what were the things that helped you the most for getting good at tennis?

Fintft

Legend
Assuming Black's 10th move is Qxa2 11. Ra1 Qb2 [you wrote Qa2 which is impossible because the Q is already on a2]. If 12. c4, then Nc3 anyway, forcing the exchange of Qs.
12 c4 Nc3 13 13 Qc1 QxQ 14 RxQ NxB 15 KxN Nc6 16 Be3 Be7 White opens the center with :17 d4 exd 18 Nxe NxN 19 BxN f7 20 Ra1 b6 21 Bf3 0-0 22 Rgb1 Rf b8 White is still down 2 pawns but very active
 
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SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
@antony
Was the DS considerably less common back in Braden's day? Did fewer players camp out so far behind the BL [Thiem and Zverev come to mind]? If so, maybe the advice was based on the situation at the time. I don't recall hitting many DSs when I was learning, roughly in that era nor do I remember my HS coach mentioning it.

I love the variety that a well-hit DS injects. I'm good enough at it that it's not obvious I'd do better by avoiding it [ie if out of 10 DSs I hit 5 into the net and 3 too hard and my opponent gets a sitter, then it's clear I'd be better off not DSing].

Also, there are unseen benefits of the DS beyond the shot itself: it might force the opponent to play closer to the BL than he wants, it might affect his rhythm, it might tire him out and affect other parts of his game like the serve, etc.
I recall guys like Laver & Nastase hitting droppers back in the day. And JMac with a lot of touch shots, esp at the net. But I don't recall it being widely taught in the 70s. Don't recall really developing it at that time either.

But then I picked up and competed in badminton at the end of the 70s and thru much of the 80s. The DS in badm is a bread & butter shot for competitive badm players. So when I came back to tennis in the mid/late 80s, I Incorporated the DS into my game. I was often admonished by other players for using it. It was widely frowned upon. "C'mon, hit like a man!" Didn't stop me. I felt that my detractors were missing a whole dimension to their game -- both touch & deception (which had been a huge part of my badminton).

Seem to recall it being used more in the 90s and 00s by pro players. Then, it became a respectable option in the eyes of many.
 
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12 c4 Nc3 13 13 Qc1 QxQ 14 RxQ NxB 15 KxN Nc6 16 Be3 Be7 White opens the center with :17 d4 exd 18 Nxe NxN 19 BxN f7 20 Ra1 b6 21 Bf3 0-0 22 Rgb1 Rf b8 White is still down 2 pawns but very active
When down in material, one should do everything possible to avoid trading down; that goes doubly or trebly so with the Qs. Once the Qs come off the board, White's chance of a mating attack plummet. it's the last thing he wants to do unless it leads to an irrefutable attack.

Instead of 16. ... Be7, Black should play 16. ... c5, putting a hammerlock on the d4 square. Yes, it means his d pawn is backwards but Black wants to prevent White from opening the center currently. White cannot undermine the pawn chain since he cannot play b4. Since White has no e pawn to support d4, he can't open the center [yet; there's still the f pawn]. However, Black can at the right time with f5 and then e4 if he so chooses.

Ordinarily, White would counter by placing his N on d5 to exploit the hole [ie Ne4, then Nc3, then Nd5]. However, before he can pull this off, Black will play Nc6 then Nb4 so if White plays Nd5, Black will trade Ns and also leave White with doubled isolated pawns on the d file. White has no easy way of dislodging this N without wasting a lot of moves during which time Black can simply play Be6 which also defends the d5 square.

The Nb4 also threatens the weak d pawn which can be double attacked with Bf5.

White must counterattack quickly or get steamrollered in the endgame. Probably start with f4 to attack the central pawn mass. Black will support the pawn chain with f6. After the exchange, there will be an open f file which White will attempt to support since his Rooks are connected and Black's aren't.

