Forehands going long

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by anubis, May 15, 2012.

  1. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    My guess is you aren't putting consistency first. You're working really hard on your mechanics, trying to play like the pros, but even the pros put consistency first. Watch a video of Rafa Nadal hitting in practice, and then watch him play a match. He plays it much safer in the match, and he's not unique at all. If your goal is to win, don't attempt a shot you aren't confident you can make. An analogy would be that a groundstroke is like a second serve. You can't allow yourself to miss more than the occasional groundstroke, even if that means hitting it slow and safe. As you progress with your technique, you'll find that you can swing out and keep the ball in, but you just aren't there yet.
     
  2. spun_out

    spun_out Rookie

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    Gut/poly should give you better power and spin (and most likely comfort) than multi/poly at same tension.

    The string setup I am suggesting (something like 50/45 gut/poly) is a very powerful setup. You can alternatively start with something like 45/40 gut/poly, which may be less powerful.

    What you should find at lower tension is a higher rebound angle. Given that the launch angle of your shots are controlled by swing path, racquet face angle at contact, and rebound angle off your strings, you can close the racquet face more at contact with the same swing path (and speed) and clear the net. The closed racquet face angle will give you more spin, everything else being equal (gut will also snap back to provide higher rebound angle and spin).

    And as I said above, I don't think it'll hurt to experiment with it because you will learn a lot about controlling the racquet face angle if you change the string setup drastically as I have suggested here. Even if you return to your old setup, you will have gained more awareness of the racquet face angle, which can never hurt.

    As for the people who string at 65lb poly, they are most likely using tension to tame power and relying on their strings to keep the ball in, unless they are super hard hitter a la James Blake.

    I myself use 37/40 BHBR/PS Energy on a Vantage 100, leaded up to SW350 or so.
     
  3. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    I understand, but I'm not trying to play like the pros. Do you see me trying to murder the ball in my above video? No, I'm hitting rather soft, just going for placement and plenty of net clearance. That's how I hit in matches.

    I played a match over the weekend and I lost the first set 6-1. I hit as deep as I could right up the middle -- totally high % tennis. Plenty of clearance, only once in a while going for corners. I just wanted to keep the ball in play and hit with medium pace. Obviously my opponent had a field day with me.

    I don't try for anything fancy, I don't play low % tennis. My motto is: get it in, get it over the net, get it deep. Its a tactic that worked well at 3.0, but now that I'm playing 3.5 and 4.0, i'm finding that I have no weapons, no methods of winning games.
     
  4. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    Thank you for your suggestion. When my tournament is over this weekend, I'll get a pack of gut and try it out!
     
  5. spun_out

    spun_out Rookie

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    But isn't this the important question, how he progresses with his technique, how he gets 'there'? If he practices 10-15hr a week and has coaches and seems to be athletic/in good shape, then shouldn't he have gotten 'there' already, at least so that he can have a winning record in 3.5?
     
  6. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    If you don't mind me chipping in, how about full bed natural gut, mid tension?

    On a BLX Amplifeel Wilson 6.1 95 (2012) 16X18.
     
  7. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    Without having watched the video, based on your description alone, that's kinda defensive style of playing; one needs weapons (such a FH) AND at least a first strike weapon (either server or ROS).

    I'd rather play like Djokovic than Nadal: having the confidence that my deep, penetrating balls will push the opponent back.
     
  8. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    Do you study high speed videos of your strokes?
     
  9. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    Also are you able to diagnose your own game?

    Finally some people would rather learn by feeling than be nagged by coaches (and/or the quality of coaches can be low in some areas, mine included mind you).
     
  10. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Simple...
    If you hit too far, lower your darn trajectory.
    If you can't figure this, you cannot possibly figure out how to hit the ball IN.
     
  11. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    Well if it's anything like full bed of multi at mid tension, then all my shots will hit the back fence. I can't keep anything in unless I have a poly in the cross to provide for plenty of mains string movement. As long as with natural gut the strings don't glue themselves together, perhaps that would work.

    Yes, because that's all I can do. If I play more aggressively, then my 30 UEs per match goes up to 60 UEs per match. Playing defensively is all I can do to keep the ball in play. With all of the training that I do, I still haven't figured out yet how to really punish the ball, to really have a forehand that does damage.


    No, I don't have a high speed camera. Would be nice, though

    No, I'm not able to diagnose my game. I wouldn't know what to look for. I don't really care how I learn, whether it's a nagging coach or whatever. I'm just tired of not improving and losing. I put too much work in not to see results.
     
