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Lyzerd
10-17-2011, 03:13 PM
What are some tips to developing a "windshield wiper" forehand after playing with a classic forehand? I seem to hit with too much spin and not enough follow through on the stroke. The obvious correction is to hit more through the ball but when I try that I revert back to a classic forehand.

LeeD
10-17-2011, 03:19 PM
Since you need to find a compromise in your swingpath, you can choose either a flatter swing with less pronation or a change in grip to less SW and more towards strong E, with a flatter swingpath.
You're overdoing the "down and up" in your stroke.

Limpinhitter
10-17-2011, 04:34 PM
What are some tips to developing a "windshield wiper" forehand after playing with a classic forehand? I seem to hit with too much spin and not enough follow through on the stroke. The obvious correction is to hit more through the ball but when I try that I revert back to a classic forehand.

I think I've made a pretty successful transition from old school Eastern drive to modern WW forehand. What I've learned and been taught is that you can't really force or manipulate the WW finish. Rather, it is the natural result of a combination of things that differentiate a modern fh from an Eastern drive:

- Open stance
- SW grip
- Full upper body rotation back and forth
- Keep your elbow in tight to the body on the windup ala Nadal
- Lead the forward swing with the right hip (if you're a righty) and the right elbow together
- Finish with the elbow high and past the target line

Another thing that I recently discovered is that keeping a relaxed grip, even during contact, has been very helpful in my execution. Also, with a SW grip, it helps to get down lower than normal to handle low, hard hit, penetrating balls.

Hope this helps!

Frank Silbermann
10-17-2011, 07:44 PM
What are some tips to developing a "windshield wiper" forehand after playing with a classic forehand? I seem to hit with too much spin and not enough follow through on the stroke. The obvious correction is to hit more through the ball but when I try that I revert back to a classic forehand. According to Doug King's video, the power comes hip moving forward as your body uncoils and straightens.

My suggestion is that you first try to hit the ball using virtually no arm motion whatsoever -- only trunk movement. (It's like an exaggerated version of Jimmy Connors' forehand.) When you start getting adequate power and depth, then add the counter-clockwise (for right-handers) arm rotation that moves the racket low-to-high during contact and then continues up and over to the left.

With the classic technique (or, as teaching experts long referred to it: the "correct technique"), both the trunk and the arm contribute to forward motion. That approach developed for wood rackets with tiny and rather dead sweet spots. (But as Jimmy Connors demonstrated, if you had lots of trunk rotation then you didn't need much arm motion even back then.) Today's rackets -- and increased trunk rotation -- let the players dedicate the arm motion to topspin.

Of course, if all you're doing is the arm motion, then you're going to get all spin and little penetration -- even with today's lively rackets.

rkelley
10-17-2011, 09:02 PM
I think I've made a pretty successful transition from old school Eastern drive to modern WW forehand. What I've learned and been taught is that you can't really force or manipulate the WW finish. Rather, it is the natural result of a combination of things that differentiate a modern fh from an Eastern drive:

- Open stance
- SW grip
- Full upper body rotation back and forth
- Keep your elbow in tight to the body on the windup ala Nadal
- Lead the forward swing with the right hip (if you're a righty) and the right elbow together
- Finish with the elbow high and past the target line

Another thing that I recently discovered is that keeping a relaxed grip, even during contact, has been very helpful in my execution. Also, with a SW grip, it helps to get down lower than normal to handle low, hard hit, penetrating balls.

Hope this helps!

I made the change from an old school to a modern (aka WW) swing path. With the greatest respect, I'd like to disagree with some of the above.

- An open stance is not a requirement for a modern forehand. You can hit it from any stance from closed to open, and in actual fact you should be able to do this because the ability to adjust your stance and still hit a good ball is one of the strengths of the modern forehand. The key to the whole thing is that regardless of your stance you need to get your shoulders and hips turned.

Dave Smith (Tennis Mastery) recommends starting with a traditional closed stance to learn the swing path. As you become more proficient with it you'll find that hitting from an open stance is a pretty easy adjustment. The advantage to an open stance is that when you really want to murder a ball the momentum of your core is going to rotate your hips and shoulders past the point where they're facing your opponent. An open stance allows this to happen more easily. Eventually you'll find that you'll be hitting a lot in more open stances than closed, but the open stance is not a requirement.