Black advantages:
- Material: 3 pawns up
- 2 Bishops + N vs 1 Bishop + 2 Ns
- No mating threat by White
- Passed pawn
- K needn't castle now that the Qs are gone
- Pawn control of the center
- Ability to push central pawns at the right time

White advantages:
- Connected Rooks [for now]
- Control of the only semi-open file
- Better development


Here's how I see the game being played out if White plays c4:

10. ... Qxa2
11. Ra1 Qb1
12. c4 Nc3
13. Qc1 Qxc1
14. Rxc1 Nxe2
15. Kxe2 c5
16. Ne4 Nc6
17. Nc3 Nb4
18. Nd2 Be6
19. Rf1 Be7
20. Nde4 Bxg5
21. Nxg5 Ke7
22. f4 f6
23. Ne4

And a little trap I just discovered:
23. ... a6
24. Na4 b5
25. Nc3 ...

Not cxb5 axb5 where Black gets to keep his pawns connected and advance one more square. But there's a tactic in chess involving destroying the base of the pawn chain which makes vulnerable everything connected to it:

25. ... Nxd3!
26. Kxd3 Bxc4+
27. Kd2 Bxf1
28. Rxf1


Granted, White probably shouldn't fall for this tactical jab but one never knows.

Conclusion: White is not without resources but is considerably worse. With correct play on both sides, Black will win.
 

Fintft

Legend
When down in material, one should do everything possible to avoid trading down; that goes doubly or trebly so with the Qs. Once the Qs come off the board, White's chance of a mating attack plummet. it's the last thing he wants to do unless it leads to an irrefutable attack.

Instead of 16. ... Be7, Black should play 16. ... c5, putting a hammerlock on the d4 square. Yes, it means his d pawn is backwards but Black wants to prevent White from opening the center currently. White cannot undermine the pawn chain since he cannot play b4. Since White has no e pawn to support d4, he can't open the center [yet; there's still the f pawn]. However, Black can at the right time with f5 and then e4 if he so chooses.

Ordinarily, White would counter by placing his N on d5 to exploit the hole [ie Ne4, then Nc3, then Nd5]. However, before he can pull this off, Black will play Nc6 then Nb4 so if White plays Nd5, Black will trade Ns and also leave White with doubled isolated pawns on the d file. White has no easy way of dislodging this N without wasting a lot of moves during which time Black can simply play Be6 which also defends the d5 square.

The Nb4 also threatens the weak d pawn which can be double attacked with Bf5.

White must counterattack quickly or get steamrollered in the endgame. Probably start with f4 to attack the central pawn mass. Black will support the pawn chain with f6. After the exchange, there will be an open f file which White will attempt to support since his Rooks are connected and Black's aren't.

Black advantages:
- Material: 3 pawns up
- 2 Bishops + N vs 1 Bishop + 2 Ns
- No mating threat by White
- Passed pawn
- K needn't castle now that the Qs are gone
- Pawn control of the center
- Ability to push central pawns at the right time

White advantages:
- Connected Rooks [for now]
- Control of the only semi-open file
- Better development


Here's how I see the game being played out if White plays c4:

10. ... Qxa2
11. Ra1 Qb1
12. c4 Nc3
13. Qc1 Qxc1
14. Rxc1 Nxe2
15. Kxe2 c5
16. Ne4 Nc6
17. Nc3 Nb4
18. Nd2 Be6
19. Rf1 Be7
20. Nde4 Bxg5
21. Nxg5 Ke7
22. f4 f6
23. Ne4

And a little trap I just discovered:
23. ... a6
24. Na4 b5
25. Nc3 ...

Not cxb5 axb5 where Black gets to keep his pawns connected and advance one more square. But there's a tactic in chess involving destroying the base of the pawn chain which makes vulnerable everything connected to it:

25. ... Nxd3!
26. Kxd3 Bxc4+
27. Kd2 Bxf1
28. Rxf1


Granted, White probably shouldn't fall for this tactical jab but one never knows.

Conclusion: White is not without resources but is considerably worse. With correct play on both sides, Black will win.
Ok, insted of c4 I play Ra1, followed by d4 like this:

10. ... Qxa2
11. Ra1 Qb2
12. d4 exd
13. cxd
 
Ok, insted of c4 I play Ra1, followed by d4 like this:

10. ... Qxa2
11. Ra1 Qb2
12. d4 exd
13. cxd
Black will not play 12. ... exd4. Instead:

12. ... Nxc3

White has 7 possible responses, all of which lead to loss of material except Qc1:

If Qa4+, then Nxa4
If Qb3, then Qxa1+
If Qc2, then Qxc2
If Qb1, then Nxb1
If Rb1, then Nxd1 Rxb2 Nxb2
If Nc4, then Nxd1 Nxb2 Nxb2 Ra2 [seemingly trapping the N] e4 Nd2 [or Nh4] Nd3+ and the N escapes

13. Qc1 is the least bad alternative but still leads to the exchange of Qs, which is a critical goal for Black to reduce White's counterplay.

