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View Full Version : Please help with my forehand (video inside)


edwardx
11-02-2009, 07:02 PM
I only picked a few strokes which I think are my typical ones, and compiled them into a slow motion video. I think this works better than normal speed videos, but please let me know otherwise.

http://vimeo.com/7404450

Any suggestions are highly appreciated. I have three specific questions:

1. It seems that my finishing up is kind of in between windshield wiper and over-the-shoulder. Sometimes I can get a lot of topspin without much effort, sometimes I try hard but get little. What am I doing wrong?

2. My open stance (the last few strokes) really seem awkward. My body (especially my left leg) lifts up but my right foot seems to be fixed to the ground. I also lean backwards. How should I correct that? Am I hitting the ball too late?

3. And finally, maybe I should just try to hit more with close stance? I feel like the weight transfer in the close stance help me hit more powerful balls.

Thanks a lot!

Mr.Brightside
11-02-2009, 07:17 PM
closed stance has nothing to do with weight transfer.

the problem with your weight transfer is that you're not really transferring it. it seems like you're trying to generate topspin with your enitre body. this is wrong. the power is generated with the body ( weight transefer), the topspin is generated with the arm and wrist. you're leaning back when you hit your forehand, instead of moving forward.

instead of coming up when you hit your forehand, try having your upper body move through the ball instead.

dozu
11-02-2009, 07:28 PM
try hit some closed stance ones, which may help you feel the weight transfer into the ball.

when you hit closed stance, your body weight goes forward, but your left foot provides a brace, so all that momentum has nowhere to go but to dump on the ball..... this is like if you have a passenger (your hitting arm) riding a car (your body), and suddenly you slam on the brake (the left foot), and your passenger goes flying forward if not wearing a seat belt.

when you can get a feel on the weight transfer, you can hit close or open stance.

Blake0
11-02-2009, 07:33 PM
First off, your timing seems pretty late. You seem to be leaning back because you're timing is off.

You also don't get spin sometimes because your timing is off and you hit the ball in a double bend, but then straighten your arm through the shot. Keep the arm hitting structure the same throughout the shot. If you start your swing with a straight arm keep it a straight arm until it wraps around your body for the followthrough, and if you start off with a double bend, keep it as a double bend all the way through.

I think you get more power on your closed stance, because it forces you to lean forward into the shot, which your lower body does, but your upper body seems to lean back. Try to get down and let your upper body go through the shot too. (on closed stance).

On your open stance forehand it looks like all your body momentum is going up, and not into the ball.

boojay
11-02-2009, 07:35 PM
I only picked a few strokes which I think are my typical ones, and compiled them into a slow motion video. I think this works better than normal speed videos, but please let me know otherwise.

http://vimeo.com/7404450

Any suggestions are highly appreciated. I have three specific questions:

1. It seems that my finishing up is kind of in between windshield wiper and over-the-shoulder. Sometimes I can get a lot of topspin without much effort, sometimes I try hard but get little. What am I doing wrong?

2. My open stance (the last few strokes) really seem awkward. My body (especially my left leg) lifts up but my right foot seems to be fixed to the ground. I also lean backwards. How should I correct that? Am I hitting the ball too late?

3. And finally, maybe I should just try to hit more with close stance? I feel like the weight transfer in the close stance help me hit more powerful balls.

Thanks a lot!

You know, at first I was looking at your vid and thinking, well that's a pretty decent looking forehand and it wasn't until you mentioned the problems you were having that I noticed them. Obviously, you're astute enough to recognize what your issues are.

You mention being able to get topspin without much effort and getting little when you're trying. That should probably tell you something. Trying implies that you might be tensing up, which is a no-no when it comes to producing spin. You being able to hit with more spin without much effort means your likely more relaxed and loose, which are keys to producing spin. Pay attention to your body when you're in one mode versus the other and what you're doing differently when you're relaxed as opposed to when you're really trying to produce spin.

Problems leaning backwards? Easy, lean forwards and into the shot. A great way is to practice approach shots.

You should be practicing both closed/neutral and open stances. They all have their place in the game.

edwardx
11-02-2009, 07:48 PM
Thanks very much for all your replies.

