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View Full Version : Critique My Strokes [Video] - All feedback is welcomed


i_heart_ib
10-10-2011, 04:27 PM
I am a high school tennis player getting ready for Districts tournament. My friend says that I am a 4.0 rated player, but I dont really care about my rating that much. What I do care about is trying to fix my stroke mechanics. If you notice anything that I can fix in my swing (or my feet for that matter), please give me some constructive criticism! Thanks.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DimC0PoYKSQ

dozu
10-10-2011, 04:35 PM
wall hit doesn't really tell much.

4.0 or about seems right... if you are getting ready for a tourney, stroke mechanics would be the last thing you wonna worry about.

from playing against kids of your age... I say the biggest issue is generally the lack of strategy and game management... over hitting, poor shot selection etc.

you may want to just have a simple game plan, and practice on implementing that plan before the tournament.

the stroke mechanics stuff, you can fix later.

i_heart_ib
10-10-2011, 06:11 PM
4.0 or about seems right... if you are getting ready for a tourney, stroke mechanics would be the last thing you wonna worry about.



Yeah, I know that I wont be able to fix my stroke in time for my tourney in 2 weeks. However, I still want to learn what I am doing wrong with my stroke mechanics so I can fix them before my offseason tourneys in a few months :)

BagelMe
10-10-2011, 06:31 PM
Your elbow is right against your body on the forehand side. It reminds me of a chicken wing....

RoddickAce
10-10-2011, 07:11 PM
I think you can add a loop to your backhand backswing.

For your serve, I think you can benefit by keeping your left arm up longer and much more vertical. This promotes shoulder rotation.

Also for your serve, your weight is shifting forwards before you have loaded up in your legs, this will cause balance and timing issues. If you look at Roddick's serve: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZbxKuLEP_o , he starts to shift his weight forward when he is uncoiling from his trophy position.

Also, after you serve, you land with your weight quite a bit to your left, which will also cause balance issues.

Good luck with your tournament!

i_heart_ib
10-10-2011, 07:34 PM
I think you can add a loop to your backhand backswing.

For your serve, I think you can benefit by keeping your left arm up longer and much more vertical. This promotes shoulder rotation.

Also for your serve, your weight is shifting forwards before you have loaded up in your legs, this will cause balance and timing issues. If you look at Roddick's serve: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZbxKuLEP_o , he starts to shift his weight forward when he is uncoiling from his trophy position.

Also, after you serve, you land with your weight quite a bit to your left, which will also cause balance issues.

Good luck with your tournament!

Thanks! This is exactly the type of feedback I wanted =D

pondus
10-11-2011, 03:23 AM
you can find lots of great players who succeed without adding a loop to their backswing. This is not a required fundamental. Don't let this advice distract you. But you'll need to provide film of you in a playing situation so see how you set up to the challenegin high bouncing or wide ball and how those strokes hold up under pressure in an open context. Learning tennis is not like learning the piano... we're dealing with an open skill, so you need to show yourself in an open context for any useful feedback that will be helpful to improving. With that low forehand finish of yours, I wonder how you handle a high bouncer with tons of topspin that gets past your strike zone and is caught at shoulder level.

Vik
10-11-2011, 06:24 AM
You look very stiff legged on groundstrokes and serves.
Get your knees bent a little more as you prepare for each stroke/serve. Will help your footwork and improve your power. Drive with the legs on the serve.

Mikeadelic
10-11-2011, 06:26 AM
Ok ib... you ready?

Forehand:
Extend your elbow out on the follow-through, towards where you hit. This does not mean the extension is generated by your arm. Your elbow should extend towards the target as a natural result of the uncoiling you achieve from your legs and outside hip (Outside hip = hip that is on the same side as the stroke you're hitting).

Backhand:
Your left leg does a little ballerina move that throws your lower body's momentum in the opposite direction of your swing. Your outside hip should come through more and drag that left side of the body (along with the leg) towards the target. Djokovic's BH is a very good example of what I'm talking about. The only time that your left leg may kick back on a 2H-BH is for one of the those flashy, jumping backhands, but generally you shouldn't use them unless you're in a pinch. Also, your elbows need to extend away from your body as a natural result of uncoiling your legs/outside hip (same as your FH).

