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View Full Version : Dissecting my strokes/serves/matchplay etc


dlesser13
12-24-2009, 07:39 PM
Took some footage of some matchplay, trying to get a handle on my strokes and what not. All constructive advice welcome. I edited alot of it, but no I did not make the video all about making myself look good. A bit about myself, western forehand, use to hit a western backhand(non dominant hand) have since tryed to go more eastern/SW, so it's a work in a progress. I am not a Jr player, turned 18 in june. Flat serve first, topspinish second.I've been playing since my sophomore year in high school, no coaching. Thanks for watching! For all you NTRP raters out there, I can play with 4.0 and are probably 50/50 against them, on occasion I can hang with 4.5's when I'm playing really well.

Video : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dlkw62D5hxg

Please disregard any footfaulting, not really looking for advice concerning that.

Geezer Guy
12-24-2009, 07:57 PM
Two things:

1) Seems like you don't anticipate where the ball will likely be returned based on where you hit it. Looks like you wait until the ball is struck to chase it down.

2) You spin the racquet more than anyone I've watched. Sure, some people may give the racquet a spin between points, but you spin it multiple times between shots. Often you'd hit a forehand, spin, spin, hit another forehand, spin, spin, maybe spin again, hit another forehand, etc.

dlesser13
12-24-2009, 08:04 PM
Yes, two things I know geezer guy. Spinning is more of habit i've developed, but I don't feel like it hampers my game any. The anticipation is one thing I've really been trying to work on, I get easily winnered alot because I do not anticipate well or my lack of anticipation leaves me a sitting duck for my opponents next ball.

Geezer Guy
12-24-2009, 08:21 PM
Yes, two things I know geezer guy. Spinning is more of habit i've developed, but I don't feel like it hampers my game any. The anticipation is one thing I've really been trying to work on, I get easily winnered alot because I do not anticipate well or my lack of anticipation leaves me a sitting duck for my opponents next ball.

I tend to spin the racquet also - but not nearly as much as you. I've had pro's tell me I shouldn't do it.

As for the anticipation, a fair number of your shots in the video didn't come back - so I could see why you may just tend to watch the ball instead of anticipate it's return. You just need to develop the habit of expecting EVERY ball to come back. As you play better and better players, that's more likely to be the case. You play from the baseline quite a bit. One technique is to imagine a pole positioned at the service T on your side of the net. As long as both you and your opponent are at your respective baselines, try to keep that imaginery pole lined up between the two of you.

dwhiteside
12-24-2009, 08:21 PM
You are definitely being pretty flatfooted and your footwork could use improvement, have someone feed you balls at a nice pace from the service box without telling you which way they're going to hit them - right before they feed do a short splitstep/hop and then launch out towards either forehand or backhand, then go as fast as you can back to the center mark and do it again as fast as you and the feeder can handle.

dwhiteside
12-24-2009, 08:25 PM
Also, notice how on your forehand your right foot rarely comes around and ends up in front of your left foot, but whenever you watch pros hit, it's always the other way around. Observe your right and left feet when you hit forehands and you'll probably find out yourself why you're losing a lot of potential power.

dlesser13
12-24-2009, 08:28 PM
Thank you so far for the advice guys, I never really payed much attention to footwork and court positioning, I think alot of players like myself focus more heavily on strokes. Any advice on my backhand? I know there isn't alot of footage, but I can never seem to hit it very clean, and If I do, it is normally long.

ayuname
12-24-2009, 09:23 PM
This looks like connally high school...

dlesser13
12-24-2009, 09:25 PM
How on earth would you know that ayuname!

ayuname
12-24-2009, 09:27 PM
How on earth would you know that ayuname!I play there sometimes and I can hear my friend grunting in the background.

weallwegot
12-24-2009, 09:30 PM
my grandma has better footwork then you, and you need to arch and go into your serve more.


