coming forward instead of pulling back

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by thursdayisgod, Jun 7, 2008.

  1. thursdayisgod

    thursdayisgod Rookie

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    I notice many young males, including myself, don't really go forward through the ball, instead we hit from our back foot.

    I find that one to prevent this is to make sure you bend your knees and hit the ball in a closed stance. Any other advice?
     
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  2. Uthree

    Uthree Rookie

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    Why do you want to prevent hitting off the back foot?
     
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  3. obnoxious2

    obnoxious2 Semi-Pro

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    Less power, likely to make you sail the ball long.
     
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  4. Uthree

    Uthree Rookie

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    Changing to closed stance seems like a desperate move. Many players hit with power and control off the back foot and I find this the best way to hit the fh. If I have to use the closed stance I am probably just too slow with the feet.
     
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  5. sonicboi21

    sonicboi21 Banned

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    You dont have as much power if you hit frmo the back foot. i tried, and the front foot seemed to give more power
     
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  6. Serve_Ace

    Serve_Ace Professional

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    practice not falling back?
     
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  7. MasterBruceTennis

    MasterBruceTennis New User

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    Impact the ball in the front..

    If you want to punch a guy's chest with maximum swing power, where is the impact address--distance and location? Definitely not 'at the side'...
     
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  8. GrahamIsSuper

    GrahamIsSuper Semi-Pro

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    You can still move forward into the ball with an open stance. You don't need a closed stance to move into the court and penetrate the ball. Righties, put all your weight on your right foot and accentuate the foot stomp. No one really just runs side to side anyway, baseliners, out of simple geometry, must move forward in order to get to wide balls.

    Uthree, there's a difference between hitting off the back foot and hitting with an open stance. Besides, what works for you isn't a be all end all for everyone else. Hitting with a closed stance is not an act of desperation. It is a way to hit the crap out of the ball when you have time to set up.
     
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  9. armsty

    armsty Hall of Fame

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    Going forward is the key to a strong offensive game. Now-a-days not many people (espesh. juniors) are coming into the net so the back court players don't know how to handle this. This also gives more pace and depth without having to hit higher as you can put more topspin on the ball if you move through it.
     
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  10. Quasar

    Quasar Rookie

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    Nobody on the ATP tour hits a power forehand from a closed stance. They are all open, or maybe square. Closed stance forehands are for recreational players that are not athletic or young enough to do it a better way. A closed stance will also put your feet in an awkward postion to get to the next ball. If you are playing at a high level this matters plenty. So if you are an athletic player the last thing you want to do is switch from an open stance forehand to a closed one. It you want more power turn your shoulders and accelerate the racket a lot.
     
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  11. Quasar

    Quasar Rookie

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    Watch Nadal. You will never see him hitting from a closed stance, always open. And he is rather effective. :)
     
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  12. GrahamIsSuper

    GrahamIsSuper Semi-Pro

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    Are you kidding me? Closed stance forehands are only for "recreational" players? I guess that means D1 is recreational...who knew.

    Sure, you CAN hit a "power" forehand with an open stance, but given the opportunity to do so, I would MUCH rather step into the court and drill it from a closed. It is a much more stable position to hit from, if you have the footwork. Trust me when I say, I hit open stance on both sides (with a 1 handed backhand), but a closed is MUCH, much more stable and just as penetrating. I don't know WHERE you got that idea, but you really shouldn't jump on the open stance is god bandwagon without some backup information.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2008
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  13. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

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    Issue is usually footwork. If you're moving into court, you generally want to step with foot closest to ball. If you're moving away from court (i.e. a gravity step), you want to plant off foot closest to ball. This transcends the issue of stance.

    If you find yourself using closed stance (or really any stance) in order to "create" forward movement, then what you're probably doing is to "braking" your movement with the back foot, and then initiating the unit turn against the momentum from your movement. That suggests incorrect footwork patterns.

    One rule of thumb is that for every step you make, you don't want to close the distance between your feet. Or you try to keep your torso relatively open toward the net.
     
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  14. [K]aotic

    [K]aotic Semi-Pro

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    when given the time, i use the closed stance on the forehand. just makes me feel like i'm using my legs more.
     
