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Quikj
11-16-2009, 07:43 AM
Greetings to all, please feel free to critique my latest forehand video. I know I'm hitting against a wall, and as a result I'm really lazy with my feet and not "sitting". I'm interested in your thoughts on my swingpath and curious as to whether my stroke is loop based on turn based. I included a slow-er motion segment as well so that you might be able to view my mechanics more clearly. My backhand is my strength, so I value directional control, spin and consistency to move my opponents about the court. Thanks in advance for taking the time to help me out. My old pro is WAY too expensive.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8iNHSsN6Jg

LeeD
11-16-2009, 07:55 AM
I'm not good at labelling styles, so won't comment there.
Excellent swing yours, oval pattern and solid, good shouder turn, nice followthru, so good enough.
Maybe try to get your feet further apart on every forehand for real play balance.
Need to hit on a court to check out your ball pace. If it's there, you're good to go. You seem to have a controlled swing against the wall, but on the court, against a real opponent, you will need to swing much faster at times, as you know.

LeeD
11-16-2009, 07:58 AM
Also, I notice some coach's like to have you hit groundies from the service line when hitting a wall.
Me, I don't. Reason is you can't check depth and speed of your ball when you're that close, and that's why you hit a wall! :shock:
I like to stand at the baseline (3' behind) and hit the wall from there. Then the incoming ball is a slower speed, but the outgoing ball I can tell pretty much exactly what my swing is producing.
Convoluted words, yes, but I'm a complicated guy.:oops:

Quikj
11-16-2009, 08:20 AM
Thanks Lee for the positive feedback on my swing. How do I work on getting my feet further apart? I've heard this before, when people talk about fed's forehand. Against an opponent, when I split-step my feet separate further, but I don't think they stay that far apart. I'll try standing a bit further back from the wall as well next time.

LeeD
11-16-2009, 08:23 AM
Notice even when Fed jumps pretty high to hit the forehand, his feet are easily 2' apart, giving him balance when he lands, but more important, he jumps off a wide stance, so he's not leaning any particular way.
Like a shortstop in prep position AND when throwing and gloving the ball, the feet are normally 21" apart. Like snowboarding or ready position of defensive backs, the feet are about that apart. Tall guys wider, shorter people their choice.
Wide platform only loses a little height, but gains massively in balance and recovery quickness.

jazzyfunkybluesy
11-16-2009, 08:24 AM
No need for criticism mate you have a great forehand. Post a vid of your backhand to see if thats equally good.

yemenmocha
11-16-2009, 08:24 AM
I think you have a solid & developed stroke. Just to be picky, maybe you have a little too much backward lean on your body. That's fine if you're hitting a high loopy shot or a lob, but for normal strokes I think you may find yourself somewhat off balance and lose pace from your body. If you lose pace from leaning too far back then the tendency is to compensate by using excessive arm, and with that amount of topspin it's easy to get a lot of mis-hits. Just my .02.

Quikj
11-16-2009, 08:31 AM
Notice even when Fed jumps pretty high to hit the forehand, his feet are easily 2' apart, giving him balance when he lands, but more important, he jumps off a wide stance, so he's not leaning any particular way.
Like a shortstop in prep position AND when throwing and gloving the ball, the feet are normally 21" apart. Like snowboarding or ready position of defensive backs, the feet are about that apart. Tall guys wider, shorter people their choice.
Wide platform only loses a little height, but gains massively in balance and recovery quickness.

I can see what you mean watching Fed on Youtube. BTW, I'm an avid snowboarder and have no idea why I never thought to make the connection between the width of my feet and balance on a tennis court. I mostly ride park and so my riding stance is over 25" apart.

Ripper014
11-16-2009, 08:36 AM
I think you have a solid & developed stroke. Just to be picky, maybe you have a little too much backward lean on your body. That's fine if you're hitting a high loopy shot or a lob, but for normal strokes I think you may find yourself somewhat off balance and lose pace from your body. If you lose pace from leaning too far back then the tendency is to compensate by using excessive arm, and with that amount of topspin it's easy to get a lot of mis-hits. Just my .02.

This is the main problem I am seeing with your stroke as well, you tend to be a little upright with your weight balanced between both feet or on your back foot. I would prefer seeing weight being transferred forward or on the front foot.

You are also slight late on contact... I would ask you try and hit the ball just a little more in front of where you do now. Overall though you make good contact with the ball and you move well, there are a lot of pluses to your game.

