Some unforced errors

user92626

G.O.A.T.
For driving your FH into the net, are you still keeping the mental concept/image of keeping the racket face closed and gradually opening it up during the forward swing??? Remember that one thread of yours over the topic?

I believe this error comes from that.
 

Curious

Legend
For driving your FH into the net, are you still keeping the mental concept/image of keeping the racket face closed and gradually opening it up during the forward swing??? Remember that one thread of yours over the topic?

I believe this error comes from that.
I don’t know what I’m doing. In the video you see the ones I dump into the net but I hit some short balls long as well.
 

1stVolley

Professional
I see balance problems both on the slice and forehand drive. One fundamental cause of this is less than optimal use of your non-dominant arm. In the slice it isn't moving backward strongly enough to act as a good counterbalance, contributing to a greater than needed downward trajectory of your racquet. On the forehand, that non-dominant arm is not coming strongly out to your right on the unit turn and I think contributing to a less than secure balance.

You are not having this problem on every shot but almost always on the shots you miss.
 

ptuanminh

Hall of Fame
First FH miss: you were slow to get to the ball, you took ur eyes off the ball by turning your head, silly.
2nd BH slice miss: your slice technique is just bad.
3rd BH slice miss: ball bounce shoulder high, really nothing you can do with your BH.
4th FH miss: while you were doing your fancy racquet circling, you were already late for the ball,tried to scoop it up and failed.
5th FH miss: you tried to take the ball VERY early, probably because you were too slow or too tired to move back. its the risk that comes with hitting early.
6th FH miss: again your fancy racquet circling. you move to the ball, fancy circle, then realize you are off by a step.
7th FH miss: you contact the ball when its only a few inches below your shoulder, not really a good place to do that.
....
To sum it up: you have good serve. Your BH slice is pretty bad. Your FH is not nearly as compact as you think.
 

zaph

Professional
Loads of good advice but too technical for me.

I am a lower level player like you but I don't miss those balls, for one simple reason. I don't try to hit them as hard. Stop trying to hit winners from mid court, you aint got the talent.

Instead concentrate on getting the ball over the net and give your opponent a chance to make the mistake. Hit the ball slower and place it.
 

Curious

Legend
Ok, I feel like if I bend my knees more, keep the head steady with my eyes focusing better on the ball I can avoid those short ball errors. And yes also try to avoid going for it too much.
 

ptuanminh

Hall of Fame
Ok, I feel like if I bend my knees more, keep the head steady with my eyes focusing better on the ball I can avoid those short ball errors. And yes also try to avoid going for it too much.
All these things you said are important. But they are not as important as getting to the ball. Make sure you get to hitting position early, then the rest follows.
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
All net misses but one (which was a downward FH swing with closed RF) are most likely missing the sweetspot big time. Now the reasons are likely:
- not watching the contact zone;
- not extending past contact zone, collapsing the swing.
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
Ok, I feel like if I bend my knees more, keep the head steady with my eyes focusing better on the ball I can avoid those short ball errors. And yes also try to avoid going for it too much.
How is it different from other strokes? You don't need a steady head, focusing eyes with baseline strokes?

All these things you said are important. But they are not as important as getting to the ball. Make sure you get to hitting position early, then the rest follows.
In the clips I see him get to the ball just fine.


His dumping got to do with severe error in his technicals, either in execution or the foundational concept. He's correct in saying "I don’t know what I’m doing".

I don't miss those short, soft balls that I can get my hand on.

Think about it, it should be one of the first basics of closing a point, probably only more advanced than ...waiting for opponent to make UEs. That is like a ball in front of a wide open goal (soccer) or being next to the basketball hoop without opposing guards or the golf ball 4 inches from the hole. The tennis version is...any easy ball close to the net which you can get your hands on! You live for those instances.

Again, think about your technicals. 1, is your movement flowing in optimal direction? 2, conceptually, are you 100% on top of understanding power, topspin, targets, contact point, etc.? 3, after sufficient knowledge, how is your execution ability?
 
Here’s a few from many UF errors I hit the other day.
My slice is usually better, don’t know why it was this bad.
Hitting the short balls is a disaster as usual. What’s wrong and what to do?
You're a brave man to post UEs; hat's off to you, my friend!

0:06 - You look liked you were going for a winner rather than simply being content with hitting a good shot and following it in [I have the same issue, especially on the FH].

0:13 - What shot were you trying to hit? Were you trying to skim the net with a deep, penetrating slice? If so, give yourself more margin: you're not trying to win the point with that slice; you're trying to make him deal with a low, skidder.