I have noticed this upward body motion for quite a while and tried to change it without much success. Is there a drill I can use to force my body to go forward?

You know, when it becomes a habit it's hard to notice during play. Only when I watch my video afterwards I'm disappointed that I'm still doing the same thing.

Nellie
11-02-2009, 08:34 PM
If you freeze prior to contact (such as around 10 and 21 seconds) you see that your are bent back and rotating around the back leg, which means your racquet face will open up and you will hit weakly with your arm. Overall, I feel that you you are hitting too far back, and you need to move your contact point forward so that you are getting better forward weight shift for rotation/power from the torso.

edwardx
11-03-2009, 05:34 AM
First off, your timing seems pretty late. You seem to be leaning back because you're timing is off.

You also don't get spin sometimes because your timing is off and you hit the ball in a double bend, but then straighten your arm through the shot. Keep the arm hitting structure the same throughout the shot. If you start your swing with a straight arm keep it a straight arm until it wraps around your body for the followthrough, and if you start off with a double bend, keep it as a double bend all the way through.

I think you get more power on your closed stance, because it forces you to lean forward into the shot, which your lower body does, but your upper body seems to lean back. Try to get down and let your upper body go through the shot too. (on closed stance).

On your open stance forehand it looks like all your body momentum is going up, and not into the ball.

Thanks a lot, Blake0. I do think my timing is a bit late. Need to work on that.

On the arm hitting structure, if I start with a double bend, do I keep it all the way until finish? I thought that at finish you always have a straightened arm.

Is there any advantage/disadvantage of using a double bend vs. a straight arm when take back?

jrod
11-03-2009, 05:47 AM
1. Contact point is often late. Minimal extension on shots.

2. Weight transfer is suboptimal. Your momentum should carry you towards the target. Your weight transfer is all over the place (i.e. sideways, backwards, etc).

3. Rotation is inefficient....too open at contact point causing you to "arm" the ball. You are often facing the net on contact implying any energy from core rotation was spent.

First couple aren't bad in terms of balance and weight transfer. They seem the most relaxed and fluid.

Suggest you post a link in BB's thread to ask for more expert advice advice.

edwardx
11-03-2009, 06:53 AM
1. Contact point is often late. Minimal extension on shots.

2. Weight transfer is suboptimal. Your momentum should carry you towards the target. Your weight transfer is all over the place (i.e. sideways, backwards, etc).

3. Rotation is inefficient....too open at contact point causing you to "arm" the ball. You are often facing the net on contact implying any energy from core rotation was spent.

First couple aren't bad in terms of balance and weight transfer. They seem the most relaxed and fluid.

Suggest you post a link in BB's thread to ask for more expert advice advice.

Thanks a lot. Any suggestions on how I should practice to correct these problems?

Where can I find BB's thread?

jrod
11-03-2009, 06:57 AM
Thanks a lot. Any suggestions on how I should practice to correct these problems?

Where can I find BB's thread?


I could suggest a bunch of things but it's probably best to leave this to others that have more experience in teaching assist you.

Here is BB's thread: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=294413&highlight=Bungalo+Bill

Just post a link to this thread with your videos and he'll chime in along with others.

Djokovicfan4life
11-03-2009, 08:30 AM
Your upper body is leaning backwards every time, even when you're stepping in with a neutral stance. This is probably a result of trying to hit a lot of topspin. You don't need to lean back to generate topspin.

Blake0
11-03-2009, 07:38 PM
Thanks a lot, Blake0. I do think my timing is a bit late. Need to work on that.

On the arm hitting structure, if I start with a double bend, do I keep it all the way until finish? I thought that at finish you always have a straightened arm.

Is there any advantage/disadvantage of using a double bend vs. a straight arm when take back?

Yes, BB will provide you with the information you need. If he doesn't respond within a day or 2, post again as he might have missed it.

But yeah their are disadvantages and advantages.
Double bend = Closer contact, easier timing, less power potential (compared to straight arm)
Straight arm = Further out contact, harder timing, more power potential (compared to double bend)

Both forehands are used by different pros, and either one can be a world class forehands. Most of the people on tour have double bend, because it requires easier timing.

