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View Full Version : How do you hit an old school forehand?


DoctorBackhand
12-31-2011, 11:58 AM
http://youtu.be/GiyoprgixTs
I know it seems strange to be asking how to do something the older and in some ways bio-mechanically inefficient way of doing things, but I would really like to learn how to do the old school forehand. The modern forehand is great in its own ways but the old school forehand seems simpler to me. More like my two hander, and with less moving parts. I may be wrong about that, but even so I can't deny that my closed stance forehands are my only good ones ( the 1handed ones anyway). So if anyone can offer tips on how to the old school forehand it will be much appreciated.

Bagumbawalla
12-31-2011, 12:27 PM
In the following video we have the comparison of a "classic" forehand stroke to the "modern" (windshield) style stroke- so you can see the difference.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZ7vHxe6XTY&feature=relmfu

In this, particular video he does not get much into open vs closed stance- but since you will be, already, at the site- just type in something like-- tennis forehand classic-- and you should get various instruction/demonstration videos to choose from.

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=classic+tennis+forehand&oq=classic+tennis+forehand&aq=f&aqi=g1&aql=&gs_sm=s&gs_upl=1052945l1059893l0l1063709l23l17l0l6l6l1l872 l3883l1.2.4.1.0.2.1l11l0

Well, there you go, I did it for you.

DoctorBackhand
12-31-2011, 12:49 PM
Thanks for the info. I have seen that series of videos before so I was looking for a more in depth analysis like the one in the video I posted above. I suppose I'm over thinking, was expecting something more complicated.

BevelDevil
12-31-2011, 01:34 PM
There are different types of old school.

For really old school, you would swing like Jimmy Connors, where the wrist is not laid back. Racket straight back, then finish high.

For a more modern variant, I recommend Pete Sampras. Wrist laid back, elbow pointed back on the takeback (which keeps the racket face pointing down), small loop, high finish.


If your goal is to keep it simple, definitely use the straight takeback and high finish. I still recommend the Extreme Eastern or Semi-Western grip though. I also recommend a somewhat laidback wrist.

user92626
12-31-2011, 01:43 PM
In this video starting at 1:00, does David hit with an old school or a new school FH?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJVQ9yKhRYc&feature=related

I tend to try to keep it simple and follow along that line. No idea what's what.

DoctorBackhand
12-31-2011, 03:02 PM
There are different types of old school.

For really old school, you would swing like Jimmy Connors, where the wrist is not laid back. Racket straight back, then finish high.

For a more modern variant, I recommend Pete Sampras. Wrist laid back, elbow pointed back on the takeback (which keeps the racket face pointing down), small loop, high finish.


If your goal is to keep it simple, definitely use the straight takeback and high finish. I still recommend the Extreme Eastern or Semi-Western grip though. I also recommend a somewhat laidback wrist.

I suppose that I'm looking for the Sampras variant. I meant a forehand like the closed stance one in the video where the back foot comes around. I don't see any forehands like this on youtube. If you know of any besides the one in the up top, then could you please post it here? It would be much appreciated.

DoctorBackhand
12-31-2011, 03:04 PM
In this video starting at 1:00, does David hit with an old school or a new school FH?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJVQ9yKhRYc&feature=related

I tend to try to keep it simple and follow along that line. No idea what's what.

That is a good point. I honestly have no idea what that is:confused:.

rkelley
12-31-2011, 08:10 PM
http://youtu.be/GiyoprgixTs
I know it seems strange to be asking how to do something the older and in some ways bio-mechanically inefficient way of doing things, but I would really like to learn how to do the old school forehand. The modern forehand is great in its own ways but the old school forehand seems simpler to me. More like my two hander, and with less moving parts. I may be wrong about that, but even so I can't deny that my closed stance forehands are my only good ones ( the 1handed ones anyway). So if anyone can offer tips on how to the old school forehand it will be much appreciated.

I watched a good chunk of the video. The two forehands in the video are essentially the same forehand as far as I can see. They both utilize a modern swing path, nicely done BTW, with good set-up, pronation for topspin, and a nice finish. The swing path, with pronation to generate topspin, is what defines the modern forehand, not the stance or the grip.

