Another Wegner tip...

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Pet, Oct 5, 2010.

  1. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    No, you said "most notable" which is quite different from notable and implies a kind of GOAT status. Don't go back on what you said - your post is still there.

    I can assure you that in most countries, no one has heard of Wegner. They have heard of the same coaches I mentioned before - Bolls, Lansdorp, Lundgren, Roche, Macci, Braden, Stefanki, Higueras, Gilbert, and maybe Burwash because of his name associated with resorts. People are not so stupid that they will not "hear" about a coach because he is from so-and-so country or that it is possible to keep these things hidden in the Internet age. In the international world of tennis, players will be running to the "most notable coach internationally" in droves.

    I had asked you before - which upcoming US player is being coached by him? e.g. Harrison is a Bolls product. There is something concrete there, unlike some vague terms.
     
  2. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Please name a few such professional players.
     
  3. fed_the_savior

    fed_the_savior Banned

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    Lol! Good post.
     
  4. bhupaes

    bhupaes Professional

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    But.. but... sureshs, we know you have transcended the teachings of Oscar Wegner by miles already, and don't need him! Do we mortals, the unwashed and untalented, have your permission to use Oscar's methods? Pretty please? :)
     
  5. Dreamer

    Dreamer Professional

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    It's actually quite difficult to reference a credible tennis authority, because they are limited online and actually often lacking. I am also too lazy to look.

    However I'll try to explain this:
    The weight shift you described is perfect for neutral stance, because the feet are in place for you to step into the ball with linear power. This is actually the traditional technique.

    However with open stance positioning of the feet is limited, there really is no real benefit of weight shift. That's why it transitions to pivoting, or coil/uncoil, taking it's power from angular momentum. Where weight shift is not what's important, but the pivoting. open hips, use of the core, turning of the shoulders.

    I don't know what to tell you. If you don't see it, you don't see it.

    I've seen much better on a regular basis.
    Okay this will probably be my last post on this particular thread because I think I've said all I had to add and it seems we are going in circles. Good luck to you all ^^
     
  6. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    OK. Don't have any idea what your background or teaching experience might be but I think you might be behind the curve. As I mentioned before, these techniques are being taught and used by Juniors on a world wide basis. Players/coaches now realize that greater power is generated with the open stance.

    I don't think anyone said this kid hits either with the best technique or the most power in the world but from the little bit on the video, he's certainly good.

    I'm always amazed that we have posters who want to criticize everything but never manage to come up with credible references to support their claims - shows me something.
     
  7. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    I like how you guys say "please update me on your credentials." What are YOUR credentials? Perhaps a certified modern tennis instructor? That's an unbiased source! In fact, I'd say someone affiliated with Wegner (not that you are, but I know 5623 is) is a less reliable source than an unbiased recreational player.

    Also, asking our credentials makes it sounds like we're the ones with the fringe view. Virtually EVERY teaching pro is going to tell you that your weight should shift into the shot.

    My teaching pro was a two time DII national championship finalist. He says to get weight into the shot. Will Hamilton is a certified coach, his videos advocated shifting weight forward. Brad Gilbert even said most pros DO NOT pull their weight back.
     
  8. SFrazeur

    SFrazeur Legend

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    Credentials, credentials. . .What a ridiculous episode of "show me yours and I'll show you mine" this has become.

    -SF
     
  9. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Oscar threads are such a lot of fun! So difficult to keep away from! Lights up a dull day like nothing else.
     
  10. Dreamer

    Dreamer Professional

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    I'd love to argue with you all day, but I can tell from your posts you don't understand the basic tenets of angular momentum from open stance. All you say is "these techniques are being taught to super cool juniors" and you can't really explain anything of the instruction and NOT seeing anything wrong is not analysis. That's a terrible basis to go off.

    I really don't have any reference to give you, but I don't really have to. You words are really self evident as are mine.
     
  11. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    where????

    Interesting.
     
  12. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    The first time I saw what appeared to be a player regularly "backing off" of a shot was Sergi Bruguera. On his fh, he would plant his right foot and raise his left foot off the court as his weight appeared to shift back as he struck the ball. I was sitting about 50 feet away, and it wasn't a pronounced backing off of the shot, it was subtle. But, in this match, Bruguera hit his fh like this every time. And it was a great and consistent shot. I had never noticed anyone doing that before. I've also noticed many pros who seem to back off of their 2hb as they strike the ball. They hit with a neutral or closed stance and raise the left (trailing) foot as they strike the ball and land back on it during the finish.

