Forehand Video Analysis

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by FailBetter, Jul 4, 2014.

  1. FailBetter

    FailBetter New User

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    I need some advice too my forehand. :confused:

    http://youtu.be/3xhYxpR07iw

    ..I have not much consistence,
    ..my racket head seems to be open very often ..
    ..if i hit with less intensity most balls go high&long

    BH is no problem but forehand is just no natural for me..

    thanks for every tought/advice
     
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  2. johndagolfer

    johndagolfer Semi-Pro

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    Pretty decent form.

    My 2 suggestions:

    1) Get rid of that hitch when dropping the racquet head in the loop. It's like you're starting the forward swing, stopping, then starting again. I think this may be why your forehand could be a little inconsistent. Try to smooth out the drop and forward swing into one motion. It will change your timing but I believe it will help with your consistentcy

    2) Turn your shoulders maybe a tad more. On quite a few you still seem open chested to your target.
     
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  3. FailBetter

    FailBetter New User

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    ok I know what you mean but how can i change this? ( more smooth)
     
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  4. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Try to relax the grip and the wrist pressure (forearm pressure) so you hold more loosely, allowing the racket to do it's natural C loop on the backswing, and this also ALLOWS for a higher racket head speed.
     
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  5. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    You have a death grip. LOOSEN THE HAND -- EXTREMELY. You are badly arming the ball.

    The overall mechanic potential seems good, but the death grip is really killing everything. Your death grip is tight. You wrist is almost totally frozen. You actively pull with a tight bicep and shoulder. You have a tight core. The follow through is tight.

    Check out a few forehands from Nadal in this video. Really look at how loose his grip, wrist, arms, and shoulder are:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPP1R1Gumq4&t=1m

    I'm not saying you can reach Nadal's looseness, but check out his follow through. His wrist, arm, shoulders are so loose that his racquet follows through behind his back on the other side of his body. Ultimate looseness.

    I think if you loosen it up, a lot will fall into place on your stroke.
     
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  6. syke

    syke Professional

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    Look at your stroke difference when you start the rallies with the ball in your hand.

    It looks to me you have an abbreviated low to high swing path but without the racquet head speed to bring the ball back down. That's why on your bad shots, they tend to be high and long.
     
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  7. FailBetter

    FailBetter New User

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    Death grip = very tight grip?

    so are there any tricks to loosen it up?
    the problem is when i relax more all balls fly to long / high
     
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  8. RetroSpin

    RetroSpin Hall of Fame

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    You are trying to hit a modern forehand but you are using a staple of the old school forehand, a fixed wrist. Like LeeD and rick said, you need to relax your grip and wrist and let your wrist lay back as you start the forward swing. You want the butt of the racquet to point at the ball. Once you start doing this, you will be able to generate topspin without the exaggerated low to high swing path you are using. That in itself should improve your consistency.
     
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  9. FailBetter

    FailBetter New User

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    Today i tried to be more relaxed. But when i do this all my balls are going long & high..

    I dont get it. When i watch the video i think the butt of the racquet is pointing at the ball isnt it?
     
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  10. FailBetter

    FailBetter New User

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    #10
  11. FailBetter

    FailBetter New User

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    #11
  12. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    The racket is way too low on the first forehand (unless you let the ball drop so you hit it at waist height). It shouldn't be more than a foot below the intended contact point. The second forehand looks better.
     
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  13. RetroSpin

    RetroSpin Hall of Fame

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    You do seem to have the butt pointed more than I thought.

    There is a video on youtube about maintaining the racquet plane. Basically, as you move through impact and across your body, you want the racquet to stay in the same plane. Long and short inconsistency is often a result of inconsistencies in the face angle at impact. Of course, if you go out and try to do that, the problem is you will want to lock your wrist, which creates other problems.

    Are you sure you are seeing the ball at impact? For me, this is often the answer when I am hitting the ball poorly.
     
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  14. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    The real magic of keeping the plane the same is when you realize you can do this without locking your wrist. Instant racket speed+heavy spin+complete control.
     
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  15. FailBetter

    FailBetter New User

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    Yes thats true I think. often I dont see the ball at impact. So its all about watching the ball?
     
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  16. Curiosity

    Curiosity Semi-Pro

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    You do use your off (left) arm. Good. You do routinely use upper body rotation. Good. You obviously have good hand-eye coordination. Your feet move. Also good.

    So do yourself a favor. Remake the hitting-arm part of your forehand. It will take you a week or less to a useable version. Instead of muscling your racquet up all the way, just learn a modern swing.

