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Lyzerd
10-19-2011, 07:23 PM
So my forehand is garbage. It has no consistency and in order to improve my game and beat my opponents I first have to get this stroke down so I can stop losing to myself. I say myself because it truly isn't my opponents beating me in matches, I drop most of my games because of unforced errors due to my forehand.

Right now I may be venting my rage a little though because I just learned from FYB's video tutorials that I wasn't even using the right stance. All this time I have used a closed stance with my feet vertical to the ball, and now I find out you should use an open stance while pushing off your right foot (right handed) to allow your shoulders to rotate, this isn't what angers me though. What does anger me is that neither of my two coaches have pointed out my stance as a possible cause to the inconsistency of my forehand. Instead they have offered little advice all of which has yielded the same results.

Please correct me if im wrong anywhere because I am only a beginner and could use proper advice. Tomorrow I will be hitting with an open stance hoping for some better results. Obviously I know it wont be near perfect even good but I just hope for some consistency and I place I can work up from. If my stroke does not show any improvement in this new stance I will be recording myself in hope that you can point out what is wrong with my forehand.

Xizel
10-19-2011, 07:39 PM
I'm gonna pull the trigger now: your consistency had little to do with your stance if your forehand technique is perfect and you're timing your balls correctly.

I honestly like the open stance more than the closed stance, but I'll crack a closed stance DTL forehand when given a short ball. Federer does the same and I doubt the greatest player to ever grace tennis is wrong.

Perhaps someone else will continue this thread.

Bergboy123
10-19-2011, 07:40 PM
Well I don't think you can fully put the blame on a closed stance. Early this summer, I was in the same boat you were in -- losing everything merely because of my forehand, not because opponents could beat me. But for me, it was the opposite. I was hitting with an open stance, which I had developed in such a way that my forehand was completely screwed up, and so now I've spent the whole summer learning to close it up a little bit and hit with less spin.

So it's all up to the individual, and you can't fully say it's because of your stance. But I hope this works for you! Sometimes certain things just don't work for certain people!

What exactly was wrong with your forehand?

rkelley
10-19-2011, 07:57 PM
I'm gonna pull the trigger now: your consistency had little to do with your stance if your forehand technique is perfect and you're timing your balls correctly.

I honestly like the open stance more than the closed stance, but I'll crack a closed stance DTL forehand when given a short ball. Federer does the same and I doubt the greatest player to ever grace tennis is wrong.

Perhaps someone else will continue this thread.

Totally agree with this post. A good, modern forehand is fairly stance agnostic. That's one of the wonderful things about it. A relatively closed stance is a good place to start with a forehand, and even after you're hitting lots of open stance balls you'll still have occasion to hit closed stance at times. You should be able to hit well from both open and closed stances.

Post a video.

SystemicAnomaly
10-20-2011, 12:03 AM
What I believe what you are calling a closed stance is what I would refer to as a square stance or neutral stance. This is where the feet line up parallel to the side line or parallel to the flight of the incoming ball. A closed stance is one where the front foot steps (significantly) across the body. For the FH or 2-handed BH, this stance tends to limit hip rotation unless the back leg is allowed to swing around during the forward swing. This can result in inefficient footwork in many cases -- it may cause you to be late in recovering for the next shot.

With this said, I seriously doubt that choice of stance is the key to your inconsistency (unless you are really using a significantly closed stance most of the time). If anything, a square (neutral) stance can actually be somewhat easier to develop stroke consistency. Also, I do not believe that Will H of FYB advocates hitting every FH shot with an open stance.

http://tennis.about.com/od/forehandfaq/f/faqforehand5.htm

http://www.fuzzyyellowballs.com/video-tennis-lessons/forehand/advanced-forehand-technique/stances (http://www.fuzzyyellowballs.com/video-tennis-lessons/forehand/advanced-forehand-technique/stances/)

I would caution you about hitting all/most of your FHs with a fully open stance. Doing so, can lead to hip flexor problems (and possibly, shoulder problems). Learn to hit with a variety of stances. This should be easier on your hips and other body parts. I would start with the neutral and semi-open stances first. A semi-open stance can be performed either with a conventional weight shift (as with the neutral stance) or w/o the weight shift (or a delayed shift).

SystemicAnomaly
10-20-2011, 12:32 AM
Other possible reasons for your inconsistency:

- Late unit turn & racket prep (rushes your stroke)
- Huge loop or excessive backswing (complicates timing of fwd swing)
- Head/eyes move during the forward swing (affects the swing path)
- Straight arm (little/no elbow bend) -- double-bend is often a better choice
- Improper setup distance relative to the incoming ball

As the ball gets within a meter or 2 of your contact point, keep your head still with your eyes trained on that contact point. The head & eyes should remain quiet for nearly all of your forward swing. Do not be tempted to to look up until your follow-thru is complete (or nearly complete). Head movement will usually affect the swing path of your racket on the forward swing.

Use your non-dominant arm to assist in setting the racket on your unit turn. This may help to minimize an excessive backswing. After the unit turn, extend the non-dom arm across the body (toward the side line) to use as a spatial reference. The extended hand should help to line your body up to the incoming ball. This "measurement" may work best with semi-open and neutral stances. (Note that semi-open stances are shown in the images below).

http://clown.ithil.org/~ajss/agassi1.pnghttp://clown.ithil.org/~ajss/federer1.png

Limpinhitter
10-20-2011, 05:33 AM
So my forehand is garbage. It has no consistency and in order to improve my game and beat my opponents I first have to get this stroke down so I can stop losing to myself. I say myself because it truly isn't my opponents beating me in matches, I drop most of my games because of unforced errors due to my forehand.

