Worst day since awhile

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
Yes shot selection is huge and takes by far the longest time to make good, ive read somewhere that for someone that dedicates to tennis and really works hard on it and wants to become a decent player it takes about 5-6 years to build all ur shots and strokes to a good level in all different situations and applying them in a match, and it takes 5-6 more years to learn how to win games and tournaments and essentially become a tournament player (meaning tactics, shot selection etc)

Ive been working on short sitters too lately (high and low ones, all types) and yes you should learn how to crush them with authority and work hard on that, because it will make ur life so much easier, specially when u force many short balls and have the ability to end those points consistently.

What do you mean by a high bouncing roller?
"Ive been working on short sitters too lately (high and low ones, all types) and yes you should learn how to crush them with authority and work hard on that"

Rec singles players that compete ( tournaments, team tennis, etc) go through milestones as they improve.

- Don't beat themselves (UEs, double faults, stupid shots/tactics, etc)
- beats the steady player that doesn't beat themselves by also being steady, but adding offense
....

One of those milestones that comes later ... is winning a high percentage of points where you get a short ball you can take advantage of. That could mean your "crushing" ... but for most rec players it simply means once you get a short ball you get control of the point and win a high percentage of those points from there. It is actually quite surprising ... even in 4.5 singles how many players treat a short ball as just another rally ball ... don't go for a more aggressive target, or up the pace or come in behind it. I have a good friend that basically went up a .5 level imo by committing to hitting those short balls to aggressive targets and coming in behind many of them (crushing was not in his vocabulary).
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
Question related to "crushing" ... how do you guys define "first strike tennis"?

Seems like one would have to make a distinction between serving 1st strike (if there is such a thing) and baseline rally 1st strike. Much of the ATP game is built around doing enough damage on first serve to be able to hit aggressively on 2nd shot if returned. Fed is the best at that 2nd shot following his serve. Is his serve the "first strike" or his 2nd shot? 8-B

My observation on pro first strike baseline play is it's an opportunity play, and not a high percentage rally ball. Consider Wawrinka playing Djokovic ... it's a rare ball where Wawrinka gets to hit a first strike and own the point from there.

Just curious how others view the term "first strike".
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
Question related to "crushing" ... how do you guys define "first strike tennis"?

Seems like one would have to make a distinction between serving 1st strike (if there is such a thing) and baseline rally 1st strike. Much of the ATP game is built around doing enough damage on first serve to be able to hit aggressively on 2nd shot if returned. Fed is the best at that 2nd shot following his serve. Is his serve the "first strike" or his 2nd shot? 8-B

My observation on pro first strike baseline play is it's an opportunity play, and not a high percentage rally ball. Consider Wawrinka playing Djokovic ... it's a rare ball where Wawrinka gets to hit a first strike and own the point from there.

Just curious how others view the term "first strike".
“First strike” comes into consideration when rally ball from your opponent is really high quality. And his return of your serve is decent. In rec tennis, as it looks to me, there are enough opportunities to take control. It comes to two requirements:
- Can you survive (this covers a wide range of scenarios) till your opponent gives you a good chance?
- Can you reliably convert those chances?
Good serve allows to skip first step.
Converting chances is not about high risk. More about shot selection, having those shots practiced, and consistently finishing of course.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
“First strike” comes into consideration when rally ball from your opponent is really high quality. And his return of your serve is decent. In rec tennis, as it looks to me, there are enough opportunities to take control. It comes to two requirements:
- Can you survive (this covers a wide range of scenarios) till your opponent gives you a good chance?
- Can you reliably convert those chances?
Good serve allows to skip first step.
Converting chances is not about high risk. More about shot selection, having those shots practiced, and consistently finishing of course.
Exactly, my serve is very strong, strongest part of my game, and more often than not when I don't ace or force errors I get alot of short balls, now I need to drill these short balls into OBLIVION, till I can capitalize on these balls over and over and over again, then also to build a reliable good 2nd serve, that will make at least one part of the equasion very solid (service games).
 

FiReFTW

Legend
"Ive been working on short sitters too lately (high and low ones, all types) and yes you should learn how to crush them with authority and work hard on that"

Rec singles players that compete ( tournaments, team tennis, etc) go through milestones as they improve.

- Don't beat themselves (UEs, double faults, stupid shots/tactics, etc)
- beats the steady player that doesn't beat themselves by also being steady, but adding offense
....

One of those milestones that comes later ... is winning a high percentage of points where you get a short ball you can take advantage of. That could mean your "crushing" ... but for most rec players it simply means once you get a short ball you get control of the point and win a high percentage of those points from there. It is actually quite surprising ... even in 4.5 singles how many players treat a short ball as just another rally ball ... don't go for a more aggressive target, or up the pace or come in behind it. I have a good friend that basically went up a .5 level imo by committing to hitting those short balls to aggressive targets and coming in behind many of them (crushing was not in his vocabulary).
Yes very very true, one of the biggest differences between alot of rec players (even as they get to a solid rec level, where their gamestyle is mostly about consistency and getting the ball in) and juniors (doesn't have to be high level ones, even young ones, up coming ones) is that they are drilled in the way you describe and are taught and drilled repeatedly how to attack short balls, overheads etc..

When I had a few hittings with a buddy whos a UTR12-13, he also told me how in his opinion a few things rec players really lack (most of them anyway) and that he thinks these things are critical for me to develop if I want to play good tennis in the future, and I should drill these things till im blue to the face, until I can execute them if I get wake up in 3am and rushed to the courts.

Anyway, one of these things is precisely this, short balls (specifically ones that land in the service box, extremely low bounce ones kinda don't apply as you need alot of brush and spin and should treat them more as a quality aproach or slice them) and that alot of rec players either bunt them in and recover back to the baseline, or kinda push them in hesitantly, or botch them up.
And that you need to learn how to end the point with these balls, you need to kill these balls, and get to the point that you can consistently nail them so well that the opponent can't possibly even get to the ball unless he guesses and starts running beforehand, in which case the ball is still such quality that its hard for him to do much with it and you got an easy volley or overhead.
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
“First strike” comes into consideration when rally ball from your opponent is really high quality. And his return of your serve is decent. In rec tennis, as it looks to me, there are enough opportunities to take control. It comes to two requirements:
- Can you survive (this covers a wide range of scenarios) till your opponent gives you a good chance?
- Can you reliably convert those chances?
Good serve allows to skip first step.
Converting chances is not about high risk. More about shot selection, having those shots practiced, and consistently finishing of course.
Good response ... particularly the bolded ... these are by definition big points.
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
Yes very very true, one of the biggest differences between alot of rec players (even as they get to a solid rec level, where their gamestyle is mostly about consistency and getting the ball in) and juniors (doesn't have to be high level ones, even young ones, up coming ones) is that they are drilled in the way you describe and are taught and drilled repeatedly how to attack short balls, overheads etc..

