Attacking with the backhand

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Noctis, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. Noctis

    Noctis New User

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    I've been playing some more matches recently and a recurring "problem" I guess is that people hit only to my one hand backhand side. Though I'm sure that this happens to everyone who has a better forehand than they do backhand, people tend to always hit a person's backhand if it's one hand.

    I was wondering if you guys could me some different ways to attack with the backhand either making it more aggressive to hit straight out winners or strategies to create opportunities to attack. Such as are there certain places I should try to place the ball, different sequences etc because time and time again I get into these really long rallies where the guy is just hitting repeatedly to my backhand which are just taxing on me as the match goes on.
     
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  2. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Pick one or 2 things the opponent does not like and anytime you get more than a couple of Bh, go to that pattern....for ex..

    you can go with the short angle Fed slice skidder, pulling them very short, then take your next reply on a deep angle away. Often players hate to move up, then have to hustle back out.

    another example is some hate moon balls, so after getting 2 or 3 straight Bhs, make their next couple deep moon balls to their Bh.
     
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  3. BevelDevil

    BevelDevil Hall of Fame

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    Can you go down the line? Can you do it with pace?
     
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  4. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Can you step into the ball?
     
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  5. BevelDevil

    BevelDevil Hall of Fame

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    Another idea: If you have a good down-the-line slice then that will often induce a weak cross-court shot to set up your forehand.

    Also, let's not overlook the most obvious solution, and that is to step around the backhand to hit a forehand.


    Finally, you should be able to hit some power shots with your 1hbh. If you can't, then there's some technique flaw you need to look into. Common culprits are:

    -Not turning your shoulder enough on the backswing
    -Not pronating into the "power position"
    -Not transferring weight and/or mis-timing the transfer
    -Using an excessively "weak" grip (such as continental, weak Eastern, or maybe even full Eastern) or an excessive"pistol" grip (index finger spread out).

    Here's a great technique video

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqBEErW0vTA
     
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  6. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    Well hitting to the weak side is one of the most basic strategies so you will be facing that a lot. I really doubt we are going to be able to help you drastically improve your backhand here on forum as it is something that is difficult enough to do in person.

    First off we know nothing about how you are hitting it. Are defending off your backhand side to stay in the point such as slicing or hitting moonballs or are you hitting a normal rally ball back?

    How long have you been playing? Don't take this the wrong way, this is absolutely not meant to sound bad on you. I thought the point of a 1H BH was to have a fluid stroke that generates easy power for attacking. I used to play with a 2H BH in college, very consistent against difficult shots and returned fast balls well, but there wasn't much sting to it. Now I use a 1H western BH and its all about attacking but I find it much more timing sensitive and not as solid as a 2H for getting a high % back. If I couldn't attack with it then there would be no point in sticking to a 1H BH. If you find yourself defending off the BH side very often and are unable to attack, might I suggest switching to a 2H BH. Why? Because if you find yourself defending the majority of the time then that 1H BH is not very developed or not well suited to you. Everyone I know who is able to hit topspin off a 1H BH will attack with it. If you can't attack then you are not getting much benefit from sticking to a 1H BH. A 2H BH is much less timing sensitive, so it is easier to muscle the racket into place (like the forehand) if you don't have the best timing and easier to defend with. Trying hitting some 2 handers next time you're just rallying with friends, you might like it. Whether you choose to use a 1H or 2H BH, it seems at this point you will need a lot of practice or some coaching to further it along. Again, I'm not trying to say anything negative, just trying to be realistic.

    Something you could do right now is to return your BH to their BH, look for a slow or weak reply that you could run around to your forehand side and attack.

    ---------------------------

    For anyone who thinks I'm saying anything bad about a 2H BH, don't jump the gun yet. Obviously there are ppl who can hit huge 2H BH. But more often, at the normal play levels 4.5 and below, I see the majority of ppl hitting 2H defensively or getting the ball back at a normal rally ball speed, usually with consistency but very, very few who can use it as a weapon. I see much fewer 1 handers and many are very flimsy, usually they cannot hit topspin and don't have the timing for it so they just hit a weird looking stroke to get the ball back into play or slice the majority of the time. Most of the players that I see hitting offensive backhands are 1 handers though, and I see about 2x or 3x more of them than those with attacking 2H BH. The ones who hit flat 1H BH consistently and offensively are usually uncommon and high level players.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2012
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  7. Chalk Flew Up!

    Chalk Flew Up! New User

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    Attack the line with pace and confidence. The pace will temporarily befuddle your opponent...the confidence will make him think you can do it at will. On North American hardcourts it is the corners that are to be attacked and exploited , (or defended). This is a given in todays monkey-tennis, no-volley, no point constructing, brainless ball bashing f**khead tennis.
     
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  8. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    You're not going to be able to improve your backhand overnight with a few tips, it's going to take a lot of work/lessons - and even if you do hit well off both sides, opponents will almost always favor your backhand. Going for winners or even just trying to play more aggressive out of frustration is not the answer. That only confirms that your opponent's strategy is working and it takes your forehand out of the equation.

    You're going to have to work the point. Tennis is a physically and mentally taxing sport. There's no way around that. If you get a ball that you can attack then by all means step in and drive it or approach on it, but if not then you're going to have to be patient and wait for the ball you want. You're going to have to rally, you're going to have to move the ball around.

    You have to learn to run around your backhand and hit an inside out forehand. You do this with positioning/shading and with your footwork. My coach built my game around my forehand since I was young. One drill that he used on me for years was a drill that Agassi used a lot called 'everything is a forehand.' It's a movement/footwork drill where you are only allowed to hit forehands and he'd feed balls all over the court so you do a lot of running around backhands and chasing forehands to the other side.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2012
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  9. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    Generally a good player is going to pound the bh side of any opponent. The bh might not be weak, but it's almost always the weaker side.

    With a one hander you're going to get even more action over there. You should expect it in this era of heavy, top spinny balls. You don't necessarily need a weapon on that side, but you definitely need a solid, steady shot that can keep your opponents honest until you get a ball you like. It's kind of the Ivan Lendl approach. He could hit backhands all day and keep you back and honest. Eventually he was going to get a ball he wanted to attack, more likely one he could run around to his fh, and then attack it.

    Another play is if you know opponents are going to go to your bh side you can gamble a bit and run around it and take the forehand.
     
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  10. Djoker91

    Djoker91 Rookie

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    Keep head down after contact. Make sure full shoulder and body turn as well.
     
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  11. TheOneHander

    TheOneHander Professional

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    Tell us how you really feel.

    By the way, what exactly is a f**khead?
     
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  12. Noctis

    Noctis New User

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    I guess I wasn't really clear with my first post, in that I really was looking for certain strategies you guys use to be more aggressive because I have these backhand shots down: Short Topspin CC, Deep Topspin CC, an okay Topspin DL, and I can move them around with my slice. I just don't know how to utilize these shots to my advantage.
    And to the guy who said that I'm just being a mindless impatient guy who's trying to hit winners off my backhand side, sorry that I don't want to be a pusher.
     
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  13. vil

    vil Semi-Pro

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    Maybe I misunderstood, you are asking basically how to attack with your backhand right? On the other hand, in your last post, you claim you have all those backhand varieties of shots so....what's the problem?
    It's not a rocket science, you do exactly same attacking as you would from your forehand side. The only question is, how good your backhand really is? Can you handle the pace?
    You've probably heard term slice approach. That's very effective. In a rally wait 'till you get a slightly shorter ball on your backhand and place it to your opponent weak side coming to the net behind the shot. Note that this ball needs to have an accurate placement. Another backhand slice approach that works for me very well is when both of you are rallying and now a moment of surprise.
    You have to wait for the right ball on your backhand, I prefer a slightly higher shoulder height shorter ball, you play aggressive short slice that bounces low, right in the middle of the court, yes in the middle but it has to land short and low somewhere near or before T and you shoot to the net narrowing the angles. Because the ball bounces low and short your opponent will have a hard time to do something special with it. He will have to come forward get it, clear the net and place the angle. Not easy in a hurry. I assume you are not playing against Nadal or Fererer:)
     
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  14. kiteboard

    kiteboard Hall of Fame

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    WEAPONIZE YOUR ONE HANDED BACK HAND:

    I did not hit any top spin back hands for the first 12 years of my tennis life. That was the time I played with my father, who was just a hacker, and never hit a single top spin back hand in his entire life. He taught me the continental slice at the age of 10-11. He was from North Vancouver, a cold place to play in the winter. As a child I was a fan of Rosewall and Laver, although Laver certainly could rifle a top spin pass, unlike Rosewall, who also never hit a single top spin pass in his life.. Although that didn’t stop him from winning 12 grand slams and making the US Open final at age 39! One day, after watching Borg play McEnroe, and seeing even Big Mac hit top spin shots, I decided to learn how to hit it myself.
    The net did not exist back then, and I shunned lessons from the local pros I could beat anyway. I just won with speedy defense, no power, no offense. I had no idea what I was doing, so I just grabbed the frame in a full eastern grip and immediately began to drive the next three balls into the dirt, before they ever reached the wall! (This was going to be a lot harder than I realized.)
    15 years later, I switched to the uni grip, (a full western for both the back hand and the forehand, and using the same side of the string bed without changing grips at all.) I decided to do this for quicker return reactions. I fully committed to driving the ball on my back hand returns. I don’t ever slice my back hand return and I don’t slice much at all, except when at net or chipping/charging and I intend to keep the ball low and away.
    I was always tinkering with my game, like a golfer who goes out and tries a new grip every time out, and a new technique. I became a top spin hitter right then and there. My velocity improved immediately, and I slowly began to absorb the real importance of the unit turn. I read a book on footwork, and started to apply correct footwork to the shot: split steps first, cross steps to the ball, plant step to position, and then the hitting step into the weight transfer. This book did not speak about the unit turn at all, nor its importance.
    Watching video of Agassi taught me how to “never let the deep ball play you”, by getting low on deep shots, and attacking out front, regardless of the location of the ball itself. He always defends his contact point out front, and that’s what I intuitively started to learn how to do myself.
    I’ve soaked up many things from watching the pros on video, and that’s part of what makes this site so valuable to all players, not just top juniors. It’s the mind’s eye video that is best remembered, not the written word.
    It’s important to master footwork first as it’s the root cause of whether you will be ready to hit a good shot or not.

    Foot work first: 11 step types: Video of foot work

    #1: The split step first: Advanced split step: Shot of advanced split step, which causes an immediate unit turn, with the left foot facing towards the side fence, and the right foot facing the net upon landing.
    #2: The cross step second: Cross step: Running towards the plant step spot with cross steps.

    #3: The plant foot third: Plant foot: Plant the rear left foot towards the side fence, and that will position your self to transfer weight into the ball with the hitting foot.

    #4: The hitting foot fourth: Hitting foot: Step into the shot with the right foot, in a closed stance, facing the left net post.

    #5: The recovery step last: Powering out of the hitting step with a pound it down on the ball of the rear left foot and back pedaling back into position and split step.

    #6: How to tango step up to a short ball and hit the top spin shot: Video
    #7: How to deal with a deep ball and still hit top spin: video
    #8: How to deal with a deep high ball and still hit top spin: High incoming ball=high non dominant hand: video

    #9: The double hop on a short ball: keeping our bodies stabilized on the move into the net. Video

    #10: The side step: Most do this only on the forehand video
    #11: Serve return foot work: Split step and cross and nail it. video

    In my experience, since deciding to learn how to hit an attacking top spin back hand, the ensuing 32 years have made it my best shot. I went from mindless slice that laid up for anyone to crush, to a player who can hit 80-100 mph off my one handed top spin shot. Learning how to do that without coaching, or mentors, has been a near impossible journey. In this article, I’d like to shorten that journey for anyone interested in learning how to do the same thing!