- The SW grip is also not a requirement for a modern forehand. You can use any grip from Eastern to Western and still generate the swing path. That said, SW is the most popular grip among the pros. It's probably the grip that best balances easy access to topspin, ability to hit low and high balls, and the ability to flatten it out when desired. If you're using Eastern now you can just keep using it. It will be easier to flatten out and low balls will be no problem. You'll really have to pronate your wrist to get the WW motion, but you can put a freakin' lot of topspin on the ball with that grip. My son uses an Eastern grip and he can hit hard-hit balls that will kick up to my head (no rainbow floaters here). Again, Dave Smith advocates starting with an Eastern. As you progress you will probably start moving your grip more Western naturally, but you don't have to.

- Elbow tight to the body - I'm not too sure about this. You certainly don't want it sticking way out, but I never think about keeping it tucked either. Actually I hold the racquet throat with my left hand and fully extend my left arm across my body parallel to the baseline. This forces my shoulders to turn and tends to extend my right arm as well, though not as much as my left. I turn the racquet face toward the side fence and let go with my left hand. At that point my right arm continues back to finish the prep. I think this is a pretty textbook set-up, though there are certainly other variations that are totally acceptable.

Here's a youtube video of Janko Tipsarevic hitting forehands. This guy has become my poster child for a classic modern forehand (thanks Ash). No frills, no extra motions, but all the necessary parts.

Frank Silbermann
10-18-2011, 03:50 AM
- The SW grip is also not a requirement for a modern forehand. You can use any grip from Eastern to Western and still generate the swing path. That said, SW is the most popular grip among the pros. It's probably the grip that best balances easy access to topspin, ability to hit low and high balls, and the ability to flatten it out when desired. If you're using Eastern now you can just keep using it. It will be easier to flatten out and low balls will be no problem. You'll really have to pronate your wrist to get the WW motion, but you can put a freakin' lot of topspin on the ball with that grip. My son uses an Eastern grip and he can hit hard-hit balls that will kick up to my head (no rainbow floaters here). Again, Dave Smith advocates starting with an Eastern. As you progress you will probably start moving your grip more Western naturally, but you don't have to.
I agree with everything else you wrote; the ability to hit from any stance is one reason it's so much easier to cover the court and to hit inside-out using forehands (as contrasted with one-handed backhands).

However, what you say about grip depends on how you define "Eastern." If you mean like Eastern like Federer, then yes. If you mean Eastern like the 1970s textbooks demonstrated it (index knuckle at the top edge of the wide rear vertical panel, heel on the narrow angled bevel above that), then it's going to be very difficult. It won't be impossible; Rod Laver and Tom Okker did it even using the continental grip. But it's easiest if the heel of the hand drops at least down to the middle of the broad rear vertical panel. (That's how Bill Tilden defined the Eastern grip, but by the early 1970s coaches were referring to it as semi-western -- hence their description of Bjorn Bork as having a "Western-grip forehand".)

Limpinhitter
10-18-2011, 03:36 PM
I made the change from an old school to a modern (aka WW) swing path. With the greatest respect, I'd like to disagree with some of the above.

- An open stance is not a requirement for a modern forehand. You can hit it from any stance from closed to open, and in actual fact you should be able to do this because the ability to adjust your stance and still hit a good ball is one of the strengths of the modern forehand. The key to the whole thing is that regardless of your stance you need to get your shoulders and hips turned.

Dave Smith (Tennis Mastery) recommends starting with a traditional closed stance to learn the swing path. As you become more proficient with it you'll find that hitting from an open stance is a pretty easy adjustment. The advantage to an open stance is that when you really want to murder a ball the momentum of your core is going to rotate your hips and shoulders past the point where they're facing your opponent. An open stance allows this to happen more easily. Eventually you'll find that you'll be hitting a lot in more open stances than closed, but the open stance is not a requirement.

