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View Full Version : Having problems on my Forehand, Any Tips? Video included


TTech321
01-08-2012, 12:38 AM
Hi guys, I've been playing tennis off and on for about 8 years now, I think I started when I was 19. Watched some Prince of Tennis and decided to go wack some tennis balls. I got my brother to join me since he was a little fat and needed the exercise. Our first rackets were $20 for 2 starters made of aluminum? LOL

Anyways to the point, I've been having LOTS of problems on my Forehand side since switching to the BLX 90 from my Ncode 90. Before I would have rated myself a decent 3.5 but now with the way I'm hitting I would say I'm a low 3.0.

I just can't hit the ball right, most my shots are off center now and I tend to frame the racket at the bottom of the frame. I can see from the ball fuzz and the wear on the strings that I'm hitting it all over the place.

I've been getting very frustrated lately, and have even considered looking for a pro to help me, but paying 80/hour is too much... and most instructors around here are actually my friends from high school....

I never had formal lessons and I started tennis really late, but I learned from watching tennis on TV so I know my form is bad.

But if you can watch my video and give me some tips on how to fix my forehand I will be very grateful.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHV6XZpNf9w

maxpotapov
01-08-2012, 01:06 AM
Your stance is not very athletic, your back is totally flat
This creates a lot of problems in terms of balance etc. as your upper and lower body act as one unit/column
Try to break them in two by flexing lower back, this will push your butt back and pull your shoulder line forward
And see what happens, if you like it - make another video
Here's the extreme case of athletic stance (which I would call sumo wrestler stance) to exercise:
http://youtu.be/B_MFKqF84iI

aceX
01-08-2012, 01:08 AM
Anyways to the point, I've been having LOTS of problems on my Forehand side since switching to the BLX 90 from my Ncode 90. Before I would have rated myself a decent 3.5 but now with the way I'm hitting I would say I'm a low 3.0.

There's your problem. Get something with a bigger headsize.

TTech321
01-08-2012, 01:18 AM
Your stance is not very athletic, your back is totally flat
This creates a lot of problems in terms of balance etc. as your upper and lower body act as one unit/column
Try to break them in two by flexing lower back, this will push your butt back and pull your shoulder line forward
And see what happens, if you like it - make another video
Here's the extreme case of athletic stance (which I would call sumo wrestler stance) to exercise:
http://youtu.be/B_MFKqF84iI

So you mean stick my butt out more, and have a bend in my back right? BTW that video was funny... sumo tennis.

There's your problem. Get something with a bigger headsize.

I've actually been going down in head size since I started playing. I started with a Prince Bandit, then moved to a Bab Aero Pro, then to the 95 Ncode, then to the 90 Ncode which I used for up 5 years. I was actually hitting really well before on both wings, but since the switch to the BLX I feel I've lost control of all my forehand, and to a lesser extent my backhand. I did notice an improvement on the serve and volleys though.

Fuji
01-08-2012, 01:21 AM
Hey bud!

So there are a few things I noticed...

1) As mentioned before, your back is very flat. The forehand is basically made with full body rotation, imagine winding yourself up, from the tips of your toes all the way to your head. You want to add a bit more rotation to your strokes, so to put it simply, loosen up a bit!

2) Your arm seems a bit stiff before contact, during and after. This again plays into the rotation. "Top Level" forehands have a lot of core rotation which creates power, spin, and accuracy.

3) You are missing your split step! If you are even a bit late, your forehand won't be nearly as effective. Using a split step will allow you to get into position much faster and anticipate the play much better. I believe that's one of the things that really separates, 3.5 to 4.0 to even 4.5. Movement is key!

Those are just a few things I picked up in the couple of minutes of watching. I'll take a closer look tomorrow and try to find some pro video that will help! :)

Also, take what I say with a grain of salt! I've been playing a while but I am no means a certified coach.

