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kiennham
02-06-2012, 04:43 PM
Since I'm new to this forum, I'll introduce myself first. I've been playing for more than 1.5 years. I would put myself between 3.0-3.5 NTRP. I play with eastern forehand and western 1HBH. Currently using Wilson Prostaff Classic 95 and K90, but I will be switching to Prostaff 6.0 85 (this racquet is so sweet!).

Here is my video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5emIi5T6SnA&feature=youtu.be

Please critique my strokes. I know that my footwork is lazy and poor so I'll be working on that.
Thanks in advance.

Ducker
02-06-2012, 10:44 PM
Give us a rear camera angle...

Cheetah
02-06-2012, 11:34 PM
looks like you have natural talent. but...

seems like something you'd see on a chess forum:
"Hi. here are the moves to my last chess match. i lost. i don't use strategy and when i do it's pretty lazy but besides that how was my game? Please critique my match."

if you don't work on footwork then your strokes won't matter. you can't have decent strokes without half-way decent footwork. what does it matter if you your swing path looks like fed's but your off balance or late to the ball or dont have any weight transfer?

the reason you haven't gotten a lot of replies, imo, is because of your approach. If you would have said "hi. please help with my footwork and strokes" or "here's a vid of me hitting. how do i get better?" then you'd have a lot of replies and a good convo going about all kinds of things.

good footwork and weak strokes will beat lazy footwork and decent strokes every time.

you want to get better right? hitting a well struck ball is fun. with your current swing you should be able to strike balls reasonably well. but in that vid you hit none of them well, in my opinion, because your feet weren't properly engaged. so practice properly and get a solid foundation now and you'll improve faster and have more fun and be more competitive even if you're just looking to rally.

good strokes start from the ground up.

Chyeaah
02-07-2012, 12:25 AM
Get some electrical tape and aim for a spot. I think your hitting the balls too high since most of them go above your head (this is where the box comes in). Western 1HBH? as in past semi-western backhand on the 8th bevel, or a eastern backhand on the 1st bevel.

Nellie
02-07-2012, 07:52 AM
When you are hitting against a wall, try to avoid hitting hard and, instead, work on your form by soft hitting with full stroke mechanics. In this video, your forehand is really short without any shoulder rotation. Note that you don't have any shoulder rotation turn for or during the forehand stroke. This happens when you are playing against the wall because the ball is coming back twice as fast compared to a regular rally. In this video, your forehand is basically a wrist flick without any torso/shoulder movement. Also, you are not getting under the ball and swinging up, so your shots are pretty flat.

Regarding footwork, you do need to stay on your toes better to adjust to the ball. On a lot of those strokes you are hitting a ball at your feet or jumping backwards to get out of the way of the ball rather than taking a couple of small steps to adjust for the ball. During a match, this will cause you to lose consistency.

kiennham
02-07-2012, 12:53 PM
Get some electrical tape and aim for a spot. I think your hitting the balls too high since most of them go above your head (this is where the box comes in). Western 1HBH? as in past semi-western backhand on the 8th bevel, or a eastern backhand on the 1st bevel.


I do have an "imaginary box" when I hit with the ball, but because the wall is uneven, the ball bounces back in another different direction unexpectedly, and because my footwork is poor, so I don't have a good preparation to hit the ball well, which is the reason for my hitting the ball high.
My index knuckle is on 1st bevel, and the 8th bevel runs in between my thumb and index finger (isn't this called western backhand?). Sometimes I hit more toward continental.


When you are hitting against a wall, try to avoid hitting hard and, instead, work on your form by soft hitting with full stroke mechanics. In this video, your forehand is really short without any shoulder rotation. Note that you don't have any shoulder rotation turn for or during the forehand stroke. This happens when you are playing against the wall because the ball is coming back twice as fast compared to a regular rally. In this video, your forehand is basically a wrist flick without any torso/shoulder movement. Also, you are not getting under the ball and swinging up, so your shots are pretty flat.

