How to be a better tennis player (THE WALL: step outside your comfort zone) - Page 2 - TennisForum.com
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post #16 of 29 (permalink) Old Oct 22nd, 2013, 12:39 AM Thread Starter
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Re: How to be a better tennis player (currently: building tennis muscles, fitness)


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post #17 of 29 (permalink) Old Oct 22nd, 2013, 03:10 AM
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Great stuff! Would swimming and running be good for tennis?

Do you have any tips about footwork/timing? About 10% of the time I have those days where I just suddenly start splaying balls anywhere when I try to go for more. My coach has been saying it is all in the racquet face positioning and spin and footwork. Any thoughts? Thanks a bunch!


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post #18 of 29 (permalink) Old Oct 22nd, 2013, 07:46 PM
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Re: How to be a better tennis player (currently: building tennis muscles, fitness)

Controlling my breathing helps me a lot on the court

The belief that man is an irresolute creature pulled this way and that by two forces of equal strength, alternately winning and losing the battle for his soul; the conviction that human life is nothing more than an uncertain struggle between heaven and hell; the faith in two opposed entities, Satan and Christ - all this was bound to engender those internal discords in which the mind, excited by the incessant fighting, stimulated as it were by the constant promises and threats, ends up by giving in and prostitutes itself to whichever of the two combatants has been more obstinate in its pursuit. Life isn't black and white, it's gold.
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post #19 of 29 (permalink) Old Oct 25th, 2013, 03:39 AM
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Re: How to be a better tennis coach/player (biomec, psych, technique, tactic tips)

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Our thighs and our butt are two of the biggest muscles in our bodies and they can generate so much power. It translates into the shot.
I've found this to be especially true. I do these at night before a big game...





Anyway, these are really good. Keep it up!
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post #20 of 29 (permalink) Old Dec 21st, 2013, 06:29 PM
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Re: How to be a better tennis player (currently: building tennis muscles, fitness)

This thread is a really smart and useful idea!

Do you have any tips on generating more power and pop on the serve, and hitting through the second serve? (Also backhand volleys and any exercises that are especially useful for tennis? )

Thanks so much for all these tips already!
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post #21 of 29 (permalink) Old Mar 10th, 2014, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How to be a better tennis player (THE WALL: step outside your comfort zone)



The wall, as I realised, offers a lot of different practice options. When playing against a wall, you can work on parts of the game, that are otherwise very difficult to master; feeling, reflexes, movement, awkward situations, half volleys, coordination, precision.

I actually imagined Aga Radwanska or Bernard Tomic having done much wall hitting when they were young, cause I looked like on of them when I was playing the wall. Well, not as good, obviously, but I really played a lot of awkward-looking shots and also hit very flat.

1.) PRECISION
I was forced into directing the ball well, not only because shapes were drawn on the wall into which I was supposed to hit, but because I realised that if I hit too high, too low, too left or too right into the wall, the wall is going to retrieve my ball even higher, lower, more left or more right. So in order to keep a long rally, I had to be careful where I direct my ball. I also needed to hit with the right speed and spin when wanting to "keep the ball in play."

2.) HALF VOLLEYS
Once I got into the rhytm, I totally loosened up and started thinking of things I could improve when hitting against the wall. I figured half volleys would be a great shot to improve, because many times I am forced to play them during a match and not that many times I am successful with them. Half volley is in its core a very awkward shot, not much so when you get a nice on under your feet on either forehand or backhand site, but more so when you don't have enough time to move away from the ball and when you play against a hard hitter where you're almost forced to play half-volleys from the baseline. And on the tennis court, I played so little half volleys that playing 200 half-volleys in a row was a great exercise for me. My reflexes worked well and I kept my concentration point on that circle that was drawn on the wall, trying to direct my half-volleys there; that actually kind of calmed me down.

Also, what I tried to do is playing spin half-volleys combined with flat half-volleys. I would play 5 minutes of spin half-volleys and then 5 minutes of flat half volleys. Spin half-volleys should really help you improve your return and your anticipation and concentration. The only problem is that my tennis wall was near a river and after 50 half-volleys my head'd gone berzerk and the ball'd flown into that river. And don't imagine I went swimming after it.

