improving your weaknesses: a good idea? - MensTennisForums.com
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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-14-2005, 01:35 PM Thread Starter
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Smile improving your weaknesses: a good idea?

am sure you are all thinking 'of course...wtf is he talking about?' but let me explain:

(1) LENDL desperate to improve his forecourt game in a bid to win wimbledon. had the 'right coach' to improve his volleys and was determined to do it. but he never did win wimbledon. whereas a lendl committed to playing his own game from the back of the court would in my opinion have won there.

(2) BECKER had his own phase of trying to outlast baseliners and beat them at their own game. how much success did he have at it? almost none!

(3) CHANG became preoccupied with the power of his serve, and even his groundstrokes. he sacrificed his strengths in the search of more power, changing to a longer racket. as a result of this mindset he became less solid and more easily beatable by his opponents

(4) FERRERO i am concerned may go the chang route. he changed his racket in search of more power, again sacrificing his strengths to an extent. he has always been able to hit the ball hard enough. his game is not about hitting through an opponent and i hope he reverts to his old style of play

(5) RODDICK when he first came along was all serve and forehand. he knew his limitations and was comfortable with them. he didn't worry about what he couldn't do but let his opponents worry about what he could do! now he is less certain on how to play. he runs around the backhand less and comes to the net more...both distinctively to his disadvantage. has his backhand improved? definitely! has his game improved? no!!

(6) HEWITT also went through a stage of trying to outhit his opponents. that will never be his game and he suffered massively as a result. he returns to being the annoying hard-working 'grinder' and once again becomes almost impossible for most players on the tour to beat

obviously if you can improve your weakness whilst maintaining or even improving your strengths that is ideal. but shifting your focus almost exclusively to your weakness just undermines a player's confidence and is usually to his detriment. thoughts?.....
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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-14-2005, 01:48 PM
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Re: improving your weaknesses: a good idea?

Yes that's true, look at Federer, he wanted to change euh, euh... nothing, and he kept kicking asses all over the world.
Actually he payed more volley in AO 05 under the influence of Tony, and thi is the only tournament he lost !!
You're right !!!

"I asked a bloke in the front row if he liked the serve-and-volley stuff," said Rafter. "He said he did but asked if he was going to get to see any rallies. 'Not today, mate,' I told him."
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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-14-2005, 01:51 PM
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Re: improving your weaknesses: a good idea?

Quote:
(5) RODDICK when he first came along was all serve and forehand. he knew his limitations and was comfortable with them. he didn't worry about what he couldn't do but let his opponents worry about what he could do! now he is less certain on how to play. he runs around the backhand less and comes to the net more...both distinctively to his disadvantage. has his backhand improved? definitely! has his game improved? no!!
Completely agree about it !!

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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-14-2005, 01:59 PM
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Re: improving your weaknesses: a good idea?

Quote:
Originally Posted by federer express
obviously if you can improve your weakness whilst maintaining or even improving your strengths that is ideal. but shifting your focus almost exclusively to your weakness just undermines a player's confidence and is usually to his detriment. thoughts?.....
There is much wisdom in your analysis. It seems as if one's style of play is related to one's personality and therefore not easy to change, maybe because of an inner (even not consciuos) reluctance.

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Originally Posted by mdhubert
Yes that's true, look at Federer, ......Actually he payed more volley in AO 05 under the influence of Tony, and thi is the only tournament he lost !!
You're right !!!
But not because he played more volleys. Volleying is not "unnatural" for Roger in the way federer express gave his examples, so I don't think it will be detrimental for his game. On the contrary, it is another register he can pull if necessary, even on clay.
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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-14-2005, 02:02 PM
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Re: improving your weaknesses: a good idea?

I hope that Ferrero and Roddick go back to their old styles, they are two of my faves.
I think that they will at some stage, once they get sick of their new games not working out for them, like Hewitt.
An interesting point indeed. Perhaps Ferrero and Roddick will also return to their old styles with the gusto and appetite that hewitt has.
Hooray, there is hope!!!
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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-14-2005, 02:11 PM
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Re: improving your weaknesses: a good idea?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Puschkin
But not because he played more volleys. Volleying is not "unnatural" for Roger in the way federer express gave his examples, so I don't think it will be detrimental for his game. On the contrary, it is another register he can pull if necessary, even on clay.
It's not unnatural but it's maybe the part he has to improve the most in absolute terms, especially tactically, even if he's far better than most of the players in this compartment...