For both FH/BH - Forget about focusing so much on backswing. Focus on the follow-through. All of the people who have problems with their strokes should worry more about a bad follow-through. The backswing, even on the pro tour, comes in all forms and shapes. But the follow-through all have a common fundamental - they extend towards the target. Whether you have an outside-the-shoulder FH follow-through like Federer, an in-between-neck-and-shoulder textbook finish like Djokovic, or over-the-head follow-through like Nadal, slow down their videos and look at their elbows. They all extend toward the target and away from their bodies.

Serve:
Tennis Channel's one-minute-clinic tip - get your hip forward. From the side view, your body should look like ")", with the hip represented by the most protruding part of the parenthesis. I call it "hip-faulting" when I teach my students.

Good luck at districts, then come back and work on your techniques!

i_heart_ib
10-11-2011, 07:48 AM
Ok ib... you ready?

Forehand:
Extend your elbow out on the follow-through, towards where you hit. This does not mean the extension is generated by your arm. Your elbow should extend towards the target as a natural result of the uncoiling you achieve from your legs and outside hip (Outside hip = hip that is on the same side as the stroke you're hitting).

Backhand:
Your left leg does a little ballerina move that throws your lower body's momentum in the opposite direction of your swing. Your outside hip should come through more and drag that left side of the body (along with the leg) towards the target. Djokovic's BH is a very good example of what I'm talking about. The only time that your left leg may kick back on a 2H-BH is for one of the those flashy, jumping backhands, but generally you shouldn't use them unless you're in a pinch. Also, your elbows need to extend away from your body as a natural result of uncoiling your legs/outside hip (same as your FH).

For both FH/BH - Forget about focusing so much on backswing. Focus on the follow-through. All of the people who have problems with their strokes should worry more about a bad follow-through. The backswing, even on the pro tour, comes in all forms and shapes. But the follow-through all have a common fundamental - they extend towards the target. Whether you have an outside-the-shoulder FH follow-through like Federer, an in-between-neck-and-shoulder textbook finish like Djokovic, or over-the-head follow-through like Nadal, slow down their videos and look at their elbows. They all extend toward the target and away from their bodies.

Serve:
Tennis Channel's one-minute-clinic tip - get your hip forward. From the side view, your body should look like ")", with the hip represented by the most protruding part of the parenthesis. I call it "hip-faulting" when I teach my students.

Good luck at districts, then come back and work on your techniques!

Thanks!

Would rotating the wrist more on the followthrough help the elbow stick out towards the target? (on forehands and backhands)

Mikeadelic
10-11-2011, 08:45 AM
ib... once you start thinking about the wrist, your arms will start doing all sorts of funny things. The most cliched but useful tip for tennis is to think of your arms as whips. They are merely a tunnel to release the energy generated from uncoiling your torso / hips / legs. Once you start thinking about "rolling" or "rotating" the wrist, your arm starts to muscle the ball which ends up with an unnatural follow-through.

Limpinhitter
10-11-2011, 09:17 AM
I am a high school tennis player getting ready for Districts tournament. My friend says that I am a 4.0 rated player, but I dont really care about my rating that much. What I do care about is trying to fix my stroke mechanics. If you notice anything that I can fix in my swing (or my feet for that matter), please give me some constructive criticism! Thanks.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DimC0PoYKSQ

I think your strokes look pretty good. Here are my observations:

- You look a bit cramped on both sides. Try maintaining the same "slight" bend in your elbow throughout your windup, contact and follow through, and set up about 6 inches further away from the ball than you are now, and see if that helps to free up your strokes.

- On the forehand, your arm and upper body rotation are a bit disconnected. You are accelerating your UBR too quickly, and, IMO, your UBR is too far ahead of your swing. The timing of your UBR and your arm swing should be more together so that the rotation of the upper body assists with adding mass (the weight of your upper body) to your swing. As it is, you are wasting your UBR by letting it get ahead of your arm swing, leaving your arm to swing unassisted. Try gradually accelerating (from slow to fast) both UBR and arm swing together, rather than snapping your upper body around ahead of your arm.

- On the backhand, IMO, you should use a circular windup to help with your timing, and to aid in getting the racquet below the level of the ball.

- Your serve indicates that you don't have a good throwing motion and probably never played any throwing sports. I would recommend practicing throwing tennis balls in to the service boxes from the serving position behind the baseline to develop a better throwing motion. While doing this, think about turning your upper body away from the target in the windup and tilting your spine angle away from the target. On the forward throw, turn your upper body back toward the target and tilt your spine angle back toward the target - together with the forward throw. Do this a few dozen times before each serve practice session before you pick up the racquet, and replicate those techniques with racquet in hand.

i_heart_ib
10-12-2011, 06:01 PM
I think your strokes look pretty good. Here are my observations:

- You look a bit cramped on both sides. Try maintaining the same "slight" bend in your elbow throughout your windup, contact and follow through, and set up about 6 inches further away from the ball than you are now, and see if that helps to free up your strokes.

