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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    Hi Luis,

    Thanks! Im just using a GoPro HD camera (720p, 60fps), placed on a chair. :)

    Greg
     
  2. Avles

    Avles Hall of Fame

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    It really is a thing of beauty.

    I like how that video briefly encapsulates Edberg's serve and his groundstroke repertoire. His conti FH seems to get some abuse but it looks pretty good to me...
     
  3. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Actually, they all do it. Some, like Almagro, more than Hoad. That flip is correctly referred to as suppination/pronation, and it is impossible to hit an effective 1hb, topspin or slice, without it. Hoad had one of the greatest 1hb's of all time, and his technique was perfect. Today, he would have an Eastern grip and a steeper swing path made possible by the bigger racquet heads.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2012
  4. Avles

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    I just watched the Almagro video frame by frame and I saw nothing that looked remotely like the position shown in picture #4 of your Hoad example.

    When Almagro reaches the point in his swing that corresponds to Hoad's picture 4, his racquet face is perpendicular to the ground. He does not rapidly and dramatically close the racquet face during his forward swing as Hoad appears to. At no point in his forward swing do his strings face the sky as Hoad's do in both pictures 3 and 4.

    Once again, I don't see a position corresponding to picture #4 in any of the videos that I linked. Feel free to post screencaps that contradict me.
     
  5. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    First, the angle of the racquet face is a function of the grip Continental vs. extreme Eastern. It has nothing to do with suppination/pronation. Second, you are comparing a face on view with a side view. Unless you understand what you're looking for, you won't see it.

    PS: Here's a head on of Warwinka's backhand. At about 6 seconds, his racquet is in the pronated position ready to suppinate, or flip as the Hoad pics describe it. As I explained, the difference is the grip and the steeper swing path. Other than that, it's the same technique. The beauty of Hoad's technique is that he can hit a topspin or slice from that same position.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5pb4pkYLcA
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2012
  6. Avles

    Avles Hall of Fame

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    I'm not saying that there's no supination in the 1HBH.

    It's just that, from what I can see, the supination in your Hoad sequence is more pronounced that in most pro 1HBH I have seen on video. (Compare, for example, Tommy Haas at 0:09 and following in this video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=49swrZyIn-4).

    My feeling is that most backhands present the racquet face to the ball for a larger portion of the swing than Hoad's does.

    I think this is why the caption that accompanies your photo refers to Hoad's "wristy" action, and it makes me wonder whether that sequence, instead of the many existing video sequences of other great pro backhands, is an ideal model for learning.

    (I could definitely be wrong though, as I'm far from a 1HBH expert in either theory or practice...)
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2012
  7. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Well, that pictogram was put in the book I copied it from as a model of perfect technique for students to emulate. The reference to "flipping" (not the best terminology), is there because that's what you have to do to hit a 1hb. Hoad's wrist action (it's really forearm action), may be more pronounced than some of todays players, but not all. It's not as pronounced as Federer's, Haas's or Gasquet's wrist action. It's just coming from a less low to high swing path. But, it's important to understand that that wrist action is EVERYTHING when hitting a 1hb. It is not merely ideal for emulating, it is essential. Without it, you can't hit a 1hb effectively, topspin or slice.

    I understand that you are put off by the more open Continental grip and a more level swing than you are accustomed to seeing. Both of those reflect the lower bouncing game of the time, and the tiny sweet spot of heavy, wood racquets. But, that doesn't discount the rest of Hoad's technique in those pictures that I posted for Greg G's benefit - in particular, the full upper body rotation and swinging from the shoulder with a straight arm during the forward swing, not by straightening the elbow.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2012
  8. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    More rotation, got it. Again, I think the key may lie with the left arm. Interesting discussion going on here, with great examples! :)

    What got my attention was the amount of leg bend I get on the backhand side. So it is possible for me to do it on the forehand side! :???:

    Some quick footage of it in actual use:

    http://youtu.be/kkL2ZvWNffY
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2012
  9. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Had a bit of a lightbulb moment with the forehand today! The main thing that triggered the breakthrough was I emphasized the pushoff of the right leg to be more to the left, with the left leg lifting off. I think it added to the hip rotation, because the ball was really flying off the racquet face with a lot of spin and power. Kept the arm and hand really loose. Even with my arm still slightly sore and taped up, I was ripping some really powerful shots with ease-- and with no pain :shock:

    I had started this exercise this past week while I was resting the arm...seems to have had a good effect (on leg strength/explosiveness, not the stroke timing).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_IRH32eRfe8&feature=player_detailpage#t=170s

    The leg push seemed to just initiate the entire forehand kinetic chain, since I wasn't consciously doing anything else, I just let it go! It naturally ended with me facing the other side, racquet head at my left hip, weight on the left foot.

