An honest opinion of my game

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by shake&bake, Sep 29, 2012.

  1. shake&bake

    shake&bake Rookie

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    Hey guys, hope you all are doing well, its been a while since I've been on here. I am a senior in high school and I really want to play Division 1 collegiate tennis. I picked up a racquet for the first time about 3 years ago, so I know I have some stuff to improve on but I would like to hear from you guys. Hope you all like it!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vCARzTREgE

    Thanks
    -Will
     
    #1
  2. The Meat

    The Meat Hall of Fame

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    Include some groundstrokes and volleys from the back perspective to show how the ball is traveling to your opponent. Also, try to include some more match play with people other than your coach.

    Use this as a reference:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIIgs4qQNvo
     
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  3. Babolatbarry

    Babolatbarry Guest

    This could be just me, and I'm not even close to your level, but it seems like your backhand is an obvious weakness compared to your forehand, so opponents would target it more. Maybe focus on cleaning it up some more. Your forehand is pretty good looking though
     
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  4. AM_ledge

    AM_ledge New User

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    Nice hitting. Are you an Isner fan?
     
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  5. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Man your footwork is awesome! On the forehand side your feet never stopped moving, awesome work!

    -Fuji
     
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  6. Babolatbarry

    Babolatbarry Guest

    Fuji you are probably the nicest person on TT. Always so upbeat and cheerful!
     
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  7. shake&bake

    shake&bake Rookie

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    Thanks for the nice comments guys! My backhand is not as strong as my forehand, my coach and I have worked on making my serve and forehand my major weapons, and my backhand reliable but not something im going to hit winner after winner with. And I am a big Isner fan, Ive tried to mimic his whole game since I first saw him play. And thank you Fuji, Ive never had great footwork but that is something Ive been working hard on lately!
     
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  8. karth500

    karth500 New User

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    I am nowhere close to your level either, so I'll defer to others for a critique of your game. but I think you have a gorgeous forehand. I think I am going to try and emulate your footwork and hip rotation on your forehand side. Also love how your feet were constantly moving.

    I agree with others that an angle from behind would be more useful. The backhand seems a little less consistent and it seems like you were reaching on a few of your backhands. You only mixed in one bh slice. If you could show that you have a good penetrating, neutralizing slice, that would also be good I think.

    Anyway, I am sure this is isn't anything you and your coach already don't know. Keep up the good work! Hope you achieve your goal of playing D1. :thumbup:
     
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  9. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

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    Very nice serves and crisp volleys.
     
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  10. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

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    I dont know what a recruiter looks for so I might be mistaken...

    But I think they would want to see some point play or rallies especially with a legit opponent. If you had some short clips of even a high school match, or some pre-season clips I think that would look really great.

    The foot work is crazy, like Kholschreiber status.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPvJ0WJ_4f8

    I would also take off my personal information from that clip or at least make the video "unlisted" so only people with the link can see it. If you really want to go the "public" route, I would make another video, make it public, but only put a contact email (not your personal one) just in case.

    You can leave the "public" one in display with your "tennis email" and you can use your "unlisted" video to send direct links to potential colleges with your personal information.

    I get a lot of weird texts on my phone from people as it is. I can only imagine how bad it will be if I had my phone number on a public Youtube video.
     
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  11. ATP100

    ATP100 Professional

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    1. Watch the ball....you don't.
    2. Serve...higher ball toss.
    3. Footwork.....it is busy, but you need a footwork coach.

    4. 3 years of play/practice...looks pretty good.
     
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  12. shake&bake

    shake&bake Rookie

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    Thanks for the advice guys. I put this thing together in 2 days so I completely forgot about putting the camera behind.
     
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  13. Babolatbarry

    Babolatbarry Guest

    Still a very good video nonetheless
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 29, 2012
    #13
  14. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    Your strokes are fine and the video is fine. You hit a good ball and I like your footwork. Looked you up on tennisrecruiting.net and looks like you've got a group of schools on there were you could have a good shot at becoming a contributor, except for Charlotte where it might be bit of a reach to crack the lineup. Looks like you are rated exactly where you should be (2 star). There really isn't anything you can show in a video that will speak louder than your record, but if you get a few breakthrough wins against a 3 or 4 star this year that could turn some heads and show you have potential to play bigger.
     