The only difference between this position and the previous is that White has pushed his pawn to d4, attacking Black's central pawn mass. And he has a lead in development but I don't see how he can prevent Black from completing his.




 

Fintft

Legend
Black will not play 12. ... exd4. Instead:

12. ... Nxc3

White has 7 possible responses, all of which lead to loss of material except Qc1:

If Qa4+, then Nxa4
If Qb3, then Qxa1+
If Qc2, then Qxc2
If Qb1, then Nxb1
If Rb1, then Nxd1 Rxb2 Nxb2
If Nc4, then Nxd1 Nxb2 Nxb2 Ra2 [seemingly trapping the N] e4 Nd2 [or Nh4] Nd3+ and the N escapes

13. Qc1 is the least bad alternative but still leads to the exchange of Qs, which is a critical goal for Black to reduce White's counterplay.

The only difference between this position and the previous is that White has pushed his pawn to d4, attacking Black's central pawn mass. And he has a lead in development but I don't see how he can prevent Black from completing his.
I saw 12....Nxc3
13. Qc1 QxQ
14 RXQ NxB
15 KxB Nc6
16 Ra1
17 Rfb1
18 Be3
 
I saw 12....Nxc3
13. Qc1 QxQ
14 RXQ NxB
15 KxB Nc6
16 Ra1
17 Rfb1
18 Be3
White is down 4 pawns and is rapidly losing his advantage in development, there is no mating threat, and Black will soon deploy his Rooks. Black will trade down to a R+P endgame and win.
 
Play competitively on the court's doubles alley if "you feel" that you are playing awful and you are thinking about playing matches & stopping practices for an undetermined time.

Emilio Sánchez Vicario (1965) was depressed and thinking over quitting tennis when Thomaz Koch (1945) proposed him to carry out the aforementioned idea. As a result, those dismal thoughs disappeared from Emilios' mind within one week.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Play competitively on the court's doubles alley if "you feel" that you are playing awful and you are thinking about playing matches & stopping practices for an undetermined time.

Emilio Sánchez Vicario (1965) was depressed and thinking over quitting tennis when Thomaz Koch (1945) proposed him to carry out the aforementioned idea. As a result, those dismal thoughs disappeared from Emilios' mind within one week.
Hey, what gives here! YRU trying to derail our chess thread with irrelevant tennis stuff?
 

socallefty

Hall of Fame
what were the things that helped you the most for getting good at tennis?

- Playing another sport (cricket) at a fairly high level as a kid helped me develop good hand-eye coordination, fitness work ethic and ability/motivation to compete hard all the time when I played sports.
- Getting tennis coaching lessons as a kid helped me learn proper technique including recovery footwork and how to generate topspin so that I could hit/serve hard and keep the ball in play.
- Having a good balance of lessons/practice and social matches at almost 50/50 when I started playing tennis again in my thirties (after not playing for a decade) helped me to keep improving while having enough fun playing matches with friends so that I got addicted to the sport as an adult.
- Reading books on the mental aspect of playing tennis like ‘Think to Win’, ‘Smart Tennis’ helped me refine my mental approach to preparing and playing matches making me an even better competitor. Reading ‘The Art of Doubles’ early when I started playing doubles in my forties helped me to realize that it is a whole different sport with different optimal %s for shot selection (serve high %, don’t miss returns, come to net quickly etc.).
-Keeping track of all my matches for the past decade on a spreadsheet with notes on each match has helped me to identify strategy/tactics that work well against all different styles of play and so, I adapt to new opponents faster than they do to me especially as I’m a lefty.
- Started playing as a kid with a heavy Dunlop Max200G with gut strings and have continued to play with heavy (12 oz) thin-beam racquets (Pure Control, Pure Strike Tour) strung with gut/poly hybrids. Learned early about which racquets, strings etc. are more liable to cause arm injuries and learned that I have to replace shoes on hard courts very fast (50-80 hours) to prevent lower limb injuries.
- Averaged 12-15 hours of tennis weekly for two decades which is way more than most of my age-group peers and this has kept me improving which has allowed me to stay competitive against younger guys in singles. Joining private clubs a decade ago has helped me to find a steady circle of good players (including many ex-college players) to play against regularly which was not easy to find on public courts and playing against better players helps to maintain the level.

