Help me Improve (Video)

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Cody, Jul 15, 2009.

  1. Cody

    Cody Semi-Pro

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    Hey Guys,

    I have been playing tennis for 5 1/2 months and would like some feedback, i don't mind any criticism.

    I have some footage of me hitting against my wall of trickery, it is made of uneven brick which can bounce of at weird angles (Who am i kidding, making excuses for my lousiness. :)

    I am looking to get some proper footage of on court action in the near future.

    Here is the Vid, excuse my clumsiness :twisted:

    http://www.vimeo.com/5605982

    Feel free to laugh at my bloopers (intentionally put in) :)

    Cody
     
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  2. Dreamer

    Dreamer Professional

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    You need to fix your playing height. You're almost standing straight up! Bend your knees, past you shoelaces. Look at how you hit that backhand even, it looks like you're about to tip over because you won't lower your body

    Your forehand stance is too closed. It should be more open. You have no split step, bad movement.

    Lazy Lazy Lazy. If you want to get better you need to make a habit of good movement, always. Lazy tennis won't get you anywhere
     
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  3. plasma

    plasma Banned

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    your neutral stance is fine, Cody. I am professioanally certified to say so.
    THe athletic height comment was accurate, you need to "sit down" on your shots and use your hips not your arm. Extend your non hitting hand in front of your shoulder on the fh.
    I think I made a girl cry (only on the internet, never in person) by giving too much feedback here recently. If you want more advice, just say "please sir, teach me more".
    I like you're attitude about learning, you wan't technical advice. At your age, unlike you, I was playing tournaments but was a total geek, you are much more co-ordinated than I was. You are insanely good for how long you've been playing.
     
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  4. Dreamer

    Dreamer Professional

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    Oh you do hit it neutral most of the time. I was watching only a small portion sorry.

    And plasma I think your advice on her was great, she may have never had heard it otherwise
     
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  5. certifiedjatt

    certifiedjatt Banned

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    are you trying to hit the ball so it comes back to you? If so, stop it. :)

    In my experience, the best way to learn off of a wall is to keep track of how your hands and mind felt when you hit a particular shot.

    so, tomorrow, when you on the wall, practice only the forehand. don't hit it hard (or too soft), just swing naturally. and then keep track of how it feels, keep track of where the ball ends up when you hit it a certain way.

    once you get this feel, then worry about closed stance, open stance, and all the technical jargon you'll hear on this board.
     
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  6. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    I don't think Cody is a "she" :lol:
     
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  7. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    At my age, I'm not playing tournaments and am still a huge nerd :D
     
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  8. reesespiecestennis

    reesespiecestennis Rookie

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    Hey cody, first of all don't use a wall to hit groundstrokes unless you have a good amount of room. I have the same type of wall next to my house and mine is the same way.. unpredictable.

    Second your strokes look all right but I can't really tell because the ball comes so fast you can't really get in good position.

    Use this wall for volleys and quick reaction drills.. they really can help with quick hands.

    Also how old are you, do you go in the gym? Get a ladder and work on your balance and footwork.
     
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  9. Cody

    Cody Semi-Pro

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    Thanks Guys.

    I really get what you are saying about my height, i have just had a big growth spurt are don't feel comfortable in my body yet but i will get to work on my footwork and knee bending straight away

    And Plasma, Please teach me more :)
     
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  10. Solat

    Solat Professional

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    Cody,

    FH looks pretty good, I actually like how relaxed your swing looks and you have pretty good extension through the stroke. By the looks of things you might end up being pretty tall so you will be able to hit fairly flat strokes.

    If I was your coach I would get you on to a 2HBH asap. You look totally off balance on your 1HBH and as mentioned earlier are bending at the waist not dropping at the knees. Maybe in the long run you drop the L hand and take up a 1HBH but its far easier to learn the 2HBH and will give you immediate results.
     