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  15. chrischris

    chrischris Hall of Fame

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    Like the intensity , perhaps its even too 'much' . i think that you maybe go flat too early if you are that amped up. I think you could try to keep your head more level longer while imapcting on your backhand.. it looks like you are jerking a bit there and maybe prone to mishits and lack of mass on that side due to lack of mass on contact.
    Good video overall . best of luck.
     
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  16. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Your forehand looks excellent. However, you consistently set up in a neutral or near neutal stance. IMO, you will generate more power and spin setting up in a more open stance.

    Your backhand is good, but, IMO, your takeback is too circular, and you are dipping your right shoulder and leading with your upper body which prevents you from leading with your legs and hips and generating a kinetic chain and upper body rotation. I would recommend that you take your hands straight back (not that big loop), with a straight (or nearly straight) right arm, and the racquet pointing straight up. In the forward swing, keep your shoulders level and lead your forward swing by rotating your left hip toward the target. This hip rotation will pull your shoulders, which will pull your arms and racquet through contact.

    IMO, Andre Agassi had the greatest backhand of all time. Check out his technique in this video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1qv6S7KJug

    Your serve is good. But, it could be better. I'm betting your second serve drops off in power, spin and reliability during a match. You are arming the ball and using very little upper body rotation. Like groundstrokes, upper body rotation on serve will add a lot of mass and racquet speed to your shot. In order to maximize upper body rotation on serve, at the peak of your toss, your shoulders should be turned and tilted as much as possible so that you can rotate around your spine adding both mass and racquet speed to your shot. Currently, you have almost "ZERO" shoulder turn and tilt. At the peak of the toss, your opponent should be able to see your shoulder blades. In addition, your left shoulder should be as high above the right shoulder as possible which is accomplished by sliding your hip to the target as you toss the ball causing your body to bow. With your spine angled back, and your upper body rotating around your spine, as you rotate toward the target, your right shoulder will rotate up to the ball and your shoulder tilt will reverse with the right shoulder above the left shoulder. This will add a lot of free, effortless power and spin will improve your serve, and save your arm in the long run.

    Here are two excellent online serving lessons that will help you picture what I'm talking about:

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

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajoZ0f7hw-A

    Your volleys are ok. But, you let your racquet head drop on too many volleys. It's one thing to volley balls 3 feet above the net from 5 feet away from the net. It's something else to volley balls below your knees from 10-15 feet from the net. Keep the racquet head above your hand, and keep the angle between your arm and racquet constant throughout your volleys.

    Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2012
    #16
  17. cluckcluck

    cluckcluck Hall of Fame

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    Just from watching your backhands, it looks like you are laboring on that stroke, as if it is a struggle for you. What's your match record?
     
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  18. MarinaHighTennis

    MarinaHighTennis Professional

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    Its people like you that make me wish I took tennis lessons. I WANT THAT FOREHAND!!!

    About that backhand, you need to come into the ball more. But the most puzzling thing is that you're only a 2 star?!!! (0_o)
    https://www.tennisrecruiting.net/player.asp?id=764657

    we also need match play for a college recruiting video. Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2012
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  19. TCF

    TCF Hall of Fame

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    ================================================
     
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  20. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    Excellent hitting for only 3 years.

    Question: Why don't you ever hit off the back foot on your fh? Seems almost every shot was w/ a neutral-ish stance and coming off the right foot.

    The footwork is good but not the most efficient. You have active feet which is good but I'm not sure I agree with some of the steps you are taking.

    I think your racquet head speed on your fh is on the slow slide. I think this is because your hip is not very involved in the swing.
    Your hip and shoulders are rotating together instead of having separation between them so there's a break (or weakness at the least) in the kinetic chain there.
    I also think you need more topspin than what you're getting now. That will come though when you increase rhs and go open/semi open stance. You are hitting hard but not heavy and the sound of your strikes sound 'un-heavy'.
    Heavy is better. Go heavy or go home. :)

    The serve is good but could be better. There's a slight hitch in your serve and I'm not digging your trophy pose either. Your elbow is too far away from the body and too low.

    But good stuff. Your coach has done a good job. Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
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  21. IsnerFan

    IsnerFan New User

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    try to get your racket head below the ball on your backhand to generate more topspin. Also, you service motion looks exactly like isners.
     