That‘s my tennis journey till the age of 52 that has helped me to keep playing singles and doubles at the 4.5 level while averaging more than 120 singles and 90 doubles matches yearly throughout my forties and early fifties. I would say that if I have to identify one factor that had helped me be a somewhat decent rec player, it would be the fact that I was coached as a kid and now I have found good coaches fo coach me again in the last few years. As the body starts declining in middle age, it is important to keep improving technique and footwork to stay at the same competitive level.
 
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HuusHould

Professional
Was the DS considerably less common back in Braden's day? Did fewer players camp out so far behind the BL [Thiem and Zverev come to mind]? If so, maybe the advice was based on the situation at the time. I don't recall hitting many DSs when I was learning, roughly in that era nor do I remember my HS coach mentioning it.
I'm not sure to be honest. They definitely played more up in the court and off the front foot more often and the strings afforded less spin and the racquet heads where smaller etc. But the book was written in the year 2000 and was geared toward the here and now at the time.

I love the variety that a well-hit DS injects. I'm good enough at it that it's not obvious I'd do better by avoiding it [ie if out of 10 DSs I hit 5 into the net and 3 too hard and my opponent gets a sitter, then it's clear I'd be better off not DSing].
That's the criteria, if you're winning more than you're losing it's a viable tactic, unless you're always using it on easy putaways.

Also, there are unseen benefits of the DS beyond the shot itself: it might force the opponent to play closer to the BL than he wants, it might affect his rhythm, it might tire him out and affect other parts of his game like the serve, etc
That's right. I think the DS is an absolutely essential response to being DS'ed yourself. It makes the deep slice so much more effective when you use it. You have to have them knowing you could potentially hit to any of the 4 corners of the court.
 
That's right. I think the DS is an absolutely essential response to being DS'ed yourself. It makes the deep slice so much more effective when you use it. You have to have them knowing you could potentially hit to any of the 4 corners of the court.
My buddy killed me with DSs yesterday [5?] but I got to one and counter-DS'd him for a winner. I even got applause from the next court. :)
 

TennisCJC

Legend
I learned to play before the internet. Believe it or not, I mostly read books. Vic Braden's Tennis for the Future was published in the 1970s. I took about 6 months and tried to concentrate on rebuilding my strokes based on this book. I was young and had a lot of time and practiced 5 or 6 times per week in the 1970s. I probably improved more in those 6 months than at any other time. Today YouTube has a lot of good information but there is also some real crap on YouTube too. You need a bit of knowledge to differentiate the good from the bad.
 

antony

Semi-Pro
What do you guys think of the points brought up in this article? I agree.

 

Fintft

Legend
What do you guys think of the points brought up in this article? I agree.

My two cents, great article in essence stating that "form" (what is usually called "tecnique") is not enough.

For Federer they say "the perfect tennis technique is simply a consequence of masterful motor skills (reaction, coordination, balance, etc.) and ball judgment skills that have developed through many, many years of training behind closed doors in ways that most tennis coaches have no idea about."

I also liked the conclusion, that (unless you are a total beginner): "Instead of looking at the “technique” of Tomas Berdych, realize that all that is in his mind is the rhythm and timing he wants to get into before the contact and the trajectory in which he wants to play the ball."
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
or Federer they say "the perfect tennis technique is simply a consequence of masterful motor skills (reaction, coordination, balance, etc.) and ball judgment skills that have developed through many, many years of training behind closed doors in ways that most tennis coaches have no idea about."
I'd have to say from personal experience that the overwhelming majority of my errors come from misjudging the ball. Misreading the depth and pace. Misjudging the spin or bounce. Poorly judging the overhead or serve against the blue sky or bright sun. Next most common source of error is not keeping my head still.

