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post #16 of 31 (permalink) Old Jan 8th, 2016, 08:40 AM
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Re: how can i improve?

One way to change direction and go down the lines is to use a flat inside-out stroke toward the lines. You can also position yourself toward a line and rotate your hips as you hit the ball to generate more power.
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post #17 of 31 (permalink) Old Jan 15th, 2016, 04:59 PM
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Re: how can i improve?

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Originally Posted by heavyhorse View Post
i've been playing tennis for 7-8 months now. i play with my flatmate who is REALLY good imo. he's been playing since he was young, on and off, and he beats me everytime. i have only beat him once and that's because he was having a crap day, and it was a looong match.

anyway, i feel like i'm not making any improvements. we don't play everyday cause we're quite busy, maybe once or twice a week on average (so not every week even). i can only win points when he makes an error and it's infuriating i've thought about it and here's where my big problems are:

i cannot change the direction of the ball. the only time i have done this is accidentally. i've tried moving to the side and opening my body up to hit an inside-out forehand but it just goes back to the middle. infact, so many of my shots just go right back to the middle. so it's not only changing the direction of the ball i have a problem with, but creating angles too.

also, i feel like i can only really hit flat. i find it really difficult to use top-spin, or at least the right amount of top-spin for the ball to be hit hard and still remain inside the lines. does anyone know what i can do to change this? i've noticed that i don't use my wrists that much when i'm hitting the ball, so could that be it?

i know none of you (or most of you) aren't pros or coaches but advice would be much appreciated. i played him again today and the score was 6-4 7-6 and the only reason i can make the scoreline like that is through my competitiveness and scrambling around for every point. but i feel like a pusher and it's annoying me.

any other tips on how i could generally improve would also be much appreciated. thanks
IMO, you have to improve your technique first. Take a look at the top coaches and websites here and study them. Then, try to apply the techniques in real games. Also record yourself for self-correction.

Best online tennis websites, videos and coaches
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post #18 of 31 (permalink) Old Feb 10th, 2016, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
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Re: how can i improve?

thanks for the help everyone

i am definitely getting better. i'm actually hitting winners now but i'm still losing and it's because of my movement. i'm 6'1 - 6'2, the guy i play with is like 5'6 maybe 5'7... so he can run to pretty much every ball. i, however, have terrible movement. i can't get off the mark quick enough and it feels like my upper body moves before my legs do which means i almost stumble towards the ball more than anything else (when i have to run for an aggressive shot that's going to the other side of the court). should i start running in order to improve this?

i started moving on my toes kinda (basically not having my feet flat on the ground) which i think helps. does that sound to right to anyone? i thought of this because i'm quite a good sprinter, and usually when i sprint i almost run on my toes because it allows me to spring forward when running. but yeah my movement is god awful and any tips on how people managed to improve their movement would be much appreciated! thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexMA View Post
I mean let's be honest here, losing 5-7 5-7 to Halep in Madrid is pretty outstanding, bodes very well for Barty's future on clay if she can stay this close to the queen of clay at her favorite tournament.
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post #19 of 31 (permalink) Old Feb 10th, 2016, 10:05 PM
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Re: how can i improve?

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Originally Posted by heavyhorse View Post
thanks for the help everyone

i am definitely getting better. i'm actually hitting winners now but i'm still losing and it's because of my movement. i'm 6'1 - 6'2, the guy i play with is like 5'6 maybe 5'7... so he can run to pretty much every ball. i, however, have terrible movement. i can't get off the mark quick enough and it feels like my upper body moves before my legs do which means i almost stumble towards the ball more than anything else (when i have to run for an aggressive shot that's going to the other side of the court). should i start running in order to improve this?

i started moving on my toes kinda (basically not having my feet flat on the ground) which i think helps. does that sound to right to anyone? i thought of this because i'm quite a good sprinter, and usually when i sprint i almost run on my toes because it allows me to spring forward when running. but yeah my movement is god awful and any tips on how people managed to improve their movement would be much appreciated! thanks.
I am also a lanky poor mover, although I have more difficulty with going up and down the court rather than side to side.

