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Bungalo Bill
03-18-2004, 06:33 PM
With the open stance becoming more and more important as technology helps to increase the power and speed of a ball, the step out becomes an essential footwork pattern for the tennis player.

In todays tennis it is becoming more important to NOT close off the hips. And with tennis science maturing more and more studies are being performed that makes old methods of footwork obsolete.

So what is the step out all about and why is it important for tennis players to develop this very important first step towards the ball.

The first step towards the ball in every case should be made with the foot closest to the ball. The right foot would move first at an angle (45 degree angle) to propel the body to cut off the ball while hitting on the right side of the body, and the left foot would move first at an angle (45 degree angle) to cut off the ball when hitting on the left side of the body.

The reason why this is important is because it allows the player the ability to load his power on the outside leg and hip so that a circular rotation and hip action could be made for power.

Leverage for all strokes comes from the outside foot and the rotation of the hips into the ball.

If you make the traditional crossover step first instead of this step-out method, the hips get locked out and power has the potential to be smothered. Then, only the arm is left to supply limited power and produce a weak shot.

This step out method is important for all shots from return of serves to volleying. Step-outs can be just what the Doctor ordered for big improvement in your timing and balance in all your shots.

What step-out training will do for you is to allow your legs, trunk and body to be the motor or power of the stroke while the hands act as the steering wheel to provide the direction, spin and placement of the ball.

A way to train is to hit balls from one fence to the other fence. Once you can do this constantly, it is a matter of teaching the hands and touch to gradually control the ball and place it on the court while still retaining the same power on the ball.

Two things that will help you in this learning journey. the head should be kept down and both feet should remain on the ground. The outside foot closest to the ball should be used to load the power. Keeping the head down allows good control over the entire body. If the head comes up, so will the arms, legs and the rest of the body, thereby preventing optimal balance, leverage and weight transfer through the ball.

The step-out is critical for maintaining leverage.

C_Urala
03-18-2004, 08:40 PM
I found that my post is better suited for this thread. So:

to me it's really not a problem to make a first step with the leg closest to the ball. My problem is to make this step not big. I tend to lunge and to stretch on this step and this kill all balance.

So, a little addition to the rule:

Make the first step with the leg closest to the ball but do not make this step big..

Eric Matuszewski
03-19-2004, 06:39 AM
Other helpfull info,

On "loading the outside leg":

Here's a check to make sure you are loading. You should be able to lift your "other" foot off the ground without having to redistribute your weight.
If you can do this, then you have loaded the outside leg.

If you get your hips (where your center of gravity is) directly over your outside foot you can be assured that your weight is loaded on it. (you can quickly check this by the above method).

Also, get in the habit of bending with the legs and not at the back. The more a player bends at the back, the more her head gets outside her base of support and thus the easier she is to "tip" over.

By keeping the spine more upright and using the legs to "get low" with, it becomes easier to change direction. Efficiently changing direction will continue to become even more important as tennis evolves and the ball moves faster and faster.

"Coaching Tennis" by Chuck Kriese (Clemson coach), describes the step-out, loading as well as many more great insights. It's well worth the $19.95.

Bungalo Bill
03-19-2004, 07:38 AM
I highly recommend this too. This is one of the books that has provided valuable insight in coaching tennis for me. In fact, I model my coaching efforts around Coach Krieses philosophy.

I incorporate a lot of the fundamentals he teaches in my own game as well as others. It provides the basis for most of my answers here on this TW board. This is a solid fundamental book.

In tennis, nobody has a patent on any knowledge. Almost all of the tennis knowledge available is learned from others that have come before us and is researched and made available to all of us. Some of today's researchers simply repackage good obscure information in a new way for us to relearn.

There are only a hand full of tennis books which I have molded my coaching and playing efforts around, this is one of them.

His research simply works.

Eric Matuszewski
03-19-2004, 09:03 AM
On the subject of good books.

Does anyone know if there are any tennis coaching/technique books in English on Spanish tennis technique?

They've certainly had alot of success over the last couple of years and it seems that they've probably observed some things and have been using some techniques that the rest of the world may have missed.

I've got some stuff from Hiqueras who coaches for the USTA now, but I want more of the top secret stuff if it is in fact out there. Even written en Espanol may be ok.

Thunnus
03-19-2004, 09:32 AM
So, does stepping out mean that you will hit the ball off your back foot? Do you swing the same? How do you step in with this setup? What are the variations of this technique?

I have been working on this technique for a while and I find it somewhat confusing at times, because I use to generate power by steping into my shot and taking it early and now I try to do it by loading my hip and legs and swinging fast with my forearm. Is it wise to mix both of these techniques? Also, I am a bit puzzled at different variations of this stroke by many different pros. I think my coach wants me to hit my forehand just like Svetlana Kuznetsova. Her right shoulder does not follow the ball and she stays square and balanced, while hitting very hard. Others like James Blake has a similar motion but he seems to hit it more off his back foot with his left leg coming of the ground and rotating his right shoulder more after the impact. Any thoughts on this, Bill?