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  22. Up&comer

    Up&comer Hall of Fame

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    Forehand is fine. Footwork is really busy, almost to the point it looks like it is forced. Not a bad thing, it just looks like maybe you were exaggerating for a video (no problems there). Backhand...it looks like you cut your swing off too soon and, quite frankly, it looks like a much more forced stroke than your forehand. Serve is good, maybe try a little higher ball toss and get some more extension. Volleys looked good, a little bit too choppy for my tastes on the backhand.

    Looking at your TR, it's interesting to see that you post some good scores against good players, but you also have losses against lesser players that isn't indicative of that form. For example, you took a set off a solid 4 star, but you also lost convincingly to a 2 star. I think it would be interesting to see a match video, just to see of you maybe keep the racket head speed up against those 3 and 4 stars or, more importantly, you don't against lesser players.

    Anyway, nice video. Thanks for posting.
     
    #22
  23. shake&bake

    shake&bake Rookie

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    Thanks for all the comments guys, I really appreciate them. My ranking is definitely not where it should be, I played a decent amount of tournaments at the end of my junior year but I mainly focused on ITAs this summer which dont count on TRN, and I had some good wins and matches there. The past couple of months I havent played many tournaments at all, I lost my grantfather and my uncle and my head just wasnt together. The last tournament I played was the NC State Closed, a huge tournament for NC players, where they played all the doubles first, and my partner and I made a run and lost in the finals to the 1 seeds. I had a great draw for singles and was crusing in my first round, up a set and a break, and then I strained my Achilles. I tried to play through it and didnt want to retire but the guy came back, and I could barely walk in my backdraw match. Thanks guys for your opinions, Ive got some stuff to work on and I really appreciate it!
     
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  24. TCF

    TCF Hall of Fame

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    ====================================================
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2012
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  25. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Although I am not his level, I agree with U&C on the footwork. Footwork should be something natural in that the top half of your body and the lower half of your body should not influence one another in an obvious manner. That sounds stupid, so let me give two examples. You have a forehand which is three strides away. If you run to the shot, simply run and get it, you will be able to swing at the ball, but since you chose to just sprint to it, the stroke will not be your normal forehand stroke. Instead, if you choose to move into position to hit it, you can hit your normal forehand stroke and then use your footwork once again to get back into position. In the prior case, your footwork dictated exactly how you could hit the ball which lead to an inconsistent result. If you moved to the ball instead, you could stroke it like you do on the majority of shots.

    If you look at players like Federer, Hewitt and Kohlschreiber, you'll notice something similar: they always hit the same fluid stroke regardless of their position because their footwork allows them to get there and get back to hit it as such. Other plays with more poor footwork end up hitting desperation shots and then they have trouble recovering. Your footwork in this case, is unknown. It is quite obvious that you're forcing yourself to have active feet for the video, but that forcing looks very unnatural for the strokes that you're hitting. I would take another video with matchplay and then upload a portion about halfway through a set. If your footwork is outstanding, then you won't even be thinking about it and it will come through. If not, you'll see that when you watch it. Since your strokes, (in this case the upper body in my philosophical tennis Zen speech) look fine, I would bet immediately that that's why you've had great results against better players because you're super focused on making sure everything is clicking all the time, whereas against lower players you have not. I could be completely wrong and would like to know if I am.

    In short: active feet on video does not mean good footwork. It's obvious that is not your natural footwork because you would be exhausted within a single game if it was. Video some real points and then see what it looks like. Best of. :)
     
    #25
  26. basil J

    basil J Hall of Fame

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    For three years of playing, I think you look great. I agree on the footwork, calm it down and get a smoother flow to your game and it will carry over to your strokes. best of luck and keep working!
     
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  27. Rktennis1

    Rktennis1 New User

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    I'm currently a college coach...let me give you my opinion. I'm going to be as direct and honest as I can be as if I was recruiting you.
    First of all I like your game and your being proactive. Quite honestly most coaches will never watch that video, we don't have to. We can see your record and the kids you beat and the ones you don't. I use the recruiting videos to look at foreign kids, as it's my only option. Besides, if I see a video, I want to see a video of actual sanctioned tournament play.