Heres a link for the hitting arm structure..or position as mentioned in this video (you need to enter a email address to watch video though)
http://www.fuzzyyellowballs.com/video-tennis-lessons/forehand/advanced-forehand-technique/forehand-hitting-arm-positions/

Watch all the videos on the forehand on that site, shows great info on how to hit forehands and other strokes as well.

Bungalo Bill
11-04-2009, 08:37 PM
I only picked a few strokes which I think are my typical ones, and compiled them into a slow motion video. I think this works better than normal speed videos, but please let me know otherwise.

http://vimeo.com/7404450

Any suggestions are highly appreciated. I have three specific questions:

1. It seems that my finishing up is kind of in between windshield wiper and over-the-shoulder. Sometimes I can get a lot of topspin without much effort, sometimes I try hard but get little. What am I doing wrong?

I wouldnt worry about your finish. It seemed pretty consistent and you had decent rotation with your back shoulder under your chin on the followthrough. Inconsistent topspin generation is coming from your timing and your body leaning back at times. It can also be that when you force topspin, your swing speed or racquet head speed slows down rather than accelerating when it is relaxed and allowed to flow.

2. My open stance (the last few strokes) really seem awkward. My body (especially my left leg) lifts up but my right foot seems to be fixed to the ground. I also lean backwards. How should I correct that? Am I hitting the ball too late?

What you need to do is shift back towards the ball and not just have your arm swing back to the ball. Your body needs to go back also. Carefully watch Fernando in how he plants, loads, and then sends his rotation back towards the ball.

3. And finally, maybe I should just try to hit more with close stance? I feel like the weight transfer in the close stance help me hit more powerful balls.

Thanks a lot!

That is not a closed stance you are using at least from this camera angle. It looks more like a forward stance where you step towards the contact point and hit. A closed stance for a forehand is not a good stance. I would also not recommend for you to use a "closed" stance for your forehand. If you are coming forward then, yes, switch to a neutral or forward stance and move in. You will get to net quicker using that stance rather than an open stance. However, use the open stance as your staple stance for the forehand. You just need to develop it and not rely so much on your arm moving forward without your body as well.

VIDEO REVIEW

I will comment on your legs in a bit. First, let's take a look at the upper body.

Your shoulder turn is too shallow and you need to bring the racquet up and back with both hands before letting go. This will help in rythym and momentum in your stroke.

Watch how Fernando brings his racquet back with both hands and how long they stay on the racquet compared to yours.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFibX-inICg&feature=related

His shoulder goes under his chin to complete his upper body coiling as well. He also outstretches the non-dominant arm like many pros do and as he rotates forward, his non-dominant arm tucks back in within shoulder width. It seemed you were doing this part okay.

The use of your legs, especially your back leg is lacking. This is why you would rather camp over it and some posters have said you are leaning back or dont have a good weight transfer or rotation back towards the ball. They are right in their analysis. So, in order for you to correct that you will need to learn to take the ball sooner and rotate off your back leg with your back shoulder going through the ball and then rebalancing over both legs in the followthrough.

Need to see more daylight between your heels and the ground.

xFullCourtTenniSx
11-04-2009, 09:55 PM
I only picked a few strokes which I think are my typical ones, and compiled them into a slow motion video. I think this works better than normal speed videos, but please let me know otherwise.

http://vimeo.com/7404450

Any suggestions are highly appreciated. I have three specific questions:

1. It seems that my finishing up is kind of in between windshield wiper and over-the-shoulder. Sometimes I can get a lot of topspin without much effort, sometimes I try hard but get little. What am I doing wrong?

2. My open stance (the last few strokes) really seem awkward. My body (especially my left leg) lifts up but my right foot seems to be fixed to the ground. I also lean backwards. How should I correct that? Am I hitting the ball too late?

3. And finally, maybe I should just try to hit more with close stance? I feel like the weight transfer in the close stance help me hit more powerful balls.

Thanks a lot!

1 - Roll your wrist more over the ball and extend through contact a little more. The modern forehand is a circular/elliptical swing if you marked the racket tip location in every frame during the video. So basically keep rotating through the ball and let the racket go naturally in more or a less a circle around your body.

2 - Load on your right, then push off and transfer the weight to your right. You're leaning back. Lean forward and into the shot.