VJH
03-19-2004, 12:16 PM
That is some solid information on how to set up for your shot, be it a forehand or backhand. But what happens to your center of gravity when you actually swing?

Lets look at the forehand as an example. Assume that I've correctly executed the "Step Out" footwork as described by BB and further expounded upon by Eric. My weight is properly loaded on the right leg (for right handers). I am therefore in an open or neutral stance. Each stance has its own unique potential problem tendencies.

Open Stance - A common problem with players hitting from an open stance is that upon initiating their forward swing, they move their weight from their right to their left foot. This movement detracts from the linear path that the racket must take into contact to optimize pace and accuracy. The result is that players often pull off the ball too early, reducing both power and accurate placement. In order to prevent this from happening, players should attempt to keep their center of gravity between their two legs. Try to avoid the feel of having your center of gravity tilted towards your right leg during the set up phase, moving towards a tilt towards the left leg during and immediately following the swing phase. To emphasize the correct execution of this, try hitting a few forehands keeping your right leg loaded throughout the swing. Feel the power that can be generated by having your hips rotate around your center of gravity. Another way to think about this is after you have set up for your forehand, imaging that there is a pole running from your head, through your center of gravity, and stuck in the court between your legs. Proper stroke execution would have you uncoil your hips, without moving your center of gravity, or without moving the pole so to speak. Yet another way to acquire the sensation of doing this correctly would be to stand on a small platform (crate or gym platform), on only your right leg. In order to maintain your balance throughout the stroke, you will have to quiet any movement of your center of gravity.

Neutral Stance - Again, thinking of the forehand, a common footwork problem with the neutral stance involves bringing your right leg (back leg) forward to early during and after the swing phase of your stroke. As with the open stance, the objective of the neutral stance stroke is to keep your center of gravity "within your stance". Incorrect execution of this is most frequently seen when a player moves forward into the court aggressively to put away a short ball. After striking the short ball, the player may find that his/her right hip and leg have moved parallel or in front of the left foot. This finish could suggest that the player has pulled off the ball early robbing him/her of power and precision.

To execute this stroke properly, or to feel the sensation of keeping your center of gravity "within your stance" imagine that as you step into your neutral stance, your forward (left) leg is abutting a wall. Imagine placing your foot against a wall and bending your knee just enough that both your knee and foot are touching this imaginary obstacle. As you execute your swing, your left knee or left foot never move beyond the imaginary boundary. If anchored properly in this fashion, your center of gravity will stay "within your stance".

Upon completion of your swing, it is okay to move your right foot even with your left. However, keep in mind that this is a "recovery" technique and not part of the swing. Finish your swing then recover. Try not to incorporate your recovery into your swing. When a player finds him/herself under pressure, this can be more difficult to execute correctly than it sounds.

Bungalo Bill
03-19-2004, 12:56 PM
On the subject of good books.

Does anyone know if there are any tennis coaching/technique books in English on Spanish tennis technique?

They've certainly had alot of success over the last couple of years and it seems that they've probably observed some things and have been using some techniques that the rest of the world may have missed.

I've got some stuff from Hiqueras who coaches for the USTA now, but I want more of the top secret stuff if it is in fact out there. Even written en Espanol may be ok.

Eric let me put a call into Vic Braden and another Eurpoean coach I met, cant remember his name off hand it is on my palm pilot. But I agree with you they are getting a lot of good results. I would be interested in that to.

So you want the secret stuff, huh? hehehehehe

Bungalo Bill
03-19-2004, 01:05 PM
That is some solid information on how to set up for your shot, be it a forehand or backhand. But what happens to your center of gravity when you actually swing?

Lets look at the forehand as an example. Assume that I've correctly executed the "Step Out" footwork as described by BB and further expounded upon by Eric. My weight is properly loaded on the right leg (for right handers). I am therefore in an open or neutral stance. Each stance has its own unique potential problem tendencies.

Open Stance - A common problem with players hitting from an open stance is that upon initiating their forward swing, they move their weight from their right to their left foot. This movement detracts from the linear path that the racket must take into contact to optimize pace and accuracy. The result is that players often pull off the ball too early, reducing both power and accurate placement. In order to prevent this from happening, players should attempt to keep their center of gravity between their two legs. Try to avoid the feel of having your center of gravity tilted towards your right leg during the set up phase, moving towards a tilt towards the left leg during and immediately following the swing phase. To emphasize the correct execution of this, try hitting a few forehands keeping your right leg loaded throughout the swing. Feel the power that can be generated by having your hips rotate around your center of gravity. Another way to think about this is after you have set up for your forehand, imaging that there is a pole running from your head, through your center of gravity, and stuck in the court between your legs. Proper stroke execution would have you uncoil your hips, without moving your center of gravity, or without moving the pole so to speak. Yet another way to acquire the sensation of doing this correctly would be to stand on a small platform (crate or gym platform), on only your right leg. In order to maintain your balance throughout the stroke, you will have to quiet any movement of your center of gravity.