When I had a few hittings with a buddy whos a UTR12-13, he also told me how in his opinion a few things rec players really lack (most of them anyway) and that he thinks these things are critical for me to develop if I want to play good tennis in the future, and I should drill these things till im blue to the face, until I can execute them if I get wake up in 3am and rushed to the courts.

Anyway, one of these things is precisely this, short balls (specifically ones that land in the service box, extremely low bounce ones kinda don't apply as you need alot of brush and spin and should treat them more as a quality aproach or slice them) and that alot of rec players either bunt them in and recover back to the baseline, or kinda push them in hesitantly, or botch them up.
And that you need to learn how to end the point with these balls, you need to kill these balls, and get to the point that you can consistently nail them so well that the opponent can't possibly even get to the ball unless he guesses and starts running beforehand, in which case the ball is still such quality that its hard for him to do much with it and you got an easy volley or overhead.
My post was mainly about balls deeper than "in the box" but still short ... but no doubt skills all the way to the net provide offense opportunities.
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
Yes very very true, one of the biggest differences between alot of rec players (even as they get to a solid rec level, where their gamestyle is mostly about consistency and getting the ball in) and juniors (doesn't have to be high level ones, even young ones, up coming ones) is that they are drilled in the way you describe and are taught and drilled repeatedly how to attack short balls, overheads etc..

When I had a few hittings with a buddy whos a UTR12-13, he also told me how in his opinion a few things rec players really lack (most of them anyway) and that he thinks these things are critical for me to develop if I want to play good tennis in the future, and I should drill these things till im blue to the face, until I can execute them if I get wake up in 3am and rushed to the courts.

Anyway, one of these things is precisely this, short balls (specifically ones that land in the service box, extremely low bounce ones kinda don't apply as you need alot of brush and spin and should treat them more as a quality aproach or slice them) and that alot of rec players either bunt them in and recover back to the baseline, or kinda push them in hesitantly, or botch them up.
And that you need to learn how to end the point with these balls, you need to kill these balls, and get to the point that you can consistently nail them so well that the opponent can't possibly even get to the ball unless he guesses and starts running beforehand, in which case the ball is still such quality that its hard for him to do much with it and you got an easy volley or overhead.
Yes you need to practice these type of shots to improve your ability and confidence to hit those short balls consistently. However until you can do it under match pressure all the practice doesn’t mean much. You have to play more matches and hit these shots under pressure until your blue in the face.

Plus you definitely need to get rid of the ego and always comparing this or that opponent and your judging their ability vs yours. That does absolutely nothing but hinder your improvement. Play against many different type players and of course try to win but play a match win or lose move on and play another. You will learn as you go from playing match after match and just focus on getting better at playing and get this other crap out of your head.

They don’t have to be league matches, pick up matches are fine for developing your shots under pressure. But believe me it will pay off over time.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
Yes you need to practice these type of shots to improve your ability and confidence to hit those short balls consistently. However until you can do it under match pressure all the practice doesn’t mean much. You have to play more matches and hit these shots under pressure until your blue in the face.

Plus you definitely need to get rid of the ego and always comparing this or that opponent and your judging their ability vs yours. That does absolutely nothing but hinder your improvement. Play against many different type players and of course try to win but play a match win or lose move on and play another. You will learn as you go from playing match after match and just focus on getting better at playing and get this other crap out of your head.

They don’t have to be league matches, pick up matches are fine for developing your shots under pressure. But believe me it will pay off over time.
Yes agree fully!
 

FiReFTW

Legend
My post was mainly about balls deeper than "in the box" but still short ... but no doubt skills all the way to the net provide offense opportunities.
Oh I see, well yes, thats slightly different, the shorter the ball the more you can affort to flatten it down the lower it bounces, and the further away from net the higher the bounce needs to be in order to be able to flatten these balls, so its more challenging further back.
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
"Ive been working on short sitters too lately (high and low ones, all types) and yes you should learn how to crush them with authority and work hard on that"

Rec singles players that compete ( tournaments, team tennis, etc) go through milestones as they improve.

- Don't beat themselves (UEs, double faults, stupid shots/tactics, etc)
- beats the steady player that doesn't beat themselves by also being steady, but adding offense
....

One of those milestones that comes later ... is winning a high percentage of points where you get a short ball you can take advantage of. That could mean your "crushing" ... but for most rec players it simply means once you get a short ball you get control of the point and win a high percentage of those points from there. It is actually quite surprising ... even in 4.5 singles how many players treat a short ball as just another rally ball ... don't go for a more aggressive target, or up the pace or come in behind it. I have a good friend that basically went up a .5 level imo by committing to hitting those short balls to aggressive targets and coming in behind many of them (crushing was not in his vocabulary).
Exactly I have watched the better players and when they get a short ball they don’t get all excited and swing out their shoes trying to rip a winner. They hit a solid high percentage approach and either put the next weak return away or follow it in for an easy volley.

I think sooner or later op will figure out that trying to rip winners all the time off short balls is not going to work consistently enough.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
Exactly I have watched the better players and when they get a short ball they don’t get all excited and swing out their shoes trying to rip a winner. They hit a solid high percentage approach and either put the next weak return away or follow it in for an easy volley.

I think sooner or later op will figure out that trying to rip winners all the time off short balls is not going to work consistently enough.
Yes not ever ball it depends, but balls inside the service box that bounce high you can reliably flatten out and really hit fast since you have alot of court opened up its quite easy to flatten them and hit them down into the court, but the lower the bounce the harder and more risky it becomes.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
Good because you have definitely improved and your coaching and drilling has improved your shots. So now you are just going to have to play more and go through the ups and downs of this crazy game.
Yeah tennis is an interesting crazy game, I love it, but sometimes it can p*ss you off haha... and the development takes so long but if you think about it, its fun to see how you improve.. looking back at how bad I was at that and now im not.. etc... and how sometimes new clicks etc... I think thats the most fun aspect, not thinking about wins or levels or whatever, but just watching urself get better at stuff, specially when you commit to 1 thing and really work on it for a month or two and then another thing etc.. which im doing lately, its pretty fun.. I guess once you really commit to it for like 10 years or more and really build up ur game and match toughness and strokes and all, and theres really not much to really make massive changes, its a bit less fun when theres no more of that progression road and seeing big changes and so, but I guess its also fun to play tennis once you are solid all over.
 
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ptuanminh

Hall of Fame
Yes you need to practice these type of shots to improve your ability and confidence to hit those short balls consistently. However until you can do it under match pressure all the practice doesn’t mean much. You have to play more matches and hit these shots under pressure until your blue in the face.

