What is my classic mistake?

ElwoodP

New User
I say "classic" because I know it must be such a general mistake that I'm making. But I'm baffled.
When my opponent hits a solid, well paced shot I can return it with authority. When he hits a soft lob to mid court and it bounces waist high I crush it into the net every time.
I also have trouble returning most soft shots. If I go for the "tap" it back I often hit it long.
Very frustrating.
Advice and instruction welcomed.
 

heninfan99

Talk Tennis Guru
I say "classic" because I know it must be such a general mistake that I'm making. But I'm baffled.
When my opponent hits a solid, well paced shot I can return it with authority. When he hits a soft lob to mid court and it bounces waist high I crush it into the net every time.
I also have trouble returning most soft shots. If I go for the "tap" it back I often hit it long.
Very frustrating.
Advice and instruction welcomed.
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
I say "classic" because I know it must be such a general mistake that I'm making. But I'm baffled.
When my opponent hits a solid, well paced shot I can return it with authority. When he hits a soft lob to mid court and it bounces waist high I crush it into the net every time.
Practice waist-high-bouncing, self-feeds from mid-court.

After several thousand you should start to be able to handle those balls well from your opponent :)
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
Can you hit solid shots from the baseline off weak balls? Is your problem associated with short sitters only?
(I’ve had issues with hitting sitters into the back fence, not into the net... well, unless I overcompensate).
 

5263

G.O.A.T.
I say "classic" because I know it must be such a general mistake that I'm making. But I'm baffled.
When my opponent hits a solid, well paced shot I can return it with authority. When he hits a soft lob to mid court and it bounces waist high I crush it into the net every time.
I also have trouble returning most soft shots. If I go for the "tap" it back I often hit it long.
Very frustrating.
Advice and instruction welcomed.
In general when I see this issue with players, the problem is associated with the rising or falling ball issue. Softer balls are normally played when the ball is dropping, .....so while this looks and feels very tempting to blast away on, it is tougher to flatten the trajectory of a falling ball. To hit harder and really drive the ball flatter works better on balls rising near the top of the bounce OR at the top of the bounce before they drop.

on the soft dropping balls it is generally better to focus your aggression on excellent, low to high topspin, than an flat attacking type shot if you are looking for more consistent execution in your game.
 

Mountain Ghost

Semi-Pro
Having too much time to think about it ... too many tempting options ... and just plain getting too excited... can easily pull your attention away FROM a few very basic needs on short, soft or easy balls ... ... ... Positioning must be farther forward, still sideways and BESIDE (away from) the ball ... you must be on balance (upper body rotational axis still vertical) so you can wait and not have to pull the trigger too early ... and ... up closer to the net you need less raw forward momentum and more topspin. Once again ... ... ... more mindful positioning, patience and stroke path. The natural animal instinct to pounce ... and to "kill" ... MUST be tempered ~ MG
 

ElwoodP

New User
Mid-court sitters are the problem.
I can see the footwork being an issue along with over excitement.
 
Mid-court sitters are the problem.
I can see the footwork being an issue along with over excitement.
Without seeing you missing those shots, there's probably something wrong with your form, and you're probably trying to hit it too hard. There's a middle ground between crushing it and tapping it back.
 

Wise one

Hall of Fame
You need to hit an approach shot. Use slice, and hit it deep down the middle. Volley the return or smash the lob.
 

Nellie

Hall of Fame
When I am playing a match, the first couple of times I am see a softer/shorter ball, I prepare very early and use a very short takeback (so that the racquet is ready at my side, about hip/waist height). Then I focus on moving my body to the ball and adjusting the racquet height so that there is very little swing distance between my racquet face and the intended contact point. When it is time to swing, I will trying hit a solid stroke with a full follow-through. Because of the short takeback preparation, this stroke is high percentage but still about 60% max power (usually fast enough for a winner). When I feel like I have my timing a movement, I can go for bigger shots, if needed (like the opponent is fast and returning my 60% shots)
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
Mid-court sitters are the problem.
I can see the footwork being an issue along with over excitement.
Easiest fix besides your feet, follow this rule - The closer you get to the net, the more you want to brush the ball low to high. So if you are close to the net, instead of crushing a flat winner, you should be brushing up really thin and placing it in the corner. If you hit with enough topspin and placement, the ball will kick off the bounce and many times be a clean winner even though its a lot slower than a crushed flat shot.
 

Wise one

Hall of Fame
Easiest fix besides your feet, follow this rule - The closer you get to the net, the more you want to brush the ball low to high. So if you are close to the net, instead of crushing a flat winner, you should be brushing up really thin and placing it in the corner. If you hit with enough topspin and placement, the ball will kick off the bounce and many times be a clean winner even though its a lot slower than a crushed flat shot.