Neutral Stance - Again, thinking of the forehand, a common footwork problem with the neutral stance involves bringing your right leg (back leg) forward to early during and after the swing phase of your stroke. As with the open stance, the objective of the neutral stance stroke is to keep your center of gravity "within your stance". Incorrect execution of this is most frequently seen when a player moves forward into the court aggressively to put away a short ball. After striking the short ball, the player may find that his/her right hip and leg have moved parallel or in front of the left foot. This finish could suggest that the player has pulled off the ball early robbing him/her of power and precision.

To execute this stroke properly, or to feel the sensation of keeping your center of gravity "within your stance" imagine that as you step into your neutral stance, your forward (left) leg is abutting a wall. Imagine placing your foot against a wall and bending your knee just enough that both your knee and foot are touching this imaginary obstacle. As you execute your swing, your left knee or left foot never move beyond the imaginary boundary. If anchored properly in this fashion, your center of gravity will stay "within your stance".

Upon completion of your swing, it is okay to move your right foot even with your left. However, keep in mind that this is a "recovery" technique and not part of the swing. Finish your swing then recover. Try not to incorporate your recovery into your swing. When a player finds him/herself under pressure, this can be more difficult to execute correctly than it sounds.

Very good insight! I agree! You must control the rotation your getting. Practicing this technique slowly helps the minor or stablizing muscles learn how to help control the finer points of balance and stability otherwise the centrifugal force you create will cause the racquet path to go off course slightly.

So what do you do? Well, for starters that non-dominant arm plays a key role in keeping the rotation centered and not tilt or pull out of the shot. Keeping the non-hitting arm sort of pointing at the ball and as you swing it sort of fold into the chest fromt he elbow. In other words the non-hitting arm stays within the body.

In previous posts, the key is to hit with the shoulder rather then your arm. Also, in previous posts I mentioned the elbow coming forward seperately and before or slightly before rotation - this is key to maintain your balance.

Keep in mind, the step out is the first step to the ball. It does not mean it is the only step. Sometimes you will crossover and initiate your adjustment step into the ball.

What the step out gives is better court coverage. Better balance. It reduces your chances of turning to sideways which cause numerous problems (poor vision, a bigger backswing to make up for your momentum moving sideways, etc.

The key is stepping with the foot closest to the ball on an angle preferrably the 45 degree angle.

Their are some great drills for learning to get yoru body comfortable with this technique. You dont even need to hit any balls and you certainly can do it at home!

Thunnus
03-19-2004, 01:41 PM
On the subject of good books.

Does anyone know if there are any tennis coaching/technique books in English on Spanish tennis technique?

They've certainly had alot of success over the last couple of years and it seems that they've probably observed some things and have been using some techniques that the rest of the world may have missed.

I've got some stuff from Hiqueras who coaches for the USTA now, but I want more of the top secret stuff if it is in fact out there. Even written en Espanol may be ok.

As I have been working with a Barcelona trained tennis pro, that was exactly how I felt. Spansh coaches have figured some modern techniques out and their success and South Americans' (who copied much of Spanish teaching) success have shown that they are definitely ahead in some aspects of technique especially in ground strokes and footwork.

I have looked for the same thing in last several months to no avail. All I found was really old American stuff and some early 80s German stuff. At this rate, I might have to get some Spanish tennis books and try to deciper myself. I have been told by Spanish players that they have lots of books on this.

Eric Matuszewski
03-19-2004, 02:27 PM
I've got some German stuff too, which is really good. I don't mind translating from Spanish. I just don't know where to get even the Spanish texts.

...and it doesn't have to be earthshattering revolutionary technique.
I'd even like to know how they start kids off (5-7 yr olds). I wouldn't be suprised if it all starts off very different.

German teaching method is very different than what I've seen typically in the U.S..

I've had alot of success with little kids incorporating some of their teaching ideas.

My guess is that the Spaniards have some good ideas too.

In the end though I wonder how much other factors have to do with producing top players, it might not have much to do with teaching style.

It has to help that tennis seems to be so much more popular (in relation to population sizes) for these countries.

Just by getting so many kids interested in tennis and having so many players to play within a relatively small distance (say 50 miles) seems to account for alot.
Which reminds me ... horay for the Tennis Channel! Probably more important to the future of American Tennis than any other single factor.

VJH
03-19-2004, 03:29 PM
Good catch on the use of the off hand Eric. There has been a good amount of discussion regarding the chest "pre-stretch" on the forehand and serve. Unfortunately, the typical player will "over-rotate" and/or find themselves off balance (out of control) while trying to implement this concept into their game.

Rather than teach "pre-stretch" (for the forehand for this example), I defer to the figure skater (okay, the caveat here is that although I am making a reference to figure skating, I am still a "manly man". I do where black and red wool, plaid flannels on occassion! :-)). Anyway, at the end of many skating routines, you will see the figure skater execute a spin that starts slowly, gradually increasing in speed as the arms/elbows draw more closely to the torso. This concept translates to the forehand in the following manner.

In the setup position, you have the racket back at a level near shoulder height and extending away from the body. The length of extension is an individual idiosyncracy and not necessarily an element of technique.