In general, I'd recommend getting lower to the ground; you're standing practically straight up.

0:20 - Same comment as 0:13.

0:27 - Same comment as 0:06.

0:33 - You had a very flat swing path.

0:43 - Maybe you lifted your head up too soon and that's why it went long? Seemed like a mechanically sound stroke. Maybe you just overhit?

0:48 - Same as 0:33.

0:52 - Similar to 0:13, you don't look very engaged in this shot. At least on your FH you are active on your feet.

1:00 - I think your racquet face was just a bit too open.

1:03 - Compare all of your missed BH slices with this one: see how much more engaged you are? Your knees are bent, you are leaning into the shot; it looks a lot better.

1:08 - Same as 0:33.

1:11 - Were you deliberately trying for that sharp angle or did you mis-judge the shot? That was a high-risk shot so as long as you appreciate that and have practiced it, I'm OK with it. If it was an accident, you need to work on your control. If you just pulled it out of your hat to see what happened, that's not good % play.

1:18 - Same as 0:33.

1:29 - Same as 0:13.

When you hit multiple reps [wall, ball machine, feeder partner], how accurate are you with your BH slice? It seems like you haven't found your range yet.

General observations:
- You aren't very engaged on the BH slice, like you aren't trying or you think it's too easy [I'm not saying that's what you actually think, only that's how it appears]. If you engaged more like 1:03, you'd have a lot fewer errors.

- Your FHs mostly go into the net because you have a very flat swing path [measure the vertical distance from where you start your forward swing with contact: maybe it's a foot. You should be getting 3-4'.].

During practice, work on those short balls and concentrate on a steeper swing path and lifting the ball so you never hit the net; going long is fine, you can always increase TS and/or decrease power.

I recognize this because I have the same problem. One of the things I analyze during and after a match is how often I hit my FH approach into the net. I'm working on consciously lifting the ball and steepening my swing path.
 

ptuanminh

Hall of Fame
How is it different from other strokes? You don't need a steady head, focusing eyes with baseline strokes?



In the clips I see him get to the ball just fine.


His dumping got to do with severe error in his technicals, either in execution or the foundational concept. He's correct in saying "I don’t know what I’m doing".

I don't miss those short, soft balls that I can get my hand on.

Think about it, it should be one of the first basics of closing a point, probably only more advanced than ...waiting for opponent to make UEs. That is like a ball in front of a wide open goal (soccer) or being next to the basketball hoop without opposing guards or the golf ball 4 inches from the hole. The tennis version is...any easy ball close to the net which you can get your hands on! You live for those instances.

Again, think about your technicals. 1, is your movement flowing in optimal direction? 2, conceptually, are you 100% on top of understanding power, topspin, targets, contact point, etc.? 3, after sufficient knowledge, how is your execution ability?
Look at 0:05-0:07, its a relative slow ball, he was supposed to win the point. The moment he gets his racquet in ready position, the ball is already dropping. So this is a late in preparation.
0:25, he took his last step to ready position when the ball has already bounced. If thats not late, i dont know what late is.
 

jga111

Hall of Fame
Quite late preparation in most of those.
Open your slice a tad.
Hit your forehand lower (as you go high - for the spin).
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
The most important thing you can do to immediately see improvement in your backhand slice consistency is to stop chopping downward and across as much.

Flatten out your stroke and make it more linear through the hitting zone by making sure you finish by extending out forward toward the target. Treat it more like a volley that you have to stick harder than usual.

Stay closed and finish high and out in front instead of opening up your chest with the finish low and out to your right side like you are doing.
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
Look at 0:05-0:07, its a relative slow ball, he was supposed to win the point. The moment he gets his racquet in ready position, the ball is already dropping. So this is a late in preparation.
0:25, he took his last step to ready position when the ball has already bounced. If thats not late, i dont know what late is.
Maybe it comes down to levels. You guys' level is such that you need the ball to be at a particular, perfect height, impeccable prep and footwork for you to make your shots.

Notice the pro level, it mostly comes down to whether they could get their racket on the ball or not. When they can, they make the shot. It would be weird and restrictive if they couldn't deal with ball at different heights or slightly different timing.

In a way good rec players also have to deal with balls of various heights and timing. It's only natural bcuz you're dealing with as big a mixed bag of players as you could possibly find. Slice, lobb, junk, punch, anything undr the sun to hit the ball.

