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View Full Version : Increasingly frustrated by my strokes... please help!


mrHan
05-16-2007, 03:30 PM
I can't generate power on my forehands and can't hit a backhand. I'd be greatful to receive any advice?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djhF8rBEvUA

habib
05-16-2007, 03:46 PM
I can't generate power on my forehands and can't hit a backhand. I'd be greatful to receive any advice?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djhF8rBEvUA

Forehand: What is your off-hand (non-racquet-swinging) doing? And I mean besides being useless. Answers: It's not doing anything, it's just kinda flopping around your chest the entire time. Once you release the racquet's throat on takeback, it just floats there. That arm should be used to balance and brace you against the forces you're applying. If it's just holding on to your nipple through the entire swing, you're unbalanced, your stroke is unfocused, and everything is thrown off. It also looks like you're just arming the ball - there's no leg usage whatsoever and no signifcant torso toration to pull the arm into the ball.

Backhand: Don't take this the wrong way, but: Yikes, where to begin. First of all, you're swinging across your body in what looks like an almost completely horizontal plane. You should be swinging low-to-high, with the intent of swinging forward and up, not left to right. Your arm and racquet will wind up on your right side anyway from the inertia and the way your body is built, you don't need to swing it in that direction, and doing so results in losing just about all control and power. You also need to get your feet set before hitting the ball. This is probably the primary distinction between the one and two handed backhands - the former is a LOT more demanding in terms of preparation for the shot. Get your feet set, body sideways so your shoulder is facing the ball, straighten your arm and swing it like a pendulum, not like you're trying to knock someone out with a backhand swipe - you're trying to be a tennis player, not freakin' Ryu.

Also, is it just the video quality, or are you really using a wooden racquet?

smoothtennis
05-16-2007, 04:28 PM
It also looks like you're just arming the ball - there's no leg usage whatsoever and no signifcant torso toration to pull the arm into the ball.


I was going to also mention something along these same lines. Don't feel bad, kudos for posting your video, at least you can get an idea from experience people what is going on.

Ok, so the first thing I saw, was that you have no *base* to hit from. What does that mean? What do we mean when we say you are not using your legs? What I see immediately is that your stance is high. Your legs are not bent and loaded as the ball approaches. So how is it possible to drive from the legs through the body into the ball? You can't standing straight up.

I mean until that is fixed or addressed, nothing else you do will give you power. You have to be loaded firmly on the ground to push off with your legs into the ball. The kinetic chain is broke on the first link.

On your backhand...even worse, the first thing you do is take a few steps backwards, and stand straight up as well. A double whammy on robbing you of the potential for power. In fact on your forehand, you also appear to be taking a step back before you hit. That is common on newbs. You don't need to do that, and you can fix that immediately. Start back, and step forward if you want to adjust your stance.

Ok, so also, let me say, I have see far far worse, so don't feel bad. It's not that bad, it is just a few things that are robbing you of power, which, if you think about it is great. It is easy to spot, and should be easy to address for you.

As the ball approaches, simply bend your knees some, so you are solidly planted, and then stay down as you stroke, and transfer your weight forward.

As the first poster mentioned, keep that arm going back with the racket to coil your shoulders and hips, and as you release, stay balanced. To be balanced, you need a good firm stance/base. I think most of us that took up tennis as adults, have had these same issue to deal with when we started, I know I had at least every issue we mentioned here for you plus at least a few more!!!...:mrgreen:

habib
05-16-2007, 04:31 PM
Yeah, I'll throw in a "don't be offended or discouraged" disclaimer to my comments, as well. You seem well coordinated and your footwork would seem to imply pretty good athletic acumen, so it shouldn't take more than a few corrective tweaks to get you spanking the ball like I spank my...well, let's not digress too much.

smoothtennis
05-16-2007, 04:40 PM
Yeah, I'll throw in a "don't be offended or discouraged" disclaimer to my comments, as well. You seem well coordinated and your footwork would seem to imply pretty good athletic acumen, so it shouldn't take more than a few corrective tweaks to get you spanking the ball like I spank my...well, let's not digress too much.

Oh, absolutely - this guy is definately coordinated, and has an appearent good strong atheletic ability. I know many people that can't do what you are already doing, so kudos. You do appear to have the ability to handle some good comments, and greatly and immediately improve your game.

Brian_C
05-16-2007, 05:23 PM
ur forearm is like blaa, u dont seem to be using ur legs looks like ur just trying to your arm for power.

mrHan
05-16-2007, 05:24 PM
Awesome! Thanks for the tips and advice. I'm going to try working on the forehand first since the backhand is going to consume quite a bit of time.