    And of course, on this breakthrough day, when I opened my bag, I realized I had left my video camera at home! :cry:
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2012
  10. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Nice job and you have hit on one of the main issues debated on here every day.
    Many on here want you to step forward into the shot, but
    as you have discovered, it is better for the shot when you use the rt to left aspect for rotation.
     
  11. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    Handcuff your camera to your bag.
     
  12. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    I know! It's like it's not real if it's not on video LOL. Hope the magic is still there on Monday :)
     
  13. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    OK thankfully the good feeling I had last time out is still there. Wasn't consciously thinking about anything except staying loose. Perhaps I could still emphasize the left arm pointing across to the ball a little more. The feeling is that the right leg initiates the kinetic chain, transferring from right to left, which really makes the core rotate much more naturally.

    Please let me know what to work on. Feels like it's really improved. Footwork is a bit better, but still needs work. I kept the video a bit long to show consistency and footwork between shots.

    http://youtu.be/LqthEOl8enw

    @ Cheetah, it's really hard to stop catching the racquet LOL! But I managed to do it...once.

    @ Limpinhitter: yep, needs more leg bend. But gettin' there eh?

    @ 5263: How do you keep the weight transfer going right to left on short balls? Or do I switch to linear weight transfer in these cases?

    @ Power Player: yep thinking less helps!

    @ All: contact point OK?

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    This compares the 2 finishes. The pictures suggest that catching may limit the shoulder rotation.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2012
  14. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Side view:

    I may not have chosen a great one here. Contact is a teeny bit late (further out in front in the video). And I caught the racquet instead of letting it go naturally down to the left hip.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2012
  15. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    I don't like it.
     
  16. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    The next thing I would work on is your takeback. It's too high, and your racquet face is open. From the back view, pics 4-6, I'd like to see your elbow lower, the racquet head at the same height as your head, and your left hand on the throat of the racquet through pic #6. By pic #5, you have let go with your left hand.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2012
  17. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Really?

    I thought it looked pretty good for the things we were discussing.
    I was going to mention for him to learn about the "pat the dog" position, and
    limp may be referring to that a bit.
    I will say I'm probably not at good as some at looking a frames like this and
    actually am used to spotting probs more in full motion from experience.
    I'm going to look some more but I liked the wt transfer and how the head stayed
    stable it seemed.

    I still transfer rt to left on mid court ball attacks, but maybe not as much with the
    more compact swing... I also focus more on the across aspect on the mid ct
    attacks.

    nice overall and still looking at the frames more!
     
  18. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I still think you need to drag the racket longer and take it slightly more out front.

    instead of using the hand to pull across and acel the racket...look how you slow the
    hand and let the racket head catch up for contact.
    You end up at contact with the Forearm nearly inline with the racket best I can tell.
    Imo this is not the best and it should not have caught up so much and the hand should
    acel across more.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2012
  19. Cheetah

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    well... he's made considerable progress. that i like.

    the take back is funky and certainly isn't helping anything in swing.

    what i 'don't like' also is the swing path. it's ok and he could survive w/ it and all and the resulting ball cannot be criticized .. much... but something is going on in that swing that's weird.
    "i don't like" means i would prefer him to fix/change it or imho i think it's wrong or could be better.

    Look at the images above (the second set).. in the 5th row. Look at the racquet face in those 3 pics. He's doing something with the wrist there. It messes up the shape of the swing. so i'm thinking, but could be wrong, the the problem might be happening before contact even though his point of contact frames look good.

    it's like he has a good slot, although pretty open, then swings toward the ball and makes contact with a modern swing/bent arm/face angle etc but then his wrist opens or something and the follow through is old school. ... or something. too bad we don't have hi speed vid.

    how does he get from 4th row 3rd pic to 5th row 2nd pic? that's weird.

    maybe he's breaking his wrist and also a combination of little to no isr? idk
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2012
  20. martini1

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    Indoor clay court? Sweet!
     