-Fuji

Cheetah
01-08-2012, 01:32 AM
you have a good swing path.
you need: footwork, athletic stance, more concentration, more energy, more use of the body.
it almost looks like you dont want to be out there. you need to practice as if it's extremely important to you to get that ball over the net and in. if your girlfriend said she would break up with you if you dont hit 10 in a row what would you do? or what if someone offered you 100$ to hit 10 in a row w/ no errors and all deep? would you stand there like you are now or would you pick it up? you'd be running around like crazy right? so why don't you do it now?

watch a vid of nadal practice. (im not talking about pace or power). But just look at his level of concentration and him making adjustments and moving and how focused he is. you can tell that he's determined to improve during that practice.

when you hit a good shot analyze it in your head and try to figure out what you did that made it a good shot. did the ball come right to your wheelhouse? ok then on the next shot do everything you can to position yourself so that the next ball will be there too. that means footwork and staying on your toes and keeping the feet moving. every time you hit a ball you stop and go flat footed and stand there waiting. not good. that entitles the ball to play you. you need to play the ball. try to read/anticipate earlier what kind of shot your partner is going to hit. then be ready for it. dont stop moving your feet. bend your knees. be light. focus more. you're too casual imo. if you want to get better then you need to try harder. that's the 1st step.

Then save up 80$ and get a lesson. a good lesson is worth it.

ace_pace
01-08-2012, 01:42 AM
The others pretty much got the basics down for ya but theres one thing I could add. Footwork is very important. Make sure you practice good positioning as well as stroke mechanics. Good positioning will not only improve your consistency, but your power as well.

TTech321
01-08-2012, 01:50 AM
I've just got done reading all the recent comments, I'm gonna go out tomorrow (today) and try all the stuff you guys mentioned about my stance, lazy footwork, and energy.

I've got to got o bed now, 3am already. I gotta restring my BLX tomorrow since I broke the strings on it today. I was hopping to have time to string my Kfactor too so i can do a side by side comparison.

DeShaun
01-08-2012, 02:34 AM
Pay a little more attention to your grip and your stance. It appears that they are not always working together.

You use not only the semi-western and western grips comfortably, I see, but also the eastern grip. Occasionally, when hitting the eastern for instance, your stance was wide open.

You seem to have three good distinct forehands, each able to stand up and hold its own independently. Your stances, unfortunately, are mercurial.

Good luck!

P.S. Not having read the other posters' comments, all apologies if I only echoed someone else's advice.

ho
01-08-2012, 11:31 AM
All poster here give you the right remedies, absolutely, here and there, but the main problem is you are not Federer and Nadal. They whip the racket in every directions, use every part of them body into the shot: that make them number 1 on the world. But you are not.
You just have to accept that fact: start from beginning, use the very simple basic mechanic. Find a slow motion of a WTA player, and try to copy slowly, change what ever need to fit your style. It's going to be long, few more months or year, use a camera to study your mechanic and them mechanic. there will be the light at the end of the tunnel.

rkelley
01-08-2012, 12:58 PM
All poster here give you the right remedies, absolutely, here and there, but the main problem is you are not Federer and Nadal. They whip the racket in every directions, use every part of them body into the shot: that make them number 1 on the world. But you are not.

You just have to accept that fact: start from beginning, use the very simple basic mechanic. Find a slow motion of a WTA player, and try to copy slowly, change what ever need to fit your style. It's going to be long, few more months or year, use a camera to study your mechanic and them mechanic. there will be the light at the end of the tunnel.

You seem to be implying that the OP should not try to emulate a high level ATP forehand, and that WTA players have mechanically simpler, and inferior, strokes.

Am I reading that correctly?

For what it's worth, obviously he's not Federer or Nadal - non of us are - but that doesn't mean that couldn't and shouldn't study and emulate high level, advanced form for his strokes. There are both ATP and WTA players with beautiful strokes to emulate. Go watch some youtube videos, practice swinging in a mirror, hit the wall and work on form and consistency, and hit with live partners whenever you can.