- Novak

dlesser13
12-24-2009, 09:30 PM
He beat me :(

weallwegot
12-24-2009, 09:32 PM
Heres a few clips of me hitting:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMiQ97Zrl_k

ayuname
12-24-2009, 09:33 PM
Hahah, btw who are you playing? It sounds like Richard from all the grunting.

dlesser13
12-24-2009, 09:37 PM
yes it's richard.

ayuname
12-24-2009, 09:38 PM
bahahhaa. and yeah, more footwork sir.

Blake0
12-24-2009, 09:40 PM
Serve..Followthrough all the way, you seem to be focusing just on the wrist/arm pronation and aren't really using anything for power. You jump in serves sometimes, but it doesn't seem in sync with your shot..by that i mean it doesn't seem that it's contributing to hitting harder. Work on following through and using your body more.

Forehand- Again, make sure you followthrough all the way properly. Your forehand seems very wristy but in the wrong kind of ways. If you follow through all the way with your arm that might help fixing this.

Backhand- Again, sometimes you don't followthrough all the way. Your backhand looks like it has the best form out of all the three, except its a bit too wristy and you hit it late a couple times.
http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=xstf#p/u/0/2PvSJP7CRZM
Heres a backhand video that will help.

Another thing to focus working on is reading the ball..you seem to read the ball quite late so you tend to hit your strokes late more often.

dlesser13
12-24-2009, 09:45 PM
Best advice so far blake, thank you very much.

Blake0
12-24-2009, 10:10 PM
Best advice so far blake, thank you very much.

Also if you go to the video i posted before and look up other videos from him, there are some good advice on forehands and serves too, especially forehands.

86golf
12-25-2009, 07:04 AM
Serve..Followthrough all the way, you seem to be focusing just on the wrist/arm pronation and aren't really using anything for power. You jump in serves sometimes, but it doesn't seem in sync with your shot..by that i mean it doesn't seem that it's contributing to hitting harder. Work on following through and using your body more.

Forehand- Again, make sure you followthrough all the way properly. Your forehand seems very wristy but in the wrong kind of ways. If you follow through all the way with your arm that might help fixing this.

Backhand- Again, sometimes you don't followthrough all the way. Your backhand looks like it has the best form out of all the three, except its a bit too wristy and you hit it late a couple times.
http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=xstf#p/u/0/2PvSJP7CRZM
Heres a backhand video that will help.

Another thing to focus working on is reading the ball..you seem to read the ball quite late so you tend to hit your strokes late more often.

Blake is spot on and just to add to those good comments. Forehand is mostly arm action and not a lot of upper body rotation. You are hitting it late imo but that could be your style. You tend to decel on the forehand too. Work on driving your shoulders through your shot and that will help you accelerate through. Backhand is smooth, but you could accelerate through a bit more on that shot too. Videos will help your footwork. I never knew how lazy I was until I watched a video of myself.

rosenstar
12-25-2009, 07:48 AM
Yes, two things I know geezer guy. Spinning is more of habit i've developed, but I don't feel like it hampers my game any. The anticipation is one thing I've really been trying to work on, I get easily winnered alot because I do not anticipate well or my lack of anticipation leaves me a sitting duck for my opponents next ball.

The spinning, whilst it is not a good habit is not a huge problem. I used to do the same when I was younger, and as I changed my strokes I worked it out of my game. This video doesn't tell us much other than you have decent strokes and poor footwork. A video showing the entire court would help us tell you how you can construct a point, what you can do differently, and actually comment on your match play, like you asked.

This deals with anticipating the ball too. I recommend learning Warlaw Directionals ASAP. Whether you just research it online, read the book (http://www.amazon.com/Pressure-Tennis-Paul-Wardlaw/dp/0736001565), or have your coach/pro teach it to you, you need to learn it. It tells you how to play percentage tennis and how to anticipate that the return based on your shot.

That being said, I think you should go after your serve a little more; not so much hit it harder, but try to get under the ball a little more, giving you both more arch and more action on the ball.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQunzY8AyEQ

^This video shows an aggressive, offensive serve, that will probably go in at least 90% of the time. Notice the kinetic chain, how smoothly the energy moves from his legs, to his core, to his shoulders. The entire motion is too complex to explain via message board, but you get basic idea - more aggressive and more arch and action on the ball.

