Thursday, November 20, 2008

More Rallies

So had another good pair of hitting sessions with John and Aaron respectively. Had an especially good couple rallies with John. We're both getting better with our consistency and I'm actually coming to the net more and actually winning a point here and there. I just need to remember to keep the racquet in front of me. I notice I'm just sitting there at the net waiting to be passed most of the time. I need to work on close avenues but whatever, it felt really natural coming to the net at times and its not like I'm forcing it.

My forehands seems like I'm miss hitting a bit bc I'm noticing I'm not getting a clean sound from the hit. The backhand is also getting more reliable and not a liability.

Aaron's been out sick for a few weeks so it took him a bit to get his bearings. It was tough getting some good rallies going bc of the amount of net balls (hey I'm partially guilty too I guess). Still though, every hitting session is a good session in my book.

For some reason youtube is making all my vids look darker than they really are. Its kind of annoying.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Rallies with Franco, the Spin Doctor

Yeah, hit around with a guy from work, Franco. He's a very strong 4.0. I usually have no issues hitting with guys higher than me, bc I have no problems dealing with their power and giving it right back. Franco's a different case, he has pinpoint accuracy, impeccable reflexes, killer net game and some crazy spins.

No, its not like my heavy topspin shots, Franco gave me a ton of dropshots, slices, side spins, he basically threw the kitchen sink at me. It really forced me to stay on top of my footwork, bc predicting the ball was impossible and I was rarely in position to fire off one of my kill shots...

... and in the event that I did, he had to problem, blocking/slicing them back to me. Franco is exactly the type of I need to exploit some of my biggest glaring weaknesses. I wish I hadn't left the memory card in the laptop or there would be some hilarious footage of me being caught flatfooted and passed.

The one good thing would be he knew to bring me to the net, and luckily I only botched 60% of my vollies (as opposed to 90%). Looking forward to some interesting games.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

11/10/08 - Rallies with John

Finally new Videos!

Added a new hitting partner to the rotation. John is a solid 3.5 with excellent footwork and flat groundstrokes. You can see he has S & V tendencies, but hasn't felt comfortable deploying it yet. We're definitely well matched up and had some pretty good hitting sessions the past couple weeks.

John's Groundstrokes

I'm decently ok with my performance. A couple too many net balls but I know I didn't warm up before hitting and it shows with my lazy footwork. I'm tending to scooping those low forehands too much. Need to bend those knees. I'm also whipping my forehand, need to stop that and drive the ball deeper into the court. Backhand wise I'm getting there. I know what I need to do:
  • Time my step and shoulder turn for more power
  • Hit away from my body and in front of me
  • Drop the racquethead

My service has just not been the same since the leg injury and that sucks bc i was serving so well. The timing is off and I'm not leaping into the court. I guess I just need more time. I'm actually plowing through the kick serve and I realize that some of my "kick" serves due to a bad toss actually ended up being slices.

And yes, I can't volley, not even to save my life...

At the end of it all, I'm just happy being out there. The weather has been excellent and Me and John really push the envelope with lots of running on our rallies. Its almost starting to feel like a workout.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Good Rallies, No Matches

Started off last week with some rallying with Aaron. He was about 1.5 hours late so I really got to work on my serve and I think I just still need to learn how to hit through my kick serve. My 2nd serve is still a liability.

Aaron really wanted to focus on control drills so we tried hitting crosscourt to crosscourt for a while. I realized that the degree of control I have is very fuzzy. Down the line and sharp angles cross court I'm fine with, but I'd say 50% of my inside out forehands landed center and for rallying purpose, hitting slightly left, or slightly right is a bit of a problem.

I tend to use alot of topspin to control my ball. I give my cross court forehands tons of spins to give it a massive topspin to have it land shallow and wide and my running forehand down the line has a mix of topspin and sidespin to reel the ball in. All in all a good session.

This weekend I got to hit with a good friend of mine. He's a rusty 4.5 - 5.0. A really knowledgeable guy when it comes to tennis. I finally got a taste of what I dish out to most people, bc Puerta hits with alot of topspin like I do. I was a tad off, netting more balls than I'd like, but considering the last time I hit with him 2 years ago, i was 1/20 on forehands, I'll take it.

We had a nice slugfest on the baseline, but Puerta's a very deliberate tennis player. He not only moved the ball left and right, but had a very good eye on the angles and depth. Definitely going to step up my game and do this again. I need to stop being so sluggish with the footwork. I seriously need to anticipate the ball bc I was getting my timing messed up when Puerta switched up the topspin and slice. My backhand was so-so, but it still needs lots of work. I can't have it be a liability.