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  11. aimr75

    aimr75 Hall of Fame

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    but if his first inclination is to hit a one hander, why not try to develop it and see how it goes rather then automatically change it? If he was shown the proper technique, he could probably pick it up fairly quickly
     
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  12. Kevo

    Kevo Hall of Fame

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    I'd not change it to a 2HBH until I saw a really good reason to on an actual tennis court. From what I see in the video he's about 1 hour away from ripping that 1HBH. It's looking quite natural, and there's only a few changes and some practice needed IMO.
     
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  13. Solat

    Solat Professional

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    in my opinion the 2HBH is a better stroke for 90% of the population, especially at lower levels of tennis. You cannot argue with its prevalence at the pro level and it's ease of learning make it sensible for average joe.

    As I said if down the line the 1HBH is a better option for him (should he start attacking the net more) then that is something he can adopt but for the most part the 2HBH will be a better option.

    PS. I have great experience at both strokes as I used a 2HBH for about 12 years then i broke my L elbow and had to go to a 1HBH. I am a better player now then I was before, playing at a consistently higher level (how much experience over these years counts in that i am not sure). However I still feel the 2HBH has more going for it for most people.
     
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  14. Cody

    Cody Semi-Pro

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    Actually my backhand is usually a much better shot (Lots of topspin and pace) but most of that filming is done in the afternoon Saturday which i am usually buggered after athletics training and my one hander goes out the window with that lazy footwork.

    I might make another vid soon as i just got on school holidays and don't have any sport training.

    Also one question, does the wall mess up my strokes as it doesn't give me enough time for prep or would it benefit ?

    Thanks Cody
     
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  15. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Cody, how old are you and when did you start playing?
     
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  16. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Cody,

    Thanks for posting your video. If you really have only been playing tennis for 5 1/2 months you are doing well. My criticism is as follows along with stroke analysis.

    WALL OF TRICKERY
    At your stage of tennis, do not practice on the wall of trickery. You do not want trickery in your bounces. Further, wall practice is not about hitting the ball harder it is about grooving good habits in your technque. A good pace on the ball that gives you a consistent bounce goes a long way when practicing on the wall. At your level you want the ball to come back to you in a predictable way and you should be able to hit balls either on one bounce or two.

    Two bounces is sometimes preferred as it allows the ball to bounce more normal (towards you) as it would when playing someone on the court. Do not feel any loss in pride in allowing the ball to bounce twice before hitting it again. Remember, the whole idea with a wall is consistency and engraining good mechanics. When you get pretty good at that, then you can introduce trickery, but I would go after it from getting a good workout perspective rather than just hitting it back and forth.

    If you want to make wall practice more competitive for you, in the past I have posted a scoring thing so you might want to look it up. Otherwise, find a good wall and practice form and consistency. Learn to control the ball and work your way up to 50 solid hits. You will get a workout just trying to do that.

    STROKE ANALYSIS FROM THE GROUND UP

    Feet: Move your darn feet. I dont care how new you are to tennis. If you want to get better, move your darn feet. They are lazy, slow, and in poor condition. You are flat footed nearly the entire time. Remember, just because you dont have an opponent challenging you does not mean you get lazy in the feet when you practice. You should push yourself harder in practice not easier. Flat feet are going to add no benefit to your stance, movement, or recovery in tennis. Work on staying on your toes even in the ready position with racquet ready to turn towards the backhand or forehand side. Be ready for forward and backward movement as well. You need to be ready to move at a moments notice so that you can get into position to hit the majority of your balls in your strike zone.

    Workouts: Hexagon drill, jump rope, sprints, butt kicks, push offs, etc...

    Legs/Hips: Your legs and hips are doing nothing in the stroke both on the backhand and forehand side. In today's tennis, balls are hit from the lower body not the upper body. There was too much bending at the waist instead of lowering your butt from the legs. If you continue to groove this bad habit you will develop nothing but an inconsistent stroke. Using your legs allows you to easy up on arming the ball. It promotes getting the racquet lower than the ball while maintaining good posture. Some of your shots had you tilting your head way too much, etc... because you were not lowering yourself well. Legs also help you rise through the ball and add lift on the ball. On one of your backhands the ball rose, reached its peak, and then started going back down. You did nothing to compensate for that late hit and topped the ball sending the ball into the ground.

