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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    Thanks! Nice vid! I think I should start adding movement to the drills, to work on the footwork and balance. Need to work on that- I think I arrive in the neutral stance then do the tappy thing to create the open stance...

    The swing feels much better, but I still have to get rid of that little wrist roll at the end of the backswing. I can shadow it done, but it works its way back when hitting balls. Might be partially short circuiting the ssc.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
  2. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    Nice vids Greg G. Thanks for posting. Your strokes/shots look pretty darned good to me. Keep posting vids.
     
  3. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Am checked into a local hotel for New Year. They have 2 hard courts, so I was eager to play on them- hadn't played on hard courts in over a year! Anyway, these courts are like painted concrete! Super slick! Balls were skidding through. I was late for EVERYTHING! And digging balls off the court... The house pro creamed me :(

    Anyway, I still have a few days here. I think this fast court will do me good, once I get used to the timing and the skiddy bounces. Will post video once I get home.

    Happy New Year everyone!
     
  4. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Well here's video of me trying to adjust to the slick hard court. Super hot midday weather, really had the Aussie Open vibe :p

    It did get me to speed up the preparation a bit, but I probably need a week more to feel truly at home again on a hard court.

    Day 1:
    http://youtu.be/ufr-j3w0tV0

    Day 2:
    http://youtu.be/pfEYTUidhjg

    Working on adding some underspin to the forehand volley and shortening the swing:

    http://youtu.be/9aRX357zJk4
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
  5. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    There is one noticeable difference when you hit a shot that comes right to you or is on your right than when you run around it by moving to the left.
    What difference do you see between those 2?
     
  6. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Yup. I don't get around it fast enough to load properly. And I unweight the right leg with the last step out of the left.
     
  7. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    yea. you're unbalanced.
    It looks like you move to the right and almost lock your right leg so it's not loaded properly and your not set or balanced. If you didn't swing it looks like you would fall over. Your right leg is locked so your weight is going from left to right like you are tipping over.

    You are getting there 'just in time'. Try to get to the hitting area ahead of the ball to give yourself time to set up loaded and balanced. Those balls were hit right to you so you have the time to get there first and be waiting. You just have to adjust your mental process.
     
  8. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Wait, the problem is on balls to the right, not the left (run around)? :confused:
     
  9. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    Yes that's correct.
     
  10. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Thanks Cheetah! Will work on it. I thought only the runaround was the problem, but thinking about it, I do understand your point.

    Movement in general is actually the next one on the list after the darn takeback. You're right, i should get there fast and not time it to the ball's arrival. Get the weight under control before the hit.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
  11. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    I don't think you did one split step in that last vid. If you did a split step the problem would be solved.
     
  12. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    I used 'em all up in the volley vid! :oops:
     
  13. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    uh huh. yet you have enough energy to run around bh's
     
  14. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    The "Position-Balance-Transfer" video on VTA TV deals specifically with this issue. And gives the corrective drills! Will work on it this week :)

    For the benefit of those who don't want to watch the vid, the corrective drill is basically a 'one-legged forehand drill'. Prep with the left foot off the ground, hit forehand and end with right foot off the ground. Forces a correct right to left weight transfer.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
  15. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Got a new camera to use with better slow mo features (Casio FC-150). Anyway, I was interested at looking at the finer movements of the forearm stretch shortening cycle, so I went ahead and swung my Theraband Flexbar in the office :)

    120fps:
    http://youtu.be/t024sHeh9DQ

    240 fps:
    http://youtu.be/KrkA7dxj18Q

    Look OK?
     
  16. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    so-so.
    ..........
     
  17. Cheetah

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    What you have there is mostly momentum. It's too late especially for your fh because your contact point is a little too far back right? I don't think you make contact like you do in that vid. Seems like you hit more on the side.
    you need to initiate/lead the stroke more with your torso.

    The torso (after legs; kinetic chain etc etc) should turn quicker. The arm loose. That will create the lag and you should feel tension in your shoulder and chest. Then that will pull your arm and then you will get the proper ssc. The ssc is a very short action. It only lasts a few dozen millisecs or whatever it is.