Don't you find it ridiculous that you have to miss a shot because you are a few milliseconds late to hitting or the ball drops a few inches lower or spins a little weird??
 
@Curious There are multiple things going on, but I'm going to keep it very general.

Your swing path on your forehand is very horizontal. The racquet does not drop below the ball much at all (if any) on most of your forehands. You have to get underneath the ball more to help you generate more topspin to give you a higher net clearance for your forehand. Go out and drill forehands and focus on letting the racquet drop below the ball a bit more so that you can get a nice, shaped forehand that gives you 1 to 3 feet of net clearance. Bending your knees more will help as well.

Your slice swing path needs to be more out into the court versus the choppy down and across the body motion you are using sometimes. That slice across the body motion is used more against hard hit balls. On slow balls like you were hitting against, you aren't getting enough forward momentum on your shot, so you need to extend your swing out more.
 

ptuanminh

Hall of Fame
Maybe it comes down to levels. You guys' level is such that you need the ball to be at a particular, perfect height, impeccable prep and footwork for you to make your shots.

Notice the pro level, it mostly comes down to whether they could get their racket on the ball or not. When they can, they make the shot. It would be weird and restrictive if they couldn't deal with ball at different heights or slightly different timing.

In a way good rec players also have to deal with balls of various heights and timing. It's only natural bcuz you're dealing with as big a mixed bag of players as you could possibly find. Slice, lobb, junk, punch, anything undr the sun to hit the ball.

Don't you find it ridiculous that you have to miss a shot because you are a few milliseconds late to hitting or the ball drops a few inches lower or spins a little weird??
I am not an expert in pro tennis, so i cant comment.
"Notice the pro level, it mostly comes down to whether they could get their racket on the ball or not. "
Are you sure about this????
BTW, tennis is played with legs, a lot more than hand.
You see, Curios had his racket on the ball every time, still, the ball didnt get to the otherside.
 

Curious

Legend
I am not an expert in pro tennis, so i cant comment.
"Notice the pro level, it mostly comes down to whether they could get their racket on the ball or not. "
Are you sure about this????
BTW, tennis is played with legs, a lot more than hand.
You see, Curios had his racket on the ball every time, still, the ball didnt get to the otherside.
Agree. Being at the ideal position at the ideal time is more important than anything else. I believe this requires some special talent, which explains why serve is my best shot because I don’t need much adjustment for position and timing on the serve.
 

diddyac

Rookie
Agree. Being at the ideal position at the ideal time is more important than anything else. I believe this requires some special talent, which explains why serve is my best shot because I don’t need much adjustment for position and timing on the serve.
I don't agree actually, every shot you were in a position to make the ball with the correct timing and swing, with the exception of maybe 0:26, but you still managed to get around the ball and get into a position that made it make-able

Biggest issue in these clips is having a big delay in identifying what ball you are receiving and then setting up your take back far too late

Notice that many of your take backs are only beginning almost just before the ball bounces - it should be at latest by the time the ball crosses the net (for low to medium pace balls)

Also as mentioned, just need to think through the shot more, what are you trying to achieve - ideally more often than not, more margin, high percentage, depth, neutralising shots
 

Curious

Legend
I don't agree actually, every shot you were in a position to make the ball with the correct timing and swing, with the exception of maybe 0:26, but you still managed to get around the ball and get into a position that made it make-able

Biggest issue in these clips is having a big delay in identifying what ball you are receiving and then setting up your take back far too late

Notice that many of your take backs are only beginning almost just before the ball bounces - it should be at latest by the time the ball crosses the net (for low to medium pace balls)

Also as mentioned, just need to think through the shot more, what are you trying to achieve - ideally more often than not, more margin, high percentage, depth, neutralising shots
I agree with that too.:)
 

ptuanminh

Hall of Fame
Agree. Being at the ideal position at the ideal time is more important than anything else. I believe this requires some special talent, which explains why serve is my best shot because I don’t need much adjustment for position and timing on the serve.
Maybe it requires talent. But you can definitely do something to improve a bit. Watch this
in slow motion.
I think for those short balls, if you get rid of the fancy racquet circling motion, you will at least have time to put the ball over.
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
I think for those short balls, if you get rid of the fancy racquet circling motion, you will at least have time to put the ball over.
I think we should be careful figuring out issues and solutions. It’s quite clear on many of those FHs @Curious is rushed executing full motion. But does it mean he should get rid of the looping backswing? Why, to still be rushed, but now compensate it with limited jerky takeback? And still be late every now and then?