I never really liked the idea of jumping through a stroke... I think you can hit a much more solid ball when you connected to the court. I also think that as long as your weight is transferring forward through your stroke... a comfortable width between your feet is enough.

Quikj
11-16-2009, 08:46 AM
No need for criticism mate you have a great forehand. Post a vid of your backhand to see if thats equally good.

Thanks bro for the kind words. I think it looks a lot better than it feels or maybe it's all in my head. Anyway, here's my backhand buried within this video.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdZMu5zIbgQ

I can try and take a backhand specific video.

Quikj
11-16-2009, 08:50 AM
I think you have a solid & developed stroke. Just to be picky, maybe you have a little too much backward lean on your body. That's fine if you're hitting a high loopy shot or a lob, but for normal strokes I think you may find yourself somewhat off balance and lose pace from your body. If you lose pace from leaning too far back then the tendency is to compensate by using excessive arm, and with that amount of topspin it's easy to get a lot of mis-hits. Just my .02.

Good point. I've been told this since I was a kid. I've noticed that I lean forwards or backwards depending on my confidence with my stroke on that particular day. Believe it or not, I've come a long way; I would hit my forehand from the backseat. Still needs work though. You're dead on about the mis-hits *facepalm*...

Quikj
11-16-2009, 08:59 AM
This is the main problem I am seeing with your stroke as well, you tend to be a little upright with your weight balanced between both feet or on your back foot. I would prefer seeing weight being transferred forward or on the front foot.

You are also slight late on contact... I would ask you try and hit the ball just a little more in front of where you do now. Overall though you make good contact with the ball and you move well, there are a lot of pluses to your game.

I never really liked the idea of jumping through a stroke... I think you can hit a much more solid ball when you connected to the court. I also think that as long as your weight is transferring forward through your stroke... a comfortable width between your feet is enough.

I transfer my weight forward so much better on my backhand side; I'd love to be able to hit similarly with my forehand. It's just so damn unnatural to me. I learned a VERY open stance at the age of 5 on my forehand wing, whereas I started of with a closed stance one handed backhand, so transferring my weight to my front foot was mandatory. I guess I simply have to force myself to hit out of a neutral stance and drive off of my back foot?

My contact point for sure can be shifted forward. Again, it comes with confidence in my stroke though. I'm starting to realize that the only reason it's a weakness is because I think that it is.

I don't ever try and jump, but I do leave the ground when I "sit" properly. I just kinda happens. Someone on this forum described it as "grabbing" power from the ground, so in that sense you are "connecting" to the court.

Ripper014
11-16-2009, 09:16 AM
I have gotten really lazy in my old age... and the fact that I am not playing at a competitive level anymore... I am hitting more and more with an open stance, but when I do hit open stance I turn my hips towards my shot and transfer my weight to my left (front) foot on my forehand. No matter how lazy I get my backhand always seems to hold good form.

I think you can address this by making sure your left foot is infront of your right one. Your backhand is better but again you seem to be hanging on your back foot, I think it is because you are trying so hard to hit up on the ball (topspin). You should be moving forward on your shots... and if you don't feel like you are falling forward, then you probably have your weight on the back foot.

I don't try and analyze people playing tennis anymore... but the only person I see that regularly hits off his back foot is Nadal... but not many of us are as strong as he is or as gifted. I would consider Federer a better role model, he has more classic strokes and tries to move through every ball.

By the way you are an athletic guy... you move well, your game will only get better.

Quikj
11-16-2009, 10:03 AM
I have gotten really lazy in my old age... and the fact that I am not playing at a competitive level anymore... I am hitting more and more with an open stance, but I turn my hips towards my shot and transfer my weight to my left foot on my forehand.

I think you can address this making sure your left foot is infront of your left. Your backhand is better but again you seem to be hanging on your back foot, I think it is because you are trying so hard to lift up on the ball. You should be moving forward on your shots... and if you don't feel like you are falling forward, then you probably have your weight on the back foot.

I don't try and analyze people playing tennis anymore... but the only person I see that regularly hits off his back foot is Nadal... but not many of us are as strong as he is or as gifted. I would consider Federer a better role model, he has more classic strokes and tries to move through every ball.

By the way you are an athletic guy... you move well, your game will only get better.

Thanks for the vote of confidence. I'm 20 now so I figure I've got another 5/6 years to actualize my potential.

I think you meant to make sure that my left foot is in front of my right? That would seem to make sense and be a minor adjustment that makes a major difference. I love your tip about feeling as though I'm falling forwards to transfer my weight. When I feel that way on my backhand, I notice I get better hip rotation through the ball as well that leads to a more penetrating ball, seemingly effortlessly.