I would say one thing to remember is..most of the time..although it's tempting to try and get to the ball as early as possible, more can be less. You often have more time than you think, so it's better to take smaller slower steps and risk missing the ball than take long gapping strides and hit the ball unbalanced, as you will probably end up hitting it short or into the net or something(but of course, sometimes your opponent hits a really good shot and you just have to try and run it down).

Some good exercises to do would be short high intensity runs, shuttle runs and agility ladders etc.

Staying on your toes sounds good. It is best to always keep your feet moving slightly, even if you are waiting in the middle of the court for the return. Also, if you stand still, this might be why you find you aren't getting off the mark quick enough, but if you are already moving, you can move to the ball more quickly.. Hopefully that makes sense...
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post #20 of 31 (permalink) Old Feb 11th, 2016, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
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Re: how can i improve?

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Originally Posted by Mr.Sparkle View Post
I am also a lanky poor mover, although I have more difficulty with going up and down the court rather than side to side.

I would say one thing to remember is..most of the time..although it's tempting to try and get to the ball as early as possible, more can be less. You often have more time than you think, so it's better to take smaller slower steps and risk missing the ball than take long gapping strides and hit the ball unbalanced, as you will probably end up hitting it short or into the net or something(but of course, sometimes your opponent hits a really good shot and you just have to try and run it down).

Some good exercises to do would be short high intensity runs, shuttle runs and agility ladders etc.

Staying on your toes sounds good. It is best to always keep your feet moving slightly, even if you are waiting in the middle of the court for the return. Also, if you stand still, this might be why you find you aren't getting off the mark quick enough, but if you are already moving, you can move to the ball more quickly.. Hopefully that makes sense...
don't even get me started on moving up the court the guy i play with has really really good touch so he drop shots a lot and usually wins the point by doing so. i'd say his drop shots are executed (not missed) 8/10 times and executed really really well (when i think most people would struggle to retrieve) 4/10 times.

what you said about reacting too much is a good point. now that i think of it, because i know my movement is poor, whenever the ball gets hit away from me i almost panic which makes me get to the ball out of balance and sometimes too early where i kinda have to pull back when hitting the shot because i'm too close to it. i might try that actually. when we practice i hit good shots and everything seems fine, but when we play competitively i think he obviously steps it up a lot but also i kinda get into this over-excited mentality where i have to over-do everything and don't just take it easy (this includes when i'm hitting shots as well).

i'm gonna practice drills like the one you mentioned. i used to play basketball years ago and our coach would always get us to do speedy drills where we'd run to the middle of the hall, tap the floor, and run back as quick as we can over and over again. and yeah i'm trying to keep my feet moving at all times, it's hard though cause i have long legs so it's quite an effort. but i remember watching steffi graf and federer play and i notice they both are always jumping on the spot in anticipation for the next shot. i know a lot of players do this but they stuck out to me because it seemed much more fluid to them.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexMA View Post
I mean let's be honest here, losing 5-7 5-7 to Halep in Madrid is pretty outstanding, bodes very well for Barty's future on clay if she can stay this close to the queen of clay at her favorite tournament.
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post #21 of 31 (permalink) Old Feb 11th, 2016, 08:52 PM
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Re: how can i improve?

Lmao. Don't come to me for footwork advice. My FH is solid and my BH deep and consistent. Plus my serve is really coming round. But the thing that prevents me from moving forward () in my game and results is footwork. Footwork is absolutely crucial. Even if your strokes are being hit in a technically sound way, if you are lunging for the ball, or even slightly off balance, the effectiveness and accuracy of your shot falls.

I agree pretty much with Mr.Sparkle. In the first year of playing tennis you eventually get the hang of hitting technically good strokes on both sides, even if you're not doing it consistently. But footwork is always a mess.

Shorter, controlled steps are the key. Obviously you shouldn't enter a match thinking about tiptoeing everywhere, so you have to train yourself in practice with things such as shuttle runs and agility ladders.

Footwork is also important because of the different stances required for different shots. When coming forward to hit a ball DTL, or put away a midcourt short ball, you need to have excellent footwork, as this is often the thing that determines whether your advantage is converted into a point, or whether you hit the short ball over the baseline Being side on with the ball is best when going DTL, but you can't be too close to the ball either. Big steps won't get you into position, quick small steps will.