- The SW grip is also not a requirement for a modern forehand. You can use any grip from Eastern to Western and still generate the swing path. That said, SW is the most popular grip among the pros. It's probably the grip that best balances easy access to topspin, ability to hit low and high balls, and the ability to flatten it out when desired. If you're using Eastern now you can just keep using it. It will be easier to flatten out and low balls will be no problem. You'll really have to pronate your wrist to get the WW motion, but you can put a freakin' lot of topspin on the ball with that grip. My son uses an Eastern grip and he can hit hard-hit balls that will kick up to my head (no rainbow floaters here). Again, Dave Smith advocates starting with an Eastern. As you progress you will probably start moving your grip more Western naturally, but you don't have to.

- Elbow tight to the body - I'm not too sure about this. You certainly don't want it sticking way out, but I never think about keeping it tucked either. Actually I hold the racquet throat with my left hand and fully extend my left arm across my body parallel to the baseline. This forces my shoulders to turn and tends to extend my right arm as well, though not as much as my left. I turn the racquet face toward the side fence and let go with my left hand. At that point my right arm continues back to finish the prep. I think this is a pretty textbook set-up, though there are certainly other variations that are totally acceptable.

Here's a youtube video of Janko Tipsarevic hitting forehands. This guy has become my poster child for a classic modern forehand (thanks Ash). No frills, no extra motions, but all the necessary parts.

I was explaining to the OP the elements that helped me transform from old school Eastern drive to modern SW forehand. There are no frills, extra motions or unecessary parts to it. In fact, it is quite simple and rudimental. You can disagree if you like, but, these elements are nearly universal among the pros, and my results speak for themselves.

PS: Since you held up Janko Tipsaravic as a model forehand, here is a video of his forehand using every element I listed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-R3PJaev3AA

rkelley
10-18-2011, 10:44 PM
I agree with everything else you wrote; the ability to hit from any stance is one reason it's so much easier to cover the court and to hit inside-out using forehands (as contrasted with one-handed backhands).

However, what you say about grip depends on how you define "Eastern." If you mean like Eastern like Federer, then yes. If you mean Eastern like the 1970s textbooks demonstrated it (index knuckle at the top edge of the wide rear vertical panel, heel on the narrow angled bevel above that), then it's going to be very difficult. It won't be impossible; Rod Laver and Tom Okker did it even using the continental grip. But it's easiest if the heel of the hand drops at least down to the middle of the broad rear vertical panel. (That's how Bill Tilden defined the Eastern grip, but by the early 1970s coaches were referring to it as semi-western -- hence their description of Bjorn Bork as having a "Western-grip forehand".)

I'm defining Eastern as the index knuckle squarely on bevel 3.

rkelley
10-18-2011, 11:00 PM
I was explaining to the OP the elements that helped me transform from old school Eastern drive to modern SW forehand. There are no frills, extra motions or unecessary parts to it. In fact, it is quite simple and rudimental. You can disagree if you like, but, these elements are nearly universal among the pros, and my results speak for themselves.

PS: Since you held up Janko Tipsaravic as a model forehand, here is a video of his forehand using every element I listed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-R3PJaev3AA

Limpinhitter, that's fine. As I said in my overly wordy response, the SW grip and the open stance are very common elements of pro forehands. However neither is a required element, that's all I was trying to say.

Federer and Fish use Eastern or strong Eastern grips. Djokovic and others use an almost pure Western grip. And every pro hits forehands in both open and closed stances. The thing I believe that defines the modern forehand is the swing path including the wrist pronation at contact to generate topspin. The prep, the off arm motions, and the follow through are also important. These are the key differences between the old school forehands and the modern. The swing path is where the magic lies.

I just wanted to be clearer about those elements. If someone is starting the journey from old school to modern and uses a SW grip and an open stance, but is still using the old swing path, you aren't going to see the benefit - it might even be worse. However if you're hitting with an Eastern grip and a closed stance, but with the modern swing path will get you the benefits of greater topspin and pace offered by the modern forehand. More open stances and more Western grips can follow later after the swing path has been learned.

