PDA

View Full Version : B- Bill: Question about hips/weight shift on forehand ...


cervelo
09-18-2004, 03:11 PM
I've been over-analyzing my forehand again in an effort to hit a heavier and deeper ball. To begin, something I recently read but never thought about was that the hitting arm should "lead out" the dominant hip during the stroke. I assume this means that the back leg is loaded up and only releases the weight once the shoulders have become relatively uncoiled. I think one of my problems has been that my back leg likes to drive up with or before the arm, creating a whippy action with no margin for error.

Two questions regarding this: 1) do you have a way that you describe the action (that I'm poorly attempting to put into words above) that might help shed more light on it?, and 2) with an open stance FH, should the hips coil as well or be more parallel with the baseline throughout the stroke? I feel as though my stance could still be open and my hips coiled and somewhat closed.

mistapooh
09-18-2004, 08:18 PM
your hips coiling? I make sure that my back is almost parallel to the net if that's what you mean, and if you do that, then your hips has to coil...

cervelo
09-23-2004, 09:05 AM
Oops Bill, I saw you were online and I thought I'd catch you for a response ...

Bungalo Bill
09-23-2004, 09:29 AM
Well on the forehand (if we are talking about the modern forehand) the elbow plays a key role in getting the racquet to the contact point and through the ball.

If you watch Roddick sideways you will see his elbow driving the rotation. In the past, or an intermediate forehand, the elbow moves with the shoulders - it is more "fixed" together. Kind of like Jimmy Conners forehand.

When you drop the elbow in place and are ready to bring the racquet forward, the shoulder knudges or "pulls" the butt cap forward first. This starts the elbow lead. It is a very slight lead because it would be awkward to keep it going forward without turning your back shoulder into the contact zone.

When the elbow is knudged the shoulders lag. This lag helps reduce the chance of overrotating past the contact point. The leading of the elbow helps to move the elbow in front of the body plane when you make contact.

Here is an example of what I mean:

http://tennisplayer.net/members/avancedtennis/the_myth_of_the_wrist_proforehand_images/haasf.gif

Several things to notice:

1. The leg action is supporting the upper body uncoiling into the ball. Tommy has a wide base in which to rotate over and keep his balance so he doesnt "tip over" if his feet where too close together. Remember on rotation there is a lot of centrifugal force going on that forces things out of the contact zone, so having a wide base helps control this. This is true for a twohanders rotation and a onehanders "non-rotation.

2. Watch the elbow how it loops and drops for the forward swing. It will be "knudged" or pulled forward first, then the shoulders almost immediately follows. The elbow goes in front of the body plane at contact. That is the goal! The shoulders cant overrotate if you do this right. But like anything else - it take practice. First start out hitting slow balls to get the feel of the stroke down. After a month or two hit medium paced balls and see if your stroke breaksdown. If it does slow down the balls and repeat.

3. The knee bend and lift move like a spring not a jump or hop! Tommys legs begin lifting once they are bent slightly before the up swing to the ball, but they dont "pop" up to throw off the racquet path.

4. The fixed wrist is maintained through contact and then releases after the ball has been hit. If you watched this is regular speed your eyes would only pick up the after effects of the shot and it would look real whippy. Because the pros can generate a ton of racquet head speed this becomes an illusion to the human eye.

5. Watch his head. It barely moves once it is locked into position. Now for the forehand, the head is a little more open, but it stays still allowing the eyes to pick up the ball properly.

6. The use of the non-dominant arm is essential. It provides balance and helps with tracking and gauging depth and the speed of the incoming ball. You get more of your body into the stroke.

I hope that helps, if not keeping explaining what you mean.

andirez
09-23-2004, 11:13 AM
Great analysis Bungalo Bill! Thanks :)

cervelo
09-23-2004, 01:25 PM
As I understand it, the forward elbow motion "sets the plane" on which the racquet arm "strokes" the ball. If the racquet head follows the elbow, any extraneous movement of the elbow will limit the "contact zone margin" (for lack of a better term). The lag in the racquet head in relation to the elbow helps to create length through the stroke; with a locked wrist, the purpose can only be to generate contact zone length, not low to high racquet head speed.

Some of what I'm looking at in your clip is: Tommy's right hip, 1) as it is in the "loaded" position when he finishes the take-back, 2) the relationship b/w when he starts the racquet arm forward and shoulder uncoiling and how that is timed with the push off the right leg. I also see that he still ends up driving forward into the court at the end.

The mistake I think I have been making is, if you see when Tommy's wristband crosses the "z" in Benz, his weight is still on his right foot. At that point in my stroke, my back leg is already releasing my weight and my racquet head speed is coming from a delayed whip in the elbow trying to catch up ...

