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  1. #1
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    I've hit a wall.

    ...Not literally of course.

    But over the past 4-5 months, I have been practicing tennis for 1-2 hours almost every day of the week. However, I don't think i've actually improved much, if at all. Before these 4/5 months, I was practicing at the same rate and improving my game- slowly but steadily. Now it seems like whenever I identify a problem with my game and fix it, the problem always recurs, be it the day after I address it or a week later. I've really been trying to work on my consistency and it's just not improving at all, because I keep doing the same things wrong over and over again, and for some reason I can't keep it fixed for more than a week. Some of the things I have been trying to improve are footwork technique, movement, and handling low balls, and honestly, after I spend some time focusing on each issue, I do improve. However, when I stop completely focusing on one issue at a time and try to play my natural game, I just revert back to my old methods and miss shots. I can't figure it out.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Hope- View Post

    But over the past 4-5 months, I have been practicing tennis for 1-2 hours almost every day of the week. However, I don't think i've actually improved much, if at all.
    I do not know how old are you and when have you started to play tennis.To know this information would be helpful, but I will help you even without knowing this information.

    I wiill give you advice on each part I quoted you.
    If you practice too much then you get tired, and in short term you do not make progress, but actually you worsen your performance

    example
    When I played competitive tennis I practiced a lot.One Sunday I played sparring match and won 6/0, 6/2.Next 6 days I practiced 7 hours per day (42 hours in six days).Next Sunday I played sparring match against same opponent, and lost 0/6, 0/6.

    Conclusion:
    Six days in the row I played too much (I never before practiced 7 hours per day , six days in the row).Even, my practice was quality practice it was too much (above my tolerance level) in quantity, and as such detrimental in short run.One has to balance work/rest ratio
    Last edited by Bubo; 06-16-2009 at 02:09 PM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubo View Post
    I do not know how old are you and when have you started to play tennis.To know this information would be helpful, but I will help you even without knowing this information.

    I wiill give you advice on each part I quoted you.
    If you practice too much then you get tired, and in short term you do not make progress, but actually you worsen your performance

    example
    When I played competitive tennis I practiced a lot.One Sunday I played sparring match and won 6/0, 6/2.Next 6 days I practiced 7 hours per day (42 hours in six days).Next Sunday I played sparring match against same opponent, and lost 0/6, 0/6.

    Conclusion:
    Six days in the row I played too much (I never before practiced 7 hours per day , six days in the row).Even, my practice was quality practice it was too much (above my tolerance level) in quantity, and as such detrimental in short run.One has to balance work/rest ratio
    To answer your question, I'm 15 and I've been playing tennis for about 7 years.

    Hmm. Did you feel tired or fatigued at all after practicing that much? Because I know I would if I practiced that intensely, and I'm not feeling fatigued at all right now. It doesn't feel like I'm overworking myself- however, I don't know if it should or not.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Hope- View Post
    To answer your question, I'm 15 and I've been playing tennis for about 7 years.

    Hmm. Did you feel tired or fatigued at all after practicing that much? Because I know I would if I practiced that intensely, and I'm not feeling fatigued at all right now. It doesn't feel like I'm overworking myself- however, I don't know if it should or not.

    It is good that you are so young and you started to play so early because playing tennis is a lot of coordination which is mostly inborn physical component, and it should be address very early for best results.

    I felt tired but I though the more the better.When, someone is tired he cannot make right decisions.This is one of the reasons for tennis coach;to monitor what is going on, and make decisions what to do because a player is not able to perform at his best and control the process at the same time.Too much practice leads to fatigue, and diminishing performance, and if continue to overtraining, and can be detrimental to player¨s health.

    Fatigue makes coward of us all in other words is detrimental to player¨s self confidence, and we all know how self confidence is important during a tennis match.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Hope- View Post

    Before these 4/5 months, I was practicing at the same rate and improving my game- slowly but steadily.
    If you practice right way you should improve.At the beginning improvments are faster (and you are far away from beginning), and as you go on, you improve but at slower rate because the things to learn are more complicated.This is called a law of diminishing returns.You should improve but at slower rate.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Hope- View Post
    . Now it seems like whenever I identify a problem with my game and fix it, the problem always recurs, be it the day after I address it or a week later. I've really been trying to work on my consistency and it's just not improving at all, because I keep doing the same things wrong over and over again, and for some reason I can't keep it fixed for more than a week. Some of the things I have been trying to improve are footwork technique, movement, and handling low balls, and honestly, after I spend some time focusing on each issue, I do improve. However, when I stop completely focusing on one issue at a time and try to play my natural game, I just revert back to my old methods and miss shots. I can't figure it out.
    When you try to improve something in your game criteria for what to correct, learn or improve is what will once improved the most rise your overall performance .This is called window of opportunity, and there is always one window of opportunity that is the thing which when improved will add the most to your game.