DeShaun
10-18-2011, 11:11 PM
Be moving consciously onto your front foot or be on it already by the time you finally are swatting the ball in front of you with heavy upwards brush, don't become rooted in a semi-open stance thinking wrongly if only you plant well and get much unit turn or rotational momentum from a wide base you'll be able to drive the ball...no, instead make sure you're getting on your front foot and get that back foot well off the ground when you make contact.

Frank Silbermann
10-19-2011, 10:41 AM
One key is not to try to force the windshield-wiper finish, and don't try to use forearm pronation to get the upward motion. Use your shoulder to generate the upward motion via the swing path, and let the upward-and-over motion force the pronation of your relaxed forearm in the follow-through.

And rely on trunk rotation for most of the forward momentum.

Limpinhitter
10-19-2011, 07:59 PM
Limpinhitter, that's fine. As I said in my overly wordy response, the SW grip and the open stance are very common elements of pro forehands. However neither is a required element, that's all I was trying to say.

Federer and Fish use Eastern or strong Eastern grips. Djokovic and others use an almost pure Western grip. And every pro hits forehands in both open and closed stances. The thing I believe that defines the modern forehand is the swing path including the wrist pronation at contact to generate topspin. The prep, the off arm motions, and the follow through are also important. These are the key differences between the old school forehands and the modern. The swing path is where the magic lies.

I just wanted to be clearer about those elements. If someone is starting the journey from old school to modern and uses a SW grip and an open stance, but is still using the old swing path, you aren't going to see the benefit - it might even be worse. However if you're hitting with an Eastern grip and a closed stance, but with the modern swing path will get you the benefits of greater topspin and pace offered by the modern forehand. More open stances and more Western grips can follow later after the swing path has been learned.

I agree that a modern forehand can be hit with an Eastern grip. I also agree that the swing path is the biggest difference between an old school drive and a modern WW forehand.

However, I have found that trying to manipulate or force the swing path or WW follow-through just doesn't work. Rather, by employing the elements that I enumerated, especially the open stance, the modern swing path and WW follow through are automatic. YMMV.

As for a closed stance, as I've explained in detail on other threads, IMO, a closed stance on the forehand is a technical flaw whether you are hitting an old school drive, continental wrist flick, or a modern WW forehand. In addition to the other limitations inherent with a closed stance forehand, unless you are extraordinarily flexible, you can't get the full modern finish with a closed stance that you can with an open stance.

Limpinhitter
10-19-2011, 08:04 PM
One key is not to try to force the windshield-wiper finish, and don't try to use forearm pronation to get the upward motion. Use your shoulder to generate the upward motion via the swing path, and let the upward-and-over motion force the pronation of your relaxed forearm in the follow-through.

And rely on trunk rotation for most of the forward momentum.

All true! But, I would submit that this is a more complete list of the essential elements of the modern forehand:

- Open stance
- SW grip
- Full upper body rotation back and forth (trunk rotation)
- Keep your elbow in tight to the body on the windup ala Nadal
- Lead the forward swing with the right hip (if you're a righty) and the right elbow
- Finish with the elbow high and past the target line (using the shoulder)

5263
10-20-2011, 02:54 PM
One key is not to try to force the windshield-wiper finish, and don't try to use forearm pronation to get the upward motion. Use your shoulder to generate the upward motion via the swing path, and let the upward-and-over motion force the pronation of your relaxed forearm in the follow-through.

And rely on trunk rotation for most of the forward momentum.

So Frank, You use the WW?

rkelley
10-20-2011, 03:55 PM
I agree that a modern forehand can be hit with an Eastern grip. I also agree that the swing path is the biggest difference between an old school drive and a modern WW forehand.

However, I have found that trying to manipulate or force the swing path or WW follow-through just doesn't work. Rather, by employing the elements that I enumerated, especially the open stance, the modern swing path and WW follow through are automatic. YMMV.

As for a closed stance, as I've explained in detail on other threads, IMO, a closed stance on the forehand is a technical flaw whether you are hitting an old school drive, continental wrist flick, or a modern WW forehand. In addition to the other limitations inherent with a closed stance forehand, unless you are extraordinarily flexible, you can't get the full modern finish with a closed stance that you can with an open stance.

