Fundamentals of Tennis?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by EaGamer, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. EaGamer

    EaGamer Rookie

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    I'm not even a year to playing tennis but I feel i'm improving substantially, any MAJOR fundamentals I should know before getting any farther into my tennis experience? Serving, backhands, forehands, slices, anything would help but please not too complicated :p thanks!
     
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  2. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Buy an instruction DVD
     
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  3. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    If you had to pick a time to invest in lessons, getting the stroke mechanics down early is your best investment.
     
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  4. EaGamer

    EaGamer Rookie

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    Yeah, I've been contemplating lessons but I'm just a 16 year old High-School tennis player with a low budget and parents probably wouldn't be too keen on paying either. I've basically had to teach myself how to play because my High-School coaches' main focus is the top 10. We have 31 players by the way >.<.
     
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  5. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Watch the innumerable free video lessons on the Internet
     
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  6. Comet Buster

    Comet Buster Banned

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    Yes, FYB are a good place to start. Try out tennisplayer.net if you can afford it.
     
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  7. junbumkim

    junbumkim Professional

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    Always keep your eye on the ball, coming off of your opponent's racket and till you swing. As you play more and more, you can react quicker to position yourself based on your opponent's swing, and trajectory. I think this becomes more important as you move up a level and opponents can play with more variety.

    Quick shoulder and hip turn on both forehand and backhand. I think take your racket back is a misnomer.

    Always stay down low.
     
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  8. EaGamer

    EaGamer Rookie

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    Thanks the type of stuff I'm lookin for when I ask for advice thanks man. And what does moving up a level mean. I'm super new to tennis talk and I've already been told stuff about levels twice.
     
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  9. HeadMaster

    HeadMaster New User

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  10. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    Fuzzy yellow balls is a good place to start.
    You can also watch the top 2 or 3 guys on your team and pick up tips.

    My HS team was pretty big, too. I think we had about 50.
    7 on varsity, 7 jr varsity, and then a whole bunch on the practice squad.
    We had tryouts and kept about 50.
     
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  11. EaGamer

    EaGamer Rookie

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    Haha same with us, we have literally like no cuts though. But we had nearly the same set-up. Sad part is I'm one of the only players on the team to actually sit there and watch a Varsity game all the way through and try to pick up on things. Others think it's weird to just sit there and watch. Till I smoke 'em >.>...but thanks for the tips.
     
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  12. junbumkim

    junbumkim Professional

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    By moving up a level, I mean as you get better and player at higher level, whether it is from 3.0 to 3.5, or 4.0 to 4.5......It simply means "as you get better and play a variety of players."

    Watching a good player can be helpful, but you also have to make sure you are not picking up "bad habits" that seem to work..
     
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  13. Eightmarky

    Eightmarky Rookie

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    Definitely invest in a few lessons. Videos are good but you can't ask a question if you don't understand a concept or can't seem to execute the movement properly.
     
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  14. spaceman_spiff

    spaceman_spiff Hall of Fame

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    The key to tennis is in your feet. Watch how the good players move their feet and get into position.

    Just before your opponent hits the ball, do a little hop so that you land on the balls of your feet with your knees bent a little and your feet about shoulder-width apart. This is called a split step.

    If you do this, your muscles will be flexed and ready to react to your opponent's shot, making it much easier to move quickly into position to hit your next shot.
     
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  15. Bacterio

    Bacterio Rookie

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    I would say to find out what grips you're using and if you're using a very unorthodox grip for a certain shot, consider changing it now.

    I increased my playing level really quickly but I felt like I lost a few months of potential progress because I was using incorrect grips for certain shots and had to go back and unlearn those bad habits.
     
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  16. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    +1. As you get better you realize how easy it becomes to hit the shots but how hard it becomes to get yourself into the best position to hit those shots against good players. Success in tennis is all about first developing great court movement, then you can go after developing a killer forehand.

    Another fundamental is to learn as soon as possible how to practice. You want to practice exactly like you expect to play in a match situation. Many people pound the ball while rallying with friends but can't seem to get the shots in under pressure and lose a lot of matches as a result. I encourage everyone to play points while rallying and doing drills so that the practice mentality translates more easily into the match mentality.
     
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  17. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    If you're just starting out, two words - Contact Points.

    Establish consistent contact points for your major strokes and you'll go along way, pretty quickly!

    Cheers
     
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  18. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    As the ball gets within a meter or so of your contact point, fix your gaze on that expected contact point and keep your head still for the duration of your forward swing. Do not be tempted to look up until your follow-thru is pretty much complete. Moving your head during the forward swing will tend to later the swing path of your racket. Watch slow-mo videos of Federer and Nadal to get a good indication of how long they focus on the CP and keep the head still.
     
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  19. EaGamer

    EaGamer Rookie

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    So watch the ball into my racquet, kind of like baseball, then stay fixed on that until i follow through to the other side of my body w/ my racquet?
     
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  20. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, a lot like batters in baseball in this respect. Note that it is virtually impossible to actually see the ball all the way into contact on most shots -- our eyes cannot actually track the ball all the way in. Baseball batters cannot see the last 10-15 feet of the incoming ball on a 90+ mph pitch.

    If you watch super slo-mo vids of Federer, you may notice that his eyes actually get to the CP slightly before the ball does. He then keeps his head still for most of his forward swing. At the beginning of the forward swing on a FH or 2-handed BH your chin will be close the front shoulder; at the end of the swing the chin will be close to the back shoulder -- the torso rotates but the head does not. Baseball coaches will sometimes say the head stays still (or down) and the chin goes "from Ike to Mike".
     