    Do a quicker unit turn. Feel the tension in your arm/chest.
    A good way to feel is it make your racquet too heavy. Then you will feel the lag and the ssc will kick in and the racquet flies through.

    edit: also another way to get the feel is to make your backswing shorter. don't take it back so far. your take back is good but if you haven't mastered the ssc stuff then it's hard to do so with a long take back. in your other vids your arm goes back to far. if it's too far back it's disconnected from the body and/or the arm is already tight so when you rotate there will be nothing to lag. do a shorter takeback to see what i mean. make it short like fed's then do a quicker unit turn. if the arm is loose then it will have a lot of 'play' or room to get stretched this way. the torso will approach facing the net then the arm muscles get tight and fling around.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013
  18. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    I guess I was trying not to hit the wall, but your point is well taken. I have noticed that I have been hitting with less of the lag lately. Will work on it, and post back with an actual racquet in my hand ;)
     
  19. Cheetah

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    with your arm far back it's like trying to stretch a rubber band that's already pulled tight.
     
  20. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Last edited: Jan 11, 2013
  21. Cheetah

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  22. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Wider stance?

    The lag is better, right?
     
  23. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    Nope. Something else.

    Yes. looks great.
     
  24. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Still the weight distribution, I suppose. Am leaning a bit to the right with my head over the right knee, so my base is off balance. That it? Should I have more sit and lift?
     
  25. Cheetah

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    yes you're still off balance.
    take a look at your images #3 and #4. Can you shadow swing and hold that position for 5 seconds? I'd say no. You'd fall over because you're off balance.
    Look at the roddick and djoko images i posted. You can shadow swing and hold those positions all day.

    If you're balanced you get more power, more body into the ball, more control, easier to recover, more consistency, don't have to swing as hard, less stress on the body, takes less energy and looks cooler.
     
  26. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    On it! Headed out to court now to correct it (I hope) :D
     
  27. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    OK tried to work on the balance issue, which is very closely tied to the footwork issue :)

    Anyway the video is kind of dark (to get the 120 fps), but quite viewable. Needs a touch more ISR at the end of the backswing.

    http://youtu.be/KTuP6_ecIjc

    This instruction video seems to talk about the balance thing

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o58DcSbF-Vg
     
  28. Cheetah

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    balance looks better. i can tell it's new to you. you look tentative now haha. you'll have to get used to it.
    swing looks good. way better than what you used to have.

    you're doing one thing though that I thought you had fixed a while ago. maybe it's because of the new balance.

    hint: it's hampering the ssc.
     
  29. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    LOL! I played a set with that balance thing on my mind and lost horribly! Shank city!

    I know the SSC yesterday was better...I definitely feel the difference. I wasn't striking it as...aggressively, if that's the word. Less pop and spin.

    Less shoulder turn? (scratches head) Or the left hand pushing the racquet back causing some supination?
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2013
  30. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    you are cocking your wrist at the beginning of the unit turn. like way back from day one hahaha. cut that crap out.
     
  31. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Hmmm. That cocking back thing also creates the extra external rotation of the shoulder. Which explains why yesterday's drop feed swing was better in terms of SSC/ PTD position. Interesting!
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2013
  32. Cheetah

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    try this:

    do some shadow swings. take the racquet back like we discussed.
    make your arm loose.
    then make your arm looser.
    then as your about to push off and swing forward make your arm looser.
    even looser.
    make your arm so loose that you can't even feel it. it should feel like it's not even there. like a piece of rope is connected to your shoulder. absolutely zero tension anywhere in your entire arm.
    don't take the racquet back too far. do a more compact swing than what you are doing now. like 6 inches less takeback.
    then while keeping your arm loose push off right leg and rotate.
    don't use your arm at all. absolutely no arm.
    just rotate and watch how fast the arm whips around.
    it will be faster than your normal swing. even though it may feel weird because you are using NO ARM AT ALL the swing will still look pretty good if you filmed it. and it will be fast even with a regular speed rotation of the body.
    do that a few times using no arm.
    if you work on getting the racquet at the right angles at the end of the takeback you will find that it will move how you want it to during the forward swing.
    Then try to feel the weight of the racquet head. not the racquet. just the weight of the head as you rotate forward. if you are loose and are rotating around the arm will lag and if you didn't take your racquet back too far (disconnected) then you will feel the racquet head tug on your shoulder and chest.

