Federer forehand

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by JCo872, Jul 16, 2006.

  1. JCo872

    JCo872 Professional

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    There is an interesting exchange on TennisOne between Oscar Wegner and Doug King about the Federer forehand:

    http://www.tennisone.com/magazine/letters.php

    Oscar argues that Federer comes directly across the ball to the left on contact, and suggests this is the next step in tennis evolution, while Doug says "If I look at the all of the videos of Federer I always see the same thing and that is a push out from the body through contact.".

    Interesting debate I think. Check it out.
     
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  2. TennisParent

    TennisParent Rookie

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    Boy JCO, I am surprised this post has not gotten more response so far, given how controversial Wegner's ideas are. Good reading. But could the answer be that both ideas have merit? King observes the extension and push forward, whereas Oscar sees only the move to the left after this takes place? I believe in his book Visual Tennis Yandell describes this move or wrap as a natural relaxation response after the extension takes place. BTW, you had me going there for a minute with how you named the thread, I thought Bottle was starting up again with "How to hit the Federer Forehand!"
     
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  3. JCo872

    JCo872 Professional

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    LOL. Well I thought Bottle would have paid a visit by now :)

    I think your observation is correct. Oscar is seeing the move across after some extension foreward. The problem I see with Oscar is that the Federer forehand has some unique properties. He makes contact so far out in front that he doesn't need to go through the ball much. I think it's a big mistake to generalize from the Federer forehand because there are very few pros on the tour even who can hit as far out in front as Federer.

    What is interesting about the debate between Doug and Oscar is that I think they have both picked up on very similar ideas. Leverage, spring, "finding the ball", etc.

    Anyway, thanks for the response!
     
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  4. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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  5. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    He always extends through the ball. Eve on his more extreme windshield wiping shots, he still penetrates the ball. He has to otherwise he wouldn't get the ball he is hitting. It would be duds.
     
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  6. bottle

    bottle Banned

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    The Scissoring Elbow-- It Cuts for Thee

    Okay, I'll put my letter here instead of in "How to Hit the Federer Forehand."

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Fair is foul, and foul is fair.

    Smart is dumb, and dumb is smart.

    I am so happy at having publicly empowered myself to explore dead-end alleys in my quest to figure out the basics of the Federer forehand.

    I've just been to the Freeport H.S. courts (Maine) to test Oscar's latest contention in his response to the Doug King article about "rolling" the ball.

    Their discussion is characterized by great respect and civility from both sides. Maybe one or both of these gentlemen will slightly alter the other's view-- not a bad thing!

    King-- Has been a believer in rolling the ball forward toward the net. Is there upward motion in this? Certainly. Is pressure applied to top of ball.
    No-- that's asking for erraticness. Is pressure applied to one spot on ball?
    No-- it would skid. Is there a good way to apply pressure from from top to bottom of ball? Yes. Does King endorse feel of pull across the body as in slice? In rotation from the upper arm, YES; in elbow travel NO, which he sees as going OUT.

    Wegner-- He's always been a believer in spinning the ball upwards and sideways-- a wipe similar to a topspin serve spoilable by too much hitting through. Is this feel across body similar to that of slice? Yes.

    Me, Bottle, believe that I have been deceived by all the filmstrips that seem to show Roger's arm completely straight and passive at contact.

    In the offensive Federer forehand that Oscar is showing right now at
    http://wwwtennisteacher.com/exp.htm Oscar sees arm starting to break (i.e., scissor or shorten) just before contact in an upward and sideward
    direction. He sees upper arm throwing forearm across body like King.
    Elbow scissoring is the last factor I've accepted to replicate the extremely
    fast spin of Federer's shot.

    Think about this. If extra spin comes from straight arm turning like an axle or a twiddling straw in the shoulder socket, it couldn't be very strong.
    That is a weak motion accomplished by small muscles better suited for
    adjustment or alignment. One could see it during a Wimbledon mechanics
    slop-mo evaluated by McEnroe.

    If however spin equals the following simultaneity: (body rotation + biceps contraction + pectoral contraction), there will be a small amount of hit through from the arm. There has to be if pectoral contraction takes the elbow even the slightest bit sideways. More will come from elbow setting
    so far from body at end of Roger's backswing and then whirled round equidistant. Either way the elbow can't revolve left without going out some.

    As Oscar points out, however, the ratio of hand speed to elbow speed is all out of whack. The hand rises much faster than the elbow goes out.

    Highest speed photography at MIT has shown a four thousandths of a second line of contact that looks something like this (\)-- a mark one quarter inch long indicating topspin and sidespin.

    To recap from an earlier entry (with small amplification): The Federer forehand is extremely solid until just before contact; i.e., the straight arm and body moving as a unit in roundhouse motion. The arm starts way back and swings round-- doesn't knife elbow first close to the body as in an Agassi or Lendl forehand (one less moving part to worry about).

    The sudden, muscular change in direction that next occurs combined with wrist-laid-back-to-max causes a sudden burst of acceleration in this direction (\).

    If Roger's arm contracts at contact, why can't we see scissoring at contact?

    My answer would be: There is delay between rapid twitch muscle burst and the motion it produces.