    As an early top spin hitter, some people would get behind the fence behind me and watch the shot from the rear. Some asked me, “How do you do that?”, and I really had no real explanation for them. I didn’t really think about it. Even some local top players improved their shot by imitating mine, although they would never cop to it! My shot was not a conservative shot, and very unusual as it goes against what many coaches teach. Some even made fun of it, due to its unusual, uni grip nature. I didn’t stop hitting it due to these criticisms. I could see that fewer players were able to beat me attacking only to my back hand side. That is still the most common stratagem, attack the back hand side.
    Even though I did not stop to analyze what I was doing, I did not stop and go back to the slice alone, as the top spin was winning for me, especially against players who did not adjust their games and hit to the so called weaker side. I just used the slice as a change up or as a way to keep a low short ball low on approach. If you change speed, you often “jam” their internal rhythms.
    I could sense when this was happening, as this was before fluid strategy became paramount, and players were not really taught to test all areas of their opponents’ games. It was pretty much a time when folks just attacked each other’s back hands, learned kick serves, and cross court slices. Facing high arcing moon balls high to the back hand was an every day occurrence. No one really had a complete game at my 4.0-5.0 ntrp level out there, especially at public parks and small tournaments that I played. So my back hand became my strong side, and as soon as I ran into someone who only attacked that side, I could hear this voice in my head, “The point is over now.”
    And it usually was anytime when I heard that voice. It is after I open the court up to the lines, and have them on the run, with a powerful shot that does not lay up, and I can see a weak shot is coming to lay up on my strong side once again for another easy put away. The voice is seldom wrong, and it will cause you to relax even more when you begin to hear it in your own mind. My purpose in constructing points was to hear that voice, and produce that weak shot so I can crush a back hand. Drive them out wide, get the weak return, and put their weak, crappy shot away.
    The whole idea of hitting the top spin back hand is to viciously rotate your hips into the shot and put something on it, striking the ball in speed rather than in moderation, offense rather than in defense. This vicious rotation is key to the one handers’ power. Over a long amount of time, this attitude improved my speed of hip rotation, and improved my weight transfer and frame speed. It’s the “I’m going to kill this shot.”, attitude I’m talking about And when you do, there’s nothing like the sweet feeling of absolutely nailing it! That’s what I hope you will be able to do after reading this piece. Absolutely nail your one hander, not just on sitters, but on serve returns as well. It will become a great source of happiness for you.
    How does this work? How can you attain so much speed and pace and “heaviness”?
    Take a look at this video of me hitting a few top spin shots.
    This video shows what happens compared to when we slowly slice a ball, and also when we hit an attacking top spin shot. video
    The video shows what happens when you coil well, open your hip first and “drag” everything behind the opening hip. You plant your feet right, (footwork first) release the coil quickly, and follow through fully.
    To me the radar and rpm evidence is proof, and the weight of the ball is proof that this technique works well for the intended purpose. The video also shows how far out in front my contact is. It shows how my hips open up first, like throwing a Frisbee, or a karate chop! There is a wimpy way to throw a Frisbee, and there is a powerful way.
    Any back hand punch is outlawed by the Queensbury rules in pro boxing. It’s too powerful to allow in boxing, yet is allowed in martial arts.
    Video shows my pan cake grip. It shows that I keep the non dominant hand on top the handle, just like any two hander does, unlike any coach will currently teach for a one hander. The wrist is kept locked backwards during the entire stroke and just rotates around in a figure 8. Because of its locked back position, it applies solid force at impact. It does not move back much. At impact, the arm is “barred”, like a 2 x 4, with the elbow in line with the whole arm. If the elbow is mistakenly bent at impact, not as much force is applied to the shot. A bent elbow means the kinetic path way is shorter and is not as solid a platform.
    Two handers have a secret advantage over the one handers on returning kick serves and high balls because the non dominant hand is not restricting their full coil. It’s not restricting the speed of the take back, as the forearm is not blocking the coil to the rear.
    Two handers hold the frame like a base ball hitter. They can react to high balls with more strength with two shoulders applying force to the ball they can get out front on these balls faster than the one hander can. That is why it’s paramount to hit out front, so that your only shoulder can apply its full force.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2012
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  15. kiteboard

    kiteboard Hall of Fame

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    Have you ever seen a base ball player with his batting hands separated, at the middle of the bat? Only when they bunt, so it’s not wonder why so many players have not grasped the ability to nail the one hander. They are bunting. So I keep the non dominant hand on the handle, just like two handers do, to decrease my prep time, and to create a faster, bigger coil to the rear, unrestricted by the full length of the forearm on the throat.

    The one thing in common all coiled tennis shots have in common is a good quick unit turn, and the unit turn before contact, and the full force we are applying to the contact point out front is only equal to the full force we have applied to the rear! The point of contact location of the shot is a full shoulder width farther out front than many coaches teach. They mistakenly teach the contact point to be even with the hitting foot, because that’s where the contact point is located for the forehand, even with the hitting foot; but the forehand is a full shoulder width behind the back hand at contact!
    The corresponding forehand hitting location, if we hit it at a corresponding point to this late back hand location, would be even with the rear forehand right plant foot! A shot hit even with the plant foot on the one hand back hand is a shot hit a shoulders width late. We also rob ourselves of a full shoulders’ width of acceleration, and rob ourselves of our fully available angle into the court.

    Defending the contact point: Protecting the ball’s contact point: This is keeping all shots on the same arc in front of your body, no matter what the incoming shot’s speed/spin/height, you wait for the ball to come into the zone of the arc, and then you rotate your strike! This is timed inside your own body and has nothing to do with the bounce of the ball or its depth, but everything to do with the ball’s distance from your correct contact point.

    If we don’t hit out front on the top spin shot, we take that acceleration away, and create a weaker shot, due to the smaller kinetic potential we have available. That often results in a 25-50% less powerful shot, given the loss of so much accelerated plane. Yandell discovered that Sampras serve increased in speed from 30 mph to 90mph in the last 2/1000th of a second of the serve before impact. The real accelerated speed of most pro shots is developed in the last portion of the shot. (Just before impact.)
    Many other sports hinge on the same principle. A gathering storm of accelerated momentum occurs most dramatically in the last few inches and strikes down like a diamond backed rattle snake striking full force in an instant of speed! It is possible to rotate that fast from a tensed coiled unit turn.

    Common mistakes:

    #1: The most common mistake made is no coil. Not coiling your shoulder back, not lining up your hips with the doubles alley, not closing off your stance with an attacking plant foot, not facing the side fence with the plant foot, not taking your frame backwards with the non dominant arm or leaving the non dominant hand at the throat at take back. This results in a too open, powerless stance, which robs kinetic potential. If there is no voltage backwards in the preparation, there will be no force available in the impact of the ball with the string bed! This is all taken care of with a disciplined yet relaxed and powerful unit turn way ahead of time. The stance has to close off if possible for more power. The hips are parallel with the doubles alley or even more closed off. The plant foot is pointed towards the side fence. The shoulder has to coil backwards, and the frame has to reach way back around our bodies, yet remain fluid and relaxed. So we close off and reach way back. (Given time.)
     
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  16. kiteboard

    kiteboard Hall of Fame

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    There is also the mental unit turn, and the mental coil. The will to strike a flat shot, or a superior rpm top spin shot, is a mental thing, and its coiled purpose is just as important as the physical coil. A flaccid passive mind will never produce a weaponized back hand. Do not mistake relaxation for passivity! There is a way to relax while ready to strike. The coil is a relaxed yet tense state, like a snake in a coil on the ground. We wait in our coil like the brown snake coiled up in the brown yellow grass, to strike out with full force once the target arrives in our contact point.

    #2: Lifting our hitting foot up at impact takes us off the ground and interrupts our weight transfer. We have to stay grounded to hit the most powerful back hands and derive our forceful acceleration from the ground in timed footwork. If you drive up off the plant foot too early, it straightens your front leg out, lifts your front shoulder up and your chin, sends the ball out long, and takes away your planted weight, and moves your head, shoulders, and frame upwards too early before the impact of the ball. All that is fine if the ball has already been struck and our weight transferred properly. Very bad if the impact has not yet occurred. It’s not impossible to hit great shots by lifting off too early, but it’s a lot harder. This results in a more difficult transition of force.
    Federer is often guilty of this mistake against Nadals high shots to his back hand. Djokovic hits flatter and lower shots so Federer has less trouble with him. There is also a lot of fluid in your head, and this has to be kept still as possible during the impact for accurate/powerful strikes. A simple thing to concentrate on is keeping your chin stable and even. When we are grounded, with our knees bent, weight down, shoulder and hips “dragging” the frame, our full pathway is open to nail the shot. This is taken care of by remembering to keep your weight down, knees bent, hitting foot heel down into the ground before impact with the ball. The hips open up first, the shoulder next, and the frame comes very last and very fast.

    #3: Fear of missing the shot results in no frame speed, no aggression, no voltage into the weight transfer. If you feel the foot steps fear makes behind you, it’s too late. Your shot will miss, or have nothing on it, or you will “lead arm” it, with hesitation, chopped up rhythm, and uncertain emotion and “jam” yourself. Fearless play is the only way to relax and achieve full acceleration into any tennis shot. Relax the upper body, and keep the lower body moving fast into the shot: hit/ then relax the shoulders, and arms, and hands, after impact and sprint to the next plant. It’s the “drunken monkey” or fearless snake, upper body, and samurai speed on the lower body. Fast feet always, and immediately relaxed/fluid upper torso will give your unit turn unrivaled speed when you open up on your guns. The proper unit turn is like a sneeze; it’s so powerful when opened up.

    #4. Abbreviating the follow through results in a chopped shot, which is sometimes what we need, ie, on a short ball, when the foot speed into the shot and the shorter court requires us to hit far shorter than we normally would. Usually, stopping the follow through will result in a less powerful, shorter shot, as you are chopping down the full kinetic potential with a short follow through!

    #5: Feeling the back hand as a non weapon results in a passive match play attitude. It also results in a passive practice routine, where we are simply keeping the ball in play in a “lull” mode, and our shots lay up for easy hitting. If you don’t attack the shot in practice, with a fully forceful accelerated strike, you will not be able to do it in a match, either.
    #6: Not defending our contact point, that is, not waiting for the ball to arrive at its optimum strike point. Sometimes we do this on low balls, and sometimes on high balls. No matter the height, the contact point follows an arc in front where your arm forms a “bar”, and the elbow is locked at impact. Our string bed has to be at the right angle as well, and the ball has to be on the right area of the bed. It’s all related to one thing: protecting the ball and its contact point. And not going out after the ball at contact, not attacking with aggressive body speed forward. The best protector is the best attacker.
    #7: Trying to kill EVERY BALL. Even the best players have a “lull” mode, where they don’t do anything with it but keep it in play, and a medium mode, which is just designed to maneuver the opponent around and keep him running. Most shots are hit in competition in these modes and let their opponents take the risks and beat themselves. Only kill the easy ones, or the ones which will result in you losing the point anyway if you don’t put something on it.
    #8: Falling backwards off the ball resulting in your shoulder lifting and the ball going long. This is a common clay courters mistake which they train them to do on their forehands for more depth and spin, but they play much father back off the baseline than hard courters do. If you fall back off your one hander, it changes your whole attacking angle and makes it more passive. The true pathway for a nailed shot is to transfer your weight forward, not backwards! It causes too much “brush up” and will also land shots too short rather than add spin/rmp heaviness.
    #9: Not adjusting to depth or height or spin changes. Short low balls call for small quick steps, like the master of small steps: Jimmy Connors. They also call for bent knees and making sure you get under the ball with the bed. Deep, higher balls call for a higher start point with the non dominant hand and a higher coil pathway. The unit turn is often disregarded in both these situations. Line up your non dominant hand at the same height as the incoming shot. Defense of your contact point in front of your shoulder forms a arced “shield” shape in front of you. Place your arm out in front of you up at head height, and then drop it down. See how it forms an arc? That is your contact point, closer to you on both high balls and the low balls, and further out in front at waist heights. So on the higher balls and the lower balls, we wait for the ball to come to us a little longer to obtain the right “arm bar.”
    #10. Bending over at the waist and not keeping your core stable and straight up and down causes the head to lose its balance, the shoulders to lose their level keel, and causes resultant inconsistency. Use those knees to get down to lower balls, yet keep the core straight up and down, and allow the ball to come into your “shield” arced in front of you.