Nope. The closer you get to the net, the more you should use SLICE. Got me? Quit giving advice! You haven't a clue what you are talking about! I see players dump the ball into the net, or hit long, when they try to do this.
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
Nope. The closer you get to the net, the more you should use SLICE. Got me? Quit giving advice! You haven't a clue what you are talking about! I see players dump the ball into the net, or hit long, when they try to do this.
Slicing is for lazy old guys like yourself. Stick to playing with woodies son. The rest of the tennis world attacks short balls. Anyway, it’s quite obvious you are a cowardly troll account.
 

Wise one

Hall of Fame
Slicing is for lazy old guys like yourself. Stick to playing with woodies son. The rest of the tennis world attacks short balls. Anyway, it’s quite obvious you are a cowardly troll account.
No, it's not. It's a proven tactic and technique. It's how you attack short balls.
 

Wise one

Hall of Fame
As is hitting more low to high and using heavy topspin. Just because you lack the skillset to do it doesn’t make it wrong.
I don't lack the skillset. Where did you get that idea? A topspin shot from a low short ball is very hard to control, especially using any SW or W grip. The net looms in front of you, and if you clear it, it's likely to go long. It's a low-percentage shot. Trust me, I have mastered the slice approach.
 
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Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
I don't lack the skillset. Where did you get that idea? A topspin shot from a low short ball is very hard to control, especially using any SW or W grip. The net looms in front of you, and if you clear it, it's likely to go long. It's a low-percentage shot. Trust me, I have mastered the slice approach.
Do you struggle with reading comprehension?

The OP said this - " When he hits a soft lob to mid court and it bounces waist high I crush it into the net every time. "

Its a waist high ball to midcourt. It's not a short low ball. You have zero idea what you are even talking about and are just running your mouth as usual. Yet you think you can tell people to quit giving advice? You are a clown, get over yourself.

Not much has changed around here apparently. lol.
 

Wise one

Hall of Fame
Do you struggle with reading comprehension?

The OP said this - " When he hits a soft lob to mid court and it bounces waist high I crush it into the net every time. "

Its a waist high ball to midcourt. It's not a short low ball. You have zero idea what you are even talking about and are just running your mouth as usual. Yet you think you can tell people to quit giving advice? You are a clown, get over yourself.

Not much has changed around here apparently. lol.
If he crushes it into the net every time, as he says, it's likely he's trying to use topspin. You're the one with the reading comprehension problem.
 

ubercat

Semi-Pro
Turn side on early and then move to the meatball side on using a crossover step.

Alternative is to run straight forward and then use y pattern footwork but needs great timing.
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
If he crushes it into the net every time, as he says, it's likely he's trying to use topspin. You're the one with the reading comprehension problem.
You stated it was a low short ball and you were wrong about that. First step to credibility is owning your mistakes.
 

ElwoodP

New User
So the video helped with a situation that was a little different. The high bounce.
The waist high bounce is getting me.
I honestly feel that it is a combination:
1. Footwork- I am not set
2. Over excitement- drooling, I'm going to knock the yellow off this ball
3. Timing! - habitually taking the ball on the drop. (This one I am going to work on like crazy)
4. Slice - I need to work on my forehand slice. Because I always backhand slice with success in this situation. I just never consider forehand.
Thanks for bringing out so many points that I am able to feel pretty accurate in my self diagnosis. Though, I still want to crush it.
 

Wise one

Hall of Fame
A short ball isn't necessarily going to be easy to put away. The court you have to work with is smaller, and the net is closer. Work on attacking it, keeping the ball in play and straight ahead of you, using slice, if the ball is in the middle 2/3 of the court. This makes all paths around you longer, over the high part of the net, and at a diagonal path. This lowers the probability of being passed. Understand?

If the ball is in the outer 1/3 of the court, it will be difficult to cover the middle of the court, so here you try a drop shot sharply crosscourt, or roll a sharply hit crosscourt with topspin, but not too hard!
 
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Born_to_slice

Professional
Stepping too much into the ball can be the culprit. Remember that you always want to have contact point in front of you. Try to let the technique do the work and resist the urge to crush the ball.
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
So the video helped with a situation that was a little different. The high bounce.
The waist high bounce is getting me.
I honestly feel that it is a combination:
1. Footwork- I am not set
2. Over excitement- drooling, I'm going to knock the yellow off this ball
3. Timing! - habitually taking the ball on the drop. (This one I am going to work on like crazy)
4. Slice - I need to work on my forehand slice. Because I always backhand slice with success in this situation. I just never consider forehand.
Thanks for bringing out so many points that I am able to feel pretty accurate in my self diagnosis. Though, I still want to crush it.
Just brush it into the corner. Takes a little practice but its the best play you can make. When you are 70 years old you can hit FH slice, but the ball you are talking about sounds a shot you can put away once you develop the feel for it.
 

r2473

G.O.A.T.
2. Over excitement- drooling, I'm going to knock the yellow off this ball

Though, I still want to crush it.
You don’t need to crush it. As PP says above, just brush it into the backhand corner. Keep your arm loose.

And there’s nothing wrong with hitting a forehand slice either
 
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