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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    4

    Issues with my game.

    So I picked up my first racket three years ago, when I was 12, and learned the basics of the game in a small group lesson with my friends. I stopped about a year and a half after that, but dusted off my old racket about 9 months ago. I played tennis for my school, but didn't start improving much until this summer where I played with 5 or 6 of my friends for about 3-4 hours every day.

    I'm 15 now, and since school's started, I still try to play, but only get to squeeze in about 1 1/2 hours of playing a day. I still play with my small group of friends, but it's hit and miss with who shows up on certain days.

    I really felt that I improved over the last few months, but recently, I've felt like I've hit a wall and recessed. For the last week or so, I can't seem to hit anything in. My shots usually hit the frame or near it, it seems like, and go out or into the net. I'm pretty sure that I am using a semi-western grip for my forehand, but don't hold me to that. My serve, while never too great, just seems to be smashed down my throat each time. (I try to kick it, but I guess it's not enough.)

    Near the end of my practices, I'm starting to get really depressed about how I played that day, knowing that I could have done much better. I don't know what's going on, or if I'm just in a slump. Is my game just suffering from mental issues or is there something wrong with my playstyle? I'm not really sure what's going on or what I can do to improve it, so every bit of advice is appreciated.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    This may seem like an obvious question, but do you have a coach who is helping you with your game?

    If not, then it may be the best move/investment you can make right now. Seek out and find a knowledgeable tennis professional who will break down your game, and tell you what you need to do to get to the next level.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    4
    Yes. I try to take private lessons once a week

  4. #4
    Everyone (and I mean everyone) goes though hills and valleys in their skills. It's simply a part of improving in most endeavors. You said you feel like you improved lately. You probably did improve and have dropped into the valley right now. Keep rollin and soon you'll be back up on top of the hill. Don't sweat it!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    240
    I don't think its a mental issue;
    I don't think its got anything to do with your style EITHER;
    Did you stop playing for a week or so, then come back?
    Or did you just start playing in a different style randomly, one day?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Posts
    1,109
    Quote Originally Posted by Racqueteer View Post
    Everyone (and I mean everyone) goes though hills and valleys in their skills. It's simply a part of improving in most endeavors. You said you feel like you improved lately. You probably did improve and have dropped into the valley right now. Keep rollin and soon you'll be back up on top of the hill. Don't sweat it!
    +1 the ones who stick with it through thick and thin turn out 5.0s or better.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    4
    Alright. Thank you very much for the responses. I was also looking through other posts and I'm going to make sure that I'm watching the make contact and leave my racket.

    Thanks

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Sea Pines, Hilton Head, South Carolina
    Posts
    414
    To be very honest, you have been playing tennis for a very short time period. It is going to take some time to become the player you want to be. It takes quite a bit of training to really start moving and swinging the racquet consistently and properly. The first thing I recommend is for you to play as much as you can and not get discouraged about losing or not being at the level you desire to be at. It will come with patience. It's also good to learn to lose early on when you are playing. I didn't lose enough as a junior and as I tryed the pro ranks, I had to really work on not getting discouraged and down on myself after losses. So really, there is something to learn from in losing early on. Now, when you feel like you have hit a plateau, put the racquet down for a day or two and play tennis with your brain. Think about how you want to play and watch a little tennis on video. You may realize that it is hard to build your game if you don't have any references to go by. If you do your homework off the court, it will help you understand what you are doing while you are on it. Watch your favorite players and try to emulate their swings and footwork. What better reference could you ask for? Just be patient and keep plugging away and do it with proper technique and especially good footwork.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Posts
    1,109
    Quote Originally Posted by tennisking1 View Post
    Now, when you feel like you have hit a plateau, put the racquet down for a day or two and play tennis with your brain. Think about how you want to play and watch a little tennis on video. You may realize that it is hard to build your game if you don't have any references to go by. If you do your homework off the court, it will help you understand what you are doing while you are on it. Watch your favorite players and try to emulate their swings and footwork. What better reference could you ask for? Just be patient and keep plugging away and do it with proper technique and especially good footwork.
    excellent point. off the court habits are under-rated. the better your imagination, the more easily one will be able to imitate.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    707
    Quote Originally Posted by tennisking1 View Post
    To be very honest, you have been playing tennis for a very short time period. It is going to take some time to become the player you want to be. It takes quite a bit of training to really start moving and swinging the racquet consistently and properly. The first thing I recommend is for you to play as much as you can and not get discouraged about losing or not being at the level you desire to be at. It will come with patience. It's also good to learn to lose early on when you are playing. I didn't lose enough as a junior and as I tryed the pro ranks, I had to really work on not getting discouraged and down on myself after losses. So really, there is something to learn from in losing early on. Now, when you feel like you have hit a plateau, put the racquet down for a day or two and play tennis with your brain. Think about how you want to play and watch a little tennis on video. You may realize that it is hard to build your game if you don't have any references to go by. If you do your homework off the court, it will help you understand what you are doing while you are on it. Watch your favorite players and try to emulate their swings and footwork. What better reference could you ask for? Just be patient and keep plugging away and do it with proper technique and especially good footwork.
    Well I use to swear by those words thinking quite logically, if you want to be the best you can be, emulate the moves of say, Roger Fed or Rafa or whomever but then it occurred to me that most of us will never be able to play like them and the reasons why would fill up a book.