  21. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Hmm. One step forward, 2 steps back? I think in my attempt to lay the wrist back, I ended up with that exaggerated take back. I'll concentrate on the unit turn and keeping the left hand on the racquet longer, and let the relaxed wrist lay back naturally when the core rotates.

    Do I have too much arm separation? Is the left leading too much because I released the racquet too early?

    Will try to get back on the right track. Perhaps I went to hitting with added pace too soon.

    @martini1: yes it is an indoor clay court, but instead of crushed bricks, we use crushed seashells. So we call them shell courts ;)
     
  22. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    can you make a video of yourself shadow swinging at 1/4 swing speed?
     
  23. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Not at all. You can only make a few changes at a time. Your takeback was always a bit too high, and you need to be aware of your racquet face angle. I would recommend going back and re-read post #12, with what I recently suggested about keeping your elbow lower, and the recquet head no higher than your head in the takeback in mind.
     
  24. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Revisited the footage, and chose another stroke to show- is this any better in terms of contact?

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Will take new video soon, hopefully improving on the issues raised re: takeback, contact, and follow through.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012
  25. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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    on the FH, keep up that left arm! You are dropping it almost every time, so you are losing energy. Worse, when you finish, you jerk the left arm back up to catch the racquet, causing your body to bend back.
     
  26. FrisbeeFool

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    This advice runs contrary to all advice I've ever heard about the one-handed backhand. You should focus on building a consistent, repeatable stroke. Good shoulder turn, then get the feeling for hitting through the ball at contact, then extending forward in the direction of your shot, making sure not to open your front shoulder too soon. Opening up your front shoulder too early on the one handed backhand will inhibit consistency, power, timing, etc. To build consistency and make sure it's repeatable get a feel for good spacing between the ball and your body so you're not cramped. Try to take the ball in your strike zone every time with your racket face perpendicular to the ground.

    When learning the one-handed backhand many people don't have a repeatable stroke. They don't prepare early enough and they're not in position. Then they will try to compensate by flopping around with their wrist. Using your larger muscle groups in the shoulders and legs will create a consistent repeatable shot. Consciously focusing on wrist action on the one handed backhand is a recipe for inconsistency and spraying the ball.

    I'm not sure where the wrist action advice is coming from. That's something beginners do, when they haven't prepared properly and they don't understand how to hit a repeatable stroke. If you're late to the ball, slice it or bunt it back.

    Limpinhitter, what is this wrist action you're talking about, and why is it the essential part of a one-handed backhand?? I've never heard it taught this way before. Where is this information coming from? Do you hit with a one hander yourself? How successful has this method been for you?
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012
  27. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012
  28. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    really looks like you are headed quickly in the right direction.
    Needs to get more natural of course, and maybe a little more from
    the legs, but pretty nice overall. Contact pt seems much improved.
    Maybe a little far to right for me, but you use a straighter arm.

    Do look into the "pat the dog" position, which might help your backswing.
    Really looking pretty good though!
     
  29. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Thanks! Will try to pat the dog more next time out. I think sometimes I use the wrist to compensate for bad bounces, which are not uncommon on these gritty shell courts. Also sometimes when I try to really lay the wrist back I end up exaggerating it and not having any internal shoulder rotation. I suppose repetition will improve it.

    It's really hard to keep the left arm up. Like a deep deep muscle memory, along with catching the racquet.
     
  30. Cheetah

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  31. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Hey thanks Cheetah! Now I have a clearer picture of what you mean about the wrist. Will try to keep that in mind. And resist the urge to get an AP band :)

    Took video of it. I think I do break the wrist with a rotation/ forward snap (seen in first movement). Then I try to model the right way, just rotating with the wrist locked in a laid back position (subsequent movements)--is this better?

    http://youtu.be/QhB0aU1qLqI
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012
  32. Cheetah

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  33. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Trying to work it out through shadowing. What should the vertical relationship of the shoulders be during the stroke? I find my left shoulder a bit lower than the right on follow through, which might be why my elbow goes up. If I try keeping it even, the stroke levels out.