I need to let it sink in a little more before I confuse myself and everybody else with my madness but MANY THANKS for this post ... please keep an eye out for my response soon???

lendl lives
09-23-2004, 02:39 PM
b, thanks for the cool clip in the post, too!!!

papa
09-23-2004, 04:18 PM
This is great stuff BB - should be in "the book" which I (and I'm sure others) wish you'd put together. Most of us (if not all) have appreciated your advice.

cervelo
09-24-2004, 07:08 AM
I've been analyzing this post for close to an hour now (but over a few days, I'm not that crazy!) What I've noticed is this (relating to the hip/shoulder/arm action in the modern FH). Whether you coil your hips more, coil your shoulders more, or employ a large take-back, the following occurs:

1) the racquet arm comes through the hitting area just IN FRONT OF the hip; the amount of hip coil isn't an issue (what I was so concerned about with the hips was off-track) - it's the timing of the forward and upward leg drive just behind the racquet arm which provides support and a balanced stroke. For example, Lleyton Hewitt seems to use a huge take-back with limited hip rotation and a "flying" elbow. But his elbow comes in and drives to the target just in front of the hip when it matters. (My guess is, as tennis aficionados, we see differences in the pros strokes when we should be looking for similarities. They are all actually very similar when the racquet meets the ball!)

2) the elbow leads the racquet to squarely strike the ball at contact, but at the contact zone, the whole thing has come together to extend the zone. Trying to exaggerate the elbow lead will only complicate it, I'm guessing.

3) the racquet and elbow "square" up at contact but the "elbow lead out" serves to extend the racquet head further toward the target. The arm is moving forward, supported by the hips/shoulders, and ultimately, what we've done is use the lag to keep the racquet face on target longer. It's similar to the concept as the arm pronation on the serve. Without the pronation, the hitting zone is "chopped off."

4) Finally, the amount of shoulder turn also need not be exagerrated in an effort to gain depth. Agassi doesn't have a particularly huge turn but, if you think about it, he really leads out the racquet with the elbow and gets his depth from there (especially if he's rushed on his FH). I would guess, without looking at it that his hips don't turn a whole lot either, but his length through the contact zone gives him that unique ability and his legs never fail to "deploy" the power behind the racquet arm.

For years, Bollettieri was insisting that the elbow stay in on the body and I never really wondered why. With your advice on the elbow lead/racquet lag, it really makes sense.

Thanks!!!!!!!!!!

cervelo
09-24-2004, 07:34 AM
*** By the way, I'm gonna speculate that B- Bill would rather not "feed the corporate machine" by publishing a highly successful tennis instruction book. Rather, he seeks a nobler path of enlightening us for free on this beloved website. (Surely, the most masterful instructors weren't rich authors ... think: Yoda, Mr. Miyagi, Micky Goldmill of Rocky fame.) However, every time we reach on-court success based on his advice, I'm sure he would accept compensation at a proposed rate of: $5.00 per shot, $50.00 per set, $500.00 per match and $5,000.00 per tournament (plus 40% of gross winnings, when applicable).

Bungalo Bill
09-24-2004, 10:37 AM
I've been analyzing this post for close to an hour now (but over a few days, I'm not that crazy!) What I've noticed is this (relating to the hip/shoulder/arm action in the modern FH). Whether you coil your hips more, coil your shoulders more, or employ a large take-back, the following occurs:

1) the racquet arm comes through the hitting area just IN FRONT OF the hip; the amount of hip coil isn't an issue (what I was so concerned about with the hips was off-track) - it's the timing of the forward and upward leg drive just behind the racquet arm which provides support and a balanced stroke. For example, Lleyton Hewitt seems to use a huge take-back with limited hip rotation and a "flying" elbow. But his elbow comes in and drives to the target just in front of the hip when it matters. (My guess is, as tennis aficionados, we see differences in the pros strokes when we should be looking for similarities. They are all actually very similar when the racquet meets the ball!)

2) the elbow leads the racquet to squarely strike the ball at contact, but at the contact zone, the whole thing has come together to extend the zone. Trying to exaggerate the elbow lead will only complicate it, I'm guessing.

3) the racquet and elbow "square" up at contact but the "elbow lead out" serves to extend the racquet head further toward the target. The arm is moving forward, supported by the hips/shoulders, and ultimately, what we've done is use the lag to keep the racquet face on target longer. It's similar to the concept as the arm pronation on the serve. Without the pronation, the hitting zone is "chopped off."

4) Finally, the amount of shoulder turn also need not be exagerrated in an effort to gain depth. Agassi doesn't have a particularly huge turn but, if you think about it, he really leads out the racquet with the elbow and gets his depth from there (especially if he's rushed on his FH). I would guess, without looking at it that his hips don't turn a whole lot either, but his length through the contact zone gives him that unique ability and his legs never fail to "deploy" the power behind the racquet arm.

For years, Bollettieri was insisting that the elbow stay in on the body and I never really wondered why. With your advice on the elbow lead/racquet lag, it really makes sense.

Thanks!!!!!!!!!!

In one hour you are seeing more then what most tennis players see for a lifetime. What you described above is excellent. It seems like your the type of player that can analyze something very well. What you need to be careful with is preventing yourself to feel the stroke and let the role of the elbow play out naturally. When you begin to overthink or feel "your not getting it" slow down and just keep on track.

Learning to do something right always takes time, but the benefits are well worth the effort.