It sounds like you're not the best mover. But don't worry, every time you play, it will improve
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Last edited by The Walking Bye; Feb 11th, 2016 at 10:32 PM.
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post #22 of 31 (permalink) Old Feb 11th, 2016, 10:12 PM Thread Starter
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Re: how can i improve?

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Originally Posted by The Walking Bye View Post
Lmao. Don't come to me for footwork advice. My FH is solid and my BH deep and consistent. Plus my serve is really coming round. But the thing that prevents me from moving forward () in my game and results is footwork. Footwork is absolutely crucial. Even if your strokes are being hit in a technically sound way, if you are lunging for the ball, or even slightly off balance, the effectiveness and accuracy of your shot falls.

I agree pretty much with Mr.Sparkle. In the first year of playing tennis you eventually get the hang of hitting technically good strokes on both sides, even if you're not doing it consistently. But footwork is always a mess.

Shorter, controlled steps are the key. Obviously you should enter a match thinking about tiptoeing everywhere, so you have to train yourself in practice with things such as shuttle runs and agility ladders.

Footwork is also important because of the different stances required for different shots. When coming forward to hit a ball DTL, or put away a midcourt short ball, you need to have excellent footwork, as this is often the thing that determines whether your advantage is converted into a point, or whether you hit the short ball over the baseline Being side on with the ball is best when going DTL, but you can't be too close to the ball either. Big steps won't get you into position, quick small steps will.

It sounds like you're not the best mover. But don't worry, every time you play, it will improve
this is quite comforting. i'm fortunate to be on this forum because obviously people have been playing a lot longer than i have and know the little quirks that mess your game up and cause trouble, and i can honestly say the advice i've received in this thread has improved my game dramatically. i've been playing for a while now so obviously my game will improve naturally but the reason i've improved is, imo, because i've read these posts quite a few times over.

the guy i play with has such an advantage though, he's great at racket sports and played tennis with his father a lot when he was young and also he's small so he can basically get to every single shot i hit. i have to say though my height can be an advantage because i serve a lot better than him he never hits an ace with me but i'd say i hit about 2 aces every match we play. however, i also hit quite a few double faults but i know that's a mental problem because when i have a second serve i just decide to go for it and most of the time i end up hitting it too hard. but i'm constantly re-adjusting my serve and fixing it cause it's really my only weapon.

anyway, yet again, thanks for the advice everyone! it's much much appreciated. i try watching videos online but for some reason it isn't as affective as when i read it and comprehend it myself.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexMA View Post
I mean let's be honest here, losing 5-7 5-7 to Halep in Madrid is pretty outstanding, bodes very well for Barty's future on clay if she can stay this close to the queen of clay at her favorite tournament.
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post #23 of 31 (permalink) Old Feb 14th, 2016, 04:00 PM
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Re: how can i improve?

IMO, tennis is a very hard game to improve quickly. You have to be very patient. If I could make a suggestion, invest in a tripod with a smart phone adapter and record yourself. That way, you can compare your strokes to pro strokes to make sure that you are not grooving bad strokes.

You might be in for a rude awakening LOL...

List of my favorite and best online tennis training instruction websites from beginners to advanced players
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post #24 of 31 (permalink) Old Sep 24th, 2016, 09:48 AM
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Re: how can i improve?

In regard to two comments at the top, if you can't afford or don't want lessons, you can try to find advice from Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, two players great at creating angles.
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post #25 of 31 (permalink) Old Sep 24th, 2016, 11:54 PM
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Re: how can i improve?

Hey Heavy Horse... first off. I feel ya man, because I got a guy that seems to get me every time too.

I'm a certified coach, but I'm still trying to improve as a player too. The things that will make you better might not show up as "wins" right away... but more like you're trying to improve a certain aspect of your game.

For example, if your forehand needs to be tweaked because you don't feel like you're getting enough topspin on the ball... that might cause you to lose worse to your buddy for a little while because you're making a technical change, and that takes time... your brain is trying to rewire a muscle pattern and will be fighting itself for awhile while the new technique takes shape. And that may cause losses initially, but will help you dramatically once the pattern has been ingrained.

