Video of me playing 4.5 all court player

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tlm

G.O.A.T.
#3
Maybe drop the tension on your strings a little? Because it seemed like a fair amount of your balls were dropping short
I have tried many different tensions and play best with higher. The short balls were from bad form, footwork and being rushed by the better player.
 
#4
I have tried many different tensions and play best with higher. The short balls were from bad form, footwork and being rushed by the better player.
Yeah a lot of your strokes seemed kind of choppy and wristy but I think that if you could figure that out you'd improve quite a bit
 
#5
I have tried many different tensions and play best with higher. The short balls were from bad form, footwork and being rushed by the better player.
tlm, you just need to practice with these kinds of players so that you can figure out how to hit a good deep rally ball. You got good contact on the ball during several shots, but all of your balls landed very short -- sitters.

On your other videos, you practice with people who just hit the ball back to you -- medium pace - and with a sitting bounce. So you have a bunch of time and you are able to pulverize those with your topspin moonball.

If you regularly played with a couple of good 4.0s who hit to the corners with good pace, I think your game/stroke would improve a lot.

It just looks to me like you don't get a lot of practice hitting with better players... therefore you don't have the time on court to get your strokes/movement to the next level.
 

Ballinbob

Hall of Fame
#6
Great video, I thought you did really well considering the quality of the opponent. you hit some good clean balls and made him play. IMO, your serve could be a bit better/bigger but overall good stuff. I did like your slice serves...they stayed nice and low
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
#8
Great video, I thought you did really well considering the quality of the opponent. you hit some good clean balls and made him play. IMO, your serve could be a bit better/bigger but overall good stuff. I did like your slice serves...they stayed nice and low
Thanks Bob, Ya this guy is to good for me but it's fun to play him.
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
#10
tlm, you just need to practice with these kinds of players so that you can figure out how to hit a good deep rally ball. You got good contact on the ball during several shots, but all of your balls landed very short -- sitters.

On your other videos, you practice with people who just hit the ball back to you -- medium pace - and with a sitting bounce. So you have a bunch of time and you are able to pulverize those with your topspin moonball.

If you regularly played with a couple of good 4.0s who hit to the corners with good pace, I think your game/stroke would improve a lot.

It just looks to me like you don't get a lot of practice hitting with better players... therefore you don't have the time on court to get your strokes/movement to the next level.

You make some good points, I do play against a couple of 4.0 players fairly regularly. But this guy is a legitimate 4.5 player and I am just to rushed and taken out of my comfort zone because of some of my weaknesses that you mentioned.
 
#12
I think this match just proves a case: When you're on defense, you struggle with that wristy stroke and high tension. It could work well against weaker competition, when you have all the time in the world.

Like most everybody else has (always) said: I'd seriously consider lower tension and less wristy stroke. That should be less prone to timing errors when you're hurried. When you hit more through the ball, there's a bigger "window" of good ball contact points within your swing path.
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
#13
That's a 4.5? OOOOOO...k..... If you say so...
Let me guess you would say he is maybe a 3.5 level player. This place is over the top no matter how good a player is they are never at the same level as where many of the posters live.

Yes this guy is definitely a 4.5 player and has won a lot of matches and has played on many winning state teams and qualified for nationals. But I am sure he would barely make 4.0 level where you play.
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
#14
I think this match just proves a case: When you're on defense, you struggle with that wristy stroke and high tension. It could work well against weaker competition, when you have all the time in the world.

Like most everybody else has (always) said: I'd seriously consider lower tension and less wristy stroke. That should be less prone to timing errors when you're hurried. When you hit more through the ball, there's a bigger "window" of good ball contact points within your swing path.
I really wish you guys could get off the tension deal. It does not have anything to do with it. I am using a 98 sq. inch racket with a multi at 66 lbs. and there is plenty of power in my set up.

Maybe to some that would seem to low powered but to me it plays great, I have played with many many different string set ups and I know what works best for me. I only wish it was that easy of a fix as changing string tension.