In my opinion, it was mentioned, one should recognize incoming balls earlier, gauge the bounce earlier, start loop earlier and, if needed pause and wait sideways, with racquet back and high, then drop hitting arm and swing timely. Opposite to what happens now: waiting for the ball nipples-to-net, with low racquet, then trying to execute full back-and-forth swing continuously accelerating.
 

ptuanminh

Hall of Fame
I think we should be careful figuring out issues and solutions. It’s quite clear on many of those FHs @Curious is rushed executing full motion. But does it mean he should get rid of the looping backswing? Why, to still be rushed, but now compensate it with limited jerky takeback? And still be late every now and then?

In my opinion, it was mentioned, one should recognize incoming balls earlier, gauge the bounce earlier, start loop earlier and, if needed pause and wait sideways, with racquet back and high, then drop hitting arm and swing timely. Opposite to what happens now: waiting for the ball nipples-to-net, with low racquet, then trying to execute full back-and-forth swing continuously accelerating.
So you are saying that not having the looping backswing is equivalent to a jerky takeback???? Thats ridiculous.
Come on, the guy is already slow. you add the fancy circling and he is even slower.
Besides, you dont need much power for short balls like that.
Look at 1:16, he didn't even have time to complete that looping backswing :)
 
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Dragy

Hall of Fame
So you are saying that not having the looping backswing is equivalent to a jerky takeback???? Thats ridiculous.
Come on, the guy is already slow. you add the fancy circling and he is even slower.
Besides, you dont need much power for short balls like that.
Look at 1:16, he didn't even have time to complete that looping backswing :)
At 1:16 he was running to the ball with his chest on, not turning sideways to prepare his play. If he completely eliminated the backswing and tapped the ball over the net, he'd be good. But that's not a FH drive story, not a loop vs straight takeback case. To hit such shots consistently he should not be faster but earlier to start preparation. Loop backswing perfectly fits there with proper unit turn.
 

ptuanminh

Hall of Fame
At 1:16 he was running to the ball with his chest on, not turning sideways to prepare his play. If he completely eliminated the backswing and tapped the ball over the net, he'd be good. But that's not a FH drive story, not a loop vs straight takeback case. To hit such shots consistently he should not be faster but earlier to start preparation. Loop backswing perfectly fits there with proper unit turn.
So you are saying if he was running sideways to the ball, do the circle backswing, he would be in time for the ball? i doubt.
I never suggest eliminating the backswing and tap the ball. I suggest take the racquet back really simple, swing low to high. Thats it. A lot more efficient than that silly circle.
I agree he needs earlier prep, but the loop backswing is really slowing him down.
 

ubercat

Professional
One thought. For those mid court balls if they are above the net and my topspin forehand is a bit off on the day I will switch to axe slicing them. Starts with the racquet high above the ball sliced diagonally downwards fast swing. Ball should skid fast off the court.

Another option is you play a short slice. Hit the ball with a higher scoop on your slice but very gently with lots of side. The guy I played this week got me a beauty with one of those. It was on the ground by the time I had taken two steps

Mind you I got him back many timeswith my usual fake big windup and forehand drop shot combo muah haw haw.
 

pencilcheck

Professional
You should do more core training, your movement is very stiff. The shot is all about explosiveness, not constant speed, you are also putting unnecessary strength on simple movement.

I suggest you do exactly what Nadal is doing here as a starting point and train your core movement:
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
I am not an expert in pro tennis, so i cant comment.
"Notice the pro level, it mostly comes down to whether they could get their racket on the ball or not. "
Are you sure about this????
BTW, tennis is played with legs, a lot more than hand.
You see, Curios had his racket on the ball every time, still, the ball didnt get to the otherside.
Not suggesting you know pro tennis to discuss it, but you should know that pro way indicates the right direction for every player to head toward, even if they may never reach far. Its truism.
 

Injured Again

Hall of Fame
@Curious Just an observation and I haven't read through this entire thread but did watch your latest video. In this and other threads, you talked pretty obsessively about minute details on how to swing the racquet like a pro, but these errors illustrate that you have basic and significant issues with footwork and preparation that go so far beyond minute form issues. That, and the form issues like that you were trying to work on like in the "forehand lag" thread, are totally not important in the scope of you trying to become a better tennis player (if that is your goal). In my opinion, instead of things like learning to drop the racquet on edge for your serve, you should be concentrating 100% on footwork patterns and proper stroke preparation but not the stroke itself. Forget entirely about how your stroke looks until you can get in position to make a good, balanced swing on 95% of those balls that you missed in the video. I'd even go as far as to say that you need a much lighter and possibly bigger racquet since it looks like you have to flail your body to get the racquet moving, and that is despite the bad foot and body positioning.