    I suggest, figure out the basics of what feels like a solid tennis format to you and build from there. Of course if you like say, Andre Agassi's game, then you can always incorporate certain styles of his game into yours.

    I loved the way he took control of the point. That changed my game big-time. When I began to go into a match thinking about being in control of the point instead of reacting to what was being handed to me waiting for the opening, it was a much tougher game for me because it was always that ball just before I was just about to ...

    Remember the basics and lock them in. know what your feet are doing, keep your feet moving, keep your eyes on the ball, understand what grip works best for you. Are you hitting with a Western or Extreme Western? So do I but those are hard grips to control when you're hitting against serious pace. They require a steady hand & eye and you have to know you're not being lazy with your shots like flattening them out when topspin is the name of the game. Also too much topspin may not work against all Players. Remember tall Players love topspin returns because the ball is coming right into their wheel house.

    * Key point to remember about Topspin. Topspin is for hitting the ball as hard as you can possibly hit it and if you've put good topspin on the ball, the rotation will bring the ball back down into the court before it goes out of bounds.
    It is for PACE and most park level players can't handle too much pace. But for sheer attacking, sticking that ball off the corners is the way to go and the Eastern is best for that and Net Charging..

    Point about forehand Dropshots ; I see so many Pro Players use the Forehand dropshot when the backhand dropshot is so much more reliable. Why? Because what do you see when a Pro is about to hit the FHDS? They stop their foreward swing, open the face of their racquet and slice under the ball. Problem is, opening up the face of the racquet requires a Degree of Quantum Physics to be successful all the time. The backhand drop shot still looks like you're doing nothing more or less than a BH Cross court slice but wait, you've softened it up and instead of the ball coming to them, you took all the air out of the ball and when it crosses the net it drops with the added benefit of jumping backwards towards the Net. Look how high in the air Serena Williams hits her FHDS? Horrible. you can make a sandwich before you need to start running.

    So don't be afraid of the Eastern grip to flatten it out, especially on service returns to the forehand. Ah you know what I'm talking about

    Have Fun -

    Coach

    .
    Last edited by Coach; 09-27-2009 at 09:06 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.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    11
    Quote Originally Posted by Help View Post
    So I picked up my first racket three years ago, when I was 12, and learned the basics of the game in a small group lesson with my friends. I stopped about a year and a half after that, but dusted off my old racket about 9 months ago. I played tennis for my school, but didn't start improving much until this summer where I played with 5 or 6 of my friends for about 3-4 hours every day.

    I'm 15 now, and since school's started, I still try to play, but only get to squeeze in about 1 1/2 hours of playing a day. I still play with my small group of friends, but it's hit and miss with who shows up on certain days.

    I really felt that I improved over the last few months, but recently, I've felt like I've hit a wall and recessed. For the last week or so, I can't seem to hit anything in. My shots usually hit the frame or near it, it seems like, and go out or into the net. I'm pretty sure that I am using a semi-western grip for my forehand, but don't hold me to that. My serve, while never too great, just seems to be smashed down my throat each time. (I try to kick it, but I guess it's not enough.)

    Near the end of my practices, I'm starting to get really depressed about how I played that day, knowing that I could have done much better. I don't know what's going on, or if I'm just in a slump. Is my game just suffering from mental issues or is there something wrong with my playstyle? I'm not really sure what's going on or what I can do to improve it, so every bit of advice is appreciated.

    Thank you.
    I went thru this several times and even stopped playing each time at the wall after giving up.

    finally the 4th time around I figured out it was as simple as staying focused on the ball. the better I got, the more I looked up to see what the opp was doing! this led to poor contact and poor control.
    broke the code and now at least I can fix it when it crops up from time to time.

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