View Full Version : Staying on Toes Throughout Every Groundstroke?

01-05-2010, 02:00 PM
I'm actually quite baffled on this idea. Are you supposed to stay on your toes throughout your entire groundstroke, on both backhands and forehands? I remember BB stated something about this when posting about forehand technique on IwishIwasBetter's thread, but I wasn't sure if he meant you're supposed to stay on your toes during the ENTIRE forehand.

This video also threw me off: I was unsure whether or not Federer was just playing around.


At many times throughout this video, it appears that he is flat-footed on several strokes. Is this just him playing? Or did I not catch that he's still on his toes?

What is correct technique? On your toes ALL THE TIME? ...or you can put your heel down, specially when loading up on your shot?

01-05-2010, 02:13 PM
yeah i think BB means that you should stay on your toes prior to a stroke so that youre movement isnt hindered by being flat footed

if you think about it, you would be less balanced loading on your toes rather then your whole foot with the greater surface area

01-05-2010, 02:24 PM
Are you sure? On the last post of this page: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=3761723

BB referred to a photo of Nadal's prep before a stroke. He mentioned that Nadal is indeed on his toes. BB even mentions that since Nadal's on his toes in his left foot, he won't lean back and/or overpronate.

However, I'm still not sure; I need some clarification on this. =(

01-05-2010, 02:36 PM
i dont think you can be on your toes for a stroke the entire time.. possibly you might lift through the stroke with the momentum of the kinetic chain, but at some point, the foot would be planted

Im not sure what the purpose of staying on your toes would be throughout the entire stroke

01-05-2010, 02:45 PM
Well, of course. What I was trying to say was that this:

if you think about it, you would be less balanced loading on your toes rather then your whole foot with the greater surface area

Is this statement true? Do pros load up flat, as you state, or do pros load up on their toes? I do understand there is a kenetic chain, and of course you might have to hop a bit if the ball is rather high. If the ball were to be at waist length, however, should one transfer their weight on their toes, or on their entire foot prior to contact.

What confuses me is that video I posted earlier and the photo of Nadal, which appears unclear on whether he's actually loading on his toes or his entire foot.

01-05-2010, 03:26 PM
Nobody can stay on their toes the entire stroke, especially from prep thru followthru.
You have to have some full foot time, and that "toe" time is actually BALLS OF THE FEET, not toes.

01-05-2010, 03:34 PM
So, if you were given a rather comfortably fed ball, you would go a little full foot on the preparation? The rest of the follow-through, you would go on the balls of your feet, correct?

Sorry about the constant pursuit for a clear answer; I just realized my footwork on my groundstrokes are simply too flat footed, and I should stay on my toes a lot more. (Ok, balls of your feet is more accurate.)

01-05-2010, 03:36 PM
Push off with full foot, until you end up unloaded or on the balls of your feet.
The other foot, now loaded, is fully flat on the ground, or jumped up in the air.

01-05-2010, 10:41 PM
As LeeD says, you should be on the "balls of the feet" rather than your "toes" at appropriate times. To play on your toes would require your to do this:


01-05-2010, 10:42 PM
Note that every time Federer executes a split-step in the video (above), his heels stay off the ground for the most part when he lands -- he is on the "balls of his feet".

01-05-2010, 10:47 PM
^^ and even then, that clip is probably not the best example since he is known to put not much effort in practice compared to how he really moves in matches.. but as you say, he still manages to keep the heels up in the split