Finding my strokes after 20 years. Stroke video inside

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

  1. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    too bad you can't find the videos. they're excellent. and they guy demonstrating is the coach of an atp pro and on most vids a actuall pro is demonstrating what he's talking about. leading w/ the elbow refers to elbow reaches the back before the hand. it doesn't mean the elbow is 'doing' anything. it just means the elbow reaches the point first. this is how fyb refers to it and also yandell and also the virtualtennisacademny site.

    There are no men pro's that i could find that c0ck the wrist on the takeback. This is also mentioned in the ssc videos on that site along with hd footage he provides in the articles. This is also mentioned on yandell's site. They don't flex the wrist in the unit turn like the op. And also in the site this is specifically addressed in more than one video as he goes into detail in a side by side frame of numerous pro in a side by side frame by frame comparison addressing specifically when the wrist gets cocked back. men on the forward swing and women on the takeback.

    Below is an image from one of the videos where talks exactly about this.
    [​IMG]
    Nadal's wrist is neutral all the way thru the takeback. Sharapova's is not. (the arrows/graphics on the image were not added by me. they appear in the vid as he addresses this point)

    Just register to the site and go to the forehand revalations vid in the pronalysis section. There are others too in the video instruction section.

    We'll have to just agree to disagree unless you view the videos in question.

    The 'flying elbows' of sampras and lendl refer to the fact they have the elbow sticking out during the forward swing, not during the takeback/backswing/unit turn. (i think. hmm... maybe i'm wrong about that. not sure now that i think about it.)
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012
  2. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    It occurred to me last night that 'pat the dog' is not a position but a movement! After the unit turn, wrist neutral and palm facing down, I just let it drop and voila! Works well shadow swinging, will see when I get out on court.

    Uploaded video of some point play (errors and all), just to see if the forehand improvements are coming across during pressure situations. 2 things stand out- I have this brain fart where I know I should approach DTL, but in this video I was like 75% CC! And paying the price... Second thing is, my serve is really annoying me...needs to be more of a weapon than it is now (more on that in my separate serve thread).

    http://youtu.be/vVewlxrdJQI
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012
  3. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    The flying elbows of Sampras and Lendl are seen in the backswing. Their elbows are as high or higher than their racquets during takeback and are sticking out from the body by quite a bit. As Limpin noted, during the forward swing they snap the elbows down and generate a large rotation about their upper arm, thereby whipping their lower arm (and racquet) into and through the ball.

    It's quite a bit different than a modern forehand, and is more designed to hit through the ball than to generate loads of topspin. They both can and did pronate their wrists at contact however, so that part of their stroke has some modern elements, but they both did not allow the racquet to sweep all the way through the WW motion. Both of these guys are using Eastern grips too (I believe).

    I understand what Cheetah is talking about leading with the elbow. The elbow does in fact lead the backswing in a modern forehand. Perhaps it's not the mental image that Limipin likes and perhaps you can say it's more the result of other things like a good unit turn with both hands on the racquet. I don't personally think about my elbow leading my backswing though I know it does.
     
  4. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    another good rkelley post
     
  5. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Dammit! How hard can it be to just turn and drop the racquet!? Still not doing the pat the dog, even while chanting it in my head! In my mind I was going 'hey this pat the dog thing really works'! Then I looked at the video and wtf, it looks the same as before! Having said that, there is some subtle change somewhere-- the forearm seemed more relaxed, and power was coming easier.

    I see the little loop you were talking about Limp. Row 1 column 2 is ok but the hand goes up again making the little loop. I think I should eliminate row 2 completely.

    Will keep on working it. Maybe without the ball first.

    http://youtu.be/jBu3tScZ_eo

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2012
  6. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    You watched a few vids on virtualtennis right?

    In almost every video he has there what does he say is the first thing to do for a fh? After the split step that is. He gives the same 3 or 4 biomechanical reference points and he says this over and over. So what are they?
     
  7. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Yes get the arms up higher in the unit turn. I even did "the dance/infinite forehand" at home. Arg. I should bring a white board to court to remind me not to fall into the same old habits :mad:

    Perhaps I should go extreme for a while and hold the upper edge of the raquet face. That will keep it from getting cocked back.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2012
  8. Cheetah

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    ok. tell me what he says the ready position is. after the split step and when you are waiting for the ball just before the forward swing. like how you are in image 5? what does he say about that point in time?
     
