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skandy
03-31-2008, 11:38 PM
Couple of videos of me hitting with a ball machine -

Forehands - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQPG0mVTmsA
Backhands - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5NkgIsdsEg

I've been playing from age 6 till 12, then stopped playing and started again last summer - 17 years later at the age 29. It wasn't exactly the perfect start I hoped for - I broke my dominant arm in February (snowboarding), then got a tennis elbow, sprained both wrists, got a shoulder injury and finally rolled an ankle at the end of the season. Funny, huh? :-? I thought I'm done, but the amazing news is that all those injuries have healed during the winter and they don't seem to bother me anymore, so I really want to keep it this way :) Now I work out a little, stretch, properly warm up etc. My main concern is whether my technique is arm-friendly, especially on a backhand side, which I self-taught last year (used to have 2hbh as a child but now it feels awkward). Of course, any other tips and suggestions are more then welcome.

Please disregard the 2-handed backhands on the video.

Thanks!
-Andrey

BravoRed691
03-31-2008, 11:48 PM
Ooo lala...aren't you tired? Not much to say but thanx for posting! Im sure more qualified people will comment soon enough.

Br

C_Urala
04-01-2008, 02:00 AM
on your BH.

1. You put your right foot in parallel with the back line. This blocks your hips and hinders your weight transfer.
2. You open your shoulders too much. Instead of low-to-high motion with your hitting arm, you do uncoiling. And you try to impart the topspin only by supination. I think you should try to bend your knees more.

To prevent injuries, just keep your wrist firm and the elbow extended at the contact.
my 2 cents

C_Urala
04-01-2008, 02:10 AM
you asked to disregard your 2hbh. Yet, I'd say you are late with your backswing. It seems too short and because of it you just muscle you shots.

Well, I know about 2hbh not much..

madmanfool
04-01-2008, 02:35 AM
http://img147.imageshack.us/img147/1606/tenniswn7.jpg

On forehand:
First thing i notice is you use very little backswing (on forehand and backhand). If you compare it with Safin, you both turned your upper body, got your left arm out in front. But the difference is that Safin also has his right shoulder pulled back. Second thing i want to point out is at your followthrough, your right leg is still lingering somewhere in the back. Pull it along so you end up with both feet parallel.

herosol
04-01-2008, 02:48 AM
i have to say like with alot of other people, you have good strokes that you don't necessarily have to change it, unless you aren't getting results from them. Your contact, and your launch off the stringbed looks really nice, and i have to say very-well practiced.

I really like your split steps and footwork, and what i notice the most is your relaxed look and ESPECIALLY your upper body rotation is massive, which generates good pace i would see.

But just one thing on the backhand:
I have said this alot across the forums, because its not a must change but i really think it helps.

On your backhand, your right foot should be atleast 45 degrees pointed towards the net. That way, you can bend your knees, because if your right foot is parallel to the net, you strike the ball, but your leg cannot propel forward, rather you depend on your big upper body rotation to generate the pace. If you look on youtube for Gasquet's backhand from 2007 Wimbledon, you will see how much his foot is pointed towards the net, and how low he bends his leg. I mean he is literally almost touching the ground with his knees.

Actually ill show you it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUQxb4ZtR-4

thats mainly it from my minimal knowledge :[

C_Urala
04-01-2008, 02:51 AM
... your right leg is still lingering somewhere in the back. .

Yes. And it means that you do not fully transfer your weight into FH either. It looks like you start retrieving for your next shot even before you finish a previous one.

P.S. However, the comparison with Safin is not valid. The pics are shot from different angles..

Josherer
04-01-2008, 03:32 AM
Couple of videos of me hitting with a ball machine -

Forehands - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQPG0mVTmsA
Backhands - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5NkgIsdsEg

I've been playing from age 6 till 12, then stopped playing and started again last summer - 17 years later at the age 29. It wasn't exactly the perfect start I hoped for - I broke my dominant arm in February (snowboarding), then got a tennis elbow, sprained both wrists, got a shoulder injury and finally rolled an ankle at the end of the season. Funny, huh? :-? I thought I'm done, but the amazing news is that all those injuries have healed during the winter and they don't seem to bother me anymore, so I really want to keep it this way :) Now I work out a little, stretch, properly warm up etc. My main concern is whether my technique is arm-friendly, especially on a backhand side, which I self-taught last year (used to have 2hbh as a child but now it feels awkward). Of course, any other tips and suggestions are more then welcome.

