Finding my strokes after 20 years. Stroke video inside

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Greg G, Jul 1, 2012.

  1. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Last edited: Mar 24, 2013
  2. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    That looks like it might work if you can do it with a live ball.

    just remember you have to load on the right leg otherwise that whippy action won't have any punch behind it.
     
  3. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for the link Greg. Interesting article. I think that on many forehands I do what the article says is not the optimum. That is, I supinate rather than pronate at the crucial milisecond interval -- thereby being generally an FHT-1 rather than an FHT-2. Maybe I should pay very close attention to what you're working on.

    Anyway, the Sharapova thing isn't the Graf thing that I was thinking of. The Graf thing, which Sharapova does too sometimes, has more to do with the whole shape of the topspin forehand stroke, including the follow through, when the hitting arm extension is somewhat less than optimal. Borg used to do it also. Sort of a somewhat 'squeezed' roundhouse topspin stroke with a sort of 'forced' or 'exaggerated' coming over the ball.

    Not sure if I'm describing it accurately. If you're curious I could find some video examples. I haven't noticed you doing it.
     
  4. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Reviewing my stroke progression history, this footage from October stood out. I believe the arm was much better here. This was before I started messing with improving the PTD/SSC.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lp1RVzPzFHg

    I was doing something right with the shoulder/upper arm here. Much less disconnect, right? Seems like a better kinetic chain. Leg and hip movement seem much better.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2013
  5. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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  6. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Stepping back from the microanalysis, and going on a macro view of how it is used. Prepping for a local club tournament next week, if I can stop injuring myself. Played an entire set today. Protecting the right calf a bit, and I'm getting that walking wounded look again. Managed to tweak my left quadriceps today (facepalm).

    I do notice that when the ball is hit deep center, I lean back and hit it off my back foot. Drives me nuts looking at it. Other than that, forehand placement seems OK, just lacks weight behind it.

    Also need to learn to start strong, I seem to warm up after 2 games. Took a few games to get used to the lefty ball as well.

    Lost 6-4, with a break point conversion of something like 1/5. 2 of which I went nuts and tried to hit a runaround forehand winner off a second serve (lefty, which I found jams you if you don't run around enough). If you make it to the end, I discover that the chip and charge works on this guy in the ad court. Unfortunately he closed me out with 2 consecutive aces. Grrr...

    Video loading...

    http://youtu.be/tr99gg0ru1g
     
  7. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    You prepare your shots very late, especially on the forehand side. And since you were not very quick on your feets, you often ended up jammed with the ball in your knees, unable to do anything correct with it. A good example of this is the point starting at 08:23. Third shot you have to hit (counting the serve) is a forehand, and you're forced to send a moonball back because you didn't prepared early enough to hit a better shot out of it. And this, despite the fact the ball wasn't threatening at all. Same on the point just after, on the return. You seem surprised by the ball. Same at 11:05: your preparation is so late you can only more or less block the ball back. I think if you prepared earlier, you'd give less "attackable" balls to your opponent.
     
  8. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    11:05 was a bad bounce, but point well taken. I do need to improve early preparation and footwork. Thanks for watching!
     
  9. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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  10. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    I can see some improvement there in the drills.
    Looks pretty good.

    Gotta get the legs more involved. I can see you're getting there but the timing with the legs isn't quite there yet. You don't need big muscular legs and you don't have to super load and push off like a madman. It's just technique and timing.
     
  11. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Thanks Cheetah! Was reviewing all the footwork and leg loading drills on VTA, I think I'll focus on that for a while. I think I've been a bit lax with the lower body and too obsessed with the PTD :D

    Gotta remember to stay loose, I look tense in the match play footage above :p
     
  12. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    Swing itself lks pretty good. Ssc not gona happen till u fix that takeback. But still swing is good. Gotta work on legs now. You kinda do the same thing on the serve. Energy from legs not going into the serve. A little disconnect there
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013
  13. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Last edited: Apr 5, 2013
  14. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    I got it, it's the low elbow on takeback. When my elbow is higher, the tendency to lay back/presupinate is less. At least the racquet stays on the same side of the body now.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    My amateur observations, if you want to hit a harder ball (e.g. trying to hit an aggressive shot for a winner, putting away a sitter/short ball, etc...):
    • Current stance too open to really get pace, close stance a bit more, slightly closer to neutral
    • More intensity please. Move. Explode. Hit through, not just spin.
    • Hit more in front of your body, less to the side, you're reaching out too far to the right to make contact
    • Attack the ball, take it earlier more in front and get your weight into it
    Some examples here (both righties and lefties): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4ropF6Xxqc

    I don't know if this is what you're going for or not (video of you hitting a metre behind the service line). It's not a rally ball, but I just thought it might be something you can add for matchplay when you get the opportunity to really let one rip.

