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View Full Version : The Neutral stance on the Forehand.


Djoker91
02-01-2012, 03:33 PM
I had a problem with my forehand that I finally was able to fix. My forehand was way to high and loopy even when I tried to have lower net clearance. Couldn't fix it for a while. Was hitting with a really open stance, closed it up more to neutral and ka-ching! And the thing that helped the most was being able to transfer weight much easier allowing the shot more power and thus a lower net clearance, roughly 3 feet right where I want it. Used to be 10-13 feet. Awful right? Lol though I'm glad I found and fixed my troublesome problem, I have a very hard time getting into position with the neutral stance since its new to me. When I do get into position and it works out, I can spank a winner. I.e. a weak second serve. But sometimes during a rally my footwork won't work out. Not that I don't have enough time, but I'm taking to many steps or not enough. Timing off half the time. Any tips to help be into position every time?! Please help! Thanks!

LeeD
02-01-2012, 03:58 PM
Anything new, you gotta spend the practice time, then match time, before you can use the new style.
In your case, we all know a closed stance would hit lower. You know this from hitting CC as opposed to hitting DTL.
Get used to your new stance, or adopt a stronger grip to force your open stance to hit the ball lower. Always your choice.

Djoker91
02-01-2012, 04:03 PM
Anything new, you gotta spend the practice time, then match time, before you can use the new style.
In your case, we all know a closed stance would hit lower. You know this from hitting CC as opposed to hitting DTL.
Get used to your new stance, or adopt a stronger grip to force your open stance to hit the ball lower. Always your choice.

Thanks Lee for the quick reply. I definitely tried experiment with grips but didn't work out to great. Using the neutral to semi open stance feels pretty good, just every now and then there are some kinks. I think your absolutely right. The time needs to be put in in order to perfect it. Just to clarify, you can't hit down the line with the neutral stance?

5263
02-01-2012, 04:13 PM
I had a problem with my forehand that I finally was able to fix. My forehand was way to high and loopy even when I tried to have lower net clearance. Couldn't fix it for a while. Was hitting with a really open stance, closed it up more to neutral and ka-ching! And the thing that helped the most was being able to transfer weight much easier allowing the shot more power and thus a lower net clearance, roughly 3 feet right where I want it. Used to be 10-13 feet. Awful right? Lol though I'm glad I found and fixed my troublesome problem, I have a very hard time getting into position with the neutral stance since its new to me. When I do get into position and it works out, I can spank a winner. I.e. a weak second serve. But sometimes during a rally my footwork won't work out. Not that I don't have enough time, but I'm taking to many steps or not enough. Timing off half the time. Any tips to help be into position every time?! Please help! Thanks!

IMO you would have been better to correct your problems with the open stance as your problem was not because of the stance; it was because something you were doing wrong.
Now you have a whole new set of problems to work thru as the neutral stance actually does have some challenges built into it (unlike the open stance, which does not have built in flaws).
good luck

LeeD
02-01-2012, 04:17 PM
You can hit any possible shot with any possible stance, you just need to practice enough.

5263
02-01-2012, 04:23 PM
You can hit any possible shot with any possible stance, you just need to practice enough.

Very true, but with closed and neutral stance a lot of that practice is due to the inherit limitations of the stance.

Djoker91
02-01-2012, 04:29 PM
Very true, but with closed and neutral stance a lot of that practice is due to the inherit limitations of the stance.

Good point. I don't know, I just got back from hitting a while ago and couldn't hit the ball right for my life. And I'm way better then that. I mean way to high and long about 7 feet. Embarassing really. But I dunno, going to neutral felt better and showed some results! Stay with it? Or what do you think the problem might be for a high loopy weak forehand? In yur opinion

Djoker91
02-01-2012, 04:30 PM
You can hit any possible shot with any possible stance, you just need to practice enough.

I 2nd that. Thanks again. Ill put in the work. Made some great progress today and will make some more.

Djoker91
02-01-2012, 04:36 PM
This is the stance I was using by the way, to get a better understand

http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DyPCY1PNAYqE&v=yPCY1PNAYqE&gl=US anding.

spun_out
02-01-2012, 04:39 PM
I think the issue of stance is a lot like other things in tennis that confuses more than helps. The name of the stance depends on the left foot (for a righty fh), but what is important in the groundstroke is the back foot (right foot for a fh). The back foot should be the anchor. It should be placed at a proper distance from the anticipated location of the ball at strike point (aided also by your left arm/hand). If you have time to step in with your left foot, then that's obviously ok/good, but if you don't, then just make sure that you step somewhere with the left foot to facilitate a proper weight transfer. Obviously, there will be times where you will have to reach with the left foot to get to the ball.

I hope this helps.

5263
02-01-2012, 04:41 PM
Good point. I don't know, I just got back from hitting a while ago and couldn't hit the ball right for my life. And I'm way better then that. I mean way to high and long about 7 feet. Embarassing really. But I dunno, going to neutral felt better and showed some results! Stay with it? Or what do you think the problem might be for a high loopy weak forehand? In yur opinion

Sounds like something is causing your racket face to open excessively. Maybe you are leaning back or even starting with the wrong grip.

The other thing is do you know to hit up and across the contact?
Maybe you are trying to get too much forward lifting extension up and directly over the ball?
Ever see the slight sidespin on Nadal's topspin?
Swing to meet the ball from below, then at contact pull up and across the ball.
More across for a flatter shot. More upwards for higher net clearance.
sounds like you need more "across" on your shots.

LeeD
02-01-2012, 04:41 PM
DJ91, we assume you are using something between SW and EFH grip?

Djoker91
02-01-2012, 04:43 PM
I think the issue of stance is a lot like other things in tennis that confuses more than helps. The name of the stance depends on the left foot (for a righty fh), but what is important in the groundstroke is the back foot (right foot for a fh). The back foot should be the anchor. It should be placed at a proper distance from the anticipated location of the ball at strike point (aided also by your left arm/hand). If you have time to step in with your left foot, then that's obviously ok/good, but if you don't, then just make sure that you step somewhere with the left foot to facilitate a proper weight transfer. Obviously, there will be times where you will have to reach with the left foot to get to the ball.

I hope this helps.

Awesome points, helped a lot, thanks!!

Djoker91
02-01-2012, 04:44 PM
DJ91, we assume you are using something between SW and EFH grip?

Yes, usually right inbetween the 2 actually, right between bevel 3 and 4. Sometimes full on semi western.

5263
02-01-2012, 04:45 PM
If you have time to step in with your left foot, then that's obviously ok/good,


I believe it should clearly be just the opposite, step to neutral or closed if there is a lack of time and you need it to get there, then know how to compensate for the weaknesses of the stance, but
always step to open stance when you have time and there is no compensation required for this excellent stance.

Notice how the pros nearly always lift up and off the ground to compensate for using the neutral stance at times. In the air they will usually rotate and land open and beyond.

Djoker91
02-01-2012, 04:46 PM
Sounds like something is causing your racket face to open excessively. Maybe you are leaning back or even starting with the wrong grip.