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  15. Solat

    Solat Professional

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    i think there is a problem on this forum where people don't understand what a closed stance is. That being when your front foot goes further outward then your back foot, a neutral stance is when you step straight forward into your stroke

    the only time people should use a closed stance (on a FH) is on a short ball as the restriction on hip rotation can help to curb excess power and the closed stance can often be useful for approaching the net post stroke
     
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  16. A.Davidson

    A.Davidson Semi-Pro

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    Very true, and a good point. Many of the top professionals hit from an open stance - and most of the others are half-open.

    You don't see too many winning players out there today hitting out of the closed stance. It just doesn't have as big a following as open does. (For the record, I hit an open stance forehand and a closed stance 2HBH)

    To answer the OP, one piece of advice that has helped me is to think of the ball as very, very heavy. To move such a heavy ball across the court, it makes me remember that I need to move forward into the ball.
     
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  17. Uthree

    Uthree Rookie

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    What is the difference? Isn't the standard open stance fh normally hit off the back foot.

    With right advice the open stance can work for everyone, any age any standard.

    Yes it is not desperation, but ideally the closed and neutal stances are used as little as possible.
     
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  18. Puma

    Puma Rookie

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    Isn't it more important for the player to be in position so he can "push off" or into the shot with his back foot?

    I fall back a lot on my forehand and I know its from poor anticipation, poor timing.
     
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  19. Quasar

    Quasar Rookie

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    Depends on what direction is the push off in. Forward, no. Upward, yes.
     
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  20. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    No it is not. The open stance is not suppose to be hit off the back foot and certainly not with your weight leaning back or falling back. Your coiling and uncoiling needs to go INTO the ball especially since you are to contact the ball in front of you.

    In the open stance you prepare by loading over the back foot and then uncoil your stored energy through rotation upward or upward/orward to hit the ball in front.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFibX-inICg&NR=1

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAtPsPnZ7M0&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZWRAY_lTX8&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2WhfqlUsw4&NR=1

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-1jHJ3-fAY

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVu9-c_sH98&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8AJYfkJ4hc&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vw-AMJb2G04&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AicCkXhp-c0&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5l6NiQ1Upg&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZZzU-VvQQk&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocP5onNVuTs&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vv1Ygdx11Zc

    You plant and then rotate forward into the ball. Sometimes if the ball is on you, you have to adjust accordingly by perhaps slightly leaning back but this is not ideal.

    In both cases energy is either stabalized and sent forward or stablized and sent upward to stop from going backward. In the case with Federer choosing to run around his backhand, his momentum is going toward the side fence, but his shoulder rotation goes forward or stabilizes to compensate.

    You are absolutely correct. The open stance is a great stance and one that should not be considered for all levels. However, the truth is advanced players and pros use various stances depending on what is going on. So players need to learn how and when to use a certain stance.

    I want to use this example of Nadal hitting a passing shot from a closed stance. Nadal uses both an open stance and a semi-open stance frequently. Federer uses the same frequently and will use a neutral stance on occasion. But in this case, Nadal is using a closed stance.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQMH1J_mlc4&feature=related

    Notice when he moves, he is moving sideways and his momentum is going sideways. If a club player hits from a closed stance (hips face the side fence), it is usually because they did not get a good read of the ball, a good jump on the ball, they move too slow, and/or they used poor footwork to get to the ball. Hitting many forehands from a closed stance on the forehand side plagues club players because of poor movement along with their inability to stop their momentum from going sideways too much.

    There really is no reason for a player to hit from a closed stance on a forehand unless they have to as indicated by Nadal. However, it is also made clear that a power forehand can be hit using a closed stance with Nadal demonstrating.

    The following stances are acceptable for the forehand: Semi-open, open, and forward/neutral stances.

    Power forehands can be built on all of these stances. If a player has time it is perfectly okay to prefer to hit the ball as you are stepping into the ball to let it rip.

