Practicing with bad players.

Dartagnan64

Legend
You can get something out of every tennis session no matter the opponent. Try to hit your topspin groundies right into their wheelhouse. It's an excellent exercise in control. Especially if they are spraying the ball and forcing you to move. Put the opponent in the corners so you can work on your precision hitting into the corners.

Then work on your other shots that aren't used that much. Slices off both wings, topspin lobs, underspin lobs, volleys, overheads, drop shots. Work on serves and retruns. Let them work on these things too. This is practice for both of you right?

Then find someone else in your town that is 4.0 or better to hit hard topspin groundies with in your spare time.

Lower level players are excellent opportunity to work on underdeveloped shots and precision on your shots. Use them wisely to get better. "ripping the cover off the ball" is only a small part of tennis.
 
You can get something out of every tennis session no matter the opponent. Try to hit your topspin groundies right into their wheelhouse.
Great idea! At clinic, I'll sometimes delay my approach by a second to make my first volley more challenging. I'm not trying to win the point [or else I would have started my approach ASAP] but rather I'm trying to improve my transition game.
 

Sardines

Professional
Hey All!
On my Highschool tennis team, I am the number one. I play year round (which is hard to do considering I live in NH), play USTA tournaments, and even went to play in Nationals this past year. I have come a long way since freshmen year (I am a Junior now) when it comes to beating junk ballers/pushers. Mostly I just utilize the serve and volley as well as the chip and charge and that seems to work well. My team (besides our number two) is essential just athletic kids who have been taught to play tennis and find a way to win on our team. When it comes to practicing with them I have some real problems. Normally when I practice with other kids around my level I like to increase my net clearance and spin and really try to rip the top off the ball. The problem with doing that is that these kids are fast and athletic but they can't really read spin, so that ball really isn't likely going to come back, and if it does there is no way it's passing the service box. I want to be working on my real groundstrokes, and not just getting everything back, but I am a huge rythm player. I hate hitting one ball and being done. If I slow my racket head speed I'll lose consistency. I really want to utilize practice time and get the most out of it. But I don't know how to do so.
There's a reason why people (especially better ones) practice with the type of player they are going to play with before a match, to get rhythm and timing on their strokes.
That said, slowing your racket head speed shouldn't cause you to lose too much consistency. Consider it like mini-tennis warmups. You can't go all out with that.
All in all, it's a good exercise in self-discipline, especially if you're number 1 on the team. You're the top player and you have to bring up the players. Perhaps start with the good player first to get your rhythm, then hit with the rest of the team. I don't think you should slow your ball too much. They have to learn to read better, and maybe you can help with that.
I remember when I played in college, our junior top player worked my forehand hard (it lacked consistency in heaviness) as a freshman all year, and by sophomore, I made 2nd dubs and 1st alt in singles.
I do get it though. Happened to me just 2 weeks ago! I warmed up with a gentleman pusher cos I was early, and the guy I played (who is already much better than me) made me look stupid for 20 mins until my rhythm came back. So it's not just you.
 
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