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sn1974
10-26-2009, 02:44 AM
so, after i took some video of myself playing and posted it, i started to really wonder why my coach was telling me to allow my right foot to lift and shift my weight as i was hitting and not let me swing all the way through (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ia_DIOo5mn4, you can totally see what i mean, and even hear him yelling "racquet slow!").

me: why can't i keep my right foot grounded as i hit? why can't i swing through faster? won't i have more power?
coach: because you'll end up hitting with your arms or break the kinetic chain.
me: really? because when i watch professional tennis, all the women hit that way.
coach: you're not a professional tennis player.
me: oh. i knew that. :oops:
coach: when you can consistently get your body into position and hit the ball far enough outside of your body, we will add that.

we had a good discussion about building on fundamentals and why the things you see professionals doing (or the things we focus on when we watch pros) aren't necessarily the things you should be mimicking as you build up your skill. also that good strokes come with time.

but i'm wondering if anyone has different thoughts on that. i notice when i watch FYB, the instruction is all about hitting like a pro and on these boards people seem to talk a lot about how professionals hit.

moopie
10-26-2009, 03:29 AM
You look pretty athletic and coordinated, but the shot your coach is forcing you to hit looks very very awkward.

The only time this "rotate your back foot to the front" shot makes sense is when you're moving forward to hit your shot, like you do at about 11 seconds in your video. In other situations, like when you're moving to your right, moving back, or staying in the same place, this shot makes no sense. It seems you have a pretty natural feel for footwork, and you know what your coach is telling you to do is wrong.

If there isn't a reason you must have this person as your coach, you might want to start looking around at others...

Look at this video of a famous coach and a 6 year old. It was posted in the Juniors section recently:
http://www.tennisresources.com/index.cfm?area=video_detail&rv=1&vidid=3513
Even at that age the situation decides the shot. How can it be too "advanced" for you?

5263
10-26-2009, 03:33 AM
so, after i took some video of myself playing and posted it, i started to really wonder why my coach was telling me to allow my right foot to lift and shift my weight as i was hitting and not let me swing all the way through (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ia_DIOo5mn4, you can totally see what i mean, and even hear him yelling "racquet slow!").

me: why can't i keep my right foot grounded as i hit? why can't i swing through faster? won't i have more power?
coach: because you'll end up hitting with your arms or break the kinetic chain.
me: really? because when i watch professional tennis, all the women hit that way.
coach: you're not a professional tennis player.
me: oh. i knew that. :oops:
coach: when you can consistently get your body into position and hit the ball far enough outside of your body, we will add that.

we had a good discussion about building on fundamentals and why the things you see professionals doing (or the things we focus on when we watch pros) aren't necessarily the things you should be mimicking as you build up your skill. also that good strokes come with time.

but i'm wondering if anyone has different thoughts on that. i notice when i watch FYB, the instruction is all about hitting like a pro and on these boards people seem to talk a lot about how professionals hit.

You look to be off to a very good start with your tennis, but I suspect you are a pretty new player, right? I say this cause your lift of the ball is coming from opening your racket face, opposed to lifting with your legs and getting below the ball on your swing. Also you positioning to his easy feeds is close, but not there as it would be for an experienced player. You let several of the feeds drop pretty low.

I'm all about hitting like the pros, but that means working on getting your stroke form and basics like the pros, and not having their racket speed right away. Racket speed is probably the last thing to fall in place, but it can when you get more of the stroke working first. It seems your coach is trying to get you to lift more with your legs, probably instead of opening your racket face. This will help you with your topspin, which is often weak or missing in the ladies game. Racket face should be more vertical at impact, as you pull up and across the ball. Does this help. There are many details, but I don't intend to overload you.

sn1974
10-26-2009, 04:41 AM
so, that was fascinating, and a little scary, to watch. go sonya!

but i think it sort of proves my coach's point, which is that everything is incremental. you don't start off hitting like a pro. things change as you build skills. also, this kid is training to be a champion whereas i'm just a grownup who took up the sport for fun and fitness.

5263, that was very helpful. it's good to know there may be a point to all of this! and getting the racquet head vertical, yes, this is another thing i am constantly reminded of (along with hitting farther out and finishing with my arms higher). i often start with an open face and come over the ball, so i end up with a closed racquet face when my arm is fully extended. i don't know why i can't get it right. unfortunately, i'm not that new of a player. i've been playing already for a couple of years. how sad is that?

5263
10-26-2009, 05:35 AM
so, that was fascinating, and a little scary, to watch. go sonya!

but i think it sort of proves my coach's point, which is that everything is incremental. you don't start off hitting like a pro. things change as you build skills. also, this kid is training to be a champion whereas i'm just a grownup who took up the sport for fun and fitness.

5263, that was very helpful. it's good to know there may be a point to all of this! and getting the racquet head vertical, yes, this is another thing i am constantly reminded of (along with hitting farther out and finishing with my arms higher). i often start with an open face and come over the ball, so i end up with a closed racquet face when my arm is fully extended. i don't know why i can't get it right. unfortunately, i'm not that new of a player. i've been playing already for a couple of years. how sad is that?

