Author Topic: Will's Tennis Journal  (Read 3977 times)

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Offline ShadedOne

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Will's Tennis Journal
« on: November 22, 2010, 01:16:34 AM »
:Introduction:

Hello, i'm a 23 year old college student residing in Southern California. I started watching tennis in either 2002 or 3, watching mainly the Williams Sisters since id been hearing so much about them. Didnt take the game seriously until Summer of 2009. That July, i purchased my first tennis racket (Federer Wilson). With it, i played once with someone very experienced... then stopped that same day due to embarrassment ( my first time playing tennis).

The racket sat in my closet collecting dust until June of this year, when i made the decision to learn the sport and play it seriously. It was tough finding people in my area who were willing to hit with someone new to the sport, but ive found myself fortunate a few times to play people who've had the tolerance to share a court with me. They've all came and went, finding people they've found better fit there level (Many made very nasty/disrespectful exits).

For the fall semester of college, i found that i needed Physical Education credits in order to graduate and tennis was one of the courses offered. Without a second thought, i signed up (Beginners Tennis)... Two birds, one stone. Since August 2010, i've been taking my first tennis course ever. Within the first few days, i've noticed how much more advanced i was to the others, being that most who take a beginners course have very limited experience, if any, on the actual court. The instructor taught new shots with each session, until a few weeks ago when we started to play each other in actual matches (doubles).  It's a good learning experience, and it's expanded my view on tennis in ways i would have never been exposed to otherwise. Granted, there are a few things i would change about the situation, but i cant complain. Its improving/developing my singles game tremendously... i now know that my strength is at the net, even though i prefer to work the baseline. i'm 6'2'' tall which helps making effective smashes and volleys.

Now that i've caught you all up on my tennis journey thus far... stay tuned for whats next for me!

*If you have any questions, feel free to ask
« Last Edit: November 23, 2010, 05:01:44 PM by ShadedOne »

Offline euroka1

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Re: Will's Tennis Journal
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2010, 01:21:58 PM »
I read your post with great interest. Going to classes has the double benefit of meeting future tennis partners as well as improving one's tennis. Initially, large classes are good as you meet lots of people and can find those at your own level and who you also find congenial. It's not much fun playing with people who are either way better or way worse than you are, in my experience. The optimal experience comes from playing against people who are only slightly better than you are, as this keeps one improving oneself and, with the fluctuations of the game, there is often a soul-boosting win as well.

As said elsewhere, tennis is an important part of my social life. Currently, I play with four different groups at various courts around town and hit with an instructor at the local Y once a week. The instructor is good at correcting  recurring errors and teaching new pointers . Since he is good at returning tennis balls, I probably hit more balls then than during the rest of the week.  Playing with your instructor must be quite an experience!

Please keep posting!

Offline ShadedOne

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Re: Will's Tennis Journal
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2010, 06:07:55 PM »
I read your post with great interest. Going to classes has the double benefit of meeting future tennis partners as well as improving one's tennis. Initially, large classes are good as you meet lots of people and can find those at your own level and who you also find congenial. It's not much fun playing with people who are either way better or way worse than you are, in my experience. The optimal experience comes from playing against people who are only slightly better than you are, as this keeps one improving oneself and, with the fluctuations of the game, there is often a soul-boosting win as well.

As said elsewhere, tennis is an important part of my social life. Currently, I play with four different groups at various courts around town and hit with an instructor at the local Y once a week. The instructor is good at correcting  recurring errors and teaching new pointers . Since he is good at returning tennis balls, I probably hit more balls then than during the rest of the week.  Playing with your instructor must be quite an experience!

Please keep posting!

Thank you for taking the time to read my first entry. I agree with you about playing people who are either way better or worse than you are. I remember it doing a great disservice to confidence when i kept losing to the great players, but at the same time, made me even more eager to improve. Four different groups? Wow! That's amazing! i hope one day to take part in opportunities such as those! Im very pleased with playing solely at school for the time being. Every now and then i'll hit around with someone at a park. Im going to start looking into working with an instructor on an intimate basis, there is a specialty park for tennis a few minutes from where i live.. apparently, some old pros teach there.

