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  1. #16
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    The fast server showed up today. While i was much more successful, i still had trouble keeping my heart rate relaxed. i try to prepare myself for the return and sometimes i get carried away and then the side effect (panic) sets in. i'll get it down though.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coach View Post
    Do you hit with a one hand or two handed backhand?
    Coach or somebody: Please explain how to return a well-placed serve to the backhand.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lawn Tennis View Post
    Coach or somebody: Please explain how to return a well-placed serve to the backhand.
    The return of serve gets too many people worried. The first thing is your mindset. I read this entire post and hears what I see.
    1. Stop having the fearful mindset. What you need to do is practice lots of returns. I mean lots of returns. If you can't find anyone to give you a worthy serve, have them stand at the opposing service line and bomb the ball.

    2. Loosen your grip on the racquet. Don't choke your racquet to death.

    3. Most important is to keep your head down on the shot. Decide where you will go with the shot beforehand so you can hit to a target. If you swing just to get it back, you are just swingly wildly and blindly. Once that doesn't work, you will start poking at the ball and then you are done. SWING!!!!

    4. Take a step to your left. If he is going to get it to your backhand, make him work for it.

    Remember, when you practice your return of service, practice like you want to play. Just getting it back in practice is not the way to go about it. You will have to practice staying turned on the shot and giving it a swing. See if that works for you..........

  4. #19
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    you are right TK. i start to worry when i can't break. my service game starts to feel the pressure. i'm relatively new to tennis (about 5 - 6 months experience - i play about 6 days a week) and my serve is still prone to double faults. all this considered puts so much on the return of serve. my forehand return is impressive. my backhand normally sends the ball to the open side of the court but with the pace of a snail. when i swing at the ball with my backhand, it almost always goes out. for this reason, i run around my backhand every chance i get during the return of serve - especially when on the deuce side (cause im right-handed).

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lawn Tennis View Post
    you are right TK. i start to worry when i can't break. my service game starts to feel the pressure. i'm relatively new to tennis (about 5 - 6 months experience - i play about 6 days a week) and my serve is still prone to double faults. all this considered puts so much on the return of serve. my forehand return is impressive. my backhand normally sends the ball to the open side of the court but with the pace of a snail. when i swing at the ball with my backhand, it almost always goes out. for this reason, i run around my backhand every chance i get during the return of serve - especially when on the deuce side (cause im right-handed).
    The best idea for you is to get out there and hit return after return. Act as though someone is taking a picture of you and you want a perfect form picture each time. Stay down with your head solidly on the contact point. This will keep you from pulling up on the shot. Step up a couple of steps to keep the ball in your strike zone and swing. The best thing to have in your head is it's another groundstroke. Nothing more. If a great serve comes at you, you end up having to hit a volley. (That the lunger you barely get your racquet on) This mindset will get you to feeling that you aren't just hitting a single return, but that you are hitting the first groundstroke of the rally. Practice your weak points now and you will have less weaknesses later......

  6. #21
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    okay. i'll try these tips on for size and get back to ya. thanks again.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lawn Tennis View Post
    okay. i'll try these tips on for size and get back to ya. thanks again.
    LT - Can you tell us what division you are playing in? You mentioned one person in particular that you worry about. What is it about this person's serve that bothers you above others? Does this person follow it into the Net? Are you concerned about getting the ball back or what to do with it once you've made contact?

    Do not let anyone diminish or over simplify what it takes to become a good return of serve player. I am certain our friend TK can attest to this, that many professional players have never had their return of serve as a weapon like Agassi, Connors, Hewitt, Seles, Henin. For those players, they could count on a number of points in a match that derived from that weapon of theirs and for others, it is just a matter of either getting the ball back in play with hopes you didn't immediately place yourself in a defensive mode or teeing of on the serve because it was weak.

    You must have very good hand / eye coordination. That is seeing the ball and making not just contact but doing something with it that may even place your opponent on the defense.

    I was playing a match in Flagstaff Az. in 1991 , against a a S&V player. Now I'm not one that cherishes good S&V players because they place immediate pressure on you. You not only have to get the ball back but you have to find a way to neutralize their attack. What I found was hitting the ball flat wasn't going to cut it against this guy, I had to hit with as much top spin as possible to get the ball down to his feet causing him to volley up. And as TK mentioned, going straight at the attacker will generate dividends if you hit hard enough.

    If you have a person that is willing to practice with you who can Serve & Volley, Work on that approach. You want to go straight at your friend and you want to hit top spin forcing them to volley up.


    Coach




    .
    Last edited by Coach; 08-15-2009 at 02:27 PM.
    The only acceptable loss is when your opponent was better than you on that given day.
    It is never acceptable to lose when your opponent was not.