The other thing is do you know to hit up and across the contact?
Maybe you are trying to get too much forward lifting extension up and directly over the ball?
Ever see the slight sidespin on Nadal's topspin?
Swing to meet the ball from below, then at contact pull up and across the ball.
More across for a flatter shot. More upwards for higher net clearance.
sounds like you need more "across" on your shots.

Makes a lot of sense, thanks! By across do you mean out in front or like pulling across towards the right? (Righty FH)

LeeD
02-01-2012, 04:51 PM
Lower balls, you hit the outside of the ball.
Medium height balls, you hit topspin.
Really hit balls, you wipe across your body after contact, creating some sidespin as well as top.

5263
02-01-2012, 04:55 PM
Makes a lot of sense, thanks! By across do you mean out in front or like pulling across towards the right? (Righty FH)

your vid link is not working for me

For a righty, you swing up and out to contact, then start to pull your hand strongly up towards your left shoulder. Centrif force will still carry it out some, but your move is to pull up to finish over your shoulder, leaving the wrist sort of naturally laid back until the last part of the finish near the left shoulder.
you may have to focus on pulling more to the left bicep to hit flatter.

5263
02-01-2012, 05:00 PM
look at this very first Fh

notice how hand goes up and out toward the contact,
dragging the racket.
notice how the hand starts across to move to follow thru to left shoulder,
right prior to contact
(even though the racket head is still thrown out to contact and through)

also notice how she stay open if there is time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_mNZGq8TfE

spun_out
02-01-2012, 05:19 PM
I believe it should clearly be just the opposite, step to neutral or closed if there is a lack of time and you need it to get there, then know how to compensate for the weaknesses of the stance, but
always step to open stance when you have time and there is no compensation required for this excellent stance.

Notice how the pros nearly always lift up and off the ground to compensate for using the neutral stance at times. In the air they will usually rotate and land open and beyond.

I agree that in the high-speed baseline exchange of the pros, open stance is preferred for recovery. I am assuming that the instances when the pros compensate for their neutral stance are during a baseline rally.

In rec tennis, though, many of the groundstroke shots require you to be moving in at the same time (because they are slow and short), and in these cases, I feel that stepping in (not closed but between open and neutral, closer to neutral) helps add power and direction to your shots.

5263
02-01-2012, 05:25 PM
I agree that in the high-speed baseline exchange of the pros, open stance is preferred for recovery. I am assuming that the instances when the pros compensate for their neutral stance are during a baseline rally.

In rec tennis, though, many of the groundstroke shots require you to be moving in at the same time (because they are slow and short), and in these cases, I feel that stepping in (not closed but between open and neutral, closer to neutral) helps add power and direction to your shots.

Open stance is good for recovery, but that is misleading as open stance is superior anyway. It gives more direction, net ht control, spin and as much power, but with more control of max pwr.

That my be true about stepping in if you have probs with your stroke, but with open stance is so powerful I can't see why you would need to step in. usually you have to step up to shorter balls and sometime the feet don't work out just right, but stepping with the right foot up would be better if only one step is needed.

As to direction, what you say seems right but is not the case. Open stance hitting up and across the ball actually improves directional control over stepping in. I agree it's not logic on the surface, but there are reasons of course.

spun_out
02-01-2012, 05:36 PM
That my be true if you have probs with your stroke, but with open stance is so powerful I can't see why you would need to step in. usually you have to step up to shorter balls and sometime the feet don't work out just right, but stepping with the right foot up would be better if only one step is needed.

As to direction, what you say seems right but is not the case. Open stance hitting up and across the ball actually improves directional control over stepping in. I agree it's not logic on the surface, but there are reasons of course.

What about 0:40 on the Stotur video you posted? That's basically what I mean by stepping in.

I think that you are basically talking with the goal of teaching the perfect pro stroke, but in my experience, trying to power a shot that is coming at you slowly leads to a breakdown of stroke in majority of rec players. Is this because of a stroke flaw? Most likely. But stepping in acts as a safeguard against over-rotating. It also has the additional benefit of natural (not necessarily the correct) move into the net.

5263
02-01-2012, 05:45 PM
What about 0:40 on the Stotur video you posted? That's basically what I mean by stepping in.

I think that you are basically talking with the goal of teaching the perfect pro stroke, but in my experience, trying to power a shot that is coming at you slowly leads to a breakdown of stroke in majority of rec players. Is this because of a stroke flaw? Most likely. But stepping in acts as a safeguard against over-rotating. It also has the additional benefit of natural (not necessarily the correct) move into the net.

Don't mean to be over technical, but she is still slightly open to her target line in the stroke at 40.
On that stroke she is doing a step to balance, which is fine to adjust her distance.

But to your point, where does the idea of over rotating come from? and
how would something like that be a problem?
Only over rotation I see is girls in neutral and closed stances who over rotate too far back on their tk back.
I think rotation is good and don't ever recall having a student over rotate in modern stroke instruction.

Yes, I agree that at times it may be the most natural step towards net on balance; so yes, it is fine then, but you have to learn to compensate for it if you want to hit strong. It is fine for pushing and med hitting. To go big though, you must know how to account for the aspects where it lacks.

spun_out
02-01-2012, 06:07 PM
Don't mean to be over technical, but she is still slightly open to her target line in the stroke at 40.
On that stroke she is doing a step to balance, which is fine to adjust her distance.

But to your point, where does the idea of over rotating come from? and
how would something like that be a problem?
Only over rotation I see is girls in neutral and closed stances who over rotate too far back on their tk back.
I think rotation is good and don't ever recall having a student over rotate in modern stroke instruction.

Yes, I agree that at times it may be the most natural step towards net on balance; so yes, it is fine then, but you have to learn to compensate for it if you want to hit strong. It is fine for pushing and med hitting. To go big though, you must know how to account for the aspects where it lacks.

If you are calling the shot at 0:40 open, then yes, you would only be using neutral or closed for reaching.

As for over-rotating, I guess it is not the correct word. What I mean is the tendency, when trying to hit hard, to lean back to facilitate what feels like a larger swipe at the ball (obviously ending with the ball being launched over the baseline). Stepping in, like Stotur does, seems to help with keeping your upper body from leaning back as you rotate.

5263
02-01-2012, 06:15 PM
If you are calling the shot at 0:40 open, then yes, you would only be using neutral or closed for reaching.

As for over-rotating, I guess it is not the correct word. What I mean is the tendency, when trying to hit hard, to lean back to facilitate what feels like a larger swipe at the ball (obviously ending with the ball being launched over the baseline). Stepping in, like Stotur does, seems to help with keeping your upper body from leaning back as you rotate.

Honestly I would not address that stance as an example, as it is only slightly open to target line, but I just can't call it closed either, you know? I admit I probably would if I was touting neutral stance though, lol.

You bring up a great reason why open is better. The problem you cite and as you state, is leaning back, which takes you off balance. Open stance forces you to focus on the all important aspect of "balance" during your shot.
Balance is the biggest key to making shots with control.
Why fix that with another stance that may even encourage lack of balance (excessive wt shift forward) along with other weaknesses?

