Having some fun practicing (video)

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by vil, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. vil

    vil Semi-Pro

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    Me and my partner tried to out hit each other just for change. Down side is rallies are shorter. We are both old school as you can see but I would loved to modernise my shots a bit. I have got a few great tips here in the past but I'm finding, when I simply get into rally I forget what I'm supposed to do. I also know my prep can be a bit late on faster balls.
    Anyway, here is the video, if you have any tips feel free to comment.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGQw66fWRvQ
     
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  2. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Lookin very good.
    Great backhand prep, but you know your forehand can be late getting into position.
    Nice freeflowing strokes.
     
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  3. vil

    vil Semi-Pro

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    Thanks Leed, it's interesting what you say about forehand. It's usually my strongest shot but that day it felt weird. I felt like I was getting jammed at times. Is my footwork a bit slow to get in a position?
     
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  4. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Not slow at all.
    It's late reacting, as if you had trouble recognizing where the ball was going when it goes to your forehand.
     
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  5. sportsfan1

    sportsfan1 Hall of Fame

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    Nice top spin 1hbh from dude in blue. Some here don't recommend the pendulum take back, but still pretty good.
     
    #5
  6. vil

    vil Semi-Pro

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    I can't really explain it. It's like I'm thinking, "I've got enough time to get in position", scanning where my opponent moves and next I find myself late to be where I want to be. I simply fall asleep. Should I start taking some eye drops? Seriously, I'm glad you mentioned that 'cos I had comments from my first video that my prep is a bit late. I can't download it to my brain for some reason.
     
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  7. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    Forehand

    I believe that the 'current' forehand has some characteristics that you could focus on

    The free arm helping with a shoulder turn

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Oc7U5oJ6ps

    Look at the other tennisoxygen forehand YT videos also.

    (another thread on this subject http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=423053 )

    Rick Macci - Secrets of the Forehand
    http://www.tennisresources.com/inde...d=3&presenter=&reviewed=1&show=100&vidid=3549

    In the backswing, it looks as if you could use more shoulder turn - keeping the free arm on the racket in the backswing helps.

    In Elliott's reference, Technique Development in Stroke Production, he breaks down the main components of the forehand and gives the logic of why they are there, for example, to provide stretch loading. One thing that is needed in your pattern is more turn of your shoulders than your hips in the backswing [lumbar rotation by the internal & external obliques]. When the line between the shoulders turns a little more than the line between the hips it stretches the muscles of the trunk. This stretch energy is then used in the forward trunk turn that adds racket head speed to the forehand. Djokovic uses a lot of this corkscrew-like motion. Be careful though as twisting too freely and too much might be rough on some backs. The overall concept is that the body turn adds pace and this is one component of body turn.

    I find that if I do this I get more pace and it feels good. The extra shoulder turn adds a timing issue. I'm trying to get this motion into my game forehand now.

    For timing I have a tendency to get lazy and decide what to do as the ball crosses the net. This works with low pace balls arriving but not heavier pace balls. I try to start stroke preparation as the ball leaves the opponent's racket.

    At the beginning of your video it looked as if you were looping slower maybe more conscious of your forehand form.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012
    #7
  8. vil

    vil Semi-Pro

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    You are right, I need more shoulder turn. I actually started doing that by holding the racket neck with my right hand a bit longer. That seems to be working well with my turn plus it makes the take back more compact.
    The problem is, once I start hitting harder I tend to forget about it and slip back to my old style. I don't know how to force myself to it consistently.:confused: At the begining we were just warming up.
     
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  9. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    I added a Macci video on the forehand to my earlier reply #7- a top notch and clearly explained instructional video.
     
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  10. Pet

    Pet Semi-Pro

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    Hey!!

    You have good strokes, but If could play with more topspin in your forehand...

    Another thing that I am doing now is facing the raquet to the ground in the first spet of forward swing. I think here is calling ¨pat the dog¨
     
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  11. vil

    vil Semi-Pro

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    I can hit enough topspin if I need to but must admit it's not the same as WW forehand I see some guys hit. That's something I'd loved to learn. I can shadow that swing (I think) but in reality it's nothing like I'm shadowing in front of the mirror. That "pat the dog" thing, is that at the take back or follow through. I imagine you can't hit the ball with that, otherwise you hit it with the edge of the frame.
     