Plus you definitely need to get rid of the ego and always comparing this or that opponent and your judging their ability vs yours. That does absolutely nothing but hinder your improvement. Play against many different type players and of course try to win but play a match win or lose move on and play another. You will learn as you go from playing match after match and just focus on getting better at playing and get this other crap out of your head.

They don’t have to be league matches, pick up matches are fine for developing your shots under pressure. But believe me it will pay off over time.
You don't need to play more matches to handle short balls. A good coach will come up with a good drill for this.
 

Dim Sim

Rookie
Mate, are you still playing for money? If not, who gives a rat’s? If you aren’t then just hit the skin off it and find your inner zen when it works. Meant to be fun, innit. Internet reach around, sheezuz.
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
Oh I see, well yes, thats slightly different, the shorter the ball the more you can affort to flatten it down the lower it bounces, and the further away from net the higher the bounce needs to be in order to be able to flatten these balls, so its more challenging further back.
I am not talking about flattening out a shot specifically ... whatever works high percentage for a player against a given opponent on those shorter balls. For some, that might be as simple as hit ts to opponent bh corner and come in. The "come in" part often is the higher percentage than the "flat drive" trying for a winner ... depends on player and opponent. I won more because "crush it" never occured to me as a valid game plan ... those guys were losing in 1st and 2nd round.

As a constant c&c player in tournaments, it was ingrained in me to make quick judgements ... "go on this one" ... "not on this one". This is how a fast guy without a "crush" can introduce offense into the mix. ATP pro tennis is pretty cookie cutter because strokes are so good ... but in rec tennis, there will always be many effective winning styles.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
You don't need to play more matches to handle short balls. A good coach will come up with a good drill for this.
Yes but you need to translate that to matches where there is pressure and mental nerves etc.. translating things you drilled and work in practice takes a bit of time, as your practice shots get better so do your match shots, but they are still much less reliable than in practice where your extremely relaxed and free, takes a while to really translate that completely into matches, thats probably what @tlm meant
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
You don't need to play more matches to handle short balls. A good coach will come up with a good drill for this.
Yes you do, you need to do both. I’ve watched many players that look like they can’t miss when doing drills with their coach in a nice relaxed no pressure atmosphere. But much of that can go away when actually playing points under pressure. The OP can hit those shots pretty well already in practice, but it’s a different ball game during a match.
 
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tlm

G.O.A.T.
Yes not ever ball it depends, but balls inside the service box that bounce high you can reliably flatten out and really hit fast since you have alot of court opened up its quite easy to flatten them and hit them down into the court, but the lower the bounce the harder and more risky it becomes.
I agree your definitely good enough to put those higher short shots away now. But it still might be better to just hit a solid shot into the corner and follow it in instead of trying to hit an outright winner. On the lower ones you would be better off to learn to slice them well off both wings into the corners and follow them into the net.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
I agree your definitely good enough to put those higher short shots away now. But it still might be better to just hit a solid shot into the corner and follow it in instead of trying to hit an outright winner. On the lower ones you would be better off to learn to slice them well off both wings into the corners and follow them into the net.
Yes now that im drilling short balls since a week ago, im also encouraged to slice them at times on my backhand wing and do both since I need both, specially those higher ones, I find it much harder than hitting flat or topspin, its quite difficult to really knife the slice so it stays low and penetrates the court, will have to work quite alot on that, but I know its effective, because I was on the receiving end of a few miself, really knifing slices from short balls, very difficult ball to do much with, and the other guy at net will putaway ur ball.
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
Yes but you need to translate that to matches where there is pressure and mental nerves etc.. translating things you drilled and work in practice takes a bit of time, as your practice shots get better so do your match shots, but they are still much less reliable than in practice where your extremely relaxed and free, takes a while to really translate that completely into matches, thats probably what @tlm meant
I have to remind myself how different the "playing jrs" is from "playing good adults" is. I was playing great singles at 55 ... until I played an up and coming 16 year old. Here is the big difference ... making an adult run and cover a lot of court is great offense in adult tennis, and means virtually nothing against a 16 year jr. If I am playing another adult, usually no upside in risking winning point outright with one shot when you can force easy follow up put away after forcing opponent to hit on the run. But ... little mini PITA Djokovic over there gets to everything easy ... now a finishing dtl worth the risk. At minimum point ends ... and I could get some oxygen. 8-B

That little kid won a couple rounds in $ open a couple of years later ... made me feel much better.
 

ptuanminh

Hall of Fame
Yes you do, you need to do both. I’ve watched many players that look like they can’t miss when doing drills with their coach in a nice relaxed no pressure atmosphere. But much of that can go away when actually playing points under pressure. The OP can hit those shots pretty well already in practice, but it’s a different ball game during a match.
Those players you watched simply did not practice enough.
In the development stage of a player like Fire, he should play more matches if he has time. But playing more matches at the expenses of practice is not a good idea IMO. He is missing easy shots because he has not practiced enough. He still has many weakness and those weakness can be easily exploited in matches. I probably go as far as devoting 90% of time to practice, 10% for match play.
For older people, then sure, do watever they want :cool:
In the last 4 years, i played a total of probably 20 matches. And i still move steadily from 3.0, 3.5, 4.0.
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
Those players you watched simply did not practice enough.
In the development stage of a player like Fire, he should play more matches if he has time. But playing more matches at the expenses of practice is not a good idea IMO. He is missing easy shots because he has not practiced enough. He still has many weakness and those weakness can be easily exploited in matches. I probably go as far as devoting 90% of time to practice, 10% for match play.
For older people, then sure, do watever they want :cool:
In the last 4 years, i played a total of probably 20 matches. And i still move steadily from 3.0, 3.5, 4.0.
Sorry but I think you are wrong. I’ve watched op hit in drills and he is doing very well but it’s much harder in match play to hit as well without a lot of match experience. He still needs to do drills but I think at least a 50-50 ratio would be much better.
You say you have went from 3.0 to 4.0 in 4 years and have only played 20 matches in 4 years? If you’ve only played that few of matches then it’s impossible to say what level you really are. 5 matches a year doesn’t mean anything, you have to play more matches than that to have a legitimate rating.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
Everyone has their own opinion and experience, but mine is more in line with @tlm I do notice as I drill and practice alot (like I did volleys before) and like now I do short balls etc... the more I drill the better I get in practice, the better these shots also get in matches, but in my experience its not really a direct transition, like if you can do constantly 10 shots of something in a row in practice and increase that to 20 with drilling, in a match u might be at 4-5 and then get to 8-10.. it takes a bit longer and more and more hitting in actual matches before you actually start trusting that shot more and it starts to translate better.
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
Those players you watched simply did not practice enough.
In the development stage of a player like Fire, he should play more matches if he has time. But playing more matches at the expenses of practice is not a good idea IMO. He is missing easy shots because he has not practiced enough. He still has many weakness and those weakness can be easily exploited in matches. I probably go as far as devoting 90% of time to practice, 10% for match play.
For older people, then sure, do watever they want :cool:
In the last 4 years, i played a total of probably 20 matches. And i still move steadily from 3.0, 3.5, 4.0.
Nothing will help you win tournament matches more than play tournament matches ... matches are dynamic and way more involved than strokes.