  8. #23
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    You remind me of me. If I cant hit the serve back and I lose the first point of the game I start getting all nervous and feel as though I can't do it.
    The best thing to do is to remember to stand back [this particulary applies for the faster servers] and if the ball is coming to the back hand stay in the place you are and the ball will bounce to you, and if it lower, well, then there a 99.9% you will win the point cause all you need to do is hit it to the other side of your opponent and because they aren't 100% [as they have just put all concentration onto the serve] it will be harder for them to respond to the shots].
    Thats usually the tactic I use and often it works.
    Why am I fighting to live, if I'm just living to fight
    Why am I trying to see, when there aint nothing in sight
    Why am I trying to give, when no one gives me a try
    Why am I dying to live, if I'm just living to die?
    -Tupac Shakur

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robyna View Post
    You remind me of me. If I cant hit the serve back and I lose the first point of the game I start getting all nervous and feel as though I can't do it.
    The best thing to do is to remember to stand back [this particulary applies for the faster servers] and if the ball is coming to the back hand stay in the place you are and the ball will bounce to you, and if it lower, well, then there a 99.9% you will win the point cause all you need to do is hit it to the other side of your opponent and because they aren't 100% [as they have just put all concentration onto the serve] it will be harder for them to respond to the shots].
    Thats usually the tactic I use and often it works.
    I mean absolutely no harm in this Robyna, and if you are having a really bad day and nothing else works, you can back up. However, when one backs up, the angles get much bigger, the kick serves have a chance to go wider, and your returns will land much shorter. If you move in and use the servers power, the ball gets back to them quicker and they are still off balance from the serving motion, the ball will not have had the chance to move out of the strike height zone, and you will have cut off the angle and you will still be close enough to the court. Now, the best way to get good at that is to really practice it. Tons of practice. You will get used to taking the ball early and your eyes will begin to pick up on the faster serves. As you get better at tennis, the players in the higher levels will eat you up if you back up and you will lose all confidence in your returns. Practice moving up to hit your returns and taking them early and then if that doesn't work for you that day, you can always move back a bit. Put yourself in the toughest situation in practice so that when you play a match, it will be just another day on the court.....

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coach View Post
    LT - Can you tell us what division you are playing in? You mentioned one person in particular that you worry about. What is it about this person's serve that bothers you above others? Does this person follow it into the Net? Are you concerned about getting the ball back or what to do with it once you've made contact?

    Do not let anyone diminish or over simplify what it takes to become a good return of serve player. I am certain our friend TK can attest to this, that many professional players have never had their return of serve as a weapon like Agassi, Connors, Hewitt, Seles, Henin. For those players, they could count on a number of points in a match that derived from that weapon of theirs and for others, it is just a matter of either getting the ball back in play with hopes you didn't immediately place yourself in a defensive mode or teeing of on the serve because it was weak.

    You must have very good hand / eye coordination. That is seeing the ball and making not just contact but doing something with it that may even place your opponent on the defense.

    I was playing a match in Flagstaff Az. in 1991 , against a a S&V player. Now I'm not one that cherishes good S&V players because they place immediate pressure on you. You not only have to get the ball back but you have to find a way to neutralize their attack. What I found was hitting the ball flat wasn't going to cut it against this guy, I had to hit with as much top spin as possible to get the ball down to his feet causing him to volley up. And as TK mentioned, going straight at the attacker will generate dividends is yu hit hard enough.

    If you have a person that is willing to practice with you who can Serve & Volley, Work on that approach. You want to go straight at your friend and you want to hit top spin forcing them to volley up.


    Coach

    .
    Coach,

    the person i mentioned months ago is no longer a challenge. even his serves seem weak compared to the new competition i've run in to. now to answer your question: my newfound competition is a 4.0 player. he actually doesnt charge the net often at all, so that eliminates that likely symptom. his serves almost always go to my backhand. either he knows that's my weakness, or left-handed serves naturally favor the left, his right. he uses a lot of top spin, so his serves bounce really high. i stand about 6 feet behind the baseline and hug the backhand side. i'm really considering switching to a two-handed backhand. thanks for your help Coach.