    Here's a clip of Gulbis practicing something similar (a bit oldschool and he doesn't catch the racquet in match/point play): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNNB4PENnkw
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2013
  16. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Thanks Relinquis! I guess the answer to the question is, I want to develop a versatile forehand that can do both heavy rally balls and flatter, more aggressive shots.

    When I'm trying to reset myself, I usually work around the service line. In the last session, I wanted to focus on the weight transfer and the lower kinetic chain in general.

    Thanks for the tips! Nice footwork vid! Will keep it in mind next time out. :)

    This video looks good too!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wME_tGH_AxI
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2013
  17. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Breaking in my Yonex SHT 308 clay shoes...hey they come with extra power for the OHBH! :)

    Was trying to work on weight transfer and connect the lower part of the kinetic chain, with mixed results. Stance too open I think. I was hitting with more pace, and I could see a good arc with the ball kicking away when it landed. If I could hit that ball with a bit more consistency, I'd be pretty happy. Need to prepare early, I get caught out by deep balls.

    Side
    http://youtu.be/dO6gESqghPc

    Back
    http://youtu.be/_XvgrAALS5M

    Front 3/4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThvaCDROy5A

    This was an hour of hitting after 2 long sets of doubles in the blazing midmorning heat of our tropical summer. I was surprised I still had energy, maybe the gym work is starting to pay off...
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2013
  18. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    have you been working out? i was gona say your legs look a little more muscular.

    anyway.. looks better. there's more weight transfer.

    you have to work more on creating a more stable base. you're still a little off balance. when you hit a lot of times you still have that little quick shuffle thing you do. that's because your body is trying to find balance. most of the time that happens because you are not properly loading on your right leg.
    you get in the right stance but the weight is not on your right leg. it's more towards the middle. then when you push off the right leg when it's not loaded you get out of balance. you shuffle and twist and turn.

    personally i think you prepare about 1/2 second too late. if you do your takeback 1/2 sec earlier you'll have more time to load and get balanced. sometimes you're still a little rushed and hit late. I know you can do it because the timing on your bh is good. you are more balanced, have more time and have a better rythm on the bh. it looks stable. fh stil just a touch 'out of control' balance wise. look how solid and stable you look when you hit a bh compared to a fh.

    try putting a lot more weight on the right and a little earlier. if you put 70% of your weight on your right leg then you will almost automatically be balanced because your body will naturally balance out that weight ****. you won't have to think about it. then you will be loaded and balanced which will give you a smoother, easier, more consistent, more powerful swing just from a proper balanced load with no change in swing mechanics needed.

    but still there were a lot of good shots in there. pretty cool.
     
  19. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Yes the difference in balance between the forehand and backhand is striking. I can hold the pose after hitting a backhand, but not a forehand. I also noticed that I may release the left hand too soon on a forehand, particularly when I'm running forward for a short or wide ball.

    Slow motion brings out all the gory details!

    Side:
    http://youtu.be/RfnUk8ZdgAk

    Back:
    http://youtu.be/-s3JiJRRF0Y

    PS yes, I do go to the gym regularly, for interval training and general fitness. Also worked in some tennis specific stuff. Started the Spanish RPT treadmill drills last week, and they are HARD to do! Once you get the hang of it though, it becomes less terrifying :p
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2013
  20. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Cheetah! I just realized what you meant by the part in bold! Was standing in the middle of a bookstore playing around with the wrist/hand arm positions (yes, like a crazy person), when I got the lightbulb moment. Very subtle thing, got a little more 'out' before the 'across' on the shadow swing. Will see if I can build on it...
     
  21. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    On Court - How often do you look at your stroke HS videos?

    When I first started practicing and taking high speed video clips I would warm up and then hit & video a stroke for a few minutes, then repeat. I would review briefly but leave the main stroke analysis for later after I went home and loaded the video clips on my computer.