Please disregard the 2-handed backhands on the video.

Thanks!
-Andrey

You need to put your weight forward on your backhand, each time you hit it you are going backwards.

Pusher
04-01-2008, 03:36 AM
Really nice strokes.

Your FH has little wasted movement and you have a compact swing that helps when taking the ball early which you seem to do. I wouldn't change a thing.

Likewise on the one hander. Compact and efficient.

Yeah, there are some minor points to be made but you seem to hit with confidence and you have light feet. All strokes for players evolve over time and I suspect you will incorporate minor changes as you see fit-but you appear will trained. I suspect you're hard to handle in match play.

Good video and thanks for posting it.

Edit: I took another look at your one hander. I suspect it is a consistent shot for you but as you are practicing you might try to get more of a unit turn. Bring that leading shoulder a little futher back-maybe under your chin. That may give you more power and spin. Concentrate on moving forward with this stroke as many people seem to come up with their momentum going back along the baseline.

baek57
04-01-2008, 05:20 AM
imo you have very nice strokes overall. there were 2 things which stood out to me. one being the front foot on your backhand which has been mentioned in earlier posts. the other is it seems to me like you dont even look at the contact spot... which may or may not be the cause for the shank on the backhand. there are other real minor things... but those 2 were what stood out right when i saw it.

Vision84
04-01-2008, 05:36 AM
Forehand could be more explosive. What I mean is coiling up more with more hip and shoulder rotation and beginning with all your weight on your right leg and then uncoiling like a spring which will force you to rotate and your right leg to land foreward more. I see you coiling up a bit but you should be able to rotate further on the backswing. This video explains it well.
http://youtube.com/watch?v=whpVYbiJpFs&feature=related

35ft6
04-01-2008, 06:03 AM
Yeah, you could probably take your racket back further on the forehand, but there's really nothing wrong with it. It's fine. Would like to see if it falls apart when you're hitting on the move, but it's pretty sound.

The backhand, you should try to turn your shoulders more on the backswing. But you're at least trying to do the right things with it. I feel like your racket is a little too closed on contact sometimes and that a good player could break down your backhand pretty quickly, but it's a really nice start.

WBF
04-01-2008, 06:19 AM
You seem quite fit, but there was something odd about your footwork for the few shots where you were shuffling back and forth between shots. Your forehand stroke itself looked good from what I can tell in the video, although as people have mentioned, you could probably use less arm and more power from the rest of your body.

You should take some footage while playing with a decent player who moves you around a little more than a ball machine. It would be much more helpful. Also set the camera up behind you vs. in front, so we can se the results of the shots. People often point out minute and stupid inefficiencies in professional level strokes, so it's helpful to see whether the form being used is actually working or not.

skandy
04-01-2008, 06:32 AM
Thanks for the great advises! I will comment on them when I get to work :)

skandy
04-01-2008, 08:01 AM
on your BH.

1. You put your right foot in parallel with the back line. This blocks your hips and hinders your weight transfer.
2. You open your shoulders too much. Instead of low-to-high motion with your hitting arm, you do uncoiling. And you try to impart the topspin only by supination. I think you should try to bend your knees more.
3. you asked to disregard your 2hbh. Yet, I'd say you are late with your backswing. It seems too short and because of it you just muscle you shots.


1. Totally agree. I was a bit surprised to see it on the video, I thought my footwork is more solid. Looks like I just need one extra step.

2. (regarding uncoiling) This is actually what I consciously tried to do to be more aggressive on the backhand side. Good point about bending my knees more

3. The 2hbh is there simply because a friend of mine (camera operator) asked me to show him how to do it (he's a beginner) and I don't have video editing software yet :oops: . Last time I hit it 18 years ago, now it feels completely unnatural to me.


On forehand:
First thing i notice is you use very little backswing (on forehand and backhand). If you compare it with Safin, you both turned your upper body, got your left arm out in front. But the difference is that Safin also has his right shoulder pulled back. Second thing i want to point out is at your followthrough, your right leg is still lingering somewhere in the back. Pull it along so you end up with both feet parallel.