As you move up in level, you're going to encounter much harder hit shots to much more difficult locations on the court. Again, in my opinion, if your goal is to play at that higher level, you are going to need to learn how to move to those shots quickly and effectively so you can make a good swing. You seem to be struggling greatly with positioning properly even against these slow shots so you would have no chance against faster balls.

I think we're somewhat close to the same age (I play 60's next year) and your strokes, at least your shadow strokes, are much more beautiful than mines. But I'm competing at the 4.5 level and my concentration for the next couple of years is 90% on footwork, 5% on form issues, and 5% on compensation for limitations caused by injury or age. I kindly suggest that you'd benefit from the same ratio.

Good luck.
 

Curious

Legend
@Curious Just an observation and I haven't read through this entire thread but did watch your latest video. In this and other threads, you talked pretty obsessively about minute details on how to swing the racquet like a pro, but these errors illustrate that you have basic and significant issues with footwork and preparation that go so far beyond minute form issues. That, and the form issues like that you were trying to work on like in the "forehand lag" thread, are totally not important in the scope of you trying to become a better tennis player (if that is your goal). In my opinion, instead of things like learning to drop the racquet on edge for your serve, you should be concentrating 100% on footwork patterns and proper stroke preparation but not the stroke itself. Forget entirely about how your stroke looks until you can get in position to make a good, balanced swing on 95% of those balls that you missed in the video. I'd even go as far as to say that you need a much lighter and possibly bigger racquet since it looks like you have to flail your body to get the racquet moving, and that is despite the bad foot and body positioning.

As you move up in level, you're going to encounter much harder hit shots to much more difficult locations on the court. Again, in my opinion, if your goal is to play at that higher level, you are going to need to learn how to move to those shots quickly and effectively so you can make a good swing. You seem to be struggling greatly with positioning properly even against these slow shots so you would have no chance against faster balls.

I think we're somewhat close to the same age (I play 60's next year) and your strokes, at least your shadow strokes, are much more beautiful than mines. But I'm competing at the 4.5 level and my concentration for the next couple of years is 90% on footwork, 5% on form issues, and 5% on compensation for limitations caused by injury or age. I kindly suggest that you'd benefit from the same ratio.

Good luck.
Totally agree. The minute details thing is just a personal issue, some sort of obsession. I’m 100 % aware of what you pointed out. Two things get in the way though to prevent me from working on those:
-injuries
- lack of time due to family and full time job
 
@Curious On your forehand, you aren't getting your feet and balance set. So you're lunging at the ball at the same time as you're swinging, which means you have no control. On your slice, you're chopping down very strongly on the ball; flatten it out more and don't chop so hard.
 

Curious

Legend
@Curious On your forehand, you aren't getting your feet and balance set. So you're lunging at the ball at the same time as you're swinging, which means you have no control. On your slice, you're chopping down very strongly on the ball; flatten it out more and don't chop so hard.
Yes, thank you.
Will put a few things to test tonight. Number 1: see if I can make my shots a little craftier rather than violent.
@Mountain Ghost had literally fixed my Bh slice with his tips but somehow it regressed to the previous terrible state. I’ll definitely fix it again tonight and hopefully post a video of better performance.
 

Injured Again

Hall of Fame
Totally agree. The minute details thing is just a personal issue, some sort of obsession. I’m 100 % aware of what you pointed out. Two things get in the way though to prevent me from working on those:
-injuries
- lack of time due to family and full time job
@Curious The basic footwork patterns you need for the shots on that video are pretty simple and working on them takes no more time than you are already spending by playing. It's just working on the correct things with the time you do spend.

I'd bet a pro could show you the footwork patterns you need to cover all of those misses in your video within a couple of sessions. You already know the proper components of the swing so most everything hinges on getting your feet in the right position so you can execute that stroke. By getting the footwork correct, you'll be a lot **less** likely to injure yourself because you'll be swinging freely and with good biomechanics, rather than being out of position and swinging awkwardly and with a lot of unnecessary and unhelpful influence from your body.

