PDA

View Full Version : Technical Feedback On My Forehand Please (video)


Moz
10-07-2009, 02:01 PM
Hi all

I still can't serve properly because of golfers elbow, but have been working on my forehand. In particular, I am trying to be more relaxed and let the power happen rather than forcing it.

Here it is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfAkxmklXC8

Results wise I'm very pleased with the way it's going. After having some video shot I am after some specific feedback with regards to my contact point and the use of my left arm.

Am I a little late on some of these shots (bearing in mind the camera is at an angle?

Is my non-playing arm too straight and / or is it coming round to the side too much?

Should I have more right knee bend (this may be difficult for me due to tendonitis)?

Of course, any other constructive feedback would be useful.

For the record - I know my shorts are too short but I prefer them that way!

P.s. There seem to be a couple of blips in the video where things speed up temporarily - that happened at point of capture. No other angles unfortunately.

Thanks for your time.

xFullCourtTenniSx
10-07-2009, 03:03 PM
Hi all

I still can't serve properly because of golfers elbow, but have been working on my forehand. In particular, I am trying to be more relaxed and let the power happen rather than forcing it.

Here it is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfAkxmklXC8

Results wise I'm very pleased with the way it's going. After having some video shot I am after some specific feedback with regards to my contact point and the use of my left arm.

Am I a little late on some of these shots (bearing in mind the camera is at an angle?

Is my non-playing arm too straight and / or is it coming round to the side too much?

Should I have more right knee bend (this may be difficult for me due to tendonitis)?

Of course, any other constructive feedback would be useful.

For the record - I know my shorts are too short but I prefer them that way!

P.s. There seem to be a couple of blips in the video where things speed up temporarily - that happened at point of capture. No other angles unfortunately.

Thanks for your time.

Would've liked a brighter lighting.

Well it looks decent. Your left arm in the takeback needs to cradle the racket into it's position. That's why you drop your racket and left arm in the unit turn. You shouldn't do that. It's better and easier to take the racket back with the left arm then separate them into your loaded position (when your left arm points to the side fence, which is nice).

You look like you forced your racket through contact on a few. I'm not sure through. The only one who can be for sure that you're late is you. I can't really full on tell. It's not like sometimes where it's obvious you're late. Not as easy to see in that video.

Your footwork needs work. I like the active feet, but you don't set your body properly. The thing is, you need to stay down on your shots unless the shot demands otherwise (a shoulder level dip drive or an extremely high ball are examples of such situations).

You should be moving your feet so that you contact the point in your strike zone, and as close to your wheelhouse zone as possible. Right now I'd say your strike zone should be between your shoulders and your knees, and your wheelhouse zone is around your stomach level. A few balls you let get to your shoulders, or even higher.

Also, get a hitting partner and work on split steps. When the opponent's racket makes contact with the ball, you split step, which puts your feet shoulder width apart and lowers your center of gravity by about half a foot? (You should be about a foot lower than standing height) Being in this lowered position allows you to react faster to shots, have a better first explosive step, and allows you to overall run faster around the court. It's called the athletic stance. You see great athletes in every sport look like they want to pounce on something, and are low and crouched.

Now, when you hit the ball, you hop off the court on contact. You really shouldn't do this. It increases the inconsistencies in your stroke. Like I said, there are situations where it's fine, but when possible, you want to stay down through the shot. You will uncoil and hit the ball. When you get a slow high ball, it's fine to use your legs to get the contact point into your strike zone and unload on it, but otherwise I'd prefer to see you stay down through a shot when possible. It will do wonders for your running shots.

Djokovicfan4life
10-07-2009, 04:40 PM
Who cares about the forehand, you're using a Fischer, that's all that matters. :)


I don't feel right attempting to give advice to someone who's at such a high level of play. Your takeback is interesting, sort of like the smile pattern for the 1HBH but applied to the forehand. It seems to work well for you.

boojay
10-07-2009, 05:21 PM
Neato, you've got a different kinda loop going on there, not the traditional C-loop. Drop, raise, swing.

LeeD
10-07-2009, 05:43 PM
Nice forehand, well up into the 4.5+ stage. Over my head probably.
Only thing I'd say is if you try to stay more balanced, not leaning onto your back heels, your forehand will be stronger with less effort and more consistent also.
You have a natural short violent swing, and if it works, it'd be really hard to read direction and depth.
It doesn't work for me, I'm more slower longer stroker, but it might work just fine for you. I'd hurt myself with such a short, violent swing.