    You'll want to learn to take the racquet back with the racquet head high, the handle low.
    You'll take the racquet down closed in the final motions of the backswing, prepping for forward motion by pulling your hitting upper arm back behind the front line of your chest. The racquet face will be closed through the entire swing. You'll do ESR, pull the racquet's butt cap out toward the ball, or even better, where you expect to contact the ball.

    Adopt a forward swing that uses external shoulder rotation (upper arm bone rotation clockwise, when looking down at your arm, in the shoulder joint) (Abkürzung: ESR) (If the term isn't familiar see the poster-provided short video at post #337 in the thread "Had my first real tennis lesson" by Shroud. Learn what the term means. There just is no understanding without it.

    If the coordination of the ESR start vis a vis upper body rotation isn't clear, briefly (laugh) see the Table Top Experiment in post #274 in that same thread.

    For a familiar professional example, see that thread's #328 which has a link to 15 step-by-step images/photos. #328 has 15 comments, both straight and in terms of The Table Top bit. Or you can just read the Tennis Speed blog's detailed analysis.

    If you actually look at the ESR (external shoulder rotation) short video at #337, read some of the detailed BS, look at the fifteen photos, then look at some slow-motion pro forehands of your choice (Want to keep a bent elbow? Djokovic. straight arm? Fed....the two forms both use ESR....and links to these both are at the bottom of post #274 of the "had my first real tennis lesson" thread).......figuring it out will take you a few evenings, then a few days on the tennis court. The stroke form is easier than what you are hitting now, and allows MUCH more variation and control of speed, topspin, height of ball you can handle. You'll quickly have a very flexible stable forehand that will last, feel natural, and make you happy.

    People may tell you "ESR is only needed if you will do ISR ('internal shoulder rotation') later." Bull. ESR provides a chain of stretched muscles in the shoulder and arm that will STABILIZE your swing and hit, allow and produce better racquet lag at the start, even if you never think much of ISR into the hit. It is the stability that makes ESR essentially mandatory in the contemporary forehand for both men and women.

    There. I'm done. Das Verfahren dieser Änderung ist wirklich viel einfacher, als Sie vielleicht erwarten.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2014
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  17. RajS

    RajS Rookie

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    @Curiosity: I have learnt a lot, reading your posts, thanks! ISR meant "Interrupt Service Routine" and ESR meant "Edge Service Router" to me until a few months ago... jargon from my work, of course, lol! Now I realize, reading various folks' great tips, that they are fundamental to tennis strokes.

    Anyway, my question is this: does ESR in the forehand and two handed backhand happen due to racket inertia as it is pulled from the inside to the outside with the butt pointing to the ball, or is there an active component to it? Thanks in advance for your reply.
     
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  18. GoudX

    GoudX Professional

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    You need to move your feet and bend your knees more to get your contact point more consistent. You should be swinging the upper body exactly the same for 70-90% of shots, and moving quickly and/or bending the knees to guard the contact point.
     
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  19. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    About grip

    This is from http://www.revolutionarytennis.com/handuse.html

    [​IMG]

    “Is it possible to think Nadal's hands above are not squeezing the handle, that only his arms flex and his hands are not firm? Even when his pinkie finger shows stress? Is it possible to think this act is involuntary on his part? Neither sound minds nor experienced players would think so. Compare his left hand when calm and holding a trophy, most right.”

    IMO player with semiwestern forehand should use firm grip.
     
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  20. JonC

    JonC Banned

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    Arm looks tight and you're not getting much backward rotation.
    I'd think loose arm, getting more sideways, and "releasing" the racket after contact.
     
    #20
  21. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    Inertia plays a role definitely, but the question is, are you doing it automatically? If so, then keep doing it, but if not, then you have to actively do it (which is not the same as forcing it). Once it becomes a habit, then it isn't so active anymore.
     
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  22. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    The loop that you start your swing with is a waste because you start the loop then go down and kinda stop and start your swing again. So either forget the loop and just bring racket back and drop into swing or learn to use your loop with a continuos motion.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2014
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  23. RajS

    RajS Rookie

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    I really don't know if I am doing it. I went back to a frame from a video I have posted here before, and got the critical one, I think:

    [​IMG]

    Does this look like I have "ESR"? If not, what should I do? Thanks!

    Edit: It looks like my shoulders are cramped!