3 - If you have time to hit with a neutral stance, you should always do it! Anytime I get a chance, I always take the extra step to go into a neutral stance and step into the ball and put some extra pop on the ball, usually going down the line with the shot. Also, leaning forward into the shot will help add more power.

Djokovicfan4life
11-05-2009, 05:58 AM
2 - Load on your right, then push off and transfer the weight to your right. You're leaning back. Lean forward and into the shot.

Surely you mean transfer to the left here.

3 - If you have time to hit with a neutral stance, you should always do it! Anytime I get a chance, I always take the extra step to go into a neutral stance and step into the ball and put some extra pop on the ball, usually going down the line with the shot. Also, leaning forward into the shot will help add more power.

What? I don't think most players should step into the ball whenever they have time. I certainly don't, and I doubt it would give me any additional power.

edwardx
11-05-2009, 07:22 AM
Thank you so much, guys.

I went to hit some balls again yesterday, aiming to 1) contact the ball a bit earlier. 2) swing a bit more "freely".

Unfortunately, from watching the video afterwards, I didn't achieve 1) and probably improved a bit on 2).

Here is the new video: http://vimeo.com/7452706

How do I force myself to take the ball earlier? Any drills for that? I've probably had this late timing for years and I know it's hard to correct it quickly.

My other question is regarding body turn. When I watch pros slow motion, it seems that when they hit the ball, their body has fully opened up facing the net, and contact point is half to one foot in front (have no idea, just by watching videos). Is this the right position I should try to achieve?

From watching my video, because I hit the ball basically on the side of my body, instead of in the front, my body is still turning and hasn't opened up. Maybe an earlier timing will also fix that?

Nellie
11-05-2009, 07:32 AM
It may help you to use your left arm as a guide for contact, when in your closed/ neutral stance. Keep that left hand further forward, so that you feel like your are falling forward and need to step with the right foot to keep balance.

Per BB's comments above, you need to be on the balls of your feet and not stay back one your heels, especially on the left foot.

edwardx
11-05-2009, 07:34 AM
Thank you very much, BB.

What you need to do is shift back towards the ball and not just have your arm swing back to the ball. Your body needs to go back also. Carefully watch Fernando in how he plants, loads, and then sends his rotation back towards the ball.

When you say back, you mean forward, right? :)

Your shoulder turn is too shallow and you need to bring the racquet up and back with both hands before letting go. This will help in rythym and momentum in your stroke.

I'll try to turn more - is there a rule of thumb on how much shoulder turn is optimal? like left shoulder going under chin?

Need to see more daylight between your heels and the ground.

Should I think about it as that I should stand on the balls of my right foot when I hit the ball? I suppose that will help me "push off" from my right leg and go forward.

jrod
11-05-2009, 08:00 AM
Thank you so much, guys.

I went to hit some balls again yesterday, aiming to 1) contact the ball a bit earlier. 2) swing a bit more "freely".

Unfortunately, from watching the video afterwards, I didn't achieve 1) and probably improved a bit on 2).

Here is the new video: http://vimeo.com/7452706

How do I force myself to take the ball earlier? Any drills for that? I've probably had this late timing for years and I know it's hard to correct it quickly.

My other question is regarding body turn. When I watch pros slow motion, it seems that when they hit the ball, their body has fully opened up facing the net, and contact point is half to one foot in front (have no idea, just by watching videos). Is this the right position I should try to achieve?

From watching my video, because I hit the ball basically on the side of my body, instead of in the front, my body is still turning and hasn't opened up. Maybe an earlier timing will also fix that?


To me it looks more relaxed, you have somewhat better balance and contact point. The weight transfer still looks off...tendancy to be leaning back. Left arm looks better but still room for improvement.

Conceptually, try to imagine that you are storing energy in your right foot as you coil and load up. You want to transfer this energy as efficiently as possible to the point of contact. The timing of this transfer currently looks off to me, with much of the stored energy lost due to you opening up too early and leaning back too quickly.

If you watch the clip BB provided pay special attention to how Gonzo times his weight transfer with his contact. From a boxer's perpective, Gonzo's weight transfer equates to a knockout blow where as your current weight transfer might equate to a jab.