    Now, almost every junior seems to take that idea to a further extreme. But, rather than backing off, they load up and seem to jump from right to left - from their right foot to their left foot, finishing on the left foot with the right leg trailing behind, and off the ground. I'm not sure why this works, but, it seems to work very well.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2010
  13. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    This junior was already a high level player and probably doing what he does from a long time ago.

    Not a good idea to advertise yourself by testimonials from these young guys who might be a good target for brainwashing.
     
  14. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Fair question. I have no association whatsoever with either Oscar Wegner or MTM nor am I interested in forming one. Other than reading his posts (5263), I have no idea who he/she might be or where they are from. From what I have read, which is certainly not all, their posts seem reasonable although I might not come to some of the conclusions that are offered. I must also admit that I don't know of anyone else associated with their organization.

    Having said that, as many already know, I did a review of one of Oscar Wegner's books several years ago but the request didn't come from them. As I said then, I didn't find anything that I would consider "outside the norm/accepted" although I might not agree with everything no more than he would agree with everything I do.

    I am a USTPA certified professional and primarily focus on stroke mechanics and drills for players of all ages. I am also associated with a highly successful High School program but am not the head coach. I have a background in college athletics as well as engineering and hold degrees from two major Universities. I was a Captain in the United States Army - Airborne with an Infantry Brigade (had five years on active duty). I've been involved with athletics my entire life and played several sports at the high school and college level.

    I have spent many years playing, studying, organizing and teaching tennis. I'm also willing to learn more and even at a more advanced age than most of you, consider myself a work in progress.

    I hope this answers your question but if not let me know.
     
  15. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    Right or wrong, this shifting your weight backwards idea of Wegner's is definitely "out of the norm."

    As an engineer, you know physics better than anyone here. How could less weight (mass) into the shot possibly result in more power? There would have to be a huge increase in acceleration. I doubt any such increase would be large enough to overcome the small amount of weight into the shot.

    The real question is why do virtually no other teaching pros believe this? I just flat out don't buy that this is a new revolution that is being taught to all top juniors.

    I know guys that have the same coach as Jack Sock and their coaches told them nothing like this. I sent Brad Gilbert a question about this and he said most pros still shift their weight into the shot.

    It really seems to me that Wegner and you guys are centrating on the shots that players like Nadal hit when they are a little out of position or neeed a little more time. Also, the result of rotating your torso and shifting your weight into the shot can look like they're shifting their weight sideways, but I don't think they are. No pro hits off the back foot as their first choice.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2010
  16. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I wouldn't draw such conclusions so easily.
     
  17. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    And I would agree with you.
     
  18. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    haha wait, are you saying he doesn't know physics or that someone here knows physics better?
     
  19. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    PH D in physics

    I do NOT want to sound funny buy I have PhD in physics.
    It can be verified.
    Obviously it does NOT matter anyway.
     
  20. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Well, Gilbert is correct, most good players shift their weight into the shot and it looks to me that this kid is doing just that - its just more of an extreme open stance that we're seeing on the FH side where the left foot is landing behind the right, so what, doesn't change the dynamics of the stroke but probably allows for a little more rotation/racquet speed into the ball. The racquet actually is being pulled back on the majority of open stance forehands - not before the ball is struck but after.

    Would you agree that the ball can be it with greater pace with an open stance - I think this is fairly well established today but some might disagree. The angular rotation into the ball does produce far greater racquet speed compared to the linear neutral or closed stance approach - I don't go out and measure these things like Yandell so I can't provide actual numbers. All I know is that I can get a player to hit with much greater pace from the open stance on the forehand side.

    By the way, I tried this today on a few shots and found it rather interesting - I suspect others have given it a try also. Would I encourage/teach it, maybe to very advanced players for certain situations but for me it was a little wild - only did about ten of them so I'm not sure at this point.
     
  21. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    To me, it looks like he is jumping up and to the left, and rotating his upper body counterclockwise so that his hitting side is moving forward at the time of contact.
     
  22. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Yes, I would agree but apparently some think that is unusual/new.
     
  23. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Well, there you go and it didn't even take long. My graduate degree isn't in engineering (undergraduate was) so I would certainly bow to Julian on physics matters. I suspect we both are well acquainted with Cambridge although maybe different schools.
     
  24. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    This is how I know the video is crap. You guys can't defend it's actual contents, so you have to modify the tips and instruction so you have somewhat of a case in the debate.
     