LeeD
12-25-2009, 08:57 AM
Agree with your assessment of your skills.
Good backhand. OK forehand. Serve is DEFENSIVE, in my mind. Footwork is lazy. Anticipation is not there because you stop to look at your shots.
Serve. Like several 5.0's I know, you tend to barely move into the court, use an abbreviated followthru, and don't pronate nearly as much as you can. You should end up at least 2' inside the court on an offensive serve, and serve the way you do when you expect the return to come back hard and deep. If you expect the return to come back hard and deep, you are serving a defensive serve.
Forehand. Looks fine to me. Since you are playing a match, not purely hitting balls for fun and games, your lack of the full kinetic chain is OK. Idea in matches is to get the ball in, and you get the ball in high and deep, it seems. As a 4-4.5, you can't expect to use the whole kinetic chain IN MATCHES, all the time. That takes more time.

LafayetteHitter
12-25-2009, 10:44 AM
I would question the forehand racquet speed especially at ball contact and on the follow through. It looks as if you slow the racquet down just after contact.

LafayetteHitter
12-25-2009, 10:46 AM
Blake is spot on and just to add to those good comments. Forehand is mostly arm action and not a lot of upper body rotation. You are hitting it late imo but that could be your style. You tend to decel on the forehand too. Work on driving your shoulders through your shot and that will help you accelerate through. Backhand is smooth, but you could accelerate through a bit more on that shot too. Videos will help your footwork. I never knew how lazy I was until I watched a video of myself.

I noticed the same points about the forehand. Honestly though, I don't see how using that forehand someone could take out any 4.5 from our group of players here.

dlesser13
12-25-2009, 05:15 PM
Thank you all for the sound advice. I have plenty to work on in the coming months!

Bashi
12-25-2009, 06:35 PM
i realize this is just a short video, but near the beginning i noticed it looked like you were hitting it long. i would try tossing the ball a little farther in front of you.

Bashi
12-25-2009, 06:36 PM
i realize this is just a short video, but near the beginning i noticed it looked like you were hitting it long. i would try tossing the ball a little farther in front of you.

oh wow, i meant serving. sorry.

Rambler124
12-25-2009, 06:41 PM
Footwork. Footwork. Footwork.

Accelerate through contact on your serves. Forehand more body rotation.

Annnnd as my coach once told me. "Stop watching your shots. They aren't that good anyway."

Merry Christmas!

Bagumbawalla
12-25-2009, 08:30 PM
I looked like you hit (maybe) 2 pretty good looking backhands. Basically everything else (though not completely horrible) needs work.

I think in the hands of a good tennis instructor/coach you would improve quite a bit.

dlesser13
12-25-2009, 10:17 PM
i realize this is just a short video, but near the beginning i noticed it looked like you were hitting it long. i would try tossing the ball a little farther in front of you.


All serves in this video are in.

dlesser13
12-25-2009, 10:19 PM
I looked like you hit (maybe) 2 pretty good looking backhands. Basically everything else (though not completely horrible) needs work.

I think in the hands of a good tennis instructor/coach you would improve quite a bit.

Unfortanetly I don't have the time nor money to such a thing right now(college life) I do however have access to great hitters and players, some who can provide helpful insight and instruct me on little things, like the things mentioned in this thread, so it's not completely out of the question.

dlesser13
12-25-2009, 10:22 PM
Also I don't know if this is a common case or has happened to anyone else, but I feel like college has really hampered my game. I honestly feel like I'm playing some of the worst tennis of my life right now. My Sr year in high school, I played 1 line doubles and 4 singles in a competitive district(Austin,Texas 5A schools) and did pretty well. But the difference was I was hitting practically everyday for atleast 2 hours, since college I am lucky to get out 2-3 times a week now and hit for the same amount of time.

xFullCourtTenniSx
12-25-2009, 10:47 PM
1) Loosen your arms up on ALL of your strokes. Be more fluid and use a full stroke with a full follow through.

2) Get on your toes and start bouncing... Be active. Tennis is a SPORT! You don't do well in sports unless you're active.

3) Split step.