----

:November 23, 2010:

Tennis class is usually the highlight of my day on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Today was no exception. On tennis days, i usually get to class about 30-45 minutes early to insure that i get enough practice/warmed up before matches start. That went well as always, made many mistakes, but thats normal (especially when you haven't played in 5 days). Felt pretty confident about my play and got a few compliments from classmates.

When matches were about to commence, our instructor informed my partner and I that our opponents for the day were absent, so we won by default 6-0, increasing our wins for the tournament to 5 matches (Overall we are 5-6... pretty sad, i know! :)~). We were alternates for other teams who were missing a member, already off to a great start! We get assigned to different courts and i was placed with a group that is the "better" of the beginners class. I felt great that the instructor saw my effort and hard work, then decided to place me with other individuals at a similar level as I. Shortly after, i got extremely nervous! I always get nervous/anxious before and during matches, and i have no idea why (During practice i'm very relaxed). I felt a lot of pressure today to prove that i belonged there with them. The other three knew each other so the atmosphere was light, with me on the other hand, nearly shaking from nervousness. I didn't do that well in the match, i psyched myself out and dropped serve twice (out of the two times i got to serve) with a bunch of double faults, i was SO embarrassed!! As expected, i fared better at the net, getting a few good slice winners. my pseudo partner and i lost the set 1-6  :( (we only play 1 set during class.)

I got over the loss quickly during another practice session i had with my regular partner.

My partner is not as experienced as i am, but his game has improved a great deal while being partnered with me. On our down time or during practice, i share my knowledge with him in hopes of correcting some of his errors, and it's helped! My latest feat is teaching him the slice  :) (My favorite shot as well as the Running Inside Out Forehand  to Cross Court). He has a great Two-Handed Backhand for a beginner, and pretty good groundstrokes as well. If he sticks with it, im sure he'll be a good player by next spring. We get along and he listens. I honestly i don't like playing doubles very much, but if i were to play again, i'd want him as a partner.

Sport Chalet is deceitful with its selection of tennis strings (in a VERY good way)! I broke the strings of my newer racket several weeks ago (WILSON n6 Hybrid 103 nCode Midplus) and finally got around to taking it in to have it restrung. Last week, i researched several types of strings and found two that i found would best fit my game ( Luxilon Alu Power 125 Rough and Babolat Hurricane Tour). Today i THOUGHT i would go to the store and just choose which like i liked best, but no. When i got there, the selection of strings was nearly DOUBLE from that on the website. My eyes were like pin wheels due to confusion, but i was also relieved (hoping to find a cheaper alternative). I stood in the aisle in front of the strings for a good twenty minutes looking at each one, using my phones internet capabilities to look up reviews on the strings i found more appealing. I ended up not getting either of my two original choices and went with the Babolat Hybrid Pro Hurricane Tour 16 Plus XCel 16G Strings. I read the most reviews on those strings and found that there aren't half bad (the "pros" of those strings were better than the ones i would have chose) and was twelve dollars cheaper, i was sold!! I've never tried hybrid strings before, so im hoping all goes well. I made sure that the tension would be set lower than usual so i got more use out of them.  I hope i made the right decision!!

Fingers Crossed!

-- Will

Offline Tennis4you

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Re: Will's Tennis Journal
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2010, 07:58:12 AM »
When do you get the racquet back to test the new strings?  What tension did you have it strung at?
Good Luck on the Court!!!
Scott Baker
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Offline ShadedOne

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Re: Will's Tennis Journal
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2010, 06:44:36 PM »
I got my racket back today, will most likely test it within the next two days. I got it strung with 45 lbs tension

Offline Tennis4you

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Re: Will's Tennis Journal
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2010, 11:20:25 AM »
45 is pretty loose, what size racquet is that? 
Good Luck on the Court!!!
Scott Baker
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Offline ShadedOne

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Re: Will's Tennis Journal
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2010, 04:05:09 PM »
the length is 27in. , the head size is 103 cm

Offline euroka1

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Re: Will's Tennis Journal
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2010, 04:34:20 PM »
I read your post with great interest. Going to classes has the double benefit of meeting future tennis partners as well as improving one's tennis. Initially, large classes are good as you meet lots of people and can find those at your own level and who you also find congenial. It's not much fun playing with people who are either way better or way worse than you are, in my experience. The optimal experience comes from playing against people who are only slightly better than you are, as this keeps one improving oneself and, with the fluctuations of the game, there is often a soul-boosting win as well.


