Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by highsierra, Apr 9, 2012.
Here's an 8 year old hitting a forehand. What you think are the good and need improvement?
From what I could see, pretty decent fundamentals. But is that a western grip? Hard to see. But if it is I would rather her slide over to semi western.
She needs to allow her back foot to come around and not drag her toe. I also prefer a more closed racquet face as the racquet drops....what some call a 'pat the dog' position. Lastly, get her to pull the racquet butt through the stroke more.
The good....nice high take back, off arm extension, moving into the ball well.
Thanks a lot. It's a semi-western (or supposed to be), but it seems she tucks her elbow too much when the swing forward starts. Or maybe it's just her natural way of dealing with high balls. At this age every ball is a high ball for her.
I suppose that it's the moment in the screenshot when she needs to "pat the dog" (with the racket face pointing down and back a bit more?
I don't quite get "pull the racquet butt through the stroke more". Do you mean she should hit the ball more in front? It appears to me that she redirects the forward motion to swiping to the left too early.
Thanks a lot for the comments.
Exactly, her elbow gets tucked against her body, common with kids. Try telling her to "get some air under her armpit"!
When I say pull the butt cap through....you want her to accelerate the racquet at contact. Many less skilled players will wind up and the entire stroke goes into the ball.
Watch the best players, when their racquet meets the ball they accelerate at contact, the racquet explodes into ball at contact. It generates lots of power with little wind up. Less wind up, less to go wrong.
Go to You Tube and watch the forehands of the top players. They will drop the racquet into the slot, the strings are horizontal or close to it with the ground, then they 'pull' through contact.
I tried to send my Mom a .gif from a video. Did you convert with freeware?
Not a bad stroke. Notice the right elbow is tucked and angled really close to the body throughout the stroke. This is going keep her from creating great racquet head spead later on (using the butt of the racquet). Correcting this will also make it a lot easier on her footwork and allow here to play more offensively.
she's 8 and doing good.. do not watch and try to imitate top pros strokes when she's so young .. you will end up hurting her,maybe permanently..the pros use way too much wrist and arm ,tell yourself that tennis is a lower body sport and you will succeed .. people need to let things happen naturally .. don't try to sprint when she's just starting to walk...
Sorry socal, simply not true. She has major flaws for an 8 year old that will be very hard to correct the more she does them. Dragging the back toe, keeping the racquet face totally open, no drop into the slot, elbow tucked in to her body, hitting the ball with her hand wrapped under the grip.
These things need correcting. All are done properly by top pros and many, many kids we work with emulate the pros with zero negative effects.
Telling a kid tennis is a lower body sport and allowing her to continue that stroke with no corrections would be insanity. Tennis is both getting to the ball efficiently and hitting properly once she gets there.
A pro gradually evolves to their strokes. She would of course not be whipping around like Nadal at 8 years old, that is not what she would take from emulating top pros.
My son use to do that with his elbow. We use to call it the T-Rex forehand.
I told my daughter it would lead to smelly armpits and she stopped doing it very fast!
Here are my 2 cents:
1. hit from baseline
2. change grip to semi western
3. straight arm through impact
4. extent arm through stroke
5. at this stage of development, hit closed stand
Master Closed stance. My daughter even returned serves Closed from 7-8.
She was introduced open after a little over a year.
Pretty good for an 8yr old. As she gets older the stance should move to more open for the grip. Left shoulder is tense and stuck forward reducing her range of follow thru with her right shoulder. Developing the technique to self generate power from full rotation is important. Linear weight transfer can add to that rotational force later but too much linear habit will impede development of rotational part of the technique.
thanks a lot folks. Excellent points and analysis. Some of which I already suggested to her over the weekend and she's already working on it, like hitting through more and finishing with the right foot stepping forward instead of dragging/stopping behind. It's good to get the confirmation that close stance is the preferred way at such a young age.
I also told her that if she tucks her elbow that much armpit would smell bad. LOL. We'll see if the shock has immediate impact. Hopefully she can work on the more detailed tweaks in the coming days. Changing the grip to more semi western would probably the hardest one. She started out with SW but drifted to W when she started hitting balls that come at her faster. I didn't even notice until CoachDad asked.
Should she stick the left arm out more when taking the racket back, and then brush towards front and left as the swing starts? boramiNYC, I think sticking the left arm out and brushing should help with the body rotation?
The starting position of left arm is good but where it ends up and stays while the right arm swings is restricting rotation. The left elbow needs to stop right on the side or little behind but not front of torso. This will help more rotation. But, she is swinging like an Eastern grip forehand with a lot of elbow bent due to Western grip, most of the power coming from linear body weight transfer forward. And the contact point is like an eastern grip swing.
Address left elbow, more rotation of pulling from the hip in a more open stance, less bend on hitting elbow, contact point more front with arm stretched out in front. All of these are needed to help her rotate smoothly and forcefully.
It seems she started out learning the swing more eastern or SW grip and then just changed the grip to more western without changing the swing and the elbow adjusting for the new grip. She gotta change one. Grip or more rotation form.
Probably basically what hacker was getting at with hitting from the baseline, but she needs to open up. Go hit a ball over the fence. You couldn't do that with the body scrunched up like that. If you told her to hit it way over the fence, her body would naturally open up.
Her take-back is perfect. Wish I could get my son to consistently do that high take-back.
Does anyone think the racquet / grip may be too large which accounts for the T Rex form
I saw a guy trying to teach his 7 year old beginner daughter to hit with an open stance at my club yesterday. Took a lot of will power not to say something.
Some responses to things posted here:
1. The grip size will not cause the T rex form. That being said, she should be using a 4-4 1/8 grip at most.
2. The only kids you need to 'teach' a closed stance is very beginners. You start beginners closed stance and eastern grip. This girl is past that and will hit closed, open, semi open, depending on the situation. Do not force a kid, once they have the fundamentals, to hit either way, they will learn to adapt to the situation. There is absolutely zero need to 'make' this girl hit from a closed stance and that would not correct any of her issues.
3. No need to hit from the baseline before correcting the flaws. More air under the arm pit, drop into the slot, better extension of the off arm, more pull and acceleration at contact, better rotation and not dragging the back toe....does not matter if this is taught from the baseline, the service line, or in the driveway hitting against the garage door. Correct the form then the rest will follow.
I agree.I think starting the too early to hit with an open stance can make them lazy with their footwork.
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