  9. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    I think I'm OK in that pic except the wrist is NOT in neutral position. Take away the supination, the right elbow goes up and the face points down.
     
  10. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    This is what he says:

    . Arm at 45 degrees to body. I can't tell if you're doing it not. Looks like maybe your angle is not enough.

    . Wrist is neutral. you are definitely not doing that. your's is cocked back.

    . Racquet is in line with arm and pointing up slightly. you are not doing that. yours is pointed behind your arm at a severe angle

    . Palm faces down! You are not doing this. Your hand is pointed up. The opposite of where it should be.

    . Racquet faces down. yours is up.

    Also you right foot step in image 4 is in front of your left leg. It should be behind your left leg. Your step is giving you some sort of 'extreme open' stance. too much open.

    Look at the following images. They all exhibit all of the above points and they all look pretty much the same.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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  12. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Thanks Cheetah! It's bound to sink into my thick skull eventually :)
     
  13. Cheetah

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  14. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    so you should be able to see that with all those points the racquet has NO CHOICE but to go into pat the dog naturally.
     
  15. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    and also... from this point you let the racquet fall down. you don't 'put it down'. it falls down from gravity because you are loose. if it falls down from this point it is in the ptd position. then you start the swing with your hip, not your arm.
     
  16. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Got it. My mind is sending a memo to the rest of my body :D

    Gonna shadow the key positions for a while. Hopefully build some muscle memory...
     
  17. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    and read what it says in the berdych image i posted.
     
  18. Cheetah

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    here's a good image. you can see how loose her grip and arm is. and it's in a neutral position w/ racquet facing down. if you c0ck your wrist back throughout the whole takeback you won't get to this position and you won't be loose.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. CCH4TENNIS

    CCH4TENNIS New User

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    Hi Cheetah

    TQVM for taking the time to post all the great images. BTW, may I have the virtualtennis link ?

    Thank you
     
  20. Cheetah

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    The link is in the thread called "Wow! Free!!"
     
  21. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Sorry, been out with a calf strain. Finally felt it was safe to do some light hitting.

    Ugh. So hard to break the habit. Today's hit:

    http://youtu.be/bqsVf8bOBzU

    I decided that I need to just rebuild that section, so tried just short fed balls with (almost) no backswing. Concentrating on keeping a neutral wrist and the stretch shortening cycle. Felt pretty good with nice power, but looking at the video, am still not completely happy. The left hand is still messing it up. lol.

    http://youtu.be/ufjgw0GYV08
     
  22. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    a lot of those look really good.
     
  23. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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  24. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    That backswing is a HUGE improvement. You don't need any more backswing than that. And, with the shorter, lower backswing, your contact point is more out front and your finish is longer and more relaxed. Well done.

    Now, when you turn, try to keep the racquet straight up and down rather than tilting it back. Also, your balance looks much better when you hit from a lower, wider base. I know you're guarding a muscle strain, but, just be aware of it for when you recover.
     
  25. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Which backswing- both, or the second video? Cos I thought the second one was just a pat the dog exercise :)

    @ Power Player:
    Thanks! Nothing radical has been changed, just tinkering with the forehand which has been a problem spot even before the 20 year layoff. I would say the retooling done over the past months has been quite successful actually. It's at the very least a dependable stroke, and I would venture to say it's now a weapon. With the old forehand, I could not hit out for fear of hitting long, and tended to tighten up during a match. Now I can do the opposite and hit out under pressure. Been starting to test it out in match conditions, and it's holding up pretty well. Now if only I could get my serve up to speed to start the points on a more aggressive footing, I could use this forehand to dictate more.

    I read the article and watched the video. I do appreciate the advice, and I do take only what I feel improves my game. More importantly, I try to understand the why of it, which makes it easier to implement changes. I find that if there was something wrong, it was because I did not fully grasp the reason for it. :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2012
  26. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Both. However, in the second video, your hand is moving back more in a straight line, which I like. But, IMO, you should keep the racquet vertical when taking the hand straight back and the left hand should stay on the throat longer. Keeping the racquet vertical helps preserve that pre-stretch potential that you and Cheetah like to talk about. One thing I noticed in the second video that I didn't like is that you are hitting too many forehands in a neutral stance.
     
  27. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Yeah if you are afraid of hitting long then topspin is definitely going to help.