The left hand (for a right handed player) should find itself at the same height as the left shoulder (either parallel to the baseline or tracking the flight of the ball with the left hand). As the forward phase of the stroke begins, the player pulls the but of the racket in a linear fashion towards contact. Simultaneously, the left arm sweeps across the body (as if one were trying to clear debris off a table the was at shoulder height). As the torso approaches a position where it finds itself facing the net, both elbows begin to pull towards the respective hip. The right arm is in the power position (wrist at a 90 degree angle and the elbow at a 90 degree angle at hip level and just in front of the right hip). Concurrently, when the torso is facing the net, the left elbow should find itself near the left hip (preferably, just in front of the left hip).

The result: As the figure skater draws his/her elbows towards the torso to increase their "spin" speed, a tennis player will increase racket head velocity by rotating the torso and pulling their elbows towards their hips in a similar manner. When done correctly, the impact on the center of gravity balance point is not impacted. What is impacted, is racket head velocity.

Eric Matuszewski
03-19-2004, 05:59 PM
I think the off hand thing was Bill's contribution. It's all good.

kickingbird
03-19-2004, 07:22 PM
So with this 'first step', are you supposed to step backwards 45 degrees or forwards 45 degrees? And doesn't it matter whether the ball coming at you is a down the line shot, angle shot, etc? What if you have to take 5 steps to reach the ball? Wouldn't this first step then be insignificant?

And how exactly does the footwork go on a forehand hit from the square stance? Isn't this stance supposed to be better than an open stance if you have time to set up?

Finally, to VJH: I think moving the centre of gravity (ie. weight) during the swing adds pace to the ball even though the balance will not be as good. Especially on high balls of down the line/inside out forehands, this naturally happens to me. Load on the right (back) leg, then land on the left, and then the right leg comes forwards. Is this a bad technique?

I don't think I'm interpretting all this information very well... sorry about these questions!

Bungalo Bill
03-19-2004, 07:52 PM
The first step is just that, the first step. If you need to perform additional steps to get to a ball then you will need to execute those steps.

You can still execute your first step to the ball with what will be your back leg, then push forward for a square stance - especially if you hit a onehander. The first step is towards the net on an angle - that is what you want to achieve.

The 45 degree angle is fast becoming the next "breakthrough" for positioning. It has been talked about before and you can find brief information about it in various articles. But the 45 degree angle is what pros strive to maintain. They hustle very quickly to position their bodies and hit along that angle. You should strive for the same. Next time you watch a pro match watch Agassi or for that matter other pros lining themselves up to this angle. But this is a whole different subject altogether.

In the backcourt your should be moving in an arc around the baseline anyway. That is good movement.

Japanese Maple
03-19-2004, 11:10 PM
Bungalo Billy, I am confused!

On the one hand bh you talk about this all important first step
with your left foot for a ball out to the left but no mention is made
as to how big of a step this should be, and at what point this
should occur. Whenever I am confused about a explanation of
a new technique, I always go to the most accurate source which
is the pros! While viewing Roger Federer on Tennisone, I did not
see a pronounced step outwards of the left foot. What I did see
is a slight angling of the left foot to the left as he came down out
of his split step and as both feet hit the ground, but he did not take
a step with his left foot after he hit the ground. Roger Federer
is the best player today with the modern game and after reviewing
several of his bh in slow motion I just do not see this step-out of
the left foot on a bh. The best information regarding new
techniques and advanced footwork is always going to come from
viewing tape matches form the pro tour-years before new techniques,strategy,footwork, ect. filter down to the general
public you will see the pros implementing the advanced shots and
movement on T.V or in person-let the pros be your quide!

Bungalo Bill
03-20-2004, 12:12 AM
Bungalo Billy, I am confused!

On the one hand bh you talk about this all important first step
with your left foot for a ball out to the left but no mention is made
as to how big of a step this should be, and at what point this
should occur. Whenever I am confused about a explanation of
a new technique, I always go to the most accurate source which
is the pros! While viewing Roger Federer on Tennisone, I did not
see a pronounced step outwards of the left foot. What I did see
is a slight angling of the left foot to the left as he came down out
of his split step and as both feet hit the ground, but he did not take
a step with his left foot after he hit the ground. Roger Federer
is the best player today with the modern game and after reviewing
several of his bh in slow motion I just do not see this step-out of
the left foot on a bh. The best information regarding new
techniques and advanced footwork is always going to come from
viewing tape matches form the pro tour-years before new techniques,strategy,footwork, ect. filter down to the general
public you will see the pros implementing the advanced shots and
movement on T.V or in person-let the pros be your quide!

Japanese, apprarently your confused about a lot of things. LOL

Roger Federer with the modern game? What exactly is the modern game? Apprantely you know so much about it but never offer your modern advice. As far as I see Federer has a classic game.

Pros are a great way to analyze stroke production. But you keep forgetting one thing, pros are very developed. Fundamentals are at the root of their advanced strokes and footwork patterns. Touring pros are not on this website.

