Last updated on 29-May-2011 05:08:53 AM
Hello Alois and Jeff,
After watching your videos and practicing those movements in the video, I am confident that now my forehand topspin is solid.
Despite this, however, I still find myself losing many games to players who don't have as good strokes. These players are very consistent - they don't lose any points, making me work to win every point - although they don't have the greatest attacks.
(If you were to watch me practice and them practice, for instance, you would probably conclude that I was slightly better, since I'm topspinning it in the practice and they are usually hitting it back and forth flatly in the practice.)
I usually lose the point before I can even get to use the heavy machinery I have developed through practice.
What do you suggest that I do to address this malady? Is there a particular form of practice? Or should I just swallow my eagerness and stick to a very conservative game? This last option seems interesting but I have a feeling that if I don't take my chances with risky shots in a game, I won't develop as a player.
This is common when developing. That doesn't make it any less frustrating though.
As Mr Zhou Lan Sun one of the coaches I trained under in the National team, (Semi finalist in World Singles 1965) put it;
You are trying to get to a destination. You have developed the Highways but now you need to develop the small roads as well.
The critical thing that you have noticed is that "I usually lose the point before I can even get to use the heavy machinery". Your pushing, serving and receiving, or the early part of the rally is what needs to be developed. This is often the hardest part to develop and the one that takes the most time. That is the little roads.
It isn't about taking risks it is about developing the touch to deal with the subtle differences and the strokes that will get you to the highway.
What those opponents probably have is experience or at least a simple enough game to get by on. Their game is limited and it will be difficult for them to develop to as high a level as the player that is developing correct technique.
I know your pain and have felt it as I am sure many other readers will have done.