Along the lines of the above, one's game can also be lifted when playing with somebody who is better than you are. I had this experience last Monday and, not only could I hardly do a thing wrong, but some of my winning volleys and overheads really surprised me. I left the running to my partner, who invariably obliged.

...memory says that much the same thing happened at the tennis4you event a few years ago, Scott, when you and I stunned the opposition. At that time, though, it was more my quirky serve.

Offline ShadedOne

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Re: Will's Tennis Journal
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2010, 06:42:42 PM »
I read your post with great interest. Going to classes has the double benefit of meeting future tennis partners as well as improving one's tennis. Initially, large classes are good as you meet lots of people and can find those at your own level and who you also find congenial. It's not much fun playing with people who are either way better or way worse than you are, in my experience. The optimal experience comes from playing against people who are only slightly better than you are, as this keeps one improving oneself and, with the fluctuations of the game, there is often a soul-boosting win as well.


Along the lines of the above, one's game can also be lifted when playing with somebody who is better than you are. I had this experience last Monday and, not only could I hardly do a thing wrong, but some of my winning volleys and overheads really surprised me. I left the running to my partner, who invariably obliged.

...memory says that much the same thing happened at the tennis4you event a few years ago, Scott, when you and I stunned the opposition. At that time, though, it was more my quirky serve.

I totally agree with you. I had the same experience a few days ago. Playing with someone better makes you pay attention to your game much more.  I started to read my opponents game and tactics. i almost had an answer for ever shot being thrown at me.

Offline ShadedOne

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Re: Will's Tennis Journal
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2010, 06:56:32 PM »
:December 3, 2010:

At one point, tennis class was very exciting but now im kind of ready for it to be over. As stated in earlier posts, im not a big fan of playing doubles matches, and now, im finding that im not enjoying playing with my current partner also. :Confused: I find the whole ordeal to be quite stressful, making sure my game is together all the while making sure he will play well as well (remember, he's quite inexperienced). We lost again on Thursday (0-6), i think thats whats fueling my displeasure as well.

My serve needs a lot of work! My game is pretty solid, but its useless until i have a solid serve. My timing is a bit off as well as my placing. Luckily, there are a few people who have been helping me, providing me with tips and tricks to feel more at ease with it. It's up to me to find a court and spend MORE hours on the court focused on that alone. I Will get it together one day.

Offline Tennis4you

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Re: Will's Tennis Journal
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2010, 07:54:33 PM »
Doubles may not be as exciting now but as you get older it seems like most leagues put more emphasis on dubs.  Plus it is easier on the body.

What I like about doubles though is that it will help you develop your net game.  As a singles player you should have a solid net game to be more effective.  You never want to be stuck hitting a shot where you are uncomfortable.  You need to learn to be as effective all around the court as you can be.  :)
Good Luck on the Court!!!
Scott Baker
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Offline euroka1

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Re: Will's Tennis Journal
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2010, 08:12:01 PM »
I used to like singles, even to prefer it, but several years ago advancing age made it unwise. Scott is right, it is a lot harder on the body and if I play it now I really feel it badly the next day. So it will be pretty well all doubles for what remains of the present incarnation.  However, compatible doubles groups are great for the social life.

It probably took me 15 years or so to get my serve to do what I want to do and much patience as well as lots of practice was needed. I rarely double fault now and can place the ball where I wish. Part of the problem last night was that my partner was doing it multiple times in multiple games. It is hard to get a commanding lead with that.  :scared:

Offline ShadedOne

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Re: Will's Tennis Journal
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2010, 09:29:03 PM »
Doubles may not be as exciting now but as you get older it seems like most leagues put more emphasis on dubs.  Plus it is easier on the body.