Honestly, I don't think my forehand backswing is "very little" (not sure about the backhand, but it doesn't look "very" little to me). If you look again at the pictures of Safin's and myself (by the way, I think those pictures put together are the pinnacle of my tennis "career", I'm so flattered - thanks a lot for doing it! :)), you'll see that our shoulders are orthogonal to the base line. The difference is that he is using a semi-closed stance on that shot; I used closed stance.

Mike Cottrill
04-01-2008, 08:02 AM
Thanks for the great advises! I will comment on them when I get to work :)

BH.
Do you notice any fatigue or pain in your right knee or ankle? The placement of your foot seems like it may add stress to these areas. Also may make it harder on your knee to bend.

skandy
04-01-2008, 08:17 AM
Ooo lala...aren't you tired?

Not really, I didn't run a lot on those videos. The only thing I'm tired of is being injured :)

...On your backhand, your right foot should be atleast 45 degrees pointed towards the net. That way, you can bend your knees, because if your right foot is parallel to the net, you strike the ball, but your leg cannot propel forward, rather you depend on your big upper body rotation to generate the pace. If you look on youtube for Gasquet's backhand from 2007 Wimbledon, you will see how much his foot is pointed towards the net, and how low he bends his leg. I mean he is literally almost touching the ground with his knees.

Actually ill show you it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUQxb4ZtR-4

thats mainly it from my minimal knowledge :[

Thanks! The footwork on my backhand is now #1 on my priority list. Awesome video of Gasquet, btw.

skandy
04-01-2008, 08:19 AM
BTW, C_Urala, are you really "С Урала" (from beyond the Urals) ? :)

smoothtennis
04-01-2008, 08:53 AM
Very nice strokes.

The only comment I'll offer is on the one hand backhand - looks pretty good aready, but as a few mentioned, and this stuck out at me, is the limited shoulder turn there. The racket could go back a bit more, and the uncoiling will happen naturally with your experience and timing. Just get more of a turn, and keep it all smooth. And watch the elbow bending, make sure you are not losing power with the elbow being bent too much there. I think you could get it a 'little' staighter with great results for little work. You are fine tuning now...no big changes.

All in all, I saw a lot of things I really liked. You stay balanced, you keep your torso upright which facilitates great core rotation without comprimising your balance. It's nice to see a lot of good grooved mechanics going on there.

Nellie
04-01-2008, 09:18 AM
On your backhand, it looks to me that:

1) your contact point is really close to your body and right hip. At times, I think this causes stress on the arm because you are not getting good extension on some of the hits

2) as the video goes on, it looks like you are not getting a good step into the ball, and trying to torque to the right and open your body, while faling backwards. There are some style differences in the 1 handed (Gasquet), but I find that it often works better to stay more closed and finish more in line with the direction of the ball.

arf22
04-01-2008, 09:34 AM
Nice strokes, keep it fluid and as part of your follow-thru allow your weight (body core) to flow towards the net a bit more (IMHO).

Don't recognize that court in the Exton area, care to share where?

skandy
04-01-2008, 10:08 AM
Nice strokes, keep it fluid and as part of your follow-thru allow your weight (body core) to flow towards the net a bit more (IMHO).

Don't recognize that court in the Exton area, care to share where?

Thanks! The court is in the Marchwood apartment complext, where I live. Very convenient for practicing with a ball machine (just got the SP Star couple of weeks ago) as there's only one court :)

Do you live nearby? I'm looking for a hitting partner, drop me a line if you're interested.

skandy
04-01-2008, 10:11 AM
...the other is it seems to me like you dont even look at the contact spot... which may or may not be the cause for the shank on the backhand...

Good point, I've noticed it as well.

skandy
04-01-2008, 10:29 AM
You should take some footage while playing with a decent player who moves you around a little more than a ball machine. It would be much more helpful. Also set the camera up behind you vs. in front, so we can se the results of the shots. People often point out minute and stupid inefficiencies in professional level strokes, so it's helpful to see whether the form being used is actually working or not.