Ripper014
11-16-2009, 10:14 AM
Thanks for the vote of confidence. I'm 20 now so I figure I've got another 5/6 years to actualize my potential.

I think you meant to make sure that my left foot is in front of my right? That would seem to make sense and be a minor adjustment that makes a major difference. I love your tip about feeling as though I'm falling forwards to transfer my weight. When I feel that way on my backhand, I notice I get better hip rotation through the ball as well that leads to a more penetrating ball, seemingly effortlessly.

Yes, sorry I need to reread my posts... I see there are all sorts of mistakes. If you want a more penerating ball just drive through the ball more and hit up less. There is a time to use either stroke... and everything inbetween.

All I can say is, try things... and observe the results (learn).

jazzyfunkybluesy
11-16-2009, 10:23 AM
I agree with Ripper,

Take the ball early and put your weight into the ball. This takes time away from the other player which causes them much more trouble than leaning back and hitting a big top.

Bungalo Bill
11-16-2009, 10:26 AM
Quikj,

I saw your video. For the most part you have a nice smooth stroke. There is not much except to work on fundamentals more in certain areas.

1. Legs: You could use your legs more in your shots and your feet were a bit too close together for my liking. Work on planting more and in your open stance lower yourself like you are doing a squat. You dont need much but when you rise, you want your angular momentum to explode more through the shot without jumping. It is subtle and you should feel it help you go through the ball better. Also, when you load more over your back leg, be sure you are doing so over the balls of your feet. If your on your back heel, you may increase your chance of hitting off that foot.

2. Get that non-dominant arm out there for two main reasons:

a. Promotes a consistent shoulder turn
b. Helps you not open up too soon with your relaxed stroke.

I think these two things will help you.

Watch Federers use of the non-dominant arm. It is very involved in his forehand stroke. Watch how he extends it out there, scans the contact zone with it, and folds it back in for his followthrough. Even in practice Federer exercises the fundamentals.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ImeQaAyFPc&feature=related

Quikj
11-17-2009, 01:06 AM
Quikj,

I saw your video. For the most part you have a nice smooth stroke. There is not much except to work on fundamentals more in certain areas.

1. Legs: legs were a bit out of your shots and your feet were a bit too close together for my liking. Work on planting more and in your open stance lower yourself like you are doing a squat. You dont need much but when you rise, you want your angular momentum to explode more through the shot without jumping. It is subtle and you should feel it help you go through the ball better. Also, when you load more over your back leg, be sure you are doing so over the balls of your feet. If your on your back heel, you may increase your chance of hitting off that foot.

2. Get that non-dominant arm out there for two main reasons:

a. Promotes a consistent shoulder turn
b. Helps you not open up too soon with your relaxed stroke.

I think these two things will help you.

Watch Federers use of the non-dominant arm. It is very involved in his forehand stroke. Watch how he extends it out there, scans the contact zone with it, and folds it back in for his followthrough. Even in practice Federer exercises the fundamentals.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ImeQaAyFPc&feature=related

Thanks BB, I appreciate the feedback. I see what you mean about incorporating more of my non-dominant arm into my stroke. I should be tracking the ball with it as well as marking my contact point, correct? Angular momentum is generally created via the entire kinetic chain, however am I correct in assuming the bulk of it is generated using the hips and torso? I think that's what Ripper was explaining, when talking about rotating the hips through the direction of the shot.

Also what can I do train myself to widen my stance? I try and widen my feet during my split step a la Verdasco, but it feels weird to keep them there.

LeeD
11-17-2009, 10:47 AM
You can play DB or OLB in football.
You can guard a 2 guard who's taking you to the hole.
You should have played dodgeball thru grammar school.
Your 25" stance while snowboarding should give you a clue.
When you need body stability and posture with movement, only a wide stance can provide both.
Force yourself to lower your body thru widening your legs, so you're quicker side to side, forwards and back with ONE step.

Ripper014
11-17-2009, 11:00 AM
I just watched your video again... I think the problem you are having is that you are allowing the ball to play you. The next time you go practice... try stepping forward to the ball when you hit it. This should instantly widen your stance and put your weight on the front foot. Keep things simple for now... there is nothing dire about the way you hit the ball.