  12. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    :):)
    There you go, exactly what I predicted!.
    Look at the side, look underneath you, look behind you, look above you, look behind the doors around you, but don't bother to look straight ahead.:):)
     
  13. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    To keep things simple: ATP forehand and keep your eyes at contact point through contact....Have confidence and patience to learn how to hit hard and flat (in court, not long etc).

    BTW I would also switch from a head heavy racquet like APD to a head light racket, but with larger static weight....
    An open pattern will also help with full bed natural gut (again help preventing the balls from sailing long due to more spin generation).
     
  14. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Priceless thread there! :):)
    Blame everything, everyone, but don't see the solution.
    Just priceless.
     
  15. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    They are not very costly these days.
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=484212

    Before high speed video became available, the high speed cameras were 16 mm film cameras. The cameras cost $5,000 plus in 1970s & 1980s dollars and the rolls of film cost maybe $30 each for a short roll plus film processing. There was not much high speed imaging done of tennis strokes! Probably next to none outside of research.
     
  16. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    My APD is 7 points HL, weighs 326 grams, and is an open string pattern. I think its a good frame, works well for me in doubles.
     
  17. spun_out

    spun_out Rookie

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    You are misunderstanding the fact that knowing the solution does not mean that one can implement it. You may be able to, but others may not.
     
  18. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    1. SLIGHTLY stronger grip.
    2. Flatten swingpath.
    3. With both, aim lower over the net, do not hit 5' above the netcord.
     
  19. spun_out

    spun_out Rookie

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    I don't think that things you mention here are simple. In fact, they are rather difficult.
     
  20. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    When there is a problem, ALWAYS look within first!
    1. Problem is, I keep hitting long. For Fed, it's AIM LOWER. For Nadal, it's AIM LOWER. For me, it's AIM LOWER.
    HOW you do it is up to you, but the easiest is to AIM LOWER.
     
  21. ProgressoR

    ProgressoR Hall of Fame

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    I saw a bit of the video and your stroke has lots of good things about it.

    But I saw your stroke as pretty flat, and the ball had little spin. With some spin, even hitting the ball 5 feet above the net should be falling in.

    I would seriously think that is the obvious thing to work on, making your stroke more low to high.

    I still find it hard to believe you are being encouraged to think about string set up.

    Just my view.
     
  22. spun_out

    spun_out Rookie

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    You have seen his video, correct? To me, his swing path is fine and is flatter than most. What he seems to be having problems with is repeating the same racquet face angle at contact. In one shot, it's fine; in the next, it's a bit more open and the shot goes long. And I would say that rally balls should stay in the court if hit 5' over the net.
     
  23. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    I understand but on the other hand:

    a) I'm not rated higher than him (I might be 3.5 max, dunno, we don't have same ratings at my club in Canada).

    b) That's the main thing I've been working over the last few years (ATP FH), results be damned (at least at times). It's problably the only thing that I do well (apparently better than my peers) and only now work more on other parts of my game.
     
  24. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    Without seeing the videos (again), I think you might be onto something, as I've realized myself that over the last couple of years I've started to do a better job at keeping the same angle at contact (as I result I also shank less and break less natural gut).
     
  25. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Saw vid, same old problem with 4.0 big hitter wanting the big forehand, but hit's flat and TOO HIGH over the net.
    ALL his shots going 2' above the net go IN.
    ALL his shots going 5+ feet higher than the net go LONG.
    What is the problem here? Is it his haircut? Is it his choice of shoes? Is it his shorts? Is it his shirt? Maybe GOD is intervening. Or rather, he hit's too high when he's getting tired or really warmed up, you choose.
     
  26. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    Actually my reason for mentioning an even more powerfull string setup was for him to understand that maybe it doesn't matter so much (also I have much more control with hybrid or multi, than with full bed natural gut. I just like the comfort and power of natural gut and learned to keep in play- more or less lol). Maybe the raquet itself matters, though.
     
  27. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    Hitting safe does not mean hitting it closer to the net. That is counter-intuitive.

    He should get good clearance over the net and have enough spin to bring the ball down. The doesn't mean he needs to aim lower. It means he needs to get more topspin. By creating more topspin, his stroke will naturally have a bit less pace.

    All he needs is more topspin. The rest takes care of itself.
     