    Often at home I would notice a stroke flaw at the start of my practice. I started reviewing some more on court so that I would not practice and develop muscle memory that included easy to spot flaws that would screw up my stroke timing and technique, etc. .

    Now I am considering whether I should take more time and review more thoroughly after every few strokes. This would be a very cumbersome
    way to practice and less enjoyable............?

    Greg and others who use high speed video on their strokes - How often and how thoroughly do you review your high speed stroke videos on the court?
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2013
  22. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Hey Chas,

    If there is something specific I am working on, then I may check on court...perhaps every 10 minutes or so. I find that it helps me make more efficient use of my limited court time. Of course, having an actual coach to give immediate feedback is much better, but for those of us without that, this is the next best thing. But I don't think every few strokes is a good idea, give it at least 5 minutes to get a good sample...

    Of course, you have to want to do this..otherwise it could feel very tedious. Now I feel bad if I haven't taken video of the hitting session- like I've lost an opportunity to improve. And high speed video is so much more helpful, just see the videos on this page to see the difference in bringing out the subtleties of my hitting and footwork.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2013
  23. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Some of the fastest recorded Fhs have been very open stance.
     
  24. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Nursing a left quad strain mid tournament. Lucky I had a week off to rest. Inspired by all the nice vids popping up, went out today to do some stroke maintenance.

    Forehands. Working on projecting the shoulder outwards, and footwork:
    http://youtu.be/TJjAU3m-Nxk

    Slice backhands. Need some help on this, it still gets away from me at times. Not consistent enough and can break down/cough up short balls.
    http://youtu.be/nFENncZ5f_Q

    Topspin backhands. Still OK. It's the shoes ;)
    http://youtu.be/3hfIxOK_bB8

    Return game practice, deuce side:
    http://youtu.be/StiC7cDvc-E

    Return game practice, ad side. The chip backhand needs more zip, it sits up, making the charge difficult:
    http://youtu.be/LlmvGRh8enM
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2013
  25. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    what's up with that slice?
     
  26. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    Btw, I think I'm going to get the volleycam. Did a lot of research this week. Almost pulled the trigger on the gopro but I don't like the fisheye.
    Almost pulled the trigger on an fh100 but I felt the lens wasn't wide enough and I'm not crazy about used items.
    Looked at lots of other cameras. They all had something that didn't do it for me. But volleycam has good quality, lots of storage, decent slomo and comes with that cool mount.
     
  27. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Beats me! Have at it :)
     
  28. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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  29. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    it's not bad. swing path is good.
    looks like you are using almost an eastern fh grip on it right?

    it does look like it's susceptible to break down though. sometimes you use your wrist at the beginning of the swing like in the old days a la billie jean king.

    what happens when you get a heavy ball and you slice it like that? does it pop up?

    I can't comment too much about your slice though as I use a very different style.

    I guess your style is allllmost like djokovic's slice. he doesn't have the haas/fed etc type of slice but he doesn't use his wrist like you do.
     
  30. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    It's supposed to be a continental grip. Will have to check if it drifted, 'cause my backhand volley has also started to suck...

    I thought it was because I didn't get the shoulders turned fast enough and/ or hit late. Yes, against heavy topspin I have difficulty controlling it and it can pop up.

    So you think I'm feathering it too much? Too wristy?
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2013
  31. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    yeah, but they aren't hitting those off of mid-court sitters and short balls like in Greg's video. those are generally hit off of balls that have a bit of pace.

    what's the point in hitting open stance when trying to kill a short ball that you're moving in on anyway? You have time, momentum and neutral stance allow you more hip rotation for extra power.

    just asking as the neutral forehand seems the more natural to hit aggressively off of sitters.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2013
  32. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    I do hit more neutral stance in the last vid. I seem to get more penetration on the shot, whereas I'd get more topspin open stance.
     
  33. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    you don't hit open stance when taking a short ball to move on in.
     
  34. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Not sure what video Relinquis referred to, but sometimes I do take the baseline ground stroke drills up to the service line when I'm working on something specific...
     
  35. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    that's probably it. anyway, i lost my last match so probably should keep my mouth shut for a while... haha!
     
  36. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    As self-punishment for losing my last match, I did a lot of Spanish hand fed drills today. Time to work on footwork.