3.) RETURN
Actually I figured working on your return is the same as working on your half-volleys only you step about 20 steps backwards. When you feel you've loosened up your arm (sometimes you must do a lot of loosening because the wall makes you play so many balls in such a short amount of time that you can have problems with adapting to the speed, my arm was very flat at first), you step backwards and start to gradually increase the speed of your shots. In the end, your shots should be played at 90%+ of your power and consequently your backswing should shorten. Even when playing a bad server, it's good to have that immediate reaction, doing something with the ball straight away. I think this exercise is also very important for a mindset of a player, because it keeps you active and attacking. It forces you into moving your legs and setting up quick for your shots. But on the other hand, this gruesome hitting into the wall also makes you play shots from a bad position. Sometimes you are late on a ball and the wall retrieves you a ball straight at you (that way, you have to play your shot from a low-balance position) or far to the right, making you play a slice or a tricky one-hand shot (maybe you can even try playing a other-handed forehand like Sharapova). Anyway, you have the right to remain creative.

Oh, what else: Try combining the half-volley and return exercises. First blast shots from the back of "the court", then move forward and hit a couple half-volleys, move back to the back and so on. It improves your backwards-forward movement and that's another thing some probably do to when having their on-court practices.

4.) COORDINATION
I decided to end my wall practice with hitting at a slower rate. I think of that as an important practice principle anyhow; even when I go to a fitness I spend the last 3 minutes doing calming-down, yoga of a kind. To get rid of everything that happened in practice and start focusing on new stuff to do. So what I decided to do in the last 5-10 minutes was playing basic shots, that I don't play otherwise. First I played with my left hand and gradually started playing my left handed shots with faster speed. That's a great exercise for your general coordination. You also have to move your legs differently; once again, you're thrown out of your comfort zone. But you enjoy it, cause you know that outside of your comfort zone you learn much more than inside of your comfort zone.
After playing left-handed, I played one-handed backhand (note: I didn't remember to play two-handed forehand, but I'm sure it'd be useful). It's just these small movements during the shots that you learn when repeating them and they will come in handy sooner or later. What I'm trying to say is that probably 95% of your time spent on court you won't need them; but knowing you master them, it will be subconsciously a great boost to your confidence.

It is a very common philosophy in surfing, but I really wanted to carry it on to tennis and to life, cause it should be applied to both of them. Be adaptive and creative, don't hang on to ideas about yourself and the enviroment you live in. Something surprises you, that much better! Remember, those things once fascinated you! Just know that everything is what we make of it and that you can turn every bad thing into a good thing, because you are an organism that naturally strives towards survival.

Oh, and 5.) YOU START THINKING how awesome it would be if you could be that wall, even if for just one match. After you start thinking it, try doing it. Even if your style is agressive ballbasher, the wall teaches you good counter-attack strategies, which come in handy at any point in the match.

Last edited by Keaka; Mar 10th, 2014 at 11:08 PM.
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post #22 of 29 (permalink) Old Apr 10th, 2016, 03:16 PM
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Re: How to be a better tennis player (THE WALL: step outside your comfort zone)

I thought I'd bump this thread as it has some really valuable information in it.

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post #23 of 29 (permalink) Old May 2nd, 2016, 01:14 PM
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Re: How to be a better tennis coach/player (biomec, psych, technique, tactic tips)

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Originally Posted by Keaka View Post
I can tell you first hand, cause I had huge problems trying to generate power on my FH. Is there any particular shot for you where you have the problems?

What I would keep in mind:

1. Don't try to change your technique. Sometimes we try to bring a shot into a different shape mechanically and we think it will help it, but it really won't. Sometimes it can even cost us injuries. I think it is more important for us to just understand easy physical principles.

2. Focus on your legs. If your hand movement in tennis has already become a natural thing for you (so, if you're not a total rookie) try to focus on your legs and torso:
- Bend your knees when playing a baseline shot or serve. Our thighs and our butt are two of the biggest muscles in our bodies and they can generate so much power. It translates into the shot.
- Use the angular momentum to your advantage. So, turn your upper part of the body (and at the same time bend your knees. I think Dementieva is such a good example, it just seems she overreacts. And you should too, until you settle for a medium, that becomes natural)



- Move into the ball. When you see the ball coming towards you, you already make the move and meet the ball instead of letting it come to you. The ball has so much energy at a certain point, that you won't even need to apply much of your own. Radwanska takes great use of that, or Tomic on the mens side. When you hit the ball when it's already on it's way down, you have to put 100% power into it, and even then you might not get the right depth on the shot.

- Hit the ball in front of you, time it correctly. I don't know about you, but I have great problems with that on my FH. A good exercise for that is if your tennis partner would be ready to toss you balls from behind. That way, you will improve your anticipation and your timing.