86golf
01-08-2012, 05:32 PM
Please edit your video down to a couple of minutes and only show forehands that are competitive. Ie. fed ball game or a real game.
I really can't see many people giving you too much feedback on a 14 minute video of you casually hitting with your buddy.

If your just mis-hitting, then obviously you aren't tracking the ball all the way to the contact point and you probably aren't preparing early enough. You need to work on your spacing too.

rufusbgood
01-08-2012, 07:10 PM
I watched a few minutes. I think your strokes look fine and there's no way you are a 3.0 player, especially with that backhand. But if you aren't comfortable with this racquet, sell it and play with something else.

TTech321
01-08-2012, 07:53 PM
I just played today, and I have to edit the vids before I post them, yeah you'll see why I'm a 3.0 player even though when I rally I look half decent.

I tried to implement some of the tips you guys gave me, and at first it really threw me off cause I was had to think about it instead of being natural for me. But I got better later on, too bad the battery on the cam died before you could catch my later matches and the doubles match I won.

Ahh the work week is coming up, but I'll try to find some time to just really practice moving my feet, getting in a better stance, and getting into the proper position for my strokes to work.

Ohh when I post a new vid, I'll put it on the first post of this thread, Thanks again guys for the tips, it really helped me. I still shank my forehand when I get over zealous and swing before I get into position. But at least I know what I'm doing wrong on my forehand now.

Zachol82
01-08-2012, 08:34 PM
I would say take back sooner and don't try to rush it so much. From your video, it seems like you're rushing the take-back, which shouldn't be happening at all. It is okay to rush the forward motion of your stroke, but during a rally, there should be no excuse in rushing the take-back as well!

Edit: Also, Prince of Tennis 2 is airing now! :o

Bagumbawalla
01-08-2012, 08:43 PM
I did not watch the video all the way through but, from what I did see, one problem is laziness and lack of consistancy.

In the section I watched, you hit maybe 3 or 4 fairly clean balls- where everything (well, not everything) came together. You got to the ball, prepared early, stroked smoothly through the ball with fairly good shifting of weight and balance.

The majority of strokes, however were not so good, some were flat-footed, some on your tippy-toes, some just scooping the ball, some on your heels, others with awkward stroke production.

Tennis is a sport where you want to hit the ball (as much as possible) the same way (hopefully, the correctway) every time. To do that you have to do all the basic things- over and over and over... Not inventing new ways every other stroke to compensate for not being set up properly.

So- Don't be content to just get the ball backover the net-- concentrate on the ball. Watch it from the strings of the opponent's racket, imagine the trajectory- move there. Take the necessary steps. Make the necessary adjustments. Position yourself early. Imagine what you want to do with the ball and stroke through it in such a way as to make that happen-- Every time.

Eventually, you will be able to refine the timing, your balance and stroke to improve its effectiveness-- You just have to keep at it.

Fuji
01-08-2012, 08:57 PM
I would say take back sooner and don't try to rush it so much. From your video, it seems like you're rushing the take-back, which shouldn't be happening at all. It is okay to rush the forward motion of your stroke, but during a rally, there should be no excuse in rushing the take-back as well!

Edit: Also, Prince of Tennis 2 is airing now! :o

Really??? Any links? :)

-Fuji

Zachol82
01-08-2012, 09:03 PM
Really??? Any links? :)

-Fuji

Of course!
http://www.megavideo.com/?v=R9US6FWJ

ho
01-09-2012, 06:00 AM
You seem to be implying that the OP should not try to emulate a high level ATP forehand, and that WTA players have mechanically simpler, and inferior, strokes.

Am I reading that correctly?


You choose the shortest way to be successful. All ATP and WTA have beautiful stroke, but chance we succeed for our level, dedication and strength, as well as size, WTA probably is the shortest way to go.

maxpotapov
01-09-2012, 06:20 AM
You choose the shortest way to be successful. All ATP and WTA have beautiful stroke, but chance we succeed for our level, dedication and strength, as well as size, WTA probably is the shortest way to go.