    The whole point of the unit turn, the foot work, the coil, and arm bar, and hips opening up fast, is to wait for the ball to arrive at the right point. So it’s all really an exercise in “waiting” in a very fluid yet fast way. The faster you can arrive at this point, with big coil, the better shot you will be able to hit. That’s why the best players always seem to have so much time. They arrive very quickly and they wait for a longer time. When they are put under emergency situations, they are so used to uncoiling very fast that they handle it better.
    So now you are going to go out and put these new principles into practice. I thank you so much for reading my POSTS and I truly hope you enjoy your powerful new back hand!
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2012
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  17. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    Kitey, do you use a western BH grip, pretty much like the one used for a western forehand, or an extreme western BH grip where the index knuckle is placed on the bevel used for a semiwestern FH but the thumb remains where it would be on a western grip?

    also, are there supposed to be video links in your posts?
     
    #17
  18. thebuffman

    thebuffman Professional

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    Noctis I understand what you are asking and believe it or not your reply to receiving a CC shot your backhand is solid; a CC topspin back. Your game is transitioning toward strategy now that you have the strokes and can sustain a good rally even to your backhand. I would begin to study Wardlaw Directionals. This will help you begin to understand why it is that you would want to step around the ball and take it as an "inside ball" rather than an "outside ball" to your backhand and get leverage on the ball. leverage will allow you to change direction of the ball with both power and control. this is difficult to do with a outside ball that is moving away from your body (ie. a CC ball from their backhand to your backhand).

    Next is court positioning where the concept of DNO is learned. Defense, Neutral, Offense and how a player transitions from different areas of the baseline between those positions. I learned this at FYB.

    Good luck to you in your endeavor as you begin transitioning to the next level of tennis mastery. There is so much more beyond consistent stroke management. You are on a fantastic road my friend.
     
    #18
  19. BevelDevil

    BevelDevil Hall of Fame

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    It's important to get the grip terminology correct. If you turn over a Full Western forehand, you get an Eastern backhand, with the index base knuckle on the top bevel.

    If you move your knuckle back by one bevel from Eastern, you get an awkward grip that you should not use. If instead, from Eastern you move your knuckle back by 1/2 a bevel, you get what is called an "Extreme Eastern" grip (sometimes also called a "semi-western"), which is the grip Henin and Kuerten, among others, have used. I think it's a grip that should be used by more players.




    Before you learn to attack with your backhand, you should first be able to use it to set up your forehand (didn't you say that was your better side?) DTL shots will often set up your forehand. Also, you can learn to step around your bh.

    Then, to improve your backhand, you have to make sure you can hit a chest-high ball aggressively. Make sure you're not backing up and waiting for those balls to drop lower--that would automatically put you on the defensive (unless you're Gasquet). Alternatively, you can learn to hit on-the-rise.

    In both cases, having good technique is a must, and there have been a ton of posts here giving decent advice.

    Of course, getting a proven swing doctor to train with would be ideal. But the next best thing is posting a video.
     
    #19
  20. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    How about getting a really good sparring coach and have him continually pound your backhand CC and then DTL, and then alternating. I know it's hard to believe, but you can actually hit a BH harder than a FH, you just have to put in the time to develop it. Gasquet is a perfect example.

    As for strategy, I think it is a wrong approach to try to strategically cover up a weakness. I think it is better to improve the weakness. When your BH is as strong as your FH then think about shot sequences the way they are supposed to be played, not as a way to cover up something. If I see a player trying to cover up a weakness, like running around a BH, you can bet your life I then start to hit every ball possible to their BH to open up a court for an easy winner.
     
    #20
  21. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    What exactly is correct? There are some differing views floating around on the internet.

    The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th links shows the grip you call "awkward that you should not use." as the and extreme backhand, semi western/extreme eastern, and western.
    Link 4 goes along with what you said about resting the index knuckle on the ridge between bevel 8 & 1 as semi-western.
    The 2nd and 3rd links go against what you called extreme eastern being being on the ridge between 8 & 1, they state that the index knuckle is fully on the 8 bevel.
    By these definitions Kiteboard would be using the wrong terminology as well: "a full western for both the back hand and the forehand, and using the same side of the string bed without changing grips at all." I guess that would be western forehand and an eastern backhand?

    Whatever, I'm not going to care much about what should be officially called what as long as someone can describe what the grip looks like.

    Eastern BH
    http://www.fuzzyyellowballs.com/video-tennis-lessons/grips/classic-one-handed-backhand-grip/

    This site refers to the index on bevel 8 as an extreme backhand grip
    http://www.fuzzyyellowballs.com/video-tennis-lessons/grips/extreme-one-handed-backhand-grip/

    This one refers to having the index on bevel 8 as semi western or extreme eastern
    http://www.tennis.com/articles/templates/instruction.aspx?articleid=1337

    This site refers to having the palm and index centered between bevel 1 & 8 as semi-western, bevel 8 as western
    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl...a=X&ei=LMaLT5u4FcSdiAKTlp3YCw&ved=0CCUQ9QEwBg

    Here you see the term extreme western being used. I have seen an article that called resting the index on bevel 8 as extreme western.
    http://tennis.about.com/od/forehandbackhand/a/comparebhgrips.htm

    Here they say there is a difference between full eastern, semi-western, and western backhand grips
    http://tennis.about.com/od/forehandbackhand/ss/bh1gripclosewt.htm
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012
    #21
  22. vil

    vil Semi-Pro

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    Kiteboard you must have blisters on your fingers from all that typing:)

    Must say, you put that very professionally and that is exactly the right way to do it. It takes a lot of balls to be hit to get that coordination but once you get it in the head, you end up having good foundation to built on.
     
    #22
  23. salsainglesa

    salsainglesa Semi-Pro

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    run around the backhand as much as possible if your bh is not good. and attack their weak side to get a wear response.

    If they find your backhand, forget about attacking get the ball back, neutralize and make them hit another ball....
    easy tactics. Do not try to hit strokes you don't have.

    With that said, go to practice your backhand so you have a more consistent neutral stroke and add direction and height variety. It will come with time and practice.
     
    #23
  24. kiteboard

    kiteboard Hall of Fame

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    It's the same grip, a pancake western, with the bed facing the ground, and I don't change it at all, and use the same grip/side of strings to hit both shots. Full western fh/bh.
     
    #24
  25. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    What do you think would happen if you hit every backhand deep cross court to the corner until your opponent either attempted to redirect the ball dtl or hit an UE.
     
    #25
  26. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Any shot hit to somewhere the opponent doesn't like can be an attacking shot. It's opponent specific.
    For instance, attacking DTL deep with your backhand might win 90% of the points against your peers, but someone who HAS a real backhand will just knock it off for a winner.
    Same with every other shot. It has to go where your opponent doesn't like it for you to call it an "attacking" shot.
     
    #26
  27. Noctis

    Noctis New User

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    Do you guys think it's better to hit on the rise (on the backhand side) or wait a little bit more and take it around chest high?

    Undoubtedly, I'll be working on both shots but with my on the rise I get more depth on the ball but with a chest high I'll get a lot more pace but it lands a little short I guess. :/
     
    #27
  28. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Both of course.
    Standing IN and shorthopping, you're closer to the net, the ball has more rebound energy added to your shots.
    Standing waay back, you have more distance to hit, the ball doesn't provide much rebound since it slowed down, so you have to hit longer/harder to hit deep.
    Kinda like...which serve is better? Flat or slice? Well, you need flats, you need topslices, you need tops, you need pure slices, you need twist/kicers....you need ALL of them.
     
    #28
  29. Kevo

    Kevo Hall of Fame

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    One thing that works well if your one hander is solid is simply mixing up the shots. The 1HBH has a natural disguise to it. You can hit cross court a couple of times and then go down the line. Most opponents won't read that well if you do it right. Then you can also go for the cross court short angle instead of down the line. Like others have said, everything that works on the forehand side can work on the backhand side. One of my favorite things is to hit high loopers from my 1HBH to my opponents 2HBH. Then if the reply is weak, I'll make a point to keep pounding those shots to their backhand.

    I think the real turning point for me was when I started to love my 1HBH. Once I had worked on it so much that I started hitting it cleaner and could put more spin on it, it started to feel like a more free swinging shot than my forehand at times. It got to the point I wanted people to pick on it. It was a challenge, but I started to win those points more.

    I think if you really want to get comfortable with it, practice forehand to backhand rallies where you hit your backhand to your partners forehand. I like to do that sometimes just to challenge myself a bit and work on my preparation. To me that is the only weakness of a 1HBH. It takes more work to prepare properly, and proper prep is key to hitting a forcing 1HBH. There is just less margin for error in the contact location so moving your feet is key.
     
    #29
  30. BevelDevil

    BevelDevil Hall of Fame

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    You're right, there are contradictions and flat out wrong information out there. Obviously, you should be skeptical of everyone, including me, but I'm willing to put up a sound argument.

    For example, people often say/believe Henin, Kuerten and others put their knuckles on bevel 8. They are wrong. It's on 8/1 (see below). And Henin has described her backhand as "Extreme Eastern." Yet many people have described Henin's backhand as "semi-western."

    Call it what you will, it doesn't matter. But if you want to hit like Henin or Kuerten then don't put your knuckle on bevel 8.


    Here's an image of Henin's backhand grip. The red box indicates bevel 8.
    [​IMG]

    I heard that Mauresmo used the bevel 8 grip, but I haven't confirmed it. The point is that not many people use it, and the body mechanics are tough to execute.
     
    #30
  31. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    Kite, thanks for the detailed and well written post about hitting a powerful 1h BH.

    I can consistently direct my 1h BH at around 70-80mph given that I am playing against a player who hits groundstrokes at or near that range. Usually I can hit the BH with a little more speed than the incoming ball. But against players that hit with no pace and on slow courts that speed drops quite noticeably. Speed also becomes inconsistent hittng against no pace, with a very fast BH only coming occasionally for me.

    From your description it sounds like my BH grip is similar to yours. I took mental notes about things I can improve and implement, while reading your posts. I took that stuff to the slow courts yesterday, and my backhand speed significantly improved and stayed fairly consistent. Pretty good considering it was all practiced during matches against doubles opponents who vary their shots between deep with fair pace to short low trajectory flat shots with little bounce. The opposing team complimented my backhand several times, as well as my serve. I had been reconstructing my serve for the past 2 months and your post in PV's thread was great timing. Easily held all in service games yesterday except 1, when I tired out towards the end of two sets. Usually only gave up 0-1 points per service game. Can't wait to see what this BH can turn into with some solid practice.