Finding a good player is kind of a problem here. I have several friends who play tennis, but they can't really put any pressure on me. Hopefully, I'll find more players to hit with this season as I've joined a local league (which, btw, starts today, can't wait to play my first match). As I've mentioned in the previous message, let me know if you live near Exton and are interested in hitting with me.

I was quite satisfied with the results of those shots - ~90% of them (except for those hit down the line) went exactly where I wanted them to be, 1-5 feet from the baseline near the crosscourt corner. It could be differerent if I hit with the regular pressurized balls, though (I use more lightweight Slazengers for the ball machine).

JMS
04-01-2008, 10:39 AM
I would try taking the racquet back a little sooner on both stokes.

madmanfool
04-01-2008, 11:34 AM
Honestly, I don't think my forehand backswing is "very little" (not sure about the backhand, but it doesn't look "very" little to me). If you look again at the pictures of Safin's and myself (by the way, I think those pictures put together are the pinnacle of my tennis "career", I'm so flattered - thanks a lot for doing it! :)), you'll see that our shoulders are orthogonal to the base line. The difference is that he is using a semi-closed stance on that shot; I used closed stance.

Ok, sorry all i used the Safin picture in trying to help me explain what i'm trying to say. The angle is different and so is the stance, guess i should have thought of that then.
All i'm trying to say is this:
http://img129.imageshack.us/img129/9664/tenniskl1.jpg
If i were you i would do more like in the right picture. Now, it's a minor detail and sure isn't fundamental. Some people probably wont agree. But it's your tennis and you do with it what you want. I'm just trying to help you. That's all.

xnarek
04-01-2008, 11:38 AM
Nice, if u didnt stop you would be a pretty good player now(pro) :|

skandy
04-01-2008, 11:53 AM
Ok, sorry all i used the Safin picture in trying to help me explain what i'm trying to say. The angle is different and so is the stance, guess i should have thought of that then.
All i'm trying to say is this:
If i were you i would do more like in the right picture. Now, it's a minor detail and sure isn't fundamental. Some people probably wont agree. But it's your tennis and you do with it what you want. I'm just trying to help you. That's all.

Madmanfool, thanks for the clarification! Now that I got your point and reviewed my video, I see that my takeback is not as big as it could have been. Something to think about.

I really appreciate your feedback and there were no sarcasm in saying that I was flattered by seeing pictures of Safin and myself put together (both by comparing to Safin and by the work you've done for me). I do understand that you are trying to help me and I do value it a lot.

skandy
04-01-2008, 12:51 PM
BH.
Do you notice any fatigue or pain in your right knee or ankle? The placement of your foot seems like it may add stress to these areas. Also may make it harder on your knee to bend.

No, never had any pain or fatigue in my knees or ankles. I am going to work on the foot placement and knee bend, though. Thanks!

C_Urala
04-02-2008, 02:00 AM
BTW, C_Urala, are you really "С Урала" (from beyond the Urals) ? :)

well, actually I'm from far beyond the Urals. :)

"2. (regarding uncoiling) This is actually what I consciously tried to do to be more aggressive on the backhand side."

I see, but you chose a wrong way. You are uncoiling not INTO the shot. You sort of pulling from the shot. It may work for the crosscourt BH, because in this case the line of your shoulders differs from the direction of your shot not that much as in the case of DTL BHs.
To be more aggressive, you should transfer your weight completely onto your right leg. As a practice, you can do the following: after the shot, try to make one step forward with your left foot. This prevent your shoulders to falling back (which reduces the power of your shots)

On both your FH and BH, your front leg looks like a break. You use it more to stop your forward movement and to retreat, than to put all your weight into the shot.

skandy
04-04-2008, 10:38 AM
Thanks for the great feedback!

I went out practicing yesterday and hit ~500 backhand shots while paying attention to my positioning, footwork, weight transfer and uncoiling into a shot. I feel that my backhand is much stronger now.

>C_Urala: On both your FH and BH, your front leg looks like a break. You use it more to stop your forward movement and to retreat, than to put all your weight into the shot.

Question: isn't a shot when you use front leg as a break after a shot is made (with the proper balance transfer, of course) a legitimate one? I mean, it is not as powerful and controlled as a shot when you literally move forward, but oftentimes I do not need to move forward in a rallies.