It occurred to me that perhaps we using the term closed differently. I've seen some different definitions for closed stance, and there's also neutral. The definitions that make the most sense are:


If the line between your feet is 90 to the baseline, that is neutral
If the line between your feet pointing past 90, with your front foot more towards your dominant side, than that's closed.


Unfortunately I haven't been following that convention. Apologies.

So to clarify, I think neutral stance forehands are fine and get used a lot. Actual closed stance would become pretty awkward because it gets difficult to open your hips enough to finish the stroke, especially if it's very extreme.

Again, sorry for any confusion I created.

5263
10-20-2011, 06:47 PM
It occurred to me that perhaps we using the term closed differently. I've seen some different definitions for closed stance, and there's also neutral. The definitions that make the most sense are:


If the line between your feet is 90 to the baseline, that is neutral
If the line between your feet pointing past 90, with your front foot more towards your dominant side, than that's closed.


Unfortunately I haven't been following that convention. Apologies.

So to clarify, I think neutral stance forehands are fine and get used a lot. Actual closed stance would become pretty awkward because it gets difficult to open your hips enough to finish the stroke, especially if it's very extreme.

Again, sorry for any confusion I created.
Even the neutral stance is not ideal for a good ww Fh and when the pros use it, they usually lift and land open to compensate for this flaw.

Frank Silbermann
10-22-2011, 08:04 PM
So Frank, You use the WW? I think I am beginning to do that much of the time, but I'm not really that conscious of it. I would have to video-tape myself to be sure. It might be more of an "over-the-shoulder" follow-through.

When I consciously tried to do a WW-follow-throught, I failed miserably. In the old days, I also often hit poorly when I tried to swing forward at the ball, and to get my control back I would have to minimize the arm and just use trunk rotation to swing the racket forward. But I've been doing much better lately by combining a trunk rotation around a near-vertical axis with shoulder rotation around a near-horizontal axis. Two separate concurrent circles. The path of the racket is the sum of the two vectors, but I concentrate on the two components rather than the result.

hawk eye
10-23-2011, 05:17 AM
Looks like this WW/modern forehand stuff has become really high tech. Sometimes i wonder if most rec players who have problems mastering this ( alot, looking at this board) despite spending hours in practice aren't better off with some more volley drills instead, adopting a (slice) forehand approach and rush the net. Up until 4.5 passing shots aren't that stunning anyway.

rkelley
10-23-2011, 07:37 AM
Looks like this WW/modern forehand stuff has become really high tech. Sometimes i wonder if most rec players who have problems mastering this ( alot, looking at this board) despite spending hours in practice aren't better off with some more volley drills instead, adopting a (slice) forehand approach and rush the net. Up until 4.5 passing shots aren't that stunning anyway.

I hit the traditional forehand for years. I switched to a modern swing path about 9 or 10 months ago. I don't think the modern swing path is any harder to master than the traditional. You have to put time into either one to hit them correctly. Most people playing at lower levels haven't put in this time. They go out and hack around with some friends with some strokes that they figured out. And honestly, if they're having fun, that's fine. At the end of the day most of us are playing for some fun, exercise, and maybe a little competition.

If you do want to improve then you're going to have put some time into it regardless of what kind of forehand you hit, so you might as well learn the modern stroke because it really is superior to the traditional stroke. There's more pace and more spin available with it. It's also biomechanically more correct than the older swing. The modern swing path utilizes the way your arm's joints naturally move more so than the traditional stroke. I really disagree with the idea that modern swing is only for advanced players. It works at any level.

Limpinhitter
10-23-2011, 11:16 AM
I hit the traditional forehand for years. I switched to a modern swing path about 9 or 10 months ago. I don't think the modern swing path is any harder to master than the traditional. You have to put time into either one to hit them correctly. Most people playing at lower levels haven't put in this time. They go out and hack around with some friends with some strokes that they figured out. And honestly, if they're having fun, that's fine. At the end of the day most of us are playing for some fun, exercise, and maybe a little competition.

If you do want to improve then you're going to have put some time into it regardless of what kind of forehand you hit, so you might as well learn the modern stroke because it really is superior to the traditional stroke. There's more pace and more spin available with it. It's also biomechanically more correct than the older swing. The modern swing path utilizes the way your arm's joints naturally move more so than the traditional stroke. I really disagree with the idea that modern swing is only for advanced players. It works at any level.