Forehand
1. Use left hand to pull racquet back to generate shoulder rotation. But after that I need to remember not to leave it hanging there. Instead, I should counter balance by sticking it out and then catching the racquet.
2. Plant my feet.
3. Load.
4. Transfer weight forward.

Brian_C
05-16-2007, 05:30 PM
yup that sounds about right. remeber tennis is not much of an arm sport its more of a leg sport, you have tons of power in your legs dont let it go to waste

andymac1
05-16-2007, 07:21 PM
Everything is the problem, sorry to sound rude but it's true.

Noveson
05-16-2007, 07:41 PM
Everything is the problem, sorry to sound rude but it's true.

Oh be quiet. Nobody wnats you here if that is all you are going to post. Lets see a video of yourself, see if you can afford to talk trash.

habib
05-16-2007, 07:51 PM
Everything is the problem, sorry to sound rude but it's true.

And speaking of having problems...

LarougeNY
05-16-2007, 07:57 PM
I can't generate power on my forehands and can't hit a backhand. I'd be greatful to receive any advice?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djhF8rBEvUA

DON"T PLAY LIKE THAT, YOU WILL HURT YOUR SHOULDER.
you're arming the ball thuroughly, thats also the reason you're not getting as much as you put in.
Rotate, close your stance on forehands a little, then go shoulder to shoulder. backhands, its not about whipping the racket as fast as you can, you have to work on timing and watch the ball more as you strike it. You were looking into space as the ball was coming and bouncing deep around the baseline on that last shot in the video.
And speaking from experience about shoulder injuries, arming the ball is not, absolutely NOT the way you get racket speed and pace long-termwise. You don't want to get injured, take some months off, and maybe never recuperate completely, trust me.

habib
05-16-2007, 08:00 PM
Awesome! Thanks for the tips and advice. I'm going to try working on the forehand first since the backhand is going to consume quite a bit of time.

Forehand
1. Use left hand to pull racquet back to generate shoulder rotation. But after that I need to remember not to leave it hanging there. Instead, I should counter balance by sticking it out and then catching the racquet.
2. Plant my feet.
3. Load.
4. Transfer weight forward.

Let me just elaborate on the first point for you so you don't get the wrong idea:
You don't necessarily want to stick your non-racquet hand out. Because your body is rotating, the proper tendency is actually to pull it in (ever watch figure skaters?). On the backhand, your off-hand will stick out to balance your racquet hand, but only because you're taking a linear step into the shot and your racquet is moving away from you. In the modern forehand, power is generated through lifting and rotation, and your racquet is more or less coming aronud you rather than going away, so your off-hand comes in to facilitate the rotation. However, after you turn your shoulders and bring the racquet back, your off-hand should first come out front to counterbalance your back-swung (if that's a term I can use) racquet hand.
To illustrate, here are two frames of Moya hitting a forehand which I am shamelessly borrowing from Tennis.com:
Here he is about to swing; and (http://www.tennis.com/uploadedImages/Your_Game/Instruction_Articles/Forehand/2006_04_17_open_stance_forehand.jpg)
And here he is right around contact. (http://www.tennis.com/uploadedImages/Your_Game/Instruction_Articles/Forehand/2006_04_17_open_stance_forehand_2.jpg)

You can also check out the Federer clip on the front page of www.hi-techtennis.com (1st video). You can see from these examples how the off-hand pulls into the body. It is, in fact, an integral part of proper rotation.

smoothtennis
05-16-2007, 08:36 PM
Everything is the problem, sorry to sound rude but it's true.

This is what he asked for:

I'd be greatful to receive any advice?


Give the guy a break would you? Just use some courtesy at least please.

LarougeNY
05-16-2007, 09:05 PM
This is what he asked for:


Give the guy a break would you? Just use some courtesy at least please.

Yeah, it takes guts to post a video of yourself playing, knowing at least half the people that are going to see it are also going to flame you and tell you they're a hundred times better.

officerdibble
05-17-2007, 02:25 AM
I read the other comments before I looked at the video and you should definitely ignore the muppets who gave you a hard time. Sure, you're doing quite a lot wrong, but you know that! You're also doing a lot well. You clearly have good movement and a good eye for the ball, you just don't have a sound technique.

I heartily recommend joining Hi-Techtennis dot com and taking a look at their tuition. You obviously have access to video so you can keep an eye on your progress.

