Ballinbob's New Backhand!! (vid)

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Ballinbob, Jan 18, 2009.

  1. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

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    Blake and Korda have effective backhands with it, and they stuck with it, you can if you like.

    Just swing from the pocket high position to the finish, how hard is that?
     
  2. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    When did I say it was hard? I just don't like changing things, then after a month change back, that all. I know nothing about this so I ask alot of questions, that's part of my nature...I talk alot
     
  3. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

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    well you posted two consecutive videos where you didn't use either positions which led me to the conclusion that you were having trouble with that.
     
  4. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    well I guess it is hard a little because I'm not used to it.

    My god I have no idea what im talking about.... I'll just shut up and do what the sticky says. Just forget it, I'll work on it this week and if the weather's good next weekend I'll have a vid up

    So yeah thread is over until next week..
     
  5. Jaxon

    Jaxon Rookie

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  6. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    Haha, good news you guys!!! Went to the courts and hit probably 600-700 backhands (just tossing easy balls to myself), and I'm finally getting some topspin. I literally was thinking "Straight arm,pocket high,finish above chest" and it worked! All my balls were clearing the net by a good 6 inches more than normal, and all my balls were landing deep. I felt the brushing up and the way I'm hitting it now is allowing for topspin. I love the pocket high takeback too, it solved all my timing problems. I trained myself today to hit loopier backhands cross court as my rally backhand and flattened it out a little more for my down the line shots. My backhand feels so simple now and I'm just not missing balls with it because I can time it so easily. If I can hit my backhand like this in a match, then I think my backhand will replace my serve as my best shot.

    Behappy, just wait till this weekend, you will be proud lol. I really did improve and it feels great. I'll keep practicing everyday and will post a vid this weekend. Once you give me the heads up on my backhand (I think you will, but I'll let you decide), I'll start working on my slice and other stuff. I really felt like my serve+forehand improved with everyones advice, and definitley my backhand too (most improvement is with my backhand for sure). So I'll start posting vids of all my strokes and with your guy's help I'll be able to build one heck of a game!

    Thanks everyone!!!!:):)
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2009
  7. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Yeah, like I was working on a new semi western backhand grip for topspin AND high slices lately. And it works pretty well with a simpler, lower, almost straight take back prep.
    Too bad it's my sucky forehand that's the real problem.
     
  8. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    Haha, I'm still using an eastern bh grip for my backhand, just starting under the ball and really focusing on brushing up and making clean contact. I have had such good results with simplifying my backhand that I think I'm going to rework all my strokes and simplify them. Of course I will need to work on hitting my backhand like this in matches, but at least I'll have the technique down. This weekend another vid will be up and hopefully you guys can give me the heads up that my backhand is good.

    Once you guys verify that, we'll start working on my slice:)
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2009
  9. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Sometimes I wish I were young again....
    I"m 59.
    I've been working on a semi western backhand now for about 2 months, and I still revert to the old ways once a match tightens up and the points really count.
    Old way is a semi eastern forehandy side of continental hard slice for reliability and low bouncing backspin.
    It took me over 6 years of playing 100 days a year to totally switch to a onehander.
     
  10. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, it wasn't so much that you were simplifying your backhand as it was that you were hitting the two key points, the pocket high position and the eye high(not just chest high!) finish. Although I'd say your backhand has hugely improved now, I'd be surprised if it couldn't be improved much more.

    BTW, I knew this would work, that's why I was getting irritated when guys were giving you idiotic (but well meaning) advice. You see how simple the backhand motion is now?

    Anyway, glad to hear you can hit a backhand now.
     
  11. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

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    And DO hit your topspin backhand in matches, give your self as much margin for error as you need to be confident you won't miss.
     
  12. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, i felt really good today. It was freezing outside today when i was practicing but I still had a smile on my face the whole time. It felt like one of those math problems that take forever to get then once you get it you just feel relieved and start thinking why you didn't get this earlier.

    I made a point of reaching all the positions today and was reciting them in my head for every backhand, and it definitley worked. It was amazing though for me, I was hitting my backhands with some net clearance for once. I'll start hitting real backhands in matches instead of my slice. Cant wait to go out and play this weekend

    Will have a vid up this weekend for sure, no excuses no nothing.

    You'll be proud lol, just wait
     
  13. The_Steak

    The_Steak Rookie

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    Try to get a camera angle behind you so we can see where the ball is going.
     
  14. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

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    X2


    Also what those positions do is make it impossible for you to not hit with topspin. Once you get the racket to the pocket position, you can rip it as fast as you can to the hand at eye height finish position, and the ratio of topspin to mph will remain the same, so the even though the ball is moving faster it will dip down just as much as before. It gives you the technique to really go after your shots. To many players will inadvertently completely flatten a stroke out in their effort to hit the ball hard, when what they need to do is swing as fast as they can using the same stroke.