I think Japanese you have a problem. You can either contribute to this board intelligently and offer your advise to help others or you can continue to offer your "go see a video" comment and provide no advice.

Why don't you tell us how to perform proper footwork since you think you know so much.

If you think I am wrong why don't you bring it up to the people who have done more for tennis then you have. You can contact Coach Kriese if you want and tell him he is wrong. Or you can contact Mark Papas at Revolutionary Tennis if you want and tell him he is wrong. Or you can talk to numerous other tennis pros, coaches and players and offer your insight and tell them that they are wrong.

I am always interested in learning new things so help us understand what you know about proper footwork patterns. Or do you know?

Here is Marks website I would be interested in how you prepare your argument and support it. Read what Mark says about it and let me know. http://www.revolutionarytennis.com/step2.html . He can be reached at mark@revolutionarytennis.com

Here is Coach Kriese's email at Clemson University kriesec@clemson.edu

Oh, almost forgot, you can also try and contact Dennis Emery at the University of Kentucky at dennisgemery@aol.com

I can get more names if you want just let me know.

Oh and to answer your question on how much of a step. It depends on what is comfortable for you.

Puma
03-20-2004, 06:17 AM
BB,

Question on the first step.

Isn't it almost the same thing if a person has the tendency to push off with the outside foot? ie, move right, push off with the left foot and visa versa. I do this all the time.

VJH
03-20-2004, 07:25 AM
Kickingbird,

You weight will shift somewhat when executing the stroke. The important element to remember is to not let your weight get outside of your stance. Don't worry so much about which leg you are landing on or to which leg your center of gravity is leaning towards. After each stroke, try to get a feel for how much if any your center of gravity moved.

If you go back to the concept of imagining that you are stuck to the court with a pole running through your center of gravity, you will find that you can load on your right leg, execute the stroke, and land on the left leg, with little center of gravity movement.

The right leg coming around is fine, as long as that recovery happens after you have completed the stroke, or at least after you've made contact.

If you watch Andy Roddick or Fernando Gonzolez take their massive cuts at the ball, you may notice right leg loading, contact made in the air at times and landing on the left leg. If you watch their center of gravity though, there is very little movement.

Bungalo Bill
03-20-2004, 09:20 AM
The main point of the step out is to not crossover on the first step as this closes your hips and can produce problems for you or add an extra step in your attempt to get in position of the ball and you might not have the luxury to do that.

And yes, you do push off with the opposite foot however slight or hard yuo need to do it. This is especially important when your shuffling and perform a split step if that is what you do etc. There are other footwork pattersn that you can incorporate. Sometimes the ball is close to you and you dont need to really take a step it is more turining the foot in an angle.

Also, the step out drill helps coordinate the weaker side of your body to perform this without feeling awkward. Some people who are coordinated on both sides of the body may perform this well. But some people are more dominant on one side of the body and you would need to really work on these drills. Once you mastered the step out you can incorporate advanced footwork drills with it to smoothen your balance and footwork patterns. You will look like your gliding on the court.

Japanese Maple
03-20-2004, 10:36 AM
Bungalo Billy,

On earlier posts you made mention that you do not get paid for
your insights but I wholeheartily disagree-I think you get paid by
the word or why else would your comments be so verbose and
complicated. Are you sure you are not an engineer in real life
masquerading as a tennis instructor. Have you ever heard of K.I.S.S.-keep it simple stupid! Lets give simple,precise, and accurate information on this board so we can attract new tennis
players and not scare them away with mumble, bumble jargon from
people who like to hear themselves talk and try to impress people
with there superior wisdom.

Puma, on your post you make an excellent observation about
pushing off the outside leg. After careful review of Sampras,Agassi,
Federer,Hewitt, and Kuerton on tennisone in slow motion let me
try to clear up any confusion regarding the first step and how best
to implement it into your game. I think what Bungalo Billy was
trying to say is you can aid your movement to either side of the court by utilizing a step out footwork pattern as part of your split
step to cover more court as quickly as possible. If you know the
ball is going to your left as your opponent hits the ball and during
your split step,point your left foot outwards to the left as you first
land on your right foot coming down from the split step. As you land on your right foot first, your left foot is temporarily still in the
air as you rotate the toes to the sideline,and while pushing off the
right foot you then will land on your left foot at an angle. At this
point, depending on how much ground you have to cover you can
shuffle into place or cross the right foot over the left. I do not
agree that the main purpose of a step-out footwork pattern is
to prevent the hips from closing or the legs crossing-the step-out
footwork simply allows you to cover more court in a very efficient
manner and to get to more balls with your weight transferring
forward into the ball.

Bungalo Bill
03-20-2004, 11:17 AM
Japanese Maple,

I think your now trying to bring this on a personal level. Your beginining to makeup things that are not true. Your using my nickname as a "funny" of "joking" way.

I really dont appreciate this type of talk. It is very attacking. This baord is to be productive. If you read something of mine and would like to comment why dont you just help explain it further? Just ad your insight on the subject.