    Have you got any other similar posts regarding other parts of the game?
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
    #31
  32. TheOneHander

    TheOneHander Professional

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    Hey Ray, what level are you at?
     
    #32
  33. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    Not sure what my level is right now. This is what I can give as a reference to my play level is: I used to play on a college team. Then took a long break for several years and lost everything. Been back playing for about 2 years now. I am always trying to tweak/improve some aspect of my game, sometimes these re-constructing phases really throw me off and I play like crap for a couple of weeks, I don't mind as long as I improve. I played with a college team kid on and off last year and a bit into this year, mostly when he's not training with the team or busy with school. We rally for points and usually break even, he's younger, faster, and has a better forehand around which his game is built - I have a much more solid and better rounded game and much better backhand. We don't play matches much but I've been able to win in singles, he hasn't beaten me there yet.

    Other times I play doubles on slow courts against pushers/counterpuchers, my weaknesses x3 (the underlined parts) in combination at the same time. I don't get to choose my partners there either. My player level usually appears much lower there, but do much better when playing against the faster hitters. I have only lost 1 singles match there and 1/2 of my singles games came out 6-0.

    What's your play level?
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
    #33
  34. UBER Forehand

    UBER Forehand New User

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    One handed backhands rock!

    Even if he is to make his backhand dangerous, it's not what the OP asked: he asked us how to use his rather good backhand to allow himself to better exploit his forehand.

    1. Court Positioning trick
    One trick is to use your court positioning. Virtually all great players do what I will explain as they all have better forehands than backhands. When you recover for a the next shot, you're typically covering the diagonal in which your previous shot landed and you stand equally close to the center mark on either sides, whether you expect a backhand rally or a forehand rally to follow. Any top pro who hits a good shot will shift their recovery position one step or one step and a half over their backhand side on either half of the court: it means that you recover very close to the center of the court on the forehand side and much closer than usual to the singles sideline on your backhand side whenever you feel your previous stroke was really penetrating. The reason you can do it is for the ultra solid forehand reply (either really deep into your forehand corner, stunning short angle or, else perfectly down the line to your backhand) or the same on the backhand side if you struck to his backhand is highly unlikely a low percentage play in most occasions... the likely reply a rather centered ball, right in the middle of the court. Just offsetting your recovery points one step toward your backhand means you can run around more easily and it's not risky because you've hit a really compelling stroke. All top pros, from Djokovic, Nadal and Federer to Roddick or Verdasco do it. But, as it won't surprise you, very few amateur do it... it means you can gain a huge advantage without doing anything fancy provided you read the play properly.

    2. Depth gets you out of crap
    A second thing is when you use your backhand against a forehand, depth is your best friend. You're not necessarily forced to hit big, but if you hit deep, you increase the chance for him to leave the ball a little shorter or a little closer to the center -- and anything close to the center should become a forehand since it's your weapon. Ideally, pros try to push back the other player to get out of this situation by sending the ball in the deep backhand corner, but as you are an amateur, let's say we just want a deep ball. It doesn't have to be a huge shot, just a deep shot.

    3. Federer's favorite
    The guy popularized the slice anew on the tour in the early 2000. Very few players were still using that on hard courts, but he was special: he used it excessively often. If you can hit both a floating slice -- that's a little higher and slower, to force a player to generate both pace and spin on their own --, and a low skidding slice, use them to your advantage. Most two handed backhand players have troubles on low balls -- thanks to your one handed backhand, low balls are wheelhouse balls for you --, so make them pay and have them bend. If Federer can do it to Djokovic who, to my taste has the best two handed backhand on the tour currently, you can do it to an amateur too. At Dubai last year, he tried to out-power Djokovic and it was a bloodshed. Nole would always get further forward and then rip it down the line. Then, later, he started hitting these nasty slices, varying it with hard flat balls and moonballs... Djokovic no longer had the down the line winner option and Fh to FH versus Federer, it's not the same game -- hence, he lost at RG.

    If you hit the slice properly, you can use it to set up your forehand. Just make sure you can keep up with players by rolling the ball most of the time as it keeps them more honest with their court positioning. But, when you get some space to work with and they seem a little too at ease with the rhythm, throw in a slice. Of course, if you can do like Federer and angle it, it's even more a potent butt-hurting device.

    4. The down the line
    I have to say that many amateurs love to hit inside-out forehands, but I rarely seen the same guy hitting winners on the run. It's not a shot you want to go for too often as you are hitting an outside ground stroke (the ball, BH to BH is moving away from you) and it means changing direction is hard. However, if you see a ball that is a little shorter, a little lower, a little slower and it gives you time to plant and really go for it, then by all means aim down the line. It's like when guys come to the net to have fill up your pants with crap: two thirds of the time, they don't have the goods so you're better to test them before you try hit sick shots. Here, when you run around or cheat on your court coverage, what you need as a side weapon is a running forehand and, again, two thirds of the time, they don't have the goods. You don't have to hit big, just have them hit a running forehand to see if they can do it.

    5. Don't shy away off high balls
    Everyone has the same dumb strategy: hit high to the one handed backhand. What they don't know is that if you don't hit high AND HARD, you give the guy an amazing angle, a nice vintage point from which he can aim more easily and be aggressive without taking much risk. Practice hitting on moonballs, literally.

    Once you get into a match, as you might not encounter Nadal every day, you might not see a true fast and high ball. In short, they'll send you sitters. If you swing properly, they are easy to angle. Just be confident, breathe and take it. After quite a while, you will want people to do it.
     
    #34
  35. kiteboard

    kiteboard Hall of Fame

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    Nice to see you got some value out of it. Concentrate on speeding up your core after you have coiled extremely. Especially on no pace balls that are currently jamming your timing. You are letting the slow balls slow down your own coil/core speed and jamming yourself, which is what the pushers count on with the hitters. We are talking about extremes here, to set an example, and to break you of your current habits that rob you of your greatest enjoyment: actual improvement. Footwork first, coil early, relax the upper body, yet the lower body is Samurai tight. Focus on rotating your core faster than you ever have, and "drag" the bh behind the opening hip, like you would throw a frisbee really far, really fast, you have to coil, and then open the hip first, or if you threw a back handed karate strike. Same coil, same open, same result: there are lots of black belts who hit like girls due to no speed, no coil, and form only. That has been your game until now: form only, with no intended weapon. I do have some more things:

    How to hit the One Handed Richard Gasquet Back Hand shot:
    INVERT AND SUPINATE (FOR RIGHTIES AND PRONATE FOR LEFTIES: CLOCKWISE VS. COUNTER CLOCKWISE.)




    Invert: One thing all the top 1hbh players have in common, is that they invert the stick, just like many of the top fh hitters do, to produce more kinetic potential, more voltage if you will, more stored pressure into the shot. What do we mean by “stored pressure or stored shot voltage?” When Richard Gasquet has a sitter, or sometimes even a neutral shot, he points the stick straight up, and straightens his hitting arm towards the sky, arm barring the shot. Like a water fall, up high, which has stored pressure and voltage in the higher water, waiting to fall and smash into the pool below!
    What do we mean by arm barring? The hitting arm forms a solid two by four line, with a straight elbow, up towards the sky. This is not a rigid prep, but a fluid prep. At contact point, in front of the hitting shoulder, the arm is also arm barred, by the best 1hbh hitters, such as Henin, all of 130lbs, who can hit the 1hbh 100mph! Gasquet is capable of hitting 120mph 1hbh, almost as fast as he can serve the ball! How is this even possible?
    After the arm is barred towards the sky, the stick drops precipitously, into a bent elbow position, with the hitting surface of the string bed pointed not downwards, but upwards, towards the sky. So he skies the prep, with a stored pressurized arm bar, and then drops into a cocked bent elbow skied position, into the water fall pool, with the stick facing forward of the hitting shoulder.

    Pronate: In anatomy, pronation is a rotational movement of the forearm at the radioulnar joint, or of the foot at the subtalar and talocalcaneonavicular joints.[1][2] For the forearm, when standing in the anatomical position, pronation will move the palm of the hand from an anterior-facing position to a posterior-facing position without an associated movement at the shoulder (glenohumeral joint). This corresponds to a counterclockwise twist for the right forearm and a clockwise twist for the left (when viewed superiorly). For the foot, pronation will cause the sole of the foot to face more laterally than when standing in the anatomical position. Pronation is the opposite of supination. Then, comes a very fast U turn, with the hips moving in conjunction just as you would throw a Frisbee, or a spinning back hand martial arts strike. The hips add to the speed and acceleration of the shot, by opening up before, and dragging behind, the stick. Then comes the pronation of the shot, or the turn over of the wrist, very fast, in a wind shield wiper motion fully out to the right of the body, with an extremely fast follow through, and a very fast and full weight transfer, out towards the target. Think Reggie Jackson getting ready to hit a home run. He inverts the bat towards the pitcher, and then the ball comes into the strike zone, and he u turns into a very fast supination.

    Intention: The intention to swing freely, and kill the ball, has to be there in the hitting wrist into the prep, the coil, the weight transfer, and the hip open-up, and finally, to supination of the shot. Without true intention to kill the ball, we cannot dev. smoothness and relaxation. Imagine what it would be like to crack a whip, without smoothness and relaxation, while stiff and unable to snap your wrist or put any body into the whip snap. That is how most of us are hitting our 1hbh, stiffly, with no confidence, or smoothness, or relaxation, or true intention to kill the ball.

    Smoothness: What do we mean by smoothness? Imagine a samurai slicing through an opponents body with a sword, with full body weight, and weight transfer, with a 1hbh strike. This cannot be done without smoothness of upper body movement. The best samurai ever to fight and live, was Myamoto Musashi, who wrote a book about samurai fighting. He was a samurai warrior and famous for his one on one samurai duels to the death, and distinctive two handed, two sworded fighting style. Musashi became famous by killing and maiming numerous opponents, even from a very young age. He was the founder of the Hyōhō Niten Ichi-ryū or Niten-ryū style of swordsmanship and the author of The Book of Five Rings (五輪書 Go Rin No Sho?), a book on strategy, tactics, and philosophy that is still studied, and required reading in many business tactics courses. He retired undefeated, at the age of 29, approx. 61-0, in samurai battles.
    He stressed the fighting stance: loose upper body, and spring steel lower body, weight on the balls of the feet, bent knees, chest slightly forward: He advocated walking around in this stance in every waking moment. It is the stance of the volleyer.
    He said: “In every match; it is important to see distant things as if they were close and to take a distanced view of close things. It is important in each match to know the impediments' thrust and not to be distracted by insignificant movements of each obstacle, or of the opponents sword and tactics and movements. You must study this; as your life depends on it. The gaze is the same for single-scale matches and for large-scale matches. See each situation without moving your gaze side to side.”
    I take this side to side gaze comment to mean: do not let your gaze go into the fog zone. The fog zone is where you are not watching the ball, or the opponent, or the opponent’s stick, or anything in particular, but have lost focus, due to stiffness of concentration, and stiffness of vision, and stiffness of intention, and stiffness of bodily movement and function, due to the intensity of the battle and the extremely physical direction of the point.
    Hand speed is spoken about over and over, yet no one talks about vison speed, that is; the ability to concentrate on the ball to the contact, with our eyes smoothly, and to smoothly transfer your full force and weight without trying to in a muscled up hit it hard way, and out to the opponents stick.
    If you watch the opponents stick, you will pick up cues faster than if you stay fogged. So it is the smoothness we are after.
    Think Gustavo Kuerten, the drunken monkey himself, and how loosy/goosy he was in between points, smiling, wiggling and jiggling his upper body, in such a happy and funny way, and how devastatingly fluid and powerful his 1hbh was! The drunken monkey had the most deadly 1hbh of his entire era.