I am playing out of my league against this gut so I am doing everything I can but yes I am hurried and cough up to many short balls. I believe that happens to most players when playing someone clearly better, regardless of racket, string tension and stroke style.
 
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#15
I really wish you guys could get off the tension deal. It does not have anything to do with it. I am using a 98 sq. inch racket with a multi at 66 lbs. and there is plenty of power in my set up.

Maybe to some that would seem to low powered but to me it plays great, I have played with many many different string set ups and I know what works best for me. I only wish it was that easy of a fix as changing string tension.
It's not that easy! But what now happens is that you have an extreme low-to-high swing that itself lifts the ball up. Then you need a very high tension to bring the launch angle down so that the balls don't fly. If you changed to a much lower tension, it would have higher launch angle and you wouldn't be able to use that extreme wristy swing anymore.

Then, with the lower tension, you would be forced to develop a different kind of a swing. A swing that is less extremely low-to-high. That would eventually give you more margins on timing errors, like I previously explained. Yes, you need lots of hard work to make that change, but IMO it's essential to get to the next level. Otherwise, you'll always struggle with timing errors against the better opponents that make you hurry.
 
#16
Let me guess you would say he is maybe a 3.5 level player. This place is over the top no matter how good a player is they are never at the same level as where many of the posters live.

Yes this guy is definitely a 4.5 player and has won a lot of matches and has played on many winning state teams and qualified for nationals. But I am sure he would barely make 4.0 level where you play.
This is most definitely not a 4.5, at least not from what I see. Not to be rude or anything, but no.
 
#17
That's a 4.5? OOOOOO...k..... If you say so...
This person in the vid is definitely goofing around -and- playing solid 4.0 ball which means they a either a very strong 4.0 or a 4.5.

You can tell he is fooling around because every so often he will -feed- a ball to his opponent just to give them a better chance to pass.
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
#18
It's not that easy! But what now happens is that you have an extreme low-to-high swing that itself lifts the ball up. Then you need a very high tension to bring the launch angle down so that the balls don't fly. If you changed to a much lower tension, it would have higher launch angle and you wouldn't be able to use that extreme wristy swing anymore.

Then, with the lower tension, you would be forced to develop a different kind of a swing. A swing that is less extremely low-to-high. That would eventually give you more margins on timing errors, like I previously explained. Yes, you need lots of hard work to make that change, but IMO it's essential to get to the next level. Otherwise, you'll always struggle with timing errors against the better opponents that make you hurry.
Well you might be right, but it would be hard to make that big of a change. I do like higher tension to help keep the launch angle lower. Most players have there own unique swing style, and I can definitely improve my swing but it is to late to completely change it because it is built in.

But I can definitely improve footwork, better set up, serve and to many things to list. I also can hit through the ball more with the same swing style and string tension because I do sometimes just not enough. With my limited tennis skills consistency is my strong point and the higher tension helps with that when blocking big serves and shots back and hitting backhand slices on the run.
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
#20
This person in the vid is definitely goofing around -and- playing solid 4.0 ball which means they a either a very strong 4.0 or a 4.5.

You can tell he is fooling around because every so often he will -feed- a ball to his opponent just to give them a better chance to pass.
Exactly he is practicing and because he is such a great guy he is giving me a chance to hang around a little.
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
#22
How flat were the balls you were using. They seemed to not have much bound. Or is it the courts?
I didn't think they were bouncing real well but they were new balls so they were okay. It does seem like the balls bounce higher outside though.
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
#24
He looks like 4.5 to me. Steady from the baseline, approaches well, good hands at net. He'll lose to a good college player or open adult, but he's got a nice game. And way to hang in there tlm. :)
He is definitely 4.5 and like I said he is such a nice guy he plays to his opponents level more when just having pick up matches. Even when we had a club ladder going he would beat almost every opponent like 2 and 3. Even guys that were barely 3.5 would always get 3 games in the 2nd set. LOL
 
#26
Well you might be right, but it would be hard to make that big of a change. I do like higher tension to help keep the launch angle lower. Most players have there own unique swing style, and I can definitely improve my swing but it is to late to completely change it because it is built in.