Djokovicfan4life
10-07-2009, 06:22 PM
Nice forehand, well up into the 4.5+ stage. Over my head probably.
Only thing I'd say is if you try to stay more balanced, not leaning onto your back heels, your forehand will be stronger with less effort and more consistent also.
You have a natural short violent swing, and if it works, it'd be really hard to read direction and depth.
It doesn't work for me, I'm more slower longer stroker, but it might work just fine for you. I'd hurt myself with such a short, violent swing.

I'm pretty sure Moz is 5.5 or higher.

Moz
10-07-2009, 11:55 PM
Thanks very much for taking the time to watch and comment. Iíve learnt a lot about my stroke by looking at the comments in the context of the video.


Well it looks decent. Your left arm in the takeback needs to cradle the racket into it's position. That's why you drop your racket and left arm in the unit turn. You shouldn't do that. It's better and easier to take the racket back with the left arm then separate them into your loaded position (when your left arm points to the side fence, which is nice).



Your takeback is interesting, sort of like the smile pattern for the 1HBH but applied to the forehand. It seems to work well for you.

Neato, you've got a different kinda loop going on there, not the traditional C-loop. Drop, raise, swing.

I knew the take back looked weird, but couldnít work out why. Thanks to you chaps itís now obvious. Iíve always felt that as long as you get the racquet back and it is ready to start the forward swing at the right time it doesnít matter how it gets there Ė you just look weird. I would have thought my current takeback would only be a problem if it caused me to be late on shots Ė would you agree? However, I look forward to trying fullcourtís suggestion of cradling the racquet and see how it feels.


Your footwork needs work. I like the active feet, but you don't set your body properly. The thing is, you need to stay down on your shots unless the shot demands otherwise (a shoulder level dip drive or an extremely high ball are examples of such situations).

You should be moving your feet so that you contact the point in your strike zone, and as close to your wheelhouse zone as possible. Right now I'd say your strike zone should be between your shoulders and your knees, and your wheelhouse zone is around your stomach level. A few balls you let get to your shoulders, or even higher.

Also, get a hitting partner and work on split steps. When the opponent's racket makes contact with the ball, you split step, which puts your feet shoulder width apart and lowers your center of gravity by about half a foot? (You should be about a foot lower than standing height) Being in this lowered position allows you to react faster to shots, have a better first explosive step, and allows you to overall run faster around the court. It's called the athletic stance. You see great athletes in every sport look like they want to pounce on something, and are low and crouched.


I hear you on the footwork and fully understand and agree. To be honest, Iím getting as low as my knees allow - one of the hidden perils of getting old - but Iím working on them! I feel comfortable with shoulder height balls but itís interesting what you say about the wheelhouse.

Looking at the video I can definitely see some instances where I could have moved in and taken them earlier which would have meant a lower contact point. Thinking about it though, I do feel as though my wheelhouse for open stance forehands is up in the chest area, but for neutral stance itís around the hips. Is this incorrect? Is it a case of where itís comfortable or should it always be at hip level?


Now, when you hit the ball, you hop off the court on contact. You really shouldn't do this. It increases the inconsistencies in your stroke. Like I said, there are situations where it's fine, but when possible, you want to stay down through the shot. You will uncoil and hit the ball. When you get a slow high ball, it's fine to use your legs to get the contact point into your strike zone and unload on it, but otherwise I'd prefer to see you stay down through a shot when possible. It will do wonders for your running shots.

I tend to come off the court on high bouncing hit near me, i.e. when I have time to set Ė but itís not deliberate and doesnít seem to affect consistency. Running forehands, short forehands or forehands I am forced back on are usually more planted. I donít think this video helps as most of the balls are hit pretty near me.

Only thing I'd say is if you try to stay more balanced, not leaning onto your back heels, your forehand will be stronger with less effort and more consistent also.


Thanks Lee Ė most of the shots are hit while on the balls of my feet. There are a couple (when I have to adjust backwards) that are hit flat footed Ė are they the ones you mean? Or is it a more general observation about all of them?

Who cares about the forehand, you're using a Fischer, that's all that matters. :)


Excellent - Fischer points!

I'm pretty sure Moz is 5.5 or higher.

Ah, I wish - don't have the results to be regarded a 5.5 unfortunately but I think 5.0 would be accurate. In my nostalgic moments I think that I may have made it had I been able to practice my serve and hit it pain free.