- On the forehand, your arm and upper body rotation are a bit disconnected. You are accelerating your UBR too quickly, and, IMO, your UBR is too far ahead of your swing. The timing of your UBR and your arm swing should be more together so that the rotation of the upper body assists with adding mass (the weight of your upper body) to your swing. As it is, you are wasting your UBR by letting it get ahead of your arm swing, leaving your arm to swing unassisted. Try gradually accelerating (from slow to fast) both UBR and arm swing together, rather than snapping your upper body around ahead of your arm.

- On the backhand, IMO, you should use a circular windup to help with your timing, and to aid in getting the racquet below the level of the ball.

- Your serve indicates that you don't have a good throwing motion and probably never played any throwing sports. I would recommend practicing throwing tennis balls in to the service boxes from the serving position behind the baseline to develop a better throwing motion. While doing this, think about turning your upper body away from the target in the windup and tilting your spine angle away from the target. On the forward throw, turn your upper body back toward the target and tilt your spine angle back toward the target - together with the forward throw. Do this a few dozen times before each serve practice session before you pick up the racquet, and replicate those techniques with racquet in hand.

Thanks! Good stuff!

onehandbh
10-12-2011, 06:24 PM
On your serve, keep your tossing arm up longer. This will help give you
a sort of archer's bow shape to your body. Bring the arm down as you
begin to swing up at the ball. Think of the motion like a center fielder
throwing from deep center field to home plate but with a 45 degree angle
of trajectory on the ball.

TennisCJC
10-13-2011, 09:42 AM
Also for your serve, your weight is shifting forwards before you have loaded up in your legs, this will cause balance and timing issues. If you look at Roddick's serve: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZbxKuLEP_o , he starts to shift his weight forward when he is uncoiling from his trophy position.

Tip above is very good. Around 37 seconds in video, you can see Roddick has weight on back foot well after ball is released. He then loads up with good balance and shifts forward. I have noticed Fed does this too. He releases the ball with weight on back foot, then shifts forward and loads knee bend a bit more after toss is gone. They both keep excellent balance.

Chas Tennis
10-14-2011, 10:06 AM
I am a high school tennis player getting ready for Districts tournament. My friend says that I am a 4.0 rated player, but I dont really care about my rating that much. What I do care about is trying to fix my stroke mechanics. If you notice anything that I can fix in my swing (or my feet for that matter), please give me some constructive criticism! Thanks.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DimC0PoYKSQ

Your ground strokes use, I guess, the new windshield wiper strokes on both sides. I don't know enough yet about those strokes to comment other than to say that your strokes seem reproducible and that is very important.

One thing that I would double check - Should your right elbow stay that snug to your body through the finish on your 2H backhand? It seems (?) that I see most pros follow through much more freely. Get some model strokes on the internet to compare that point. If you are trying to duplicate some stroke compare videos of your stroke to pros and list the differences. I find plenty to work on in my videos. You can also do DVR stop action on most tennis broadcasts and step through the pro ground strokes. On Tennis Channel the ground strokes are good to step through but the serve has to be seen from behind with luck in order to see the arm, racket & ball at impact. Kinovea is a free open source software that allows for side-by-side stroke comparisons.

[Of course, against most advice I understand that Borg did his own thing developing topspin strokes on both sides to great success so............]

I could see your ground strokes reasonably well. As usual, when I try to look at the serve in TW Forum Youtube videos made with standard frames rates it is impossible to see the most important parts of the serve. YT compression & site limitations make stop action frame-by-frame analysis difficult, even with high speed video. The most important serve motions would be internal shoulder rotation and how the racket strings meet the ball for various serve types, kick, slice, etc. All that I can see in your serve videos around impact are before and after frames with motion blur. I could see the slower body positioning and motion and did not see glaring problems. However, you should compare to the many serves on the internet. You cannot observe internal shoulder rotation in videos of this speed. If you intend to pursue video for your tennis consider a high speed video camera (~240fps at ~$300 and look for one with MANUAL shutter speed control).

Example 240 fps video on serve - http://vimeo.com/27528347