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  21. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Ike to Mike

    Check out Step 5 in the link below. (Note, however, that the last sentence in that paragraph is a bit flawed -- the eye can't really track the ball all the way to the bat as I mentioned above).

    http://www.baseballfit.com/wood-baseball-bats2.htm
    .
    .
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2011
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  22. EaGamer

    EaGamer Rookie

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    Interesting..yeah I watched a slow-mo of Federer yesterday after seeing your post about watching him or Nadal. After I did I actually went out and played tennis last night and tried to keep my head still and watch the ball in. Worked sometimes. But others I just reverted back to old ways. But I guess that's what some of tennis is about. Breaking bad habits and learning new, good ones.
     
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  23. callmethedoctor

    callmethedoctor Banned

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    Eyes on the ball, swing from a low-to-high stable path, use your body momentum (not your arm) to hit the ball, aim crosscourt.
     
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  24. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I've noticed a connection between overhitting and moving the head early. Not that this is the only reason players move the head early, but it is one reason. Learn not to use the head as part of your way to swing the racket or create power. It might help.
     
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  25. EaGamer

    EaGamer Rookie

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    Bump......
     
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  26. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    SA,

    Baseball pitch is just much for the eyes, but in tennis with slow shots or shots that sit up you can actually see the ball immedately before you whack it.

    We can't use Fed's rally ball as a general example. They're pro shots that travel very fast.
     
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  27. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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  28. chico9166

    chico9166 Guest

    Right on. Proper grips, are the cornerstone to proper strokes. If you watch most club players, poor grips are the root problem.
     
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  29. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    good stuff in your sig
     
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  30. EaGamer

    EaGamer Rookie

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    Ok well I don't really know what you guys mean by that because I figured a grip was a grip.. Could you recommend a grip for someone with a strong forehand/serve combo and a topspin 2hbh? That's about all I can think of with my style of play
     
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  31. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    so what makes a proper grip?
     
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  32. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    On most shots in tennis, we lose sight of the ball for a bit -- even on fairly slow shots (5-20 mph?). On some extremely slow balls, such a a service toss or a slow sitter, It does seem that we can see the ball very close to the CP. However, this a a small % of the balls that we have to deal with in tennis.
     
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  33. EaGamer

    EaGamer Rookie

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    That's what I'm wanting to know, but I'm pretty sure it's like combinations of overgrips, tape grips, leather grips, etc. Stuff that could weigh your racquet down or not be enough.
     
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  34. wannawas

    wannawas New User

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    I think he meant grip type as: Western grip, Semi-western grip, Continental grip, Eastern Forehand grip, Eastern Backhand grip. Google them, there's lots of info on the web.

    For example, for lots of top spin on your forehand, Western and Semi-western are good grips.
     
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  35. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I know the grips, but what makes one good and one not??
    He stated it like it was a proven fact.

    My theory is that the contact point needs to match the grip....assuming both are within some level of reason.
    So all the grips can be good when used at the right time.
     
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  36. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    A good grip is one that is not too rectangle or not too square ish, unless of course you're used to it. Wilson makes the best grip. Bab is bleh.. :)
    I haven't found a company that makes the edges between bevels rounder for comfort. Some of us can't afford extra overgrips, you know. :)
     
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  37. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I would say "good one, pretty funny" but
    I think you are serious, lol.
     
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  38. EaGamer

    EaGamer Rookie

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    What are good grips for two hande backhands? I used a western forehand today and it worked really well.
     
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  39. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    That's definitely not the common technique, but it might work for you. If we're talking about a right-hander, most players hold continental on the right-hand, and either eastern fh or semi-western fh on the left hand. In general, the 2hbh is a more conservative shot in terms of low to high movement of the racket head and most players are less likely to close the racket face in the backhand like a western fh is normally played.
     
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  40. EaGamer

    EaGamer Rookie

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    Noooo I used a western forehand not backhand
     
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  41. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    Sorry, I thought you were holding a western forehand with the off hand in a 2hbh.

    Still, my advice on the bh holds. I'd say start with continental on the hand you hit fhs with and eastern fh or semi-western on the off hand. That should allow you to drive it flat or add some low to high for topspin. To hit slice, I think it is best to hit one-handed with the continental grip.
     
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  42. pushing_wins

    pushing_wins Hall of Fame

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    contact point


    best question to ask when deciding on a coach
     
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  43. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    Try these 4 things:

    1. Use fuzzyyellowballs.com as a lessons resource. It's free if you provide them your e-mail and the guy who runs it, Will, does a good job with the step-by-step videos and the pro strokes library is good too.
    2. Buy Oscar Wegners book/videos. The videos are not the greatest quality but Oscar's natural method with small swings eliminates a lot of the technical crap and has merit. Just take it with a grain of salt as Oscar's methods are somewhat controversial. If you can not afford it, ask for it as a birthday or Christmas present from your parents. The book isn't expensive but the videos are a bit more. After you read what Oscar says go to the fuzzyyellowballs pro strokes library and you will see most of his methods are executed by the pros. Federer does not take the racket back on his forehand until he goes into his loop after or just as the ball bounces on the vast majority of his shots. Agassi had tiny backswings and hit the ball a ton with small swings and a strong finish. In general, Oscar's method is fairly consistent to fuzzyyellowballs but Oscar simplifies it a bit.
    3. Enroll in a camp once or twice a year. You should, hopefully, be able to find a junior or adult camp in your area. Something like 3 hours a day for 5 days - some are day camps and some are evening. It is cheaper if you commute to the camp rather than stay on-site. This type of intense practice for a week with good instruction can give your game a big lift. Expect cost to be $100-$200. But, worth it - again, maybe your parents can give you a camp as a gift, or maybe you can get a summer job.
    4. Join a usta junior team that takes group lessons. These are usually affordable and worthwhile. Teams are fun too.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2011
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  44. EaGamer

    EaGamer Rookie

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    Bumppppppp
     
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