Quikj
11-17-2009, 11:10 AM
You can play DB or OLB in football.
You can guard a 2 guard who's taking you to the hole.
You should have played dodgeball thru grammar school.
Your 25" stance while snowboarding should give you a clue.
When you need body stability and posture with movement, only a wide stance can provide both.
Force yourself to lower your body thru widening your legs, so you're quicker side to side, forwards and back with ONE step.

I was the starting strong safety in high school (my dad started at MLB in D1).
I was a shooting guard in middle school and I prided myself on my D.
I throw down some gnarly frontside boardslides.
You're in tune with some supernatural forces or you've been studying athletes for awhile.

Quikj
11-17-2009, 11:12 AM
I just watched your video again... I think the problem you are having is that you are allowing the ball to play you. The next time you go practice... try stepping forward to the ball when you hit it. This should instantly widen your stance and put your weight on the front foot. Keep things simple for now... there is nothing dire about the way you hit the ball.

Thanks for coming at it with a tabula rasa approach. I'm thinking the exact same thing. I'm playing tonight so I'll put your advice to use immediately. I've gotten so much good critique from all of you guys. Every little bit helps.

LeeD
11-17-2009, 11:24 AM
Good stuff!
Yes, I've been studying sports movement all my life. As a tiny tyke, I've always had to defend against guys almost double my weight, take them on, and hold my own.
I suspect your casualness on footwork is due to all the sports you've already played! Tennis seems so easy, so NON important to get the footwork right...compared to the other sports.
But tennis against a superior player becomes a chore and hard work, so everything you learned about prep/ready position applies to tennis.
Not so much hitting a ball against a wall, but playing matches.

Quikj
11-17-2009, 11:41 AM
It definitely does apply and you've helped me see that now. Tennis was actually the first organized sport i played, I went to an academy when I was younger for a couple of years and did fairly well in SoCal juniors. I got pwned by Sam Querrey in the first round of sectionals one year (best draw ever). But as I got older, my dad's desire to see me play football outweighed my desire for tennis. It's interesting, because I always had great feet as a DB and I think that's why I cover the widest parts of the court extremely well. A 4.46 forty will do that for you; yet it's the middle of the court where I struggle. And like you said, it's because of the lax attitude towards learning the proper footwork patterns.

People always ask me why I play so defensively, a la monfils, as I have a big serve and I'm in the stronger half of tennis players. I'm just more comfortable retrieving those wide shots, because my feet are used to moving faster, over a greater distance, taking a longer stride. Not to mention I was tiny when I was little so I had no choice, but to retrieve.

Now that I've grown into a 6'1" 175lb frame, I feel like the time has come to incorporate more offense into my game. I can do things on a tennis court most people cannot fathom, but give me a deep mid court forehand and my feet make me look like a lazy bum.

I put this up in another thread, but just to illustrate my point...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b43HDEFG30k

mike53
11-17-2009, 11:50 AM
A plug for my alma mater, the wide stance of a D1 MLB:

http://menofthescarletandgray.com/wp-content/uploads/john_kerr.jpg

Practices sumo wrestling in the off season.

Quikj
11-17-2009, 11:54 AM
A plug for my alma mater:

http://menofthescarletandgray.com/wp-content/uploads/john_kerr.jpg

Sometimes I think I should have played college ball. It would've helped me fill out instead of this string bean frame I'm stuck with for now.

mike53
11-17-2009, 12:18 PM
Sometimes I think I should have played college ball. It would've helped me fill out instead of this string bean frame I'm stuck with for now.

All that bulk is highly overrated in my opinion. The guy in that that picture is 250 lbs, probably been lifting heavy for over a decade. Lean mass is better for your long term health.

Quikj
11-17-2009, 12:55 PM
All that bulk is highly overrated in my opinion. The guy in that that picture is 250 lbs, probably been lifting heavy for over a decade. Lean mass is better for your long term health.

I feel that, but I'm not a linebacker type like my 245lb father. I'm a DB type that could sustain a healthy weight of about 190 lbs. Looking at my family it'll come with time, guaranteed.

mike53
11-17-2009, 01:15 PM
I feel that, but I'm not a linebacker type like my 245lb father. I'm a DB type that could sustain a healthy weight of about 190 lbs. Looking at my family it'll come with time, guaranteed.

Sounds reasonable. You could add 15 lbs of lean mass with targeted weight training and still walk on to a team for a smaller school.

dozu
11-17-2009, 01:18 PM
looks pretty darn good on the vid hitting against the wall.

if it holds up in real match play, then don't change a thing!