  25. Dreamer

    Dreamer Professional

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    Ok guys the instruction Wegner gives is pulling back to create angular momentum, so then how are you even discussing weight shift into the ball? HE IS INSTRUCTED TO PULL BACK, weight shift back!

    Ok great, engineer and physicists here.

    SO if you can agree with me that he is not shifting his weight into the shot because that's pretty impossible with the instruction. You can only produce enough muscular force from your legs that equal your mass * acceleration(gravity) = force. Every action has a reaction. So instead of pivoting and creating angular momentum you have to sacrifice some of that force for a separate linear force sideways or backwards force. Tell me how this increases angular momentum? If anything breaking the axis only hampers angular momentum

    You guys should have a greater understanding of physics than me, please clear this up
     
  26. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Well, "jumping up and to the left, and rotating his upper body counterclockwise so that his hitting side is moving forward at the time of contact," works well, and I've seen a lot of juniors doing it. But, that isn't really what Wenger is describing, is it?
     
  27. spacediver

    spacediver Hall of Fame

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    yet you didn't know that the tip of a whip creates a sonic boom??
     
  28. bhupaes

    bhupaes Professional

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    That's definitely part of what is happening, IMO, but if you notice, the cues that lead to this are not quite stated in that way by Oscar. I believe the crux of his method is to provide really simple cues that make the right things happen. The basic instructions as I understand it and practice are: open stance, stalk/find the ball, hit up/across, pull racquet back (exercising the biceps) over shoulder so the butt of the racquet after the finish points to the target. Never does he say anything about weight shift or stepping back - it just happens sometimes, and sometimes it doesn't, based on foot positioning as I stated previously. The stroke is not Oscar's invention, per my understanding. He is stating what he has observed the top pros doing, and has condensed it into simple instructions/cues for others so we can all enjoy and appreciate it. These instructions are actually stated in the tapes he made sometime in the late 80's or early 90's (or earlier - not sure), so I think it was amazing insight on his part to have been thinking along the right lines so early, and create instruction that is valid even today.
     
  29. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Well, good question and I'm seeing the problem here. I happen to think his weight is going into the ball but he's pulling back after contact rather than continuing on in a linear manner toward the direction of the shot - this is a rather normal shot from an open stance standpoint. Its just that what your seeing is a more extreme form of the shot where the left leg is ending up behind the right.
     
  30. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    The video is what it is, I'm not trying to defend anything. All I was saying is that this, to me anyways, just looks like an extreme form of an open stance forehand. I was watching Nadal last night and he hit this shot many times from different places on the court.

    However, as you know, especially when English isn't ones first language, that "instructions/words" carry different meanings to people. I was really basing my comments on the video portion which I would have to assume is what he (Oscar) is "trying" to describe in the first portion. I would agree that some of the "instruction" portion is somewhat convoluted but keep in mind that I believe (and I might be way off base here) that Oscar has an engineering background.
     
  31. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    Open stance

    Open stance forehand was measured vs neutral stance case.
    The first does NOT provide a higher number for power-
    however it has better/shorter recovery time.
    John Yandell has an article on this subject.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2010
  32. ryan380golf

    ryan380golf New User

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    Try it...

    Last night I tried snapping my racket at the ball like a whip on my forehand. Didn't break the sound barrier but hit a few good shots with a lot of spin without a lot of effort. I hit more in then I thought I would.
     
  33. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Well, although I certainly respect John Yandell, there are "other" materials/references around that come to other conclusions. The neutral stance (feet perpendicular to net) does provide a base to really strike the ball well but, IMO (and I think others), the "zone" is smaller.

    Now, the "other" factor is the spin potential of both stances. I think if you factor that in to the equation, you can hit more balls with greater pace using an open stance.

    Its also much easier to hit reverse forehands with the open stance.

    You are absolutely correct about the recovery time - with an open stance its much shorter which is another benefit of the open stance - another would be the player(s) having a better view of the opposition.
     
  34. Dreamer

    Dreamer Professional

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    Okay weight into shot while creating angular momentum with a pull back? how probable is this? and how would that even be efficient. Makes no sense
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2010
  35. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    Uh, Julian you better get your facts straight if you are going to reference me, please.

    Duane Knudson did a study of the stances. The study was groundbreaking in that it was based on actual racket head speed measurements. We need a ton more of that. But it had many limitations in my opinion, as Duane himself freely acknowledged. I wrote an article about the study itself and what it did and didn't answer. Under the conditions Duane tested the stances were about the same, but those conditions were the issue.