Not sad at all. People improve at different rates. Sometimes you have breakthroughs and really improve a bunch. Main thing is have fun while you learn.
Have you been taking instruction for 2 years? That could be a problem, but I bet you are way better than when you started? I must admit that I don't think your instructor should be making you so aware of your feet at this stage. It is near impossible to think about what your feet are doing and what your hand/eyes are doing, all at once. I would want to get your swing feeling more natural and automatic before fine tuning the positioning of the feet.
Keep at it, as the breakthroughs feel great!

sn1974
10-26-2009, 06:24 AM
yes, 2 years. so that is interesting. because he is a all about the lower half of the body. he has this saying (loosely translated from thai) - put your heart to your feet, not your racquet.

his view is that the hardest part is learning to always hit with your hips and have decent footwork at all times, so those are the foundations to perfect first. the kids he's trained are are smooth and powerful and a couple of them are competitive, so let's just hope...

maybe it's me??? maybe i am just too old to learn this quickly! i will post another video of me hitting faster balls with other players soon.

5263
10-26-2009, 06:31 AM
yes, 2 years. so that is interesting. because he is a all about the lower half of the body. he has this saying (loosely translated from thai) - put your heart to your feet, not your racquet.

his view is that the hardest part is learning to always hit with your hips and have decent footwork at all times, so those are the foundations to perfect first. the kids he's trained are are smooth and powerful and a couple of them are competitive, so let's just hope...

maybe it's me??? maybe i am just too old to learn this quickly! i will post another video of me hitting faster balls with other players soon.

You are probably too coachable. Motivated kids will find a way to hit that ball well, and his hitting from the hips can be helpful. You as an adult will try to be so compliant that it will keep you detracted from the main issue of finding the ball from below and accelerating up and across it. I think you should make sure you get to that ball well, then focus on the finding and accelerating up and across the ball.

phoenicks
10-26-2009, 08:44 AM
his view is that the hardest part is learning to always hit with your hips and have decent footwork at all times, so those are the foundations to perfect first. the kids he's trained are are smooth and powerful and a couple of them are competitive, so let's just hope...



last time, my coach ask me to,

1)bend my knees,
2)square up my body,
3)non-hitting hand out in front and across the body,

to get me into groove with better&faster core body rotation. of coz he didn't tell me to incorporate all 3 at once, he drilled these 3 things 1 by 1 in different session.

Most importantly, what I think your coach is trying to achieve with you is sit and lift, which is more or less about having good knee bend, james blake talk about it in this video,

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

talk about it starting around 15 sec, he said 1st thing i learn sit and lift, bend your knees....

moopie
10-26-2009, 08:43 PM
so, that was fascinating, and a little scary, to watch. go sonya!

but i think it sort of proves my coach's point, which is that everything is incremental. you don't start off hitting like a pro. things change as you build skills. also, this kid is training to be a champion whereas i'm just a grownup who took up the sport for fun and fitness.


Haha I think you should give yourself a little more credit. You move well and are light on your feet. You're bouncing, split-stepping, and shuffling nicely to the ball. But then you're forced to hit this unnatural shot. While we'll never be able to hit like the pros, learning the fundamentals from them is the correct way to go. That's why all the instructional sites focus on what the pros do, like FYB, like you said yourself.

I know you started this thread because you had some doubt about what you're being taught. I'm not sure if you were looking for confirmation about your doubt... or reassurance about your coach?

Maybe you should try to get the attention of one of the well respected instructors on this site, like Bungalow Bill or Will Hamilton. They might shed some light on this.

Bagumbawalla
10-27-2009, 04:21 PM
Very often my coach will have us hit everything very slowly. When you hit slowly you have to have good form, good contact, follow-through, movement, balance, and shifting of weight to control the ball. Basically, the only difference in hitting soft and fast balls should be the rackethead speed- everything else should be basically the same.

That is why so many of the people at this site complain that they find it difficult to hit against players who put no pace on the ball- their form is not good enough to create thier own power and control. The rely on the other player to do much of the work for them.

And, yes, for the forehand-- at the point of impact, your weight should be on the forward (left foot). However, that is not to say that you should be doing something "unnatural" with your right foot.

Your backhand form looked pretty good. Your forehand seemed a lot more variable. Give it time, I don't think it will take long for it to come toghther.

It is better to create good habits early on, rather than have to, undo bad form at a later time. It sounds like your coach may know what he is doing.

dozu
10-27-2009, 04:28 PM
life is too short - if you can hit with consistency and finish in balance, throw the racket at it as hard as you want.

user92626
10-27-2009, 08:05 PM
life is too short - if you can hit with consistency and finish in balance, throw the racket at it as hard as you want.


I used to apply that concept, but at this stage I'm actually against it. "Throwing" the racket into the ball seems to be kinda weak and makes it very erratic to control in high speed. "Throwing" worked for me when I hit flat and thru the ball (cuz you can only throw an object hard in a straight path). Hard to do with topspin, a la toward ww motion.

I would say whip with leg rising, upperbody turning and an elastic arm; and accelerate hard thru the contact point.

user92626
10-27-2009, 08:14 PM
me: why can't i keep my right foot grounded as i hit? why can't i swing through faster? won't i have more power?
coach: because you'll end up hitting with your arms or break the kinetic chain.
me: really? because when i watch professional tennis, all the women hit that way.
coach: you're not a professional tennis player.
me: oh. i knew that. :oops:
coach: when you can consistently get your body into position and hit the ball far enough outside of your body, we will add that.



Strange, I would think that keeping feet fairly grounded makes it alot easier for non-advanced players to hit stably.

If you understand the mechanic of sending the ball over the net the way you want, I don't see why you shouldn't be allowed to practice increasing power.

I have a feeling that your coach is needlessly making things overly complicated, especially at this level.