    Note: I suggested before that human head moves left just before contact as in a discus or hammer throw. This acclerative effect may indeed be achieved, but with head moving up, not sideways, and even with total body motion carrying head a bit toward right fence.

    We all aspire to simplicity, so forgive me for such a complex image: That
    would be internal motion of the head vs. external motion of the head, I guess.
     
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  7. bottle

    bottle Banned

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    Correction

    "from bottom to top of ball"

    Sorry.
     
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  8. TennisParent

    TennisParent Rookie

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    Speak of the devil...

    Hello Bottle, nice to hear from you! I am glad you decided to post here, the other thread was getting long in tooth, eh.
     
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  9. tennisplayer

    tennisplayer Rookie

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    I think Oscar is right on this issue. Doug is not wrong, but is one step behind Oscar, in my opinion. Doug is not talking about the racquet moving forward - notice he says "away from the body" and "outward". That is, the racquet is swinging from the inside to the outside, in a circular motion, on its way to contacting the ball. What Oscar is saying is that at the time of contacting the ball, the racquet head has gone as outward as it can, and is actually being pulled back in, presumably by the action of the biceps and the pectorals, with the resulting bending of the elbow causing the windshield wiper action.

    Of course, there is also a forward component to the motion, because the hand is moving diagonally forward (from close to the hips to the contact point). But the predominant focus is the circular motion - that is, the ball is addressed tangentially, not head on. I am gaining a lot of respect for Ocar's insights, I must say!

    However, for me, a few flaws in hitting the forehand perfectly are not the problem, although everyone seems to be obsessed with it. I absolutely need to get my legs moving faster...
     
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  10. JCo872

    JCo872 Professional

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    Just curious. What do you see happening in these clips?
    http://www.hi-techtennis.com/forehand/topspin.cfm
     
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  11. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Already spoken of by Vic Braden. Nothing new from Oscar. Inside out motion.

    Uhhh, I think this is pretty easy to see? I think this has been happening since tennis was invented? all the video shows the racquet coming to the other side with the exception of the reverse forehand. Don't see how Oscar found something new.

    LOL, Oscar's insights. I see.

    The hand moving diagnolly forward was emphasized by Pat Dougherty. This is part of a natural swing path that also has extension in it.

    Well you keep trying to hit the ball "tangentially" and I will keep just keep trying to hit the darn thing in the middle of my strings! :)
     
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  12. JCo872

    JCo872 Professional

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    LOL
     
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  13. TennisParent

    TennisParent Rookie

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  14. TennisParent

    TennisParent Rookie

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    Clips

    BB, It's been pretty dead on Uncle Oscar's forum...
     
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  15. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    :) He isn't going to respond and neither is his little General that got his underwear all wrapped up.

    They don't have the answers or they already know the answers but don't want to admit they are giving out information that has already been discovered (taking credit for things others found) or is false. They got their cards called with our posts.

    Oscar will be Oscar, ever lost in his own ideas, thinking he made up all of the stuff he comes up with. He never responded to my 1926 open stance forehand picture did he. :)

    It is easy to take credit for things right now in tennis. Vic is getting old, and the tennis coaching community to me seems a bit fragmented. :)
     
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  16. tennisplayer

    tennisplayer Rookie

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    Okay guys, laugh and jeer all you please! Bottle and I are one up on you guys on this one... :)
     
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  17. Saito

    Saito Professional

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    I just wanted to say how I wished that alot of most threads here looked like that first letter and response from the OP's link. :-|
     
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  18. bottle

    bottle Banned

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    Paint by the Numbers

    Every painter worth their salt has contempt for the television ads that exploit for profit someone's interest in art. To paint by the numbers is a horrible thought.

    And yet, in painting's first cousin, a use of numbers is more than acceptable. Dance instructors and music teachers employ counts quite satisfactorily. Even Thelonius Monk did it from time to time.

    The subject is Roger's forehand. We're all equally dumb about it. My idea is to become as familiar as possible with those aspects of it which will generate the most personal "feel."

    From there, one may depart from the thorny thicket of the 27 different Roger forehands. Perhaps one can use Doug King's implied advice to save leg thrust past the point where Roger himself applies it.

    The motivation for learning these basic mechanics is huge. The eastern player could become a minor Federer. The western player could become a minor Nadal.

    So: 1, up, 2, out, 3, pace car+Mondo+start of forward rotation, 4, easy but solid body circular feel to arbitrary spot pre-contract-- say you're already swinging around the orbit to the left.

    5, Drive with outer leg (head goes up) while total motion is to right including your head. Added acceleration to body and arm is a simultaneity.
     
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  19. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    I dont agree with this statement at all. We are not "EQUALLY" dumb about it. We know a great deal abouot Rodgers forehand as it has no mystery compared to other pro forehands. We know what goes into a good forehand and although Rodger may have a slightly different style or have his arm further out then another, He still hits a forehand with the basic elements in it.

    Plus, another person may know more about Rodgers forehand then you do. The big thing is are you willing to take the insights from another person? If someone can show it and prove it to you in video are you willing to deny yor pride and accept it?

    To say people are equally dumb is not correct. Rodger's motion has no mystery.
     
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