Thanks again everyone. Keep them coming.

xFullCourtTenniSx
10-08-2009, 01:39 AM
I hear you on the footwork and fully understand and agree. To be honest, Iím getting as low as my knees allow - one of the hidden perils of getting old - but Iím working on them! I feel comfortable with shoulder height balls but itís interesting what you say about the wheelhouse.

Looking at the video I can definitely see some instances where I could have moved in and taken them earlier which would have meant a lower contact point. Thinking about it though, I do feel as though my wheelhouse for open stance forehands is up in the chest area, but for neutral stance itís around the hips. Is this incorrect? Is it a case of where itís comfortable or should it always be at hip level?



I tend to come off the court on high bouncing hit near me, i.e. when I have time to set Ė but itís not deliberate and doesnít seem to affect consistency. Running forehands, short forehands or forehands I am forced back on are usually more planted. I donít think this video helps as most of the balls are hit pretty near me.

Yeah. I noted your tendonitis comment and saw the tape on your knee. Try to do the best that you can, but don't push it. Don't want that knee to get any worse. But as long as you can comfortably hit the ball it's fine. But your movement is what's going to get you the most comfortable ball possible. Go after the ball aggressively with your feet.

Your wheelhouse zone can vary depending on your grip and personal preferances. Mine has actually been pretty low every since I started. And I made my grip more conservative over the years, so that might've added to it, though I can still hit a mean shot off a high ball. Your strike zone, given a good knee, I guess could actually be from your ankles (or mid shin) to somewhere around your head. (That's generally the range for a 5.0 player)

And you're right on the bouncing thing, but I think it's also a result of you always bouncing on your toes (and you not moving into a position where you can take the ball at a more comfortable level?). Not necessarily a bad thing, but everything can be overdone.

You're also right about the difference in the location of the wheelhouse zone of different stances. The neutral stance would probably have it at the lowest area (around your stomach). The semi open would be just above that by a little, and the open would be a little above that by a little more. I've noticed that the more I hit open stanced, I like more balls higher up. Then again, when you want to place massive spin on the ball, you'll probably enjoy the ball around chest height anyways. I never really liked the open stance except when I'm forced to hit it. I've always liked semi open and neutral, probably because I can hit the ball harder and get into the ball more easily.

5263
10-08-2009, 07:00 AM
I'm on board with xfull's comment on using the left hand to facilitate moving the racket to the hitting side. It will also help you not to get sideways too early.
I don't agree with staying down thru the shots, as I believe you should lift strongly into TS Fhs when you can, especially with your nice open stance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uo51mYW2DA&feature=related

Moz
10-08-2009, 07:12 AM
I'm on board with xfull's comment on using the left hand to facilitate moving the racket to the hitting side. It will also help you not to get sideways too early.
I don't agree with staying down thru the shots, as I believe you should lift strongly into TS Fhs when you can, especially with your nice open stance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uo51mYW2DA&feature=related

Thanks for the link. It looks like Federer has his left arm in the same position as mine at the start of the forward motion of his / my stroke.

However, the difference is that his gets there by coming off the racquet throat into position (effectively it moves forward / down to that spot) whereas I get there by moving my hand backwards from a forward position as it's completely apart from my racquet. That's a good point about turning too early.

I'm definitely going to try that - thanks to you both.

The more I think about it, the more I'm happy with lifting strongly on those open stances. Thanks for the confirmation. I'll stay planted on any neutral stance shots or any very wide shots I hit!

jrod
10-08-2009, 07:23 AM
Looks pretty solid to me. In particular, I like the 3rd and 2nd from last FH's the most since you got down lower, and managed to do a better job of engaging your legs and core into those shots. The other FH's look like you are somewhat open, upright which appears to be suboptimal in terms of efficient transfer of energy upon contact. Even still, the resulting ball looks pretty nice. A little more tuning and I bet your ball would be even heavier.

D.Inime
10-08-2009, 07:43 AM
Hi all,

I have been practicing my forehand with a full western grip for about a year, but still cannot generate much power. However, strangely my backhand was somehow in satisfactory level. I will be happy enough if only i can generate my forehand power equal to my backhand.

theres a few people who i played with said my shots have good spin. But my forehand shots always either didnt get pass the net or lands at half court. Very seldom the ball lands at near baseline. and even if it does, usually its because i hit the racquet frame and the ball just flies up like as though i lobbed the ball.

I already did watch fybs forehand video. The double bend technique has improved my forehand a lot more than before, but still not enough power.