    Get down and rise through the shot. Followthrough then recover. You can watch your shot while you are recovering.

    Listen to Blake here on how he hits his forehand. Lift through your shot.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kluhYnSlGZU&feature=related

    Workouts: Squats, lunges, Michael Chang drill, Pete Sampras drill, movement/recovery drills.

    Torso: It is important for players to feel their stomach muscles help them with their rotation. A bit of paused/stored energy is good and allows a measured release of energy to the upper body for a smooth, fast and controlled rotation into the ball.

    Non-dominant Arm: you weren't too bad in this department but I would like to see more emphasis made in practice. So this is worth saying. Your non-dominant arm plays a huge roll in your shoulder turn, balance, rotation, and followthrough. For the forehand, your non-dominant arm should stretch out toward where you will make contact with the ball. It should fold back into the body as you send your back shoulder through the ball. By doing this, your non-dominant arm helps increase rotational speed effortlessly. It helps you send your rotation INTO the ball and not away from it or rotate a tad too soon. An example of this is below:

    Before Contact:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    After Contact:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Shoulder Rotation: Keep trying to rotate your front shoulder under your chin on both sides. Forehand seemed a little lite for me. By rotating your shoulder under your chin, this helps not only for momentum but it also helps to not rotate prematurely or open up too soon. Work on leg work and shoulder rotation together. Both are important for power and consistency.

    Hand: Quit being lazy here. Do not droop the racquet head for low balls. You are developing a very bad habit here because you repeat this on certain balls throughout your wall practice. If I saw you do this in practice, you would pay dearly for that by doing lots of gut wrenching leg drills. So much so, that you would never do that again. Drop your butt! Do not droop the racquet head!

    Smile Pattern for Backhand Takeback: Do not take the racquet back like some professional clay courters do. Use a simple SMILE pattern that I have written about throughout this site. The smile pattern mainly comes from the shoulder turn and then raises the racquet a tad more in the backswing, it then drops down and forward before rising forming the other half of the smile. The takeback for the racquet in the onehanded backhand should be so simple and small that it should feel like there is no way you will get any power from the small backswing. If you think this way, you don't understand how the onehanded backhand is hit. The onehanded backhand is hit from the legs and your ability to transfer weight on time over your front foot at contact and into followthrough.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CKZXKbTHRw
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RORTYH588cE&feature=related

    The takeback and forward swing of the backhand should trace itself. The hitting hand goes back and up and then comes forward down and up retracing itself. This is the hand pattern that I call the SMILE pattern.

    OVERALL FOREHAND: It isn't bad for how long you have been playing. You have a lot of potential but you need to get out of a lazy practice. If you only have the wall to practice with, you best get yourself pumped up for a good practice. It is difficult to get yourself up for wall practice - believe me I know. However, if this is all you got, then you better find a way to get yourself motiviated so you can move to every ball as if you are playing in the finals of the US Open.

    OVERALL BACKHAND: Not bad, but terrible leg drive and use of the legs. The onehanded backhand is very much driven by how you use your legs. If you are standing straight up, you will not see the ball well from a vertical perspective and will most likely top the ball. Several things can be made from this:

    1. Your eyes are too high above the ball and you lose your judgement on how it is ascending and descending in its arc as the ball slows down.

    2. Your forward swing is too late and is making contact with the ball at the bottom portion of the swing. In other words, after the drop of the racquet, the racquet hasn't had a chance to rise before it makes contact with the ball.

    3. You will droop the racquet head as a last second adjustment to get your strings on the ball which causes all kinds of problems.

    Also, loosen your arm a bit for the backhand and dont make it too rigid in the backswing. The shape of your arm is not bad, but it seems a bit too tight for my likening. Use your legs to rise up and hit the ball.