  28. ProgressoR

    ProgressoR Hall of Fame

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    Racket can matter, strings can matter, set up can matter

    But if you cannot hit a consistent shot, none of that matters in the end.
     
  29. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    All he needs to hit lower over the net.
    By learning more topspin, his shots will go SLOWER, he cannot hit his "ATP" shots, and he will just swing harder, making him miss more and more.
    He's studied his strokes. He LIKES his flattish strokes. His flattish strokes just don't work when hit 5+ feet higher than the netcord, so he has to AIM lower, so hit flattish shots drop IN.
    Why relearn a new stroke, when he can simply aim lower?
     
  30. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    Or side spin to contribute to the topspin (as another poster advised him earlier), basically by swinging faster at the ball.

     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2014
  31. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    A control oriented racquet helps with consistency...
     
  32. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    You don't have to re-learn a stroke to apply more topspin. Flat strokes are fine. All of us choose to hit flat sometimes versus other times if we choose to hit more loopy. In all cases, a good stroke should have significant topspin applied to it to keep the ball safe.

    You say aim lower.

    I say aim wherever you want. Just make sure to have sufficient topspin to keep the ball safe on the other side.
     
  33. spun_out

    spun_out Rookie

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    I agree with most of this except for the last part. His problem is that the ball doesn't go where he aims. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't.
     
  34. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Should we maybe go into the mind of the OP?
    He hit's a few very nice inside out forehands, and then he starts going deeper and higher, maybe to be more aggressive, maybe to hit a winner, maybe to really pummell the ball like a pro. I do the same.
    So, whether he hit's like TLM, Nadal, or dead flat, it's the thought process failing him, not his strokes. He WANTS to hit harder and harder, once the first few go IN.
    So, aim lower.
    If he hit's like TLM, he's going crazy and destroying his body hitting massive toppspin attempting baseline winners.
    His current flat shots, like DavidNalbandian's forehand, works GREAT, but he needs to learn to harness the power, and learn to hit a rally ball....or accept the fact that NOBODY can go for a winner on every shot.
     
  35. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    I go for higher net clearance for two reasons:

    1. Depth is the most important thing for me. I'm GUARANTEED to lose the match if 75% of my groundstrokes land ON or BEHIND the service line. That's the case all over the world at this level, i'm sure of it. You hit short, you will be punished.

    Granted, I'm still losing matches, but at least I'm hitting deep. I'd be 0-7 instead of 1-6 if I wasn't hitting deep. Now I need to hit harder in order to hopefully win more matches -- I need more MPH.

    2. In order to hit deep, you either need to aim higher over the net, or hit harder. When I mix the two, I hit long. If I hit softer but still aim higher, it goes in, and it's deep.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2014
  36. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    I have control oriented frames. They are too low powered. I cannot hit the ball past the service line with those frames. I need more power in order to get the ball deep. It's just my limitation and I've accepted it.
     
  37. LakeSnake

    LakeSnake Semi-Pro

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    Anubis, maybe you need to go back down to the minors and get your confidence back up. You can work on adding more topspin in a safe environment. :)
     
  38. ProgressoR

    ProgressoR Hall of Fame

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    I use a control type racket with low power, you certainly have to use your strokes for the pace and power, not rely on the racket, it just forces you to improve mechanics, which is no bad thing.
     
  39. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    You mean perhaps I need to just come to grips that I'm not ready for 3.5 yet and I should go back to 3.0? Well, I certainly can't play 3.0 for the remainder of the year, that's just not fair to the people that I play. But if I continue my losing streak then I will probably get bumped back down to 3.0 next year. Perhaps then I can get my confidence up.
     
  40. torpantennis

    torpantennis Legend

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    My experience is totally different. Whenever I angle my shots INSIDE the service line, I tend to dominate rallies the most. If I just hit a loopy topspin stroke deep, the opponent will blast a flat killer that I cannot control. If however I move the opponent from side to side, and vary the depth of strokes appropriately, the opponent cannot hit killer shots and I feel I'm on the driver's seat, running the opponent around.

    Short in the center is undoubtedly bad, but short angled shot when your last shot was deep to the other side seems to cause a lot of problems to most of the opponents.
     
  41. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    OK, so I'm trying to incorporate more high % tennis to my game, in order to prevent a lot of mistakes. So what's the lower % of the following ideas:

    1. Hitting beyond the service line every time (and not being too concerned with the placement)
    2. Hitting beyond the service line every time, trying to avoid the middle of the court
    3. Hitting short, inside the service line, avoiding the middle

    IMO, those ideas are ranked from the highest % to lowest %. In other words, it should be easiest to do the first one, slightly harder to do 2nd, and lastly, the hardest to enact your idea.