Bungalo Bill
04-04-2008, 11:21 AM
Couple of videos of me hitting with a ball machine -

Forehands - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQPG0mVTmsA
Backhands - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5NkgIsdsEg

I've been playing from age 6 till 12, then stopped playing and started again last summer - 17 years later at the age 29. It wasn't exactly the perfect start I hoped for - I broke my dominant arm in February (snowboarding), then got a tennis elbow, sprained both wrists, got a shoulder injury and finally rolled an ankle at the end of the season. Funny, huh? :-? I thought I'm done, but the amazing news is that all those injuries have healed during the winter and they don't seem to bother me anymore, so I really want to keep it this way :) Now I work out a little, stretch, properly warm up etc. My main concern is whether my technique is arm-friendly, especially on a backhand side, which I self-taught last year (used to have 2hbh as a child but now it feels awkward). Of course, any other tips and suggestions are more then welcome.

Please disregard the 2-handed backhands on the video.

Thanks!
-Andrey

I must say I enjoyed watching you hit. It was a pleasure to witness your energy and your constant determination to stay on your toes. However, dont be so bouncy, otherwise, you look like a Mexican jumping bean. Stay in control and allow your eyes to see the court. Sometimes too mnuch bouncing can affect your judgement.

I would like to analyze your strokes with QuickTime, so I can step -through things. There might be something with your onehander that could be contributing to some strain in the elbow.

These are the things I would work on for now.

1. Shoulder Rotation: It isn't so much your backswing that is the problem, it is your shoulder rotation. You have none. Zero, zip, nada. Initially, it is okay for the racquet preparation but you need to go a little farther for the forward swing. Think of bringing your front shoulder under your chin and then when you swing, bring the back shoulder under your chin. That is all you need to think about and your shoulder rotation will be sufficient.

2. I wasn't so crazy about your front foot/leg on the onehander. I had some issues with it straightening too soon which sort of short circuited your entire onehanded stroke. It wasn't too bad but I think some more rhythm is needed here.

3. Relax: You are trying a bit too hard with your swing. I reallyliked you determination, however, relax and just initate the racquet coming forward with a very slight pull forward. Allow your momentum to catch up and bring the racquet through the ball.

4. I didnt like the way your body was facing for the onehander. It might be your feet, your non-dominant arm, or your rotation (or a combination of all). I would like to look at that further.

Great work on your conditioning. Keep up the eagerness to grow and get me those clips in QuickTime.

skandy
04-04-2008, 02:50 PM
Bungalo Bill,

Thanks a lot for the feedback! I'll post my improved strokes in a couple of weeks (also will be available in QuickTime). By the way, was the camera angle ok?

Bungalo Bill
04-04-2008, 02:59 PM
Bungalo Bill,

Thanks a lot for the feedback! I'll post my improved strokes in a couple of weeks (also will be available in QuickTime). By the way, was the camera angle ok?

I am not very keen on camera angles. I suspect some people here are experts. However, I think if you were really nice to me you would give me great camera angles from different perspectives. Such as the serve:

1. Behind shot.

2. Side baseline shot (for toss, etcc...)

3. front angle (net post) shot.

etc...

I dont know if John Yandell can comment but I suspect he would know best. Maybe some others can help you on that. I just like to analyze them. Dont care much about cameras. :)

I really liked your energy, it looked like you were really trying. Got me thinking to dust off my Volkl and see what this old man can do.

Mike Cottrill
04-04-2008, 04:18 PM
On camera and camera angles.
1) Try to get the sun behind the camera. Lighting will be better. I was surprised that the video looked as good as it does considering the sun is facing the camera lens. I know it makes hitting harder, but the video will look better.
2) Camera setting: If your camera has manual shutter speed ability, increase it to 1/2000sec. That will freeze the frames and remove the blur. Do a test to make sure the video playback is not to dark.
3) A sunny day will allow more light in the camera making the video better.
4) If you can, take the video in morning or late afternoon with the sun out. Just makes better lighting.
5)The camera height just at your shoulders or at your arm puts or mid section works well.
6) Camera angles: The one you have is a good one on both sides. Add a angle facing down the baseline.
7) If you do a serve video, I like turning the camera on its side. That allows a fuller frame. That will look like:
http://www.hi-techtennis.com/serve/martin_serve_open.php (http://www.hi-techtennis.com/serve/martin_serve_open.php)

There are others ideas, but this is a good start.
Hope this helps.