Can anyone here help me by providing some advice/ tips on how to improve my forehands power with a full western grip? Thanks in advance

Swissv2
10-08-2009, 07:44 AM
Question: do you tend to get tired in matches? Its just I noticed you bounce around a lot! While it is good to get the feet moving, which you do quite well, too much bouncing around may take a lot of your energy away.

(confused how this is related to your stroke? Read on my friend)

I watched your earlier videos of your forehand, and noticed you did improve on the placement of your feet for your open stance. In your old video, it seemed that you put your back foot in front of your leading foot while you hit the ball. This recent video you provided has you putting your lead foot ahead so your unit turn is better.

Here's the beef:
Your stroke actually looks good. Your take back, left arm utilization, and follow through are pretty decent, though there may be other posters that would break that down some more.

The one thing I really don't see is the utilization of your entire body to provide power for your stroke. It seems you are stuck in an frozen open stance when you hit, rather than taking advantage at times to step into the ball. When you get the opportunity, step into that ball like Del Potro demonstrates below, and that will definitely give you a bit more added power. This may be a direct result of your bouncing. Since you bounce so much, prep time for hitting the ball becomes much lower.

watch below for reference.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYBYh_CNPNY


Keep working hard :)

EikelBeiter
10-08-2009, 08:00 AM
Am I a little late on some of these shots (bearing in mind the camera is at an angle?

Doesn't look like you are late on most shots. On some you are little late moving back and therefore your weight stays a bit too much on your backfoot. But most shots were fine

Is my non-playing arm too straight and / or is it coming round to the side too much?


Doesnt look too straight. Can it even be too straight? As long as it stays relaxt. I do get the feeling that you can turn your shoulders a bit more though.


Should I have more right knee bend (this may be difficult for me due to tendonitis)?


I don't think you need more knee bend, especially if you have tendonitis. You could sometimes use a closed stance if you get a shorter ball though, it seems you always use an open or half open stance.

There is something about your footwork which bothers me on a personal level though :) You are way too energetic. Try to stand still once in a while and recover for the next point, instead of constantly split stepping. But since you run marathons and stuff i guess its a bit inate in you. Constantly having the same rhythem and all.

anyway I like your forehand, keep up the good stuff

Sublime
10-08-2009, 09:33 AM
I think many people have said it, but the problem I see is also in your takeback / backswing area.

You SHOULD be waiting for the ball with both hands on the racket on your hitting side (shoulders set). Then the timing of the stroke begins with the backswing. This allows you to build momentum and speed of the stroke over a longer period of time. The idea is that you're redirecting the racket speed you've built in the back swing into the forward swing.

What you do is a backswing, stop, and hold with the racket back (losing all momentum)... then swing forward to contact.

If this works for you and you're getting enough pace and spin (ie racket head speed) then I say leave it alone, because fixing it will require relearning your stroke timing. Plus the way you (and Venus Williams and Agassi to some extent) do it allows for less error in timing because the stroke is shorter. The converse is that the other way is more efficient and will require less energy for the same racket head speed.

Moz
10-08-2009, 09:50 AM
Looks pretty solid to me. In particular, I like the 3rd and 2nd from last FH's the most since you got down lower, and managed to do a better job of engaging your legs and core into those shots. The other FH's look like you are somewhat open, upright which appears to be suboptimal in terms of efficient transfer of energy upon contact. Even still, the resulting ball looks pretty nice. A little more tuning and I bet your ball would be even heavier.

Thanks mate - the 2 you pick out are neutral stance forehands - the rest are open stance. I'm so old I was brought up with only neutral stance so in a way it's more ingrained.

Question: do you tend to get tired in matches? Its just I noticed you bounce around a lot! While it is good to get the feet moving, which you do quite well, too much bouncing around may take a lot of your energy away.

(confused how this is related to your stroke? Read on my friend)

I watched your earlier videos of your forehand, and noticed you did improve on the placement of your feet for your open stance. In your old video, it seemed that you put your back foot in front of your leading foot while you hit the ball. This recent video you provided has you putting your lead foot ahead so your unit turn is better.

Here's the beef:
Your stroke actually looks good. Your take back, left arm utilization, and follow through are pretty decent, though there may be other posters that would break that down some more.