    Also experimented with a homemade "leverage band". Interesting results- the first part shows how the wrist remains laid back. Then I tried a forehand action- you can hear the velcro rip sound from the strain....

    http://youtu.be/XRphkYtEv7o
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012
  34. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    The second video is contrary to many of the rudiments of the modern forehand, IMO.
     
  35. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    yes that is correct. if you hit like that and don't break your wrist you will get hard, biting spin on the ball instead of that weak old school spin your current stroke is producing haha. and you'll get more power from the leverage.
     
  36. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    the video was just to show him the wrist position. not the stroke
     
  37. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    OK here's a video of me shadowing with the homebrew leverage band. Taken at home since Fed-Del Potro kept me up late. Cropped so as not to show my bare feet :D

    http://youtu.be/YICPnY0Rcss

    This wrist slap component might be a hard habit to break...
     
  38. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I like the idea there, but it has a neg effect on the loop or tk back imo.
    It doesn't seem to let you pat the dog.
     
  39. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Oh it does let me "pat the dog"- I just forgot to shadow that :oops:

    Here you go. Keep in mind I have a grip between an Eastern and a Semi-Western, so it may not be as horizontal. I paused it at what I think is the pat the dog position. Let me know if it's OK. Thanks!

    http://youtu.be/jxvfHxJfhcU
     
  40. Cheetah

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    wrist looks good. swing looks a little better.

    but your still going to produce a wimpy ball that i would eat up no problem.

    you need to drive through the ball a little more. you have only brush there. no extension through the ball. and add some internal shoulder rotation. you have almost none.

    all of your energy looks like it's focused on some point after the point of contact.
    the energy has to be focused and explode on the contact point.

    it looks like your main goal is to get the racquet to the left side of your body and you can't wait to get the racquet there. change your focus to impart power on the ball at the contact point.

    look at djokovic. you can tell he wants to hit the ball hard with a lot of spin and he's going to tell the ball where to go. you on the other hand look like you want to dance with some imaginary partner that's waiting on your left side.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbDl9SzDrJo&feature=related&t=58s

    look how his racquet goes through ball. look at how his feet, rotation, uncoiling, body position, eyes, pronation, intent and his entire focus is all directed to the contact point. he's attacking the ball. the ball gets the energy and intent.

    and he doesn't end up turned completely around facing the other way with his legs facing towards camera with the racquet nicely cradled in his left hand like an imaginary dance partner.

    and look at his casual swing at 6:23. he's not swinging hard. but you can tell he's focused on impact point. everything goes there. the follow through happens naturally after that. you don't have to force the follow thru if everything before contact is good.
     
  41. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    LOL! For some reason this came to mind:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8HI_amy0yQ

    Will work on what you said. Thanks! :)
     
  42. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Lower takeback is better. Could be lower - level with your head. Racquet face is still too open.

    More importantly, there's no employment of the kinetic chain in your shadow swing. Remember this video? Check out the explanation of kinetic chain starting with the legs, hips, shoulders and arm. The kinetic chain is what generates acceleration at contact.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ho3FRWm9Pw&feature=player_detailpage#t=108s
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012
  43. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    yes you need kinetic chain. that will give you the explosion at impact i'm referring to.
     
  44. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012
  45. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Hey Greg, this is one of the videos that Cheetah posted, except from the very beginning of the video. This Girl has a nice takeback that you could model your takeback on. Notice her shadow swings at about 22 seconds: racquet head at head height, racquet face slightly closed, elbow in and forward, nice kinetic chain, etc., etc.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbwyLefN9B4&feature=BFa&list=ULMIDCyV3x4-c&t
     
  46. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Will do! Yes it does look pretty good, I missed that early part. Will digest it all and see what comes out :)

    Won't be on court for a few days, and I probably have too much forehand on the brain already. Perhaps we could talk about volleys for a while? :) This was after 45 minutes of nonstop forehands, so forgive my legs... the forehand side is more suspect. Sometimes I take it back too far, and I am having a particularly hard time with it when I have to move to the left while hitting it. Both sides are serviceable, but no knifelike quality to them.

    http://youtu.be/3THm19ik7FU

    Have at it ;)
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012
  47. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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  48. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Bh volley looks much better on technique to me as you lead with the hand and
    pull thru the volley, but on the Fh, you push the volley by pressing the racket
    face out to the ball.
     
  49. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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  50. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Last edited: Aug 8, 2012

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