Is it that you have a problem with me? Because it appears you do. Otherwise, you would spend more energy being positive instead of negative. You miss interpret a lot on this board.

When you comment in your posts you offer advice that is in the advanced realm. That is great, but not everyone is in the advanced realm on this board. Not everyone KNOWS how to perform a split step at the moment or just before the opponent hits it. Not everyone has trained the non-dominant leg to step out or turn. You speak as if everyone plays like Roger Federer which is rediculous to think. Building blocks and drills are very important to advance to the area of split steps and more advanced footwork patterns.

If you have something to gripe about I would appreciate it if you would communicate to me by email. That way you wont disrupt the communication of people at different levels on the board and step in like your coming to save the day and are the only one in the know.

Most posters try and keep the board positive. When they need more clairifcation they simply ask for clarification.

Japanese Maple
03-20-2004, 11:44 AM
Bungalo Billy,

Just remember the K.I.S.S.- Keep It Simple Stupid formula and you
will be okay. Also, don't let your arrogance and verbosity make
things more complicated than need be-the game of tennis is
difficult as it is, without long winded explanations that leave out
important information like the timing of the step-out with the
landing of the split step. If you are going to explain something
be sure you fully underdstand what it is you are trying to communicate so we won't be left scratching our heads! Also, don't
be so sensitive. I feel obligated that if someone in tennis maybe
confused by an explanation on this board I will do my best to clear
up any confusion by sharing my wisdom and experience of the last
twenty-five years not only in tennis but all sports as it pertains to
tennis instruction.

JC
03-20-2004, 11:50 AM
JapeneseM: I am a father of a son who has utilized BB's information over the past several years. I dont comment ever as I read mostly, but this time I am. I must say I find your above posts disruptive and very immature. Also I personally find your posts offending. I really wish you would read BB's posts as he explains things very well - that is a big strength as far as I see it. He is also thorough and spends a lot of his time helping me and my son by email. My game has improved and so has my sons by a lot. You are trying to paint BB as someone who doesnt know anything, or is someone who doesnt know what he is doing or saying and is dreaming up a lot of bad information. Nothing is further from the truth. Anyone who attacks another persons work or efforts to make himself look good is very immature and is a clear indication to me that he doesnt want anyone else on the soap box except himself. Please stop the personal attacks, my son reads these posts and our games have improved a lot as I have used BB's and others comments to help improve his and my game. If you dont stop this distructive communication I will personally take it up with TW. If this was just me, Iwoudnt say much, but my son reads BB's posts and he is someone I will protect.

Japanese Maple
03-20-2004, 12:46 PM
Bungalo Billy/JC

Relax,Relax, lets all take a deep breath and calm down-Okay,great!
I never said Billy doesn't know what he is talking about or makes
things up,quite the opposite. Many of BB posts are very helpful
and insightful and I am sure many tennis enthusiasts have benefited greatly. When I was a child, my Dad always taught me
to express my feelings and don't be afraid to disagree with someone if you feel strongly about something-this is very healthy
for a child to learn and can aid them greatly as they go through
life. There is nothing wrong with healthy disagreements or expressing different opinions-this is what makes the world go
round and how we make advancements and improvements. If you
have read my posts you will find that they are very professional,
informative, and concise. If I do not know what I am talking about
on a particular topic I will not respond and let someone else respond who does. However, if a post appears confusing, or is
missing some key components in the explanation I will always
do my best based on my experience to clear up the confusion so
children everywhere can enjoy and play this wonderful game for
a lifetime! Good Luck!

Bungalo Bill
03-20-2004, 01:01 PM
First of all,

I am not JC he is someone I help. You have gone to far Japanese. This is not a healthy disagreement ior duscussion anymore. You are downgrading and insulting me as a person and my abilities to coach and train tennis players.

If your offending a child on this board with your comments I am going to get real ticked off. Your posts are far from professional, if you were professional you would help further explain peoples posts and not start your posts with information that makes people look bad.

No one on this board minds adding to posts missing some information but you do it in an attacking and degradign way. Which exalts you and downplays the other persons efforts.

There is no difference in our opinion regarding this subject. We are coming at it from different angles and have said the same thing in different areas of this post.

Please refrain from commenting further about my writing, my character, my USPTA certifcation, my knowledge of the game, and my playing ability. Please keep your post directed to help further clarify things or explain things in a positive way.

kickingbird
03-20-2004, 05:33 PM
Thanks for the clarification VJH, and yeah, I noticed the 'push off right foot, land on left foot' explosive forehands that some pros use too.

Bill- OK, I think I understand now, but when you say "The first step is towards the net on an angle - that is what you want to achieve", this just means that this is the best positioning to strike a ball, right? Obviously in some cases your first step will be backwards, but you should always try and step forwards.

Now, on every fh shot I load on the right/back leg. So if I step forward with my right leg on a 45 degree angle towards the netpost, that means my left leg is now the back leg. So I would need to take another step with my left leg, then load the weight back onto the right leg, THEN finally execute the shot.

