Forehand footwork

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by JohnThomas1, May 7, 2004.

  1. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

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    Hi again guys. It has been pointed out to me that my footwork on the forehand is faulty. I use a semi western grip and am right handed. What i am doing is hitting from a completely open stance a lot of the time, sometimes with my right foot ahead of the left. Then a lot of the time i am rocking off the ball, transferring my weight from one foot to the other, which is sideways. This is leading to inconsistent contact and balls being dragged left at times. I am fine on balls that bring me forward.

    Now, does anybody know the easiest way to fix this? What should i be concentrating on, and what would be possible drills for this fault? I don't think it would be feasible to start hitting with a neutral stance with this grip? Then again maybe i have to concentrate on getting totally side on for a while? The guy who coaches myself and my g/f said a good drill would be to hit inside out forehands from the backhand corner, which did feel good when we tried it i must say.

    Bill? Anyone?
     
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  2. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    The beauty of the SW grip is you can hit with a nuetral stance and an open stance. Normally when I teach or hit the SW forehand on an open stance, my (I will put this in terms for righties) back foot or the foot closest to the ball (my right foot) will bear most of my weight. I will place my center of gravity over this foot, then rotate INTO the ball not away from it.

    Keeping your head facing the contact point for 1- 2 seconds after the ball left the strings will help you from wanting to pull back towards the center mark and shear the ball to the left or just simply dump it into the net.

    Just hit slow balls in an open stance and learn what your legs should feel like. Then once your think you got the feel, add some movement and try it with footwork.

    THe inside out drill is good too as it will teach you how to feel your legs in the shot.

    My guess is you are hitting the ball with upper body mostly and dont feel the legs and how your balance is most important on an open stance forehand.
    Drills are to be in an open stance and hit slow balls allowing you time to develop your feel on how to hit with the weight on your backfoot tranferring forward into the ball, keeping your head still at contact then recovering.
     
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  3. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

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    Ok, so keep the head down and still while rotating into the shot with the weight staying more over the right foot instead of rocking off it.

    Thank you kindly Bill, your knowledge is only exceeded by your generousity to share it :)
     
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  4. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    JohnThomas,

    I pulled a video for you to see what I mean by loading the back leg to hit open stance. TOmmy Haas is the model here:

    http://www.uspta.com/html/e-lesson-Open stance forehand 2.swf

    Here is Guga hitting on an open stance, notice the back leg load or the leg closest to the ball then rotates his torso over the leg, obviously you need to be fluid and feel it more then be mechanical and robotic.

    http://www.uspta.com/html/e-lesson-Running forehand.swf

    The other key thing to watch for is what their non-dominant arm is doing on each video clip. Notice they both fold into the body, they do not go outside of the body and cause the centrifugal force generated on an open stance to get out of control. All of the momentum is built up for one thing and one thing only, to go INTO the ball - then recover. This is different from the club player, who takes a quick glance at the ball, then swings with head moving back as they recover to early towards the center mark and is sort of off balance. The head is critical to stay in the shot as long as possible for all strokes including the serve.
     
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  5. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

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    Thanks again Bill. Your points are clearly shown and easy to follow. Tennis courts here i come!!
     
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