    Groundstroke lateral drill. There's a good view of my backhand slice in the second half.
    http://youtu.be/217lqwtx7A0


    V Drill:
    http://youtu.be/-TRUb_h5oWM

    Somewhere near the end of the V drill, I felt I was transferring weight better, and my right hip was rotating through the shot better. This improved further with the next drill...

    Modified X drill (just 3 point):
    http://youtu.be/jOW7RDY_AkQ

    In the latter half, I seemed to be moving much looser, while gassing out...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=jOW7RDY_AkQ#t=60s

    Man these drills are tiring! But hand feeding is pretty good. It lets you really work in a consistent manner on the nitty gritty of footwork and weight transfer. I'll keep doing this for the time being, hopefully I can increase the intensity.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2013
  37. TomT

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    Nice drill vids Greg. Looks very taxing. (Not as bad as the Spanish Inquisition, but close.) I'm tired just watching them. :) Probably just the sort of thing I should be doing. Well, trying to do. :)
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2013
  38. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Thanks Tom! I need to move faster (don't we all) so that I don't relive this week's nightmare again. Funny how we can move so well during drills, the get so lead footed in a match... :/
     
  39. Cheetah

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    so what am i going to say? (not regarding swing)
     
  40. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Well I thought the idea was to work ion connecting the lower kinetic chain..?
     
  41. Cheetah

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    yes but i'm referring to something else. if a good coach took a look at your vid what would be something else they might comment about?
     
  42. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    Balance.
    .....
     
  43. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Yeah it could be better...it did feel like I was loading and unloading better, and the weight was going in the right direction (not falling off to the right).

    On another note, I think I need to use the left hand more to support the racquet after the stroke. Catch it before i turn back into ready position, to give the right arm a chance to relax.
     
  44. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    Look at your left foot.
     
  45. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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  46. Cheetah

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    there are some good ones in there.
    but a lot of times your last step is with your left foot. then when you swing you bring the left foot in front of the right foot. that means your not loading the right leg and you're off balance.

    like these few fh's here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=217lqwtx7A0&feature=youtu.be&t=17s

    last step should be loading on the right.
    often when you hit your feet are moving and hopping around during the swing. it's not stable.
    i mean your swing is pretty good and all and getting better but you can't transfer weight in the most efficient way that way. balance is important. you need a stable base.
    that drill looks hard.
    watch djokovic or any pro when they are doing that kind of drill or just rallying. they look very balanced and stable and their body is 'still' during the swing. no loose limbs flying out of whack. no hopping and skipping.
    but they are pros.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2013
  47. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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  48. Cheetah

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    he looks great there.
     
  49. Gyswandir

    Gyswandir Rookie

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    Swing difference on higher balls?

    First of all, thank you Greg and Cheetah for the excellent thread. Greg for the discipline in recording and sharing his progress and Cheetah for the excellent analysis and advice. I've been following this thread since inception and it is in my bookmarks :)

    Apologies if this is considered a hijack, but my question is to Cheetah, does the PTD and/or the backswing (after take back) differ on balls that are shoulder to head height?
    The reason I ask, is that I find myself tending to not form the PTD, but start swinging with the wrist still keeping the racket head slightly above my hand. I think this is due to the fact my arm is not as relaxed (my arm is just slightly below shoulder level) as in lower contact point groundies. My grip is between E and SW.
     
  50. Cheetah

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    I'd say yes but it's not something you should think about. You shouldn't be thinking about ptd. I would recommend focusing on getting into a good setup (2 hands on racquet for a healthy period, not too big of a takeback, being loose etc etc). If you do that the degree or lack of ptd will work itself out on it's own depending on ball height.

    If you have a good setup before the first forward movement then you're all set. If you think about ptd during the swing you're going to tense up muscles and/or over compensate in other areas trying to get ptd going. The biggest thing is being loose. Also it's better to try to not stop the racquet motion from takeback to forward swing. Stopping the racquet tenses up muscles, lowers rhs and all that.

    Another thing you should work on is rhythm. If you watch a high level player rallying you can see they have a rhythm. The ball is coming they do their steps, unit turn, ball bounces, takeback and swing in one fluid motion. over and over the same way with the same rhythm. If the ball comes faster they have the same rhythm but faster. They seem to be in sync w/ the ball. Thinking of hitting w/ rhythm will help you be looser and then other things will fall into place like increased focus and control, more power w/ less effort, ptd, more spin. You'll get to hit more balls with your partner.
     

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