The first forehand, that's called traditional in the video, I would just say is the proper foot work you would use when the ball is going to bounce a bit short and you have to step into it. The player sets up in a neutral stance that steps toward the ball, swings, and allows his right leg to come around to allow his hips and shoulders to come around and complete the stroke.

The second forehand, that's called modern, is the set-up that you would use when you have time to move to the ball and set-up. The player sets-up in a semi-open stance with the right leg loaded up. The swing path is the same as the other forehand.

DoctorBackhand
12-31-2011, 08:24 PM
I watched a good chunk of the video. The two forehands in the video are essentially the same forehand as far as I can see. They both utilize a modern swing path, nicely done BTW, with good set-up, pronation for topspin, and a nice finish. The swing path, with pronation to generate topspin, is what defines the modern forehand, not the stance or the grip.

The first forehand, that's called traditional in the video, I would just say is the proper foot work you would use when the ball is going to bounce a bit short and you have to step into it. The player sets up in a neutral stance that steps toward the ball, swings, and allows his right leg to come around to allow his hips and shoulders to come around and complete the stroke.

The second forehand, that's called modern, is the set-up that you would use when you have time to move to the ball and set-up. The player sets-up in a semi-open stance with the right leg loaded up. The swing path is the same as the other forehand.

So they are basically the same in terms of power? There is no real difference in the shot because the swing path is the same or does the stance effect the shot at all?

BevelDevil
12-31-2011, 08:41 PM
I suppose that I'm looking for the Sampras variant. I meant a forehand like the closed stance one in the video where the back foot comes around. I don't see any forehands like this on youtube. If you know of any besides the one in the up top, then could you please post it here? It would be much appreciated.


Kimiko Date fits the bill.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-8IxVXrg-0

She also can hit from an open stance while maintaining the classic follow through.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSAHU0yq56o

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMEhrB3wApc


Though even for a classic stroke it's a bit unconventional due to the hyper-compact backswing (She's a natural leftie, forced to play right).


The Sampras forehand is somewhat modern in that he often hits from a half-open stance and launches his body upwards (among other reasons).

sabala
12-31-2011, 11:11 PM
I wish there was more on the Tube from Lendl's instructional video tape but maybe these short clips can give you an idea -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsEKwaO5pzA&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3dZ0rnouhk

rkelley
01-01-2012, 01:32 AM
So they are basically the same in terms of power? There is no real difference in the shot because the swing path is the same or does the stance effect the shot at all?

I'd say the semi-open stance is the preferred stance if you have the time. I think it would be a bit more powerful. There's a fairly high ranked Socal junior at our club and when he can he sets-up in that semi-open stance and just tears through the ball with both feet leaving the ground. The kid hits a ton and doesn't miss much.

Another kid that I recently hit with who plays 18 open and men's open showed me the foot work in the first forehand in the video. He showed me how the back leg naturally comes through when you have to set-up in a neutral stance because the ball's out in front of you.

So set-up in that semi-open stance when you can just like the player in the video (left arm across your body, racquet up, legs bent). Use the foot work in the first forehand in the video for balls out in front. You finish about in the same position and ready for the next shot.

I'd love to hear the thoughts of some of the coaches on this. This is getting into the fine points.

mntlblok
01-01-2012, 06:41 AM
I wish there was more on the Tube from Lendl's instructional video tape but maybe these short clips can give you an idea -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsEKwaO5pzA&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3dZ0rnouhk

Those Lendl strokes are excellent for demonstrating what *I* would call the old style versus the "windshield wiper" - which is well demonstrated in this one from Will:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZ7vH...feature=relmfu (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZ7vHxe6XTY&feature=relmfu)

I think Will nails it about the stringbed continuing to face the target after impact with the "wiper", but only the racket frame being visible a bit after contact with the "old school".

I suspect that there is probably even a "continuum" with the two shots that could probably be found - where *some* of the stringbed could be visible after contact. For example, if you look at the last shot that Lendl hits in the second video, he had to back up and catch it late, and hit something like a "reverse finish" out of necessity, and I *think* I saw something approaching a "wiper" pass at the ball on that stroke. BTW, did I see that Murray is now using Lendl as his coach?? Should be interesting. . .