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  12. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    At your level, you don't need to see where your opponent is going. You know he has to cover your possible angles, and more importantly, YOU have to hit your shot. Forget about him, focus on the ball.
    Nobody at your level runs around helterskelter to all corners of their court. Everyone at your level plays the percentages, covers as much of their court as possible, so you KNOW where they're headed after they hit the ball.
     
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  13. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Oh, your forehand.
    I thought you hit very open shouldered so you can recover back to position quicker. You footwork is late, so that part is hard to tell.
    Few good players can turn well on both sides, forehand and backhand. Most favor the full turn on one side, then hit more open the other.
    Pros are the exception, of course. They are pros.
     
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  14. sunof tennis

    sunof tennis Professional

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    You might have said this before, but what grip do you use on your forehand?
     
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  15. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    PTD is at the end of the take back, right before you pull the trigger to start the forward swing. From my own experience, PTD helps you load-up the pronation on your wrist so the racquet whips up more powerfully through the hitting zone, imparting more topspin.

    Here's a Federer video that shows it pretty clearly.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ImeQaAyFPc

    I've noticed that pros who tend to hit flatter, like Del Potro, don't really hit the PTD position as much.
     
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  16. vil

    vil Semi-Pro

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    Great simple advice. I was always too focused on my opponent and basicaly took my eyes off the ball.
     
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  17. vil

    vil Semi-Pro

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    Eastern but sometimes I change it to SW on a higher balls.
     
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  18. vil

    vil Semi-Pro

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    OK, I see, it's all about accelleration of the racket head. I'll have a read about it.
     
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  19. vil

    vil Semi-Pro

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    Thanks, great video! I watched it 'till the end. Some very good points he makes. One thing I need to force myself, is to make the back swing more compact by holding the racket with my right hand a bit longer and secondly, watch the ball all the way to the impact. I get sometimes too carried away and can easily take my eyes off the ball.
     
    #19
  20. ATP100

    ATP100 Professional

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    IMO, same as last time, hit the ball higher. It will make you better in the long run.
     
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  21. vil

    vil Semi-Pro

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    I know I haven't changed that much but it's not like I'm not trying though. What do you mean by "hit the ball higher" ...to clear the net?
     
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  22. ATP100

    ATP100 Professional

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    Hmmm, yes, the net is not part of the game. The net puts points on the board. The net doesn't make you hit better, serve better, volley better, It prevents you from these things. I know, sounds crazy, but in 2 hours, if you hit the ball higher, you will hit "X" amount of balls. If you keep hitting the net, you will hit less balls, slowing your learning curve.

    P.S. You do hit good, I can just tell, if you choose to, you can be better.
     
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  23. vil

    vil Semi-Pro

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    I understand what you are saying but I think with my current way I hit the ball, if I go any higher, balls will start landing behind the baseline. I think most of my normal shots have fair clearance (at least I feel it that way) and the ones that go lower are usually flatter. I need to put more topspin to my forehand to make this effective for me.
     
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  24. ATP100

    ATP100 Professional

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    Yeah, I know, it's called training.
    The lines only count when you keep score.



    Good Luck
     
    #24
  25. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    My worse problem is not keeping my eye on the ball also, it affects everything.

    There are two ways discussed for watching the ball strike:

    1) track the ball in and stabilize the head/view on the impact area

    2) as the ball is coming in at some point, say, for example when the ball is 6-10? feet away from impact, forget the tracking and switch the view, head stabilized, to the area of impact. See D. Knudson tennis book, Biomechanical Principles of Tennis Technique.

    I sometimes watch videos or do stop action on my DVR to see which method the pro's are using most often. I have definitely seen pros track as #1. I believe that they will also break off and switch to the impact area but have not viewed enough for stats. I tried viewing as #2 and liked it.