- Have your arm flexed fully in point of contact.

- Do a splitstep everytime. Bounce off the ground energetically, that way you will get a lot of energy from the court and it will build up to moments later when you play your shot. The energy basically builds up from the preparation part all the way to contact point. Your shot power builds up from your knees, to your hips, then to your trunk, arm, elbow and last but not least, the wrist. If any part is missing in that chain, your power is not optimal.

- Use the potential energy of the racquet falling. The first thing my coach noticed with my forehand was that I didn't put the racquet up. It should be pointed to the sky. That way, when it falls down and then goes forward to hit, it gets a lot of energy and you can use all the weight of the racquet.
Thanks for your experience.
Just start to learn to play tennis. It's more difficult than I thought. I read and watch many video in youtube about how to play tennis but alway forget when I see the ball coming I don't know maybe I put too much needless power into my FH before I can control it. I will use less power in next practice.

Just want to ask you guys:
What grip do you use or any experince for newbie like me..

Thanks so much

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post #24 of 29 (permalink) Old Sep 27th, 2016, 10:33 AM
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Re: How to be a better tennis player (THE WALL: step outside your comfort zone)

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I just recently got a "tennis coach" certificate and figured out even more how tennis is such a deep sport.

So this thread is for everyone (coaches/players) that not only cherish the thrill of ATP and WTA tours, but the philosophy, art and science of tennis itself.

I will post tips on how to be a better coach/player and you can too. We can learn together. I am currently reading the 350+ ITF manual and the biomechanic part of it is very interesting. I feel like I will get a lot out of it for my game too, and will post my thoughts.

Also post tennis literature, if you're reading some.
For tennis literature, consider subscribing to Tennis Magazine.
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post #25 of 29 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 2016, 04:40 PM
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Re: How to be a better tennis player (THE WALL: step outside your comfort zone)

If you are talking biomechanics, you should be familiar with the following terms: ISR, ESR, supination, pronation, forearm roll, ulnar and radial deviation to start.

List of my favorite and best online tennis training instruction websites from beginners to advanced players
www.AASwing.com/helpful-videos.html
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post #26 of 29 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 2016, 04:49 PM
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Re: How to be a better tennis coach/player (biomec, psych, technique, tactic tips)

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Originally Posted by Lachy View Post
Any tips on ways to generate more racquet head speed?
Yes. Most people hold their rackets way too tight. Try hitting with the pinky finger off the racket for everything including serves. Even Pete Sampras does it.

List of my favorite and best online tennis training instruction websites from beginners to advanced players
www.AASwing.com/helpful-videos.html
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post #27 of 29 (permalink) Old Nov 13th, 2016, 09:01 PM
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Lightbulb Re: How to be a better tennis player (THE WALL: step outside your comfort zone)

Very good for us specially for the newbies! He is a good professional tennis coach. I also will request him to join to your program. We also can discuss about tennis workout, training & other fundamentals. By the way, Congrats to you!
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post #28 of 29 (permalink) Old Nov 13th, 2016, 10:05 PM
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Re: How to be a better tennis coach/player (biomec, psych, technique, tactic tips)

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Originally Posted by Crux Squall View Post
Thanks for your experience.
Just start to learn to play tennis. It's more difficult than I thought. I read and watch many video in youtube about how to play tennis but alway forget when I see the ball coming I don't know maybe I put too much needless power into my FH before I can control it. I will use less power in next practice.

Just want to ask you guys:
What grip do you use or any experince for newbie like me..

Thanks so much
It is hard. It takes practice, practice, practice... There are a lot of things to remember all at once but to play consistently, you need to be able to do all these different things correctly but very quickly. I would say focus on getting the very basics right first and then build from there. I think this webpage has some good advice for newbies.

Untitled Document

For example, try to always use the continental grip for serves, volleys and slices. You might be able to do these fine with other grips, but trust me it will limit progress, so just start to learn to do it now. For forehand/backhand there is more than one grip. I use the Eastern grip on my forehand and sort of a semi western grip on my backhand. The grip you want to use really depends on how much topspin you want to put on the ball, the more you want to put on, the further around the racket you go. I hope that helps.
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post #29 of 29 (permalink) Old Nov 15th, 2016, 08:51 AM
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Re: How to be a better tennis player (THE WALL: step outside your comfort zone)

Happy to be part of this forum. Thanks for sharing guys.
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