    Edit2: All my videos are in my signature URL.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2014
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  24. Curiosity

    Curiosity Semi-Pro

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    No, ESR happens because you "do it." To get the upper arm to rotate in the shoulder joint (ESR) requires the active use of small muscles to cause the upper arm bone to rotate. I agree with Topspin in this aspect: You don't have to think about it once you build it into your stroke, because it's a very simple quick movement, rotation, and becomes habitual quickly once you get the feel of it at the shoulder. (And you'll notice you lost some power and control, and the ability to do much ISR into the hit, if your habit heads south.)

    [It is automatic in this sense, that if you rotate your forearm/hand clockwise enough just as UB rotation starts...enough to get the butt cap pointed out toward the ball (or better, out toward where you expect to contact the ball) with a STRAIGHT ARM forehand a la Rafa and Fed, you'll get the ESR, too, necessarily. It is possible, however, to rotate the forearm/hand to get the butt cap pointed toward the ball with the so-called double bend forehand.... without producing the ESR, as Topspin showed very well in his video clip.]

    What IS automatic (i.e. it simply results if you do some amount of ESR, get your UB rotating, and have set up correctly) is the heavy lag, both vertical and lateral, that will be produced because you do some ESR just at the instant you've started forward upper body rotation. You'll see, if you experiment, that the ESR enables a greater range of lag, freedom of lag extent and depth. That heavy lag makes it much easier to get the butt cap pointed toward the place where you expect to contact the ball: This pointing toward "the contact point," not the ball is extremely easy to see if you watch the Fed AND Rafa clips referred to below. You can SEE that they do it. You will have no doubt of it.

    Also it will be automatic that your upper hitting arm will start swinging due to your upper body rotation IF you have done enough ESR soon enough (try it to see what I mean, experiment), and if your upper arm is somewhat close to your torso (look at pro examples for that limit...elbow to body needs to be within approx. a foot, maybe farther). The "somewhat close to your torso" bit has two motives for my saying it: First, the lockup at the shoulder will be more effective if you get the upper arm somewhat close, and Second, you don't want to do ESR and rotate your torso with your hitting arm straight out to the side, for shoulder safety reasons. (If try that, better do it in super-slow motion...)

    IF your upper hitting arm is fairly close to your side at first forward UB rotation but you DO NOT do ESR, you will find, by experiment, that your hitting arm is free to simply fall behind, not come forward with the rotation. Try this. It is a bad thing that ESR prevents automatically. It wastes the power, big mo, of the UB rotation, and allows a lot of instability into your swing. ESR is good thing even if you never use much ISR into the hit....

    You will notice this "upper body powering the upper arm" continues almost until his chest is facing the net in Rafa's forehand, and only slightly less UB rotation for Fed, before the arm and shoulder become the main actors in the swing independent of the UB, even gaining momentum from the UB's sudden loss of rotation speed.

    What did I mean by saying "if you have set up correctly"? You'll notice that both Rafa and Fed take their racquet back with some 'netward' tilt to the racquet relative to the hand, a bit of cocking toward the thumb. That stays through the backswing and first forward motion, and determines (together with the speed of your first UB rotation, how far "back and inward" your racquet will lag. If you want also to set up so that the racquet head goes much lower upon UB rotation's start, then also tilt the racquet a bit head-high, or more vertical, before UB rotation starts: The racquet head will then lag not only 'back and in' but noticeably down. Experiment to get the feel. There are times, balls, for which that down lag is vital.

    There. I've provided one of my characteristically brief answers, and hope it suffices. Once you learn ESR from TS's video and various descriptions look at Rafa, Fed, and Djokovic forehands carefully via the super-slow motion videos linked in #274 of "had my first real tennis lesson" to get a deeper visual detail.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2014
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  25. Curiosity

    Curiosity Semi-Pro

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    NO! In that still photo you HAVE laid back your wrist, you've supinated your forearm a lot, but not done ESR, or, to be polite, not much ESR at all. If you were doing enough ESR as you started upper body rotation forward, your elbow would not be pointing back like that. It would be at least as far forward, if not more, than your hitting hand. Please look at the photo provided multiple times in the "had my first real tennis lesson" thread, for example at post #'s 275 (toly's embed of the ITF booklet I referenced), TS's #337 video, and the Djokovic slow motion video at the bottom of #274, all in that "had my first real tennis lesson" thread.