Now, the angle of the arm at the elbow will have some importance to. If you use an eastern forehand grip, the bend in the arm will not be as drastic. SW a little more bend, and the Western is almost a 90 degree angle as you prepare the elbow to be brought forward. Remember this happens as the stroke is being performed so you want it to feel smooth and natural.

Thanks for your comments about writing a book. John Yandell has been getting on my %$% to write some articles for his website. I just need to free up some time.

tennisboy87
02-09-2005, 06:52 PM
The use of the non-dominant arm is essential. It provides balance and helps with tracking and gauging depth and the speed of the incoming ball. You get more of your body into the stroke.
Sorry to bring this thread up, but I have a question about this comment. Does this mean you should try and use your non-dominant hand to track the ball? Or is it something that just happens like subconsciously? I've been wondering about this as I don't consciously try and do anything with my non-dominant hand, but from watching videos of me, I do get my hand out across my body. Is this something I should try to consciously do? Thanks.

Bungalo Bill
02-10-2005, 02:13 PM
Sorry to bring this thread up, but I have a question about this comment. Does this mean you should try and use your non-dominant hand to track the ball? Or is something that just happens like subconsciously? I've been wondering about this as I don't consciously try and do anything with my non-dominant hand, but from watching videos of me, I do get my hand out across my body. Is this something I should try to consciously do? Thanks.

Well in one way yes and in another way no. When I practice my forehand I consciously make sure my non-dominant arm is involved in the strokes for the various reasons in this post. But I dont try and consciously do so in matches or when I am having fun. It is when I want to work on my forehand.

Check these clips out and just focus on the non-dominant arm.

http://www.uspta.com/html/e-lesson-Open%20stance%20forehand%201%2056k.swf

http://www.uspta.com/html/e-lesson-Open%20stance%20forehand%202%2056k.swf

tennisboy87
02-10-2005, 05:54 PM
Thanks Bill.

Marius_Hancu
02-11-2005, 03:58 AM
great tips.
I'd also suggest buying the book World Class Tennis Technique and going in step-by-step in the QuickTime clips at
http://www.tenniscruz.com/login.asp
many great forehands there
(you'd have to register now, but still free).

cervelo
10-20-2005, 12:56 PM
I bumped this thread because I have come to rely on it when my own FH gets whippy, as well as to explain to others what it means to drive the racquet head through contact. BB does a superb job in describing the relationship between the dominant arm/elbow, the hips and leg drive. My FH has benefitted immeasurably.

Marius_Hancu
10-20-2005, 03:58 PM
Now, the angle of the arm at the elbow will have some importance too.

If you use an eastern forehand grip, the bend in the arm will not be as drastic.

SW a little more bend, and the Western is almost a 90 degree angle as you prepare the elbow to be brought forward.

Remember this happens as the stroke is being performed so you want it to feel smooth and natural.

Yes.

For examples on the variability in the bend of the arm one might look at the clips at the end of this posting.

As Ferrero is much under the grip (even if Mr. Yandell contends it's not quite Western), his right elbow is much more bent than Federer's at contact and much closer to the body.

This makes Federer hit the ball more laterally (wrt his body) than Ferrero. Fed "reaches out" more. I would contend that this extra leverage it's an explanation for the extreme racket head speeds he's able to generate.

I would approximate that at contact Fed's upper arm is bent wrt forearm by about 160-175 degrees at the elbow, while Ferrero reaches about 90 degrees sometimes.

Federer is also tucking less his elbow.

Federer's and Hewitt's FH (high-speed camera clip):
http://www.araf72.dsl.pipex.com/1000FPS.mpg

from
Ferrero Forehand Analyzed
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=22111
Clip:
http://www.aquo02.dsl.pipex.com/Ferrero.mov

Bungalo Bill
10-21-2005, 07:36 AM
I bumped this thread because I have come to rely on it when my own FH gets whippy, as well as to explain to others what it means to drive the racquet head through contact. BB does a superb job in describing the relationship between the dominant arm/elbow, the hips and leg drive. My FH has benefitted immeasurably.

Excellent! Thanks for the compliment!

cervelo
10-21-2005, 09:22 AM
Excellent! Thanks for the compliment!

The pleasure is all mine.

I was playing last night and thinking about the concepts outlined in this thread again. There were times where my opponent hit deep and flat to my forehand. On almost every occasion, my forehand handled my opponent's heavy balls and maintained depth and placement in exchange. The length of the stroke creates so much variety in handling tough balls, which takes me from defense to offense very frequently.

Importantly, I don't need to swing hard when I drive the elbow in front of the hips. The length creates so much power that I feel like I've simplified the stroke and get more out of it.

firstblud
04-26-2009, 09:50 PM
is this the pic you are referring to bungalo?

i refer to this post too at times and perhaps you may want to update your post with the new link

http://www.stennis.narod.ru/lessons/haasf.gif

defrule
04-26-2009, 10:33 PM
What I do might be complete wrong but here goes.

When I want to hit a heavier shot I start close stance, I'm left handed so my legs are diagonal like this \, left foot behind and right foot in front.

After the swing the feet are switched in position, basically opened up during the shot.