As for changing direction of the ball... it's riskier than staying with the direction... but I totally understand wanting to be able to do it. It's all about what's happening with the racket face at contact. Doesn't have anything to do with where your body is... Some body positions are more comfortable for others based on your personal preference.

If you want to hit an inside out forehand... you have to grab the inside of the ball (if that makes any sense)... so the wrist will be MORE laid back than if you're hitting down the middle.

As for spin... I've seen some good videos on youtube, and I'll probably post them in this forum somewhere to check out. But basically, you have your legs, your shoulder, your elbow and your wrist that are able to make the racket go from low to high... you can experiment with each of them... but at the end of the day it's all about getting the racket head going more vertically as it approaches contact and continuing the momentum of the swing through the shot.

Hope this helps, man!
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post #26 of 31 (permalink) Old Sep 24th, 2016, 11:56 PM
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Re: how can i improve?

Quote:
Originally Posted by snappywrist View Post
IMO, tennis is a very hard game to improve quickly. You have to be very patient. If I could make a suggestion, invest in a tripod with a smart phone adapter and record yourself. That way, you can compare your strokes to pro strokes to make sure that you are not grooving bad strokes.

You might be in for a rude awakening LOL...
That's the truth!! Good advice... and yes it's a rude awakening... "I could have sworn I hit the ball just like Federer on that forehand" lol!
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post #27 of 31 (permalink) Old Sep 25th, 2016, 12:03 AM
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Re: how can i improve?

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Originally Posted by The Walking Bye View Post
Lmao. Don't come to me for footwork advice. My FH is solid and my BH deep and consistent. Plus my serve is really coming round. But the thing that prevents me from moving forward () in my game and results is footwork. Footwork is absolutely crucial. Even if your strokes are being hit in a technically sound way, if you are lunging for the ball, or even slightly off balance, the effectiveness and accuracy of your shot falls.

I agree pretty much with Mr.Sparkle. In the first year of playing tennis you eventually get the hang of hitting technically good strokes on both sides, even if you're not doing it consistently. But footwork is always a mess.

Shorter, controlled steps are the key. Obviously you shouldn't enter a match thinking about tiptoeing everywhere, so you have to train yourself in practice with things such as shuttle runs and agility ladders.

Footwork is also important because of the different stances required for different shots. When coming forward to hit a ball DTL, or put away a midcourt short ball, you need to have excellent footwork, as this is often the thing that determines whether your advantage is converted into a point, or whether you hit the short ball over the baseline Being side on with the ball is best when going DTL, but you can't be too close to the ball either. Big steps won't get you into position, quick small steps will.

It sounds like you're not the best mover. But don't worry, every time you play, it will improve
This right here, great post!

Yes, footwork is one of the most important elements of developing as a player.

The strokes can be learned in a day (in a shadow swing)... but it's the rhythm, efficiency and accuracy of movement that really separates the best players in the world... and the club players/weekend warriors/USTA players too. I've seen guys with NO strokes AT ALL just demolish their opponents at the 3.5 level, just because they could move and they could get the ball back. Eventually the strokes need to be improved if you're going to go much further than that.

The little steps are key at the END of the footwork prep (assuming there is time to adjust).
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post #28 of 31 (permalink) Old Mar 24th, 2019, 05:10 AM
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Re: how can i improve?

I run a YT channel that teaches tennis. Let me tell you first that what you're doing is already good and I should say a great start. I understand the struggle in improving your performance. You can get a local coach to help you with your techniques and have someone else to practice with. For free resources, you can check out my videos here
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post #29 of 31 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 2019, 10:40 AM
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Re: how can i improve?

I'm playing for like 6 months now but still don't quite have control over the ball.
It's still miles out
I only have 1h/week class so that's really not enough
Guess I have to be patient?!
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post #30 of 31 (permalink) Old Mar 31st, 2019, 01:20 AM
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Re: how can i improve?

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Originally Posted by Barty_Tennisfan View Post
I'm playing for like 6 months now but still don't quite have control over the ball.
It's still miles out
I only have 1h/week class so that's really not enough
Guess I have to be patient?!
1hr/week is good... Also start to try and play some matches against other beginners.
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