Limpinhitter
02-01-2012, 06:35 PM
I had a problem with my forehand that I finally was able to fix. My forehand was way to high and loopy even when I tried to have lower net clearance. Couldn't fix it for a while. Was hitting with a really open stance, closed it up more to neutral and ka-ching! And the thing that helped the most was being able to transfer weight much easier allowing the shot more power and thus a lower net clearance, roughly 3 feet right where I want it. Used to be 10-13 feet. Awful right? Lol though I'm glad I found and fixed my troublesome problem, I have a very hard time getting into position with the neutral stance since its new to me. When I do get into position and it works out, I can spank a winner. I.e. a weak second serve. But sometimes during a rally my footwork won't work out. Not that I don't have enough time, but I'm taking to many steps or not enough. Timing off half the time. Any tips to help be into position every time?! Please help! Thanks!

I hate to say this, but, I think you're going in the wrong direction. IMO, modern a forehand should be hit with an open stance. An open stance allows you to transfer your weight much further than a closed stance, and helps you maintain your balance and timing better as well. A closed stance literally stops your upper body rotation before you finish your swing.

And, 10-13 feet over the net, if you are going corner to corner, is not too high if you're hitting heavy topspin. 3 feet is way too low, unless you're going for a sharp angle. I would reconsider going back to open stance and hitting with a bigger margin over the net.

Djoker91
02-02-2012, 10:06 AM
Based on what you guys are saying, it sounds like the problem isnt my stance, but what I think is tht I'm leaning back whrn going to take that larger cut at the ball, as was mentioned by someone. But how do I make sure I'm not leaning back as that is a natural tendency? With an open stance of course. Obviously a neutral stance won't let you lean back much, so that's just normal. But when being open, how can I not lean back and crank winners like i used to?

LeeD
02-02-2012, 10:16 AM
You just need a spectator or a video cam to tell.

Djoker91
02-02-2012, 10:23 AM
You just need a spectator or a video cam to tell.

That's what im gonna do, tape myself. Tho my wife always calls me uncle rico when I do lol. I was thinking too, what if I have my right heel up and pivot really hard on my forehand swing with my back right foot? That should help in not leaning back and it making sure i go thru the shot right? What are your thoughts?

SystemicAnomaly
02-02-2012, 12:34 PM
IMO you would have been better to correct your problems with the open stance as your problem was not because of the stance; it was because something you were doing wrong.
Now you have a whole new set of problems to work thru as the neutral stance actually does have some challenges built into it (unlike the open stance, which does not have built in flaws).
good luck

I am going to strongly disagree with this last assertion. A fundmental flaw with the open stance FH is the loading stresses placed on the right hip (for righty FHs), particularly stress to the hip flexor. I also recall a book and some other sources that mention that the open stance FH might also place additional stress to the hitting shoulder. Prolific employers of the open stance FH, such as Kuerten, Hewitt and others have exerienced serious problems with the hip flexor.

Roger Federer, who uses a variety of stances (including the open stance) has been relatively injury free throughout his career. With myself, I've noticed that I started experiencing serious hip flexor pain when I started hitting a high percentage of my shots with an open stance. My suggestion is to follow the example of Federer and employ a variety of stances in your game.

http://www.tennisplayer.net/public/physicaltraining/scott_riewald/hip_injuries_openstance_forehand/hip_injuries_openstance_forehand_public.html

http://www.usta.com/Improve-Your-Game/Health-Fitness/Injuries-Prevention-and-Recovery/Hip_Injuries/

http://books.google.com/books?id=sZbVLzLr80kC&pg=PA78&lpg=PA78&dq=tennis+open+stance+hip+flexor&source=bl&ots=h-geC_I4qv&sig=gk-1Fc71igWVaqMyUGMfyFTM4ZI&hl=en&sa=X&ei=d_wqT7mLHY7umAXWxLnXDw&ved=0CFgQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=tennis%20open%20stance%20hip%20flexor&f=false

Power Player
02-02-2012, 12:39 PM
I believe it should clearly be just the opposite, step to neutral or closed if there is a lack of time and you need it to get there, then know how to compensate for the weaknesses of the stance, but
always step to open stance when you have time and there is no compensation required for this excellent stance.

Notice how the pros nearly always lift up and off the ground to compensate for using the neutral stance at times. In the air they will usually rotate and land open and beyond.

I personally have always stepped into my forehand whenever possible. I hit much harder and heavier shots this way. I use an open stance when I do not have as much time or am pulled wide.

I watch a lot of pro tennis and whenever they can, most pros step into their shots with their left foot. The main thing is that you DO step out with the right like you are saying after turning to the side. So I always step so I am open, but then if I have time step in with the left as opposed to launching off the right foot.

Djoker91
02-02-2012, 01:04 PM
I am going to strongly disagree with this last assertion. A fundmental flaw with the open stance FH is the loading stresses placed on the right hip (for righty FHs), particularly stress to the hip flexor. I also recall a book and some other sources that mention that the open stance FH might also place additional stress to the hitting shoulder. Prolific employers of the open stance FH, such as Kuerten, Hewitt and others have exerienced serious problems with the hip flexor.

Roger Federer, who uses a variety of stances (including the open stance) has been relatively injury free throughout his career. With myself, I've noticed that I started experiencing serious hip flexor pain when I started hitting a high percentage of my shots with an open stance. My suggestion is to follow the example of Federer and employ a variety of stances in your game.

http://www.tennisplayer.net/public/physicaltraining/scott_riewald/hip_injuries_openstance_forehand/hip_injuries_openstance_forehand_public.html

http://www.usta.com/Improve-Your-Game/Health-Fitness/Injuries-Prevention-and-Recovery/Hip_Injuries/

http://books.google.com/books?id=sZbVLzLr80kC&pg=PA78&lpg=PA78&dq=tennis+open+stance+hip+flexor&source=bl&ots=h-geC_I4qv&sig=gk-1Fc71igWVaqMyUGMfyFTM4ZI&hl=en&sa=X&ei=d_wqT7mLHY7umAXWxLnXDw&ved=0CFgQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=tennis%20open%20stance%20hip%20flexor&f=false

Very good point. I don't want to risk any type of injury. Ill be sure to add variety, just need to get the open stance down. I have the neutral stance down pat.

Djoker91
02-02-2012, 01:07 PM
I personally have always stepped into my forehand whenever possible. I hit much harder and heavier shots this way. I use an open stance when I do not have as much time or am pulled wide.

I watch a lot of pro tennis and whenever they can, most pros step into their shots with their left foot. The main thing is that you DO step out with the right like you are saying after turning to the side. So I always step so I am open, but then if I have time step in with the left as opposed to launching off the right foot.

I'm the same way. So what yur saying is when you move yur opponent around the court and finally get a duck ball from yur opponent, to go to a neutral stance and step into it for the winner? Cuz everytime i try to add pepper it goes to high and long with the open stance.