LeeD
11-17-2009, 02:06 PM
In match situations, always always always, when you're playing a superior retriever with speed and anticipation, you hit INTO THE BODY!
That is the weakness of "superior" athletes! They get to everything, but never need to set up for incoming balls right at them. You run plays right at the pass rushing DefensiveEnd!
So you gotta work on moving the little steps, OR big shoulder turn to get into hitting position and hit out (don't hold back) on those awkward shots.

Rambler124
11-17-2009, 04:29 PM
It definitely does apply and you've helped me see that now. Tennis was actually the first organized sport i played, I went to an academy when I was younger for a couple of years and did fairly well in SoCal juniors. I got pwned by Sam Querrey in the first round of sectionals one year (best draw ever). But as I got older, my dad's desire to see me play football outweighed my desire for tennis. It's interesting, because I always had great feet as a DB and I think that's why I cover the widest parts of the court extremely well. A 4.46 forty will do that for you; yet it's the middle of the court where I struggle. And like you said, it's because of the lax attitude towards learning the proper footwork patterns.

People always ask me why I play so defensively, a la monfils, as I have a big serve and I'm in the stronger half of tennis players. I'm just more comfortable retrieving those wide shots, because my feet are used to moving faster, over a greater distance, taking a longer stride. Not to mention I was tiny when I was little so I had no choice, but to retrieve.

Now that I've grown into a 6'1" 175lb frame, I feel like the time has come to incorporate more offense into my game. I can do things on a tennis court most people cannot fathom, but give me a deep mid court forehand and my feet make me look like a lazy bum.

I put this up in another thread, but just to illustrate my point...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b43HDEFG30k

Haha awesome! 4.46 forty is abo****ely insane and I love that slide move on the hard courts. Very much a la monfils. I wish I had half the athleticism it appears you have. I seem to have the opposite problem that you do. Push me wide and I struggle, play me more on the insides of the court it could be trouble for you. I wish I knew what I did so effectively.

Part of me honestly wants to believe that to some degree our athleticism dictates how we play or style of play. I'm a pretty offensive hitter from the baseline. However, I know that if I let my opponent dictate play too much and run me around on the baseline I'm going to lose points. So, I often try to dictate play early in points by being aggressive on returns or perhaps use serve and volley etc. Whereas a friend of mine who can run and move around the court much better than I can stay on the court for 10+ ball rallies easily if I let him.

Rambler124
11-17-2009, 04:31 PM
In match situations, always always always, when you're playing a superior retriever with speed and anticipation, you hit INTO THE BODY!
That is the weakness of "superior" athletes! They get to everything, but never need to set up for incoming balls right at them. You run plays right at the pass rushing DefensiveEnd!
So you gotta work on moving the little steps, OR big shoulder turn to get into hitting position and hit out (don't hold back) on those awkward shots.

Or hit behind them like noley did to Monfils so well in this last tourney eh? Good call though on hitting into the body more. Plus when you yank the runner wide they have that much better of an angle to hit to typically and run you around more :cry:

Bungalo Bill
11-17-2009, 07:57 PM
Thanks BB, I appreciate the feedback. I see what you mean about incorporating more of my non-dominant arm into my stroke. I should be tracking the ball with it as well as marking my contact point, correct?

Yes, The video below is a good one to see how Federer uses his non-dominant arm. Also, notice the sudden hold and the non-dominant arm folds back into the body. This is for hitting arm acceleration, balance, hitting through the ball, you name it.

Angular momentum is generally created via the entire kinetic chain, however am I correct in assuming the bulk of it is generated using the hips and torso? I think that's what Ripper was explaining, when talking about rotating the hips through the direction of the shot.

I would be careful with that. The hips are very much involved, however, over concentrating on the hips can lead to under concentrating in other areas. All body parts has their role in the kinetic chain. You do not need to torque the hips but rather allow them to rotate with your angular momentum. The hips will lead the upper body.

Also what can I do train myself to widen my stance? I try and widen my feet during my split step a la Verdasco, but it feels weird to keep them there.

You dont need much more. Just widen them a little to about shoulder width apart.

fffff
11-17-2009, 10:16 PM
What I usually do with my non hitting arm is that I would use it in order to remind myself to turn my shoulders and to start on my racquet take back. What I would not do with my non hitting arm is to try to use it for measuring because in doing so will cause me to be off balance

whoopinstick
11-18-2009, 07:39 PM
I am not critisizing you because what you are doing isn't wrong but I have you noticed how much you choke up on your grip. You hold your hand a lot closer to the throat of the racket than most people.