    With the backswing, Elliott describes an angle between 1) the line between the shoulders and 2) the line between the hips as a measure of trunk twist. For the back swing he says to have the shoulders go back farther than the hips as a means of loading, stretching the trunk muscles. Elliott does not describe, I think, the arm forward of the body plane as Macci does. But the main idea seems to be - add power from the trunk. They also both start the forward swing with the upper arm up - elbow raised. ( I think that upper-arm-up is recommended because it gets the lat muscle somehow more involved.) Macci does not discuss muscles and Elliott does. Best book that I have found on stroke technique is Technique Development for Tennis Stroke Production by B. Elliott, M. Reid, & M. Crespo. Available only from the ITF Store for $20.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012
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  26. vil

    vil Semi-Pro

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    There's so many theories on tennis strokes, it's not funny. Somehow I never tried to copy any pro. I want to develop my own strokes that work for me taking some modern ideas. These tips are great, makes me realise how many things I do wrong. Sometimes with a small change you can make a milestone. Watching the ball is a big thing for me. I was never a clean hitter. I was always too preoccupied to see what my opponent is up to.
     
    #26
  27. connico

    connico Rookie

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    It looks to me from the available angle, vil is making very good clearance of the net on the forehand?
     
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  28. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I haven't looked at the vid in 3 days, but it seems Vil's partner hits shorter more often.
     
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  29. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Not a big fan of the fh or the flying elbow. Your windup is too big, too complicated, too much independent arm swing, not enough upper body rotation. No wonder you tend to be late. Further, your huge windup seems to result in deceleration by contact and a short follow through.

    I would recommend a couple of things to start:
    - SW grip, or at least a full Eastern grip.
    - Keep your racquet pointing straight up and your right hand on the throat of the racquet until you have completed your unit turn back.
    - Initiate the unit turn forward with your legs and right hip, which pulls your upper body, which pulls your arm and racquet through contact.
    - Keep your elbow in and forward during your entire stroke until contact.
    - At contact your elbow moves out and up.
    - Turn your chest to 9 O'Clock on your unit turn back, and 3 O'Clock on your finish with your elbow pointing to the target.

    Ultimately, you will be swinging almost exclusively with upper body rotation and very little with independent arm movement until after contact.
     
    #29
  30. vil

    vil Semi-Pro

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    Thanks Limpin, that's what I need to hear. I always thought I have a big swing that never lived to its potential 'cos I'm often late. I'm talking about fast balls. With medium pace I rarely have timing issues. Can you please explain what do you mean by "keep your elbow in and forward"
    Excuse my lack of understanding, I can't quite imagine that bit.
     
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  31. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Lead your forward swing with your elbow tucked close to your body, instead of flying loose far away from your body. Shorter arc, more control.
     
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  32. vil

    vil Semi-Pro

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    OK I see, I'll try the wall first. It's funny, I read a lot of these things in the other posts but thought I'll do one little bit at the time. I guess I have to get out of my comfort zone to make a real change. I'm a self taught player, never had any coaching lessons but I used liked to watch Lendl, Edberg, Sampras..etc. So I guess my style probably reflects that era. This is actually the first time I'm trying to get some guidance.
     
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  33. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    You hit with more open stance, more windmill windup, less linear, shorter followthru than those guys....OK, Edberg has long windup.
    But who's to say your method is not as good, if you hit well enough for your level of play.
     
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  34. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    You asked the right question: The simpler your stroke (the fewer unecessary variables), the better. One thing you can do to simplify your stroke and eliminate variables is to start your unit turn with your racquet and arm in their hitting position. That is, with the throat of the racquet in your right hand, the racquet pointing straight up, your wrist laid back toward you, and your elbow in and forward - close to your ribs and in front of the side seam of your shirt. (You currently have a "flying elbow"). When you make your unit turn, keeping the elbow in close to your ribs and and as close to in front of the side seam of your shirt as you comfortably can (in and forward), the racquet head moves back very close to your head, with the face of the racquet facing the side fence, and then the back fence. When you've completed your unit turn, your arm and racquet haven't moved (only your upper body has rotated), and you are ready to let go of the racquet with your right hand and turn back toward the ball leading with your hips, which pulls your shoulders, which pulls your arm and racquet (ie: kinetic chain), continuing to keep your elbow in and forward during the forward swing. It's such a simple motion.