    LT

  11. #26
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    Very Important Lesson for Free

    Quote Originally Posted by Robyna View Post
    You remind me of me. If I cant hit the serve back and I lose the first point of the game I start getting all nervous and feel as though I can't do it.
    The best thing to do is to remember to stand back [this particularly applies for the faster servers] and if the ball is coming to the back hand stay in the place you are and the ball will bounce to you, and if it lower, well, then there a 99.9% you will win the point cause all you need to do is hit it to the other side of your opponent and because they aren't 100% [as they have just put all concentration onto the serve] it will be harder for them to respond to the shots].
    Thats usually the tactic I use and often it works.
    Robyna my special member ~ I must echo our friend TK's Post and if you've read any of mine regarding return of serve, you will see a consistent message that standing back is not something I teach my kids. Granted, the technique for hitting on the rise is not one that comes instantly. You have to work at it. There are no short cuts, although some get it faster than others. But at the end of the day, standing back is not a wise tactic. If I were playing you and noticed that you are standing back, I would have a field day with all the points I'd earn from my serve alone. You can bet I would not go down the T as often however I would slice it out wide and simply hit cross court should you get your racquet on the ball. Plus I would follow it in.

    Thank about your options when you're standing out wide? You can either return DTL or CC so my approach to the Net would be what? Yes of course, directly to either the Ad-Court corner or the Deuce-Court corner, cutting away your chance of passing me and you would have given me plenty of time because of the distance you are standing.

    My friend, you need to abandon that game plan and start standing on the baseline. Our Moderator buddy (LT) has problems with high bouncing balls up around his shoulders and everybody has problems with that as well.

    If you stand back waiting for the ball to come back down to a reasonable height so you can deal with it, oh my you're going to see nothing but your opponent standing at the net with a big old smile of their face just a waiting for your shot to smack down. And how effective of a lob can you produce from way back yonder?

    HIT ON THE RISE
    has and will always be my shot of choice.

    Advantages of hitting on the rise:
    * Your opponent has less time to react.
    * You cut off your opponent's angles earlier so that you have less court to cover.
    * Being closer to the net, you can hit sharper angles.
    * You prevent your opponent from kicking the ball above your comfort zone.
    * The ball has slightly more incoming speed when it hits your strings and thus slightly more rebound speed.


    *Please watch this video that I find is fairly close to how I teach my kids. If you recall, I mentioned using the wall in one of my earlier post on this topic.




    I wish you guys were closer to me, I'd give all of you a few lessons for free well except TK that is. But it ticks me off that TK dropped from the Tour because I have a feeling had he stuck it out, good things were just around the corner for him. Btw gang - I know who he is, have any of you figured it out yet?

    Coach


    .
    The only acceptable loss is when your opponent was better than you on that given day.
    It is never acceptable to lose when your opponent was not.

  12. #27
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    TK didnt tell you?

  13. #28
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by Lawn Tennis View Post
    TK didnt tell you?
    It's me, Chuck Norris, Walker Texas Ranger! Lol! I couldn't resist. Well guys, I really appreciate the confidence in me, but once I had that heat stroke back in '95, it really threw my system off. I couldn't deal with heat for 2 or 3 years after that. That is why I went back to college. Funny, I was playing this small money tournament in the southeast and had told a guy who also was looking to pick up some travel cash about the tournament. He was 200 in the world at the time and we both showed up and met in the semi-finals. We played for 3½ hours and it was all of 100 degrees that day and I had had to play my quarterfinal match at 10 am. The semi-final match started at 1:00pm and it was broiling hot. I then had to play a doubles final after I got off the court at 5:00 or so and that was that. I ended up having severe heat exhaustion. Doctors said I was lucky I didn't die from it. I had muscle cramps for absolutely no reason for 3 months after that. All over body cramps even if I had done absolutely nothing all day. It was crazy. Back to you LT, keep practicing your return by stepping up and taking it early (on the rise). You will get used to it, but it takes awhile. Patience and not giving up is the key. It will come. Remember when you first started, you probably felt the same way about other strokes. It will come with time. Find someone who wants to get better as well and use them as a practice partner. If they don't serve well, have them move up to the service box line and hit serves from there. You do the same for them. Most of all, do not be afraid to lose. Play tiebreaks with your partner where the returner has to stand on the baseline to receive serve and you guys just have a good time improving. Most of all, don't analyze too much. Just get out there and hit it with good form and if you lose, do it again and again and again. I could be the best coach and hitting partner in the world and give you all the best advice in the world, but the only true thing that will work is to get out there and practice. I've been bantering with Bubo about some things on here, and one can be the Zen master and yadda, yadda, yadda, but the only thing that truly works in the end is to get out there and practice and play. Oh yeah, good write-ups on your answers about this subject Coach. You sound like quite a good coach.
    Last edited by Coach; 08-15-2009 at 07:19 PM.

  14. #29
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    you almost had me going ;-)

    let's see here. you're about 38 years old and American. your highest ATP rank was about 450. you beat Sebastien Grosjean some time ago. you were Martina Hingis' hitting partner for a bit. you work in an office, and sometimes you consider jumping out the window to end the boredom. i really dont know...

  15. #30
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    i'd like to thank everyone again for their replies to my problem. Coach, Robyna, and Tennisking :-)

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