    Anyway, I look forward to seeing your video.
     
  15. Gee Willikers Batman!

    Gee Willikers Batman! Professional

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    I hope you learn how to hit it well and effectively.

    As you could probably remember, I used to have a 1H'er but I eventually switched to a 2H'er because a lot of the 4.5+ players would crush it.

    Good luck.
     
  16. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    I've tried before, but it always turned out dark. I'll experiment though and I'll find a way to make it work. Do you want me to do a side view and then a back view? I can do both easily I think. Backview will take a bit of tinkering, but I'll get it if you guys want.

    Yeah thanks. Behappy's advice was great, and its been improving really fast. It all seemed to click today and i was finally hitting it with topspin. Hopefully with this simple takeback/swing it won't break down, but I guess everything breaks down when you play against better players. I'll keep at it though.

    Good luck with your game too btw
     
  17. The_Steak

    The_Steak Rookie

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    Try every single angle.

    From you back, front and sides.
     
  18. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    ^^ Alright, I'll try and get a couple angles then. I can do that. And backview shouldn't be too hard actually, I think I know where to put the camera to get a clear picture.

    I'll have it up fri-sat-sun then. Whichever day has the best weather
     
  19. TennisNinja

    TennisNinja Hall of Fame

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    I would recommend setting up a lower base so you can "load and explode" off the ground.
     
  20. futuratennis

    futuratennis Rookie

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    looks alot better, still needs alot of work though
     
  21. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Bob,

    The follow through is looking much better. The newest video quality was really good, so I think I found one thing I'd like to see more of. Hopefully BeHappy agrees with me since he has been your coach for this thread. Check out how low Gasquet's racket head is in the picture below. To compare, you take your racket back with the racket almost perfectly parallel to the ground. If you can get your racket head lower on the takeback, you are going to generate even more topspin than you already do. It's the old low to high creates topspin tip.

    [​IMG]
     
  22. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    Thanks Mike. I decided I'm going to make another vid today as the weather is beautiful. I got the brushing up motion down now, and i'm finally hitting with topspin. I'll get my normal side view and then I'll film like 5 balls from the back so you can see how high they're going. My camera doesn't pick up where the balls are going too good with the backview, but I'll try. I'll be tossing easy balls to myself (nobody to hit with today), but at least you'll see my technique.

    So expect a vid up tonight
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2009
  23. BeHappy

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    A better angle than behind by far would be on the other side of the court, so the ball is incoming. That and the normal side angle will be good.
     
  24. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    Alright I can do that easy. Enough talk, be back in a couple hours. Need to make this vid and practice serves.
     
  25. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Hmmmm...have I looked at this before?

    Here are a few things I saw:

    1. Very timid approach and use of your legs in the shot.

    2. Weak shoulder turn which caused your rotation to open up too far before making contact.

    3. The bent arm in the take back is not too bad, many pros have a bent arm in the takeback, However, as the arm comes forward it should extend (straighten) as it gets near contact.

    4. It seems you try to stay on your toes in your ready position but once you begin your unit turn, your heels immediately hit the ground and stay with the ground throughout the rest of your stroke.
     
  26. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

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    I was just passing through...

    It wasn't so much the bend in the elbow on the takeback that was the problem, as much as it was that he usually didn't straighten it out, which led to/was caused by an inconsistent contact point. Keeping the arm straight rom this position forces you to hit the ball in a consistent contact point. He also just didn't understand the concept of swinging low to high to hit through the ball with topspin, that is why it is necessary to get him to get the basic fundamental positions down. Once his arm has the muscle memory of hitting the ball correctly established, a higher, more natural and disguised take back can be used. The pocket takeback forces people to just rotate their shoulders (usually), as their is little to no movement of the arms required, and, to reach the crucial apex of the swing, the delivery of the racket to that point being what the purpose of the backswing actually is.

    So after he has this down for about 2-3 weeks the higher takeback can taught through the 'smile pattern, the forward swing and smile pattern can be taught in terms of passing through the same pocket high position from the higher take back. In this way, like Dave Smith's techniques, the central backhand is first taught, then more advanced techniques added without contradicting the original instruction and with the minimum of confusion or effort on behalf of the students. I don't want anyone thinking that those fundamentals are the complete backhand I'm teaching lol

    Good to see you back btw, haven't seen you in a couple of weeks?
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2009
  27. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    got the vid footage. Its burning onto a dvd right now, then I'll upload it. Backhand looks completley different now, in a good way though. I got a good side view, and then a short clip on the net clearance of my shots.