But I can definitely improve footwork, better set up, serve and to many things to list. I also can hit through the ball more with the same swing style and string tension because I do sometimes just not enough. With my limited tennis skills consistency is my strong point and the higher tension helps with that when blocking big serves and shots back and hitting backhand slices on the run.
Going down in tension, and possibly changing the swing paths (automatically by feel) in the meantime, is a slow step by step process. Something like 2lbs per month would be a maximum I think. You should never force a change, just "let things happen", and check on videos whether there's a change in the swingpath.

OTOH, have you considered full bed gut? Gut has the most power, even at the high tensions.
 
#27
Yes, that guy is definitely 4.5 at least, based on other youtube clips. He could even have some success (a loss at 3/4 or thereabouts) at low 5.0, if he plays as well as he can.
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
#28
Going down in tension, and possibly changing the swing paths (automatically by feel) in the meantime, is a slow step by step process. Something like 2lbs per month would be a maximum I think. You should never force a change, just "let things happen", and check on videos whether there's a change in the swingpath.

OTOH, have you considered full bed gut? Gut has the most power, even at the high tensions.
I have used nat. Gut and many many strings and string combos. I just got done demoing a lot of rackets and most of them had a multi at mid tensions and I played fine with them. I have and can use lower tensions rackets and I understand that free power can help. But again I know what works for me and I am using a multi at 66 lbs. now and there is plenty of power in my set up.
 
#29
I have used nat. Gut and many many strings and string combos. I just got done demoing a lot of rackets and most of them had a multi at mid tensions and I played fine with them. I have and can use lower tensions rackets and I understand that free power can help. But again I know what works for me and I am using a multi at 66 lbs. now and there is plenty of power in my set up.
Then why do you think you leave so many balls short while on defense?
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
#31
Yes, that guy is definitely 4.5 at least, based on other youtube clips. He could even have some success (a loss at 3/4 or thereabouts) at low 5.0, if he plays as well as he can.
My club used to have 5.0 level leagues and he played at that level. But because there were not enough good players to keep the 5.0 going so they dropped it and some of those players like my buddy are now playing 4.5.

Which most club leagues I have played in are usually a little lower than USTA leagues. But this guy plays in a lot of different leagues and he is rated 4.5 in USTA right now.
 
#32
Well you might be right, but it would be hard to make that big of a change. I do like higher tension to help keep the launch angle lower. Most players have there own unique swing style, and I can definitely improve my swing but it is to late to completely change it because it is built in
Not with that attitude!

You have already lost. So why ask us for tips at all.

And fwiw you are dead wrong. You built it in, and you can build it out.

Long story but I had it in my head to go out and hit open stance one handers. You talk about something being ingrained!! Hitting closed stance and the footwork to go along with that is way more ingrained for someone playing as long as I have, than your swing.

Yet in about 15 minutes with some concentration I was able to completely change my 25+ year footwork.

Its only impossible if you decide it is....
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
#33
That guy volleys really well.

Hate the rating insanity here. TLM, just ignore it. Nice playing against a good opponent.
Thanks rkelly, your right he can really volley he makes it look so easy. Also I will take your advise and ignore the rating debate because In the weird world here he might be a 3.5. LOL
 
#34
Not with that attitude!

You have already lost. So why ask us for tips at all.

And fwiw you are dead wrong. You built it in, and you can build it out.

Long story but I had it in my head to go out and hit open stance one handers. You talk about something being ingrained!! Hitting closed stance and the footwork to go along with that is way more ingrained for someone playing as long as I have, than your swing.

Yet in about 15 minutes with some concentration I was able to completely change my 25+ year footwork.

Its only impossible if you decide it is....
Sometimes a big drastic change can be the easiest. If it has no resemblance to what you've done earlier, there's no danger of confusion or switching back.