But ... it’s not an either/or ... tournament matches are few and far between. Lessons, drills, practice matches, sprints ... depends on what you are working on. If you are happy with strokes ... go with great practice matches and drills. If building a stroke ... lessons, drills, ball machine.

I think matches are drills ... but pretty easy to pick out important shots where you probably don’t get enough reps (passing shots, overheads, volleys) ... so be wise with drill choices.
 

ptuanminh

Hall of Fame
Sorry but I think you are wrong. I’ve watched op hit in drills and he is doing very well but it’s much harder in match play to hit as well without a lot of match experience. He still needs to do drills but I think at least a 50-50 ratio would be much better.
You say you have went from 3.0 to 4.0 in 4 years and have only played 20 matches in 4 years? If you’ve only played that few of matches then it’s impossible to say what level you really are. 5 matches a year doesn’t mean anything, you have to play more matches than that to have a legitimate rating.
All we have seen from his drills are really simple co operative hitting. Maybe there are more but i dont remember seeing. Besides, it takes years to make FH and BH a weapon. This, i dont think Fire has achieved yet.
Yes, i played 20 matches in 4 years and moved from 3.0 to 4.0. Its because i played up. When i was 3.0, i joined 3.5, won matches and got bump. same goes for for 4.0. This year i didn't lose a match in 4.0. I took 4 games in a set out of trav, a very high level 4.5 or 5.0 player. Whats not legitimate about my rating?
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
All we have seen from his drills are really simple co operative hitting. Maybe there are more but i dont remember seeing. Besides, it takes years to make FH and BH a weapon. This, i dont think Fire has achieved yet.
Yes, i played 20 matches in 4 years and moved from 3.0 to 4.0. Its because i played up. When i was 3.0, i joined 3.5, won matches and got bump. same goes for for 4.0. This year i didn't lose a match in 4.0. I took 4 games in a set out of trav, a very high level 4.5 or 5.0 player. Whats not legitimate about my rating?
You didn’t lose a 4.0 match out of how many? Were they all singles matches? Were they official league matches? You took 4 games of trav and that means what besides nothing.

A legitimate rating comes from playing league or tournament play and it’s a lot more than a few matches. But I guess beings you don’t need to play matches to improve then with maybe 2 more matches you will be a 5.0. lol
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
You didn’t lose a 4.0 match out of how many? Were they all singles matches? Were they official league matches? You took 4 games of trav and that means what besides nothing.

A legitimate rating comes from playing league or tournament play and it’s a lot more than a few matches. But I guess beings you don’t need to play matches to improve then with maybe 2 more matches you will be a 5.0. lol
You need to go take your nap.

:p:p:p
 

ptuanminh

Hall of Fame
You didn’t lose a 4.0 match out of how many? Were they all singles matches? Were they official league matches? You took 4 games of trav and that means what besides nothing.

A legitimate rating comes from playing league or tournament play and it’s a lot more than a few matches. But I guess beings you don’t need to play matches to improve then with maybe 2 more matches you will be a 5.0. lol
Last season I had 1 loss in single (first 4.0 match) and 3 wins in single. This season I had 4 wins in double. Reason is i play no 1 single and also number 1 double. So i gotta help out weaker dub guys on my team. All 4.0 USTA league matches.

So you are saying that any 3.5 or worse can take 4 games in a set out of trav???? Have you ever played trav??? I have played ChaelAZ and trav. I think they won't think i am 3.5 or less.
I didn't say you dont need to play matches to improve. I said at the beginning stage of a player (me also considered a beginner), practice is a lot more important than match play.
To be honest, i dont know why you think i am full of it. If i play on a 4.0 usta team for 2 3 years and haven't got bumped down, i am a legit 4.0.
 
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tlm

G.O.A.T.
Last season I had 1 loss in single (first 4.0 match) and 3 wins in single. This season I had 4 wins in double. Reason is i play no 1 single and also number 1 double. So i gotta help out weaker dub guys on my team. All 4.0 USTA league matches.

So you are saying that any 3.5 or worse can take 4 games in a set out of trav???? Have you ever played trav??? I have played ChaelAZ and trav. I think they won't think i am 3.5 or less.
I didn't say you dont need to play matches to improve. I said at the beginning stage of a player (me also considered a beginner), practice is a lot more important than match play.
To be honest, i dont know why you think i am full of it. If i play on a 4.0 usta team for 2 3 years and haven't got bumped down, i am a legit 4.0.
I never said what level I think you are I have no idea. What kind of season do you only play 4 matches in a full season? Plus doubles has nothing to do with singles level. I see many players that play up a level at doubles and wouldn’t be able to play singles with success a level lower. Plus this thread is about the op not you.

The op does a lot of training and works with a good coach so lack of practice is not his problem. If you have read many of his posts and knew much about tennis then you would understand what I’m saying. But because you’ve played a few years and already have everything figured out already there’s no sense trying to get you to understand.
 

xFullCourtTenniSx

Hall of Fame
My serve or groundstrokes (particularly my fh) tends to get me alot of short balls in a set.
So I attack short balls often and follow them to net, so its something I tend to do fairly often because i get many opportunities to do so.
But I end up missing or blowing ALOT of those short balls or volleys after.

And to also work on my fitness alot.
Going for too much. Make the opponent beat you. If you wanted to golden set someone, play from the baseline and chase everything down until they miss. If you want to beat someone, get to the net and make them believe they need to hit a great shot to end the point or else you will hit a mediocre shot to end it. Deep approach, and keep it low if you can (even if it means slowing down and using less topspin if you can't hit a low topspin drive).

Fitness is huge. That and a shift to a consistent mentality made a huge shift for me. I can hit threatening serves with more ease, cover the court more explosively (particularly at net), and I'm way more willing to play 10+ balls in a rally to wait for a short ball. I always knew it would be the difference maker in my tennis, but it's still a little surprising seeing some of the results. Cardio is still a bit weak, but everything is moving with more ease so it's still much less of an issue even in longer points compared to before. And my net game isn't a semi-bluff anymore (I used to rely on very strong approach shots to get weak replies and the mental threat that they need to hit a good shot on the spot), it's a real threat.