A lot of the high level senior age group players at my Club are proponents of intense practice sessions. Most of us are not prepping for a tournament right now so 90% of the time, we are doing nothing but hitting and working on footwork. Playing sets and points wastes a lot of time - it's a much more productive session to open up a couple of cans of balls and to start the next ball once the previous one is missed. You get to hit three or more times as many balls in the same amount of time, and that gives you at least three times the opportunity to practice the right thing. You get a better cardio workout, and without the score pressure, footwork and strokes are just better. We save playing sets for the weeks just preceding a tournament or league. This is no different than you trying to swing like the pros. You should also emulate them when they talk about training blocks. After all, the pros don't spend most of their non-tournament time playing sets. They spend it practicing specific things. Emulate that as well as their stroke technique.
 

ptuanminh

Hall of Fame
@Curious, check out how Bouchard handled short ball return in this point:
Turn, take back racquet to ready, step in a few steps, topspin the ball to the corner. Very simple and effective.
As opposed to what you do: step in 2 steps, racquet circle take back, realize you are off, scramble a bit, punch the ball in the net.
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
So you are saying if he was running sideways to the ball, do the circle backswing, he would be in time for the ball? i doubt.
I never suggest eliminating the backswing and tap the ball. I suggest take the racquet back really simple, swing low to high. Thats it. A lot more efficient than that silly circle.
I agree he needs earlier prep, but the loop backswing is really slowing him down.
Yes, absolutely: if he immediately turned sideways and raised his arms and split them to be at the full backswing by bounce, he’d deal with the ball with more success. Look at Stan, where his racquet is when the ball is yet nowhere in the frame, and where it is by bounce:
 

Happi

Semi-Pro
@Curious The basic footwork patterns you need for the shots on that video are pretty simple and working on them takes no more time than you are already spending by playing. It's just working on the correct things with the time you do spend.

I'd bet a pro could show you the footwork patterns you need to cover all of those misses in your video within a couple of sessions. You already know the proper components of the swing so most everything hinges on getting your feet in the right position so you can execute that stroke. By getting the footwork correct, you'll be a lot **less** likely to injure yourself because you'll be swinging freely and with good biomechanics, rather than being out of position and swinging awkwardly and with a lot of unnecessary and unhelpful influence from your body.

A lot of the high level senior age group players at my Club are proponents of intense practice sessions. Most of us are not prepping for a tournament right now so 90% of the time, we are doing nothing but hitting and working on footwork. Playing sets and points wastes a lot of time - it's a much more productive session to open up a couple of cans of balls and to start the next ball once the previous one is missed. You get to hit three or more times as many balls in the same amount of time, and that gives you at least three times the opportunity to practice the right thing. You get a better cardio workout, and without the score pressure, footwork and strokes are just better. We save playing sets for the weeks just preceding a tournament or league. This is no different than you trying to swing like the pros. You should also emulate them when they talk about training blocks. After all, the pros don't spend most of their non-tournament time playing sets. They spend it practicing specific things. Emulate that as well as their stroke technique.
@Curious not trying to hijack your thread, but just want to illustrate @Injured Again point about footwork. We are more or less the same age group so it would apply.

I started playing tennis in my late 40's, but I have had a career as an elite sportsman in another ball game, so I might have some natural ability to take into the sport.

I was really lucky to work with a good coach from day 1, I was basically enrolled in the clubs junior elite program :) From day 1 it was all about footwork, over and over again, in shadow walks and slow motion drills I was taught the proper footwork. It was the most frustrating period where I wanted so much to learn proper stroke mechanic, bas was corrected over and over for bad footwork. After a year or two, footwork just became an integrated part of my game, and then we started to work on groundstrokes, then all the rest of the strokes, finally serve. I did not play any matches for the first 5 years, can you believe that, only working on fundamentals.

It takes 5 years to make a player.

Then we started to work on playing the game, tactics, mindset, playing patterns and so on - very very frustrating to try to put all the fundamentals into matchplay. Loosing to players with bad strokes, all this **** - but but it took some time too.

It takes 5 years to make a player, it takes 5 more years to make a competitive player.

I am there now, my first tournament last year 50+ highest level, I lost the final in a tight 3 hour match.

I am a schooled player so a lot of things are just natural progression for me. I still work with coaches 1-2 times a week, still evolving my game.

@Curious to me you seem like a self taught player (and that can be good too), so while some parts of you game looks good (serve especially) other parts have big holes. But most important is that you look stiff on the court, you muscle the ball (you are strong / fit so you can get away with that) instead of playing loose. You would be amazed how much pace a 14 yo skinny boy with spagetti arms can produce with great technique, you are 3 times as strong but will only hit at 3/4 the speed (high estimate, as you might only be twice as strong and hit with half the pace :) ).