Just wondering if you were aware?

Quikj
11-19-2009, 07:51 AM
Yes, The video below is a good one to see how Federer uses his non-dominant arm. Also, notice the sudden hold and the non-dominant arm folds back into the body. This is for hitting arm acceleration, balance, hitting through the ball, you name it.



I would be careful with that. The hips are very much involved, however, over concentrating on the hips can lead to under concentrating in other areas. All body parts has their role in the kinetic chain. You do not need to torque the hips but rather allow them to rotate with your angular momentum. The hips will lead the upper body.



You dont need much more. Just widen them a little to about shoulder width apart.

Also, my movement to my forehand is much less efficient than it is on my backhand side. I attribute this to my lack of concrete forehand footwork patterns. For whatever reason, I haven't been able to re-create my good backhand footwork patterns on my forehand side.

A lot of posters on this forum talk about stepping out with the right foot to initiate most proper patterns. I can do this to the left but it's been difficult for me to perform the step to the right. I've found that I tend to use the gravity step effectively on wide balls (most likely an influence from my football days), yet i can't use this all the time.

Will from FYB has advised catching the ball and letting the feet sort themselves out. This is an intriguing concept, as it should provide for very natural and effortless patterns of movement.

My goal, would be to learn effective patterns that would allow me to control the middle of the court better with my forehand, from the forehand corner specifically. I hit inside out and inside in much better than cross-court and down the line.

Quikj
11-19-2009, 07:56 AM
I am not critisizing you because what you are doing isn't wrong but I have you noticed how much you choke up on your grip. You hold your hand a lot closer to the throat of the racket than most people.

Just wondering if you were aware?

Good call. I am aware. Recently, I underwent a grip change from a severe SW to a much more moderate SW. I had been having issues losing touch with the angle of the racket face, so I choked up a bit more than usual, until I'm comfortable enough.

Bungalo Bill
11-19-2009, 07:59 AM
This is an intriguing concept, as it should provide for very natural and effortless patterns of movement.

Be careful with what you find as the easy path to improving your footwork. There is no such path.

If you already noted how you move whether efficiently or ineffciently, that is your so-called "natural" way to move. If you want to improve, then you will have to undo your natural tendencies and move differently.

Take for example, dance. My natural movement (or untrained movement) will have me move the feet in a certain way. Sure, I can get through the dance and step on some toes in the meantime, however, my footwork will be ineffcient and ineffective when the pressure is on.

When someone says "my natural movement" all you are saying to me is you are accepting your "untrained movement" over the harder road to undo what you naturally do to make something that you should be doing natural. Natural simply means "automated" to me. Something you don't think about. If I looked at Federers footwork, would I say that is natural? Or is it learned? What is natural anyway?

I have yet to meet anyone that has excellent footwork that didn't go through training to get there. It is a flat out myth to think in a sport that relies heavily on movement that all you need to do is show up and somehow you will "get good footwork". Sorry, it just ain't gonna happen no matter how many people think it happens that way.

Footwork is important in all sports. From quarterbacks to tennis players, it needs to be developed and worked on. There are no easy paths to developing good footwork on the backhand and the forehand side.

My goal, would be to learn effective patterns that would allow me to control the middle of the court better with my forehand, from the forehand corner specifically. I hit inside out and inside in much better than cross-court and down the line.

Then you need to train.

Quikj
11-19-2009, 08:07 AM
Be careful with what you find as the easy path to improving your footwork. There is no such path.

If you already noted how you move whether efficiently or ineffciently, that is your so-called "natural" way to move. If you want to improve, then you will have to undo your natural tendencies and move differently.

Take for example, dance. My natural movement (or untrained movement) will have me move the feet in a certain way. Sure, I can get through the dance and step on some toes in the meantime, however, my footwork will be ineffcient and ineffective when the pressure is on.

When someone says "my natural movement" all you are saying to me is you are accepting your "untrained movement" over the harder road to undo what you naturally do to make something that you should be doing natural. Natural simply means "automated" to me. Something you don't think about. If I looked at Federers footwork, would I say that is natural? Or is it learned? What is natural anyway?

I have yet to meet anyone that has excellent footwork that didn't go through training to get there. It is a flat out myth to think in a sport that relies heavily on movement that all you need to do is show up and somehow you will "get good footwork". Sorry, it just ain't gonna happen no matter how many people think it happens that way.

Footwork is important in all sports. From quarterbacks to tennis players, it needs to be developed and worked on. There are no easy paths to developing good footwork on the backhand and the forehand side.