    ESR in the forehand is often called "pulling the elbow through" because, just at the start of forward Upper Body rotation, just before any arm forward motion, you rotate the upper arm bone clockwise in the shoulder joint (clockwise as you are looking down at your upper arm)so that (and you can see this, look at it) your elbow that was farther back than your hitting hand...comes under and forward, until it is even with or a bit ahead of your hitting hand, and is in line with your torso's side, at first forward hitting arm motion. You will ALSO, of course, simultaneously do the forearm/hand supination that you show in your still photo. [Off the court but with a racquet, just experiment a bit with trying to get your elbow to come forward of your hand by letting the upper arm bone rotate clockwise....which simultaneously let you point the butt cap forward, even forward and outward a bit....and before any rotation or 'swing' even. Try it.]

    You will feel a strain in your shoulder if you do sufficient ESR. Your elbow will come forward facing the side of your upper body: the side, elbow, forearm, and hand will make nearly a line (don't strain to much at first.....). I suggest you try this: hold your racquet with a straight arm down at your side. Look at your elbow. Now try to make your elbow come close to your side, forward, but only by rotating your arm back, so that your racquet is pointing nearly to the back fence. Now do the same thing, but with a somewhat bent arm, rotating your upper arm at your side until the racquet is pointing nearly backwards. Look at the material referenced in the previous post.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2014
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  26. RajS

    RajS Rookie

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    @Curiosity: Thanks! I have to read all the posts you have mentioned again to make sure I get it, but I think I do. I will try it tomorrow and post a follow up. I may have to start doing some stretching exercises for the shoulder to be able to rotate the upper arm that much!
     
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  27. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    Raj, I would worry a lot more about your prep on those forehands than your slot position. Yes, your slot position is off in some regards, but I'll bet a lot of that is because of your prep. And the last thing you want to do is start trying to incorporate ESR (and frankly, I'm not sure how much I like that term) without the proper prep; you're asking for stroke issues/potential for injury.
     
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  28. Curiosity

    Curiosity Semi-Pro

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    I'm curious: Why would incorporating ESR be the last thing he would want to do? As for injury, if he brings a vanilla backswing (not a compact one) to it, are you concerned about his shoulder?

    The term has become so standard that a more descriptive one (for example 'external rotation of the upper arm bone in the shoulder joint', ERUABSJ) has become an impractical change, it seems to me.

    The 'slot' is actually called the slot because that's the position, and the moment, in which you pull the elbow through..... ESR.
     
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  29. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    Because the ATP, slot, lag, etc. forehand requires the correct unit turn (regardless of whether you want a loop or straight backswing), and Raj doesn't have it at this point. He's arming his shots enough as is, and if he tries to incorporate ESR this way, he has a good chance of arming his shots even more. (Note that I'm not saying he shouldn't incorporate ESR; I'm saying he shouldn't incorporate it without the proper prep.) And ESR isn't the only movement in the slot position; there's forearm supination, wrist extension, etc. Focusing on one movement to the exclusion of the others will most likely result in exaggerating the first movement and leaving out the others.
     
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  30. Curiosity

    Curiosity Semi-Pro

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    Topspin, this'll make you laugh: I thought that if Raj carefully looked into ESR, he might, as a consequence, learn that he must learn the unit turn...because in my mind the the initial reversal of the unit turn (i.e. the rotation forward) and the creation of ESR are naturally twins occurring together. And worse, I can't imagine a unit turn that does not involve ESR in its unwinding, whether a little bit like Kvitova, a bit more (like Sharapova), or a lot, like the mens' side.

    Which is why I pointed him earlier to #274 and the Table Top. But I basically agree with you: If someone isn't inclined to take such hints seriously, ESR can do harm. That goes for "catching the racquet's weight on your large forearm muscles, not on your wrist," a caution needed not just in relation to ESR, but also in relation simply to lag when initiating forward rotation briskly, even without ESR. People take shortcuts, and seem inclined to try out motions in rallies, rather than carefully easing into the thing with shadow swings, slowly getting the idea, then hitting a few fed balls. Such is life.
     
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  31. syke

    syke Professional

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    Nadal is an exception. It's blasphemous to say he's doing it wrong. I mean look at all the blisters on his hands.
     
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  32. FailBetter

    FailBetter New User

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    thanks a lot curiosity! I tried it to day and it worked already great! Maybe because i used this ESR already when i was junior player.
    I think i've just forget this motion when i started playing tennis again after 6 years off..
     
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  33. RajS

    RajS Rookie

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    @Topspin Shot & @Curiosity: I tried to incorporate some ESR today, and I found that I had to prepare a little differently. With my elbow bent as in the picture, I could not do it without stressing the arm - ouch! I think it happens naturally if the arm straightens out at the bottom of the back swing and the racket butt points to the contact position, and then bends during the forward swing as usual for me. I had to separate the arm a little more from the body than I normally do. It seemed like it was not too hard, and the result was sweet (more power, more body), but I need to get used to it. I will post a video after I practice this for a few days, for your suggestions/comments. Thanks again!
     