    Now as far as level goes d1 would be tough. I would never sell a kid short though. Too put it in perspective, my naia school brought in a kid #478 in the country and he's my #9 guy and will never play. Its tough. If you want to sell yourself to a division 1 school and would sell a school on your upside/potential and work ethic. You've only been playing three years, just think of the strides you could make, thats how I'd approach it.

    Now a personal note, some advice... Does it have to be d1? Is that just a personal goal, or your coach recommended it? There are a lot of great d2, d3, naia schools in the southeast. It sucks to be the number #10 guy on a d1 squad and work your butt off and give up so many fun aspects of college to never play, trust me. I would go to a school where you will get most of school paid for, get a great education, make the lineup, and still get to be a normal kid.....my opinion. But if it has to be d1, you can do it, but you have to decide if it's worth it.

    If you want some recommendations for schools or about the whole process, let me know. I used to be an assistant coach at one of the schools on your list, and I'd be glad to help.
     
    #27
  28. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    Really good posts in this thread. Rktennis1 has some good advice I think.

    Very very good tennis for only 3 years. It would be interesting to see your game in another year.
     
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  29. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    For just 3 years of training you are playing very good tennis. But, you are competing against players who played much much longer with similar intensity. Keep it up and keep working hard but it's time to find some high level instructions and coaching to further your development.

    A couple tips. I love the energy on your footwork but it's a little over the top being on the balls of your feet. That wastes energy and reduce solidity on your shots. And you gotta learn weight transfer not just putting your body in the middle of your feet all the time. Try to learn putting your weight on the heels more and only go for the balls of the feet when needed. This will give more stability and solidity for each foot and be able to transfer weight for the benefit of your shots.

    Your backhand. The contact point is too low relative to your hands and it's not on the most efficient swing path. Try to lower your hands and lift up the racquet head for the contact point. Swing your hands lower than the ball not level. This should improve solidity and consistency of your backhand.
     
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  30. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    Put weight on the heels?? Huh?
     
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  31. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    This "stay on your toes" thing is ridiculous. It can only be maintained for a very short time.
    Your calf's are strong enough to support your body full time. Yes, push off your heels, ending with the balls of your feet.
     
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  32. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    yes for this kid. his heels rarely touches the ground. pros rest their weight on heels to initiate their strokes most of the time and only lift them when needed.
     
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  33. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    Yes his heels don't touch enough but

    I'm not 100% sure but... I disagree.

    Imo the pros do not put their weight on the heels to initiate a stroke (talking fh here).
    The weight goes on the inside of the rear leg, on the inside of the foot, with the head and center of gravity in front of the rear leg. The heal will touch the ground but the weight is not on the heel, the weight is put in front of the right leg on the prep and if they were to lift their left leg they would fall over forward. This slight 'unstability' helps them initiate the weight transfer. Putting weight on your heel will cause you to lean back.

    Maybe an established coach can weigh in on this...
     
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  34. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    hmm.... i'd like to retract my previous statement. Maybe you are referring to an earlier point in the stroke then i am. i am talking about when they begin the forward swing. i think you mean the beginning of when they are planting the outside leg. right?
     
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  35. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Yes, at the forward swing, a strong player can get on their balls of their feet. On the initial plant, there is almost full body weight involved.
     
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  36. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    The heel to ball of foot weight transition is a very important control point to initiate the stroke. If you are not too used to this practice balancing on the heels only. The feet outward thing helps in this aspect as well.
     
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  37. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Check about NCAA regulations about your coach endorsing you in the video. Somewhere I read that you cannot even leave any extra comments about yourself in the text section below the video (after posting the video).
     
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  38. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Thanks for your imput. It's good to read the perspective from someone currently in the trenches. One thing we don't know are what his academic goals are, and if a D1 school is necessary for him to meet those goals. But, assuming that his priority is tennis, and considering that he's only been playing for 3 years and likely to improve a lot in the next few years, do you think it make sense for him to play for a D2 program and, if he can improve enough in 2 years, transfer to a D1 program? I bring this up because I know a few players who did this successfully many decades ago. But, I don't know if that would be feasible today.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
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  39. Rktennis1

    Rktennis1 New User

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    I totally agree. I have no clue what his academic ambitions are, if they are lofty I'd definetly recommend a smaller school. If a certain academic program at a d1 school interests him and he wants to walk on, great. As far as transferring d2 to d1, sure he could, but I dont know why you'd want to, unless you are in a bad situation. Truth is unless you are at an elite school competing for a d1 national championship, the experience is pretty much the same.