    We do not play a pros game. We are not pressured for long rallies where the ball is placed and hit exceptionally well where we actually have a chance to get to the ball.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2008
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  21. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Sometimes the push-off is forward and up. It is not just upward.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2008
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  22. SlapShot

    SlapShot Hall of Fame

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    I was taught (first by my dad, and then by my HS coach) that your front shoulder should be down into the shot to transfer energy more efficiently. I tend to hit neutral or semi-open, and have a bad habit of leaning back when I hit my FH, but I find that it's more effective when I'm staying down and moving my weight forward as I swing.
     
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  23. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    In every stance, you need to move your momentum or weight forward INTO The ball for power. This applies to ALL stances. You hit leaning back only because you have to or like Puma said because you are not preparing and moving properly.
     
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  24. Federer_pilon

    Federer_pilon Semi-Pro

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  25. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, as indicated above, sometimes if the ball is on you quickly, you will have no choice, but this isn't the ideal way to hit the forehand.

    Further, you did not mention Nadal stablizing his backward momentum to come forward or hold ground with his rotation as seen when he follows through and he is on his toes moving forward rather then his heels.

    Here is one that shows Gonzalez going back to defend a good reply from his opponent.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KRPi1RKOhk&NR=1

    However, that wasn't his "power" forehand. This is his power forehand.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVTmGJ7pFzU

    Here is support for your "hitting off the back foot" and how you should do it.

    http://tennis.about.com/od/forehandbackhand/ss/federerforehand_9.htm

    Here is one forward and up.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-D32RwsD_w&feature=related

    This is interesting. This is a skeletal figure of a netural stance.
    http://www.tennisclip.com/media/162/Ana_Ivanovic__Skeletal_Analysis__Forehand/
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2008
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  26. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    It doesn't matter to him. Next he is going to ask you to post a video of yourself to prove it. :shock:

    In all fairness, he didn't say pros use the open stance only. He said 99% of the time. Which gives him a 1% error margin. :)

    That means if during a match 100 forehands were hit, only one would have been hit using a different stance. :)

    Graham, it is also the lack of our teaching corps that emphasizes the swing over lower body fundamentals and training. So I think this is what Quasar was referring to as "athleticism". The game is faster at all levels and club players are sorely lacking good footwork and movement training let alone many of them are out of shape.

    Overall, pros hit from various stances. They hit from open, semi-open, nuetral or forward, and closed when needed.
     
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  27. Uthree

    Uthree Rookie

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    There many variations in your examples and in fact there are infinite variations of the fh. If a player is moving forward and hitting down and flat then forward momentum and balance are more likely and if the player is moving back and hitting up with topspin backward balance is more likely.

    For a basic fh, HIT off the back foot meant that most of the weight and the rotation revolves around the back foot. Then, when accelerating the racquet, the balance can easily tilt slightly backwards as seen in many of your examples.


    Yes that's fine. Nadal hits from that closed stance when his momentum takes him that way. Using the same theory moving back is OK when momentum takes the player backwards but when comparing the two shots taking a step backwards is probably an easier shot to learn.


    It may help if there is a clear distinction on what is acceptable and what is the recommended basic fh. There are infinite possible variations but in practice, fh problems are more likely from leaning too far forward than too far back and yet there seems to be heaps of focus on forward movement.
    If rotation means the non-hiting side is moving BACKWARDS relative to the hitting side then a fh with more weight over the back foot allows the non-hitting side to rotate back easily. Surely this is a key issue for the fh.
     
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  28. Uthree

    Uthree Rookie

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    Qasar, I understand you are promoting the open stance fh (probably with excessive intensity!). I'm no expert but history clearly shows popular coaching theory has been very slow to embrace value of the open stance fh so you may be on the right track. I don't know how coaching theory is decided - maybe a committee or some sorts. Either way, the wheels turn slowly even with the help modern technology so it's probably advisable to be patient on this issue.
     
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  29. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Well obvious you are an expert. Quasar is promoting junk around the open stance. Everyone here is on board with the open stance and what it is. I personally think he adds a bunch of nonsense around it.

    Show me what popular coaching "theory" hasn't caught up to the open stance? I didnt see anyone not support the open stance, what we were doing is showing Quasar were he errored in his claims about it.