    PS: This is a long lesson that talks about a lot of things, but, this young girl's forehand technique demonstrates a lot of what I'm talking about starting at about 22 seconds:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbwyLefN9B4&feature=BFa&list=ULMIDCyV3x4-c&t
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012
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  35. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Welcome to the "fix my forehand club!" :)

    It is a bit difficult, and I'm not quite there yet, but I am starting to feel the benefits. So yes I feel it was/is worth the effort to change, or at least incorporate some aspects of the modern forehand into my game. I'll leave the advice to the others, am just here for moral support ;)

    Hey LeeD come visit my thread :)
     
    #35
  36. vil

    vil Semi-Pro

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    Thanks again, I took your first advice and had a hit today. (our usual doubles afternoon.) I'm not sure if I did everything to the book but hitting this way makes the topspin so much more vicious. There's also element of heaviness, which is good. I'm very excited about this now. I need more practice though. I found I have two problems. My original grip was easternish, with this type of hitting, SW I find most ideal, so needless to say I forgot to change the grip sometimes so the balls ended up long. The other problem, I caught myself guiding the ball (towards the end of the day), which also sends it long. However, whenever I hit through the ball it was simply awesome feeling. There are things to polish up a bit and it will take time until I feel totally comfortable but I'm happy it didn't turn out to be as difficult as I initially thought.
     
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  37. vil

    vil Semi-Pro

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    Thanks Greg, sorry I didn't expect this thread to swing this way, so don't take it as I try to steal your thread. I guess I'm now in "fix my forehand club":)
     
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  38. vil

    vil Semi-Pro

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    It's a great instructional video. I think I'm getting on the right track.
     
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  39. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Not at all, the more the merrier! :)
     
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  40. connico

    connico Rookie

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    I like that leverage band and also one of the last comments "the hands travels relatively straight"
     
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  41. vil

    vil Semi-Pro

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    I just get frustrated it's not consistent enough. I used to play super league here in Brisbane years ago and I could keep up with those hard hitting guys without any problems. I also practiced about 3 times a week with my team mates. Then I had an elbow injury and had to stop playing. Also my work got in the way. In recent years I picked it up again and now playing only once a week (sometimes twice). I never recovered the way I used to be able to play but that doesn't stop me improving. Once I get this WW forehand going well I might even consider signing up for veterans.:)
     
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  42. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    That's right, back and forth. The racquet head is what makes the "C" when it drops down as you drive forward with your hip.
     
    #42
  43. vil

    vil Semi-Pro

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    I watched that video again and again. It's a very interesting concept with that rubber band. It looks so simple. Yesterday, when I played, I was only concentrating on shorter take back with full unit turn. I could produce some wicket spin but only when I went through the ball rather than guiding it, which makes a huge difference. Well, definitely more practice needed.
    I like that girl's footwork.
     
    #43
  44. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    - Her swing is very simple. No extranious movement.
    - She keeps her elbow in and forward througout her entire swing.
    - Her hand moves almost straight back and forth, no loops.
    - She swings almost exclusively with upper body rotation (back and forth), from 3 O'Clock to 9 O'Clock (reverse for you).
    - She keeps her arm, wrist and grip loose and relaxed throughout her swing.
    - She swings up and across with a WW motion and finishes low near her left hip.
     
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  45. vil

    vil Semi-Pro

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    Thanks heaps Limpin, this piece of advice with a video included is an absolute gem. I never really thought about it in depth before. Good thing is, I've tried it yesterday, maybe not as perfect but the fact I simply forced myself to do a proper unit turn with much shorter take back worked quite well. I've tried this about a month ago but got slightly discouraged, since I couldn't hit anything over the net with the feel. This time I used SW grip rather than my usual eastern. I don't know what I did wrong then.
    I'll practice this motion on the wall and then I might take a short video to see the progress.
     
    #45
  46. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    Issues on pinning the elbow to the side

    I have been studying forehand videos including the Macci one linked earlier.

    The issue of how far the elbow is out or how close to the body seems open at this point to me.

    After the unit turn I believe that most pro forehands have the elbow up away from the body to begin their forward swing. Del Porto exaggerates this elbow separation. Tsonga minimizes this angle but his elbow I believe does not touch his side usually. Federer has a more straight arm on the forehand so the elbow is more out. See videos and judge elbow-body spacing.

    I have a singles player on my 4.0 team. He pins his elbow to his side and does a very forceful body turn. He hits very heavy pace. The stroke looks stressful especially because the elbow is bent around 90°. I'm not qualified to evaluate how injuries occur but I would worry about elbow stress and possible golfer's elbow injury with that stroke pattern. I believe that golfer's elbow injuries do occur for the 'current' forehand but I don't know why.