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  34. Curiosity

    Curiosity Semi-Pro

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    Good. You looked like a former junior player who remembered the ending of his forehand, but not the beginning and middle. Laugh. Have fun.

    I suppose you'll remember this, too: Creating enough ESR just as you begin your upper body forward rotation has a big speed purpose. If you turned your upper body well back during the backswing AND you get your upper arm behind the plane of your chest before starting forward UB rotation AND you do enough ESR to get the racquet butt cap pointing forward immediately as your upper body starts rotating forward....THEN the upper arm will be locked at the shoulder, have to move around and forward with the shoulder, so the upper body will power your hitting upper arm around for you (along with the rest of your arm and the racquet. Laugh.) That is WHY every good player bothers with ESR (well, that and the benefit to the racquet lag and swing stability while accelerating the hitting arm and racquet). That is also why the best determinant of ultimate racquet head speed into the hit, keeping incoming ball speed as a constant, is this: the speed of your upper body rotation (ITF, I don't have the paper in front of me....) You'll notice the shoulder leading the upper arm around on any good pro swing. Rafa is a superlative example, or Fed (almost all the way...).

    Truth be known, the whole "hitting upper arm behind the plane of the chest, do ESR just as forward UB rotation begins" ALSO works with a fairly open stance and not quite full rotation back: That was Guga's forehand most of the time when he was hitting open, but using the magic of the ESR-induced arm lockup. Such is life. Don't tell the kids or they'll cheat on their unit backswing/rotation.....
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2014
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  35. Curiosity

    Curiosity Semi-Pro

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    It is easier to do ESR with a straight arm, perhaps, which is how I hit a forehand. Remember this though as you experiment: How ever far you rotate back in your backswing, you will want your hitting upper arm to be behind the plane of your chest before you do ESR, which you will do exactly as you start your upper body rotating forward. Let your upper body rotation, your shoulder, then lead your swing forward, let the UB rotation power your upper arm out and forward for at least half of your swing. Less muscle. More technique. We look forward to your next video. (There is no need to max your upper arm external rotation in one week. Get the hang of it. Ease into it. Understand how it is, in essence, locking your upper arm to your shoulder, so that all that upper body rotation will provide you with power, speed, stability....when you rotate forward.)
    Also note this: You get the lockup benefit of ESR even if you do just a moderate amount, i.e. like Sharapova, not like Rafa. For now. Laugh. But it's true.

    Nothing should hurt when you add ESR.
    If your wrist seems stressed as you first rotate your forearm as you do ESR with your upper arm, just make sure that at the instant you are going to "flip the racquet back" you raise your knuckles (wrist extension),.....I think of it as "pushing the heel of my hand down," the instant before rotation.
    The inertia you mentioned that causes your racquet to lag back as you start to rotate forward....should provide the power for the racquet to flip and lag back!
    Keep your shoulder square as you start the UB rotation and ESR: That means keep it out at the side relaxed where it always is normally: Don't move your whole shoulder forward or back! Just do ESR as you start to rotate your upper body. If anything is uncomfortable, post a description here.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2014
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  36. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    I believe pros teach ESR - even if they don't say so..

    Mario Llano:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sZ1cYHK1fE

    Step 4 in this guys video:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsDd-nKwWvU&list=PLJP-Wou-v6z0iK77rrkK-fj6e9gdm4i_5

    I been trying to add this into my forehand - and I do think is a better way to think about it. The only issue is that it needs to be a smooth continuous motion..

    Curiosity is onto something with his ESR in the forehand. I think guys kinda 'skip' this step because its 'natural'.. But I am not sure its natural till you incorporate into your stroke.

    Interestingly I have a coach that's trying to teach me the straight arm modern forehand - L backswing - across the body finish. But the ESR to do the loop is the missing step, IMHO.
     
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  37. Curiosity

    Curiosity Semi-Pro

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    First, about the 'smooth continuous action:' IF you do (don't laugh) the Table Top Experiment, meaning if you blend your ESR-doing immediately into the initial UB rotation, which you will, because that's when the racquet lag happens, so you're going to rotate that arm anyway in your straight-arm forehand....then it will be smooth and happen very fast (well, if your UB rotation is fast...).

