Forehand: question on technique.

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by MikeHitsHard93, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

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    The racket tip still continues to move further away as you pull. You're bending at the elbow and pulling the arm back, not the racket tip.
     
    #51
  2. Wes_Loves_Dunlop

    Wes_Loves_Dunlop Professional

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    Because my footwork is subpar, I find myself hitting shots off balance or hitting it awkwardly. The single biggest thing that is the difference between hitting a decent shot when you are off balance or a crap shot is the weight transfer.

    Even when out of position, move your weight from one foot to the other. Helps so much more than you can think
     
    #52
  3. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    it doesn't seem to be moving farther away in oscar's video. it seems to move your arm and elbow into your body cramping you like in the picture of his student i posted which is what you'd expect from pulling back. This is why coaches preach extension and follow through. Nobody says to 'pull back'.

    i don't think nadal is too concerned with pulling back here
    [​IMG]
     
    #53
  4. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

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    It's impossible to see that from the back perspective you were looking at. Let's look earlier in the video where we can see Oscar himself showing how to properly execute what he's teaching.

    Red represents his extension just after hitting the ball. Yellow represents his maximum extension. The green line is drawn straight down from the tip of his racket.

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, the racket tip still extends forward even while pulling back and to the left.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013
    #54
  5. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    That's not what extension means.
     
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  6. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    @ TheCheese: Aren't you just looking at an arc from the side? Where else will the racquet go after extension?
     
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  7. jmnk

    jmnk Professional

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    That is a nice analysis. I see it the same way.
     
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  8. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

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    Yeah, exactly. That's why I'm not sure what Cheetah's talking about exactly.
     
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  9. Cheetah

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    actually i think he's agreeing with me.

    there is no pull back on a good fh. good hitters are concerned with leverage, extension and momentum. all of that is forward. look at all the pics. these guys are putting forward energy into the ball on an arc. they don't pull back. the racquet goes around because they are loose. where else could it go? they are swinging across their body. that doesn't mean they are pulling back. The only pic i've seen of someone pulling back is the student there in oscar's video and you can tell he does not swing like any player you can see above 5.0. certainly not a pro anyway. he has no extension into the ball. his arm is cramped into his body from pulling back. his body is falling back. he's off balance. his left leg is pointed to the left fence. when do you ever see that? never.
     
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  10. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    Typical Federer forehands. Look at that extension out foward. He's done with the swing. The work is over. Not pulling back.
    He's relaxed at this point and the racquet still goes forward after contact.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013
    #60
  11. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

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    You misinterpret what I mean by pulling. Yes, you should be relaxed after contact and the racket should still go forward. The pulling just increases the upwards and across acceleration just prior to contact. After that, the arm is relaxed and it finishes in an arc. The pulling is meant to increase leverage, that's the whole point. It also should not necessarily take away from extension.

    You can basically simplify pulling down to whether or not you're activating your bicep muscle to achieve maximum racket head speed at contact. If you are, by my definition you are pulling your arm back. If you're "hitting through 5 balls", then you wouldn't be using your bicep muscle, you'd be pushing through the path of the ball and extending the arm straight out linearly, rather than in an arc across.

    You see it on basically every forehand Federer hits... I think you're taking the extreme example of Oscar's student and looking for that in the pros. Don't take too much from the student that just learned the technique 5 minutes prior. Look more at when Oscar was demonstrating it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
    #61
  12. Cheetah

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    well you're making sense now. i see what you're saying.

    yes you can swing like that if you like.

    however...

    good forehands today and the certainly pros are rarely doing this. They are maintaining their hitting structure all the way through contact. Do you know what 'hitting structure' means? If not i can explain.

    They are not using their biceps. They are using any combination of radial deviation, forearm pronation or internal shoulder rotation. This is very evident if you know what these terms mean. If they were 'pulling back' using their biceps you would see the arm/racquet/amount of elbow bend relationship change before or at contact. The upper arm / lower arm angle would change. I guess it happens in some instances but in the large majority of rally balls the hitting structure stays the same. No bicep pulling. You can see bicep pulling in the student video. It pulls his arm into his chest.

    Look at a slow mo of a pro. the racquet/arm relationship is the same until well after the hit.

    Look at this djoko pic. If you used photoshop and moved the racquet behind his body it would look the same as it does in his takeback. He hasn't changed it. The ball is long gone here. No bend in the elbow. Everything is facing forward. No bicep pulling. Compare that pic to oscar's student.

    [​IMG]

    Also you can see the same thing in all of the other pics I posted. Look at the fed pic. his hitting structure has not changed since the first forward movement after takeback. Racquet / arm angles are EXACTLY the same. No bicep constricting.

    Rafa takeback
    [​IMG]

    Rafa at contact
    [​IMG]

    Rafa well after contact and the ball is 20 feet away
    [​IMG]

    Rafa's racquet / arm / elbow bend relationship is the same all the way through and well after contact. It's the same at takeback, contact and follow-through. No pulling back. His hitting structure has remained unchanged.

    You can see the same thing with bent arm fh's too so it's not related to straight arms only.