Power Player
02-02-2012, 01:12 PM
Yep thats exactly what I do. And thats what most pros do as well. Just watch matches and you will see. Whenever you can step into a shot, you do it. It's just easy power and less stress on you.

Look at how the best players always always try their best to hit their 2 handed backhands with a closed stance. They need that power and leverage to really get the ball back with pace.


forehand putaway :I move to the side of the ball and turn to the side into a neutral stance. Step out to the right with my right foot while prepped and then step into the court onto my left foot.

5263
02-02-2012, 01:41 PM
I am going to strongly disagree with this last assertion. A fundmental flaw with the open stance FH is the loading stresses placed on the right hip (for righty FHs), particularly stress to the hip flexor. I also recall a book and some other sources that mention that the open stance FH might also place additional stress to the hitting shoulder. Prolific employers of the open stance FH, such as Kuerten, Hewitt and others have exerienced serious problems with the hip flexor.
First, We were speaking of flaws related to working execution, not possible injury aspects, but

I think that is a common misunderstanding and am a little surprised you would go with it except you have had some issues yourself, which may have swayed you some. Open stance has by no means been associated with more hip or knee problems than closed stance. Connors had hip surg as have others. No surprise that grinders like guga and Hewitt would have "over-use" injuries. They also both had that odd leg lift kick on their open Fh too, so is that it?
Hewitt used variety in his stances as you suggest anyway like Sampras; so much for that.

The Open stance is so good it may allow you to go harder and that could be a culprit, because with neutral you are forced to hold back or miss often.
My point anyway is to learn and train open, which help with proper stroke path, but do not be stance depend in your strokes; be balance dependent.

Timbo's hopeless slice
02-02-2012, 01:49 PM
I am 45 and hit with open stance most of the time, I haven't had any injury problems at all since switching over ten years ago. I play a lot, and on HC, so if there was an issue with the stance I think I would have at least had a twinge by now..

To OP, I agree it is probably someting else rather than your stance, hard to say without seeing you on a court.

rkelley
02-02-2012, 02:25 PM
I switched to a modern fh a year ago. Since then I've been hitting more and more open stance. At this point I pretty much take everything in open stance on my fh side if I have the time to set-up. Basically open stance, non-racquet arm across the body, legs bent, weight on the outside/back foot, then rip it. My weight transfers to the other foot during the shot. As others have said, the open stance allows for complete body rotation after the shot which allows for more power.

Balls that are short and low I usually step forward in a neutral stance to start the swing but then swing my back foot around during the follow through so that I finish the stroke in an open stance. A kid I hit with a while back who plays 18 and mens open showed me this foot work and it works like a dream.

I'm 49 and nothing's broken yet.

LeeD
02-02-2012, 04:18 PM
I agree with the open stance SW grip forehand.
Now, what stance for you feeding the first ball in a rally situation. Do you stand wide open stanced?

5263
02-02-2012, 04:50 PM
Yep thats exactly what I do. And thats what most pros do as well. Just watch matches and you will see. Whenever you can step into a shot, you do it.

We agree on a lot but not here. What I see is Pros using open when they can, and using others when it works to adjust for position on the ball. Even when they step up, they compensate usually by leaving their feet to rotate to open in the air.

5263
02-02-2012, 04:55 PM
Very good point. I don't want to risk any type of injury. Ill be sure to add variety, just need to get the open stance down. I have the neutral stance down pat.

No, not a good point at all. Did you go to the references provided?
Pages of all kinds of sports injuries with only passing mention of
possible risk with open stance, except for this,

"Unfortunately, most tennis injuries are multifaceted so there are few easy answers to injury questions. There are no studies that statistically link open stance tennis strokes with higher rates of certain injuries at the hip joint."

which states what you need to know about this.

5263
02-02-2012, 04:58 PM
I agree with the open stance SW grip forehand.
Now, what stance for you feeding the first ball in a rally situation. Do you stand wide open stanced?

Curious where you are going here, but I like most instructors feed from open.

Power Player
02-02-2012, 05:15 PM
We agree on a lot but not here. What I see is Pros using open when they can, and using others when it works to adjust for position on the ball. Even when they step up, they compensate usually by leaving their feet to rotate to open in the air.

Well watch the recent becker video. He acknowledges the open stance but says it always optimal if you can step in. I watched a lot of pro practice vids on youtube and they all seem to like to step in as well. I think open stance all the time is an extreme view honestly.

LeeD
02-02-2012, 05:16 PM
I'm from the old school, transitioning to new school forehands.
I feed first ball closed stance, hit almost every forehand open. When I feed open, I feel I'm bouncing the ball too high for a first ball feed, like maybe shoulder high mostly. I want my partner to make his first ball back to my side of the court, not force him to hit a high bouncing ball......yet.

Timbo's hopeless slice
02-02-2012, 05:19 PM
I feed open, and I find it a good exercise for a student to put both feet on teh baseline and use the left hand to drop the ball on the baseline and hit a FH with the right, gets the core rotation going automatically.

I imagine 5263 probably does something similar?

Agree with Power Player in some repsects, and I hit a lot of FH attacking shots with a neutral(ish) stance, but Becker hasn't been a force for almost twenty years!

rkelley
02-02-2012, 05:19 PM
I switched to a modern fh a year ago. Since then I've been hitting more and more open stance. At this point I pretty much take everything in open stance on my fh side if I have the time to set-up. Basically open stance, non-racquet arm across the body, legs bent, weight on the outside/back foot, then rip it. My weight transfers to the other foot during the shot. As others have said, the open stance allows for complete body rotation after the shot which allows for more power.

Balls that are short and low I usually step forward in a neutral stance to start the swing but then swing my back foot around during the follow through so that I finish the stroke in an open stance. A kid I hit with a while back who plays 18 and mens open showed me this foot work and it works like a dream.

I'm 49 and nothing's broken yet.

I agree with the open stance SW grip forehand.
Now, what stance for you feeding the first ball in a rally situation. Do you stand wide open stanced?

I didn't mention the grip if you're replying to me Lee. SW is the most popular grip on both the mens and womens tour, but not the only one used. You can hit a open stance, modern swing path with anything from E. to W. I personally use a strong E. grip.

LeeD
02-02-2012, 05:25 PM
Do we notice Fed tends to close or neutal his stance on almost all practice forehands? Strong E or weak SW.
Seems lots of modern players neutral or close their stance on balls they try to hit for winners. I know rallyballs are hit openstanced.

Power Player
02-02-2012, 05:27 PM
I feed open, and I find it a good exercise for a student to put both feet on teh baseline and use the left hand to drop the ball on the baseline and hit a FH with the right, gets the core rotation going automatically.

I imagine 5263 probably does something similar?

Agree with Power Player in some repsects, and I hit a lot of FH attacking shots with a neutral(ish) stance, but Becker hasn't been a force for almost twenty years!

Agree about becker obviously being older and much more classic but he understands the modern game quite well. I just dont think hitting open all the time is the way to go. I like the variation and also the power i can generate from a neutral stance.