The one thing I really don't see is the utilization of your entire body to provide power for your stroke. It seems you are stuck in an frozen open stance when you hit, rather than taking advantage at times to step into the ball. When you get the opportunity, step into that ball like Del Potro demonstrates below, and that will definitely give you a bit more added power. This may be a direct result of your bouncing. Since you bounce so much, prep time for hitting the ball becomes much lower.

watch below for reference.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYBYh_CNPNY

Keep working hard :)

Thanks a lot Swiss. I don't get tired during matches - the tendons and connecting tissue gives out a long way before the rest! I have a feeling I was extra bouncy waiting for these balls - I have a feeling I am a bit more relaxed / smooth during matchplay. I'll try and find some but I could be wrong.

You have hit on a good point though regarding getting my weight into it. I think I wait for the ball too much in the open stance. If it's short I will get forward in the neutral stance - it's the in between ball where I can get into the court but still hit an open stance that I need to work on.

The Del Potro clip showed him getting his weight forward on neutral stance shots though didn't it?

Doesn't look like you are late on most shots. On some you are little late moving back and therefore your weight stays a bit too much on your backfoot. But most shots were fine

Doesnt look too straight. Can it even be too straight? As long as it stays relaxt. I do get the feeling that you can turn your shoulders a bit more though.

I don't think you need more knee bend, especially if you have tendonitis. You could sometimes use a closed stance if you get a shorter ball though, it seems you always use an open or half open stance.

There is something about your footwork which bothers me on a personal level though :) You are way too energetic. Try to stand still once in a while and recover for the next point, instead of constantly split stepping. But since you run marathons and stuff i guess its a bit inate in you. Constantly having the same rhythem and all.

anyway I like your forehand, keep up the good stuff

Thanks mate - there definitely seems to be a consensus on the shoulder turn, which may be improved by keeping the left hand on the racket.

I do hit neutral stance on shorter, lower stuff and when transitioning to the net. I was trying to practice open stance here.

The other feedback is good thanks. Sorry, I'm bothering you on a personal level!! :)

I think many people have said it, but the problem I see is also in your takeback / backswing area.

You SHOULD be waiting for the ball with both hands on the racket on your hitting side (shoulders set). Then the timing of the stroke begins with the backswing. This allows you to build momentum and speed of the stroke over a longer period of time. The idea is that you're redirecting the racket speed you've built in the back swing into the forward swing.

What you do is a backswing, stop, and hold with the racket back (losing all momentum)... then swing forward to contact.

If this works for you and you're getting enough pace and spin (ie racket head speed) then I say leave it alone, because fixing it will require relearning your stroke timing. Plus the way you (and Venus Williams and Agassi to some extent) do it allows for less error in timing because the stroke is shorter. The converse is that the other way is more efficient and will require less energy for the same racket head speed.

All makes sense. I'm happy with the results so far but I'm going to give the shoulder turn and left hand on racquet a crack and get an idea how much of an ordeal it will be to change it - if it works for me.

Thanks very much everyone.

Xenakis
10-08-2009, 09:52 AM
Looks good to me but then I haven't been playing very long, just wondering how the golfers elbow is not allowing you to serve but it's fine on groundstrokes?.

Moz
10-08-2009, 09:56 AM
Looks good to me but then I haven't been playing very long, just wondering how the golfers elbow is not allowing you to serve but it's fine on groundstrokes?.

It hurts a fair bit on forehands and volleys but I can play through it and they don't seem to make it any worse. The serve instigates it, makes it worse and burns like hell no matter how hard I hit it.

If I serve a lot my arm gets to the point where I can't hit forehands but without the serving it's okay-ish.

It takes big, hairy balls and lots of diclofenac to play a set with serving!

Xenakis
10-08-2009, 11:34 AM
It hurts a fair bit on forehands and volleys but I can play through it and they don't seem to make it any worse. The serve instigates it, makes it worse and burns like hell no matter how hard I hit it.

If I serve a lot my arm gets to the point where I can't hit forehands but without the serving it's okay-ish.

It takes big, hairy balls and lots of diclofenac to play a set with serving!

Ouch, is there no rehab possible for the elbow?, stretches and exercises?, tried the Theraband Flexbar? (not sure how much that works for golfers elbow but for tennis elbow it seems quite successful)

Hope it gets better anyway.

BullDogTennis
10-08-2009, 12:01 PM
It hurts a fair bit on forehands and volleys but I can play through it and they don't seem to make it any worse. The serve instigates it, makes it worse and burns like hell no matter how hard I hit it.

If I serve a lot my arm gets to the point where I can't hit forehands but without the serving it's okay-ish.

It takes big, hairy balls and lots of diclofenac to play a set with serving!

i feel you on that one. i basically had it all summer....i could hit ground strokes all day but once serve started OUCH!