OR

I could step with the right leg out 45 degrees, load onto that leg (front), then hit the ball whilst moving the left leg forward. This feels like I am putting body weight into the shot.

Phew... Am I getting any of this right?

Bungalo Bill
03-21-2004, 02:50 AM
There are several different footwork patterns that can be used to emphasize not crossing over on the first step. In this post I am more focused on the backhand since most club players crossover with their dominant leg. In other words, they havent spent the time developing good footwork on this side and its coordination.

Yes, if the ball is coming close to you your not going to step out otherwise you will be crowded. You would use the proper step back as your body turned to hit.

The step out drill is to help you perform the right step towards the ball on a ball that is angling away from you.

The step in an angle is not the important part. It is lining your body to hit in the contact zone facing a 45 degree angle as you hit the ball. So your step should be helping you align yourbody to this angle when you make impact.

Use the step out drill I described in a previous post to develop this side to perform properly with your other footwork patterns. It will help with your balance and proper weight distribution going into the ball.

easyace
03-19-2008, 10:39 AM
Bungalo Bill,

Yandell says unit turn then full turn is a must! Mark Papas says unit turn leads to inefficient movement! what do you say boss?

Bungalo Bill
03-19-2008, 10:47 AM
Bungalo Bill,

Yandell says unit turn then full turn is a must! Mark Papas says unit turn leads to inefficient movement! what do you say boss?

Go with Yandell. Mark Papas although he is correct in the WAY he describes it (mainly through exaggeration) uses farfetched examples to explain his position.

So you have to take Mark's "chip-on-his-shoulder" attitude carefully.

Yandell watches hundreds of films and is active in tennis. He by far knows what he is talking about compared to anyone on this site no matter how long they have been in the game.

I was trying to provide evidence to bury the notion that pros do not step out with their foot closest to the ball, however, I couldnt find anything on the internet. Even a prominant coach who posts here who says he has a lot of years in tennis denied that pros use the step out.

Well Yandell, provided the evidence and most importantly knew where to find it. He just knows his stuff and will always promote the fundamentals to all tennis players.

easyace
03-19-2008, 11:01 AM
Bungalo bill,
So then how do you teach the unit turn? and how is one suppossed to understand what Mark Papas really means? can you please explain

Bungalo Bill
03-19-2008, 11:09 AM
Bungalo bill,
So then how do you teach the unit turn? and how is one suppossed to understand what Mark Papas really means? can you please explain

The unit turn is a rotation of the shoulders that takes the racquet back automatically. It is not a complete takeback or backswing.

I can't comment anymore on Mark P's stuff as it has been a long time reading through his material. I also dont have the time to go over it again. The point is if you watch professional film you will see them making a unit turn with their shoulders.

I found this as an example:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNm-Vo38Jeo&feature=related

Notice how the shoulders turn but the racquet does not go allthe way back. There are better examples and players will do this in different degrees depending on the shot sequence. However, as a fundamental, a unit turn prepares the stroke for the backswing.

NotAtTheNet
03-19-2008, 11:38 AM
Come on JM, if you was to KISS, then so be it, but don't try to **** off BB, bc most of us find this postings extremely insightful and helpful. Great post BB!

Bungalo Billy,

Just remember the K.I.S.S.- Keep It Simple Stupid formula and you
will be okay. Also, don't let your arrogance and verbosity make
things more complicated than need be-the game of tennis is
difficult as it is, without long winded explanations that leave out
important information like the timing of the step-out with the
landing of the split step. If you are going to explain something
be sure you fully underdstand what it is you are trying to communicate so we won't be left scratching our heads! Also, don't
be so sensitive. I feel obligated that if someone in tennis maybe
confused by an explanation on this board I will do my best to clear
up any confusion by sharing my wisdom and experience of the last
twenty-five years not only in tennis but all sports as it pertains to
tennis instruction.

MLtennis
03-19-2008, 01:17 PM
Their are some great drills for learning to get yoru body comfortable with this technique. You dont even need to hit any balls and you certainly can do it at home!

BB - can you elaborate on these drills? I'm always looking for ways to work on my game at home when I don't have access to the courts!! :)

Rafael_Nadal_6257
03-19-2008, 01:30 PM
Hey BB, very good insights, but is the split step related to this at all? And what exactly are the stances? I have heard people constantly refer to the semi-open, open, closed...etc stances and I honestly dont have much of an idea what you guys are talking about, so just a little clarification would be greatly appreciated! :D

Bungalo Bill
03-19-2008, 02:10 PM
Come on JM, if you was to KISS, then so be it, but don't try to **** off BB, bc most of us find this postings extremely insightful and helpful. Great post BB!

NotAtTheNet,

JM is an old poster, I dont think he is active anymore. He said something about something and I corrected his "insight" way back when. He didnt like that too much. :)

Bungalo Bill
03-19-2008, 02:15 PM
Hey BB, very good insights, but is the split step related to this at all? And what exactly are the stances? I have heard people constantly refer to the semi-open, open, closed...etc stances and I honestly dont have much of an idea what you guys are talking about, so just a little clarification would be greatly appreciated! :D

This conversation is about the step-out however it is dated 2004. The most recent restart of this post addressed the unit turn. Have no idea why. I just answer the questions.

sureshs
03-19-2008, 02:53 PM
Bungalo Billy, I am confused!