5263
02-02-2012, 06:42 PM
Well watch the recent becker video. He acknowledges the open stance but says it always optimal if you can step in. I watched a lot of pro practice vids on youtube and they all seem to like to step in as well. I think open stance all the time is an extreme view honestly.

Becker??

share the link, but sounds like he's proving he doesn't understand the modern game so far, but
I have an open mind. I'd like to see his take.
Not only played a way back, but was not known for technique or thinking, and had Nick for a coach! Of course that was maybe good for his approach, which was not technical.

Power Player
02-02-2012, 06:45 PM
I answered that question in my last post.

We all wish we could play like that guy regardless of style of play. Lets be real about it. He defintley gets the modern game and you should watch the video. But you seem deadset on one method of play and that is all, so i know nothing will change your mind. Nothing wrong with it, but we are not all clones.

Regardless, i watch a lot of pro practice videos and they all step in when they can and hit open as well.

5263
02-02-2012, 06:56 PM
He defintley gets the modern game and you should watch the video. But you seem deadset on one method of play and that is all, so i know nothing will change your mind. Nothing wrong with it, but we are not all clones.

I edited that post after reading more,
can you share the link? is it youtube?

I'm not set, but have just moved past that and learned that stepping in with wt shift is holding back many players from learning to be real good at attacking the mid ct ball. Very few even in the pros are great at it and it's way worse in rec play. IMO this is largely due to the myth of wt into step in shot on mid ct balls.

I know you keep citing where you see pros step in, but that means little, as I guess you don't see the compensations they make to adjust for it ( or else you would not keep repeating that). Often when you do actually see them step in with wt, they end up over juicing the ball out.
I look forward to what you have with Becker though.
I've just not see anything remotely convincing to go back where I spent 15 yrs of dealing with the shortcomings that we don't experience with open stance!

5263
02-02-2012, 07:02 PM
Becker says Murray has everything in place to win a slam??
Not even close, unless the draw dropped it in his lap somehow.
Very good player, but next level from top 3.

SystemicAnomaly
02-03-2012, 10:38 AM
Becker says Murray has everything in place to win a slam??
Not even close, unless the draw dropped it in his lap somehow.
Very good player, but next level from top 3.

Didn't Murray prove himself in his 5 set AO semi against Djokovic?

SystemicAnomaly
02-03-2012, 11:23 AM
First, We were speaking of flaws related to working execution, not possible injury aspects, but

I think that is a common misunderstanding and am a little surprised you would go with it except you have had some issues yourself, which may have swayed you some. Open stance has by no means been associated with more hip or knee problems than closed stance. Connors had hip surg as have others. No surprise that grinders like guga and Hewitt would have "over-use" injuries. They also both had that odd leg lift kick on their open Fh too, so is that it?
Hewitt used variety in his stances as you suggest anyway like Sampras; so much for that.

The Open stance is so good it may allow you to go harder and that could be a culprit, because with neutral you are forced to hold back or miss often.
My point anyway is to learn and train open, which help with proper stroke path, but do not be stance depend in your strokes; be balance dependent.

Methinks that you live on (in) a river in Egypt, the river Denial. All kidding aside, it is no stretch to come to the conclusion that the so-called modern game puts a lot more stress on the body than the older "classic" styles. We have seen a lot more injuries with both pros and amateurs in the past decade or two then we ever saw in previous decades. Sure the modern game styles are wonderful and have infused the game with more power and speed -- but this has not come without a price.

NY Times article on the demands/injuries of the modern game (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/14/sports/tennis/14tennis.html?pagewanted=print&position=)

As for my own hip flexor injury, that is a fairly recent development (about a year and a half). However, my belief that the prolific use of the open stance could lead to hip flexor problems goes back further than that. About 4 years ago, I started reading about concerns about the modern game and the overuse of the open-stance FH. I did quite a bit further research (other sources) that appeared to confirm my suspicions. The article by Dr Scott Riewald and the other links that I provided in my previous post are just a few of these sources. Sure, the are certainly other factors that can lead to hip issues. But it is difficult to ignore the role of the the added loading stresses of the modern FH.

I started using the open stance, in moderation, in the late 80s. In the past decade, particularly in the past few years, I've increased the frequency of my use of the open stance FH -- despite the research that I had done. I've never used the open stance exclusively, but its use appears to be a major factor in my hip issue.

Some of the links that I had found 4 years ago are no longer accessible (or their URLs have changed). One source that discusses the added stresses to the body from prolific use of the open stance FH is Complete Conditioning for Tennis, by Paul Roetert & T.S. Ellenbecker. The
USTA and other sources also provided articles that spoke of the concerns of the open stance FH. I can't seem to be able to dig up all of these but here is an in-depth discussion from Revolutionary Tennis:

Thru the Looking Glass -- F/H Open Stance = Injury (http://www.revolutionarytennis.com/Head_On_forehand2.html)
.

Djoker91
02-03-2012, 05:06 PM
Do we notice Fed tends to close or neutal his stance on almost all practice forehands? Strong E or weak SW.
Seems lots of modern players neutral or close their stance on balls they try to hit for winners. I know rallyballs are hit openstanced.

I noticed this as well. I think too another thing to take into consideration is how players hit with all their weight on the back foot, where the front foot is acutally off the ground. I think that is a rally ball type of stroke, and stepping in with a neutral stance is for the winner. I am going to try to hit off the loaded back foot next time im out. Anyone ever done that?

Djoker91
02-03-2012, 05:08 PM
Didn't Murray prove himself in his 5 set AO semi against Djokovic?

Coming from a huge Djokovic fan, Murray is now a force to be reckoned with. I want Djokovic to pull off the calendar slam, but I think Murray has Wimbledon this year. At least Djokovic has a extremely good chance of winning the French open, especially with the draw looking like it does right now

LeeD
02-03-2012, 05:25 PM
Hitting while planted on rear foot, front foot off the ground.
Very good Spanish style, with control, consistency, lots of topspin, good recovery, great for sustaining the point. They hit winners once in a while off that stance, but once in a while.
Now try something. Dropfeed yourself this technique. Add an open stance. What do you get?
Rally ball.

Djoker91
02-04-2012, 05:48 AM
Hitting while planted on rear foot, front foot off the ground.
Very good Spanish style, with control, consistency, lots of topspin, good recovery, great for sustaining the point. They hit winners once in a while off that stance, but once in a while.
Now try something. Dropfeed yourself this technique. Add an open stance. What do you get?
Rally ball.
Great. I'm gonna employ that during the course of a rally due to the great recovery time and less time to set up for the forehand. And as soon as I've moved my opponent around enough and get a floated I'm gonna step in and go with a neutral stance fore the winner. I've seen many pros do that. I've seen them hit winners off the back foot too but im gonna stay away from that and keep things sound

Djoker91
02-04-2012, 06:52 AM
Well watch the recent becker video. He acknowledges the open stance but says it always optimal if you can step in. I watched a lot of pro practice vids on youtube and they all seem to like to step in as well. I think open stance all the time is an extreme view honestly.