What I like about doubles though is that it will help you develop your net game.  As a singles player you should have a solid net game to be more effective.  You never want to be stuck hitting a shot where you are uncomfortable.  You need to learn to be as effective all around the court as you can be.  :)

I Understand your point. I guess since im still young, i dont mind running around the court all day.  :)~Singles is tough on the body, i've found that out on several Wednesday and Friday mornings when i can barely walk from the class the day before. I think its worth it, i feel so accomplished when the aching sets in (weird, i know lol).

Doubles has helped my net game a lot. It's probably my biggest asset (if not, my forehand) at the moment. I dont know what it is about the baseline and no-man's-land, but i looove hitting groundstrokes. lol Especially when i see a ball coming and know its going to hit right in the middle of my racquet, i know at that point its going to be pure gold (fore or backhand). lol I still have a long way to go, who knows, at one point i'll have a huge serve and use the S/V as a primary.

I used to like singles, even to prefer it, but several years ago advancing age made it unwise. Scott is right, it is a lot harder on the body and if I play it now I really feel it badly the next day. So it will be pretty well all doubles for what remains of the present incarnation.  However, compatible doubles groups are great for the social life.

It probably took me 15 years or so to get my serve to do what I want to do and much patience as well as lots of practice was needed. I rarely double fault now and can place the ball where I wish. Part of the problem last night was that my partner was doing it multiple times in multiple games. It is hard to get a commanding lead with that.  :scared:

I can not describe to you the face of panic i had when i read this! lol Wow, 15 years? thats quite a while! Im sure you have a great serve after all of the practice! - - I have the same problem with my partner, but in all fairness, i tend to double fault as well, so i cant complain in that respect.  :Confused:

-----

I forgot to mention something that happened on Thursday during class. I've been having some issues with my right hand (dominant hand) for quite some time, and ive figured out the source of the discomfort. When i started playing, i was taught the standard forehand form and found that everything was comfortable to me except the hitting motion. I feel as though the standard hitting motion doesnt work well with the movement of the rest of my body, so i decided to change it. The new form for me worked better and i found that i was able to generate more power with it. As it turns out, i tend to hit my forehand like a lasso ( sound familiar? lol) so its harder on my hand and wrist. I may have to change it again if i cant get used to it and the pain gets more intense. :Confused:

Also during class, after the game, one of our opponents came over to shake our hand and he complimented me on how good my forehand is and that i am improving. It kind of shocked me to hear that from him due to the fact that he's apart of the advanced class and i had no idea he was watching us so intently. It kind of made my day, it's always nice to be recognized.  :)

Offline ShadedOne

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Re: Will's Tennis Journal
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2010, 09:30:31 PM »
:December 4 2010:

Today i've recognized and applied the mental game to my physical skill. My doubles partner and I met at a park nearby to hit around a bit as well as play a set. Throughout our set i kept a positive attitude through any errors i'd made and channeled that energy into creating some aggressive winners. During the warm-up, i had some trouble with my serve, but had very little during the set. made a few errors on my serves, but the percentage of my first serve was VERY high and had good placement, as soon as i recognized it, i knew the set was mine. Broke his serve once and held afterwards, he wasnt able to recover.. i won 7-5.

To his credit, he did very well today. He hit some very good shots and was aggressive with his groundstrokes. At the net, he hit mostly lobs which translated into many winners. He held his own today, i saw the accomplished look he had once he realized that we won 5 games against me. The highest he's ever gotten was 3 games.

The entire match i had the belief that the set was MINE and i would play well. I saw the game different than i usually did; i wasn't nervous and i let my shots flow... i had a nice touch at the net as well, which usually doesnt come out during matches. I was very proud of myself, i now understand the mental game and will apply it in the future. With it, the only way i will lose is if the other person plays better than I. :)

Offline ShadedOne

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Re: Will's Tennis Journal
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2010, 01:27:46 PM »
:December 7 2010:

Today was the last day i had to play doubles in my tennis class. I cant tell you how happy i am about it! Next class, i hope to be more motivated by having some better to play with.

