Help! I'm slower molasses on the tennis court - what can I do to try to compensate? - TennisForum.com

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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 2nd, 2004, 04:13 AM Thread Starter
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Help! I'm slower molasses on the tennis court - what can I do to try to compensate?

I have come to the grips that I am not Jennifer Capriati or Myskina on the tennis court, and will never be. Yes, it has been tough to swallow. From what I read on tennis.com I probably have a rating of 2.5 or so, with some holes, but for the most part, my forehand is okay - although I have a tough time guiding my forehand down the line. My backhand is rather weak, in part to my inability to get into position. Don't really ask me about my net game, it is pathetic. But I love the game, so I am always looking to improve my game - trying to get into better shape, etc. Not that I am looking for excuses, but I will always be limited because I have a mild case of Cerebral Palsy, which prohibits quick movement, and really proper footwork - often times I am left cemented to the court because my legs don't do what my brain tells them to. Last summer, I tried to compensate by blasting the ball against my quicker opponents (in the case, a friend and my dad - Yes, no playing partners! ) Although I can create some pace off my forehand (at least enough to damage my less passionate opponents) but it often leads to quite a few unforced errors. What can I do to compensate? Try to keep the ball really deep? Moonball? Any suggestions?

Also, I haven't re-strung my Wilson HH 6.3 for almost 9 months, should I do this? Will new strings add more power to my game?

Danke!
Merci!
Thanks!

Regards,
Brunof
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 2nd, 2004, 04:16 AM
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New strings will definitely improve your shots.
Especially the control on them, which will allow you to hit harder and go for more winners.

N N




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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 2nd, 2004, 04:23 AM
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trying to learn how to anticipate would help.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 2nd, 2004, 04:50 AM
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I would suggest that you develop your net skills, and get to the net to shorten the court. Playing doubles is great practice, and you will also find that since you only have to cover 50% of the court - you will have more options, (b/c you have more time)

Good luck!
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 2nd, 2004, 05:27 AM
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You should play with AlexSydney.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 2nd, 2004, 05:28 AM
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I'm not a coach or anything, but maybe this would help...

If footwork is an issue for you, you may have to compensate by developing "good hands." It's difficult to hit a confident, accurate power ground stroke if your feet and body are not in the right position. It seems safer, if you are out of position, to use the pace of the ball and guide the ball back to a strategic place in the court, perhaps with some spin. One player with great hands is Roger Federer. He has great footwork too of course, but have you seen what he does on the rare occasion that he gets jammed or stuck in an awkward position? He flicks or almost "pushes" the ball to get it back over the net and in a good location on the court rather than going for a screaming, low percentage winner. He gets it deep, and/or puts spin on it which makes life difficult for many of his opponents.

So I think you have to be crafty and clever, and patient, because power shots will be difficult with poor footwork.

Emilie Loit might be a good player to watch. She uses a lot of off-pace shots.

I also agree that doubles is fun, improves your net game, and takes some pressure off you in terms of movement.

good luck!
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 2nd, 2004, 05:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leenah
You should play with AlexSydney.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 2nd, 2004, 06:05 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. Why should I play AlexSydney?

Special thanks to you all! Now I need a ball machine to practice!
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 2nd, 2004, 06:08 AM Thread Starter
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Hopefully this summer I can keep playing hardcore, I will keep you guys updated.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 2nd, 2004, 06:08 AM
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Try to hit down the middle and deep. The deeper you hit the ball the more time you will have. Also, shots down ther center make it harder for your opponent to run you around.
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 2nd, 2004, 09:21 AM
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Wear roller skates. Always works for me.

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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 3rd, 2004, 01:13 AM Thread Starter
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Well today I played some very recreactional tennis today with a few friends - 6 of us played doubles switching off between 4 rackets. It was nice getting out there to play, and we stayed entertained for about 2.5 hours so that was fun. It was nice just to go out there and hit.

I am not so happy with my game today, it was just a little frustrating to see where my game has taken me, and how I haven't really progressed at all. It is sad that at times I can be challenged by the players who have really never picked up a racket. I think sometimes I just think way too much out there, and try to set up my game so much that I overthink my planned stroke and sometimes, especially early in the season I tend to wiff the ball a few times, especially on the high bouncing floating, no pace what so ever balls! Also, sometimes high bouncing balls can be my friends, and other times they can creat all sorts of trouble for me!
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 3rd, 2004, 01:17 AM
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footwork is the easiest component to develop IMO. there are so many drills you can do on your own without hiring a coach or renting a court that I don't know where to start. It might take a few months, but with persistence you will see results very soon.

Vassilissa is my girl............
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 3rd, 2004, 01:29 AM
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a few moon balls might give you time to get back into position on the court, if you're not super speedy........
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 7th, 2004, 12:41 AM Thread Starter
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Hey guys. I just wanted to update you on my progress. I haven't restrung my racket or anything, but I tried to use some of your comments and put them together in a match today...

I play my first match of the season, which was pretty exciting - and I even skipped out on my college course for it! (I've only missed 1 time before hehe) I was able to win the match 6-1, 6-8, 6-3. (we didn't want to play a TB) I played one of my good friends here at school - he is a bit older than myself, like 26 and a natural athlete. (I guess he played national volleyball and was offered a full ride in his early days as a basketball player.) He hasn't played a lot of tennis, but he was able to be somewhat consistant off the ground, hitting a lot of junk which sometimes was frustrating. I played pretty quickly and won the first set easily in like 25 mins, 6-1. Like the last time I played him (I won 6-1, 7-5) I dropped my game in the second, and he picked up his serve and I dropped mine a whole bunch of times. (Granted, my serve looks worse than Elena's... ) I was down the whole second set, 1-4 at one point before I started to rally back, but it was too late...I had points to level at 7-7 but of course I was unable to convert. The third set started out quickly for me, as I raced to a 4-1 lead before choking once again and he came within a game before I finished off the match.

Overall, I know I need more time on the court to get my anticipation back up to where it was (Like it was that great before... ). I also need to learn not to take such a big rip at the ball because it really doesn't benefit me in the least...When I am really going for the ball, I usually mishit it slightly and it doesn't end up going any faster. I also know I need to work on the fluidity (sp) of my swing on both sides...Overall not bad!

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