I agree. If I get a floater that just sits there for me, I'm not going to force myself to be open if I absolutely am positive based on my game that if I go neutral and take a small step towards the ball it will create a much faster shot and a winner. Can't afford to squander it by by forcing myself to be open and thus hitting a ball my opponent can get to and let him back in point and the possibility of losing the point when I had clear control and should have won that point. Doesn't do good for the match on the score board and especially mentally. Hard to get passed points I know I played better in and should have won. I'll spend the entire set saying in my mind "freakin forced the open stance, should have stepped in. It was right there". Had that happen to many times. Ends up being a bad turning point for me. You have that experience?

tennis_balla
02-04-2012, 07:19 AM
Djoker, you need to teach yourself or be taught when to hit from an open stance and when to hit from a neutral stance. Both are needed, and open stance does not cause injury. If this were the case then all current pro's would have hip problems.

Power Player
02-04-2012, 07:22 AM
I agree. If I get a floater that just sits there for me, I'm not going to force myself to be open if I absolutely am positive based on my game that if I go neutral and take a small step towards the ball it will create a much faster shot and a winner. Can't afford to squander it by by forcing myself to be open and thus hitting a ball my opponent can get to and let him back in point and the possibility of losing the point when I had clear control and should have won that point. Doesn't do good for the match on the score board and especially mentally. Hard to get passed points I know I played better in and should have won. I'll spend the entire set saying in my mind "freakin forced the open stance, should have stepped in. It was right there". Had that happen to many times. Ends up being a bad turning point for me. You have that experience?

No i dont because i grew up learning neutral stance, so the open stance to me was a way to hit more offensively from wider angles of the court. You will get it though..may need a coaching session for your footowrk.

5263 there is a recent thread in here on using the wrist and the becker vid is in there.

Djoker91
02-04-2012, 10:33 AM
No i dont because i grew up learning neutral stance, so the open stance to me was a way to hit more offensively from wider angles of the court. You will get it though..may need a coaching session for your footowrk.

5263 there is a recent thread in here on using the wrist and the becker vid is in there.

Yea my strokes are pretty good. All and all I'm happy with them. Just when its hit the winner time I had that little hiccup between stances. Definitely need to tighten up the footwork. Thanks for the input man. Let's go for the djoker slam all 4 this year baby

SystemicAnomaly
02-04-2012, 12:55 PM
Djoker, you need to teach yourself or be taught when to hit from an open stance and when to hit from a neutral stance. Both are needed, and open stance does not cause injury. If this were the case then all current pro's would have hip problems.

You seem to have missed the message. Players who use an open stance FH most of the time run the risk of a hip flexor injury. As the Revolutionary Tennis article suggests, the likelihood is also probably dependent on your implementation of the open stance FH. The implementation that Roger often employs appears to be less stressful than the implementation employed by some other players (such as Guga & Lleyton).

As you mention, both stances should be used. All the current pros do not have hip problems, in part, cuz they all do not use the open stance FH exclusively. Variety is the key to minimizing hip issues and other injuries. Also, the specific implementation is another factor as I mentioned above. While some pros already suffer from hip problems in their 20s, some will not experience hip problems til their 30s or later in life. Mark my words.
.

Djoker91
02-04-2012, 03:01 PM
You seem to have missed the message. Players who use an open stance FH most of the time run the risk of a hip flexor injury. As the Revolutionary Tennis article suggests, the likelihood is also probably dependent on your implementation of the open stance FH. Roger's implementation is very likely less stressful than the implementation employed by other players (such as Guga & Lleyton).

As you mention, both stances should be used. All the current pros do not have hip problems cuz they all do not used the open stance FH exclusively. Variety is the key to avoiding hip issues. Also, the specific implementation is another factor as I mentioned above. While some pros already suffer from hip problems in their 20s, some will not experience hip problems til their 30s or later in life. Mark my words.

In any event, causing injury or not, I believe a variety of stances is needed. Every top player has this. Federer and Djokovic especially. More weapons and less body stress.

5263
02-08-2012, 04:55 PM
Didn't Murray prove himself in his 5 set AO semi against Djokovic?

You could see it either way, but for me, just proved more what he lacks.
I do see improvement in his Fh and mental game; it just not in place yet.
I think he did well to push him to 5 and didn't watch all or close enough
for specifics, But I don't see him as good enough to take it. IMO he needs
some breaks. Of course he is right there and can get one with the right
breaks.

With Joker it was different. I had commented many times his strokes were best
on tour, so he just need throttle back on taking too much risk too early in the
point. To beat him at this point when he is playing well, will take better use of
an all court game IMO. More like Fed used to play in 04.

5263
02-08-2012, 05:10 PM
All kidding aside, it is no stretch to come to the conclusion that the so-called modern game puts a lot more stress on the body than the older "classic" styles.

Maybe the modern "game", but not the modern "stokes" themselves. The modern game is quite fast, demanding, and full of long tough rallys, along with a long tough schedule. That will surely wear on players in many ways, not just hips (concurs with the source you provided).

On the other hand, top pros have always use mostly modern strokes and Oscar developed his Modern strokes from studying the best players of the 60s and 70s,
the ones you say didn't have all these probs.
Even one of your listed references stated there are NO studies linking open stance to hip injuries. That is from your provided source.

Most importantly, No one is saying hit Open stance all the time. Nobody.
What is stated is to learn to hit open because it promotes balance and natural body movements, then play with no stance limitations. When you have learned in the open stance, then you step to neutral or closed, you will naturally more likely stay on balance and keep your strokes under control better. Your body will be better prepared to deal with the limitations of the lesser stances you may find yourself in during a point.

Maybe we will find the pros of today have hip problems from learning classic initially then evolving to modern over the years. Many of the hybrid techniques produce lots of stress till the player comes around to more full modern technique. Could be the evolution that is tough on the hips. Not saying this is the case, but we just don't know. I think it wrong to state these hunches about open stance as facts.

gregor.b
02-08-2012, 05:15 PM
I had a problem with my forehand that I finally was able to fix. My forehand was way to high and loopy even when I tried to have lower net clearance. Couldn't fix it for a while. Was hitting with a really open stance, closed it up more to neutral and ka-ching! And the thing that helped the most was being able to transfer weight much easier allowing the shot more power and thus a lower net clearance, roughly 3 feet right where I want it. Used to be 10-13 feet. Awful right? Lol though I'm glad I found and fixed my troublesome problem, I have a very hard time getting into position with the neutral stance since its new to me. When I do get into position and it works out, I can spank a winner. I.e. a weak second serve. But sometimes during a rally my footwork won't work out. Not that I don't have enough time, but I'm taking to many steps or not enough. Timing off half the time. Any tips to help be into position every time?! Please help! Thanks!

The idea is to have the body weight transfer towards/through the ball.That way you get more power and don't have to hit so high to get depth. The ball only needs to go a couple feet over the net to land past the baseline. This allows you to take time away from the opponent. The more grooved you get with the stroke,the harder you can hit it.