    once you feel this pulling then you can use the arm for control. if you don't have this feeling and it feels like you are jerking the racquet or there's an abrupt jolt then your are doing it wrong and maybe takeback is too far.
    at this point your chest should be just about facing the net but not quite. you'll be able to use the arm to do isr or pronation or radial dev etc if you want.

    just try that. no arm. super loose. just rotate. get used to that feel. if you work on that you'll see your rhs will increase and you'll get ssc w/o thinking about it and your swing will look nice and smooth and whippy.

    to do this you need to change your mindset from 'hitting w/ the arm' to 'hitting w/ the body'.
    not easy but that's how it's done. you have to be relaxed.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2013
  33. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    forgot to add something.

    when you swing forward don't go full speed. go slow to medium speed but on the slow side. then when you feel the racquet go backwards and the butt is pointing to the ball then go fast. otherwise your swing won't have the correct shape. it won't resemble a tennis swing at all. so go slow, loose, racquet falls back and head is pointing to back fence, you'll feel this, then accelerate. don't jerk or yank it at this point. just accelerate. as in build up speed. but quickly.
     
  34. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Got it. Will shadow the stroke. Should be interesting :)

    The shoulder rotation remains fast right?

    Thanks!
     
  35. Cheetah

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    wait. i forgot one thing. i was just trying out those instructions myself.
    when you rotate try to lead with the elbow. so make a little bit of tension from the shoulder to the elbow. when you rotation you want the shoulder to the elbow to move together. try to imagine your are leading the swing w/ the elbow. then the elbow goes forward first. that's important. then the racquet head will kind of stay where it is since elbow to hand is very loose. it will stay where it is pretty much then as elbow keeps going forward the racquet head will flip (ssc).

    so...
    loose, no cocking back the wrist, neutral position setup, rotate, slight tension on upper arm to maintain swing shape.

    and you don't have to rotate that fast. just a nice turn. like in that fed cincinnati practice vid. he's doing just what i'm saying here.
     
  36. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Got scared by the elbow flaring up after going back to Tour Bite, so I took a couple of weeks off to rest it. Feels a lot better now! Went bacl to Black Widow with no issues. Will try TB at a lower tension, or maybe hybrid it with something like N.Vy.

    Tried not to lean my head over to the right so much, and keep better balance. Also worked on getting the hitting arm looser. I still have a problem when moving to the right.

    Loving my new (to me) Casio FC-150. Videos are much better quality now!

    Crosscourt forehands, front 3/4 view:
    http://youtu.be/2Tuw8LWWvS8
    http://youtu.be/p6qYMpm1dLE

    Crosscourt & Inside-out forehands, rear view:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=ZJabMoTd8FA#t=27s

    Slow motion video is awesome with the new cam!:

    Crosscourt forehands, front 3/4 view:
    http://youtu.be/2OJ4IlRpn4E

    Crosscourt & Inside-out forehands, rear view:
    http://youtu.be/vPHKWH-V_dU

    Crosscourt side view:
    http://youtu.be/7ojPe0KlrX4

    Sorry for the long videos. Please try to go through them, I didn't cherry pick the footage, so it has all my common errors... ;)

    Feel free to comment guys! :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013
  37. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Playing with Kinovea, and took side by side frames with RF to cement in my mind what I need to do with the takeback. The video was synced to contact point...not sure I chose the right one to compare, I was moving left a bit to take the forehand, but anyway...

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  38. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    what 2 differences do you see?
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2013
  39. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    1. Still haven't completely gotten rid of the cocked wrist. Racquet head pointed too far back at end of takeback.
    2. Forearm partially supinates
    3. Balance is off. Footwork needs major work, including my following the rhythm of slower balls. Preparation a bit late.

    Having said that, keeping the arm even more relaxed has helped quite a bit, if you watch the videos. More easy power, and the arc of the shot has improved. Feels a LOT better than 2 weeks ago.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2013
  40. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    no ptd
    your racquet goes behind your body wta style. fed's stays on the same side the entire time.
     