On the one hand bh you talk about this all important first step
with your left foot for a ball out to the left but no mention is made
as to how big of a step this should be, and at what point this
should occur. Whenever I am confused about a explanation of
a new technique, I always go to the most accurate source which
is the pros! While viewing Roger Federer on Tennisone, I did not
see a pronounced step outwards of the left foot. What I did see
is a slight angling of the left foot to the left as he came down out
of his split step and as both feet hit the ground, but he did not take
a step with his left foot after he hit the ground. Roger Federer
is the best player today with the modern game and after reviewing
several of his bh in slow motion I just do not see this step-out of
the left foot on a bh. The best information regarding new
techniques and advanced footwork is always going to come from
viewing tape matches form the pro tour-years before new techniques,strategy,footwork, ect. filter down to the general
public you will see the pros implementing the advanced shots and
movement on T.V or in person-let the pros be your quide!

There was a long thread on this which ended up being deleted (if I remember right). There was a coach here who pointed out 3 types of steps. Again, I forget their names, but it was something like hop, gravity, and crossover. Basically, whether the outside foot moves out to the side, moves to the back, or whether the inside foot moves first. There were heated discussions about what the pros do, and several videos were analysed and typical %tages calculated for each type of step. The exact point that you mention - Federer slightly angling the outside foot on descent from the split step, but not moving it outward - was mentioned. It was also debated whether the unit turn should be considered as moving the outside foot first, or not.

Bungalo Bill
03-19-2008, 02:58 PM
There was a long thread on this which ended up being deleted (if I remember right). There was a coach here who pointed out 3 types of steps. Again, I forget their names, but it was something like hop, gravity, and crossover. Basically, whether the outside foot moves out to the side, moves to the back, or whether the inside foot moves first. There were heated discussions about what the pros do, and several videos were analysed and typical %tages calculated for each type of step. The exact point that you mention - Federer slightly angling the outside foot on descent from the split step, but not moving it outward - was mentioned. It was also debated whether the unit turn should be considered as moving the outside foot first, or not.

Guys, you are talking to an old poster back in 2004.

It is clear that pros do perform a unit turn. Itis clear they perform the step-out along with other footwork patterns. It is also clear they prepare the racquet well before the bounce.

There is no debate, you can see it for yourself on film.

sureshs
03-19-2008, 03:02 PM
Guys, you are talking to an old poster back in 2004.

It is clear that pros do perform a unit turn. Itis clear they perform the step-out along with other footwork patterns. It is also clear they prepare the racquet well before the bounce.

There is no debate, you can see it for yourself on film.

This thread which I mentioned was early this year or sometime last year. If it was 2004, no way would I remember it. It became way too acrimonious, and then the coach who was posting opened up some of his videos, people drew different conclusions about the frequency of the types of steps, he refused to confirm any of them, etc etc. Anyway it is gone, so probably does not matter any more.

Rickson
03-19-2008, 05:56 PM
With the open stance becoming more and more important as technology helps to increase the power and speed of a ball, the step out becomes an essential footwork pattern for the tennis player.

In todays tennis it is becoming more important to NOT close off the hips. And with tennis science maturing more and more studies are being performed that makes old methods of footwork obsolete.

So what is the step out all about and why is it important for tennis players to develop this very important first step towards the ball.

The first step towards the ball in every case should be made with the foot closest to the ball. The right foot would move first at an angle (45 degree angle) to propel the body to cut off the ball while hitting on the right side of the body, and the left foot would move first at an angle (45 degree angle) to cut off the ball when hitting on the left side of the body.

The reason why this is important is because it allows the player the ability to load his power on the outside leg and hip so that a circular rotation and hip action could be made for power.

Leverage for all strokes comes from the outside foot and the rotation of the hips into the ball.

If you make the traditional crossover step first instead of this step-out method, the hips get locked out and power has the potential to be smothered. Then, only the arm is left to supply limited power and produce a weak shot.

This step out method is important for all shots from return of serves to volleying. Step-outs can be just what the Doctor ordered for big improvement in your timing and balance in all your shots.

What step-out training will do for you is to allow your legs, trunk and body to be the motor or power of the stroke while the hands act as the steering wheel to provide the direction, spin and placement of the ball.

A way to train is to hit balls from one fence to the other fence. Once you can do this constantly, it is a matter of teaching the hands and touch to gradually control the ball and place it on the court while still retaining the same power on the ball.

Two things that will help you in this learning journey. the head should be kept down and both feet should remain on the ground. The outside foot closest to the ball should be used to load the power. Keeping the head down allows good control over the entire body. If the head comes up, so will the arms, legs and the rest of the body, thereby preventing optimal balance, leverage and weight transfer through the ball.

The step-out is critical for maintaining leverage.

Good stuff, Bill. Efficient footwork is certainly important for this great sport.