    Stick: It’s amazing to me how many people don’t use the stick most suited to their style. How many serve/volleyers have you seen with babolats? Or baseline bashers with very light sticks? If you are a basher, you need polarized head heavy plow through. If you are a serve/volleyer you need touch and control over power, a depolarized set up, with weight at 3 and 9 o’clock, and a head light frame, for more maneuverability at the net, and more finesse over brute force, and accuracy and deft touch over the ability to grind down to a nub.

    String: The same goes for string. It’s amazing to me how many good players use the cheapest string, or string not suited to their style at all, such as a topspin hitter using a non spin string, or a flat hitter using a spin string, or a serve/volleyer using cheap poly over a touch string.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012
    #35
  36. kiteboard

    kiteboard Hall of Fame

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    Footwork: The 1hbh must close off, with hips parallel to the side lines, rather than be hit from an open stance, due to the nature of the deltoids, and the lats, and the hips working in conjunction, to “throw” the Frisbee, or the karate strike, into the full acceleration of the ball. You cannot develop full mass and acceleration while open, as there is no stored pressure, placing the hips parallel to the side lines, using your legs to dip down, planting your power on the back foot first, and then fully stepping into the hitting foot while transferring all your weight and smoothness into the shot, and supinating fully and freely into the ball.

    The 1hbh must be hit way out in front, to provide full arm bar potential, of the shot’s mass/acceleration ratio. The wrist cannot be forced back, any further, if the arm is barred, and contact is fully out in front, a full shoulder width farther, than the fh is struck! We are taught to hit the ball in line with the hitting foot, yet, that is a full shoulder width late on the 1hbh, but on time on the fh side! If the arm is barred and extended fully out forward, and the wrist is cocked back at contact, a more solid “wall” is produced, to impart impact into the ball.


    Supinate
    Intention
    Smoothness
    Stick
    String
    Footwork
    Hip work
    Shoulder work
    Wrist work
    Arm bar
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
    #36
  37. kiteboard

    kiteboard Hall of Fame

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    Become a body clock master.

    By KITEBOARD
    ________________________________________
    “Play within yourself.” How many times have you heard that phrase? You are playing within yourself whether you like it or not! You play within yourself due to your internal timing mechanisms. I call it the body clock/engine. You have several types of internal body clock/engines. There is both a conscious, and a subconscious body clock/engine. These “clocks” control our rhythmical timing mechanisms and the different “engines” in our bodies. There is an upper body engine and a lower body engine. These clock/engines control your unit turns and your movements. The upper engine controls your upper core rotation and the lower engine controls your feet and legs. The ideal energy feels like, “Drunken monkey upper body, and fast Cheetah feet.”







    My purpose in writing this piece is to speed up your ability to make transitions. When you master the body clock/engine transitions and your unit turns, those unforced errors will vanish and you will beat players you never beat before. However, a greater awareness of the hidden battle will help you win the exterior one.
    Even at the highest level of play, most points are lost due to mistakes. Two out of three points are lost to mistakes, not winners. On slower courts, this figure goes up even higher! It’s your mental energy, that controls and creates these mistakes you make. Most club players make far more mistakes than the pros, even while hitting for far less. The club player typically has no idea about the relationship between movement and the body clock/engines inside him which are totally controlling and causing his shots.


    TRAPPED
    So you have gotten yourself into a match, and now you have nowhere to run or hide from the body clock and the score. You are inside a gladiatorial box with no way out until there is a victory or a defeat. The court is a box that you cannot escape. “It’s fight or flight out there.”, and your emotions create and fuel your energy.
    Your body clock times the delivery of energy and determines whether you win or lose, or whether you improve during a match or not. The body engines deliver the timed energy.

    Every match is made up of many small energy bursts and small emotional bursts. These bursts power our internal body clock/engines during a match. These energies fall into three categories. Conscious and unconscious forces affect your application of each energy.

    THREE BODY CLOCK ENERGY CATEGORIES: LULL-JAM-FINISH
    Lull energy: Is putting your opponent to sleep. Some of those bursts are lull energy based which are medium paced, medium risk, “put your opponent to sleep” shots with 2-5’ high net clearance and medium spin and medium mental attack. It’s as if you are projecting your thumb across the net onto the forehead of your opponent and bothering him with it. It’s low risk and easy to maintain.
    Jam energy: It’s jam your opponent’s timing. Some of those bursts are jam based energy: they change the speed of the ball radically or the direction or the height after the ball bounces, and it’s this “radical change” which can jam any body clock rhythm. It’s as if you are jamming a spike into his body’s timing.
    Finish energy: It’s put the ball away. Some of those bursts are finish based: they are clean winners. This is lower net clearance, higher risk, higher stick speed shot. These force your opponent to do a lot of emergency running.
    There are psychological components of each of these energies as well as the physical incoming shot. Mastering the transition game requires the ability to master both the physical and psychological transitions.
    Nadal is the most adrenalized player. Federer is the smoothest. Djokovic is the most improved. Murray is the defensive-lull master. Each controls their body clock/engines in the same manner. Each transitions in-between the three energy categories in every match, and sometimes in each point.

    TWO INTERNAL SIMULTANEOUS ENGINES: LOWER AND UPPER

    There are two internal body clock/engines running us at all times, an upper body engine and a lower body game. Our mental unit turn tells us to kill a shot, or push a shot, or jam a shot, or lull a shot, and the feet are on board if moving quickly, and the upper body is on board if moving fluidly and cocking against the opening hip. It’s the Blazing Cheetah feet, and drunken monkey torso.
    When the engine running your torso slows down and there is no fluid coil and no draw to your shots.... If any shot upsets your timing, it has succeeded.
    The torso engine turns you sideways and uncoils sideways. The feet engine keeps you moving quickly and uses positioning steps. The body clock is jammed when one or both of the bodies’ engines slows down.
    They have to be running at the same speed, a fast one, no matter what incoming shot! You have to defend your body clock speed just as you defend your contact point, regardless of any shot.

    THE IMPORTANCE OF THE SPLIT STEP FOR THE BODY CLOCK/ENGINE:
    Edberg came into net almost sitting down in his split. That gave him quicker lateral movement. Murray will jump up 6”-9" up in the air on his split. So did Chang and Hewitt. Players with the biggest or most extreme split steps, often have the best defense/better foot work/quicker feet, ie, Chang, Hewitt, Sanchez vicario, Nadal, Murray, Agassi, etc., because the split step affects the unit turn so profoundly. The advanced split step will point one foot to the the same side the ball is heading towards and plant the other foot pointing towards the net, perpendicular to each other. This advanced split step causes a faster unit turn, because the turned foot pivots the upper body when that pivoted foot lands, and forces a faster unit turn, a faster decision on which shot you are going to hit. This strategy is all about removing time from the unit turn, deciding ahead of time which shots to hit, so you don’t have to waste time thinking about it during the point, and force your opponent to spend more time reacting and thinking!
    Your mental unit turn has to be just as practiced and polished as the physical. It’s the decision of which type of energy to use, lull, jam, or finish, and how deep/ hard/ high the shot will be.


    THE CONSCIOUS AND THE SUB CONSCIOUS CLOCK/ENGINE
    In each match the clock’s timings are also under pressure of all types the entire duration of the match. Some of it is conscious: such as the shots you are facing up against, the wind, the sun, the heat, the court, the onlookers, your equipment, your strategy. And some of it is unconscious. Many unforced errors are the result of the unconscious body clock’s domination of the physical rhythm.
    Other factors are your diet’s internal effects, your digestion such as gluten intolerance, extra weight you carry effecting your speed, the psych jobs you are facing up against, your underlying confidence, your core self beliefs, your latent emotions/desires/conflicts/hidden stress! These react to create the matched energy flow within you at any given millisecond. If you make a conscious decision to turn quickly and decide quickly which shot to make, this decisive quickness will cause your timing to improve dramatically.
    Timing is everything in life and tennis. Uncle Tony once heard Jack Nicklaus say, “First learn to hit it far, then learn to keep it in.” , and he taught Nadal to hit the ball hard as a child. He also taught Nadal to be a master body clock jammer. Nadals’ whole game was built to jam his opponents, with psych, and with extreme spin that causes the ball to change radically after the bounce. Those who master the radical change, jump to the next level.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
    #37
  38. kiteboard

    kiteboard Hall of Fame

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    CONSCIOUS VERSUS THE UNCONSCIOUS
    The unconscious often confuses positive with negative thoughts. For example, good hypnotists don’t use negative words, such as: don’t, not, no, never, cannot, do not, etc. because the unconscious mind will often confuse these statements to mean, do, always, can, etc, and they then have the opposite effect intended! Positive thinking is crucial regarding the unconscious mind and how it “listens” to the conscious mind’s decisions. Therefore it is recommended that in your own thoughts, to use only positive statements and imagery, such as, “I am going to turn sideways faster.”, or, “I am going to move more quickly with smaller steps.”, or “I am going to feel confident today.”, rather than, “Don’t be sluggish.”, or “Don’t move so slowly!” , or “What’s wrong with you?”
    The unconscious may not want you to be playing, injuring yourself, spending time with guys you don’t like, spending money, humiliating yourself in matches, spending time away from another pursuit. It can sabotage your rhythm at any time, for any reason it chooses. It is by definition, that which you are unaware. It most often manifests as the dreaded “lead” arm affect, the body clock jam that slows you down and causes hesitation in your movements and shots. It manifests as the unvoiced fear of missing, fear of losing, fear of injury, an unacknowledged hidden desire, etc.
    You have to know who you are out there, and if you want to be out there, and what kind of player you really are. Do you love to hit winners above winning? Do you love to have long points above winning? Do you know how to push the ball above all else? Do you know who you are on the court? Who you are is sometimes a little different than who you see yourself to be.
    Frustrated public outbursts also are negative, and only tend to help your opponents’ confidence and harm your own! (McEnroe was a freakish exception unless you count the French open against Lendl where he collapsed on the ground and then lost a two set lead. Even the great Mac was vulnerable to the destructive effects of negative emotion on his body clock/engines’ timing.) When you are at war with yourself, it emboldens your opponents’ underlying confidence. He knows you don’t want the results you are obtaining, and his underlying mind will take credit for all the symptoms you voice. Avoid any negative thoughts and actions and use only positive ones, like the gloat scream, the fist pump, the “Come on!”, the thoughts like, “I am going to feel confident.” Avoid any formation of the negative thought, emotion, or visible action.
    Controlling the lead arm is as easy as deciding to unit turn quickly and unleash a lull, jam or finish rhythm.
    Positive energy will even help you beat a superior opponent, one who knows he will beat you! The best internal body clock energy runs fast and free, like a torrent of water, during the point, when we are in the fluid/fast energy mode. When the point is over, the ideal energy is still flowing! Fluid energy wins matches and protects our internal rhythm. This causes our feet and hands to attack the ball quickly and smoothly and confidently, on all types of shots coming in, without a jammed miss. Steady yourself. Apply speedy positive energy.
    All of you have felt fear jam you badly, and jam up your internal body clock/engine rhythm, worse than any other factor, and yet, fear is often driven by unconscious thoughts and commands! These unconscious thoughts and commands don’t just cause fear of the opponent, they cause fear of missing the shot and performing badly. Those thoughts are the ones we can’t normally hear nor argue with, we just feel their after effects. The body clock self jam.
    Shutting them down and overpowering their hidden influence should be a part of every practice. Develop your own interior mantra for this purpose, a short phrase you can listen to in your own private mind. That is why so many players are grunting and screaming now, to consciously shout down the silent forces inside the mind and enforce the dominance of your conscious will over the unconscious will. Their intention is to project dominance towards their opponent. Often, the toughest opponent you have to defeat is the one you can’t hear nor see.