    ISR, pronation and deviation is used to rotate that hitting structure. Not bicep pulling.
    After they reach FULL EXTENSION then the elbow will bend on it's own at the finish.

    The evidence is clear in all these pics. No pulling back.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
    #62
  13. bhupaes

    bhupaes Professional

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    Mostly agree, except for the part regarding the biceps. See this video of Sam Querry, for example.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cWYpgDHzJk

    Or this video of Djokovic:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_lywtCEci0&t=1m20s

    ISR is the dominant component, but biceps use is significant. In straight arm forehands, ISR overshadows everything else.

    To hit like a Verdasco or Nadal, using straight arms and employing only ISR, requires a lot of strength and conditioning. Most amateurs are better off employing all the powerful muscles available to them!

    Another point I may as well get off my chest is regarding moving the center of mass forward. I agree the COM usually moves forward, or at least doesn't move backward, most of the time. In terms of MPH, I don't believe this movement contributes much. However, the arm has to be positioned in such a way that the body is behind it, and the body should be anchored firmly so it is not easily pushed backwards at contact time. This can be a static anchoring (legs planted firmly) or dynamic (body is in the air or moving sideways or even backwards, but twisting in a way that offers the necessary support for the arm).

    Stepping in to hit definitely offers the body support needed by the arm. But an equally important (maybe more important) reason for stepping in, IMO, is to provide the necessary range of motion for the racquet, or even enhance the range of motion, for added power - especially in a tight stroke like the 2HBH.
     
    #63
  14. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    Com

    It would be good NOT to use abbreviations without explaining them first.
    By the way-I know the the meaning.
    We had the same conversation about RHS some time ago
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
    #64
  15. bhupaes

    bhupaes Professional

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    Sorry about that. But the ones I used COM (center of mass), ISR (internal shoulder rotation) and 2HBH (two handed backhand) are well known, I would think. A glossary of acronyms posted as a sticky may be in order.
     
    #65
  16. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Racket well back as the ball is rising - no counting till 5 from bounce to take the racket back.

    Contact in the upper half of the strings.

    Racket tip extending further from the body after contact - no pulling back.
     
    #66
  17. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    Last sentence

    Three different stances should be considered in the case of the last sentence.
     
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  18. bhupaes

    bhupaes Professional

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    Julian, you are right in that the various 2HBH stances have nuances that could use more analysis, but I was only making a very general comment in the context of forward "weight shifting", regarding its purpose.
     
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  19. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    Sam Querry: not a rally ball. He's going for a winner. Leaping up and hitting the ball down.

    Djokovic: super casual warm up stroke. not his normal form. If you can find a vid of him in a match swinging like that then you'll have something.
     
    #69
  20. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    Stepping in

    The point is that open stance backhand does NOT have to have stepping in
    at all UNLESS you broaden the definition of "stepping in"
     
    #70
  21. Cheetah

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    Here's another (better) view of the same type of Querry forehand. (jumping winner attempt)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUyK...L9810B3623A76048D&feature=results_video&t=29s

    You can see that he is not pulling with his bicep. Upon casual view it appears he is doing a bicep pull. But upon close inspection you can see his hitting structure stays the same until after his extension. His hitting structure is rotated using internal shoulder rotation so it gives the illusion that he is bending his elbow but in fact it's the whole structure just rotating / flipping / turning whatever with isr
     
    #71
  22. bhupaes

    bhupaes Professional

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    Oh yeah... I was assuming the closed stance used by most pros here. Sorry.
     
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  23. bhupaes

    bhupaes Professional

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    Sure... my point was not that one has to use the biceps or ISR every time for every FH, but more that using the biceps is a "valid" way to hit the forehand. The situational aspects will have a lot to do with how the stroke is executed, of course.

    An important question that one needs to consider is, why is it so important to maintain the hitting structure? Why do the pros do it instinctively, almost all the time? I believe the answer is straightforward, but kinda difficult to explain in words... :)

    Let's say you are swinging a structure that looks like the human arm as it swings a tennis racquet. If you twist the portion of the structure that is the equivalent of the human upper arm as in ISR, the hand will accelerate forwards, upwards, and across. You don't want any part of the arm moving in a way that will detract from this! Hence, the structure should be maintained. However, if a motion complements this acceleration in positive way, it can be superimposed on the overall motion safely. I consider the biceps pull to be one such motion.
     
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  24. Ash_Smith

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    ^^^There is certainly a place for the "bicep pull" motion, but I think the point that Cheetah is making (and I happen to agree with) is that if/when this motion occurs, it is generally after contact (at least when pro's are hitting match balls - practice is another kettle of fish).

    Cheers
     
    #74
  25. bhupaes

    bhupaes Professional

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    Coming from you, Ash, I have no choice but to agree! :) It is definitely very situational, IMO. Probably younger folks with less arm strength do this more often.
     
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  26. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

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    I definitely agree the OBSERVABLE motion of the arm pulling back happens after contact. The bicep pull is merely activating the bicep muscles to aid the up and across acceleration just prior to contact. It shouldn't change the hitting arm structure until well after the ball has left the strings.