    I personally support the open stance, teach it, and use it. I support the stance for beginners on up. Are you making a statement without support?
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2008
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  30. [K]aotic

    [K]aotic Semi-Pro

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    alright quasar do you really want to know why pros hit open stance? do you?? its not for power or athetleticism, its to disguise their shot. you heard it here first.
     
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  31. Uthree

    Uthree Rookie

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    Yes, to be honest I could support my comments better but evidence is there, it depends on interpretation. I see so many players with their FEET TOO SIDE ON, there must be a connection with current coaching theory. Anyway coach training is monopoly isn't it? So this may help redrees the balance in some small way.
     
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  32. nytennisaddict

    nytennisaddict Professional

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    Not sure if other folks have mentioned it yet... but there's a difference between hitting off the back foot with your weight moving backward, vs. your weight moving forward. At some point I was emulating the pros and tried to hit open stance on my FH, but my weight was always moving back... later I learned that even on an open stance forhand, I need to be pushing off my back foot, through my toes to insure that my weight is moving forward on contact... which results in a cleaner solid contact : which equals more power/control (vs. a loopy spinny ball, that more often than not, landed short)
     
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  33. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, the torque in your motion should suspend your weight from going back or it should suspend your weight from going back and allow you to change the angle of your angular momentum more towards the court.
     
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  34. AlpineCadet

    AlpineCadet Hall of Fame

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    Ridiculous. This statement makes no sense whatsoever. Are you a 3.5 NTRP in SoCal by any chance?
     
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  35. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

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    Maybe you just spent too much time on whackjobs.

    AC, I think [K]aotic was just making fun of this clown, although his statement actually sounds reasonable by these standards.
     
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  36. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    Quasar, Federer when he has time likes to slightly close his stance, hitting from a neutral position, especially from the inside out position. Nadal does this also. This is in order to position their body correctly to produce the sick angles and get the weight moving forward into the ball. If they were hitting from an inside out forehand from an open stance, it would not be as effective.



    Federer and Nadal normally hit from a neutral/closed stance off their backhands when they have time to setup also. It's just easier to control.



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZWRAY_lTX8

    Perfect example of what I'm talking about.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeabrKndlUs&feature=related

    Same with Nadal here on a few of his forehands.
     
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  37. EricW

    EricW Professional

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    The stance used is determined based on the direction of the resultant shot. When a modern player hits an inside-out forehand, they generally use the semi-open stance. Although the stance may be neutral in respect to the net, it will be semi-open in respect to the placement of their shot.
     
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  38. EricW

    EricW Professional

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    Quasar,

    As a previous poster pointed out, the closed stance is very useful for attacking shallow approach shots. Not only is it useful concerning the transition to the net, but it allows for more consistency through more efficient footwork. Also, as Bill pointed out, the closed stance is used in running forehands as a last ditch effort to hit a standard forehand when pressed for time. The closed stance may be used in this situation because it requires less time. In the running closed-stance forehand, you are not required to change your direction prior to contact as you would with an open-stance forehand.

    Although I have posted two very realistic situations where the closed stance may be ideal, I haven't disproved anything you have said. The former is an approach shot, not a "power forehand" hit from the baseline, and the latter is not an ideal situation in which the player has a better choice.

    I find it very clear that the open stance is becoming the preferred stance for forehands in the modern game. This stance allows for the most effective production of racquet head speed. In a closed stance, the hips are jammed and not allowed to rotate as displayed in the modern forehand. Not only is the open stance more efficient in the production of racquet head speed, but the footwork required to achieve the stance is more efficient as well.

    Of course their are many situations in which the closed stance may be useful, but it's becoming very clear that the open stance is preferred over the neutral or closed stance on the ATP circuit, as well as with the majority of modern high-level players. When these players are left to choose which stance to use on the back-court, they will generally choose the semi-open stance.
     
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  39. EricW

    EricW Professional

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    In a modern forehand, weight is not transferred forward unless the player is off balance. This transfer of weight would compromise consistency.
     
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  40. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    I think you are misreading with BB is saying. The weight is transfered forward, but in a different way. It is transfered through the rotation of the upper body, with the weight starting off the right foot, and ending on the left foot (for a right handed player anyways).