Then you need to train.

I'm not looking for the easy route, I don't mind working hard at all. I enjoy everything about this sport and I'm willing to put the hours in to attain the necessary skills to achieve my goals. How would you suggest I go about my task?

Bungalo Bill
11-19-2009, 08:48 AM
I'm not looking for the easy route, I don't mind working hard at all. I enjoy everything about this sport and I'm willing to put the hours in to attain the necessary skills to achieve my goals. How would you suggest I go about my task?

Many players who think they will learn footwork naturally usually develop sloppy patterns to one side or both sides. Or they are inconsistent throughout the match or a given day.

If you are struggling with the step-out to one side, then you need to develop it. One way to develop is by lifting the leg you want to step out with and then pushing off with the leg that you are balancing over. You are training the back leg to take control (the leg you push off). You can do this with a ball machine.

The purpose of training yoor footwork is so you can get to balls you couldn't before. So, if you use good footwork during one more point than you used too, you improved. The goal is perfection, however, improvement is what you are monitoring.

However, your footwork patterns need to be developed all the way around and include other patterns to help build effortless tennis movement.

The first thing you need to do is learn them in isolation. You learn each one and what they are for individually and you perform them. Next you use common patterns together in a drill. Such as stepping out, moving, hitting, then using a shuffle pattern for recovery.

Once you start combining, the next step is to place your technique, skills, mind, and footwork through tough physical drills to engrain them, to make them natural, and for you to see why you need good footwork. Without pressure like this it is difficult to see the real benefit in efficient movement. You will learn how quickly your oxygen stores evaporate. You will learn when your footwork and technique break down. You will learn how tough you are mentally. Believe it or not, footwork stamina is linked to mental toughness and determination.

Putting players through tough drills and noticing when the mental toughness breaks down has almost an immediate impact on footwork becoming lazy or sloppy.

Quikj
11-19-2009, 09:25 AM
Thanks BB for all your help. I was roaming around your old stomping grounds late last summer. My profile pick was taken with Diamondhead in the background. Unbelievable trade winds made tennis barely playable.

Bungalo Bill
11-19-2009, 09:43 AM
Thanks BB for all your help. I was roaming around your old stomping grounds late last summer. My profile pick was taken with Diamondhead in the background. Unbelievable trade winds made tennis barely playable.

Did you go surfing out there? Yes, the tradewinds can be trouble and you are welcome!

Quikj
11-19-2009, 11:18 AM
Did you go surfing out there? Yes, the tradewinds can be trouble and you are welcome!

I didn't surf, but I got pounded at Sandy's attempting to bodysurf. I've never swallowed so much salt water in my life, but that day was one to remember.

LeeD
11-19-2009, 11:34 AM
For Quikj...
I stayed at KeiIki Drive winter of '77-'78 or so and watched Booby get tubed at Wiamea with his red board from the S cliffs.. while we were eating lunch after surfing there in the morning with RockyWhite and NormHeitman. KamainiBurgers were good, but not nearly as good as seen that ride. Spelling is wrong above, but it was the truck near Sunset.

hyperwarrior
11-19-2009, 11:50 AM
2. Get that non-dominant arm out there for two main reasons:

a. Promotes a consistent shoulder turn
b. Helps you not open up too soon with your relaxed stroke.

I think these two things will help you.

Watch Federers use of the non-dominant arm. It is very involved in his forehand stroke. Watch how he extends it out there, scans the contact zone with it, and folds it back in for his followthrough. Even in practice Federer exercises the fundamentals.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ImeQaAyFPc&feature=related

Bungalo,

It's probably repetitive for you to answer this but most of the times, I have trouble getting consistently my non-dominant arm fully extended on my forehand (kinda like Murray). I guess it's because I'm worrying too much on how my forehand backswing shape looks like...

What are your tips to cure this type of problem? Focusing more on the unit turn, the left-arm extension(for a rightie) than the shape of the backswing itself?

You said one of the purpose about the arm extension is to promote a consistent shoulder turn. If I'm struggling with my unit turn, does extending my non-dominant across my body gets the job dones?

BTW, the OP's forehand is smooth looking and I have to agree with most of the people's feedback on your forehand...there's not any majors flaws...

Bungalo Bill
11-19-2009, 12:07 PM
Bungalo,

It's probably repetitive for you to answer this but most of the times, I have trouble getting consistently my non-dominant arm fully extended on my forehand (kinda like Murray). I guess it's because I'm worrying too much on how my forehand backswing shape looks like...