    I swing pretty relaxed but I get a lot of racquet head speed so my problem was finding the right tension so I wasn't swinging too hard and missing shots from over hitting.

    The more spin you hit with, the bigger you can hit, and the more powerful you can make your racquet setup.
     
  28. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    yea, what's up with the neutral stance? :mad:
     
  29. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Hey I'm going with the calf strain excuse! ;)

    Besides I'm at midcourt, I might need to use a neutral stance sometimes!
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2012
  30. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Don't buy in to that. Open stance is preferable at midcourt too. You hit neutral stance when you are hitting while moving in and don't have time to load up in an open stance.
     
  31. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Yes, that's what I meant to say :)
     
  32. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Anyway, took a week off to let the body rest. Felt much better today.

    Here's video from today's hit. Front, rear, reverse side views, and inside out forehands. The forehand seems more consistent, but I feel like I am hitting the ball too low over the net. Might be time to restring, the Tour Bite has been on for 2 months already. Still not completely satisfied with the takeback. I think the next step would be better footwork. As always, comments and suggestions are appreciated.

    http://youtu.be/Ti9M5_zaN10
     
  33. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    Looks good.

    You still have a sizable problem with weight transfer and your energy is not being focused onto the ball at contact as I mentioned before. Your left foot is causing a large percentage of this. I'll explain tomorrow. bed time.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2012
  34. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Am I not transferring the weight to the left enough? I may be subconsciously guarding the calf strain. It's almost gone, but there is the occasional twinge. Or is it something else?

    Uploading some slow motion vids for better analysis:

    From the front:
    http://youtu.be/SHWh9ALJcxM

    From the side:
    http://youtu.be/nopIZjsCwAg

    From the back:
    http://youtu.be/DWlkuaNWkAI

    PS. It felt good to finally hit with no elbow brace, calf brace, etc etc. :D
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2012
  35. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Your shot preparation and stance are way off on all 3. As a result, your balance and contact point are off. Adjustment steps before finishing your set up, and a lower, wider base will help a lot.
     
  36. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    Ok here we go.
    [​IMG]

    Setup:
    Your setup and preparation as limp says is way off. When the ball bounces you are still moving back and the racquet is not back. You look rushed all the time.

    Pause your video here at 4 secs where the ball bounces.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nopIZjsCwAg&feature=youtu.be

    The racquet is still in front of you, your wrist is c0cked back (which i don't like), you are in a neutral stance and are moving backwards.

    At this point you should be already setup with weight loaded on the right leg, the racquet back with neutral wrist, knees bent and left arm extended, body coiled and waiting to strike. None of that is happening here at this point.

    Take a look at image A above. You are off balance, Look at the angle of your racquet - your wrist is c0cked back, you are stepping forward with your right foot?? :shock: and your hips are not coiled ( which they never are )

    Coil: :cry:
    You are not coiling your hips so your whole swing is done from the shoulders and arm only.
    Look at your forehands here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ti9M5_zaN10&feature=youtu.be
    There is no torque in your hips. they are pretty much facing the net the whole time. You have a very slight hip turn but definitely not enough. Your hips should be turned more than your legs. Your torso and shoulders should be turned more than your hips. This creates the torque that is unleased.


    Left Leg: :mad:
    You have a habit of actually stepping to the left with your left leg. You should be loading your weight on your right leg and pushing off the right leg.

    Look at the forehands here and focus on your left leg: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ti9M5_zaN10&feature=youtu.be

    You are stepping (not loading) on your right leg and then actively doing a step to the left with your left leg almost like you are loading on your left leg. This shifts your balance and weight far to the left before you make contact. This throws you way off balance.

    Look at image B above. A lot of your shots look like this because you are stepping w/ your left leg and it throws you off balance. See where your left arm is? It's dangling out there trying to keep balance. It almost looks like you are going to fall over.
    Balance is everything. Gotta fix that.

    So when you don't coil, don't load and step to the left like that you are off balance, there is no explosion, and the energy will not be directed to the contact point. Instead of loading and exploding the energy at contact your energy kind of slowly dissipates throughout the whole swing with the focus of the highest point of release being somewhere out in front of you, to the left and above the contact point.

    Look at images A, B and C above. The yellow 'x' is where your energy seems to be focused.