    I don't disagree with anything Cheetah is saying regarding pronation and ISR. I think he's thinking of the bicep pull motion occurring much too soon than I'm talking about. The pull motion should occur JUST prior to contact. It's not early enough to mess with the hitting arm structure, just enough to increase the up and across acceleration.
     
    #76
  27. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    What's wrong with a netral stance for backhand?

    What's wrong with a neutral stance for backhand?
    Every post more surprising than one before.
    Sorry for misspelling "neutral" in the title
     
    #77
  28. bhupaes

    bhupaes Professional

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    Nothing wrong, as far as I know... but I can't see where you are trying to go with your questions... maybe you should start a new thread on two handed backhands, and frame the discussion more clearly?
     
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  29. TheLambsheadrep

    TheLambsheadrep Professional

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    I've read the back and forth of this thread, a lot of good stuff for everyone to soak in. I don't think this video was put forth yet, so you can watch the whole thing or get to the strokes at 1:55 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYYc-bn5vz4

    If you look at the player's feet, he is still moving into the court. At the same time, there is obviously a large amount of leg push and momentum carrying him to his left. I think it has to do with the modern open stance - if you push off with your outside foot (his right foot) and your feet are parallel with the base line, you have to travel more laterally. The same concept applies when your feet are more perpendicular to the base line (neutral stance) - the push off will certainly take you more into the court.

    I don't think there should be any movement or momentum going backwards, but to the side is feasible. There have already been links posted to Fed's flying FH, and it's plain as day to see him going just as much (if not more) across the ball as he is through it.

    I think using an open stance and pushing off your outside foot will create movement/momentum going to your left (for R handers) and will allow the racquet to use that movement/momentum to go across the body faster. There should still be enough forward movement/momentum to have your body going forward and into the court, though. Maybe the next time I'm hitting I will try a few shots where I'm consciously trying to push off at a 45 degree angle forward and to the left and see what happens. From there you can modify it - maybe push off at 60 degrees (going more laterally) and see if arm acceleration increases going across the body instead of out from the body and, consequently, if spin (maybe side spin) increases.

    Since posting videos of my strokes and tweaking them from very very helpfully analysis from Cheetah, I have been curious to how pros with a double bend can get their arms to fold in so quickly and so close to their chests. I think this may happen more in practice than in match play, but maybe the above thoughts are why...?
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
    #79
  30. TheLambsheadrep

    TheLambsheadrep Professional

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    anybody...?
     
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  31. Cheetah

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    sorry. just noticed this post.
    can you explain what you are referring to here?
     
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  32. TheLambsheadrep

    TheLambsheadrep Professional

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    This is one of the vids I think shows it well. Like I stated before, Novak seems to be just practicing and not taking full strokes - I've seen the pictures of Novak you've posted where his arm is outstretched but still in the double bend (you were proving that his arm kept the same positioning/alignment throughout the entire stroke)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Me1tzm1nnWk

    It seems like on most of these shots his upper arm stops around contact and the momentum that the forearm has is able to get it through contact and to the follow through. But since the upper arm stopped, the forearm pivots around the elbow and since the elbow is kept close to the body, it seems like his arm overall is kept very tight to his body. The stroke at 17 seconds in is one of the best examples IMO
     
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  33. TheLambsheadrep

    TheLambsheadrep Professional

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    Then you can see that on the shot at 30seconds there is more outward extension of his entire arm, but his body momentum is going forward (he takes a step to the ball). At 17seconds he almost back steps and ends up just pivoting around his right foot with minimal forward body momentum
     
    #83
  34. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    He's still in warmup mode. Taking easy swings working on loosening up and getting the feel, more neutral stance shots etc. You can see when he swings a little harder on some then he uses something more resembling match formm
     
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  35. TheLambsheadrep

    TheLambsheadrep Professional

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    OK, thought so. I think in one of the Murray vids I've posted he does what I was talking about on a full swing with a WW follow through, I will look for it.

    By the way, I recorded some warm up hitting with a tennis friend of mine from earlier today, I think you will see some of the improvements. I will prob edit it all together tonight, and unless I'm extra fast, I'll have it up tomorrow morning
     
    #85
  36. Cheetah

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    cool. looking forward to it.
     
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  37. TheLambsheadrep

    TheLambsheadrep Professional

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    #87
  38. Cheetah

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    that was a running forehand so everything is different. on a running fh the ball is hit more on the side, you are running towards, and facing, the side fence, the swing path is usually steeper, there is less drive through the ball and less extension, you're under pressure etc etc. so body parts will move differently than for a standard rally ball. not that andy was under too much pressure there on his casual hit practice.

    also on a running fh you are still swinging forward but your torso is facing the side fence so your elbow is in front of your stomach pretty quickly so it's going to bend.

    imo
     
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  39. TheLambsheadrep

    TheLambsheadrep Professional

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    That all makes sense, thanks.
    I'm uploading my 3rd vid now, but I'll put the link in my thread, don't mean to hijack this one
     
    #89

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