    In my opinion you cannot make a simple statement about one stance being superior. Different grips tend to be associated with different stances. Different players rotate the hitting shoulder through different amounts on different balls. Contact height is critical to stance across all the grips.

    What you are seeing here in my opinion is a particular variation in stance and rotation. David Bailey identified this years ago as a Reverse Spin Contact Move. So this is not some big original new insight.

    You can find pros who rotate that much for sure on certain balls--but plenty of others when they don't. Bailey found about 15 different groundstroke Contact Moves. Some are neutral stance based, others are open stance based, and to varying degrees.

    To say that the Reverse Spin move is the norm and use it as some type of teaching baseline I think is a misjudgment. To say players at a high level do that on a percentage of shots--you can't really argue with that, if that is the point.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2010
  36. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Look, just watch a few film clips of Nadal and many others and you'll see this shot used frequency. Its just one of those things that is difficult to explain, which is why, IMO, we have some confusion. Yes, you have the categories stated - maybe not all of them but it really doesn't matter.

    I think I mentioned earlier that I was watching Nadal last night (Japan) and I bet he used this particular shot (or a slight variation of it) 50 - 75 times, maybe more. I just think its a common shot for many top players but it seems words are getting in the way.
     
  37. Dreamer

    Dreamer Professional

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    slight variation? Just say Nadal does it differently. The slight variation is because it's a bad imitation

    Edit: actually there's plenty of highlights of Nadal surely you should point out these instances to us. So we can judge this "slight variation"
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2010
  38. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Well, I think I've pointed out enough times that I'm not associated with Oscar or MTM and certainly don't care to try any defend/explain everything they do - maybe one of them would jump in and review, what I would consider slight differences, to the forum.
     
  39. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I guess you didn't actually say his facts were wrong, but
    what did Julian state that you feel is not accurate?

    As it concerns you, he only stated you did an article on it and didn't cite you for any of his comments (unless I was reading the wrong post).
     
  40. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Even though I'm an MTM instructor and tester/clinician, it does NOT mean I'm defending Oscar or MTM for any reason other than after being USPTA for a long time, I found the MTM approach superior.
    So when I explain the advantages, it is not in defense of the system, but sharing what I've experienced a being the better way, case by case. Not out of reward or loyalty. papa, I expect you understand this, but some seem to think I'm making 100k or brainwashed to follow Oscar for some reason.

    As to defending things, I pick and choose who is serious, cause someone who can't listen well enough not to understand that Oscar never said the racket will break the sound barrier; well they are sort of beyond help or just not serious and just trying to difficult. Not need to waste time with closed minds, but I'm here to share with those here to share and learn.
     
  41. BounceHitBounceHit

    BounceHitBounceHit Legend

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    Sorry to be late to the party, but this statement makes the most sense to me. Good players may have a NUMBER of 'forehands', all struck w/ slightly different stances and grips. What I saw here looked like one of the forehands that's really helpful for CERTAIN situations. I'm nost sure I'd tried to make it my 'go to' shot on most baseline balls. Respectfully, BHBH
     
  42. BounceHitBounceHit

    BounceHitBounceHit Legend

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    P.S. I'm really also not clear what all the fussing is about. It's just a different way to approach hitting the FH groundstroke. What's the big deal? :confused: BHBH
     
  43. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    LOL as I said before, our man seems to have taken a variant of a stroke and touted it as some new way of teaching. After all, he is the "most notable coach internationally" according to his disciples.
     
  44. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    For me, the primary benefit of the open stance forehand is timing and balance.

    I learned tennis in an era where the forehand and backhand were treated and taught as if they were symmetrical mirror images of each other. They are not! The biggest difference is that with a closed or neutral stance on a forehand the hitting shoulder is trailing and and the lower body is anchored and inhibits upper body rotation and follow through, and on the backhand, even with a closed stance the hitting shoulder is leading and the upper body is more free to fully rotate and allow a full follow through. Thus, the timing and balance of these shots, if both hit with a closed stance is very different.

    With a closed stance, you can still fully rotate the upper body back and forth and get a full follow through, and maintain good balance throughout. You can't do the same with a closed stance forehand, in which upper body rotation and follow through are inhibited by the lower body trapped in a closed stance. I also submit that a closed stance fh causes a deficit in balance, timing and the ability to hit cross court. As a result, the pros of the 50's, 60's and 70's almost uniformly had better backhands than forehands. The only exception was on return of serve where - as would be expected, most forehands were hit with an open stance. I expienced the same thing, on a different level, or course. From the time I learned to hit a competent, repeatable backhand, my backhand was more reliable and more powerful than my forehand . . . until I learned to hit with an open stance, many decades after I started playing.