Regarding footwork, you do need to stay on your toes better to adjust to the ball. On a lot of those strokes you are hitting a ball at your feet or jumping backwards to get out of the way of the ball rather than taking a couple of small steps to adjust for the ball. During a match, this will cause you to lose consistency.


Regarding footwork and shoulder rotation, I do try to do those when I hit. I tell myself to stay on my toe, split step and rotate shoulders when I hit the ball, but as I hit, my mind slips and I forget to keep doing those.
Without a coach, it will take some time to get the habits of constantly doing those things. Nevertheless, I managed to get into Varsity team without a coach after one semester when I first started playing (no, my team wasn't that bad), I think I would be able to do this.

kiennham
02-07-2012, 01:06 PM
looks like you have natural talent. but...

seems like something you'd see on a chess forum:
"Hi. here are the moves to my last chess match. i lost. i don't use strategy and when i do it's pretty lazy but besides that how was my game? Please critique my match."

if you don't work on footwork then your strokes won't matter. you can't have decent strokes without half-way decent footwork. what does it matter if you your swing path looks like fed's but your off balance or late to the ball or dont have any weight transfer?

the reason you haven't gotten a lot of replies, imo, is because of your approach. If you would have said "hi. please help with my footwork and strokes" or "here's a vid of me hitting. how do i get better?" then you'd have a lot of replies and a good convo going about all kinds of things.

good footwork and weak strokes will beat lazy footwork and decent strokes every time.

you want to get better right? hitting a well struck ball is fun. with your current swing you should be able to strike balls reasonably well. but in that vid you hit none of them well, in my opinion, because your feet weren't properly engaged. so practice properly and get a solid foundation now and you'll improve faster and have more fun and be more competitive even if you're just looking to rally.

good strokes start from the ground up.

Thanks for your advice and everyone else'.
I understand what you're trying to tell me. The only reason for me to create this thread is to get better and I thought getting better was the apparent reason for someone to create this kind of thread. Because I don't think anyone would just go around and ask other people to critique their strokes just for the sake of critiquing their strokes. There has to be some reasons to that, and the only reason that comes to me is to get better.
Anyways, your advice is taken and I will word my post differently next time.
Once again, thank you.

rufusbgood
02-07-2012, 02:00 PM
I'm one of the people who viewed and ran. I didn't respond because basically I think you look pretty good and there's not much I can offer you except to say keep at it. I mean, yeah, there are times when it's evident you've only been playing a short while, but on the whole your strokes look good.

Now if you really want to be critiqued you should post match video because frankly it's pretty easy to look good against a wall. You look nice and relaxed and you're repeating the same stroke over and over. Fine. But there's no net and no one moving you around.

Anyway, I wish you the best. There's plenty folks who will see the way you are hitting there and ask you to play.

kiennham
02-07-2012, 02:58 PM
So what I'm getting from some of the replies is that I need to have more videos to give a better idea of how I play. I will try to get some more videos on what I think are my weaknesses in the next few days.

Regarding the footwork, are there any drills that I can do to improve footwork and any specific things I can do when I hit to improve footwork besides split step and keep moving constantly?

LeeD
02-07-2012, 03:03 PM
Drills. Move your feet to position for EVERY shot. Move back for 2 bounces if you are just too slow now.
Hitting a wall tells little, except you can hit.
Hitting is not playing. It's hitting.

Cheetah
02-07-2012, 07:30 PM
I think 2 bounces is good for wall hitting. one bounce is too quick.
try to use more body and less arm when you swing.
watch the vids on lockandrolltennis.
gotta work those feet. make it a habit now while your learning. other wise you'll have to "fix" things and unlearn bad habits etc etc which is time consuming.

Cheetah
02-07-2012, 07:32 PM
Thanks for your advice and everyone else'.
I understand what you're trying to tell me. The only reason for me to create this thread is to get better and I thought getting better was the apparent reason for someone to create this kind of thread. Because I don't think anyone would just go around and ask other people to critique their strokes just for the sake of critiquing their strokes. There has to be some reasons to that, and the only reason that comes to me is to get better.
Anyways, your advice is taken and I will word my post differently next time.
Once again, thank you.

no problem. i was a little harsh but that was just to 'kick you in the butt' to get you moving. good luck.