5263
02-08-2012, 05:24 PM
The idea is to have the body weight transfer towards/through the ball.That way you get more power and don't have to hit so high to get depth. The ball only needs to go a couple feet over the net to land past the baseline. This allows you to take time away from the opponent. The more grooved you get with the stroke,the harder you can hit it.

Timbo slice say you guys are much more modern in technique in Oz; are guys still talking about wt shift into the ball?
Thought you guys had moved past that classic approach.

SystemicAnomaly
02-09-2012, 10:48 AM
... Even one of your listed references stated there are NO studies linking open stance to hip injuries. That is from your provided source...

The source that you are referring to is from a USTA Q&A health-fitness page. Unfortunately, the questions & answers are not dated. So we really don't know how long ago that particular statement was made. However, the following excerpt is from a later question:

"... I think it is definitely possible that the pain you are experiencing in your hip is the result of overuse. You say you are hitting 500 open stance forehands every day. That means you are loading that hip and putting essentially the same stresses on it each time you hit the ball. That is a lot of repetitive stress, and you can probably see how that could damage the structures in your hip. Overuse injuries occur over time...

Every time a stress is applied to a tendon, or ligament, or another structure in the body a small amount of damage occurs. This is not enough to cause an injury, but over time, these small micro-tears build up and lead to pain and inflammation.

One suggestion would be to mix things up a bit – play with a partner or have the ball machine alternately feed to your forehand and backhand. At least then you will be moving and hitting different shots – some likely will still be open stance forehands but you also will likely hit some with semi-open or square stances."


... I think it wrong to state these hunches about open stance as facts.

You don't really have to accept these concerns as irrefutable facts. However, these concerns should not be ignored -- they should serve as a caveat that players should probably heed. Quite a few credible sources have indicated that there appears to be a strong correlation between hip problems and the prolific use of the open stance FH. My own experience with other players and my own hip indicates to me that the concern is probably not unwarranted. As both you and I have stated, a variety of stances are used by most elite players. I believe that this variety should tend to minimize overuse injuries to hips, shoulders and other parts of the body.
.

5263
02-09-2012, 11:18 AM
My own experience with other players and my own hip indicates to me that the concern is probably not unwarranted. As both you and I have stated, a variety of stances are used by most elite players. I believe that this variety should tend to minimize overuse injuries to hips, shoulders and other parts of the body.
.

Sounds reasonable enough and we are both biased by our own experience.
I'm 51 and have started using as much open as I can over the last 5 years,
and even I my age, I feel it has greatly reduced the stresses for me compared
to when I used more neutral stances. Open to me should be so smooth and flowing
that it is hard for me to relate it to causing problems. I think it allows players to
work harder, which may lead to the problems. I can see why you would be swayed
in much the same way by your experience.
I'm also not convinced that the players continuing to use the classic elements to
their game is not causing the problems. I doubt we will know for sure, as it is
tough to break things down. Maybe there are better ways to use open than other
ways to use open. Guga and some others have some odd aspects to their open
it seems to me.

Good points you make.

Djoker91
02-11-2012, 06:55 PM
Based on my experience of play, I need to at least open the game neutral. Makes sure my strokes hit through the ball. After 5 min or warming up like that, I can use open, because im warmed up and used to the weight shift. Maybe I'm just different. I play at the rec level, and sit and wait for a forehand while open stanced, realizing I have more than enough time to neutral up and groove it. Even the pros on the backhand side, always closing up. So its possible. Forehand side can carry that same principal I believe. It would actually be nice to have a match with you since our styles are different. I played 2 matches and my forehand is back to money. No more sailing. Take a look at this gentlemen, stance and all. I hit extremely similar. Same grip and same result of forehand. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPCY1PNAYqE

5263
02-11-2012, 10:35 PM
I played 2 matches and my forehand is back to money. No more sailing. Take a look at this gentlemen, stance and all. I hit extremely similar. Same grip and same result of forehand. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPCY1PNAYqE

Good your stroke is back. Wil is a good example of no stance dependence. He hits from balance and even when closed or neutral, does not do a wt shift out to ball on target line, but instead rotates more side to side as evidenced by his left foot compensating out to the left and his finish back towards the center of the court on most of the neutral stance shots. I don't expect you hit that much like him or you wouldn't be on here asking what you did : )

KenC
02-12-2012, 12:25 AM
Another way to think of "which stance should I use?" is to base that decision on what ball you are facing, where you are, how your feet are going to get you there, and what shot do you need to reply with. In this bigger picture scenario sometimes an open stance just doesn't make sense, in others a neutral stance just doesn't and often times a semi-open stance/semi neutral stance is just what you need.

Deep, hard hit balls out wide definitely favor an open stance as your feet probably don't have the time to get there, plant the back foot and drive forward with a neutral stance. An easy ball that bounces on the service line right in the middle isn't going to favor an open stance.

I tend to focus a lot on footwork as it is usually what either wins me a point or makes me lose a point. Usually the swing is pretty much the same movement, so the real wildcard is footwork that enables you the best opportunity to return the ball. In this regard, it is worthwhile to learn how to hit open, semi-open and neutral and not focus on just one or even give preference to one. Let your feet decide which one to employ based on how they can best set up for the shot.

5263
02-12-2012, 07:09 AM
Another way to think of "which stance should I use?" is to base that decision on what ball you are facing, where you are, how your feet are going to get you there, and what shot do you need to reply with. In this bigger picture scenario sometimes an open stance just doesn't make sense, in others a neutral stance just doesn't and often times a semi-open stance/semi neutral stance is just what you need.

Deep, hard hit balls out wide definitely favor an open stance as your feet probably don't have the time to get there, plant the back foot and drive forward with a neutral stance. An easy ball that bounces on the service line right in the middle isn't going to favor an open stance.

I tend to focus a lot on footwork as it is usually what either wins me a point or makes me lose a point. Usually the swing is pretty much the same movement, so the real wildcard is footwork that enables you the best opportunity to return the ball. In this regard, it is worthwhile to learn how to hit open, semi-open and neutral and not focus on just one or even give preference to one. Let your feet decide which one to employ based on how they can best set up for the shot.

Maybe, but
there are some great coaches that would say thinking about stance while going to your shot as you describe, would not be recommended at all.

here is a kid with a nice attack from a slightly open stance, even though he has to move forward quick to get there. Kid is reported to be a national level player, although he does not appear very refined as yet, so I thought his example excellent on this-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGOpBOInb38&feature=related

I don't agree with all the commentator say on there, but think he is spot on talking about how attacking the short ball well is key.

KenC
02-12-2012, 09:36 AM
Maybe, but
there are some great coaches that would say thinking about stance while going to your shot as you describe, would not be recommended at all.

here is a kid with a nice attack from a slightly open stance, even though he has to move forward quick to get there. Kid is reported to be a national level player, although he does not appear very refined as yet, so I thought his example excellent on this-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGOpBOInb38&feature=related

I don't agree with all the commentator say on there, but think he is spot on talking about how attacking the short ball well is key.

