Tips on How to get the point

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by 2002GT2, Jun 21, 2005.

  1. 2002GT2

    2002GT2 Guest

    So, thats my problem. I've taken a few sets of lessons (drills, net work, etc) and have improved. I use a slight western grip with a 135sq in racquet (Wilson H1 Outer Edge). My serve is ok (more powerful than last year), but I don't think I am getting any spin. I also play baseline quite a bit.

    I can get through the match...even make it to deuce or 40-30 (my favor) but never seem to be able to land the shot to win the game. I think it may be my strategy....I don't really have one. Ball control is somewhat of an issue....I tend to hit back to the person all the time.

    I think its time I move up to the next skill training for lessons.
  2. TennsDog

    TennsDog Hall of Fame

    Feb 26, 2004
    Are you looking for tips on improving your ability to put away a game?
    Basically: get better. Practice and experience, not to mention strategy, will help with this. There really isn't any tip to give here. I guess just keep doing what you were doing to get into the lead. Anyway, overall game improvement will help you out here.
  3. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

    Feb 20, 2004
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Smaller more control racquet may help, as well as more practice, and also it may be mental with you tightening up when you are close to winning. Just relax and just play each point about the same. Is your opponent toying with you and letting you get close to winning a game and then closing it down with his superior skill when he has too? Try playing weaker opponents so you can get used to winning and getting more comfortable with it if it is mental.
  4. 2002GT2

    2002GT2 Guest

    Thanks TennsDog

    I thought that was it...just need to play more. It gets discouraging but then I have to say, "hey, only been playing competitively for 2 years".
  5. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

    Jun 16, 2004
    135 sq inches? How much head do you need?
  6. USCfan

    USCfan Professional

    Dec 29, 2004
    Seriously, I didn't know 135 existed...Get a smaller racquet and you'll have more you have a full swing, or is it more of a chip?
  7. diredesire

    diredesire Adjunct Moderator

    Mar 16, 2004
    All racquet and technique comments aside... matchplay makes people play tense. As an ex-high school player that is still pretty active in helping out the team, i notice that many players with sound strokes that can hit a whopper in practice completely lose their strokes in matches because of the pressure of other people watching and just that pressure to "win". I think something you'll need to work on, especially since you haven't been playing competitively for a long time is to just get out and play more matches and groove your strokes. If you are getting close in the games, it's obvious that you have the strokes/skills to WIN those games, the game is huuugely mental, you just have to tame your mind and loosen up.

    It's hard to consistently make the shots you need when you are tense. A tip i have used successfully in the past is to try and keep your mind clear, but focused. To help with this: try and think of one or two things at a time, max. try thinking about:
    Following through
    Bending the knees

    Especially when you are just trying to find your way, use the KISS method, Keep It Simple, Stupid.

    Worry less about skill training right now, and focus on executing what you have already learned IN MATCHES. that is where you put your money where your mouth is.
  8. 2002GT2

    2002GT2 Guest

    Thanks for the tips. My former racquet was a regular 110 sq inch Prince Triple Threat. My wife and I are only weekend club players, not professional, so the added 25 inches was a welcome.

    I used to hit the rim quite a bit, but with the new racquet my serves are better and my shots are more accurate.

    I think there are some strategies I need to work on. I play the baseline a lot, and have gotten conflicting information on how to play a singles match. When playing singles, do you move up to service and don't go back until you win a point? One coach said yes another said no. All agree to stay out of the no man zone.
  9. diredesire

    diredesire Adjunct Moderator

    Mar 16, 2004
    It's typically one way or the other, neither is necessarily wrong... i prefer the "stay at the net" approach, but then again, i love playing the net and volleying up a storm, other people despise it and prefer the baseline... kids nowadays get drawn to the net by a short ball and retreat back to the baseline... this is OK too, brad gilbert suggests the simple rule of playing your strengths to your opponent's weaknesses. If your strength is at the baseline, try to stick with it... this is my opinion, of course.

    I think if you are having trouble framing a ball, it's probably something you should look into instead of compensating with a frame extension... It could be something very simple, too... the added headsize gives you a less maneuverable racquet at net, as well.
  10. Grimjack

    Grimjack Banned

    Feb 18, 2004
    I agree with most of what dire is saying. Listen to him. Good stuff.

    About strategy: you mostly want to ignore it at this level. Your strategy should be a very simple one at this point. You say you've taken lessons and done drills. Presumably you've done both net and baseline drills. Think about which one you tend to perform better in, and make playing in that area your basic "strategy." All the way up through the pro level, this is the groundwork upon which every other strategy is built. You're a "baseliner" (you hit mostly from the back, because you do that better), you're a "serve and volleyer" ("net player") (you hit mostly from the net, because you to that better), or you're an "all-courter" (you do everything okay, and like to mix it up).

    Be honest with yourself about these two points:

    1) Baseline vs. Net -- "which do I do better?"
    2) Baseline vs. Net -- "which do I enjoy more?"

    Work on developing a simple gameplan based on those answers, and make sure when you take lessons, you do what you can to focus on getting better at the things in #2. That'll maximize your long-term enjoyment of the game.