  41. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Yes, I know. Hard to change, even if I feel I'm doing better, video disproves it. Need to get to the unit turn and just let it drop. I am fantastic at shadow swinging it, but it all goes away on court. I was actually working on that today, shadow swinging with my back to the wall, to try to shorten the backswing and keep the racquet on the right.

    Maybe next time I'll put the left hand at the top of the racquet. That'll ensure a PTD. Keep it there till I break the habit.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2013
  42. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    yes it's hard to change.
     
  43. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    So I should stop the takeback at the top picture then let it drop without any wrist movment? The bottom one has the forearm too supinated already? Or the lower one, but with the buttcap visible...

    EDIT: d'oh the answer is in the fed pictures above, LOL.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2013
  44. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Just played a set of doubles today. Just focused on contact in front with a loose arm and a shorter backswing. The forehand felt pretty good when hitting, and the ball looked like it had a heavy quality to it, judging from the way it bounced on the other side. Didn't stay at the back too much, so this is the footage I had, including the return of serve.

    Still have minimal PTD (!) So frustrating...

    http://youtu.be/pR7m-QzcI2s

    Slow motion, annotated with where I feel the issue is...I drrew a line where I think I should keep the palm down instead of rotating. I forgot about my great idea of keeping the left hand on the top of the racquet face...
    http://youtu.be/y7QocsUhdsY
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013
  45. chico9166

    chico9166 Guest

    Perhaps instead of focusing on your palm, you may want to try and focus on the buttcap of the racquet. (different things resonate with people) In the downswing always "hide the buttcap from the line of the ball. Trust me, when you begin to pull on the racquet, it will "flip" and align properly. In fact, this is one of the keys to maximizing stretch shorten.. the quick internal to external rotation of the arm.
     
  46. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    OK. 20 pages and 20,000+ views, I better have something good already!

    Worked on the takeback and SSC today...after 3 hours of doubles. So please forgive my legs. Concentrated on keeping the backswing short and on my right side. I do think I managed to trim down the takeback and get a somewhat better PTD position, though I suppose I could hide the butt more at the end of the takeback. But at least I'm not getting into the supinated position way before contact!

    Back view:
    http://youtu.be/3N4berCOZTI

    I seem to get the hang of it at this point. It almost feels like a sidearm throw. Hit it right, there's easy power. If I relaxed my concentration, the old wrist action would creep in. Dang this is hard!:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=3N4berCOZTI#t=114s

    Side view:
    http://youtu.be/cgvngfJvizg

    This looks like the best one there:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=cgvngfJvizg#t=89s

    Gonna keep working on it. Comment away!
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2013
  47. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    You seem to have much better balance when hitting with a closed or
    neutral stance and/or stepping into the ball (vs when more open).

    You might consider modeling your forehand after Soderling's rather than
    Fed's
     
  48. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Well this was taken after about 3 hours of play and 45 minutes of drills, so my legs were shot. Balance is a bit better in the previous video I posted. I would prefer to be able to hit from multiple stances as the situation dictates, but given enough time to set up, I do prefer the semiopen stance. Sometimes I stay too open.

    Soderling has too long a swing for me, am trying to shorten it up for easier timing/consistency. The takeback in my last vid struck me as more Agassi than Fed, I think...like here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnnKt_SeJ6s

    Here's a real time video, with me holding the edge of the racquet face to shorten the swing:
    http://youtu.be/g_N3-Tk8cFU

    Links to useful stuff I placed here for easy reference...

    Found this video today...perhaps I do need to raise the right elbow a bit more...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnhtMQVKUOU

    Hand fed dead ball drill might help:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZR5VBz8amtg
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2013
  49. chico9166

    chico9166 Guest

    It could help, but it may not. Even with an elevated elbow position, (and i think your's is fine), if the arm rotates externally, the elbow is going to drop and slot, and the racquet head will begin to "lead" back...no bueno. This is the crux of teh problem in your case. You're getting there though.
     
  50. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Thanks! You did see the slow motion vids in post 396? I think I got it a few times :)
     

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