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-D32RwsD_w


    Here, Roddick does a perfect example of what BB said.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEjtLGMd2p8&feature=related

    Nadal too.


    There is weight transfer, otherwise there would be absolutely no force other than your upper body driving the body.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2008
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  41. Uthree

    Uthree Rookie

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    As power comes from rotation, the term 'weight transfer' is probably not ideal.

    Also, check the outside foot of Roddick and Nadal. When talking feet position it helps to look at the foot angle.
     
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  42. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    They are both in semi-open stances, a commonly used stance. There is weight transfer, as the drastic rotation of the hips and shoulders causes the body weight to move forward, and then around, ending up on the left foot.
     
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  43. EricW

    EricW Professional

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    The term weight transfer is not correct. When I think of a weight transfer [forward], I think of a body moving [forward] in a linear fashion. In the case of the modern forehand, the body rotates in a static position.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2008
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  44. Uthree

    Uthree Rookie

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    Yes, this is the clearest explanation so far.

    Also the feet angles are very relavent to fh rotation. Feet angles too side on can prevent good rotation.
     
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  45. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    If there is no weight transfer, then why is it the weight of the player is transfered from the right leg to the left leg? It is because the weight of the player is rotated INTO the ball, and at the point of contact, the weight is directed in a forward and linear fashion.



    The term weight transfer IS correct. The definition of weight transfer for a dancer (applies to athletes as well) is for the weight to be transfered from one supporting foot, to the other foot fully or partially. That is EXACTLY what happens in the modern forehand.


    So what you are promoting EricW is for everyone to hit with absolutely no rotation of weight into the ball. Every good solid forehand that I see has rotation of the weight moving forward, with the player leaning into the ball. Without that, there would not be alot of pace on the ball. Very rarely do you see players hit off their backfoot constantly unless they are on the defense.


    And Quasar, you have absolutely NO idea what you are talking about. BB was nice not to call you an ignorant fool. He was just trying to point out that your statements were wrong in a nice fashion, backing it up with evidence. All you have done so far is given us blabber talk going on about nothing.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2008
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  46. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

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    Not always though. A lot (though not all) of open stance FHs are based on the "sit and lift" model. In that style, a lot of the loading really comes from the lower back and glutes (not unlike a standard deadlift motion.) During the coil, both the hip and trunk rotates as one unit, and the center of gravity mostly upward and little forward. Some people also learn to move around the court using this way; the base is not lowered as much, and you tend to move more in very soft circles around the court. And it tends to be easier on the hips.

    But, yeah, you can also generate a open stance FH from pure weight transfer. Then it's about planting that back foot and exploding forward. You can kinda tell if somebody is using mostly weight transfer (even to facilitate angular momentum) if their trunk rotation is much stronger than their hip rotation.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2008
    #46
  47. ericwong

    ericwong Rookie

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    I guess this is called 'legdrive'. It is an explosive action that combines the thrust of the legs and the coil of the trunk to give power ( and pace ) to the stroke.
     
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  48. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    In find that those who have a combination of both (leg drive and forward weight transfer) tend to have the more explosive forehands. Good examples are Roddick and Gonzalez, both who end up with the weight on their left leg. Actually, from watching alot of professional players, alot of them generate tremendous hip / trunk rotation, with their weight ending up on the left foot. Nadal is one of the few exceptions to this.
     
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  49. EricW

    EricW Professional

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    You have no idea what you're talking about. As Quasar pointed out, weight transfer can be defined as the movement of ones center of gravity. In the modern forehand, the player's center of gravity remains static or rises to create lift. Although the majority of a player's weight may be on their right foot in the beginning of the motion and "transferred" to the left at the end, the position of the player's center of gravity hasn't changed.

    What the hell are you talking about? When did I advocate hitting off the back foot? When did I recommend not rotating through the stroke? You've lost it, seriously.

    Your understanding of the modern forehand is very limited.

    [​IMG]

    The red arrow represents angular momentum, and the blue arrow represents the result. You must have a clear understanding of the difference between angular and linear momentum before you can hope to understand the modern forehand.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2008
    #49
  50. EricW

    EricW Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2006
    Messages:
    1,069
    #50

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