    I guess because I'm currently not winning matches anyway, it doesn't really matter if I go back to playing low % techniques, so I guess it couldn't hurt to try. Do you think I might get better results if I try to hit those areas more often?
     
  42. vicp

    vicp New User

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    Hey Anubis,

    You probably need to stop obsessing about percentages and equipment (a 10 year old could probably hit a ball out of the court with a "control" racquet.

    As may have been suggested already - get some lessons or at least a basic book such as Yandell's Visual Tennis. Work on your stroke mechanics with feedback from a good coach and/or video of yourself (very, very helpful) so you can see what you are doing and compare it to others. Work easy strokes on a backboard - use foam, then kids low pressure (36) balls before regular tennis balls - let them bounce twice so your stroke is not rushed and have some sort of target or target area on the backboard/wall. After that, use a ball machine if you have access to one on really low setting - where it just dinks it across the net and eventually get a partner to play mini-tennis (short court - service line as base line) with you, using full strokes but keeping it in the service box. If your mechanics are good with spin, you should be able to use a somewhat full but slower stroke and keep the ball within the service line - otherwise you will hit them into the net or out.

    If you can do the mini-tennis with good stroke mechanics, you should have no problem with the full court.
     
  43. vicp

    vicp New User

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    BTW, if you need to get back to basics, check out Oscar Wegner or MTM. Lots of free videos on YT. The find, feel, finish method is a great way to get a lot of things in tune.
     
  44. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Well yeah..lol. The thing is that it is a tricky shot to hit all the time. I like to go deep to a corner, drop shot to other side - like you are saying.

    But the return on the deep shot does not always facilitate that.

    What I do instead is simply step inside the baseline for my next shot.

    I also now crash the net behind deep corner shots.

    Both things help accomplish what you are saying, except I'm not thinking in terms of shot selection, but positioning instead.
     
  45. Velvet Ga el

    Velvet Ga el Rookie

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    Video or lessons. Nobody here is going to be able to diagnose your issues without video, and without it, there's a good chance you don't even know what they are right now.

    You'll learn more from taping, editing, and watching one of your matches at home than you will asking people here for advice.

    From experience, people spend hundreds of dollars on racquets, shoes, apparel, etc. that does nothing for their tennis game. IMO, the first two purchases any newer rec player should make are a game improvement racquet and a video camera to film their matches.
     
  46. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    But why do I have to go through all that crap? Why do I have to go back to "school" and learn like a child? My contemporaries don't, my opponents don't -- no one else trains like that. Like I said before, I train harder and play more than anyone else -- but my results don't show that added effort. I'm getting destroyed by guys who don't even know what a "low pressure" ball is, who don't know what MTM method is, and who probably play maybe two hours per week.

    And if I'm wrong, if the 3.5s that bagel me are reviewing their strokes with high speed cameras, reading John Yandells books and are training twice as hard as I am, then I'll eat my racquet.

    I don't want to be Roger Federer. I just want to be competitive. Last year my win/loss ratio was around 0.77 (singles and doubles), now it's 0.25. So something major has changed, but "training" isn't one of them.
     
  47. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    But I never had to do that before. Why is it so important to have to watch high speed video of myself now? None of my opponents do that. Like I said, I lose to guys who play once per week.
     
  48. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    If you don't have enough pace maybe the proper body turn is not being applied well. Or the amount of the stretch shortening cycle, lag on the forehand, that you are using for pre-stretch is not enough.

    Maybe There is No Problem? That was probably a very small win-loss sample (# of matches) for the 0.77 and 0.25 comparison. Both years 3.5 level? Who did you play? Examine the records of your opponents both last year and this year. Sounds as if you might just be dealing with statistics of small samples.

    USTA Adult League Levels Singles & Doubles. Also, if your records were from USTA matches be aware that the strongest players, including some ringers, usually play adult singles. (What do ringers get out of playing well below their levels?) If the stronger players play singles the singles level of the league's single players tends to be more toward the next level up. 3.5 singles players are general stronger than average 3.5 players in my experience. More so at the 4.0 level.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2014
  49. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Ringers exist because the reality is that once you hit 4.5 and go any higher in USTA, you will barely find matches and have to play open tournaments, which are not as frequent.
     
  50. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    +1........
     

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