Don't skip leg day, even if it's just movement drills. Push yourself. My legs were dead yesterday (with a rolled ankle) and I still covered the court like a beast. There are still some shots I couldn't reach, but I made the other side work hard for each point. It better land a few inches from the sideline or I'm getting it back in play. And upper body strength seems to be paying off too.

Interesting, my regrets usually come out as “how am I not making this shot...”
Dunno which is better. I sometimes doubt if I lack competitiveness, too much focus on process.
Depends on which part of the process you're focusing on. I've noticed that between games and sports, there is one fundamental boring thing to focus on that will by itself take you on the fast track to improving, both mechanically and competitively. Being good at the flashy stuff is nice, but mastering that boring fundamental thing and all the intricacies that surround it will force you to improve everything else. In tennis, that's consistency. At first, it's a battle with yourself. As you get better, more of your opponent's skill factors into it. You'll need to move better, hit deeper, and use spin and angles.

Yes shot selection is huge and takes by far the longest time to make good, ive read somewhere that for someone that dedicates to tennis and really works hard on it and wants to become a decent player it takes about 5-6 years to build all ur shots and strokes to a good level in all different situations and applying them in a match, and it takes 5-6 more years to learn how to win games and tournaments and essentially become a tournament player (meaning tactics, shot selection etc)

Ive been working on short sitters too lately (high and low ones, all types) and yes you should learn how to crush them with authority and work hard on that, because it will make ur life so much easier, specially when u force many short balls and have the ability to end those points consistently.
Doesn't take that long to build your shots. To build your head, maybe. To build your shots, 2-3 years is more than enough. With good help, you should be able to build everything in less than 2 years. While I might be biased by being surrounded by athletic people, I've seen plenty of people accomplish this.

Rec singles players that compete ( tournaments, team tennis, etc) go through milestones as they improve.

- Don't beat themselves (UEs, double faults, stupid shots/tactics, etc)
- beats the steady player that doesn't beat themselves by also being steady, but adding offense
I did this in the reverse order. I could close out points very well on short balls, but I couldn't rally nearly as well from the baseline.

Then I tried switching to a much slower and defensive style from behind the baseline. Lots of balls 3-5 feet over the net. Lower the tempo so it's easier to reach balls and recover. Put as many balls as I can crosscourt, otherwise lob it deep to the middle or their backhand to give myself time to set up a defensive position. People probably think I'm a pusher and give me a short ball for free thinking I won't like it. I run up like a starving animal seeing meat and end the point off of the approach shot or volley. People get surprised when I do it multiple times in a row without fail, a pusher shouldn't be able to end a point so quickly and consistently. Then the whole bag starts coming out. Serve and volley, chip and charge, trying more to come in off of short balls, drop shots, sneaking in behind deep balls. If they keep beating me with good shots, I congratulate them. I simply wasn't capable of hitting enough quality balls to keep them back. If they can't keep it up, it's my win. Either way, some great tennis will be played that day.

Question related to "crushing" ... how do you guys define "first strike tennis"?
Basically, the first opportunity you get (and take) to put them on defense is your first strike.

Anyway, one of these things is precisely this, short balls (specifically ones that land in the service box, extremely low bounce ones kinda don't apply as you need alot of brush and spin and should treat them more as a quality aproach or slice them) and that alot of rec players either bunt them in and recover back to the baseline, or kinda push them in hesitantly, or botch them up.
And that you need to learn how to end the point with these balls, you need to kill these balls, and get to the point that you can consistently nail them so well that the opponent can't possibly even get to the ball unless he guesses and starts running beforehand, in which case the ball is still such quality that its hard for him to do much with it and you got an easy volley or overhead.
No. You don't need to learn how to end the point with these shots, just how to consistently win the point from that position. Doesn't matter if it takes 1 shot or 5, so long as 9/10 times you win the point. Yes, shorter is nicer, it gives your opponents fewer opportunities to come back, but too short usually incurs too much risk, especially mentally. You'll miss more if you try to go for more to ensure points end with 1 swing. I realized better players struggled more with me just putting the ball as close to the baseline as I could rather than when I hit it harder or with more underspin or whatever. Floating slice backhands near the baseline gave me a much better look at volleys than knifing them and landing them in the middle of no man's land. Even playing so many of these weaker slices that I only use as a means to buy time to get to net, many of them end up being winners. And of the rest, many force errors and the few that come back I can usually put away. Occasionally they hit a great shot, and I congratulate them. More often than not it's me hesitating to close in as quickly as I can because I think I missed the approach, but it's still a great shot by them to get it out of my reach.

Regardless, you should be disappointed that you don't get to hit a second shot (whether it be because you hit a winner or you missed the approach), because that mentality keeps you playing within yourself and ready for the next shot. The approach-volley-overhead drill is used often for a reason, it should be the most likely result of a well played short ball. You hit an approach, they try to pass, you hit a solid volley, and they barely squeak a ball back and it's going high. Approach+2 volleys should be what you're looking for, not winner.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
Doesn't take that long to build your shots. To build your head, maybe. To build your shots, 2-3 years is more than enough. With good help, you should be able to build everything in less than 2 years. While I might be biased by being surrounded by athletic people, I've seen plenty of people accomplish this.
So far from what ive learned and how ive done things and how im practicing at the moment ive come to some realizations, if you want to really make a shot solid it takes a long time, because theres just way too much things to learn and to drill till it becomes good.

Theres a big difference in learning how to hit a pretty good forehand, backhand, volleys etc...

and theres a big difference in learning how to hit all of those shots above in different situations and hitting different types of shots and drilling all of that so much that its quality and consistent.

Example:

Forehand volley mid court
Forehand volley closer to net
Forehand volley very close to net while cutting balls
Forehand volley stretched wide

Then all of those 4 above each separately against:

Low dipping topspin shots
Slices
Mid balls
Higher balls
Slow balls
Very fast balls


Then learning to hit these different types of volleys against most of those above (some types are not used in some situations above, but used in at least a bounch of them) :

Deep punching volleys
Backspin volleys
Drop volleys
Angled volleys

But learning to hit all these things above in all these situations against all these different balls, and drilling and practicing all these things to the point where its at a very solid quality level in both precision, consistency and mastery, will take quite a long time, and this is just one stroke, forehand volley in this case.