    THE MENTAL UNIT TURN
    When your internal clock is getting jammed: The mental unit turn is the dead give away. It’s the mind’s ability to coil itself and to decide which of the three energy modes to draw from. The unforced error made is made most often in a transition from one mode to the next mode. If you cannot move from lull to jam or from lull to finish in match pressure, you will make a lot of easy errors and it doesn’t matter who you are playing or how good they are, you may lose to anyone! If you are feeling too many fear/nerves during a match, you are in danger of jamming both the mental and the physical unit turn, jamming it’s smooth power, and jamming your fully relaxed opening out of the unit turn.
    The English junior development program offered Murray a spot on the team, all expenses paid. His mother opted out and paid his way to Spain, where they concentrate on unit turns and racquet head speed. None of the juniors who accepted the English offer got appreciably better, and Murray didn’t have more power than they did, he just opted for consistency and maneuvering opponents around the court. After Spain, Murray was world class even though he was a year younger than the juniors who didn’t make it. When you pay for it you value it more. All the Spanish juniors are cut off after 18yrs. old.
    Fear of making a bad shot is extremely common underneath the conscious surface on any given moment…. All of these can jam the fearless flow of adrenaline, and stop your feet from moving well, stop your hand from relaxing, stop the torso from coiling. If there is no coil there is no power. The coil is not just physical, it’s mental as well…. The torso won’t coil, the feet won’t stutter-step into perfect place, the speed will not step up and deliver unless they are told to do so.
    You have to coil your mind to obtain power just as there is no power without the upper body engine coil. Coiling the mind is deciding ahead of time which energy mode to use, and how hard and fast to use it.
    The unit turn is the only thing all pros have in common, because it turns them sideways, fast, and prevents loss of time and stops the body clock from being jammed easily. They all differ slightly in take back, snap back, and follow through. But if you look at slow motion clips of the pros, they all look the same at the unit turn. If you are landing/pivoting on the ground as your opponent is hitting his shot, it’s hard to be surprised by that shot or overpowered by that shot because you have given yourself the most amount of time possible to decide which energy mode to unleash.
    You can deal with all psych jobs and defeat them all by creating an internal mental unit turn. Decide which mode to use before you hit the next shot, lull-jam-finish as quickly as you can, before the physical unit turn is made. You can learn how to prevent most balls from playing you, by attacking shots with quick feet as well as quick hands, even on slow or stopped balls, on short balls, on deep balls, and on heavily spinning balls. (Agassi was great at this, especially effective after Gilbert taught him the lull game.) That’ what James Blake game lacked. He was just a flat hitter, and a failure as a lull master. Show any good player one pace, one spin, one shot and they will all adjust within a few games.
    Decide where you are going to hit the return before the serve is struck. Decide which strategy you are going to use before the match starts. Decide which is your opponents weaker side and attack that side more often. When Nadal played Federer at the French Open, he hit 85% of his shots high to Federer’s back hand. When he played Murray, he hit 54% to his back hand and 46% to his forehand.

    DECIDE TO FEEL CONFIDENT AND READY.
    Use your will power to control and shape your emotional energy. The goal is to arrive at a fast footed, fast handed state, that feels relaxed, fearless, a controlled adrenalized state. Excited, but not too much so. Clean adrenaline.
    IT’S CALLED MOTIVATION.
    Football coaches tell their teams, the other team is coming into their house, to take their belongings, and steal from them, and hurt their families. What the coach is really doing: is adrenalizing the team…. Focusing their emotional energy and raising their adrenaline levels so they move faster, hit harder than normal… It’s a focusing of emotional desire. It is a conscious call for speed and power. It’s also a way of focusing the unconscious by making it believe there is a physical threat to survival!
    When you feel like you are playing poorly, decide to play with confidence and decide to walk with confidence. Your opponent will pick up on even the smallest cues about your confidence. It’s your emotions that determine your adrenaline flow during any match! Emotions can block or release the right hormones. Decide to be the master of your own emotions, and your own hormone flow. Fear jams the body clock and induces a fearful adrenaline. Hungry desire opens access to the righteous- fearless adrenaline. Find out which thoughts spike your adrenaline. Maybe it’s a thought of loss. Maybe it’s a fantasy of revenge against the IRS head or your room mate or your boss or the last guy who beat you. The unconscious mind can relate to all those thoughts very easily and give you the fearless adrenaline boost you need to move well. Discover what releases the fearless adrenaline into your own system on command. Clean adrenaline creates confidence. Fearful adrenaline blocks it.
     
    #38
  39. kiteboard

    kiteboard Hall of Fame

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    THERE IS NO FIGHT OR FLIGHT. IT’S FIGHT OR FEAR OUT THERE.
    Are you going to default? Most people have defaulted their responsibility to practice their mental unit turns and to dominate their unconscious will. Fighting with fear will often result in a jammed performance. Decide how much intensity you are going to feel. Coaches use imagination. The opponent is coming into your house! How many times have you heard a coach say, “This is our house!” ? “Are you going to let them come into our house and take what is ours in front of our fans?” How many times have you heard that on TV? Create your own interior mental coach. If you want to win, you must be aware of all the weapons available….


    PERFECT THE MENTAL UNIT TURN AND MASTER THE MAIN ENERGIES
    Lull energy Jam energy Finish energy
    The mental unit turn: It’s your minds ability to coil itself, and to decide which and how strongly, energy to use, on any given shot. Lull energy is when you are not trying to win the point outright, but just patiently hypnotizing the other player's body clock to go to sleep! “Listen only to the sound of my shots. Everything else vanishes from your mind. Your eyes are getting tired and they are burning. Your legs are getting heavy and you are getting tired now. You can barely lift your feet. You can barely hit the ball. Your arm is very heavy, almost like it’s a piece of lead.” How many times have you felt like that out there against a pusher or a careful player? That’s their whole game, to lull-hypnotize you to sleep.
    Think of Gilles Simon or Murray or Nadal or Federer or Djokovic, waiting for an opportunity to counter punch. All top pros are lull-jam-finish masters. He's just stroking the ball medium pace, depth, angle or even right down the middle. Every top player uses lull energy in every match. The goal is to let the other player beat himself by making too many unforced errors, and to put the other player to sleep, so the disguised shots are more effective. Lull energy is very relaxed, with no tension, or speed added into the body. It's like idling the engine. The body clock is running medium and smoothly, as is the energy inside the body and the net clearance is high. It is also intended to make our jam and finish shots more effective, due to the contrast and surprise that they create….
    They force the other player into a transition!
    How many slow shots have been missed, for that nail on the head reason of "I've got so much time, so my feet don't have to move very fast.", and now, even the slow ball is playing me,- not the other way around, such as an easy volley. So your mind is in finish energy mode,- but the feet are not. It's the recipe the pusher depends on to jam us: slow sliced balls, with nothing on them, that we try to kill and frame, or miss horribly, when our minds are in finish rhythm, and our feet and torsos are not. The two engines have to be in synch, especially against the easy sitters that all lull players will hit over and over again until you miss. Jam energy is ramped way up, ie, when you are trying to jam the other player with a shot that changes speed radically after the bounce. Think Nadal. Super top or super slice, or a short drop shot, or a super flat shot, something that will jar or jam the other player's internal body clock, and either cause an error or a weak reply. Many players will make errors off the lull shots as well, and it might take 15 lull shots before the other player makes an unforced error, often, by going for a jam shot himself, and jamming himself in the process, by not relaxing while ramping up his own from his own lull energy. The jam energy must be relaxed or you run a way higher chance of making a mistake on a jam transition. The jam transition, from lull to jam, is difficult to learn, to relax while swinging out hard and full and freely, and not making the mistake while attempting the jam.

    Finish energy is similar to jam, but, you are moving to finish, not jam, the other guy off. Requires a winner mentality, and a flat shot, or an extreme shot, to a line or a corner, or very short, or a topspin lob, or an outright passing shot, etc.... Also it is very difficult to learn the transition from lull to finish, or from jam to finish. It requires a faster internal energy and more risk to be taken and a lower net clearance. Quicker movements of the muscles, yet, smooth. Extremely fast, yet repeatable.
    There is such a thing as a reliable flat shot. If you attack the shot you like. Wait for the weak or short shot you like to finish. The body knows what it likes. And that’s different for everyone. Keep the rpms of your internal engines revving fast through all energy mode transitions. One rpm speed is easier to master than many. One weapon is easier to master than many. One strategy is easier to master than many. Your body energy is more easily controlled if it only has one thing to concentrate on: speed. You don’t have to release your coil fast, but you always need to coil quickly.

    IT'S NOT YOUR MIND THAT DETERMINES WINS AND LOSSES.

    It's your body’s ability to obey your mind. The jam occurs when the body stops obeying the mind during a transition. How many players have you seen lose to relaxed lull master pushers, who are not trying to win, just trying to watch the other guy lose? How many players go out and try to win the point on every shot? And the body says, "What are you, crazy? You think I can hit a winner from every position? Why don't you video tape me and see what a dumb ass you are?"
    Whether it can change its energy from lull to jam to finish at will, from both sides, with all types of shots. Everyone's body clock and internal energy motor is unique! Some of us are more vulnerable to slice, flat, spin, depth than we would care to admit! Find out which shots your body refuses to obey your mind. Find out which shots your opponent does not obey. Avoid those shots that jam you and feed the jamming shots to your opponent. Why do you think so many run around their back hands? They are more easily jammed on that side. They want to develop a more consistent weapon so they dare you to hit to the open forehand court. The open court psych: “See if you can hit a winner on me to my wide open forehand, sucker.” All pros are taught this tactic.

    The transitions are more make-able, if you keep the feet moving fast on slow shots, medium shot, heavy shots, jam shots, or finish shots, lull shots. Think of the cheetah, and its incredibly fast feet running down an antelope in the green veldt, volcanic crater. Think of a drunken monkey, and its happy looseness, lithe and fluid/flexy body, strong enough to rip your arm off.... (A monkey once ripped me into its cage in the San Francisco zoo as a child. He stretched out his arm and hand all the way over the guard rail. I stood up on the concrete curb and reached out to touch his little hand. He was about 25lbs. I was just a rag doll for him, and he was just a small howler monkey.) I have never felt such a powerful yank in my life. That monkey was about three feet tall and almost killed me. I went flying into the steel cage at about 25mph. My shoulder still hurts. (There is such a thing as unconscious injury protection and injury memory. Injuries have to be dealt with so there is no remaining energy block. Some people say that the only way to heal injuries and the energy fields around them is to pack around them with healers mud.)

    Psychological healing is just as necessary as psychological nutrition.