I joined the site this morning, spent twenty minutes reading the two-handed backhand stuff and transformed my stroke when I was drilling an hour or so ago. It costs $10 for a month's trial and my guess is you will speed along when you have the confidence of the right reference points for your shots.

Good luck.

JRstriker12
05-17-2007, 05:08 AM
Man! Are you wearing lead shoes? What's up with the footwork on that backhand?

There are just too many things to correct to post them all. Are you going to be at the next TW Mid-Atlantic meeting? I can give you some advice on your stroke production.

cam2
05-17-2007, 06:13 AM
Since nobody touched the backhand, I'll start. The biggest problem I see is that there is too much rotation, your rotating through it like a forehand. You can rotate your body on a 2 handed backhand but not a 1 hander. The only rotation in a 1 hander is a small shoulder rotation and a hip thrust.

Here is a great backhand to try to emulate:
http://www.hi-techtennis.com/video_sample/index.php?movie=max_onehander.swf

mrHan
05-17-2007, 08:18 AM
Everything is the problem, sorry to sound rude but it's true.

Thanks for your comments but I didn't get much out from your response. Though, I'd like to play/challenge you to a match sometime. I'm sure I could get more useful comments out from you then.

mrHan
05-17-2007, 08:21 AM
DON"T PLAY LIKE THAT, YOU WILL HURT YOUR SHOULDER.
you're arming the ball thuroughly, thats also the reason you're not getting as much as you put in.
Rotate, close your stance on forehands a little, then go shoulder to shoulder. backhands, its not about whipping the racket as fast as you can, you have to work on timing and watch the ball more as you strike it. You were looking into space as the ball was coming and bouncing deep around the baseline on that last shot in the video.
And speaking from experience about shoulder injuries, arming the ball is not, absolutely NOT the way you get racket speed and pace long-termwise. You don't want to get injured, take some months off, and maybe never recuperate completely, trust me.

Yeah, I definately feel that it's only my arm swinging. My stance is a little too wide. I'll keep my feet closer and work on the loading so I can generate power using the proper way.

Habib:
Thanks for your instruction so far. I found the pictures particularly helpful. It make it easier to visualize with your instruction.

Cam2:
Thanks for the backhand video, I'll have to check it out after work. Stupid work firewall blocks all streaming media

OfficerDibble:
Thanks for the link. I'll keep that in mind for the future as I progress.

JrStriker12:
Yes, they are leaded shoes. These Barricade IV's weight a ton though it's no excuse for not moving my feet. I'm definately coming out to the chapter meeting this weekend.

skiracer55
05-17-2007, 09:47 AM
...the biggest single problem is that you're arming the ball...not badly, but it's there. Tennis is not an arm sport, it's a leg sport. Or, more accurately, it's a trunk/leg sport. Hitting a forehand is like throwing a discus; hitting a backhand is like throwing a Frisbee. How can you throw either without getting your legs and trunk involved?

ps60
05-17-2007, 09:52 AM
just want to say sth i saw

u have setup a closed stance, but yr wt was on your front foot. yr back foot was acutally barely on the ground. Nothing changed during the swing. So ... nothing is from your base.

U also setup a shoulder turn. But u didn't open up the shoulders at all during swing. The closed shoulder actually blocking your swing, worse than you have an open stance. (a common coached beginner's problem, that's why my nephew play better the first time he hit some balls at 4 than he's now at 8 )

So all is left is your arm. i guess you have a very good physic and strong arm and so the balls still had some pace. But the swing is too horizontal, as in your BH.

Nothing needed to be said about yr BH, except more practise...

Having said that, i am a soft-baller :grin:

spadesss
05-17-2007, 09:59 AM
my humble advice.
move contact point a bit lower and more in front of your body.
also suggested moving up and into the court more as opposed to wait for the ball move toward you.
on your backhand (and forehand).... don't ever move backwards (or sideways) when you hit the ball. you want momentum to move forward.

Sup2Dresq
05-17-2007, 10:06 AM
Good Luck Han. LOL.

spadesss
05-17-2007, 10:08 AM
i wish i can played like that with my other hand.

smoothtennis
05-17-2007, 10:12 AM
...the biggest single problem is that you're arming the ball...not badly, but it's there. Tennis is not an arm sport, it's a leg sport. Or, more accurately, it's a trunk/leg sport. Hitting a forehand is like throwing a discus; hitting a backhand is like throwing a Frisbee. How can you throw either without getting your legs and trunk involved?