    In addition, I have read that if the elbow is pinned on the side it does not allow adjustment for ball position during the stroke. I think that I can see that in the 4.0 player on our team, he gets jammed by a close ball, etc..

    I also feel that with the elbow up and out the lat muscles can be involved in the forehand. When the elbow touches the side the lat is out of the biomechanics.

    Study some videos and do stats on body-elbow spacing vs time.
     
    #46
  47. vil

    vil Semi-Pro

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    Both of those videos posted earlier are great tools for learning this style of forehand. I don't think you have to copy it to the dot but rather taking it as a model to give you an idea what you are supposed to do. We all end up shaping it our own way. That's why we all look different.
    To be honest, I don't particularly know how I go with keeping the elbow so close to the body but I like the simplicity of it and also the fact you can hit hard slower incoming balls as well as the fast ones. Shorter take back has definitely benefits in terms of timing.
    I'm going to say goodbye to my flying elbow. Goodness, I didn't even know my forehand has a name.
     
    #47
  48. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    Be aware of injury issues when learning new stroke techniques

    I am not qualified to say how injuries are caused.

    Sometime ago I decided to increase the pace of my volley by putting as much force as I could into a volley using internal shoulder rotation with my elbow & racket at about 90°. I instantly gave myself a golfer's elbow injury with a lot of pain. With the forearm and racket at about 90° the moment of inertia of the forearm-racket is large and it takes more force to move it. That force appears in the elbow at the tendon responsible for golfer's elbow injuries.

    For the forehand, if you hold your elbow against your side, forearm and racket extended out, and very strongly rotate your body and a ball hits the racket I view that is the very same stress on the same tendon as discussed above.

    I do not recall this story in a reliable way and may be very wrong. I had a discussion with a player in the USTA before a match. He said that he had golfer's elbow. I could see something in his forehand stroke that looked to be stressing his elbow. Now I can't recall for sure but I believe that it was this 90° stroke pattern issue that we are discussing.

    I think that I have heard that forehands can cause golfer's elbow. But don't believe it - find out about it with your own research.

    There are plenty of videos to determine what % of pros have their elbows touching, close to the body or farther out. Examine the videos to see if your new concept of the stroke is there. Start with the tennisoxygen detailed analyses on Youtube. I'd say that you will find only a small % with the elbow touching. I don't believe the girl in the video ever had her elbow touching. In any case, I do not like the lessons that use young players just learning skills as I don't trust that their strokes should be emulated.

    When I recently started to redo my forehand (serve too) I began to get some mild wrist pain. I believe that when you are learning something new you have to be especially careful since not only do you have the new stroke technique but you will be doing parts of it incorrectly as you practice it.

    See thread on forehand & wrist injuries.

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=422414&highlight=know+forehand+injuries+chas+tennis
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2012
    #48
  49. vil

    vil Semi-Pro

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    Yeah, tell me about elbow. You can see on my video, it's pretty tightly strapped. The truth is, I can't straighten my left arm any more. It's permanently pre bent. This is the reason why I only play once, sometimes twice a week. It simply hurts when I overdo it. I always take good advices with a lot respect but at the end of the day, my body will let me know what it can accept. I have found it hurts less since I loosened my grip and playing more relaxed. I think that and hitting ball in the sweet spot, is the key to injury free long lasting tennis. So whenever I try something new, I don't try to be too forceful. Whatever technique it is, the motion should be relaxed and natural.
     
    #49
  50. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    IMO, the flying elbow (ie: Lendl, Sampras, etc.), is not compatible with a modern forehand. None of the top players with the big forehands are leading their backswings with their elbows. Rather, they lead their foreward swings with their elbows. The modern forehand is primarily generated with upper body rotation and suppination/pronation of the arm, not independent arm movement. I havent' seen the players on your 4.0 team execute their forehands, but, hitting a forehand with proper modern technique puts almost no stress on your arm at all.

    Again, the young girl in this video has excellent execution of what I mean by keeping the elbow in and forward, especially the drill she does at about 22 seconds and the shadow swings she does at 4:18.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbwyLefN9B4&feature=BFa&list=ULMIDCyV3x4-c&t
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2012
    #50

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