    Should have them up soon

    edit-not sure why, but the vid from the back (showing net clearance) disappeared somehow. I had it though, it was on there.... Oh well, sideview one is uploading now. Sorry though, not sure what happened
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2009
  28. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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  29. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Unfortunately, judgement be reserved until you show vids of hitting with partners who actually hit a ball at normal speed, various heights, and various depths.
    Ainna T ball here, we need to see that new backhand under fire.
    I"m a pessimist, and still say your forehand and serve look good.
     
  30. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    well of course my serve and forehand look better, they're my best shots. But just technique wise I'm doing better right? Forget matchplay, just technique. I mean it feels alot less awkward and I'm getting good topspin on it. I'll start playing matches with this backhand and I'll adjust. Only problem I can see is that now that i'll be hitting topspin backhands, I may have to take balls earlier. I usually play 5-7 ft behind the baseline and hit Nadal like forehands and slice all my backhands. The ball will bounce too high if I stay back that far..

    I like the challenge of taking it earlier though, I'll work on it
     
  31. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

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    Well, it's start, the pocket high take back is forcing you to hit from low to high to some degree, but your finish is still chest high most of the time, I want to see your hand eye high. Also, where is the opposite side of the court angle? You could be hitting them all out for all I know l
     
  32. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

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    Also, your arm is really really bent, and with the pocket high takeback it needs to be fairly straight and relaxed. I know you're naturally straightenng out in time for the ball, it's just that it's messing up the shape of your forward swing, causing you to hit much more horizontally and therefore flatter than you would if you had a straight arm. A lot of the time you got to the pocket high position and then bent your arm all the way up to your chest.

    I want you to hit the two positions of the FAQ like a robot to start with, ok?
     
  33. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    Lol I just suck don't I... I guess I'll just have to hit like 5 million more backhands and maybe I'll get it. I'll work on the follow through and see what happens. And I hit most of them in, most of the ones I missed I netted though.

    As for the other angle, I have no idea what happened. My guess is that I recorded over it, but I dunno:-?

    Thanks for your help, but it looks like I'm a slow learner. I think I just need to practice more and I'll get it.

    edit-and Ill work on the straight arm
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2009
  34. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

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    No, you don't just need to practice more, you need to hit the ball correctly.

    ~I'm going to post stills from your video and show you what the problems are.
     
  35. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    wow thanks, that would be great! I really want to get this down, and am willing to do pretty much anything to do it. I just cant compete at higher levels with no backhand, and I definitley want to get better and do well in tournaments ect. Out of all the shots in tennis, this is by far the hardest for me. I don't think I've struggled so much ever to learn a shot...
     
  36. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

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    ok, I'll post it tomorrow.
     
  37. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Yeah, there's something "disconnected" or not flowing with your backhand stroke. Maybe a hesitation here, a too long followthru there, a too enhanced rising of the torso, I don't know.
    I do know, it's better to copy the onehanders of the pros, and they use shorter followthrus, less leg bend and lift, and hit thru more smoothly or flowingly.
    I can't pinpoint it, but the stroke looks contrived and too ....."artistic" ???
     
  38. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Is Colorado really that warm right now?
     
  39. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    LeeD, I think I'm just going to have to accept that my backhand sucks. Even if I do start hitting it properly, i don't think it will ever fully catch up with the rest of my game. I'm still going to work hard everyday to get, but I'm just saying.. I dont give up when it comes to tennis, but man this stroke feels so weird.

    Rickson, the weathers been really nice here. This whole week has been 60-65 degrees. It supposed to snow Friday though lol, but thats colorado weather for you. If you don't like the weather, wait a day.
     
  40. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I don't think your backhand is gonna suck. It might be behind in development compared to your forehand, but every stroke is different and the learning process takes different timing and time.
    I know you are young and restless, but it concerns me that soooo many younger players embrace the concept of the deep knee bend and lift as they hit the ball. I don't see the top pros do that often. And never when they're late in a match and tired. Quads is the first muscle to go in a tight, long match. Why make it go away faster by using it "unnecessarily". ??
    I think a better leg drive is like a golfers, or any of the top current pros. No lift, but drive towards the target A LITTLE.
     
  41. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    Haha I know what you mean, but I never get tiered in a match. I've said it a million times before that I can run. My style of play is big serve, retreat 5-7ft behind the baseline and chase every ball down and run my opponent down. I've started hitting my forehand Nadal style with a ton of topspin. And my backhand slice feels natural, that shot I can hit.

    My backhand still isnt good, but man its much better than a month ago
     
  42. adams_1

    adams_1 Semi-Pro

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    If you "accept that it sucks," then it's going to be harder for you to improve on it. Work at it and it will improve. And if you can get a lesson or two along the way, do it. Can't beat live advice.

    I don't know if anyone has put this idea up for discussion yet, but have you ever tried a two hander? It may be worth a try, though if it doesn't fit with your idea of the game you want then I understand that completely. I wish I could hit a decent one hander myself, such a pretty thing when done correctly.
     
