Tennis breakthrough?

donnyz89

Hall of Fame
did u ever have them? not one but maybe more than one throughout your learning experience? like learning a shot that significantly improved your game or finally figured out a hole in your game? anything that u did or maybe u dont even know what you did but a shorttime later, u see drastic improvement in your game.

I know i have those. During the season when i played against our #3 singles, i was struggling beating him or even get beaten. then i got a few lessons from this college player and finally got myself to accept that i dont have to hit hard everyshot and made a huge mental breakthrough. and i played him again a few days ago and it was ugly for him, I won 62 62 61 in under 2 hours. hitting almost 10 winners every set which is HUGE for two 3.5 players... imo at least.
 
Definitely. Tennis growth comes in spurts. Your coach teaches you something. You don't get it, you're not doing it right. You practice. Suddenly, sooner or later, it starts happening. Your stroke works out, and it feels like you've always done it.

In tennis, you grow. Then you drop a little, then plateau. Then after that plateau...another big growth. Repeat.
 

x Southpaw x

Semi-Pro
My biggest breakthrough was hitting with topspin. After I learnt that, my serve, FH and BH all improved tremendously. And my game which seemed to have stopped improving for a while, started on its upway path again.
 

DVanTongeren

New User
topspin worked for me too. played in a school tournament, took first. during the tournament something just clicked and ive been playing great ever since. i guess im also just being alot more aggressive
 

Exile

Professional
Actually that happened to me this year.

All my strokes, except returns have improved 200%.
Everything just came together.
Every single stroke just happens at once for me. It's not a gradual thing, it just happens.
Like a level up in an RPG.

I'm a sad little man.
 

MegacedU

Professional
I had one after my very first USTA tournament a couple years ago. I became absolutely fanatical. But I also had a mini-one this year as well when I began to embrace the fact that I have wonderful abilities at the net.

Side note:Ex - how's "everything".
 

krnboijunsung

Semi-Pro
Me too. And it didn't happen because I changed my stroke, it happened because I got used to the shot and following through. I like it when it finally clicks, which is when tennis becomes really fun.
 

Noelle

Hall Of Fame
When I finally learned how to hit through the ball instead of trying to brush up to produce huge topspin, I think I became a little bit more trouble to my opponents. I think learning to hit these deep balls also helped a lot with my confidence. :) And just last week, after going through months of turmoil with my serve, I finally found the right combo of toss, wind-up, and timing that's easily reproducible for me. :)
 

kevhen

Hall of Fame
I call it having an evolving game, with breakthroughs along the way. I used to play a slow hitting steady very consistent heavy topspinner and lost 23 matches in a row, but it forced me to work on my consistency, and taught me to hit mostly crosscourt so I didn't have to run so much and also to approach up the line on short balls so I was in good position for the return and to not get in too close or be lobbed. I basically learned how to rally and crosscourt was the key. That was about 4 years ago when I was 3.5 and playing this 4.0 steady baseliner. Once I started beating him he didn't want to play much anymore and spent more time coaching tennis to JH kids.

About 3 years ago I discovered the value of the forehand slice approach and forehand crosscourt volley for winner and kept practicing it until it became a consistent weapon. I probably need to use it even more these days especially against other long ralliers/pusher types.

2 years ago I realized that if I cranked up the spin on my slice forehand, many, many players have trouble volleying it as the spin causes the ball to dive straight for the net if they don't swing up and through solidly on the ball.

Last summer I had a breakthrough in discovering the hard slice serve and how opponents had trouble with the bounce and spin and how I could get a high percentage in as well 70-75%. It has made serving easier and taken pressure off my second serve, although now the people I play with are starting to get more used to it.

Lately I had been serving sharp crosscourt from the ad side by standing more to the left and hitting topspin serves short and wide. Often the backhand returns will sail wide to my right similar to when I hit slice to that side. It open up the court too, if only I could finish with my forehand consistently.

Always little breakthroughs if you aren't afraid to try new things, spins, angles, where to stand, different grips, shot combinations, until you find something that seems to work for you against most opponents and then practice it until perfection (tennis nirvana).
 

ShooterMcMarco

Hall of Fame
thejackal said:
Serving with the continental grip...it happened like that one day. I've never looked back.
the same thing happened to me. i used to use a grip between the continental and eastern backhand and i wasn't able to produce power. when i switched to continental the power and spin was there, along with the ability to place the ball better.
 
S

SageOfDeath

Guest
To me breakthroughs happen when I'm really tired and I'm practicing alone.

When I have plenty of energy I'm thinking about all this stuff while I'm serving and I hit really hard.

Today after I got really tired I started not to hit as hard because of a loss of energy. But you realize what NOT to do. Then you realize what you need to do. Like having a better toss, more backscratch, more rotation, knee bend.

My logic is if you can play really well when you are tired then you certainly can play well when you have plenty of energy. I tend to think more than focus when I have energy.
 
S

SageOfDeath

Guest
O yea today my breakthrough was that I actually have better placement if I hit a litte harder. (NOT saying this is true for everyone. Just was for me.)
 

Rickson

G.O.A.T.
Hitting inside out was a great breakthrough for me because my opponents always expected forehands that went crosscourt or up the middle from me. I still like using it on new opponents, but unfortunately for me, the regulars I play with have gotten used to it.
 

kevhen

Hall of Fame
OH, I had another breakthrough when I realized hitting the ball 6 feet over the net with topspin wasn't my game and went much flatter and maybe 2-3 feet over the net with better consistency and more power making my groundstrokes much better (4.0 instead of 3.5).
 