Offline ShadedOne

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Re: Will's Tennis Journal
« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2010, 10:44:24 AM »
:December 19, 2010:

It's been quite an eventful 12 days. Even though there is no more class for the semester, i've still be able to get on the court a few times a week.

When class ended two weeks ago, i entered my first Singles tournament (a fundraiser for my college's tennis team). I didn't make it past the first round. :Confused: I practically beat myself mentally, and it didnt help that my opponent was making some really bad calls on his shots as well as mine (with the assistance of his girlfriend). I was a gracious loser and wished him well in the rest of the tournament even though i was very angry. It's no fun playing someone with little (to no) integrity, that will only hurt him in the future. the score was 4-6 1-6, it wasnt a massacre, but i know i could have done better. All i can say about his game is " no one likes a lobber". ;-()

I took the loss in stride and used it to motivate me to do better for the next match i had the next day ( non-tournament). During that following match, my body wasnt in the best of shape, but i was able to pull myself together enough  to pull out a victory (6-3,6-0). Since my opponent was my ex tennis partner, i knew his game very well and used his weakness against him. Made a few good winners, but made the majority of my points off of his errors.

To aid in my preparation for the mental side of the game i've started reading 'The Inner Game of Tennis: The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance' by W. Timothy Gallwey. It's been a great help and ive just started it yesterday.

Signed up for Intermediate Tennis for the upcoming Winter semester. I know it's going to be challenging, but i feel as though i am ready for it, and am very excited. Since Winter is considered and inter-session, it only lasts 6-weeks... but not to my disappointment, my class is going to be Monday-Thursday 4-hrs a day. I can already here my body screaming at me.. BUT im ready for it!

Offline ShadedOne

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Re: Will's Tennis Journal
« Reply #16 on: December 30, 2010, 12:59:06 PM »
:December 30, 2010:

Having a pretty successful week of tennis so far. I've found the book ive read has helped me develop my game tremendously. I've always had the skill, but now im in tune with the body and am able to relax while in match play.

After six months of hard work, i FINALLY have a serve! lol I found my rhythm and have a good, consistent ball toss. I played a game on Tuesday and most of my serves were aces. Im so happy that im now comfortable with it... its holding my serve that is now the issue while i'll work on next.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2010, 01:04:12 PM by ShadedOne »

Offline euroka1

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Re: Will's Tennis Journal
« Reply #17 on: December 30, 2010, 02:07:33 PM »
It probably took me 15 years or so to get my serve to do what I want to do and much patience as well as lots of practice was needed. I rarely double fault now and can place the ball where I wish.

Congratulations. That's great!  :))

It took me a lot longer  :(

Offline ShadedOne

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Re: Will's Tennis Journal
« Reply #18 on: December 30, 2010, 02:48:11 PM »
It probably took me 15 years or so to get my serve to do what I want to do and much patience as well as lots of practice was needed. I rarely double fault now and can place the ball where I wish.

Congratulations. That's great!  :))

It took me a lot longer  :(

Thank you! :)

Im still double faulting more than i'd like, so there is still more work to be done. You're hard work has paid off, im sure you have a FANTASTIC serve. That is what i'd like to achieve.

Offline euroka1

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Re: Will's Tennis Journal
« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2010, 03:42:49 PM »
It probably took me 15 years or so to get my serve to do what I want to do and much patience as well as lots of practice was needed. I rarely double fault now and can place the ball where I wish.

Congratulations. That's great!  :))

It took me a lot longer  :(

Thank you! :)

Im still double faulting more than i'd like, so there is still more work to be done. You're hard work has paid off, im sure you have a FANTASTIC serve. That is what i'd like to achieve.

No, it's more that I don't like to double fault but against some players  :scared: you just have to take the risk.