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View Full Version : Leaning back on my forehand


wjh546157
09-19-2011, 06:06 AM
I have spent the last 6 months learning the modern 'wind shield wiper' forehand (which has seen the standard of my game and confidence fall to rock bottom). I've had to unlearn yrs and yrs of muscle memory, as I was taught tennis in the 80s when it was all closed stance / eastern grip FH type stuff).

Happy to say that I'm almost there and am really enjoying hitting the ball hard with good net clearance - it was definitely worth the pain!

My problem is that I find myself falling/leaning backwards a lot when using the open stance (which of course causes errors, which quickly takes away my shallow confidence in the stroke - and before you know it I've tightened up horribly and can't hit for toffee).

Does anyone know a fix for this please?

fuzz nation
09-19-2011, 07:08 AM
I've been intrigued with how a few of the kids I've been around have gone to camps or done programs with "high level" coaches that advocate the open stance and WW style forehand. It seems as though the coaches concentrate strongly on how to swing at the ball, but often neglect how to build the stroke with strong footwork. More than one or two of these developing kids seem to learn this modern stoke only from the waist up.

One habit that can creep in with that open stance is setting the racquet-side foot too far out in front - for a righty forehand, that's the right foot. This can work when the hitter moves forward to a short ball and carries forward momentum into the stroke, but it can really "put on the brakes" when moving laterally to a ball.

I think that a good cue to look for is the feeling of your weight rolling off the inside edge of that racquet-side foot as you drive through the rotation of the stroke. That can be especially helpful for getting out of reverse, since your foot needs to generally be planted somewhere ranging from out beside you to diagonally back behind you to feel your weight unload off that instep. Think of that pushing off as sort of stepping on your gas pedal for when you accelerate your racquet.

LeeD
09-19-2011, 09:52 AM
If you can lean back EVERY time on EVERY forehand, you will have adopted the Spanish counterpuncher styles of Verdasco, Ferrer, and most of the Spanish contigent. It's another way to play high balls and sustain rallies.

Power Player
09-19-2011, 10:39 AM
LeeD I have been doing this lately and many times it feels "wrong", yet I generate a lot of power from an open stance. So you could be onto something there.

LeeD
09-19-2011, 01:26 PM
I know it's counter to everyone who teaches here in America, but there are an amazing # of Spanish tennis players, and Latins in general, who grew up on clay facing high bouncing balls, and who have adopted this backfoot hitting style. And in the top 100, there must be at least a quarter who use this technique most of the time for general rallying and sustaining points.
Now for sure, some Latin players don't adopt this "defensive" ideology" of hitting style, but those are generally more aggressive with the ball, but not necessarily better players.
In the top levels, a certainly level of DEFENSE is needed to succeed. Leaning on the backfoot allows consistency against the high balls, and when the players choose to step in in balance, they just swing harder and really crack the ball.
Just my view, which is often askewered.

Power Player
09-19-2011, 01:29 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJTFLGgwi2U

LeeD, this is my forehand on har tru.

LeeD
09-19-2011, 01:33 PM
Very JimCourierish!
I like it, like that you stabilize off that rear foot, and push off hard with the swing. Especially like the fast replicable forehand swing. I swing like BradGilbert a lot of times, not fast, not slow, but enough to make dumb mistakes doing both ends of the spectrum and excelling in neither.

Power Player
09-19-2011, 04:51 PM
Thanks, it has given me a lot of power, spin and consistency. I am transitioning from a more closed stance, so the footwork is still in progress.

Cheetah
09-19-2011, 10:28 PM
Very JimCourierish!
I like it, like that you stabilize off that rear foot, and push off hard with the swing. Especially like the fast replicable forehand swing. I swing like BradGilbert a lot of times, not fast, not slow, but enough to make dumb mistakes doing both ends of the spectrum and excelling in neither.

Jim Courierish? How does that resemble Jim Courier's swing?
... ok i see what you mean. I think his prep looks a little like Couriers. But that's about it.

Swing path looks pretty good to me but you should work on that weight transfer thing. It's like I can see the weight transfer stopping half way and then you just 'land on your left foot' because it's hanging up in the air.
I'm sure someone else will chime in who can explain it better than me or maybe you already realize it. I think you'd have a much better, more consistent and less arm-y shot if you'd get more forward weight transfer into it.

Clay lover
09-19-2011, 10:46 PM
LeeD is correct on this one. Lots of players lean back during open stance WW rallies, especially claycourters. It is a very safe way to handle high topspin balls. Got a high ball? Lean back and brush up against the ball! You have more time to set up and hit the ball (as opposed to if you use linear momentum where it will be VERY HARD to hit the ball if you don't take it on the rise) and the burshing up element generates topspin giving you margin for error.

But the thing about pros is they know when to step in and take control of the point.

Cheetah
09-20-2011, 01:03 AM
Here's a vid of verdasco in a rally w/ roddick from 2010. Yes he does seem to lean back a bit. Gets more weight transfer into the shot than the OP but yea i can see what you mean.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSnrOoheWEE&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PL8083F0EADE13B82F

Power Player
09-20-2011, 05:35 AM
Jim Courierish? How does that resemble Jim Courier's swing?
... ok i see what you mean. I think his prep looks a little like Couriers. But that's about it.

Swing path looks pretty good to me but you should work on that weight transfer thing. It's like I can see the weight transfer stopping half way and then you just 'land on your left foot' because it's hanging up in the air.
I'm sure someone else will chime in who can explain it better than me or maybe you already realize it. I think you'd have a much better, more consistent and less arm-y shot if you'd get more forward weight transfer into it.

Thanks, but I am not really looking for coaching tips or anything, I saw my weight was a little back and highlighted that in the vid. I was working on taking deeper balls on clay with the open stance, which applies to the thread. I also step in as well when I can..probably looked for that shot too much in the past.

Limpinhitter
09-20-2011, 09:11 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJTFLGgwi2U

LeeD, this is my forehand on har tru.

You seem to finish on your back foot on deeper balls that you take on the rise. You transfer your weight better when you contact the ball on its decline.

Power Player
09-20-2011, 09:24 AM
Yes I agree.

And I used to (and still do, just not as much) step in with a more closed stance as well. The better the competition, the less time I have to set that up.