Chyeaah
02-07-2012, 09:51 PM
I do have an "imaginary box" when I hit with the ball, but because the wall is uneven, the ball bounces back in another different direction unexpectedly, and because my footwork is poor, so I don't have a good preparation to hit the ball well, which is the reason for my hitting the ball high.
My index knuckle is on 1st bevel, and the 8th bevel runs in between my thumb and index finger (isn't this called western backhand?). Sometimes I hit more toward continental.


Get a actual box. Electrical tape isn't that expensive its like $1-2 for a roll.

A real box will always be better than an imaginary box since you can actually see if it goes in or not. With an imaginary box you can't be sure.

Start with 1 bounce and when you get tired, not like lazy tired but actually tired from the footwork then switch to 2 bounces. One bounce really ups your splitstep and footwork.

Cheetah
02-07-2012, 10:54 PM
Get a actual box. Electrical tape isn't that expensive its like $1-2 for a roll.

A real box will always be better than an imaginary box since you can actually see if it goes in or not. With an imaginary box you can't be sure.

Start with 1 bounce and when you get tired, not like lazy tired but actually tired from the footwork then switch to 2 bounces. One bounce really ups your splitstep and footwork.

True. but one bounce doesnt simulate the actual time it takes for a ball to return on a real court

Chyeaah
02-07-2012, 11:45 PM
True. but one bounce doesnt simulate the actual time it takes for a ball to return on a real court

True. But I could also argue that 2 bounces doesn't simulate how high the ball will come back to you in a real court. 2 bounces is really low, practicing against a wall is kind of like an exercise for footwork and hitting the ball consistently above the net (therefore you need a box), it doesn't have to simulate the time the ball will return. That's why i suggested you do both 1 bounce first because its more tiring and then after 2 bounces.

Cheetah
02-08-2012, 01:36 AM
True. But I could also argue that 2 bounces doesn't simulate how high the ball will come back to you in a real court. 2 bounces is really low, practicing against a wall is kind of like an exercise for footwork and hitting the ball consistently above the net (therefore you need a box), it doesn't have to simulate the time the ball will return. That's why i suggested you do both 1 bounce first because its more tiring and then after 2 bounces.

agree. good points.

Bagumbawalla
02-09-2012, 04:41 PM
Overall, you seem to be on the right track. What you want to strive for is a sort of "boring uniformity" in your stroke. You achieve that by getting into the same exact poition in relation to the ball-- to execute the same exact stroke in the same exact way.

So, concentrate on your footwork, watch the ball and strive to be in the right position each time to hit the ball in the perfect spot (as much as possible).

On the positive side, your stroke, when everything comes together properly, is a nice, loose stroke with very little that seems forced or unnecessary.

When practicing on a wall, I would choose an old, fluffed-up ball that is slightly on the "flat" side. It will give you a bit more time to position yourself and a better bounce from the wall.

domosborn
02-10-2012, 02:12 AM
don't think anyone has mentioned it yet, but you also might want to look at what your left arm is doing on your forehand, it looks a bit lazy and you could possibly do a little bit more with it in terms of counterbalance and setting up your body (anyone feel free to correct me if i'm wrong...)

jonba257
02-10-2012, 08:04 AM
as pthers have mentioned including yourself, getting in position, on time is just as important as the stroke itself. Try to beat the bounce and be ready behind the ball before it arrives, and the same on recovery. Lower your playing height too, standing upright loses balance and makes a consistent contact height harder. Would suggest that BH grip isnt a western, maybe you are hitting the opposite side of the strings to a western FH grip, this isnt a western BH. Hope this helps

kiennham
02-10-2012, 06:40 PM
When practicing on a wall, I would choose an old, fluffed-up ball that is slightly on the "flat" side. It will give you a bit more time to position yourself and a better bounce from the wall.