At lest the extra bean jumping keeps you on your toes. I need to get that lightness back in my footwork.. Maybe I should break out the flip-flops.

snoopy
04-04-2008, 04:53 PM
I am no expert! But I will say that on your fhs you look rigid and stiff. You are muscling the ball. You need to be more relaxed and create power through the movement of the kinetic chain. I tend to muscle the ball too much as well. It's hard to stay relaxed, it seems counterintuitive. But you'll hit the ball harder if you're relaxed and fluid.

toughshot
04-04-2008, 06:44 PM
yea, you seem to be muscling the ball a bit, but it's looking pretty good so far

keep your head down on the ball, and loosen up

goodluck!

FedererISBetter
04-04-2008, 07:10 PM
Impressive energy you have there, but try not to be so bouncy as Buffalo Bill had said... not only will it possibly impair your ball judgement, but also may catch you off guard as the next ball is coming toward you offensively. i usually bounce a little bit follow by split step as the other person is returning my returned ball.. something small and bouncy. Sorta like when you are sitting down in class and want to leave because its almost time to go,, a symbol of "shaking your leg"-- know what I am talking about?-- like youre imipatient and will explose once the class is finish... lol something like that. I see solid form from both wings, I wouldnt change much if youre producing the results you want. And plus I use two handed backhand so its unimagineable for me to try to correct someone with one hand lol.
If you want to improve further with your footwork with the ball machine, try shifting back to the middle after you return the ball llol... it should also help you with agility.

watermantra
04-04-2008, 07:27 PM
It's been said already, but I think it's worth mentioning again. On your backhands, you are pushing back off that front foot rather than driving forward into the ball on it. It does have a good bit to do with your front foot's placement, but I think that it also has to do with a bit of a late or rushed swing. Otherwise, the form looks pretty fluid and grooved.

Minor things to change on that side would also be your takeback. It could initiate more of a shoulder turn. At the end of that stroke, I think you are opening up your shoulders a bit too soon. I do think, however, that is more of a function of you not driving into the ball. If you can direct more of you power to the ball, rather than around and up, I think your shoulders will stay closed for a longer period. The stroke is a bit rushed, overall, I think. Forehand, too.

But, you are seeing the ball well, and striking it with authority and confidence. And your feet are very active, and your footwork pretty sound, though as Bungalo Bill said, you could do with a bit less jumping around. Man, don't you get tired?!

C_Urala
04-06-2008, 10:28 PM
Question: isn't a shot when you use front leg as a break after a shot is made (with the proper balance transfer, of course) a legitimate one? I mean, it is not as powerful and controlled as a shot when you literally move forward, but oftentimes I do not need to move forward in a rallies.

Well, such a shot is not against the rules, so it's surely a legitimate one :) If you realize all its pro-and-cons and can use them to your advance, then why not?
My suggestion was for you just to FEEL the complete weight transfer. And how it makes the shot more powerful without swinging any harder.

4zonetennis
04-07-2008, 12:50 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNPaZj4yn00

Keep your head down longer like roger. See how he don't have his eyes follow the ball right after hit hits off his racquet. He keeps his head still and hit through then look up. Your head is following the ball too early.

martin8768
04-11-2008, 09:02 PM
http://www.tennis.com/uploadedImages/Your_Game/Instruction_Articles/Backhand/2006_08_08_federer_backhand_1.jpg
see in the second frame, this is the start of the BH backswing, goes high to low to high, hard for me to explain but you need to work one your backswing, 3rd frame, see how he loads up all his core and shoulder to explode? and for forehand, your backswing is a short too, try extending your arm out more and drop the racket down and lock the wrist. here is link for andy's forehand slow motion if you haven't seen it : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-D32RwsD_w
watch the backswing, good luck mate, really fluid strokes and good rotation and follow throught, but with a mean backswing you can really push a even heavier ball !