    Look at Safin in image D. The red 'x' is where his energy is directed and released at. See the difference?

    Now with 'focus of energy release' in mind take a look at your fh's starting here. Note the left leg action, the (lack of) hip coil and just the whole 'feeling' of the strokes:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ti9M5_zaN10&feature=youtu.be&t=32s

    Now, contrast that with these 2 fh's here by Safin. Look how he loads, coils and explodes on the ball. Especially the 2nd one. You can really see the explosion of energy directed at the contact point. He's not even going all out 100%. It's just that all his effort is directed to one point in space. Focused energy. In fact his rhs is about the same as some of your shots. yours is pretty good. It's just that he knows where to put it all.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYJgyzBzxh4&feature=g-vrec&t=3m06s

    So, given the above points, I'd suspect that you can't really hit an effective inside out fh right? And probably all of your shots have the same type of spin every time correct? There's probably no sidespin or reverse sidespin component on your shots I would guess. If you can address some of the above I'll bet that would change.

    If you can fix the feet issues that would be a good start.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2012
  37. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Wow. Quite a bit to digest there! Did I regress from the video on top of this page? :confused:

    The setup for the rally was that we were standing on opposite corners exchanging crosscourt forehands, so I suppose a large percentage of shots would be taken with me shifting to the left. Perhaps I should add a cone to which I would recover between shots, so I don't hang out in the corner, making the drill more realistic. Perhaps doing that has formed a bad habit. :oops:

    Yes, you are spot on that I have an issue with inside out forehands. I do now see the issue of the dissipated energy. Kind of like the serve issue. :???:

    Cocked wrist- mea culpa :(

    But really, thanks guys! I would never have spotted these details on my own. As I wrote above, I actually felt I was hitting pretty well. Will work on correcting the issues. Will also include recovery footwork after hitting.

    Link for inspiration:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npCboVNZO8g
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2012
  38. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    No, you didnt regress. The fh looks much better than before for sure. It's just that you've fixed most of the previously mentioned issues (except takeback and ptd) so now it's time to move on and fix other issues.

    What? Did you think your fh was so good that you only had to fix 2-3 things and then it would be perfect?
    Who do you think you are? Roger Federer? LeeD?
     
  39. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Lol. I wish :)
     
  40. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    You also don't have to manually fix everything.

    Much of this will work it's way out if you just relax and hit a lot of balls, since
    you are pretty close overall. These guys (and me) can tear apart nearly any Fh,
    since few are that perfect really.
    Each one of the big 4 on Men's ATP has things I don't care for on their Fhs, lol.

    I think you are at a point where you can just hit a bunch for a few weeks and just
    see how it feels and flows. That's how I learned the WW Fh, as it just sort of came to
    me as I hit a lot of balls.
    At least mix some of this in there.
     
  41. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Well hopefully this vid shows a bit more coil and leg loading. I think sometimes I get into this extremely open stance. I think I have a slightly better takeback (less wrist cocking), but too late.
    Had the racquets restrung after, the ball was just coming off different. Maybe 2 months use is asking too much from Tour Bite...
    http://youtu.be/NH2aBjYANnM

    Slow motion from front. Better loading, despite moving to the left to hit a forehand?
    http://youtu.be/8BPbHIWvtPg
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2012
  42. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Finally got to hit after more than a week. Hopefully this shows some improvement. Probably needs more hip turn. Takeback still an issue.

    http://youtu.be/NBJqN1pQDxI

    Spent some time running around the backhand to hit inside out forehands. Apparently most of the time, I end up using a linear weight transfer! @_@

    http://youtu.be/5ztRuXiIZmI

    Perhaps I should drop hit some balls from the ad side first, rather than live hitting...
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
  43. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    regarding the inside out fh... BOOOOOOO!!!
     
  44. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    I know, right? :p
     
  45. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I disagree and think it is fine overall. Maybe not perfect, but who is.
    You step the the left dubs line and hit to the right. That is pretty open and
    gives you a pretty good rt to left shift. A little linear mo can work on the I/O
    due to long court and low net, so just don't over cook it.

    Important thing is you stepped to a good contact pt given the time and space
    you had to work with imo.
    ??:)
     
  46. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    yes it's fine overall. i guess.
    but i'm trying to push this guy...

    You should have your hitting partner let you just practice i/o fh's drills for 10mins. If you don't practice that skill then you will keep doing what you're currently doing. I'll bet 1 10 min session would benefit you.