I'm in the same boat as you concerning changing from my old school Eastern drive to a modern SW/WW forehand. I agree with everything you've said. The key elements of a modern fh is where we may depart in some respects.

tlm
10-23-2011, 11:52 AM
I believe that if you want to hit the ww forehand it is best to use a strong sw or full western grip. Use the open stance and concentrate on swinging up and across instead of forward to much.

You want to get the ball at least 3 feet over the net, do not try hitting flat while learning the ww. Once you get the hang of it you can bring the trajectory down some. But while learning it you really need to focus on fast racket head speed and brushing up and across the ball.

This is why you need to loop the ball higher, this will help in getting the depth you want. You will know when you are doing it correctly when you see the ball start to kick up high. The racket head should end up pointing down and finish next to your left hip.

5263
10-23-2011, 07:40 PM
Looks like this WW/modern forehand stuff has become really high tech. Sometimes i wonder if most rec players who have problems mastering this ( alot, looking at this board) despite spending hours in practice aren't better off with some more volley drills instead, adopting a (slice) forehand approach and rush the net. Up until 4.5 passing shots aren't that stunning anyway.

No problem to learn with good information.

hawk eye
10-24-2011, 08:26 AM
I hit the traditional forehand for years. I switched to a modern swing path about 9 or 10 months ago. I don't think the modern swing path is any harder to master than the traditional. You have to put time into either one to hit them correctly. Most people playing at lower levels haven't put in this time. They go out and hack around with some friends with some strokes that they figured out. And honestly, if they're having fun, that's fine. At the end of the day most of us are playing for some fun, exercise, and maybe a little competition.

If you do want to improve then you're going to have put some time into it regardless of what kind of forehand you hit, so you might as well learn the modern stroke because it really is superior to the traditional stroke. There's more pace and more spin available with it. It's also biomechanically more correct than the older swing. The modern swing path utilizes the way your arm's joints naturally move more so than the traditional stroke. I really disagree with the idea that modern swing is only for advanced players. It works at any level.

Ok, but the stroke dominating this board by far is the WW/modern FH.
It seems like a lot of people keep struggling with it, despite all this information like 5263 stated.
Speaking for myself, i'm mainly self taught 3.5 hack who sort of like figured out how to hit a FH. Paying attention on how really good educated'' players swing. It's a sort of in between shot, mainly from semi-open stance, a shoulder turn is there but with a grip that's in between eastern and SW and a follow through over the shoulder. Nothing really fancy but it does the job most of the time. At my level that is. Probably there's a lot to comment on from a teaching pro's perspective.

On this board I see lots of people striving for perfect form and , but at the same time getting frustrated that in matches their FH lets them down often.
Maybe that is because they want it to be perfect. Sometimes close to obsession. They're always changing things to get it 'right' and therefore never really find their groove.
Judging from some posts here it's almost like a form of higher science. When you have too think about horizonal and vertical axisses and vectors when you swing a racket thing can get confusing.
Of course there are always the ones who do get it 'right'.
But to those who keep struggling i would just say: mabe devote a little less time to that forehand onder construction project and sent more time other aspects of the game, like backhand, serve,overheads volleying, movement. Especially when you only a couple of hours time available on a weekly basis. I think that's more rewarding than making the WW/modern FH the important shot to master.

vitas77remembered
10-24-2011, 03:12 PM
In my transition from the eastern/flat forehand to the SW/ww forehand, its been more an emphasis of allowing the new grip to essential force the racquet face to stay perpendicular to the ball, my swing path is fairly close to what it was before (although yes the finish is a bit different.) The WW effect is forced because of the grip but I've never consciously tried to get the WW finish. I can see that if you did, you would just brush the ball with no pace.

My suggestion is to try to use the same path you were before while you reap the benefits of the new racquet face, then try to incorporate more of the "traditional WW" aspects, stance, etc. The little WW effect will give you more spin than before but you don't have to concentrate on doing the WW finish perfectly.