My breakthrough was when I learned how to hit my topsin better. I used to hit it way up in the air but now I can hit it close to the net.
 

Love40

Rookie
Switching to semi-western fh grip was a major breakthrough for me, just a couple of months ago. I'm 42, grew up playing tennis, and just picked it up again last year after a 15 year hiatus.

Never thought of trying a SW grip before, and after a few rounds on the ball cannon, it was like a whole new game opened up to me...
 

fastdunn

Legend
I think I'm in a plateu for last 3 years or so, well below 4.5.
I leaned tennis at around 30 and improved for the 1st
3 years and then pretty a plateu after that.
I marginally improved to about 4.0 but no real improvement
last 3 years. I had a zoning experience about 3 weeks ago
and kinda hoped to transfer that into a break-thru but
never really happened. Feel pretty negative about
getting to solid 4.5 or 5.0 in my life...
 
P

~*|P3P8|*~

Guest
I had 1 recently. I just changed my whole game around and I seem 2 b doin a lot better. I went from a western 2 an eastern grip on da fh and went from 2 hands 2 1 hand on da bh side and Im bein a lot more aggressive wit it.:) I may make a ton more errors (mostly off da fh cos I go 4 2 much) but I also make a ton more winners.:D

And I may sound like 1 of da normal ball beaters dat jus goes 4 everythin and uses no slices or droppers or anythin, but Im not.:D
 

goober

Legend
fastdunn said:
I think I'm in a plateu for last 3 years or so, well below 4.5.
I leaned tennis at around 30 and improved for the 1st
3 years and then pretty a plateu after that.
I marginally improved to about 4.0 but no real improvement
last 3 years. I had a zoning experience about 3 weeks ago
and kinda hoped to transfer that into a break-thru but
never really happened. Feel pretty negative about
getting to solid 4.5 or 5.0 in my life...

heh sounds like me. I was doing pretty well winning about 80% of my 4.0 level matches and hanging with some 4.5 level players. But I actually didn't improve past that. Then I got tennis elbow and after a long layoff my game has really slipped. I hoping to get to 4.5 but I can only play about 2-3 times a week now, which will not allow me to advance but at best keep me from slippng further.
 

TennsDog

Hall of Fame
Topspin groundstrokes (western grip), two-handed backhand, platform serve, topspin and slice serve, imagining the ball is heavy, heavier=better for rackets, and last but not least: hitting the ball over the net will win you a lot more points.
 

GotGame?

Rookie
topspin, corner/angle shots, volleys, two-handed backhand, pinpoint serve, and last and most importantly: enjoy it out there and just keep it cool, mental togetherness/focus/concentration
 

Mahboob Khan

Hall of Fame
My learning curve was (and is) quite consistent and spread over time. I do not recall any breakthroughs! "Slow and steady win the race".
 

x Southpaw x

Semi-Pro
Mahboob Khan said:
My learning curve was (and is) quite consistent and spread over time. I do not recall any breakthroughs! "Slow and steady win the race".
I suspect you had a coach to teach you step-by-step since you didn't get any breakthroughs like learning the topspin or twist serve or drop shot etc...
 
S

SageOfDeath

Guest
orangetennisme said:
My breakthrough was when I learned how to hit my topsin better. I used to hit it way up in the air but now I can hit it close to the net.
Eh... the point of topspin is being able to hit higher over the net while your shot not beind long....
 

TennsDog

Hall of Fame
It is also to allow you to hit harder and still go in, as well as make it jump up higher (in some cases, not all).
 

Love40

Rookie
Another mini breakthrough for me within the past year has been my mental game.
As long as I've played I've been prone to getting pretty mad at myself when I'm not playing well, or miss an easy ball.
I've never been a racquet slammer, but sure felt like it a lot.

After watching another guy who has an anger problem on the court recently, it kind of opened my eyes to how terrible this looks to others, and I've completely cut it out.
As a result, I "get back in the game" much quicker now after a bad shot or game, and generally just have much more focus and enjoyment during a match.
 

shindemac

Hall of Fame
Switching to a semi-western grip, learning placement ie going for lines and corners, spin serves. I'm just starting to learn a topspin forehand.
 
Z

Ztalin

Guest
Switching to a two-handed backhand was a breakthrough for me. I can return harder and higher shots so much better. Learning the killer slice on FH and BH was also a smaller breakthrough, which added a larger variety of shots to my arsenal.

My newest breakthrough seems to be from changing from SW grip to a SW-western hybrid. It's somewhere in between, and I feel like I get the best of both worlds from each grip.
 

fishuuuuu

Hall of Fame
I hit the balls in the court and inside the lines ...

Also I split step and achieve better movement ...
 

lady_eowen

New User
just recently, my game has improved a lot when i play "laidback" -- just calm and not tense. weird, because my stance before was aggressive and always on my toes - kind of always shuffling on my feet... now, i don't move a lot when waiting for my opponent's returns, but i make it a point to take split step thus i can get to the balls still on time without rushing. since this breakthough, i wanna play everyday :D it enables me to play smart too like a playing in a chess game - not just beating the crap of the balls! ;)
 
My big breakthrough was finally achieving consistency on my serve toss. That has made all the difference and my serve is now a pretty good weapon.
 

kevhen

Hall of Fame
Another breakthrough for me was realizing you don't have to hit hard to win matches. In fact sometimes hitting slow against powerplayers makes them struggle more. You do need to vary the spins and pace but you seldom have to hit hard, just be consistent and let them self-destruct and watch them run out of winners. It's like putting them in a consistency vice grip and just continuing to tighten down (less and less UEs as the match goes on).
 
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