I would kindly suggest to you to work with a good coach 1:1, find someone with a track record of having produced good players and work with him on a weekly basis. This will a year from now, have you progressed a lot more than self analyzing (getting caught up in small unimportant details), I my mind this is the true dedication: to get some teacher or mentor to help you out in real life.

I am truly trying to help you, so no need to bite like in the racquet drop thread.

Cheers, H
 

FiReFTW

Legend
@Curious not trying to hijack your thread, but just want to illustrate @Injured Again point about footwork. We are more or less the same age group so it would apply.

I started playing tennis in my late 40's, but I have had a career as an elite sportsman in another ball game, so I might have some natural ability to take into the sport.

I was really lucky to work with a good coach from day 1, I was basically enrolled in the clubs junior elite program :) From day 1 it was all about footwork, over and over again, in shadow walks and slow motion drills I was taught the proper footwork. It was the most frustrating period where I wanted so much to learn proper stroke mechanic, bas was corrected over and over for bad footwork. After a year or two, footwork just became an integrated part of my game, and then we started to work on groundstrokes, then all the rest of the strokes, finally serve. I did not play any matches for the first 5 years, can you believe that, only working on fundamentals.

It takes 5 years to make a player.

Then we started to work on playing the game, tactics, mindset, playing patterns and so on - very very frustrating to try to put all the fundamentals into matchplay. Loosing to players with bad strokes, all this **** - but but it took some time too.

It takes 5 years to make a player, it takes 5 more years to make a competitive player.

I am there now, my first tournament last year 50+ highest level, I lost the final in a tight 3 hour match.

I am a schooled player so a lot of things are just natural progression for me. I still work with coaches 1-2 times a week, still evolving my game.

@Curious to me you seem like a self taught player (and that can be good too), so while some parts of you game looks good (serve especially) other parts have big holes. But most important is that you look stiff on the court, you muscle the ball (you are strong / fit so you can get away with that) instead of playing loose. You would be amazed how much pace a 14 yo skinny boy with spagetti arms can produce with great technique, you are 3 times as strong but will only hit at 3/4 the speed (high estimate, as you might only be twice as strong and hit with half the pace :) ).

I would kindly suggest to you to work with a good coach 1:1, find someone with a track record of having produced good players and work with him on a weekly basis. This will a year from now, have you progressed a lot more than self analyzing (getting caught up in small unimportant details), I my mind this is the true dedication: to get some teacher or mentor to help you out in real life.

I am truly trying to help you, so no need to bite like in the racquet drop thread.

Cheers, H
That's insane, hats off for your patience in doing that. It must have required a lot of patience!
 

Curious

Legend
@Curious not trying to hijack your thread, but just want to illustrate @Injured Again point about footwork. We are more or less the same age group so it would apply.

I started playing tennis in my late 40's, but I have had a career as an elite sportsman in another ball game, so I might have some natural ability to take into the sport.

I was really lucky to work with a good coach from day 1, I was basically enrolled in the clubs junior elite program :) From day 1 it was all about footwork, over and over again, in shadow walks and slow motion drills I was taught the proper footwork. It was the most frustrating period where I wanted so much to learn proper stroke mechanic, bas was corrected over and over for bad footwork. After a year or two, footwork just became an integrated part of my game, and then we started to work on groundstrokes, then all the rest of the strokes, finally serve. I did not play any matches for the first 5 years, can you believe that, only working on fundamentals.

It takes 5 years to make a player.

Then we started to work on playing the game, tactics, mindset, playing patterns and so on - very very frustrating to try to put all the fundamentals into matchplay. Loosing to players with bad strokes, all this **** - but but it took some time too.

It takes 5 years to make a player, it takes 5 more years to make a competitive player.

I am there now, my first tournament last year 50+ highest level, I lost the final in a tight 3 hour match.

I am a schooled player so a lot of things are just natural progression for me. I still work with coaches 1-2 times a week, still evolving my game.

@Curious to me you seem like a self taught player (and that can be good too), so while some parts of you game looks good (serve especially) other parts have big holes. But most important is that you look stiff on the court, you muscle the ball (you are strong / fit so you can get away with that) instead of playing loose. You would be amazed how much pace a 14 yo skinny boy with spagetti arms can produce with great technique, you are 3 times as strong but will only hit at 3/4 the speed (high estimate, as you might only be twice as strong and hit with half the pace :) ).