    Watch how Blake uses his legs and the arm follows and puts the strings on the ball. Watch his knees bend as it resembles a spring that is loading. Then watch his legs rise, racquet is lower than the ball from the contact point perspective, and then watch Blake rise through the shot and followthrough.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTyyITw-fyo

    Also, rising through the shot and the use of the legs should be measured. We are not talking about jumping or popping up, watch Federer here also watch were his front shoulder goes. It goes under the chin:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RORTYH588cE

    Bottom-line, get off that wall and find a smooth one with more predictable bounces. Quit being lazy in the legs. For every shoulder turn, move your front shoulder under the chin. Get hungry for practice. Use your non-dominant arm better. Stay on your toes. Do not bend at the waist or droop your racquet.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2009
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  17. Double bagel

    Double bagel Banned

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    2.5 in park: "...but coach how do I volley? Nothing is working!"

    coach: "Remember Edberg? Just do what he does."

    Yeah...I'll get right on that.
     
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  18. Cody

    Cody Semi-Pro

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    Thanks Bungalo Bill,

    I will get on to your training program right away.

    Sorry this sounds like a stupid questions but how do you bend you legs when setting up for a forehand before you rise though and transfer your weight.:)

    Thank you much much
     
    #18
  19. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Well this is a good question. Did you read the entire post. Did you review the videos. When do you think you should. I am sure others like Tricky, System Anom, and other good coaches here can chime in. Let's hear your take first.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2009
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  20. Cody

    Cody Semi-Pro

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    Well I use to bend down and load on my legs when i first started playing but i was always rising late which discouraged me from the right technique.

    I was more asking what position your legs should be in while bending your knees and when you should transfer weight though the shot.

    I find it easy to it in neutral as some other guys pointed out and it shows on the video.

    Is the position of an open stance like your sitting on a bench ??

    Thanks Cody :)
     
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  21. Double bagel

    Double bagel Banned

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    That whole exaggerated, deliberate bending down and 180 degree shoulder turn is all well and good if you're playing some tiny little Chrissy Evert moonballer. But let's be real, if you're playing anyone with any semblance of power and accuracy, you'd better learn how to hit off-balance...a la Andy Murray.

    As far as your footwork question...just do what Federer does. :)
     
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  22. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    I'm sorry, but even I have to say most of this is garbage. Players don't suddenly get Tim Henman's volleys or Sampras' serve, or Nalbandian's 2HBH or Justine Henin's forehand. Someone taught them, THEN they refined it themselves along with subtle coaching. Don't spew this ******** that you can learn this naturally, you can't. You weren't born hitting a kick serve or hitting running passing shots. Someone had to teach you the fundamentals and then you had to develop the tecnique to make it your own. Clearly he hasn't had very much instruction, so how could he possibly "figure it out" when he's doing what he feels is correct?

    Notice that club 3.5s to 4.0s tend to stay at that level if they just go out and play all day long, but the people who take lessons and hire coaches tend to improve vastly? Ever wonder why that is? Why don't people "figure it out" when they've been playing for years, even decades maybe? It's because they don't know the proper technique, so it's fundamentally impossible to figuratively answer a question correctly when you don't even know what the question is.
     
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  23. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    No you do not have to get that low unless you are hitting a very low ball. There is bend in the legs but for the open stance and depending on how you are moving mostly you are loading over your back leg so this leg is bending.

    Your bent knees will ebb and flow through your movement and your strokes. Depending on the ball height some balls you will need more knee bend and others enough knee bend so that your body works right and you have a natural rise through the shot.

    Bending at the knees helps you with your posture and not bend at the waist to field certain balls.

    Just feel your legs loading and when you are ready to swing forward and have the racquer below the ball, rise smoothly and slightly into the ball.

    You can practice rising by having someone feed you balls and rise out of a chair.

    [​IMG]

    Dont get over worked about how the knee bend or how much. The main point is that you bend your knees instead of reaching with your racquet or drooping your racquet head.
     
