - that guy can really play.

So yeah TLM - hit like that guy. :p The thing is you have the talent to do that. You just have to take a step back and go out and try to play free and easy tennis.

You want to be relaxed and let the racquet do all the work.. swinging more straight through the ball means you might sacrifice some spin - but you will get more pace with less effort.

You can always change back and add more topspin in later. It's amazing how good you have gotten with your brute force iron fisted kind of approach..

I have no doubt if you are just trying to win your current game will get you alot of W's. But I think a more relaxed zen like approach - would be way more fun in the long run. Rather then seeing how much topspin you can generate - see how smooth and fluid you can hit..
 

Moveforwardalways

Hall of Fame
So in a tennis match you never get a ball down the middle? Where do you come up with this? In every tennis match there are definitely shots hit down the middle, even at pro level.

If you watched my video even though we were both hitting most shots close to the middle a lot of shots were not right down the middle. there are some shots were I am not even in the view of the camera, so the ball was obviously not hit every time down the middle of the court.

So I am going to be surprised when I get in a match and my opponent does not hit every shot right to me? You are really getting ridiculous now. Do you think that I have never played in a real tennis match yet? Wow you must be the only guy that has played in a match I guess LOL.

I have played a lot of matches and probably my only strong point that I have is court coverage and getting the ball back consistently. So hitting on the move is not something new to me. I win most of my points by counter punching and moving the ball around. I play a grinder style of play and to do that effectively I have to be willing to play long points and keep the ball in the court.

^^^ posts practice video looking for feedback... gets mad when feedback is given^^^
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
Wow great video - that guy can really play.

So yeah TLM - hit like that guy. :p The thing is you have the talent to do that. You just have to take a step back and go out and try to play free and easy tennis.

You want to be relaxed and let the racquet do all the work.. swinging more straight through the ball means you might sacrifice some spin - but you will get more pace with less effort.

You can always change back and add more topspin in later. It's amazing how good you have gotten with your brute force iron fisted kind of approach..

I have no doubt if you are just trying to win your current game will get you alot of W's. But I think a more relaxed zen like approach - would be way more fun in the long run. Rather then seeing how much topspin you can generate - see how smooth and fluid you can hit..

You make some good points, more pace with less effort would be a good thing.
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
^^^ posts practice video looking for feedback... gets mad when feedback is given^^^
I am not mad in anyway just showing that your post makes no sense. Which by the way is pretty obvious to most here.

Last night I had a practice hit with my hitting partner and we both started hitting more aggressively and moving the ball around instead of as you say just hitting down the middle. I will post that video and see if you like that more.
 
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tlm

G.O.A.T.
Another thing with your current forehand it looks like your putting a lot of effort and muscle into hitting the ball. There's grunting and heaving and clenched teeth - the whole lot. Like me with my serve....I think in the long run you could be vulnerable to injury - like tennis elbow.

I reckon a few modifications with your forehand technique, including utilizing that left t-rex arm, and relaxing your hitting arm and grip on the racket could potentially add more power to your forehand.

I acknowledge that it is already probably very effective for the rec level, but I reckon it could even be better. :)

I am putting a lot of effort into my shots, I have at times used a more relaxed approach while hitting around. But for some reason I naturally go back to a more muscling style of hitting.
 

Flatballs

Banned
I am putting a lot of effort into my shots, I have at times used a more relaxed approach while hitting around. But for some reason I naturally go back to a more muscling style of hitting.
Do you ever get sore and fatigued after a while?

Just asking, cos I used to play the same way as you, By late in the third set Id be blowing hard. But when I learnt to relax my arm, hold the racket much looser my shots got more powerful and I started to conserve more energy.
 
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