Im sure I forgot some things, but if you only count each of the above spots against each of these balls its 4x6 so 24, and if you count that each of these will be viable to use at least 2 types of volleys its 48 total

There are also Backhand volleys, Forehand, Backhand, Return of serve forehand, Return of serve backhand, Slice backhand, Slice forehand, Drop shots on both forehand side and backhand, Swinging volleys, Overheads, Backhand smash, Defensive shots, Speciality shots, Flat serve, Slice serve, Topspin serve, Kick serve

I probably forgot a few,

But thats around 20 more strokes added to that 1 volley stroke that has 48 different situations/types etc.. so thats around 1000 total slightly different things to learn and become good at, so basically what your saying is, you can get really good at for example a mid court forehand volley against mid balls using a punching volley plus using a backspin volley BOTH in 20 mins practicing both, (using 20 of the rest mins for other things) assuming you practice for 1 hour every single day? Because thats what kind of timeline you have for these 1000 things then in order to master this all in 2 years

and then there are footwork patterns for all these shots, and then there are also other things that are important

Then theres also applying this and transfering it to match play under mentally tough conditions and trusting it there

Sorry but you will not ever in a million years be able to get good at all of this in 2-3 years, even 5-6 years its not possible in my opinion, I think you can cover most of the important ones, but not completely all of them at least not to a solid good level.

You can learn to hit some basic decent shots in a short amount of time, but really covering all of them in depth to a pretty good proficient level takes ALOT of time ALOT of dedication ALOT of drilling.

Infact I would say you will probably need to risk and prioritize which things are more important and which are less, because theres not enough time to really cover everything to a really good proficient level even in 10 years
 
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ptuanminh

Hall of Fame
Plus this thread is about the op not you.
Ok Mr. Considerate, then stop asking questions about me.
You forgot to tell me, do you really think a 3.5 can take 4 games out of a set from a player like trav?
If you are such an advocate of the "play more to improve model", how did it work out for you???? Other than you saw some players who drill a lot but still miss.
 
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So far from what ive learned and how ive done things and how im practicing at the moment ive come to some realizations, if you want to really make a shot solid it takes a long time, because theres just way too much things to learn and to drill till it becomes good.

Theres a big difference in learning how to hit a pretty good forehand, backhand, volleys etc...

and theres a big difference in learning how to hit all of those shots above in different situations and hitting different types of shots and drilling all of that so much that its quality and consistent.

Example:

Forehand volley mid court
Forehand volley closer to net
Forehand volley very close to net while cutting balls
Forehand volley stretched wide

Then all of those 4 above each separately against:

Low dipping topspin shots
Slices
Mid balls
Higher balls
Slow balls
Very fast balls


Then learning to hit these different types of volleys against most of those above (some types are not used in some situations above, but used in at least a bounch of them) :

Deep punching volleys
Backspin volleys
Drop volleys
Angled volleys

But learning to hit all these things above in all these situations against all these different balls, and drilling and practicing all these things to the point where its at a very solid quality level in both precision, consistency and mastery, will take quite a long time, and this is just one stroke, forehand volley in this case.

Im sure I forgot some things, but if you only count each of the above spots against each of these balls its 4x6 so 24, and if you count that each of these will be viable to use at least 2 types of volleys its 48 total

There are also Backhand volleys, Forehand, Backhand, Return of serve forehand, Return of serve backhand, Slice backhand, Slice forehand, Drop shots on both forehand side and backhand, Swinging volleys, Overheads, Backhand smash, Defensive shots, Speciality shots, Flat serve, Slice serve, Topspin serve, Kick serve

I probably forgot a few,

But thats around 20 more strokes added to that 1 volley stroke that has 48 different situations/types etc.. so thats around 1000 total slightly different things to learn and become good at, so basically what your saying is, you can get really good at for example a mid court forehand volley against mid balls using a punching volley plus using a backspin volley BOTH in 20 mins practicing both, (using 20 of the rest mins for other things) assuming you practice for 1 hour every single day? Because thats what kind of timeline you have for these 1000 things then in order to master this all in 2 years

and then there are footwork patterns for all these shots, and then there are also other things that are important

Then theres also applying this and transfering it to match play under mentally tough conditions and trusting it there

Sorry but you will not ever in a million years be able to get good at all of this in 2-3 years, even 5-6 years its not possible in my opinion, I think you can cover most of the important ones, but not completely all of them at least not to a solid good level.

You can learn to hit some basic decent shots in a short amount of time, but really covering all of them in depth to a pretty good proficient level takes ALOT of time ALOT of dedication ALOT of drilling.

Infact I would say you will probably need to risk and prioritize which things are more important and which are less, because theres not enough time to really cover everything to a really good proficient level even in 10 years
My eyes started glazing over when I tried to go through your list.

As someone who spends a lot of time at the net, approaching the net, and retreating from the net, I did not set out to master 1000 different volley combination patterns. I focus on

- balance
- position
- reading my opponent
- hitting decent volleys

If I can do those 4 things, I usually do well. Yes, it may involve the occasional drop half no-look 360 spin volley but I don't practice those; they simply are a result of repeated practice when I can apply my skills in ways I may not have practiced.
 

xFullCourtTenniSx

Hall of Fame
So far from what ive learned and how ive done things and how im practicing at the moment ive come to some realizations, if you want to really make a shot solid it takes a long time, because theres just way too much things to learn and to drill till it becomes good.

Theres a big difference in learning how to hit a pretty good forehand, backhand, volleys etc...

and theres a big difference in learning how to hit all of those shots above in different situations and hitting different types of shots and drilling all of that so much that its quality and consistent.

Example:

Forehand volley mid court
Forehand volley closer to net
Forehand volley very close to net while cutting balls
Forehand volley stretched wide

Then all of those 4 above each separately against:

Low dipping topspin shots
Slices
Mid balls
Higher balls
Slow balls
Very fast balls


Then learning to hit these different types of volleys against most of those above (some types are not used in some situations above, but used in at least a bounch of them) :

Deep punching volleys
Backspin volleys
Drop volleys
Angled volleys

But learning to hit all these things above in all these situations against all these different balls, and drilling and practicing all these things to the point where its at a very solid quality level in both precision, consistency and mastery, will take quite a long time, and this is just one stroke, forehand volley in this case.

Im sure I forgot some things, but if you only count each of the above spots against each of these balls its 4x6 so 24, and if you count that each of these will be viable to use at least 2 types of volleys its 48 total

There are also Backhand volleys, Forehand, Backhand, Return of serve forehand, Return of serve backhand, Slice backhand, Slice forehand, Drop shots on both forehand side and backhand, Swinging volleys, Overheads, Backhand smash, Defensive shots, Speciality shots, Flat serve, Slice serve, Topspin serve, Kick serve

I probably forgot a few,

But thats around 20 more strokes added to that 1 volley stroke that has 48 different situations/types etc.. so thats around 1000 total slightly different things to learn and become good at, so basically what your saying is, you can get really good at for example a mid court forehand volley against mid balls using a punching volley plus using a backspin volley BOTH in 20 mins practicing both, (using 20 of the rest mins for other things) assuming you practice for 1 hour every single day? Because thats what kind of timeline you have for these 1000 things then in order to master this all in 2 years

and then there are footwork patterns for all these shots, and then there are also other things that are important

Then theres also applying this and transfering it to match play under mentally tough conditions and trusting it there

Sorry but you will not ever in a million years be able to get good at all of this in 2-3 years, even 5-6 years its not possible in my opinion, I think you can cover most of the important ones, but not completely all of them at least not to a solid good level.