    By contrast, an open stance forehand allows a full, free upper body rotation, follow through, and as a result, better balance throughout. For me, it also improved my timing on my forehand. My only explanation for this is that, with an open stance, I was now hitting with my leading shoulder, rather than my trailing shoulder. I can't explain why this makes a difference in my timing. Perhaps because when hitting with the leading shoulder, it allows you to hit in front of the body without contorting the upper and lower body, causing loss of balance, in order to hit out front with a closed stance. But, there's no denying the improved timing, balance, placement, power and reliability of my open stance forehand compared to my closed stance forehand. I suspect the same thing was experienced at the pro level after Connors and Borg showed the world that an open stance forehand was the better way to hit a forehand.

    PS: The only exception to the inferiority of a closed stance forehand, that I can think of, is when hitting on the dead run. But, it's still difficult to pull the ball cross court from this position.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2010
  45. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    If you mean neutral or square stance I would tend to agree. No one is really advocating a closed or cross stepped stance that I know of--other than a landing step on the run.

    The question to ask is what is your grip, what is your level, and how much rotation of the body is a good thing when.

    What I see is a lot of people taught open stance first never fully turn. They get on the outside foot in an extreme open stance but the shoulders don't reach 90 degrees and the left arm doesn't go across. Now they overrotate and rotate too soon coming back--and that open stance that is supposed to give more rotation, power, and spin, has the opposite effect.

    So horse before the cart. If you can really fully turn with the open stance, then you can proceed to the next question(s). But if you can't, then often learning the full turn and the neutral stance gets the basics of the body rotation in place.

    The next question is grip. With a conservative grip you can hit netural or semi open and get 90 degrees or so of forward torso rotation and clean the ball and you have to be at a pretty high level to require more all the time.
    One factor here is where are your shoulders at contact? You want them still rotating in most cases. So again the danger of the open stance, even with a good turn is opening too much too soon.

    Now more extreme grips usually coordinate with more body rotation and that's why the semi and open stances are natural with them. Again though turn is a huge factor. So many players even at high levels don't get it and leave something on the table. With the more underneath grips if you really turn, you will naturally tend to rotate more. So a neutral stance can block an inherent component of the swing. But again, the shoulders shouldn't stop on most balls at the contact.

    Roddick, Nadal, those guys often finish with the rear shoulder pointing somewhat or fully toward the opponent. And it can be done with a grip like Fed or Agassi as well. That's the kind of big rip you see in pro tennis.

    My opinion is that if you want that go for it, but if you want a great forehand make sure you have preceding elements in place.
     
  46. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    I hear you. I probably used the wrong word here (defend) but I was simply implying that I was not a spokesperson for either him or his organization and consequently don't think it appropriate for me to explain certain things.

    For those thinking that the racquet head could/might break the sound barrier I would suggest they reevaluate - it doesn't come close or even make sense.

    So, sorry to put you on the spot, it wasn't my intention.
     
  47. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, I'm confused about this also but maybe all this is new to some.
     
  48. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    No worries papa, as that is why I mentioned that you most likely understood this while a few on here don't seem to.
    I suppose the idea of spokesperson works, as I am glad to share the MTM view with those who are sincere with interest. thanks
     
  49. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    Man, which part are you acting like is old knowledge that anyone who is knowledgeable about tennis would know?

    The part where Wegner says you pull your weight and racket backwards? I believe you admitted that wasn't correct and that Wegner just couldn't communicate the real tip correctly.

    The style the kid is hitting with? That stroke is going to inhibit his recovery, not improve it, and power wont increase either. 5623 even said that his strokes were an exaggeration of the tip.

    So, to recap: Wegner's tips are poorly worded and the true info is found in the player's demonstration. YET, the demonstration is an exaggeration of a concept, yet it is presented as how a stroke should be performed as often as possible.

    Can't you see how this whole things is falling apart? There would be no shame in admitting that it's not a great video.
     
  50. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Messages:
    31,167
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    After watching the video again, it seems he's once again describing push and pull FH's. At 1:15 he even states it.

    I don't think one necessarily has to fall backwards. Rather it's about pulling the racquet backwards once contact is made with the ball.
     

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