  43. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    Adams, I'm pretty sure Behappy would kill me if I said I'm switching to a 2hbh lol. Besides, I'm clearly improving (slowly, but still), and I'll get there. I won't give up on it.

    And I'm pretty much playing Nadal style now. I looked over my game, and I found that the one thing that nobody has at my level (and higher levels) is my fitness/speed. By standing 5-7ft behind the baseline and playing a heavy topspin game, I'm able to outlast/outrun my opponents. My coach and I worked on getting more body rotation into my forehand and its become one heck of a shot. I modeled it after Nadal a bit with the extreme windshield wiper motion. I have a pretty consistent backhand slice too. Anyway, this has been working out very well for me so far and I like it

    Right now what's holding me back is my backhand return of serve and my topspin backhand. And my mental toughness, but otherwise I'm doing pretty well
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2009
  44. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

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    I won't 'kill you' for switching to a 2hb if you can hit a two handed backhand, some people have natural aptitude for one stroke rather than another. I don't know where you got that idea.
     
  45. The_Steak

    The_Steak Rookie

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    Well, seeing as you invested about 20-25 posts instructing bob as well as getting into arguments with other people..... I hope you get he idea.
     
  46. Gee Willikers Batman!

    Gee Willikers Batman! Professional

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    Playing an opponent is different than drop-feeding.


    I don't mind you hitting with yourself since you might not have access to a lot of friends, but don't just practice drop-feeding. It's a whole 'nother monster playing people. (Especially if they are a whole level above you)

    Keep that in mind.


    But you probably only knew that, posting just in case.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2009
  47. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    I know that, but I like drop feeding because it allows you to really focus on the stroke/mechanics. I slice all my backhands right now because that's what I'm comfortable doing in a match. I'm just not ready to hit a topspin backhand in a match yet.

    The vast majority of my friends don't play tennis, and that's why I don't have many hitting partners. I also have live 15-20 mins from my highschool, and my parents don't always have the time to drive me back and forth. I always try and practice with someone if I can though.
     
  48. Chrystal

    Chrystal New User

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    Maybe you should try the PracticeHit - as recommended by forum contributor Dave Smith?

    http://www.practicehit.com/

    I've used it with kids and it can help to really nail technique.
     
  49. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Whoa dey nellie ......
    Waht, you live a freakin "15-20" minutes from a practice court ???:confused:
    When I was you age, I'd walk ..........
    Nah, all my tennis, nearest court I played was about 20 blocks away, and that's only my first season.
    Second season, in search of better hitting partners, I'd bike 4 miles across town easy 6 days a week.
    End of second season, I'd bike uphill that far to GoldenGatePark courts, where there were 23 courts and lots of C, B, and A level competition.
    And when I'd practice with the CCSF Div111 team, it's 5 miles away all uphill. And 5 miles through down would take about 35 minutes driving! But I biked.
    Now for 10 miles to downtown for weekend practice, I'd take the bus and it took one hour and forty five minutes if there was no traffic.
    Get a bike, get mobile.
     
  50. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    You need to fix the following:

    1. Your footwork has a lot of heel touching on the ground.

    2. Your shoulder turn is not enough. You need to rotate at the waist bringing your front shoulder under your chin.

    3. Your shoulder turn should take the racquet back not your arm which is the way you do it. The racquet turns back with the shoulders and the butt cap stays in sync with your belly button as it rotates back. It is nearly one unit working together to bring the racquet back.

    4. When you are nearly complete with your shoulder turn, you take the racquet back a bit higher and a bit further back with the smile pattern. This sets up the drop of your hitting hand to go below contact (using knees that are bent) and your forward swing.

    5. As the racquet begins to drop, you beging transferring your weight forward and you make contact with the ball as your weight comes over your front leg.

    6. Racquet and arm makes a long "L" through the ball and you keep going up. Do not shorten this and pull the racquet off to the side too soon. You are not good enough to do this yet. Go through and extend over your front leg. This is why I like to use Blake as an example for club players. He does this very well. Call it what you will, I call it racquet head control.

    7. When you begin your uncoiling, the non-dominant arm either remains by your side or goes back toward the back fence. This pauses your rotation and gets your body angle facing the 45 degree angle to allow your arm to pass through, into contact, and out to followthrough.

    Right now, your stroke is off because of your feet/heels are too much on the ground.

    It is off because you lack a good shoulder turn.

    It is off because you take the racquet back with your arm because you dont have a good shoulder turn. This means your arm is controlling the racquet head throughout the motion rather than your body.

    Use your shoulder rotation to uncoil and to time your forward swing into the ball). If you are just navigating your forward swing from a backswing that was governed by your arm, this makes it difficult to judge when you should bring the racquet forward to contact on time.

    Shoulder turn, feet, and the other things are hurting your onehander.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2009

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