    Kuerten was a perfect example of the drunken monkey fast cheetah. The feet have to have the same speed for all of your shots, or you will end up making too many mistakes. Too many let the feet stop, on a stopped ball. Too many let the feet slow down like lead, on a slow ball, due to the body clock trying to match the too slow rhythm of the incoming shot! The result: too many losses to inferior players who are not trying to beat you, but are trying to watch you beat yourself.......

    You should try this lull tactic with all opponents.

    The goal is to smoothly ramp up from medium to extreme, and stay relaxed in the change, while moving the feet fast at all times, keeping the upper body relaxed at all times...... It's like two different engines driving and running the same car, at differing speeds, with different tensions, different intentions, simultaneously..... Cheetah feet, drunken monkey torso....... Floppy arms and samurai feet. Kuerten and Federer were both masters of these energies. The lower body engine stays on the balls of the feet until you have decided to run. The knees are bent and the lower legs are like spring steel. The upper body engine is like a javelin thrower cocking his whole shoulder sideways so he can throw the spear further. The hips are used to uncoil the shoulders first, to create drag and draw. The shoulders coil, the hips uncoil first for the most power.
    The speed of upper body has to match the lower body speed. It feels like fast water flowing smoothly.
     
    #39
  40. kiteboard

    kiteboard Hall of Fame

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    In the lull:jam:finish routine, the way the body feels hitting each type of shot is different. The energy you use to hit most of the shots:lull energy, is like the energy you use to rally with in the warm up, that is, it's not trying to win the point outright, just keeping the ball in play and medium paced, medium depth, in a no error mode, designed to put the opponents’ body clock on one speed: sleep mode speed.
    Some use the lull type shot on their serves as well.... Even the pros use their version of this mode for most of their shots. Two of every three pro shots on average, are lull type shots. Maybe they hit 6 in a row. Maybe they hit 3 jammer types in a row, or a couple of finishing shots to take the point, but you can see right away, when the point is taken over by one of the players and who will probably win that point. It may take a few more shots, but the point is already lost. Points are most often taken control of by a successful transition from lull to jam/finish.
    The speed of the court will determine how many shots are winners. Take a pen and pad, and note how many shots are lull (rallies), jam, and finish. Most shots are lull, and much more so---- on a slower surface....
    When switching/transitioning to jam shot mode, the energy inside the body is entirely different. This mode requires an intense delivery of spin or pace, to either slow the ball down drastically (joker drop shots or fed short angled slices to two handers) or speed it up drastically after the bounce: (super top spin groundies ala Nadal to the back hand side which bounce very high or Djokovic flat groundies), and changing pace after the bounce is key, which is why depth is commonly referred to as the reason for Djokovics’ recent results.
    Deeper shots give us less time if we are playing off the bounce, not the shot. And it’s a natural tendency to time your shot off the bounce instead of the ball because the angle of the bounce is sharper if that bounce is closer to you, and the ball has not slowed down as much as it would have if it had been a shorter shot with more time to react to it! The deep shot has not had as much time to be measured by our timing engines, nor to slow down due to wind resistance.

    THE USE OF DISGUISED SHOTS TO JAM THE BODY CLOCK/ENGINES

    Federer disguises flat groundies to a corner or a line, or a drastic angle which causes a lot of emergency/jammed running. All top players show that they are going to hit the inside out forehand, and then go down the line, freezing your body so you cannot react. The disguised jam shots literally feel like someone has driven a stake into our body so it is not smooth anymore, and jars us into hitting a weak reply or an error, and jams our internal body clock/engine rhythm so we shut down completely, which is why disguised shots are more effective in doing so, as they take away our time regardless of incoming speed or shot for that very same reason that shorter shots give us more time......
    We are no longer a drunken monkey or a fast Cheetah when jammed, only a losing one. Once you get jammed, the point usually goes to the other guy but there are exceptions. Hit three shots inside out to his back hand and the fourth shot disguised as inside out will go for a winner. Disguised shots are paramount to freeze the body clock/engine.

    .

    The finish shot is just as hard to learn as the jam shots are. We have elicited the weak shot, short in the box, and now we have to move in quickly for a better angle and a higher ball, and hit flat to a corner or a line or an angle for the finish. Very different energy and some are vulnerable to jamming them selves when they move to finish mode, and frame the ball way too often, even on easy shots we have worked so hard to elicit..... You’ve done the time and now you pay for the crime all over again and again, and that’s what it feels like when all along it’s the jammed body clock causing the errors. Such as when you go to kill a short ball, showing finish mode, and then hit a drop shot that misses or pops up. Once again it’s the transition that causes the body clock to jam itself. Just decide you are never going to allow a self jam to happen again.BODY CLOCK/ENGINE JAMMERS
    Some body clock engine jammers are: fear, tightness, frustration, anger, anxiety, over eagerness, physical conditioning, too much emotion, fear based adrenaline, not enough adrenaline, hatred, cramping, nerves, sickness, bad diet, may all combine in part to jam the timing of your internal rhythm.
    LIST OF COMMON CLOCK JAMMERS

    Hatred for opponent
    Psych job
    Caring too much
    Trying out something new in stroke or equipment
    Not knowing your own weaknesses
    Not being able to test for opponents weak points
    Vulnerability to a particular type of incoming shot: spin, slice, high balls, twisting serves, change of pace or depth
    Match pressure
    Not enough practice
    Cramps due to loss of salt, and water loss
    Confidence dropping factors such as lack of sleep, etc.
    Fear for any reason such as fear of missing the shot
    Physical factors such as jet lag, injury, too much weight, etc.
    Self belief or lack thereof for any reason
    Not good enough on the run/footwork errors and no split step
    Hate your opponent? That can lock up internal rhythm. Has a psych job ever worked on you? Has an opponent called a ball out that was 6” in, and you went ape over it? Care too much about the win vs. the loss? Vulnerable to heat cramps? Not ready to play? Injured? Not confident? Know you are going to lose to a better player? Did you change a stroke before the match? Are you trying a new stick or string or new tension or new pair of sneakers? Playing within your self isn't just knowing which shots you can hit under pressure…. It's knowing what jams you up, and how to prevent it. Decide to be fearless. Whether or not you induce jams into yourself or your opponent is decided by the body clock battle.
     
    #40
  41. kiteboard

    kiteboard Hall of Fame

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    FIND OUT WHAT MODE JAMS YOUR CLOCK AND PREVENT IT

    If your diet is not good, or if you are overweight, or out of shape, it won’t matter how good your strokes are. You will not be able to maintain a high quality clock/engine mode during a match….. One thing all top players have in common, is fitness of body and fitness of mind/energy modes. (Recently Mardy Fish lost 30 lbs and won 16 of 17 matches in 2010 and has reached his highest ranking ever.) Look at Djokovic and what he was able to do when his weight went down after changing his diet. Djokovic now owns Nadal, who said, “He is in my head.”, after beating Rafa in six straight finals. Beforehand it was Rafa who beat Nole 5 times in a row in finals. Djokovic steps inside the baseline and attacks Nadals high topspin shots and drives them flat. Nadal can’t get any free points on his service games anymore. His jamming/psych game does not work on Djokovic anymore.
    If you've ever seen a match, where one of the players all of a sudden started playing better and dominating an opponent who used to beat him, like Djokovic vs. Nadal, you have seen a player regain control over the clock/engine battle. Djokovic hired a psychological nutritionist, Igor Cetkovic, and started using a CVAC chamber along with the diet change. Igor left after Djokovic won Wimbledon and Nole hasn’t been the same. He lost to Nishikori. He almost let Troicki beat him. He defaulted to Tsonga. He defaulted in Davis cup play. All after his psychological nutritionist left him- 2011 July. You may have also seen a player suddenly start missing due to fearful nerves, and then lose a big lead and his prior dominance… His adrenaline caused fear and fear caused tightness and tightness caused his body to become jammed! Look at what happened to Fish at the end of the 2011 end of the year Nadal London match.
    WHAT ENERGY ARE WE STRIVING FOR?
    The fast running, smooth burn of a fluid, flowing, clean adrenaline. It’s an extremely relaxed yet very fast energy. Just enough adrenaline to make us faster and smoother than we normally are. This smooth yet quick energy, determines how relaxed we are, determines how freely we swing the stick, determines how accurate and powerful we are under pressure and how fast we move our feet. Good butterflies in the stomach! But it is up to us to realize that truth, and up to us whether or not we make the decision to use that knowledge to work on and perfect our adrenaline flow! It’s just like working on a shot, only more important. Shots flow with fluid coil. Coil identically whether the coil is released fast, medium or slowly. Unit turns are the coil. A very quick coil will give you the most time to choose and deliver your energy.
    CALL ON ADRENALINE, AND YOU WILL CALL ON CONFIDENCE
    Some people call it intensity. We must polish our adrenalized energy just as much as we work on any other part of our game. This energy is affected by both conscious and unconscious factors. This energy determines how well our clock/engines run. It’s the oil on the piston walls. Some call it “psyching yourself” up.
    So how do you psych yourself up? It’s related to breath. It’s related to emotion. It’s related to intensity/intention and focus. It’s related to health and confidence. There is always a reason to gain your confidence and it should be foremost in your practice routine, a regular intention to notice and improve how confident you feel. Call for confidence into your game and it will come. It’s related to self belief. Some use breath, like yoga or chi or weight lifters. Some use interior mantras, short slogans you repeat in your mind. Some use emotion like McEnroe used to attack his energy mode. Some use the antelope Nadal method, of jumping up high and sprinting off to the baseline. Some use the gloating vampire scream, like Serena, Kvitova, Nadal, etc. Some use psychological nutritionists, like Djokovic did. Some use off court training to increase their confidence. Some use a lot of practice to ensure their self belief. Some use sports psychologists and even hypnotists to reach their unconscious mental energy. If you don’t have the ability to self psych, then don’t be surprised or upset when you lose. It’s a good idea going into a match thinking you are going to play well and win. You have to be able to warm yourself up. You have to be able to hear your interior mantra and call on your warrior intensity. Grunting can modulate adrenaline.

    THE WARM UP EFFECT ON OUR INTERNAL CLOCK
    Many matches are won in the warm ups. Most of us find out in the warm ups how consistent and how powerful or confident our opponents are in that first five minutes. We make up our minds without realizing it, whether we have a chance to win…. The expert body clock jammers use the warm up to plant the fatal suggestion in the opponents’ mind, that they have no chance, to win the match. The expert psych artist will make great effort to make every shot in the warm up. They will celebrate good shots. They will move fast and suggest they are in better shape than their opponent. They will fast serve you and work to under mine your confidence. They will probe you with all types of pace/spin/depths. They will insult you under the surface. The veneer of civilization is thin in the soul of the psych masters. Become aware of all the psychs and decide to become invulnerable to them.