    Learning the straight arm forehand: I'm interested, but I'm not quite sure what "to do the loop" means. I would say it is impossible to hit a straight arm modern forehand without doing major ESR immediately as you begin forward upper body rotation. The coach may think "well, if he starts his UB rotating and simultaneously rotates his straight arm until the racquet's lagging and the butt cap's facing the ball (or expected point of contact)...then he's doing ESR and doesn't have to know." I personally think that's an absurd reason not to describe it fully and name it for you.... but it is ENDEMIC in the tennis coaching world. Don't ask me why. I see so many players with sort of good forehands that would become very good forehands except they don't know ESR, so they use a double bend, they use a ton of pronation (a la Raj) to get lag and the butt cap forward, but they are missing the key ingredient of a stable fast swing, the ESR lockup so that UB rotation can generate almost all the initial power, upper arm acceleration. A player only needs to know pronation, supination, ESR, ISR, and a few trivial terms (flexing, extension, ulnar deviation) and his set for life. I would (well, did) teach a young player that in the first week. I'm not a pro, and only do such teaching for pals, friends, never for money. I'm an attorney.

    On the straight arm forehand: I switched to it years ago. It started as a lark. I'd learned the ATP generic forehand perhaps 11 years ago, and one day some years back I thought I'd try the Rafa/Fed bit, expecting it to be horribly difficult...just a day's experiment. NO, it turned out to be easier, and I'll you exactly in what way: First, you do absolutely have to lead your swing with your shoulder, your UB. But that's true of a good ATP double bend forehand as well. THE EASY BIT: If you hit with an advanced player (recent Div I or a good club's A team type....fast balls...when you hit the straight arm forehand you do this: You set up correctly for lag and height in the backswing, you use your off arm in a standard way, at first tracking the incoming ball rising from the bounce, trying to make your hand follow the angle down that the ball is rising up from the bounce, briefly get on the same slope...and then you do the usual pulling the off arm leftward for momentum and then pulling it in for the rotation boost exactly as you begin your UB rotation and ESR....that's all just like the ATP double bend.

    Here's the good part: As you're rotating and your hitting hand is pulling the racquet out and forward with a straight arm you pull your hand as directly as you can on an arc up and out toward the point in space where you expect to contact the ball. (It sounds like some big new skill but it isn't, it quickly becomes simple.)

    Of course as your hand arcs out to that point (powered by your UB rotation, really) it can't keep going, but has to eventually follow the arc to the left. AT THAT POINT YOU JUST LET YOUR HAND CONTINUE THE ARC fast AND BAM, YOUR RACQUET HEAD GOES JUST WHERE YOUR HAND WAS POINTING 10 MILLISECONDS AGO. Laugh. All caps. It's that fun. It really is easier to get your racquet head on a fast ball cleanly. (If your hand is on a steep arc up to that contact point, as in 'oh my good its a huge topspin bouncer,' then when you pull left, your hand is still rising on that arc, and so is the racquet head, so it still works.) There are other advantages to the L backswing, as you call it, but I won't belabor that now.
     
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  38. Curiosity

    Curiosity Semi-Pro

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  39. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    I think he is trying to not cover the lag too much (though he does cover it some talking about how Fed turns the racquet as he begins his forward swing..

    But if you are looking for a video that explains ESR - its a good one I think. After I saw that I finally got what ESR is and I could see it in other videos.

    Now I see ESR everywhere - like in the serve. So keep up the good fight - your posts are great. Just look for videos that explain it..

    I notice that most pros don't even cover backswing really. Jeff Salzenstien thinks it will happen - great coach..but no..it doesn't seem too.. it is like the missing link IMHO and only covered indirectly. Some people use ESR as a means to show a compact backswing. Others talk about 'dropping the racquet head' (again mostly ESR).. Others still talk about pointing the butt cap up at the ball (ESR too, IMHO). There can also be some deviation and flexion going on in the wrist..
     
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  40. Curiosity

    Curiosity Semi-Pro

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    I do get it, why you think Lloma's video is good to show the motion.

    Yes, I should track down a few online videos. I'm glad TS posted his. And ESR is involved in a number of important tennis motions, which is a good reason to know what it is and have a name for it, at least in my view. In some actions it does happen automatically. In the forehand it needs to happen 'extra' and at a certain time in the thing to get the benefits, so hoping a player does it by luck isn't a satisfactory solution. Anyway, onward!
     