    As in medicine it is very important to diagnose a problem, and prescribe a remedy to cure it.The same is here.Before you start to devote time and effort to learn, improve or correct something, you have to be quite sure how to do it.
    I will give you an example.I learned tennis mostly by watching better players.The problem with that method is that that is very probable that you do not notice, and differ what is important from what is not.So for example, I would come to net to practice volley, but I really practiced nothing because I did not know the volley mechanics.One can practice something when he is aware of its mechanics.I could practice volley this way day in and day out, and nothing happened.Everytime was the same during the practice, and I avoided it during a match.
    Last edited by Bubo; 06-18-2009 at 02:53 AM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubo View Post
    When you try to improve something in your game criteria for what to correct, learn or improve is what will once improved the most rise your overall performance .This is called window of opportunity, and there is always one window of opportunity that is the thing which when improved will add the most to your game.

    As in medicine it is very important to diagnose a problem, and prescribe a remedy to cure it.The same is here.Before you start to devote time and effort to learn, improve or correct something, you have to be quite sure how to do it.
    I will give you an example.I learned tennis mostly by watching better players.The problem with that method is that that is very probable that you do not notice, and differ what is important from what is not.So for example, I would come to net to practice volley, but I really practiced nothing because I did not know the volley mechanics.One can practice something when he is aware of its mechanics.I could practice volley this way day in and day out, and nothing happened.Everytime was the same durig the practice, and avoided it during a match.
    Watching the pros play doesn't do much for me either. Maybe it's just the way I learn, but all I end up noticing is that every single player has a distinct style, and you can't really model yourself after one and "use" their form, because it might not be best for you.

    Your other point may be true though. At practice today it seemed like I finally solved a big problem with my groundstroke form (in short, I started putting my weight into shots instead of just trying to smack them with only force from my arm) and I'm cautiously optimistic about it, but what I'm saying is the next day I remember nothing about these "fixes" and I'm constantly learning and re-learning them. This one does feel different, and we'll see how it goes. However, I often feel like I'm not aware enough of what I'm doing. ie. I'll hit a clunker, and my coach will tell me to change so-and-so in my swing. A few minutes later, I rip one across the court, and my coach says "wow, great job! see what happens when you do that?"
    Problem is, I don't see what happens because apart from the good feedback from the racquet, I can't tell the 2 different swings apart.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Hope- View Post
    Watching the pros play doesn't do much for me either. Maybe it's just the way I learn, but all I end up noticing is that every single player has a distinct style, and you can't really model yourself after one and "use" their form, because it might not be best for you..
    At the time when I have learned tennis watching better players did not me any good either.I thought too that they play in different way;that each has his own individual way.I was very interested and passionate about tennis, and little by little I understood that certain things ("What is tennis all about" my other thread) are commons to all professional.These are the things which count, which contain essence of tennis.Pro differ in details which have no importance.These details are just individual thing mounted on what is commom to them.If they would not have body mechanics things their tennis would look ridicule, and they would never be where they are now.
    As I said I used to see just outside, superficial things (like difference how a person is dressed and what is he really like as a person) which are not important for the tennis stroke, and to me seemed too that every pro has his own way of playing tennis.Actually, they all play the same in general.They respect the same law of physics.Their implementation is little differen due their physiological differences.What you see right now is just surface.The same was with me.I remember time when I tried to learn swing for serve.I saw many players using different swings so I copied and was going from one to another for unknown reasons so my serve was not stable.I learned swing for serve when I could answer questions like:
    - what is purpose of swing in serve
    - which law of physics apply
    - how and why concerning position of the racket
    - how swing has to end to faciliate next movement (loop).
    - what physiology here has to say

    When I was able to answer these questions and explain to myself why is this the best then I was on the right track.From there I would add just details to meke it even better.
    Last edited by Bubo; 06-18-2009 at 02:56 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Hope- View Post
    Now it seems like whenever I identify a problem with my game and fix it, the problem always recurs, be it the day after I address it or a week later. I've really been trying to work on my consistency and it's just not improving at all, because I keep doing the same things wrong over and over again, and for some reason I can't keep it fixed for more than a week. Some of the things I have been trying to improve are footwork technique, movement, and handling low balls, and honestly, after I spend some time focusing on each issue, I do improve. However, when I stop completely focusing on one issue at a time and try to play my natural game, I just revert back to my old methods and miss shots. I can't figure it out.
    If your coach and you diagnosed well what does not let you to make further progress, you have to find right solution.In implementing this solution is important that you go from general to individual that is from gross movements to fine movements.There are 3 stages in learning, correcting stroke mechanics:

    - mental stage(when coach explains you how to do it, and possibly why.I am in favor of developing self sufficient player compared to dependent player.Self sufficient is one who knows why is something happening so he is able to see what is happening, and find out how to correct.During this mental stage is the most explaning how to do it with less actual hitting

    - practice stage (where you actually do the things you have been told with shorter pauses for further explanation and correction

    . automatic stage (when player instictively hits the ball.This stage characterized a lot of repetition)
    Last edited by Bubo; 07-15-2009 at 07:09 AM.