In general, it's just too difficult to change an adults mind. We are all right! (or so we think) :|
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
#35
Not with that attitude!

You have already lost. So why ask us for tips at all.

And fwiw you are dead wrong. You built it in, and you can build it out.

Long story but I had it in my head to go out and hit open stance one handers. You talk about something being ingrained!! Hitting closed stance and the footwork to go along with that is way more ingrained for someone playing as long as I have, than your swing.

Yet in about 15 minutes with some concentration I was able to completely change my 25+ year footwork.

Its only impossible if you decide it is....
Okay you can think what you want but I don't consider it a bad attitude. I am just doing the best I can and always working on improving with a very good attitude.
I am working on hitting more accros the ball more and through it more, my point is I can change some and improve but I think it would be really tough to completely change my forehand. Which is also what the local college coach that I took lessons from told me.

Believe it or not my forehand is the least of my problems, it is much more about improving footwork and setting up quicker. My forehand and consistency are my strong points. Plus i am playing a guy a lot better than me so I am struggling just to hang in the point. I don't think anyone looks to good when playing against a much better player.
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
#37
What is your strategy and gameplan BTW?
My strategy is to move my opponent around and hit heavy topspin to the backhand to draw error or short ball I can attack. I try to play very consistent and use combinations of looping topspin and low slices. I use consistency and variety of spins and different paces to keep opponent off balance.

But I definitely don't have enough game to trouble the guy in this video, he is to good for me. I am doing all I can just to stay in the point with him.
 
#38
Sometimes a big drastic change can be the easiest. If it has no resemblance to what you've done earlier, there's no danger of confusion or switching back.

In general, it's just too difficult to change an adults mind. We are all right! (or so we think) :|
tlm proves your point!!!:)

FWIW I also changed my forehand, serve and bh all in the last 6 months or less.

The changes are close enough to be confusing, and some are subtle. But it IS possible. I really struggled on my forehand and it was frustrating. But sticking with it I think I am hitting much better form today and it is a more efficient stroke.

I get it as there are some changes my coach asked me to make and I have not really focused on them but I COULD if I chose to. Like the volley. Its pretty ingrained and I would need a few weeks of dedication to change. But I could do it.

Even the things I think are impossible like hitting flat or hitting with an eastern grip could be achieved if I chose to.

I think you are right on the tension. Its all about launch angle. He needs a tight tension because the swing produces a jacked up angle. Your lowering slowly will help him fix that but well we ALL know how that will play out...
 

heninfan99

Talk Tennis Guru
#42
This. Really great analysis & feedback.

tlm, you just need to practice with these kinds of players so that you can figure out how to hit a good deep rally ball. You got good contact on the ball during several shots, but all of your balls landed very short -- sitters.

On your other videos, you practice with people who just hit the ball back to you -- medium pace - and with a sitting bounce. So you have a bunch of time and you are able to pulverize those with your topspin moonball.

If you regularly played with a couple of good 4.0s who hit to the corners with good pace, I think your game/stroke would improve a lot.

It just looks to me like you don't get a lot of practice hitting with better players... therefore you don't have the time on court to get your strokes/movement to the next level.
 
#43
Also I will take your advise and ignore the rating debate because In the weird world here he might be a 3.5. LOL
Yes, I believe he is a 4.5 or higher. But his rating is mostly irrelevant to the discussion as you want feedback on your play, not his.

At least everyone can agree that the opponent is at least a level above you, so future threads might be better titled something like, "Video of me hitting with a stronger player" instead of "4.5 player". That way, it might avoid the thread getting derailed by these rating debates.
 
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#44
That guy is making some incredibly delicate volleys while hardly exerting any effort. I have no problem believing he is a 4.5.
The guy tlm is playing in that video is definitely a 4.5. Incredible touch. On TTW, players either are hugely underrated or hugely overrated.

And as tlm pointed out, his opponent was playing at maybe 75%. I saw a few points where the opponent was clearly just "being nice" and extending the rallies a little bit.