    I would always put academics first and graduate with as little debt as possible, thats my opinion. This coming from someone who is paid to win college tennis matches.
     
    #39
  40. shake&bake

    shake&bake Rookie

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    Thanks so much for the comments guys, they really help. Academics are always first, and I am a very good student (4.0, lots of AP classes and extracurriculars) with a good work ethic. Im definitely weighing in D2 and D3 schools, I just want to get as good as I can get with the time I have left and try to reach as high as I can, and from there choose a college where I can keep improving. I really appreciate the comments guys, they really help.
     
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  41. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    Heel to ball on a fh? I don't see anyone doing this. The weight is placed on the inside of the leg and the inside of the foot. You can see heel to ball on the front foot of a 1hbh but not on a fh. Heel to ball gives you a linear action towards the ball of the foot and the foot is usually placed facing the side fence. Maybe you are talking about neutral stance forehands or something.

    Can you post a video of anyone doing this in a match? Not a practice / warm up video.
     
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  42. rafazx10

    rafazx10 Rookie

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    Alright, i didnt read every comment so i dont know if its been said before.

    But two things
    1 would be nice to see where your balls are landing when you are hitting the forehands, and even more important how you hit when they are actually being hit back to you instead of fed.

    2 like said, you foot work is excellent, but is that how you really play? Seems like you were trying harder than normal on the video, would be pretty hard to keep that foot work through a match, but if you can and thats how you play more power to you.

    Good luck with tennis wherever you go.
     
    #42
  43. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    any time you set your feet for a stroke you land on the heel and pushing off happens either the big toe side of the ball of the foot or the big toe itself. so there is the transition. timing and smoothness of this movement of the feet is very well controlled for pros. rec players not so much. I'll see if I can find a footage but basically everyone does it.
     
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  44. Jonny S&V

    Jonny S&V Hall of Fame

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    1. No-one does truly watch the ball all the way into the racquet (save for Fed). It's unnecessary.
    2. No. His toss is fine.

    I like how everyone puts DI on this pedestal, like it's impossible for a decent high school player to play on a DI team. I mean, yeah, if you wanna play on a top 75 DI school, it's virtually a requirement that you be around a 4-star on TRN.

    But if he merely wants to play DI (where there's most likely consistent monies and facilities), there are PLENTY of DI schools that he could go to and start as a true freshman, such as Western Illinois U, Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville, South Dakota State (although SDSU has been upping their recruiting standards lately), etc... Those are just schools I've had experiences with. I'm sure there are many schools just like the aforementioned schools around the nation that could fit a guy like the OP.
     
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  45. sunof tennis

    sunof tennis Professional

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    yes, I liked the homage to Isner with the bounce between your legs before you serve
     
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  46. sunof tennis

    sunof tennis Professional

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    Realy good advice. Where do you want to attend college? Maybe you can go to a smaller school in that area first and then, as your game improves-you look pretty darn good for only playing three years, you could transfer to a D1 school.
     
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  47. Cheetah

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    Ok but I don't see it. What I see is a deliberate plant of the foot and usually there is an actual verifiable pause as they are either waiting or loading. Then the push come on the inside of the foot and maybe the big toe depending on shot / prep / angle. I don't see any heel to toe movement as you can see on the front leg of a 1hbh or even anything close to that.

    If it's very important and everyone is doing it then it should be easy to find an example from any video. And running forehands don't count for obvious reasons.

    I'm not trying to be argumentative at all as I'm here to learn and share things too but every time I ask you to provide video evidence of your observations you never come through.

    So let's see it.
     
    #47
  48. shake&bake

    shake&bake Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Messages:
    110
    Location:
    on a tennis court
    Guys if you want to start a debate about this heel planting topic and everything you can always start a new thread :)
     
    #48
  49. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Messages:
    3,875
    Location:
    San Diego
    ok. my bad. sorry.
     
    #49
  50. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Messages:
    9,132
    Location:
    tennis courts
    just watched the vid; for 3 yrs thats really good. like the serve. motion may be a tad off, but i like seeing that ball go. i would say D1 ball is super tough, but you can defniitely play somewhere D2. oh and i love you camping at the baseline taking every ball early. although a match video would be better i think
     
    #50

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