Good analogies, never thought about those two, but spot on. Funny thing, I learned golf technique before tennis, and on my one hand backhand, I think of it as a golf shot almost. Same weight transfer, uncoiling, and arm straight. Not obvious to the beginner, but once you start feeling that uncoiling, and lack of arm, it becomes such a nice smooth easy stroke.

skiracer55
05-17-2007, 12:25 PM
Good analogies, never thought about those two, but spot on. Funny thing, I learned golf technique before tennis, and on my one hand backhand, I think of it as a golf shot almost. Same weight transfer, uncoiling, and arm straight. Not obvious to the beginner, but once you start feeling that uncoiling, and lack of arm, it becomes such a nice smooth easy stroke.


...there are a billion other analogies from the world of sport, and they all tell you one thing: keep moving into and through the ball, and you'll be fine. Stand there and try to blast it and you'll lose. Try going out and playing phantom points without your racket some day. As in, try moving through a serve, volley, and finishing volley point without holding your racket. It's a real revelation...

sharpy
05-17-2007, 12:41 PM
Mr han, alot of problems here. first of all i dont like that attitude you look like a loser before you even hit the ball, and terrible body language after the bh.

SECOND, the biggest problem your footwork is very slow

on the backhand, there is no topspin component your just swinging away hopelessly. slow down, get your racket ready sooner and take a nice clean swing at the ball, dont just whip your entire body into the stroke!

zapvor
05-17-2007, 12:43 PM
omg...so i just watched the video for the 3rd time. that definitely looks like a woodie racket. which are you using MrHan? and why are you using a woodie? i think thats the first thing. i know you probably go on this forum pretending you are a hot shot and trying to be like Connors & company but lets face it, it's 2007 and your video sucks. i admire you posting the video though. very brave. now a lot of people already gave you tips, which are all pretty good. so i would start there. it looks like you just started playing, so no need to panic. tennis is a hard sport to get good at, so i encourage you to stick with it and you shall prevail eventually. to be sure, it would take years of relentless practice and unwavering devotion, but its all worth it in the end. also, you do look pretty fit/athletic in the clip, so you are off to a great start. hope this will encourage you.

goober
05-17-2007, 12:47 PM
Didn't someone mention MrHan was left handed with a nasty left kick serve? You aren't playing a joke on us hitting righty are you ;)

mrHan
05-17-2007, 01:49 PM
Thanks again guys/gals. I'll post when I get those changes implemented.

mrHan
05-17-2007, 01:56 PM
Goober,

no. I am not playing a joke nor fooling anyone. I am training for other reasons.

soyizgood
05-17-2007, 02:14 PM
What's up with the wooden racquet?!

Issue #1: Buy a decent racquet. Wood racquets have too small of a hitting area. Unless you're Borg 2.0 you're going to have issues with it.

Forehand: You seem to hit long with your forehand. That's probably because you wait until the ball gets too close to you. You should step into the ball and hit it a little more in front of you. This way you get power from your body's momentum and can generate topspin better.

Backhand: I suspect you are not in the proper grip for a one-hand backhand. The 1HBH needs to be hit more in front of you. And you need to hold your ground and/or step into it at contact. Put some topspin to give you more margin for error. Watch Federer's backhand: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6Ai6_joRxA

Keep working on it. At least you're hitting the ball over the net. I see lots of college folks who can't even do that. You look like you can generate a good amount of power. Just work on technique and let your power come naturally.

sapient007
05-17-2007, 02:15 PM
what racquet are you using?? looks like a mono beam, conners style...

goober
05-17-2007, 02:16 PM
Goober,

no. I am not playing a joke nor fooling anyone. I am training for other reasons.

Let me guess- you bet somebody that you could beat them right handed with a wooden racquet :D

habib
05-17-2007, 02:35 PM
Let me guess- you bet somebody that you could beat them right handed with a wooden racquet :D

If this were the case and he was at least semi-proficient with his leftyhand, he shouldn't have so many questions about his righty technique.

300Gkid
05-17-2007, 06:56 PM
haha im starting to think this is true check out this thread


http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=133038


anyway, i cant help on the 1 handed backhanded
but on your forehand make sure you get a "double bend" (look at Jco's posts for more info) and step through the ball i'd help more but im pretty sure most everything has already been said one way or another

mrHan
05-18-2007, 06:07 AM
Okay.. Last night I did some shadow tennis in front of a mirror trying to work those changes. Hopefully it won't rain tonight after work so I can go out and hit against the wall. I'll post those changes.

Sup2Dresq
05-18-2007, 06:13 AM
If this were the case and he was at least semi-proficient with his leftyhand, he shouldn't have so many questions about his righty technique.

I agree with that statement.