I would kindly suggest to you to work with a good coach 1:1, find someone with a track record of having produced good players and work with him on a weekly basis. This will a year from now, have you progressed a lot more than self analyzing (getting caught up in small unimportant details), I my mind this is the true dedication: to get some teacher or mentor to help you out in real life.

I am truly trying to help you, so no need to bite like in the racquet drop thread.

Cheers, H
Good story, well done and I agree with your suggestion, thanks. It’s just not possible for me to work with a coach at this point in my life for various reasons.
 

ChaelAZ

Legend
Here’s a few from many UF errors I hit the other day.
My slice is usually better, don’t know why it was this bad.
Hitting the short balls is a disaster as usual. What’s wrong and what to do?


To me, your backhand slice is going exactly where your arm's motion is going, which I think is slicing too much down instead of forward. I would push out towards the net more and have less chop down.

Forehands simply look like you get too much of the top of the ball and dump in the net, or under it too much and send it long. Personally I would back down on power a bit and focus on contact point and placement.

Your mileage may vary.
 

ubercat

Professional
Why not bring it back to one single thing adopt a crossover step in your game. That's what I'm working on where are similar age and I'm winning some matches with guys in their 20s and 30s
 

Slowtwitcher

Hall of Fame
Your FH grip is wrong! Just kidding... :cool:

You're late on starting your FH backswing on those FH UE. You look rushed and that's why you dump the ball in the net.
 

ubercat

Professional
Curious there's plenty of tennis walls near u. Y not get some painter's tape make target and practice eva heading down onto the wall or throwing the ball away from yourself and hitting those sitters with good net clearance.
 

ubercat

Professional
BTW slice really is the old man's equaliser you will have to master it. I drove this guy nuts this week he had a really good double hander. So he thought he could tee off on my approach shots but I gave him low slice deep into the corners and he was always mistiming it or hitting it late. It was a bit funny actually. I have the stupid new rule in my comp you only play up to 5 obviously trying to get the matches through quicker. you can play the six just for fun so I beat this guy 5 2 and then he wanted to play the extra game. the funny parts was he just tried to do what he was doing even better so he came out firing smacking these vicious forehands. And of course I did what I had been doing block or sliced them back and when he hit one that was slightly off took the net. I won that game too and I can see from the slump of the shoulders that the psychological scarring was deep.
 

Slowtwitcher

Hall of Fame
Yes, absolutely: if he immediately turned sideways and raised his arms and split them to be at the full backswing by bounce, he’d deal with the ball with more success. Look at Stan, where his racquet is when the ball is yet nowhere in the frame, and where it is by bounce:

This is a helpful post, thanks.
 

Curious

Legend
As I said before @Mountain Ghost had literally fixed my slice but recently I just flipped back to my old terrible form. Last night I focused on his tips again and it all changed instantly. Look at these two slices. His main tip was about the take back. The follow through is still too wild and needs to be fixed but I hit the ball very confidently with that ‘correct’ take back.

 

Mountain Ghost

Professional
As I said before @Mountain Ghost had literally fixed my slice but recently I just flipped back to my old terrible form. Last night I focused on his tips again and it all changed instantly. Look at these two slices. His main tip was about the take back. The follow through is still too wild and needs to be fixed but I hit the ball very confidently with that ‘correct’ take back.

On your slice backhand ... what I like is how you find your racquet-back position... and you hold it there steady for a bit ... before starting the forward swing by extending the arm straight to contact. While on the second one I understand that your positioning and your approaching of the net may have forced you to swing more down and across on the stroke and follow through ... on the first one I like how you extended and swung mostly just OUT to contact ... and had the mindfulness to harness the follow through a little more.

~ MG
 

Curious

Legend
On your slice backhand ... what I like is how you find your racquet-back position... and you hold it there steady for a bit ... before starting the forward swing by extending the arm straight to contact. While on the second one I understand that your positioning and your approaching of the net may have forced you to swing more down and across on the stroke and follow through ... on the first one I like how you extended and swung mostly just OUT to contact ... and had the mindfulness to harness the follow through a little more.

~ MG
I really feel I have the right take back now and again thanks to you.
The forward/downward swing and follow through is not quite there yet, I know. Next time will be even better, I feel that. I’ll try to video some slice rallies to see it better.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Ok, I feel like if I bend my knees more, keep the head steady with my eyes focusing better on the ball I can avoid those short ball errors. And yes also try to avoid going for it too much.
You took your eye off the ball on every one of this errors. Focus is the big problem.
 
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