    A few points:
    . What I see is that basically you just hit a regular linear momentum fh to the right side of the court. It wasn't an 'inside out' stroke. It looked like a regular fh with your body just pointed to the right side of the court.
    I would say that you didn't even hit the inside of the ball right? You hit it straight.

    An inside out fh ideally should be hit on the inside of the ball. this will give some outside curve. It should also be hit w/ more laid back wrist than a cc fh and with a later contact point than a cc. but as you can your wrist is in your normal position. The above 2 points also enable you to disguise the shot better. It totally looks like you are going to the ad side so it's telegraphed.

    . Another thing I can see, because I've seen all your vids and have mentioned this before, is that I can tell you are doing your 'lateral movement along the baseline only thing'. :) The court inside the baseline won't burn your feet. It's safe to go there. You like to just go side to side pretty much and don't step inside to cut off the angles or take it on the rise.
    The ball that was hit to you here is quite short. We don't see the first bounce and if you didnt hit it would have hit the baseline. That means it was a weak, short, non penetrating ball. You were already close to the doubles alley when the ball was hit to you so you had plenty of time to get in better position for the hit but you stayed behind the baseline until the very last step and hit ball on the way down. I/O's should be taken on the rise if possible.

    . Footwork was good and worked fine. But higher level footwork would have been a big split step and a reverse crossover or a split and a shuffle (at an angle into the court) and they would have been waiting for the ball.

    The steps you took worked (except you stayed behind baseline) but if your first step was a full reverse crossover you would have been all the way over there in 1 step much quicker and easier and then you would have had more time to do an adjustment step. Reverse crossovers are great. You can cover a LOT of area with 1 reverse step.

    . I suspect you didnt do a split step right? That's why the vid starts after the ball was hit no? ;) cheater.

    . You should try to get to the hitting location before the ball gets there. Many ppl get to the hitting location the same time as the ball.

    . Look at your feet and body at the end of the vid. You are just about out of the court, feet and body pointing out of the court.
    So because your lateral movement and linear stroke up the middle type of shot you have no built in recovery. The whole court is open now and you're in the doubles lane.

    So to summarize:
    With a split step and a quick step inside the court you would have been able to:
    be waiting for the ball in an open stance
    take the ball on the rise
    hit i/o
    have built in recovery because you'd be pushing of the left leg from the end of the open stance hit

    thanks.
     
  47. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Messages:
    1,007
    No worries 5263, I'm cool with the tough love from Cheetah. Though I do appreciate the positive feedback from you as well ;)

    I think all the slow shadowing of the takeback at home has rubbed off on the court! And the takeback still isn't where we want it to be! The elbow position is the key, I think I need to raise it some more on the takeback.

    Yes I do need to improve on the movement. Video is nice because I'd never believe the mistakes until I see it for myself.

    Will work on the inside out. Been working on the crosscourt too long, which is probably why my hips are not coiled enough, I got the habit of keeping them too open. I do feel that I'm regressing though- the shape of the arc is flattening out, and my net clearance is lower. Perhaps this is the evidence of poor loading of the right leg, that has crept in.

    Uploaded some fresh match play vids. I do need to cut off the angles more and take charge of the center of the court, otherwise I'll just get jerked around. Anyway I posted it here and not the court sense thread, to show the footwork.

    http://youtu.be/ln31IRENrsM
     
  48. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    Mar 29, 2011
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    San Diego
  49. chico9166

    chico9166 Guest

    In regards to the takeback, just try two things...First, DO lead back with the elbow (it will help keep your arm from externally rotating, wrist extending). It's a requirement for a more ATP type backswing.

    Next, with your elbow slightly elevated and leading, turn your thumb downward (slight pronation) as you step up to the top of the backswing. (right now, you are supinating/fanning the racquet open in the backswing)

    Contrary to most posts here,,,,,this will actually shorten your backswing, and keep the racquet/hand to the right side/inline with the path of the ball. And most importantly, it will help close the racquet face and find a more "pat the dog" position as you lay the racquet down.

    Look again at what Pat D is working on with girl in the second video...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 6, 2012
  50. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Messages:
    1,007
    Thanks chico! Will keep that in mind. Sometimes I really feel I've changed it, then video shows me otherwise >.<
     

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