If tlm's opponent were to come to TTW, make a few posts, and then hit with someone else on this board... his NTRP rating would go up 1.5 points.
 
#45
Thanks, nice post.

If you want fast improvement I'd work on,
1. Serve.
Your serve is very weak compared to it potential. You need a good coach to pull it apart and stick it back together. It should not take long to get large improvements. A good serve will give you the shorter returns you need to get on the front foot, get a few free points, put pressure on the returner, allow you to open up on return more. It the easiest bang for your bucks correction.

2. Positioning/shot selection.
You play down the line and to center court too much. It allows your opponent to dictate play. Nearly every time you go down the line he went cross court and has you running and hitting short. It's also a harder shot to go down the line and should be used sparingly. Maybe going down the line against a weak backhand is OK but even a solid slice cross court will have you running.

The above will reduce your short ball as you will be dominating or in control more.
 

Ballinbob

Hall of Fame
#46
^I agree with this. I also think your serve won't take too long to fix (it's good, just could be better). The positioning/shot selection comments are on point as well...You want to hit CC more. I have the same problem...but I notice when I'm able to hit CC I do a lot less running
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
#47
tlm proves your point!!!:)

FWIW I also changed my forehand, serve and bh all in the last 6 months or less.

The changes are close enough to be confusing, and some are subtle. But it IS possible. I really struggled on my forehand and it was frustrating. But sticking with it I think I am hitting much better form today and it is a more efficient stroke.

I get it as there are some changes my coach asked me to make and I have not really focused on them but I COULD if I chose to. Like the volley. Its pretty ingrained and I would need a few weeks of dedication to change. But I could do it.

Even the things I think are impossible like hitting flat or hitting with an eastern grip could be achieved if I chose to.

I think you are right on the tension. Its all about launch angle. He needs a tight tension because the swing produces a jacked up angle. Your lowering slowly will help him fix that but well we ALL know how that will play out...
I just changed rackets and am getting away from using poly so I am experimenting with different tensions. But that is not going to make a big difference, I was hitting with demo rackets that were at mid tension and having no problem playing with them.

I can see that some extra free power could help put more pressure on my opponent, so as I get used to a new racket I adjust string tension to play the way I like. Do you really think that a multi string at 66 lbs. is that low powered?
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
#49
^I agree with this. I also think your serve won't take too long to fix (it's good, just could be better). The positioning/shot selection comments are on point as well...You want to hit CC more. I have the same problem...but I notice when I'm able to hit CC I do a lot less running
I will work on the serve, I can hit the serve quite a bit harder Bob. But I don't like missing so many first serves and having to make a lot of second serves. So I dont go for as much and get a higher % of first serves in.

I have to much of a built in high % and conservative game style, I need to get away from that some and start going for more. So I will start working more on going for harder serves.
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
#50
Thanks, nice post.

If you want fast improvement I'd work on,
1. Serve.
Your serve is very weak compared to it potential. You need a good coach to pull it apart and stick it back together. It should not take long to get large improvements. A good serve will give you the shorter returns you need to get on the front foot, get a few free points, put pressure on the returner, allow you to open up on return more. It the easiest bang for your bucks correction.

2. Positioning/shot selection.
You play down the line and to center court too much. It allows your opponent to dictate play. Nearly every time you go down the line he went cross court and has you running and hitting short. It's also a harder shot to go down the line and should be used sparingly. Maybe going down the line against a weak backhand is OK but even a solid slice cross court will have you running.

The above will reduce your short ball as you will be dominating or in control more.
You make some good points I can definitely work on my serve more. I do go down the line a lot which is effective against a lot of players especially if I can hit bouncing topspin to the backhand side.
I agree that I hit to much in the middle of the court but I don't understand were hitting crosscourt would be better than inside out. If I hit CC on the forehand side I am hitting to my opponents forehand. Wouldn't that make it easier for them to dictate play and move me around?
 
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