    PSYCH JOB EFFECT ON THE INTERNAL RHYTHM
    Every psych aims to jam your body clock up, and make you play worse than you would if you were loose and relaxed. Whether the opponent admits it to himself or not, whether he does it consciously or not, that is his goal. To jam the flow of your adrenaline by manipulating your emotions and your internal transitions of your own body…. It’s your emotions that determine the quality of your adrenaline, whether it is a fearful or whether it’s an excited or confident flow…. Emotions can either jam us or super charge us! McEnroe and Djokovic and Serena and Nadal all play with a lot of emotion. He’s trying to make your feet move a little slower, to make your arms feel a little more tight, to make your core rotate a little slower, just enough to make you miss the next shot – and lose the next game. He’s trying to make himself feel more powerful and able to move smoothly. Psych is all about the body clock/engine jam. It’s about instilling fear, both conscious and unconscious. Ever see the face to face stare down between two fighters just before their fight? No athlete trains harder at the psych than fighters. Their lives are at stake. How would you like to be staring down face to face with a murderous Mike Tyson?
    Currently, the best pro psych jammer is Nadal. He’s also the most adrenalized player and one of the most emotional players. For example, he always enters the court second. He makes his opp. Enter the stadiums before he enters. Always. He controls his opponent before a single shot is struck. He always antelopes up to the baseline just after the coin toss. He always vampires out a huge gloat after winning a big point. He vibrates his feet up and down on the change overs super fast. He scrapes the clay baseline clean after each game. He arranges his water bottles in a very particular manner. He makes his opponent wonder, “Is he on something, to be so fresh after 4 hours, when I am so tired?” Nadal is an adrenalinilized psych master!
    Not only does he use his game to jam your rhythm, he uses his whole emotional persona to free his own...No one can psych him. They are too busy defending against the Nadal psych…..”First learn to hit it hard, Rafa, then learn to keep it in.”, uncle Tony drilled Nicklaus’ wisdom into Rafa’s head over and over…Nadals body clock was jam proof, until he ran into the new and improved Djokovic…..
    No psych, works on him..The only time a shot can jam him is the flat ball, (or the great drop shot) which is how Soderling, Federer, Murray, Delpotro, and now Djokovic have all been able to beat him: by hitting down flat on his short and high bouncing top spin balls on faster surfaces, and they now can jam him with pace after lulling him until he hits too short.

    THE SHOTS THAT JAM US:
    The most common shots that jam our clocks are the ones that change speed radically after the bounce. The American twist serve to our back hand return, makes the ball speed up and change direction after the bounce. The heavy top spin shot that kicks in speed and height after the bounce. The super rpm slice ball that either speeds up or slows down after the bounce. The flat ball hit hard and deep, that makes the ball skid low and heavy. The short low drop shot that makes the ball kick back wards and side ways. The top spin lob that kicks hard and spins to the back fence. The slice serve that slides sideways low and out of reach. Lull shots set these up to be more effective due to the contrast in transition. The large contrast from lull to jam/finish creates the jammed clock.
     
    #41
  42. kiteboard

    kiteboard Hall of Fame

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    To prevent these shots from jamming us, we must practice against them before the match ever begins. To jam others, we must practice these shots until they are second nature. It’s the transitions that are the equivalent of the mental unit turn. The decision to move from lull to an attack mode causes errors. The unforced errors are made most often when switching from one mode: lull-jam-finish: to the next mode. We see so many rallies, where both players are trying to lull the other by taking no risk. Then when a weak short shot presents itself, we see one of the players pounce on it, and puts the ball away with finish energy. . We must practice the transitions, from lull, to jam, to finish, every time out…Most errors are made in transition from one energy stage to the next.
    SOME SAY THE “INNER” GAME IS THE MOST IMPORTANT
    Does spirituality determine the best player? Are Christians any better at the game than Buddhists because of their belief in Jesus? Can any religious Ideology help you move faster or more accurately? Zen tennis, or mindful tennis has a following, but spirituality has nothing to do with the blue collar battle on the court.
    Those who are neutral about winning don’t win more often. Good people don’t win more often. Those who believe that good and evil are illusions and all competition is an illusion don’t win more often. The opposite is also true. Dark souls only win more often if they cheat to do so and it’s a tight match!
    It’s a blue collar battle out there. There is a lot of sweat, blood and tears involved. Everyone loses, and no one plays as well as they can play. You only get what you pay for. Every little gain you make is paid for. Speed hurts. The body clock controls speed, and good things happen when you move fast, coil fast, and unleash fast.

    VARY ALL ROUTINES DURING MATCHES TO JAM MORE OFTEN
    I played Rob Levin in an open tournament about 30 yrs. ago. He was a top norcal junior player. He had a watch, which he would turn on when serving, which let out a mnemonic tempo/beat, very loud beeping, 1-2-3-4, when he was serving. Then he would turn it off during the point! His father had controlled him to do this on every serve he hit in matches. It was extremely irritating! When I played Herman Bauer in singles, I found, that if I went to a no bounce ritual, in my serve, like old men do to young men, that he would miss his returns at a far higher rate. This was more effective, if varied, and not done all the time. It's part of the old man psych. I also found that when I changed my return position, to move way back, it affected his serve as well. If you suddenly change your shots it can change the match. If your position has been a "losing" one, it's best to change your return position, your serving patterns, and do something different with your energy/shots/positions. Sometimes changing a small thing can seem like a big thing to your opponents. It can affect their own minds, and cause them to jam themselves up and start to adopt a loss.
    People are far more dependent on the sameness of athletic timing, in their own games, than they realize. They unconsciously depend on you doing the same things over and over in a match. If you've ever seen Doug Sykes, return, from four feet above the serve line, against anyone, it also drops the time down the server has to react to the return than they normally have and can upset their routine because no one else does this.... Vary your routine during matches. Show all forehand on returns. Move up close, and then all the way back on returns. Don’t show the same look every time or hit the same shot! Change the number of ball bounces during serving. Djokovic is the master of this variable bounce rhythm. It’s his thumb on your forehead from 80’ away. Delay your net attack, and then go. Play inside the baseline during rallies. Change up your pace and spin and depth. Try the lull game. Try the serve/volley game. Hit some soft kick serves. Try the flat attack or the high ball to the back hand. Everybody has weaknesses. Some panic after the rally goes over 14 shots. Find out what works the best against him and then keep going for the jugular veins over and over again.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
    #42
  43. kiteboard

    kiteboard Hall of Fame

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    I have lots of other pieces, but not many want to wade through them. Only if you get some value out of it. Don't read it if you can't get anything out of it. I have pieces on the serve, the volley, injuries, energy, footwork, the bh overhead, 4.5 over 50 yrs. old, emotional states, psychological nutrition, mind sets in match play, weakness exploitation, how to work through a stagnated game, how to use video to improve, serve return technique, stringing tech., the unit turn, comparisons of top servers, returners, forehands of the top guys, etc. You can adopt the mind set: move from each loss with enthusiasm, and base your mental well being on a successful feeling of improvement, not just the score card, like almost all shallow athletes. Become a master of your own mind sets. Decide right here and now to base your well being on: did you unit turn faster? Did you relax? Did you defend your contact point? Did you arm bar your bh? Did you coil more? Did you rotate faster? Did you toss forward more? Etc. If you look back and see the true answers, they lie in small buckets/pockets, not the score card. Decide never to feel bad about another loss right here and now. Decide to feel enthusiastic about improving regardless of score, opponent, psychs, etc, and on whether you: did the above. BAse your well being on the things you controlled, on how much you improved the techniques, and the score does not depend on you. It's up to God.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
    #43
  44. kiteboard

    kiteboard Hall of Fame

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    ........................
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012
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  45. kiteboard

    kiteboard Hall of Fame

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    I would say that one of the most valuable things I've ever written is in here. And that is how to feel about losses. Move from one loss to the next with enthusiasm. Know you are facing lessons about improvement. Decide to feel good about the process of loss/learn. Feeling bad when you lose is not an illusion, nor is the loss itself, as so many would have you believe. Depression/loss is real. So is your new ability to turn your head towards improvement, rather than towards depression/anger/sadness/disgust, for me anyway!, etc.

    Sampras lost 19 times in a row when his childhood coach switched him from a two hander to a one hander. So did Herman Bauer when he first started playing open level. (So he told me.) Do you think Sampras was depressed about that? Of course he was. Self belief is easy when you care more about improving than you do about losing. And it's as easy as simply deciding to. The same goes for your temper on court. Decide to eliminate it. Showing emotion just helps your opponent feel more confident. Feeling awful about losing just feeds your losing self. Feed your winning self. Decide to help your winning self by feeding it instead of feeding your losing self. So how do you "feed" it? Acknowledge a good unit turn, toss, relaxation of upper body, fast feet, great coil, defense of contact point, speedy frame, great emotion, improvement when you feel it by using some sort of key word phrase in your mind or out loud, such as: "Great turn.", or: "Good coil.", or: "Great toss.", or: "Fast frame.", or: "Blazing feet.", or: simply: "This point is over now." When you start doing this, and the point is over in your favor, the game will change for you in your results mentally and your access to your internal zone will dramatically increase. It's as if you "call" the zone and it answers you. Call your own zone. You do anyway, without realizing it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012
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  46. bkpr

    bkpr Rookie

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    I've bookmarked the crap out of this thread!

    I'll be searching for Kiteboard's other epic threads too. Great stuff. Thanks for taking the time.
     
    #46
  47. vil

    vil Semi-Pro

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    Kite, you are unreal. Are you professional analyst? This stuff should be compulsory reading. Great work!:):)
     
    #47
  48. kiteboard

    kiteboard Hall of Fame

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    I've been playing since 1967. But only recently began to analyze/think about the games' strokes, mental sets, energy flow. How many of us have quit the game due to losses? Due to the feelings we get when we don't/can't improve? Due to the humiliation of losing to the same azholle over and over again? Due to the awful self anger and disgust we run into after a bad game? I know I have run into the same feelings over and over again for the same reasons over and over again.


    So anyone who tells you, "Losing is just an illusion. Your ego is just part of that illusion.", is an airy fairy type azholle. No feeling is an illusion. No frustration or block is an illusion. Athletic failure hurts very badly. No one on earth is invulnerable to it, not even Fed, Joker, or Nadal. They hurt just as we do. They hurt more, because they have more pain/gain/loss at stake. How would you feel if you were the best of all time, and lose to the same guy (Joker) over an over again after you had double match points on him? (Fed at us open.) I'd be ready to kill something or someone over it, and I'm sure he feels the same way. His trouble is, he can't improve anymore. He can't move from loss to loss with enthusiastic hopefulness. He knows he's only going to drop, not rise. (Hey, Fed, talk to me about your string job, frame, and tension, and I'll get you winning slams galore.)

    You and I are different than Fed. We can improve a lot more. We have weak points jutting out all over the place. As we are so often reminded of by all the guys who beat us. They are doing you no favors, just teaching you the lessons you need to learn. Feeding your losing self will only block you from advancing towards the winning self and keep you stuck in the rut, and continuing to do the same things over and over again, like repeating a stroke error, only the error is in your head. Turn your head towards hopeful improvement, and away from self hatred/disgust/anger/etc. You can do it in one second. Make up your mind to do it and it's done, like Yoda said, "No try, do." You never try anything. Pick the path that you are on anyway. Those who deny their own path have no chance to enjoy it. Decide to start enjoying the losses as well as the victories for the same reason you enjoy victory: it's proof you are better than your opponent. Can your opponent enjoy a loss? Almost no one can. Become a member of the Kiteboard Clan. We love to lose as much as we can!------- (HA, HA, HA, HA... Now that's enlightenment.)
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012
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  49. UBER Forehand

    UBER Forehand New User

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    Kiteboard, I must psis you off big time for the sake of reason and science as I unfortunately happen to be knowledgeable enough about psychology to see the difference between New Age crap you can find in astrology books and real, proven scientific work...

    "Feeding your losing self will only block you from advancing towards the winning self and keep you stuck in the rut, and continuing to do the same things over and over again, like repeating a stroke error, only the error is in your head. Turn your head towards hopeful improvement, and away from self hatred/disgust/anger/etc."

    That's New Age crap. Let me post you a link to what science tells about a part of the mental aspect of the game.
     
    #49
  50. UBER Forehand

    UBER Forehand New User

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    #50

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