Really? I always thought women have to rely on muscle memory/coordination so much more due to lack of physical strength and thus inability to compensate mechanical deficiencies by brute force. Developing such muscle memory/coordination so that you can totally rely on kinetic energy is not what I would call "the shortest way to go".

Limpinhitter
01-09-2012, 06:28 AM
Hi guys, I've been playing tennis off and on for about 8 years now, I think I started when I was 19. Watched some Prince of Tennis and decided to go wack some tennis balls. I got my brother to join me since he was a little fat and needed the exercise. Our first rackets were $20 for 2 starters made of aluminum? LOL

Anyways to the point, I've been having LOTS of problems on my Forehand side since switching to the BLX 90 from my Ncode 90. Before I would have rated myself a decent 3.5 but now with the way I'm hitting I would say I'm a low 3.0.

I just can't hit the ball right, most my shots are off center now and I tend to frame the racket at the bottom of the frame. I can see from the ball fuzz and the wear on the strings that I'm hitting it all over the place.

I've been getting very frustrated lately, and have even considered looking for a pro to help me, but paying 80/hour is too much... and most instructors around here are actually my friends from high school....

I never had formal lessons and I started tennis really late, but I learned from watching tennis on TV so I know my form is bad.

But if you can watch my video and give me some tips on how to fix my forehand I will be very grateful.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHV6XZpNf9w

IMO, you are standing to tall, and your footwork, shot preparation and set up are lazy, inconsistent and late. You should be loaded up and ready to hit before the ball gets there, every time. I would suggest that you turn immediately when you see the ball coming to one side or the other, use a wider stance, bend your knees and get down low on your set up, drive with your legs and hips, and stay low throughout your swing and follow through.

Off The Wall
01-09-2012, 08:15 AM
Generally good. You can hit from multiple of stances.

A couple of things, though.

1) Your slice backhand is typical of a newbie ... too choppy. Give it some more direction toward the other side of the court to your swing path.

2) You're a rallyer only; not a competitor rallying. Competitive players rally differently. I'm alluding to everyone's comment about lazy preparation and footwork. You prepare as if you know the person on the other side of the net is trying to hit the ball to you. So, you stand there flat-footed and wait for the ball to arrive. That stuff bleeds over into matches.

Competitors know their opponents are trying to hit the ball away from them. They have to prepare early to move. Hence, the split step. Also, the first ball they prepare for is the short ball. A ball they must run up to. So, they lean forward while their opponents hit, just in case they must dash forward. That prep bleeds over into rallying.

Fuji
01-09-2012, 02:47 PM
Of course!
http://www.megavideo.com/?v=R9US6FWJ

That is amazing! Where did you find that? I've been looking for it since NPOT came out!

Thanks a ton! :D

-Fuji

ho
01-09-2012, 04:26 PM
Really? I always thought women have to rely on muscle memory/coordination so much more due to lack of physical strength and thus inability to compensate mechanical deficiencies by brute force. Developing such muscle memory/coordination so that you can totally rely on kinetic energy is not what I would call "the shortest way to go".
WTA hit with body, a classic Push stroke, there is no Kinetic energy from waist up, nothing is lagging behind anything, just a rotation of them body and a release of the arm forward. It mostly rely on the heavy weight behind the racket string bed.
ATP is different, they have tremendous power, taming it rely on kinetic energy from arm and wrist to add spin and speed. That requires hours daily of practice and talent (timing)
Later, most ATP hit a modified Push stroke, they use their body as a main supply of power, combine with a lag from behind either one or two elements of them body and arm to add spin.

albesca
01-10-2012, 06:38 AM
Athletic stance - Nick Bollettieri - "The killer forehand".

http://i45.servimg.com/u/f45/14/65/09/42/athlet10.jpg