I'm not a high enough level player to "get" all the advantages of the open-stance forehand versus the square or closed stance version. I suspect that more "power" or potential energy can be built up by loading up more on the back foot with the open stance, though I suspect that it may also make it more difficult for some folks to get as good a shoulder turn with the feet lined up like that. (Thinking old people like myself, here). When I see it in use, I find myself jealous of the fact that the player using it can more easily and quickly get back to "center" after the shot. I *hate* having to take any more steps than necessary. :mrgreen:

Kevin
Savannah

5263
01-01-2012, 08:53 AM
I'd say the semi-open stance is the preferred stance if you have the time. I think it would be a bit more powerful. There's a fairly high ranked Socal junior at our club and when he can he sets-up in that semi-open stance and just tears through the ball with both feet leaving the ground. The kid hits a ton and doesn't miss much.

So set-up in that semi-open stance when you can just like the player in the video (left arm across your body, racquet up, legs bent). Use the foot work in the first forehand in the video for balls out in front. You finish about in the same position and ready for the next shot.

I'd love to hear the thoughts of some of the coaches on this. This is getting into the fine points.

rkelley, IMO both of your post here are pretty much spot on for this topic.
So often players and coaches do not realize what you mention in your first post about stepping up to receive the ball in good position and misinterpret the step as stepping into the ball like he did in the Nalbanian vid. Modern strokes are not stance dependent and will use the best stance to receive the ball on ballance.

Nalbanian is clearly using the step for position on the ball and not to transfer lots of weight into the shot or extend the stroke down the target line. THis stroke is completely modern and clearly pulls up and across the ball, but with an excellent shoulder turn leading to finding the ball strongly and accelerating right a contact.
Very nice posts rkelley.

rkelley
01-01-2012, 08:55 AM
. . . though I suspect that it may also make it more difficult for some folks to get as good a shoulder turn with the feet lined up like that. (Thinking old people like myself, here). [snip]

Reaching across your body, parallel to the baseline, with the non-racquet arm is one of the keys to getting the shoulders turned with the semi-open stance.

5263
01-01-2012, 09:06 AM
Those Lendl strokes are excellent for demonstrating what *I* would call the old style versus the "windshield wiper" - which is well demonstrated in this one from Will:
Kevin
Savannah

I will agree that Lendl's strokes are not of the WW variety, but the are still quite modern despite some of the comments on the vid by Lendl. It is pretty rare to see a pro of any era not use strokes that are mostly of what is now called modern technique.

It's not that his comments are wrong as much as slightly misleading. He makes great comments about his shoulder turn, but then overstates the weight shift to the front leg aspect. Right as he says it he hits a beautiful open stance modern Fh, shifting his wt from rt to left, but staying on balance within his stance. Soon after he hits a nice closed stance Fh, also shifting his wt within a very balanced stance and not throwing his wt strongly into the shot. Clearly he uses his stances to receive the ball on Balance for great control of his massive power.

It would be less misleading if he said talked of wt shift within his very balanced stances and spoke of how accelerating strongly from down and below with his great shoulder turn is how he develops his fantastic power.

5263
01-01-2012, 09:09 AM
Reaching across your body, parallel to the baseline, with the non-racquet arm is one of the keys to getting the shoulders turned with the semi-open stance.

Another excellent post. +1

decades
01-01-2012, 09:20 AM
In this video starting at 1:00, does David hit with an old school or a new school FH?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJVQ9yKhRYc&feature=related

I tend to try to keep it simple and follow along that line. No idea what's what.

modern. the finish with the racquet pointed at back fence and across the body.

mntlblok
01-01-2012, 03:00 PM
Reaching across your body, parallel to the baseline, with the non-racquet arm is one of the keys to getting the shoulders turned with the semi-open stance.

When I think of this move, I'm always reminded of the forehand "commonalities" of which I learnt early in my quest for knowledge at tennisplayer.net. The stills of those guys at that stage always blew me away because of the way that they all seemed to have their fingers spread in almost exactly the same manner. :smile:

That picture in my mind has always made me aware of any variation of same when I come across a fine forehand. One of the best forehands *I've* ever faced (in my age group - and only once - and in doubles, only), interestingly, does *not* do that with his off arm. Hint: he plays in the 55's and is a lefty. . .

Kevin