That kid's neutral stance is a very good example of how to execute it. Pushed off the back foot and weight on the front foot and still moving forward into the ball, so that right after contact the back foot has to come forward to keep balance. This isn't the classical neutral stance that we learned in the 70's but is today's much more aggressive neutral stance.

While it is great for attacking a short ball and hitting an approach as one goes to the net, there are times when that neutral stance will not be advantageous. I think a deep, high ball really needs an open stance. I also think an open stance factors in better when dealing with hard hit corner shots as there is less preparation needed to set up and there is less recovery needed afterward. Both short balls and wide balls obviously also depend on very good footwork or execution of the swing could be erratic. Other than short balls and very wide balls, I would probably suggest a semi open stance to take advantage of both forward weight transfer combined with good trunk rotation.

If I was a coach I would probably teach the semi-open first and then later let it be adapted to the neutral and full open as needed. Although, if I was a coach I would teach tennis based on sound footwork from the beginning and let that always factor into shot selection.

5263
02-12-2012, 09:51 AM
That kid's neutral stance is a very good example of how to execute it.

If I was a coach I would probably teach the semi-open first and then later let it be adapted to the neutral and full open as needed.

Well really that kid's "neutral stance" is an "Open stance", so interesting spin you put on it. Currently we only have closed, neutral, and open stance, so once he opens it, it is an open stance. If you want to further describe it as some do with "semi open" that is fine of course, as long as you understand that semi-open is an aspect of open stance, (just like it's closed or not-no semi-closed). Neutral is a very small window to describe a stance that was between open and closed. No need to expand the neutral and is no "semi-neutral" at this point. Trying to hedge it over to neutral is just holding on to old ideas and misleading. Better to accept open as open for the reasons it is used and why it works better.

KenC
02-12-2012, 10:29 AM
^^ My bad for terminology. I thought closed stance was older terminology replaced by neutral stance. I refer to neutral as feet lined up perpendicular to the net and open as parallel. Semi-open as in between.

If there is a difference between closed and neutral I would like to know what it is, especially in terms of feet positioning.

5263
02-12-2012, 11:39 AM
^^ My bad for terminology. I thought closed stance was older terminology replaced by neutral stance. I refer to neutral as feet lined up perpendicular to the net and open as parallel. Semi-open as in between.

If there is a difference between closed and neutral I would like to know what it is, especially in terms of feet positioning.

I believe neutral stance is having the feet in alignment with the shot line, and nothing to do with the net IMO and.
Closed stance is where the front foot steps across that shot line, closing it off and opposite from stepping to open the stance, often seen on Bhs. Many people include Neutral stance as a subset of the Closed stance, but not the open stance.
Open stance will be any noticeable front foot placement off of the line of shot line, opening up to the shot line and opposite of closed foot placement.

As you can see here, neutral is a small segment and sort of new for more wide usage. It is often referred to as closed and could be a subset of closed, but not IMO as part of open. I don't have a problem with semi-open, but it is a subset of Open and not of neutral, which has no subset. Neutral is a very narrow area that could be seen as closed but makes the line before open.

But even with how you felt it was used, should have been clear this kid was not neutral or closed and instead was using a lightly opened stance.

SystemicAnomaly
02-12-2012, 08:16 PM
This is from an old Mountain Ghost post:

http://www.mountainghosttennis.com/tennisstancesright.gif


Some people still refer to a neutral (square or even) stance as closed. However, many of us prefer to make a distinction between a neutral stance and a stance that is significantly closed. Any stance that is close to even, one that is slightly open or one that is slightly closed, would still qualify as a neutral stance.

With open and neutral stances, the hips are free to rotate. However, if the stance is significantly closed, the hips are locked. This is the primary reason the distinction is made between closed and neutral stances. With a stance that is sufficiently closed, the back leg must swing around in order to utilize a body rotation.

Hitting with a closed stance is ok in some situations. However, if you run out wide for a FH (or 2-handed BH), the closed stance can cost you valuable recovery time. You might be required to run a least 2 extra steps after contact to recover for the next shot = very inefficient. On the FH side, I believe that Nadal does this quite a bit more more than Federer (who, I believe, rarely does it at all). One would be better off employing a neutral, open to semi-open stance to avoid this recovery time issue. A mogul move can be used in some situations to hasten recovery time when retrieving a ball out wide.

You will often see Federer and other 1-handers employing a closed stance on the BH side. This is fine because this shot requires very little, if any, hip rotation. Not much of a recovery time issue in this case.

SystemicAnomaly
02-12-2012, 08:25 PM
Another distinction can often be made between a neutral and closed stance. With the former, the player is often stepping towards the net (or shifting their weight or momentum in that direction). With a closed stance, the player is often stepping toward the side fence - the weight/momentum is moving out to the side (rather than into the court).

We can see this by noting the orientation of the front foot for neutral and closed stances in the Mountain Ghost diagram in my previous post.

5263
02-12-2012, 08:44 PM
Another distinction can often be made between a neutral and closed stance. With the former, the player is often stepping towards the net (or shifting their weight or momentum in that direction). With a closed stance, the player is often stepping toward the side fence - the weight/momentum is moving out to the side (rather than into the court).

We can see this by noting the orientation of the front foot for neutral and closed stances in the Mountain Ghost diagram in my previous post.

How do you feel about making these based on relationship to the net?
If you run around the Bh to hit a Fh back to the ad court where it came from, then step into the shot on the shot line inbound and out bound, then that would be closed due to use the net as the reference. Does that seem right to you?
Just interested in your opinion on this.

SystemicAnomaly
02-12-2012, 09:06 PM
How do you feel about making these based on relationship to the net?
If you run around the Bh to hit a Fh back to the ad court where it came from, then step into the shot on the shot line inbound and out bound, then that would be closed due to use the net as the reference. Does that seem right to you?
Just interested in your opinion on this.

Excellent point. For most shots, the net could serve as an adequate stance reference. However, as you have suggested, it is not really the best reference for all shots. As you stated in a previous post, the neutral stance (and other stances) should or could be reference to the "shot line".

However, when you set up for a shot and assume a particular stance, the direction of the shot should not yet be established. In most cases, you should assume a stance and body orientation that should allow you to hit X-court, DTL or any other direction. With this in mind, how do we reference the stance?

5263
02-12-2012, 09:18 PM
Excellent point. For most shots, the net could serve as an adequate stance reference. However, as you have suggested, it is not really the best reference for all shots. As you stated in a previous post, the neutral stance (and other stances) should or could be reference to the "shot line".

However, when you set up for a shot and assume a particular stance, the direction of the shot should not yet be established. In most cases, you should assume a stance and body orientation that should allow you to hit X-court, DTL or any other direction. With this in mind, how do we reference the stance?

Part of why I like open stance so, but your points are good of course.
I expect you take a stance, then the shot line determines what the stance was. This is how I view it.
You agree?
If you start with lightly open, the inside out would end up very open, with the inside in being more like neutral; each quite easy to execute from there.

Another reason not to be stance dependent with your shots, as it leaves those options open regardless of feet position.