That is probably true. When you mind is devoted to things it is very much focused on and you have not had the time to engrain other movements, somethings will fall by the waste side. However, don't fret it, this is part of the learning process.

What are your tips to cure this type of problem? Focusing more on the unit turn, the left-arm extension(for a rightie) than the shape of the backswing itself?

Make it part of your unit turn. Make the extension of the non-dominant arm the followthrough of it. If you the videos of Federer or others, the unit turn, loading, and extension of the non-dominant arm happen to form your readiness to allow the racquet to drop and come forward.

As the racquet drops and comes forward, the non-dominant arm sort of "scans" through the contact area, and then as the racquet comes forward more, the non-dominant arm folds back in to help improve acceleration.

You said one of the purpose about the arm extension is to promote a consistent shoulder turn. If I'm struggling with my unit turn, does extending my non-dominant across my body gets the job dones?

BTW, the OP's forehand is smooth looking and I have to agree with most of the people's feedback on your forehand...there's not any majors flaws...[/quote]

Bungalo Bill
11-19-2009, 12:10 PM
I didn't surf, but I got pounded at Sandy's attempting to bodysurf. I've never swallowed so much salt water in my life, but that day was one to remember.

lol, yeah boy, Sandy's can do that. However, it is a lot of fun! I used to bodysurf the Wedge in Newport Beach back in the day on good size waves. So, Sandy's was managable.

On the North Shore we used to go just up from Sharks Cove near Log Cabins to body surf there. Now, that was narly because you were not bodysurfing into sand, it was a solid slab of rock. :) Fun though.

Quikj
11-19-2009, 12:31 PM
For Quikj...
I stayed at KeiIki Drive winter of '77-'78 or so and watched Booby get tubed at Wiamea with his red board from the S cliffs.. while we were eating lunch after surfing there in the morning with RockyWhite and NormHeitman. KamainiBurgers were good, but not nearly as good as seen that ride. Spelling is wrong above, but it was the truck near Sunset.

I had the time of my life jumping off of the rock at Waimea. Were the waves crashing over the highway while you were there? I saw all the signs and was curious as to how that's even possible.

Quikj
11-19-2009, 12:32 PM
lol, yeah boy, Sandy's can do that. However, it is a lot of fun! I used to bodysurf the Wedge in Newport Beach back in the day on good size waves. So, Sandy's was managable.

On the North Shore we used to go just up from Sharks Cove near Log Cabins to body surf there. Now, that was narly because you were not bodysurfing into sand, it was a solid slab of rock. :) Fun though.

Sharks Cove is closer to Matsumoto's and the town than Sunset right?

Bungalo Bill
11-19-2009, 12:50 PM
Sharks Cove is closer to Matsumoto's and the town than Sunset right?

It is on the Pipeline side after Waimea not the Haleiwa side, once you pass Waimea heading to Sunset Beach, you will pass a large rocky area called Sharks Cove (or at leas that is what I remember it as). As soon as the beach starts, that is where we body surfed on days we didnt surf.

But Matsumoto's shave ice was killer wasn't it? yum, yum.

Here is a picture
http://northshoreclassifieds.com/images/Nth_Shore_overview_.gif

The bottom right of this photo shows I believe the supermarket on the sunset side of Waimea. To the left you will see the ocean sort of splattered with rocky areas. We called that Sharks Cove when I was there. I dont know what they call it now. However, if you head north, the open sand patch of beach that is located towards the left top corner without the rocky area is where we body surfed. Under that water it is all rock slab.

It is called Ke Iki Beach and Keiki Rd they have Bungalows there, hence, Bungalo Bill which used to be on the old message boards here Bungalow Bill. ;)

Quikj
11-19-2009, 12:57 PM
It is on the Pipeline side after Waimea not the Haleiwa side, once you pass Waimea heading to Sunset Beach, you will pass a large rocky area called Sharks Cove (or at leas that is what I remember it as). As soon as the beach starts, that is where we body surfed on days we didnt surf.

But Matsumoto's shave ice was killer wasn't it? yum, yum.

Dude it was soooooooo good, I'm craving it now. That and a Zip Pac.

Bungalo Bill
11-19-2009, 01:05 PM
Dude it was soooooooo good, I'm craving it now. That and a Zip Pac.

Hahaha, yeah, I have yet to find better shaved ice. Nothing like surfing all day and hitting Matsumoto's up for some shaved ice. Just made the day no matter if I sucked that day surfing.