Learning From the Pros?

“What can WE, schleppers and hackers, gain from watching the pro’s?  Is there anything we can take away from watching Roger serve?  From Nadal’s forehand (maybe even less likely)?” That question and comments below coming from fellow Newk Fantasy camp veteran, Marc Segan…

Out Classed?

“Well, as I say, Nadal’s whip forehand looks like it’s almost dangerous to execute (I can imagine whacking myself upside the head!)  And of course, other pro’s use a variant of that stroke too — even the women.  Is there anything for us mortals in that?

“How about other strokes?  the short-hop groundstroke off the baseline that always amazes me.  The way they hit back a high, deep ball and can make a winner of it.  Is it reasonable for any of us to expect to make SOME kind of use of those techniques?”

George’s Comment: Men’s vs. Women’s Doubles

And when I watch the men play doubles (huge serves, strong volleys and overheads, fast foot/hand speed that all allow them to poach at will), there is absolutely nothing I can relate to … and is almost not enjoyable enough to watch on TV.

Watching the women play doubles on the other hand, is just slow enough to allow me to see the strategy and movement in play.  This is pro play that I can relate to and learn from.

How about YOU, can you learn from watching the pros?


It has been a while since I posted here are shared my medical situation.  Suffice it to say that my recovery is neither as quick or as successful as we would have hoped for.

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13 thoughts on “Learning From the Pros?

  1. If you get the correct angle when watching the professionals play, you see how much higher over the net they aim than the typical senior player. After noticing the height margin of error for experts, I began having a higher over the net aim which very much improved my rally shot consistency.
    When backed up behind the baseline for a shot, hitting it harder so gravity does not have as much time to pull the ball down into the net is much more risky than aiming 4+ feet above the net with a smooth swing.

  2. One thing we can get from watching the pros is the constant foot movement and immediate recovery . We can copy that be it at a slower pace .
    I believe we can also benefit from watching their serving patterns . When we pay close enough attention it is like a pitcher setting up hitters . A lot to
    Learn there .

  3. The one thing we mere mortals can learn from the pros is the way Rodger keeps his head down and eye on the ball

  4. This is a good question, even though it was suggested by Marc Segan (I couldn’t resist the low hanging fruit, Marc). One thing I’ve learned from watching singles matches of high level pros is that most of their shots are safer than one would think if you had only watched the highlights of some spectacular winners. As Winder pointed out, their shots generally have a lot of net clearance. The most successful players also don’t hit as close to the sidelines as I would have thought, unless there’s a significant risk-reward ratio in their favor (e.g. attacking a short “sitter” with an angled reply). I, on the other hand, make far too many errors by hitting the ball wide when there really isn’t much to be gained, except by my opponent when I miss. I’m happy to see that you’re feeling well enough to keep your blog going, George. Keep putting one foot in front of the other and good things will happen.

  5. Agree with service motion i.e. Should turn and foot movement, small steps. Good stuff.
    Certainly how they watch the ball!
    And continued good thoughts your way, George.

  6. SO great to hear you are back on the warpath George. I don’t think you had any idea how many people really care about you. I really enjoyed this segment, for one simple reminder of hitting higher over the net to start. I see so many guys here go toe to toe crosscourt with players who are consistent and eventually lose the point. When I play someone consistent like that I go not only high but deep and its amazing how much difficulty they have the deeper it is, sets up short lobs, weak returns etc. It’s the same stoke almost as a topspin lob but not that severe. It also sets up more success coming into the net. Just keep visualizing yourself on the court George. You are missed.

  7. It would be rare to have a miracle cure, George, but if things are improving, albeit very slowly, then I (and I hope you) will take it….

  8. When I watch the pros, I notice a couple techniques they use that might help us tennis aficionados. I see some men/women pros using breathing techniques that seem to help relax their muscles when hitting their shots. They coordinate their exhales right before contact with the ball thus helping to take away the tension of the moment. There are some players who struggle to master their emotions (anxiety, anger, stress) during match play. I noticed Ash Barty struggle during her match against Shelby Rodgers, but found a way to win with a variety of spins, pace, depth, and disguise. Just enough to keep her opponent off balance. Staying mentally tough and preparing for their next match has to play a big part psychologically as well in order to move forward in the tournament. The lesson learned here seems that training our minds as well as our bodies should be equally important.
    George, all the best in your recovery process.
    Hope you are moving forward with good advice in positive ways.

  9. I watch Bryan Brothers volley drills all the time, and Fed practice videos….footwork, racket prep, eye on the ball.

  10. These are some really good responses! Give me some new things to look at when watching the great players — or just about anyone on the pro tour! As for Joe Lipsick, you have to dig a bit, but his opinion may have made some sense too.

    I appreciate your posting the question, George, and like your other friends and fans, I look forward to your rapid and full recovery!

  11. Hi, George –
    I played with Whitey twice – he had a valve replacement + pacemaker two months ago, and is slowly gaining strength. We both thought of you – Whitey says he has had picnic in comparison – and we wish that your long-suffering ordeal will end soon – to new and regenerated good health! We’re with you!

  12. George sometimes recovery takes longer than we hope for. Keep positive and do what your doctors tell you to do, and you will improve. As far as me watching the pros play, I learned a long time ago that I can’t do what they do. Their game is all about power. I learn more from watching the top seniors play at the tournaments that I play in. Also, thanks to Mike Lammens for doing a great job of filming and putting senior matches on youtube. Now I can watch seniors playing matches that I can relate to and learn from.

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