"I asked a bloke in the front row if he liked the serve-and-volley stuff," said Rafter. "He said he did but asked if he was going to get to see any rallies. 'Not today, mate,' I told him."
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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-14-2005, 03:22 PM
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Re: improving your weaknesses: a good idea?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdhubert
It's not unnatural but it's maybe the part he has to improve the most in absolute terms, especially tactically, even if he's far better than most of the players in this compartment...
I don't agree, but we don't want to turn this into a Roger thread, so I'll leave it at that
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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-14-2005, 03:32 PM
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Re: improving your weaknesses: a good idea?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Puschkin
I don't agree, but we don't want to turn this into a Roger thread, so I'll leave it at that
I think his forehand volley is the part to improve in his game to be precise...
The rest:
-Serve: not really
-FH: almost flawless
-BH: great angles, great variations including volley
-Workfoot: arguably the best ever

"I asked a bloke in the front row if he liked the serve-and-volley stuff," said Rafter. "He said he did but asked if he was going to get to see any rallies. 'Not today, mate,' I told him."
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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-14-2005, 03:51 PM
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Re: improving your weaknesses: a good idea?

I think for the top pros, you make a good point. Weakness is indeed a relative term and most of them have risen through ranks with strengths that must have outweighed their weaknesses.

But for us weekend hackers, taking the time and energy to improve a weakness is probably more worthwhile, especially since we don't or rarely see the same opponents with the frequency the pros do. If I can pick out an obvious weakness in warm-ups or the first few games, I'll exploit it 'til the cows come home. In that vein, I'll like to have enough stuff so nothing's glaring in my own game, at least not til all is said and done (and hopefully I've walked away with the win).

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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-14-2005, 04:08 PM
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Re: improving your weaknesses: a good idea?

At RG Sampras used to try to stay back sometimes and grind it out with the clay players, when it would have been more effective for him to play his normal S&V game.

I think it is good to work on improving weaknesses though, as long as you dont get fooled into abandoning your strengths.
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post #11 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-14-2005, 06:56 PM
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Re: improving your weaknesses: a good idea?

I think its a good idea to try and improve your weaknesses when you are practicing, but not while you are in the middle of a match that really counts. When you are in a match that has your reputation and a lot of money on the line, I don't think its a good idea for someone like becker to try and outlast a baseliner on the baseline, or for Roddick to start serving and volleying and running up to the net, or for someone like Chang to try and overpower his opponents.

If you are in a match with a friend or coach you can practice new shots in a competitive situation and try to learn from your mistakes. When you are in an important match its good to stick with your strengths. I guess the exeption to this would be if you are winning easily and want to try something new on a few points.
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post #12 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-14-2005, 08:50 PM
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Re: improving your weaknesses: a good idea?

In the short term the player might look great doing what he's comfotable at, but in the long run if you want to get better you have to improve you weakness. People forget it takes TIME! You are seeing the transition with those players! It will take a lot of time for them to get comfortable, I think what Roddick is doing is great. If he continues working on his techniques, volly's, trying new things, he will ultimately be a better player, saying that however, if he does continute to try to improve, I don't see him winning any major events for a while. You got to sacrifice the immediate glory for the long term Glory! Some players understand this, some players don't! Usually the greatest ahtletes are the ones CONSTANTLY trying to improve!
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post #13 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-14-2005, 08:57 PM
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Re: improving your weaknesses: a good idea?

Its always a good idea to improve you weaknesses and to add more weapons to you tennis game, but you still should stick to what playing style is most comfortable for you. You can change and alter your game to an extent, but to change your whole playing style completly is ludicrous.

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post #14 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-14-2005, 09:06 PM
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Re: improving your weaknesses: a good idea?

If it works, why change it?
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post #15 of 43 (permalink) Old 09-01-2005, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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Re: improving your weaknesses: a good idea?

Quote:
Originally Posted by federer express
(5) RODDICK when he first came along was all serve and forehand. he knew his limitations and was comfortable with them. he didn't worry about what he couldn't do but let his opponents worry about what he could do! now he is less certain on how to play. he runs around the backhand less and comes to the net more...both distinctively to his disadvantage. has his backhand improved? definitely! has his game improved? no!!


obviously if you can improve your weakness whilst maintaining or even improving your strengths that is ideal. but shifting your focus almost exclusively to your weakness just undermines a player's confidence and is usually to his detriment.
that's my view ad...
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