You can learn to hit some basic decent shots in a short amount of time, but really covering all of them in depth to a pretty good proficient level takes ALOT of time ALOT of dedication ALOT of drilling.

Infact I would say you will probably need to risk and prioritize which things are more important and which are less, because theres not enough time to really cover everything to a really good proficient level even in 10 years
It REALLY isn't that complicated. I know people who have developed solid all around games in 1-2 years. Again, they ALL had the benefit of coming from athletic backgrounds, and some had good teachers on top of that. I've seen others who developed a solid baseline game and a competent net game in 1-2 years.

I had an incredibly athletic friend who basically learned everything in a year. He used to play baseball and had amazing hand-eye coordination and great movement. He had every shot, including the tweener and other highlight reel shots (he had a legit dunk overhead). He didn't really use a kick serve, but when I showed him mine, he's like, "oh yeah, I can do that. It's basically like a slice serve but you hit up instead" and proceeded to hit a solid topspin serve.

Not everyone is going to be that good. He was athletic AND smart with regards to competition. He knew the goal wasn't looking pretty or banging the biggest groundstrokes. His only issue was fitness (something he ironically picked up later after he dropped tennis). He had low stamina and could put a little more muscle onto his lanky frame.

If you really want to keep telling yourself it takes 5, 6, or even 10 years to get your strokes up to par, go ahead. I'm just telling you what a friend spent a good year or two trying to tell me, "it really doesn't matter". It's honestly just piling on excuses for why you aren't performing as well as you think you should, "ah, I didn't spend enough time perfecting this shot in this situation in this spot aiming for that spot, 3000 more hours". While I can applaud hard work and preparation, there comes a point where it becomes an excuse. And you've begun to notice it yourself. Why are you making mistakes on "easy" balls. It's because you're not executing what you practiced, you're trying to hit winners. You practiced approach shots. You practiced putting balls back in play. If you want to practice hitting winners, fine. Have your coach feed you random junk and have a cut at them. If that's what you want, practice it. Have him feed you high, low, deep, short, topspin, slice, flat, wide, center in any combination without any warning or letting you know which one he's hitting and practice hitting winners. Have another guy on the other side of the net as well so he can run those balls down and put a racket on it so you know you have to try harder when you hit those random feeds.

You only really need 4 things - a forehand, backhand, volleys, and a spin serve. That's all. Changing the spin is easy. Changing the height is easy. Hitting faster or slower is easy. You legit already know everything you need to know. You can hit a volley. You know how to apply topspin and underspin. You can hit a backhand, forehand, and spin serve. Doesn't matter how talented you are. Even Federer was held back when he was younger by trying to hit the shots he saw on TV. If Federer couldn't pull it off, being massively talented that coaches said he picked up new concepts like a sponge and having the country's tennis federation backing him, what makes you think you can? He had a whole team with multiple coaches and a dedicated fitness trainer, and they had to tell him to stop. When he's good enough to hit those shots, then he will hit those shots without trying to.
 

ptuanminh

Hall of Fame
It REALLY isn't that complicated. I know people who have developed solid all around games in 1-2 years. Again, they ALL had the benefit of coming from athletic backgrounds, and some had good teachers on top of that. I've seen others who developed a solid baseline game and a competent net game in 1-2 years.

I had an incredibly athletic friend who basically learned everything in a year. He used to play baseball and had amazing hand-eye coordination and great movement. He had every shot, including the tweener and other highlight reel shots (he had a legit dunk overhead). He didn't really use a kick serve, but when I showed him mine, he's like, "oh yeah, I can do that. It's basically like a slice serve but you hit up instead" and proceeded to hit a solid topspin serve.

Not everyone is going to be that good. He was athletic AND smart with regards to competition. He knew the goal wasn't looking pretty or banging the biggest groundstrokes. His only issue was fitness (something he ironically picked up later after he dropped tennis). He had low stamina and could put a little more muscle onto his lanky frame.

If you really want to keep telling yourself it takes 5, 6, or even 10 years to get your strokes up to par, go ahead. I'm just telling you what a friend spent a good year or two trying to tell me, "it really doesn't matter". It's honestly just piling on excuses for why you aren't performing as well as you think you should, "ah, I didn't spend enough time perfecting this shot in this situation in this spot aiming for that spot, 3000 more hours". While I can applaud hard work and preparation, there comes a point where it becomes an excuse. And you've begun to notice it yourself. Why are you making mistakes on "easy" balls. It's because you're not executing what you practiced, you're trying to hit winners. You practiced approach shots. You practiced putting balls back in play. If you want to practice hitting winners, fine. Have your coach feed you random junk and have a cut at them. If that's what you want, practice it. Have him feed you high, low, deep, short, topspin, slice, flat, wide, center in any combination without any warning or letting you know which one he's hitting and practice hitting winners. Have another guy on the other side of the net as well so he can run those balls down and put a racket on it so you know you have to try harder when you hit those random feeds.

You only really need 4 things - a forehand, backhand, volleys, and a spin serve. That's all. Changing the spin is easy. Changing the height is easy. Hitting faster or slower is easy. You legit already know everything you need to know. You can hit a volley. You know how to apply topspin and underspin. You can hit a backhand, forehand, and spin serve. Doesn't matter how talented you are. Even Federer was held back when he was younger by trying to hit the shots he saw on TV. If Federer couldn't pull it off, being massively talented that coaches said he picked up new concepts like a sponge and having the country's tennis federation backing him, what makes you think you can? He had a whole team with multiple coaches and a dedicated fitness trainer, and they had to tell him to stop. When he's good enough to hit those shots, then he will hit those shots without trying to.
No overhead???
 

xFullCourtTenniSx

Hall of Fame
My eyes started glazing over when I tried to go through your list.

As someone who spends a lot of time at the net, approaching the net, and retreating from the net, I did not set out to master 1000 different volley combination patterns. I focus on

- balance
- position
- reading my opponent
- hitting decent volleys

If I can do those 4 things, I usually do well. Yes, it may involve the occasional drop half no-look 360 spin volley but I don't practice those; they simply are a result of repeated practice when I can apply my skills in ways I may not have practiced.
I feel like reading your opponent is by far the least important on that list. But maybe because my legs have become much more explosive at net recently. I find that if I can get into a good position while balanced, I can get a clean racket on the next ball and hit a good volley.
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
How do you mentally get over this quickly?