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  41. sjoerdklarenbeek

    sjoerdklarenbeek Rookie

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    Most has been said already. What strikes me is the way you bend over sideways over your right hip towards the ball. That is not very efficient for generating power. I think maybe you should use more upper body rotation. Be a bit more Federer-like: be loose, let natural rotations and swings of your body parts generate power, and "look the ball onto the strings". Easier said than done. Perhaps it helps if you try to imagine that you can hit the ball hard without using muscle power.
     
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  42. Curiosity

    Curiosity Semi-Pro

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    Did you see FailBetter's post #32?
     
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  43. RajS

    RajS Rookie

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    This is just a quick progress report after two sessions of practice. I hit against the wall and did shadow swings yesterday, and today I hit with a friend.

    I really like the straighter arm for the forehand, at least until the forward swing starts. I am not really trying to do ESR, but I feel like it is happening automatically as I point the racket butt at the ball. Probably the forearm supination and ESR are melding into one motion. Pushing off the ground and starting UB rotation just seems to fling the racket forward - this did not happen before as strongly as it is happening now. The arm seems to be more wound up and connected to the body. I practiced with a higher level player today, and he was all smiles and approval at the change, so it seems I am doing something right...

    I decided to break up what I am doing into a small progression. I am not trying to spin the ball as usual or hit too hard, although the basic action seems to have spin and pace built in. Once I feel comfortable, I will do my usual spinning action with the wrist/forearm (pronation, I believe). When I get around to making a video, I hope it will reflect the changes I am feeling, but I am getting used to not looking like a pro on video, lol!

    Another thing I am doing is incorporating this concept into my two handed backhand. Just keeping the left hand straight and pointing the racket butt at the ball seems to do it, similar to the forehand. The extra power is nice... makes it easier to hit deep!
     
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  44. Curiosity

    Curiosity Semi-Pro

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    Yes. Just 'yes' to all the sentences. Question: Why not try using the straight-arm FH into the hit, if only for an hour for fun? But all the comments you made are what is expected, and yes, getting the ESR is easier (mentally, mainly) with a straight-arm start. Once you really get the feeling of the tension it induces in the front muscles of the shoulder and pec 'wing' you'll find it easier to achieve that when doing a 'double bend forehand' from the start, if you ever revert. But don't! No worries. Just realize that it is the ESR at the start, which 'locks' the upper arm to the UB/shoulder, that is giving you the extra power. The pronation lets you point the butt cap forward, but does nothing itself to allow efficient use of UB power, does nothing itself (beyond simplest weakest lag), to provide stability.

    Yes, if you get the hitting upper arm at least back to or behind the plane of your chest when you do ESR (by keeping a straight arm and thinking 'get the butt cap pointed toward the ball") you will get automatic pace, power, from your UB rotation. That is, really, the main point of the ESR (and of the full UB rotation back....). Note this carefully: The longer you let the UB, shoulder, lead the "locked by ESR" hitting upper arm around, and the faster you do UB rotation, the more power you will get. This is WHY good players perform ESR in the transition, and such fast and full UB rotation. The reason their hitting upper arm stays in line with their UB so long during that rotation....is BECAUSE they 'locked' the hitting arm with ESR in the transition, and are letting the UB power the upper arm (plus all that other stuff, the forearm, hand, and racquet) around. To make that super clear you can watch Rafa hit practice forehands from 4 minutes to 8 (and especially clear from 5 minutes on) in this slow motion clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOBdbgZD05U I really hope you'll watch it a bit.

    Now is Rafa's forehand less mysterious? I would hope so. (Once his UB rotation is full, his chest nearly facing the net, the UB has nothing more to offer, it stops, the arm gets mo from the stop, and the arm takes over.)

    Edit: I am shocked, shocked I tell you (laugh) that many (most?) players don't know that ESR LOCKS the upper arm at the shoulder joint, so that when the UB rotates, the upper arm MUST. I suppose players just thing "I'm using shoulder muscle!" No. And neither is Rafa. And it's so EASY to experiment in order to verify this. Without ESR (so with your hitting arm neutral or a bit ISR at the start) your hitting upper arm can simply flop behind, and you'll rely on nothing but small and variable muscles to bring the racquet around. WITH ESR performed in the transition but with the hitting upper arm still at or behind the chest plane, the UB rotation will power the upper arm around, and that 'lock' plus the UB's inherent stability will make a repeatable powerful forehand much easier to achieve.
     
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  45. RajS

    RajS Rookie

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    @Curiosity: Indeed, Rafa's forehand is much more meaningful to watch now, thanks. Like you said, the UB rotation drags the arm and the racket along, and propels it into kingdom come!

