Pro's Help: Hitting Lessons

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Lendl's Forehand, Aug 21, 2007.

  1. Lendl's Forehand

    Lendl's Forehand New User

    May 14, 2007
    Pro's here?

    Just curious, in your "hitting" lessons, where the guy (or girl) just wants to play, how bad do you beat them?

    I always wonder about this when I'm out there pounding a few of my guys - on one hand, you don't want to discourage them, make them walk away from you. On the other hand, you want them to see that you are very capable of hitting good shots (thus the title club "pro").

    There's a fine line here. Any others have this problem? Or any people take hitting lessons have an opinion about this? DO you want the Pro's best game, or do you want it to be at least competitive....
  2. habib

    habib Professional

    Dec 12, 2005
    From the teach pros I've had lessons/played with, the best ones are the ones who demonstrate sublime control of the ball by keeping the point going as long as I'm standing. You get the sense that they could easily finish things off on numerous occasions, but don't.
  3. Vision84

    Vision84 Hall of Fame

    Mar 27, 2007
    Cambridge, UK
    Yup that is my experience to.
  4. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

    Jan 29, 2007
    Vienna, Austria
    depends on the level of your pupil:
    generally you should play the balls in such a way, that they reach it and try to make something out of it - after all it's them who have to learn something and not you who hits winners to display your mastery. if you make a "master shot" every once in a while it's o.k., just to teach them that when they thought it's all over, there still is a chance that there will be something coming back at them.
    if they are open level players, then you go for all you've got - that's what they have to expect in a true game situation.
    generally, regardless of level, you can try to play in such a way that you also accomplish a game plan which should include the shots you have drilled or worked on earlier - like spraying in a short ball for them to attack if you were doing approach shots on that day.
  5. EricW

    EricW Professional

    Oct 21, 2006
    Depends how good the player is, but I think the best way to do it is to play well enough to always win 6-0, and make the pace of the game (not just how hard you hit it, but the control you have) a little more than they can handle. (by this i mean that they should feel overwhelmed, like they can't keep up with you, but can still keep up enough to be able to have a rally, you should never be pushing shots to some 4.0, even if you can win that way)

    This is assuming they are a decent player, if they're not, and just working on hitting it over the net, you might want to push all your shots, placing them near the sides, so they can easily get there, but are still running and trying to keep it in play.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2007
  6. Gee Willikers Batman!

    Gee Willikers Batman! Professional

    Jul 16, 2007
    Houston, Texas
    At the local club, the local pro, shows extreme consistency and it's to the point everyones head goes left....right...left....right in astonishment until he feels like a 50 ball rally is enough and pounds a forehand winner in the 80's-90's mph right above the net and lands deep in the corner right before the baseline and everyones jaw just drops, and he smiles and says "Get back to work!"

    Good ol' Coach Blessing. (yes thats his name lol)
  7. burosky

    burosky Professional

    Nov 9, 2006
    Bingo! FQS nailed it like a put away overhead off a weak lob. :)

    I just want to add though that not all club pros are former or current open players, touring pros or are still capable of hitting their usual strokes when they were still active. Somehow players seem to equate actual play to how good someone can coach or teach. This is not always the case.
  8. Lendl's Forehand

    Lendl's Forehand New User

    May 14, 2007
    Yeah, there are actually some pros even where I teach that are not the best players - and yet they don't teach the advanced players either.

    I think what FQS said is good advice. I think maybe push them, no matter what the level, without having them see multiple winners fly past them. It's hard, also, sometimes to turn off those competitive juices. I not only teach but play a lot, and the "hitting" lessons are not much different than the league/tourney matches, albeit at a lower level usually. So not cranking away at that forehand winner can sometimes be tough!!
  9. Solat

    Solat Professional

    Nov 19, 2006
    replies here are good, from my perspective i like to challenge the player in one way or another and see if they can formulate a style to combat it, its not about going for winners and drubbing them fro good measure it is a lesson after all, they need to learn something.
    So the idea is i might work their weaker stroke, or always leave a gap where they don't often play the ball to see if they can understand what is happening on the court.
    Lastly, sometimes you need to hit the big shot to make a point, especially if it is in response to them not doing what you are working on, ie proving a point about why the play / tactic / shot was the wrong option.
  10. TheFonz

    TheFonz Banned

    Aug 17, 2007
    It depends on the person.

    Some people think they are better than they are and need a good arse kicking to wake them up.

    Some players would give up if I beat them too bad. So we take it easy on them.

    We quite a few players that struggle against pushers. So we play that style. that part is quite boring actually.

    It also depends on how many lessons I have given that day and how tired I am. Sometimes when I'm tired I can lose to some of our better juniors.
  11. cj011

    cj011 New User

    Aug 22, 2007
    TheFonz, great advice. The first thing I do is get the person comfortable moving around against various sytles: topsin, flat, agresive, pusher, etc. Then work on their accuracy when moving. When playing points I break up the time into diffent segments:
    1. Improving there weaknesses
    2. Me pounding the crap out of them so they work on there mental game when down.
    3. Them attacking and dominating points.
  12. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

    Feb 2, 2007
    Long Island, NY
    Just good enough to challange them on every point. I change speeds, change spins, work them side to side.

    If they hit it back to me, I will make them run, if they make me run, I will hurt them.

    Unless of course you get some hot shot who demands that you bring your "A" game, then hey...he asked for it. Even then it is tough to play 100% against a far weaker player.


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