If i judge the ball right and keep my head still through contact the quality of my shot improves ten fold.
 
Baseball & golf can be great for developing hand-eye coordination and a robust kinetic chain. I have trained a few baseball players to play tennis. In a couple of cases it took a bit of retraining to change their baseball batting swing to an appropriate tennis groundstroke swing. Pitching and throwing baseball mechanics are also helpful for the tennis serve & OH -- except that the launch is upward, at a steep angle, for tennis and the leg drive is also upward (rather than the long horizontal stride of a pitcher).

Back in the 80s, or perhaps late 70s, a lot of baseball players we're taking up tennis in their offseason to stay in shape and get in a lot of hitting practice. However, when they got back to Spring training, a lot of these batters were swinging at too many pitches, whether they were in the strike zone or not.

Have had very good results with students who were decent a fubol / soccer and basketball. For myself, ping pong prior to learning tennis, developed my hand-eye coordination and reaction time (reflexes). Later, badminton further developed hand-eye and RT since, like ping pong, the ball comes back to you in a very short time (less than 1second as opposed to a second and a half or so for tennis). Roger Federer has also spoke of badminton for helping his tennis game in these respects. Badminton also helped to develop stamina / endurance, quick & efficient foootwork, volleys and overhead shots.
I totally agree! I watched a video on improving pitch speeds, and they added an increased "hip-shoulder separation" (during the uncoiling) to generate more torque in the torso. I thought that would be super relevant on forehands and serves, and it turns out, it gets mentioned here and there in Tennis, but probably not enough! Then I noticed the biggest exemplar of utilizing this: Diego Schwartzman, who is around my height, so that turned me on to looking at his form for inspiration.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
I totally agree! I watched a video on improving pitch speeds, and they added an increased "hip-shoulder separation" (during the uncoiling) to generate more torque in the torso. I thought that would be super relevant on forehands and serves, and it turns out, it gets mentioned here and there in Tennis, but probably not enough! Then I noticed the biggest exemplar of utilizing this: Diego Schwartzman, who is around my height, so that turned me on to looking at his form for inspiration.
And how many back operations has Tiger Woods needed?

Hip-shoulder separation indeed improves power on all swinging sports. The question is will the back hold up to that continued torque?
 

ZanderGoga

Semi-Pro
And how many back operations has Tiger Woods needed?

Hip-shoulder separation indeed improves power on all swinging sports. The question is will the back hold up to that continued torque?
It is absolutely elementary to even the most basic stroke mechanics. If your back won't hold up against the rigors of core rotation, you can still play and enjoy tennis (golf, etc.), but at that point, actively looking for paths to improvement is probably a waste of time and effort.
 
It is absolutely elementary to even the most basic stroke mechanics. If your back won't hold up against the rigors of core rotation, you can still play and enjoy tennis (golf, etc.), but at that point, actively looking for paths to improvement is probably a waste of time and effort.
In that case, I'm probably not talking about the elmentary application of hip-shoulder separation, but the intentional maximizing of it, right? I see huge differences in how the pros utilize this, for example.
 

antony

Semi-Pro
Was he going for his shots though?
We weren’t playing serves or anything and I’d say he was not playing full competitive mindset. Definitely a friendly game and halfway through he said he was stepping it up (like around 3-3) and he usually beats me solidly in the friendly games. He had me running for a few gets and he also had some kills on my short balls. We both felt I was noticeably more consistent though after I learned to focus my mind a little better (he called me Mr. Consistent today haha), especially when we were just drilling before that. Definitely not claiming I’m better than him!!
 

Fintft

Legend
We weren’t playing serves or anything and I’d say he was not playing full competitive mindset. Definitely a friendly game and halfway through he said he was stepping it up (like around 3-3) and he usually beats me solidly in the friendly games. He had me running for a few gets and he also had some kills on my short balls. We both felt I was noticeably more consistent though after I learned to focus my mind a little better (he called me Mr. Consistent today haha), especially when we were just drilling before that. Definitely not claiming I’m better than him!!
Good for you! And congrats for consistency! Many of us loved the ?Inner Game of Tennis and it's one thing from that book that I do on all my shots (the only technical thing that I think during the shot)....