Ive had an absolutely horrible tennis performance today, in doubles and then singles, absolute travesty, missing tons of easy balls, shanking all over the place... after working hard this week on certain aspects of my game and really having some nice days in between where I felt like I really got better, today I feel like sh*t and feel like im much worse as a player than I was even 1 year ago after this performance.

Man its so tough mentally when you have such days, it really is, can someone else relate to this?
its normal. you are human. Even the best of the best ATP tour level professionals say that they can't control how they feel when they wake in the morning on the match day. With all the training and preparation that goes into preparing for the match these tour pros put in, they still really can't control how their body will feel in the morning of the match day. and they too can suffer from bad performance. Just Ask RAFA after that Semifinal match in monte carlo against Fognini. He said he played the Worst match of his life that day.... It happens
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
Ok Mr. Considerate, then stop asking questions about me.
You forgot to tell me, do you really think a 3.5 can take 4 games out of a set from a player like trav?
If you are such an advocate of the "play more to improve model", how did it work out for you???? Other than you saw some players who drill a lot but still miss.
I never said that you are a 3.5 level player. I said that to have a legitimate level rating you need to play in a league or tournaments, and more than just a few matches. You say that your a 4.0 level player and have had some success with playing a few 4.0 matches then good it sounds like you are at that level.

I could care less what level you are, I like the op and his commitment to improving his game and I am trying to give him some advice to help him. You don’t agree with playing matches that often to improve ones game, well that’s not what I have experienced n the tennis world. You keep bringing up getting 4 games off trav which means little to nothing. Was this in a real match that counted for something?

I’ve played plenty of 4.5 guys in friendly pick up matches and did okay, but many times the better player is taking it easy or working on a weakness in his game and not going all out like in a real match. But whatever it really doesn’t have much to do with the op and his development.

As far as how did playing a lot of matches in my early years of tennis help me it helped a lot in my development. I’ve helped some of the local coaches who are developing young players by playing their client and finding more players for them to play. The local college coach who worked a lot with one of the high school kids in my area. I would see him taking lessons every time I would go to the courts. His coach asked me if I could play him at least once a week and to line up other guys for him to play. He said that he’s improving pretty well but he needs to play more matches instead of just drilling non stop.
 

ptuanminh

Hall of Fame
As far as how did playing a lot of matches in my early years of tennis help me it helped a lot in my development. I’ve helped some of the local coaches who are developing young players by playing their client and finding more players for them to play. The local college coach who worked a lot with one of the high school kids in my area. I would see him taking lessons every time I would go to the courts. His coach asked me if I could play him at least once a week and to line up other guys for him to play. He said that he’s improving pretty well but he needs to play more matches instead of just drilling non stop.
I like to talk about numbers. For example, when i say i am 4.0, to back it up, i am computer rated at 4.0, with 8W-1L on 4.0USTA. Stuff like that.
If playing matches help you improve, maybe you can talk about how it improve your record in league, for example. or, you go from 3.0 to 3.5 in x years playing matches. :)Just saying.
now we should focus on discussion about OP.
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
I like to talk about numbers. For example, when i say i am 4.0, to back it up, i am computer rated at 4.0, with 8W-1L on 4.0USTA. Stuff like that.
If playing matches help you improve, maybe you can talk about how it improve your record in league, for example. or, you go from 3.0 to 3.5 in x years playing matches. :)Just saying.
now we should focus on discussion about OP.
That cool I would rather stay on topic. I definitely agree that drilling and taking lessons are very important if you can find good coaching and can afford it. I wished I would have taken more lessons my first few years of tennis. I did take lessons and drill some but not nearly enough.

I went from 3.0 to strong 3.5 in a few years and to a weak 4.0 the following year, I started playing at 42 years old so that didn’t help my progress compared to if I was in my 20’s when I started. I’ve seen it work both ways some guys never took lessons or practiced and other guys mainly on took lessons and hardly ever played even pick up matches.

I just feel a good balance is best and playing even pick up matches against a wide variety of players is very important. No lessons or drills can get you used to playing under pressure and becoming match tough. Plus being able to adjust during a match well can only come from playing matches. Add in all the weird styles of players that you face in rec tennis also.
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
Exactly, my serve is very strong, strongest part of my game, and more often than not when I don't ace or force errors I get alot of short balls, now I need to drill these short balls into OBLIVION, till I can capitalize on these balls over and over and over again, then also to build a reliable good 2nd serve, that will make at least one part of the equasion very solid (service games).
If you're hitting 3 double faults in a row it is not the strongest part of your game. A lot of low level rec players have fast paced serves with no control. Great when it goes in. Else the oppoent knows a double fault is coming. Until you get your 2nd serve working well, you can't consider your serve as a very strong or the strongest part of your game.
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
If you're hitting 3 double faults in a row it is not the strongest part of your game. A lot of low level rec players have fast paced serves with no control. Great when it goes in. Else the oppoent knows a double fault is coming. Until you get your 2nd serve working well, you can't consider your serve as a very strong or the strongest part of your game.
Yep having a big first serve is great if you can get in at a pretty high percentage of the time, but a decent dependable 2nd serve is a must to be a solid player.
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
FiReFTW You are sounding more and more like TTPS even though it's probably not your intent. Someone who feels that most rec players bunt the ball, and you don't want to be like them. So you take lessons, try to accelerate your learning curve, and then struggle mightily with any sort of consistency when having to adjust to balls of different paces and not in your strike zone. Then you get upset and start threads like these or console yourself saying how most rec players bunt the ball in certain situations because your UTS12/13 buddy said so, how difficult it is to master shots, and so it's ok to not have any consistency because you are practicing "real strokes" as opposed to those other rec pushers.

As I said before, I know at least 2 guys in their early 40s (so at least a decade older than you), who play better than you despite starting in the last couple of years. You as usual assume they are probably doing that because they bunt the ball while you are playing beautiful strokes that have a higher upside. No such thing. Their strokes are quite good and have nice pace too. Granted both of them are pretty athletic and fluid like you are, but more so. However, I don't see either fretting about so many things. They practice, play, and move on.

Stop overthinking. Play more. Accept your losses and try to be a neutral observer in terms of where your strokes take you. Don't assume you have a higher upside because your strokes are more fluid. Despite what you believe there are a lot of rec players with good strokes. Maybe not having a personalized stroke that the rec player across the net has...the stroke or serve you deem ugly with a lower upside...might ironically be holding you back. You never know. Just enjoy the game and more than that..enjoy the process.
 
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