    Edit: I forgot to add that yes, I will try the full straight arm forehand, for sure!
     
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  46. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    While I straight armed forehand or backhand does apply longer leverage to hit the ball harder, and also employs an easy laid back wrist, I find it less useful because of the need to compensate for action of the incoming ball, with perfect spacing needed to hit straight armed.
    Proven by tons of pics of WTA players hitting extreme bend elbows. WTA players need to hit more groundies than their fellow ATP guys.
    Of the ATP guys, only a handful in the top 200 hit with straight elbows.
     
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  47. Curiosity

    Curiosity Semi-Pro

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    It is true that only approx. 32 of the last 36 majors have been won by straight-arm FH guys. The straight-arm FH is still an unproven concept because, look for yourself, the other 197 guys don't use it! Although I will note that an old man hitting straight-arm almost beat a youngin hitting double-bend last Sunday..... The 4th set. Wow.

    Kidding aside, the theory (and observable practice) is that you don't start the FH forward swing, the 'first forward motion,' until after the ball has bounced and you have a brief read on its spin and angle of ascent.

    As for laying back the wrist, that's done via forearm pronation, not ESR, and is easy with either straight or double-bend, or so it seems to me. For people that don't quite get (yet....) ESR, which is about the lockup above all, and the later ISR for many players...a straight arm and heavy pronation at first forward motion (motion powered by the UB rotation) lets them get solid ESR "the easy way."

    I'm not an advocate for the straight-arm, though I do think it's fun not because of power, leverage, but for other reasons. I find its main virtue comes when the hitter learns to pull the butt cap out "to where they expect to contact the ball" as opposed to "toward the ball." That "out toward contact point" bit makes it simpler to hit balls that are coming in very fast with spin, or so I found. Just let the hand continue around its arc and the racquet head goes where the hand was headed. I feel about ESR, at this point, like I imagine a 20-year-old coming back from a rave feels, trying to convince others that ecstasy really does change the experience. Laugh. Experiment! Try what works for you! I know what works for very good players, whether they hit with a straight or double-bend: ESR in the transition to the forward swing. I know. I sound like a missionary preaching to cannibals. Laugh.
     
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  48. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Interesting take, and only mildly applicable with your ATP stats.
    Even Federer often hit's a slight bent arm forehand.
    How do you explain all those super bent arm forehands of the WTA players, those girl's getting more coaching than anyone in tennis.
    You might be saying a more straight arm groundies is a more advanced level of groundie, of which I cannot deny.
    But, if the ball has already bounced, it's much too late to move any feet or legs to compensate for inexact spacing.
     
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  49. Curiosity

    Curiosity Semi-Pro

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    Agree that he often enough has to pull the arm in as an adjustment: That's just a mirror of a double-bend player, say Djokovic, often having to straighten out to get a ball, I suppose.

    I'll suppose, about the WTA players, that they are well-advised to take the ball with their upper arm closer to the body...because it provides a slightly stronger position at the shoulder, and they have (only on average) weaker shoulders.

    About the straight-arm FH I can speak from experience: It was years ago, but the memory is this: When I tried it dragging the butt cap toward the ball, I felt it was more difficult to hit well than the bent. When I pulled up good video of both Fed and Raf, and could conclusively see each of them was pulling out to the expected point of contact, not more forward and toward the ball, and I tried it, it was like the clouds parted and the sun came out. I found the straight easier to hit well, especially (and surprisingly) against much younger faster-hitting guys. It changed the visual cue: The hand provided a strong confidence in where the racquet head would end up, and fast. It also lead to more 'automatic' topspin, because of the greater tension that the slightly more side-ward push caused. (It was actually after concluding the "out to the expected point of contact" was the thing, that I took more seriously the use of the off arm to at first focus on the ball's track up from the bounce....)

    I have no opinion on which someone should choose. I think THAT is where a good experienced coach comes in, evaluating the player, their strengths, and judging how well each style fits the rest of a player's technique, helping the player come to his choice. I have zero expertise in that aspect of things.
     
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  50. Curiosity

    Curiosity Semi-Pro

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    If you turn back well and get your racquet/hitting hand deep enough back, starting with a straight arm and rotating it (ESR and pronation....) just as you start UB rotation, isn't odd. Here, watch Djokovic do exactly that at 5:10, 5:59, and 6:40:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UN6L0MICG1w&list=PLWD3MNWW-vJ-ffGbGjAvoVI9Y4l0TG40G
     
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