Maybe he is closer to your level than my coach is to me lol
Well at least my brother's coach, I remember him beating me once in a TB at 2 with puff serves( and 1-2 combos), making a point about placement.
 

antony

Semi-Pro
Good for you! And congrats for consistency! Many of us loved the ?Inner Game of Tennis and it's one thing from that book that I do on all my shots (the only technical thing that I think during the shot)....

Maybe he is closer to your level than my coach is to me lol
Well at least my brother's coach, I remember him beating me once in a TB at 2 with puff serves( and 1-2 combos), making a point about placement.
This coach always has some amazing volleys and I'm sure he could kick my ass most any day. He is getting older and slower though and I do feel like I'm improving. He was my first coach that I met at a public park here and he has coached the local HS team and such. He played D3 back in the day I think. I had a session with a current player from my local uni (D1) a few hours later today and did not do nearly as well haha. Working on it!! To be fair, he said I looked sleepy and I had just eaten and I was a little more stoned too.

I have my first league match (3.5 #2 singles) on Wednesday too. Let's see what happens!!
 
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I often didn't have anyone to hit with when I was young so I spent a lot of time on the court by myself just dropping and hitting groundstrokes from the baseline and/or against a wall whenever I could. It really helped me later on because I was so focused on good contact, shaping the ball, depth, etc that those things come pretty easily to me. If you can learn to hit hard with spin from a dropped ball (no pace) and create different arcs and angles you'll be surprised at how much that helps.

When I first got to see pros practice it surprised me how many hand fed ball practice sessions there were. Watching Brian Dabul really takes me back to my youth when I would self feed my own balls for hours on a court by myself. It was grinding work, but I just loved hitting the ball. It really helped me understand how to hit the ball. When things start going bad I still do this to get myself back on track with my feel and technique.

After that I'd say the best things you can do...

Practice/play with better players
Do footwork and court coverage drills
Play practice points where you have certain patterns you have to play
Learn to swing as easy as possible while still swinging fast and under control... too much effort leads to over swinging and tension
Have the right perspective when playing a match... you could be down 4-1 in a set, but only be down a break. Things can often be a lot closer in a match than they seem.
Learn to quickly recognize when you've hit a shot that hurts your opponent so you can move in and close out the point from the mid court or net with their weak reply. Playing percentage tennis is good, but early recognition that you have a high percentage opportunity coming to close a point makes life a lot easier.
Practice serves to develop at least a good spin serve and most of all practice placement. Placement matters far more than power.
Easiest and most effective shot/skill from the baseline is to hit high over the net and deep in the court... if you can do that effectively you'll probably win a lot of matches or be competitive. Depth is often far more effective than power.
 

FuzzyYellowBalls

Professional
Being left handed, 6'4", spending summers playing 7 hours a day on average, college training. Being at net and volleying is like eating to me at this point, like we don't think about chewing as open mouth, close, swallow, breathe, if I am at the net I'm only thinking about where I want to volley or where the shoulders, hips, racket face swing of the opponent is, I'm never thinking about anything related to what my arm, hand, wrist, is going to do, that's already happened thousands of times before, it just happens as a non thinking reaction.
 

gopokes

Rookie
I think for me recently, it's been playing almost everyday that has helped the most. I had a decent foundation technically (which matters) and played 'competitively' in 4.5 leagues about 10 yrs ago. Got into golf, and continued with tennis albeit much less regularly. I recently moved to a place where tennis is far more available than golf, so I've been getting out almost everyday and I've noticed a positive change in my strokes. I'd been a 1hbh guy for about 30 yrs but had always wanted ot learn the 2hbh. In the last 6 months I've seen a strong improvement in that particular stroke because I'm hitting it all the time. There's a big difference for me between playing once a week and everyday. Now it's 1hr/day against a my wife (4.0) and my 14 yr-old son at mostly a modest pace. That's maybe my other observation - practice the things you want to do at a slower speed than where you'll compete until you're airtight with your technique and, as importantly, with your confidence in the stroke. If you can't feel the stroke on slow balls (more challenging IMHO) then your stroke will break down eventually, so take your time with this. I think for most folks it's way easier to hit well off of clean pace, so make sure you spend lots of time hitting against less pace, which can expose holes in your technique moreso than harder, more conventional feeds. Lessons often involve grooving a stroke to an ideal pace and height, which is one of the reasons they don't translate into success in the short-term since real-world tennis is anything but that. I guess my last point would be to separate your results in competition (if that is your thing) from your improvement as a player. Don't confuse playing poorly with competing poorly. That gets into the mental side of tennis which folks have already mentioned. Finally, try to be grateful for being out and getting some exercise, keep tennis in perspective (it's something you do for fun-usually!)and try surround yourself with folks who have a similar mindset around what they want out of the game. See you out on the courts!
 