The first seconds of the video is when I hit with a somewhat flat ball, but then I threw it away. That kind of ball bounces really low when it return and I have to bend my back repeatedly with very short interval, which hurts my back after about 5-10 strokes.

don't think anyone has mentioned it yet, but you also might want to look at what your left arm is doing on your forehand, it looks a bit lazy and you could possibly do a little bit more with it in terms of counterbalance and setting up your body (anyone feel free to correct me if i'm wrong...)

I was told to use my left arm to aim at the ball as it comes toward me, but that seems unnatural to me, so I stop doing it. Having said that, I just realized that I am completely unaware of what my left arm does when I hit. I have never really paid attention to that.

as pthers have mentioned including yourself, getting in position, on time is just as important as the stroke itself. Try to beat the bounce and be ready behind the ball before it arrives, and the same on recovery. Lower your playing height too, standing upright loses balance and makes a consistent contact height harder. Would suggest that BH grip isnt a western, maybe you are hitting the opposite side of the strings to a western FH grip, this isnt a western BH. Hope this helps

I looked up in google, it says that my grip is western backhand. But here you say it's not....what grip is this then?

http://i1170.photobucket.com/albums/r528/kiennham/DSC_0041.jpghttp://i1170.photobucket.com/albums/r528/kiennham/DSC_0039.jpg

kiennham
02-10-2012, 06:48 PM
Another problem that I have with my strokes is that I lack directional control when I try for power. I used to be able to hit an inside-out forehand with pace and control, but after sometimes I could not do it anymore. It always ends up going down the line or cross court.
In addition to that, I have a hard time hitting my backhand down the line and outside-out. I can do that with moderate pace but when I try to finish the point, the ball ends up going cross court.

FearOfTheDark
02-10-2012, 07:10 PM
Loved it when you hit the ball over the wall hahaha :D

kiennham
02-13-2012, 07:22 PM
So I've been doing more footwork, getting into position, staying on my toe. But the problem is, I tired out easily and my left foot start to hurt....
Should my feet hurt if I do proper footwork ?

LeeD
02-13-2012, 07:28 PM
You might have a previous injury that healed, but still is weak.
Proper footwork, if done lots, WILL HURT!
Proper footwork, if done lots, and done well, and the player stays within his physical conditioning, should not hurt, but will tire you out.

Cheetah
02-13-2012, 08:08 PM
not sure about the pain. probably just pain from being tired and/or using muscles not previously engaged much. i think you'd be able to tell if it were pain from an injury.

if you're getting tired doing footwork then that's good. it's just your body saying 'everyone on the forum was right. you've been lazy'. haha. you should practice like that every day for a week. or as much as you can handle for a few weeks. then the tiredness will go away and you will AUTOMATICALLY be a better player.

kiennham
02-14-2012, 07:36 PM
Can anyone answer my question about the grip ? is my backhand grip western or eastern ?
What about the lack of control on backhand ?

kiennham
02-20-2012, 07:05 PM
I've improved noticeably doing more footwork and rotating my shoulders, also more weight transfers on both ground strokes and serves. The constant footwork doesn't hurt as much anymore.
I'll try to get some more videos up here when possible.

kengan
02-21-2012, 12:13 AM
The ball looked flat, didn't seem to bounce at all. Forehand looks solid but the backhand seemed to hit a bunch of pop ups.

Chyeaah
02-21-2012, 01:55 AM
A good thing about practising against the wall is to see how much topspin you have, if you have proper topspin it should pop up abit from the wall instead of straight back.

kiennham
02-21-2012, 07:47 PM
My head seems to look down, move at the instant I contact the point. I'm not quite aware of the fact that whether I loose sight of the ball right before of the instant of impact or not.
But if I do, will be that something that I need to fix or is it neglectable ?

tennishotdog
02-22-2012, 12:34 AM
nice forehand, would love to see it from the rear perspective and in brighter lighting tho