Right now I may be venting my rage a little though because I just learned from FYB's video tutorials that I wasn't even using the right stance. All this time I have used a closed stance with my feet vertical to the ball, and now I find out you should use an open stance while pushing off your right foot (right handed) to allow your shoulders to rotate, this isn't what angers me though. What does anger me is that neither of my two coaches have pointed out my stance as a possible cause to the inconsistency of my forehand. Instead they have offered little advice all of which has yielded the same results.

Please correct me if im wrong anywhere because I am only a beginner and could use proper advice. Tomorrow I will be hitting with an open stance hoping for some better results. Obviously I know it wont be near perfect even good but I just hope for some consistency and I place I can work up from. If my stroke does not show any improvement in this new stance I will be recording myself in hope that you can point out what is wrong with my forehand.

IMO, a closed stance on a forehand is, and always has been, a technical flaw. With the exception of hitting on the dead run, I would recommend that you strive to set up on an open stance on the forehand. Here's what I wrote in another thread that you might find informative:


I don't know how old you are, but, I started playing tennis in earnest in 1969, with a Dunlop Fort, a continental grip and a closed stance forehand. When I got older, and switched to the larger Dunlop Max 200g, I also changed to an Eastern Drive. (Actually, since then, the definitions of the grips seem to have changed. The forehand grip that Don Budge hit with was an Eastern grip. But, by today's definitions, it would be considered to be about half way between a Continental and an Eastern forehand grip. But, that's another issue.). Now that I am using between 95-100 square inch racquets, I hit with something between the modern definiton of an Eastern and SW grip and an open stance.

Having said that, I dispute the notion that the old school, close stance, forehand was in any way "correct" compared to a modern, open stance forehand. If you remember correctly, in the 60's and 70's most of the top players' backhands were their stronger side. Players such as: Hoad, Rosewall, Emerson, Stolle, Laver, Roche, Ashe, even as recently as Edberg, (and many more), all had better backhands than forehands.

IMO, the cause of this was the mistaken believe that forehands and backhands were symmetrical mirror images of each other. They are not. When hitting a closed stance backhand, you are hitting with the leading shoulder and your arm is free to swing without hinderance from the upper body, and your upper body is free to rotate without interference from the lower body, therefore enabling you to better maintain your balance throughout the swing. But, when hitting with a closed stance forehand, you are hitting from the back shoulder - a wholly unnatural stroke in which the upper body interferes with and truncates the swing, and the lower body impairs rotation of the upper body which in turn impairs balance.

IMO, it is the abandonement of that flawed convention, and the evolution of the modern, open stance, semiwestern forehand, in which the hitting shoulder is no longer behind the upper body at contact, and the swing is no longer inhibited by the upper body which in turn impairs balance, that has given rise to a game in which the forehand is now the major weapon of virtually every player on the pro tour, men and woman.

LeeD
10-20-2011, 10:35 AM
Ain't stance, it's your lack of early shoulder turn.

Lyzerd
10-20-2011, 12:27 PM
Ain't stance, it's your lack of early shoulder turn.

I actually have a tendency to turn my shoulders too early.

LeeD
10-20-2011, 01:52 PM
Well, I'll bet you turn too late!
Having played and observed tennis for over 38 years, EVERYONE who's inconsistent or weak with a stroke THINKS they turn early, but in reality, they might make the first move nice and early, but never end up with oft shoulder facing the incoming ball.
That's why we all hit better against a tennis instructor when he's feeding us balls! Then we play a match against our peers and we can't seem to get pace, can't seem to retain consistency.
But since you didn't post a vid, we will never really know.
Assuming you have basic strokes and technique, of course.

Rui
10-20-2011, 01:55 PM
I actually have a tendency to turn my shoulders too early.

You would turn your shoulders only if you knew whether you were going to hit a forehand or a backhand. And if that's the case, you can't be too early.

SystemicAnomaly
10-20-2011, 02:14 PM
I actually have a tendency to turn my shoulders too early.

Are you talking about coiling (on the unit turn) or uncoiling? Don't see how you can be too early if we are talking about the preparation phase of the stroke.

5263
10-20-2011, 02:16 PM
Please correct me if im wrong anywhere because I am only a beginner and could use proper advice. Tomorrow I will be hitting with an open stance hoping for some better results. Obviously I know it wont be near perfect even good but I just hope for some consistency and I place I can work up from. If my stroke does not show any improvement in this new stance I will be recording myself in hope that you can point out what is wrong with my forehand.

I think looking to improve your stance to open is an excellent start to improving your Fh. Using closed or neutral stance is the source of many UEs, as they are weak when it comes to depth control hitting with power.

Open stance, which includes what SA wants to term is semi-open, can be very strong in the depth consistency department when done correctly. By the way, I think to try to link neutral stance to open stance by calling it semi-open is a mistake, since they are quite different in how they are normally executed. Once you have mastered hitting open, then you can also use that style of swing in any stance you get caught in.

How did the changes go?

sureshs
10-20-2011, 02:25 PM
Most people use semi open stance when hitting off the back foot, and closed stance when stepping into the ball - with the twist that modern closed stance is not like the old style of keeping the backfoot back throughout the stroke, but bringing it forward as you rotate into the ball. Sometimes pure open stance (feet parallel to the baseline) is used for deep shots which catch you by surprise.