    Have fun, watch the ball, and for the love of God -- NO CAPRI PANTS!!!
  11. 2002GT2

    2002GT2 Guest

    heh heh heh

    Thanks guys. I do love to play baseline. I run up for the short shots and then retreat back. Spent some time yesterday on the ball machine just working on my net game. Sometimes I mix it up just to keep the other guy on his toes.

    On the ball machine, I found my real weakness is making the ball go where I want it to go...all in the foot work, so I can see I need a lot of practice getting prepared (racquet back, feet in position, bend knees).

    I like the Wilson H1, it actually helps my backhand a great deal and does not feel cumbersome at all. Its very light and I can actually "wield" it better than my Triple Threat.

    and CAPRI PANTS!!!
  12. Grimjack

    Grimjack Banned

    Feb 18, 2004
    You sound like you're on the right track. Whether you play baseline, net, or both, racquet preparation and footwork are things you need to work on either way.

    I offer this as a strategy, both "for now" and "to work on."

    "For now": aim down the middle. If you have trouble getting it where you want it, this will give you the most margin for error left/right. What's more, this will tend to put the ball where your opponent CAN return it, which even though it sounds goofy, is what will help your enjoyment and development most at this point. Try to win by hitting one more stroke IN than your opponent can. (But with the understanding that the more balls that come back to you, the more chances you have to develop things like footwork and racquet preparation!)

    "To work on": once you get fairly consistent at hitting down the middle, it will mean you've begun to develop "directional control." (Roar!) When you can do this, concentrate on hitting every ball CROSSCOURT! "Hit down the middle" is a beginner's exercise. "Hit crosscourt," however, is bona fide tennis strategy 101. The idea being (a) you CAN hit it the direction you want (because you've developed "directional control" by this point, remember?), so (b) crosscourt makes it less likely you'll hit it out LONG (because the court is longer in that direction -- simple geometry), and (c) crosscourt makes you hit over the middle of the net, where the net is lowest, so you're less likely to hit it into that bugger, too.

    Crosscourt rallies are the first lesson in high-percentage tennis, and are the foundation of every baselining tennis player's strategy -- all the way up through the professional ranks.

    So work on hitting up the middle, while remembering that stuff your instructor talked about in lessons. Then, when you can do that regularly, work on hitting everything crosscourt.

    That, alone, will give you a better, sounder tennis strategy than most players up through the club level...not to mention giving you plenty to work on for the next year or so. ;)


  13. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Legend

    Aug 12, 2004
    My strategy..

    As a fellow lousy player - I have some strategy tips for you. I actually tend to beat a lot of people who are better then me - or just think they are better.

    1) Service game -

    Offer to let the other guy serve first. Even if he "wins" the point you don't really count that first point because he just held serve. And then you will be warmed up for your service game some.

    If you don't get alot of serve practice each weak (and I don't) start off hitting two 'second serves." Then a few points into the match you can unleash your "cannon" if you have one. :p But I still tend to wait till I am 40 - 15 or something like that.

    2) Return game

    If your not playing a guy with a big serve I like to cheat on your positioning. Like most people my forehand is better then my back hand so I stand such that I can easily hit mostly forehands on my return.

    Use Cross court return - It's often the easiest shot and when you get those "dink" serves that land short in the box. The problem is that people tend to overhit on these and the cross court can help you with this. Plus eventually you will learn to hit a very nice angle on these kind of serves and "punish" people without tempting yourself to "cream" the ball.

    3) Rallies

    Like other people have commented "cross court" is the way to go. Learn those "wardlaw" principles if you want to know when to hit DTL from the backcourt. Alot of "coaches" will stress hitting the ball to the open court but being consistent is an easier when to win.

    4) Approaches

    I am not sure this is a good rule or not but it works for me. Whenever the ball lands in the service box you should hit an approach shot down the line. Against better players this may not work but if your not a good player like me this works great. You don't have to think "should I go to the net" just follow the rule and you can win quite a few points just by being at the net.

    Yes you will get passed and lobbed on ocassion but if you can volley at all (and I don't see why anyone can't it's an easier shot then a forehand or backhand) you can get lots of free points. Just don't run "too close" to the net. Make sure you hit some angles when your at the net. Don't hit the ball directly back to the guy. Hit a DTL type volley to open up the court or more often just hit your volley to the open court for an outright winner.

    5) General tatics -

    Alot of people don't get back to the baseline or stand to close to the baseline when they are starting out. They just hover in no man's land. Hit the deep ball to take advantage of this.

    Hit lobs when people go to the net. Make the guy prove he can hit an overhead. Most people starting out aren't great at this shot.

    If you can hit to a guys back hand with a "loopy" high bouncing ball. I find this messes people up as well. I certainly hate hitting that kind of shot.

  14. 2002GT2

    2002GT2 Guest

    Thanks again guys...great info!!!

    Went out to work on my serves today at lunch. I've got a decent serve (can hit the box 99.9% of the time) but with no power. I tried thowing it up a bit higher and coming down. Had a good 50% in the box, but no spin. There was a guy on our ladder, I never played him, who apparently could serve with a spin where it would land and spin to the right of the box...nice. If I get spin/slice on my serve, will that help bring it down faster? With my power serves, most went just past the service line.

    Also, should your elbow be fixed during a serve?

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