HuusHould

Professional
Trial and error, non stop tinkering and experimentation. NB this can be your undoing as well, but done in a logical fashion it will result in improvement.

Youtube (online coaches - Tomas Mercinger etc), talk tennis (tips/instruction), talking to high level players (about both tactics and technique), a monkey see monkey do bent, reviewing matches and brainstorming technical solutions to tactical issues. Watching the pros of course as well.
 
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Wurm

Semi-Pro
And how many back operations has Tiger Woods needed?
Sadly predicted a long time ago, too.


"But I've been saying for a year now that he MUST change if he wants to play beyond the next few years. He generates amazing power but his swing is based on a MASSIVE shoulder turn and next to no turn of the hips. "All he's doing every time he hits the ball is twisting the top half of his body against the bottom half - and the spine can't stand that sort of pressure forever.

It's the only thing resisting the force of his swing and unless he changes it so that his hips and right leg are helping hi, not only will his golf career be short, he could end up in a wheelchair. "

 

Dansan

Rookie
Specifically on groundstrokes: relaxed arm. The racquet is a weight that your body and core swings around to collide with a ball. In other words, less activation of arm muscles and more activation of body/core to get it moving. It's like swinging a weight around. Too much arm tension really screws up ground strokes and serve.
 

cortado

Professional
Specifically on groundstrokes: relaxed arm. The racquet is a weight that your body and core swings around to collide with a ball. In other words, less activation of arm muscles and more activation of body/core to get it moving. It's like swinging a weight around. Too much arm tension really screws up ground strokes and serve.
No, this is as bad as telling people to 'brush up' the ball for topspin. The arm is not a loose piece of rope that the body uses to swing the racquet.
 

antony

Semi-Pro
Practice with friends also?
everyone's always at work then we just do warm ups and matches :(

I bit the bullet it and placed an order for a Spinfire. Can probably cancel the order in the next day or two but I hope it could amplify my lessons. I feel bad I don't have more honed control over the ball yet that comes from more balls and I feel like i could get more from my instructors if I could more consistently make the ball do what I want it to do, so we could focus more on what to do
 

Dansan

Rookie
No, this is as bad as telling people to 'brush up' the ball for topspin. The arm is not a loose piece of rope that the body uses to swing the racquet.
The FH is a much simpler and more compact/efficient stroke than most people realize. Working with a more relaxed arm has always worked for me. I see a lot of players hitting with overly loopy and complicated strokes using a lot of "arm activation". If "arming" the ball works for you or others, it never worked for me. The core and kinetic chain works better when you arm is not under tension. A compact efficient stroke also means quicker setup and return....gravity plays a part in the stroke which for me doesn't work when my arm is trying to do too much of the movement when gravity does a lot on it's own.
 

cortado

Professional
The FH is a much simpler and more compact/efficient stroke than most people realize. Working with a more relaxed arm has always worked for me. I see a lot of players hitting with overly loopy and complicated strokes using a lot of "arm activation". If "arming" the ball works for you or others, it never worked for me. The core and kinetic chain works better when you arm is not under tension. A compact efficient stroke also means quicker setup and return....gravity plays a part in the stroke which for me doesn't work when my arm is trying to do too much of the movement when gravity does a lot on it's own.
The problem with all of these anecdotes is that what you're doing/experiencing may not be accurately represented by the words you use to describe it. And also what you think other people are doing based on what you think it looks like they are doing may not be accurate either.
My arm is not tight or tense or working too hard, but I'm also not swinging my racquet using my torso.
 
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