  10. #10
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    I'll try and keep all this in mind. You've been very helpful; thanks!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Hope- View Post
    Now it seems like whenever I identify a problem with my game and fix it, the problem always recurs, be it the day after I address it or a week later. I've really been trying to work on my consistency and it's just not improving at all, because I keep doing the same things wrong over and over again, and for some reason I can't keep it fixed for more than a week. Some of the things I have been trying to improve are footwork technique, movement, and handling low balls, and honestly, after I spend some time focusing on each issue, I do improve. However, when I stop completely focusing on one issue at a time and try to play my natural game, I just revert back to my old methods and miss shots. I can't figure it out.
    You are welcome.

    I explained these three stages of learning because it is quite normal under assumption of right diagnosys and prescription that the problem recurs because you are still in mental stage or at the beginning of practice stage.Nobody can learn anything so fast especially if you are trying to correct things.
    In the later case first you have to unlern what was wrong, and then learn the correct technique.Sometimes it is even impossible.It depends how is embeded(how many balls you hit using wrong technique, and how difficult is task itself)

    Example:
    When I played tennis in competition I used continental grip for forehand.When I realized that this is not the best grip I tried to change, buit not a chance;I hit so many balls using wrong grip so that was impossible to change

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Hope- View Post
    Now it seems like whenever I identify a problem with my game and fix it, the problem always recurs, be it the day after I address it or a week later. I've really been trying to work on my consistency and it's just not improving at all, because I keep doing the same things wrong over and over again, and for some reason I can't keep it fixed for more than a week. Some of the things I have been trying to improve are footwork technique, movement, and handling low balls, and honestly, after I spend some time focusing on each issue, I do improve. However, when I stop completely focusing on one issue at a time and try to play my natural game, I just revert back to my old methods and miss shots. I can't figure it out.
    Some things you will never learn at the level to do them instictevely (automatic stage).You probaly do not remember Ivan Lendl.He was great player, especially from baseline.He did not feel at ease at the net, and he could not win Wimbledon.He hired Tony Roche, who taught him very good volley technique, and Lendl could play volley on ordinary points, but on very important points he could not.His volleys would break under pressure because they never became second nature to him;he never made progress from practice to automatic stage of learning, and he was world class player.
    Last edited by Bubo; 07-15-2009 at 07:09 AM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Hope- View Post
    ...Not literally of course.

    But over the past 4-5 months, I have been practicing tennis for 1-2 hours almost every day of the week. However, I don't think i've actually improved much, if at all. Before these 4/5 months, I was practicing at the same rate and improving my game- slowly but steadily. Now it seems like whenever I identify a problem with my game and fix it, the problem always recurs, be it the day after I address it or a week later. I've really been trying to work on my consistency and it's just not improving at all, because I keep doing the same things wrong over and over again, and for some reason I can't keep it fixed for more than a week. Some of the things I have been trying to improve are footwork technique, movement, and handling low balls, and honestly, after I spend some time focusing on each issue, I do improve. However, when I stop completely focusing on one issue at a time and try to play my natural game, I just revert back to my old methods and miss shots. I can't figure it out.
    I'm not a tennis coach or psychologist, but I can tell you this. You need to enjoy the game to improve. You'll find that by having fun, you'll believe in yourself. Sometimes one can be their worst enemy. Regulate your breathing and go do your thing.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Hope- View Post
    Some of the things I have been trying to improve are footwork technique, movement, and handling low balls, and honestly, after I spend some time focusing on each issue, I do improve. However, when I stop completely focusing on one issue at a time and try to play my natural game, I just revert back to my old methods and miss shots. I can't figure it out.
    You should try to improve one thing at the time, and for each thing you should allow enough time.Adaptation time for physical conditioning is at lest 4 weeks, and lerning technique is more complicated.Do not attack everything at once.It would be the same that one tries to learn flat, slice, and kick serve at the same time.He would get confused, and learn nothing.First one has to learn flat serve and stabilize it (consistency, direction, depth, speed) then slice, then kick.It must be learned in order of difficulty.

    Once you learned parts, it needs time to integrate these part in the whole.It is one thing to hit law ball which comes close to you (go down in your hips and legs by wider stance, upper body position stays the same)from the shorter law ball where you have to use different footwork to reach it, and then to hit it.

  15. #15
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    There is nobody who can play the best every time.Even the best professionals cannot do that.It is not possible to practice everything one knows, and it is not necessary.One practice more things which are used more during the play.Practice is adopted even to the surface the next tournament is played on;so for fast courts one would practice more return, serve, attack game, and finishing a point off while for slower surfaces one would practice more on groundstrokes (consistency, placement, speed, spin).
    The very best professionals play their best not very often too, but they have enough experience to handle the situation when one shot is not going as they would expect.They use conservative approach that is they pay attention to its basic, and they limit their use in the what they do with this shot.If and when they feel more comfortable with a shot they add variety to it.
    Inexperienced players do just opposite.They try to force it happen.This is very wrong because consequently not that this shot suffers, but suffers complete game.
    Last edited by Bubo; 06-21-2009 at 07:20 AM.

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