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  24. Codematt

    Codematt New User

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    You cant realy get a good analysis of your strokes when your using such a enclosed small area. try and get to a court and hit a few strokes with somebody and video that. but yeah you need to just try to get to a court and get some video so we can analyze your full strokes.
     
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  25. Codematt

    Codematt New User

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    oh yeah and im a 5.0 player
     
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  26. plasma

    plasma Banned

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    As a ptr guy and coach I am going to pass verdict on the jatt and bungalow cotroversy,
    Both are right about one thing and thoroughly wrong about another.
    Perfect motion is a combination and blend of teaching and "feeling the right motion. You can't master any motion without respect for what both men have written it is profound.
    Yet when re-reading, part of it is profoundly sad as well.
    One says "you've never accomplished anything and coach no bodies" and the other replies in kind.
    I came late to an event today. An hour late...3,000 people in attendance and I am next to the man of the hour, he steps on to the ring apron, they chant his name. In his eyes you can see the humbleness, the memory of when he was nothing and how he hasn't changed...
    So what...
    I get more pride form my students who I teach at the public courts than any pros or ranked amatuers or top juniors I've worked with.
    Pacquiao and SHaripva are stars...
    Who give a flying fhuck besides you guys?
    To me they are nothing.
    My stars are bob and Jessica.
    Bob and his wife started training with me two years ago, he has a medical condition that prevents him from competing but he is just getting past amatuer to pro competetive level boxer and japanese jui jitsu arm breaker.
    Jessica is on her 5th private lesson and can already do some rallying.
    I write for magazines and have met plenty of stars and celebs.
    My favorites are Jatt and Bungalow bill.
    Joe pro is famous and great..
    but what about you???
    what about you???
    did anyone ever tell you you were great???
    Both Jatt and Bill offer great points but miss the most important stars of the game EVER, the girls and guys who learn the sport of a lifetime on public courts, from teachers of the game...
    don't gain the world an loose your soul!!!!
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2009
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  27. featherlight

    featherlight Professional

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    move ur feet , if the ball is short run forward and hit it , if the ball is deep move back and hit it , instead of always catching the ball
     
    #27
  28. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Sure you can. Although it wasn't ideal conditions, you can pick up on things and build from there. Perhaps some adjustments in the original analysis would need to be made as conditions improve, however, you can get a good start with the information that was provided in the video and go from there.

    Also, just like anything else, there are always checkpoints that need to be reviewed because they are common errors players make when they are learning how to play tennis. So some of the stuff is common amongst players. You go through the checklist just like a Doctors does a preliminary evaluation of your health to find out where he needs to focus.
     
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  29. certifiedjatt

    certifiedjatt Banned

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    don't know if it was meant to be funny, but sure cracked me up :)
     
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  30. certifiedjatt

    certifiedjatt Banned

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    i'm still in the process of compiling some actual research. but here's a couple of quotes from scientific journals to get warmed up. the second one is my favorite, because it looks like the authors observed Bungallow Bill in his natural habitat, and took notes. you can ignore these completely because there are 1,456,685 coaches who disagree and will rebel, or you can take coaching with a grain of salt (a large grain).

    Some quotes from articles published in scientific journals:

    1. On the efficiency of commonly employed training

    Article: Strength and conditioning in Tennis: Current research and practice

    Published: 2008, Issue #11, pp.248-256.
    Journal: Journal of Science and Medicine in Sports:

    "There has been little research to substantiate the efficacy of strength training programs for tennis
    players."

    "The value of physical training programs in assisting tennis player performance comprises part of anecdotal training lore, yet research corroborating their efficacy are scarce."

    2. On the efficacy of traditional, prescriptive coaching in tennis

    Article: Skill acquisition in tennis: Research and current practice

    Published: June 2006
    Journal:Journal of Science and Medicine in Sports

    "Prescriptive coaching considers the coach to have all-encompassing knowledge, much of which should be passed on to the learner. It continues to be favoured by many on-court practitioners and is often characterised by superfluous extrinsic feedback and demonstration. Explicit instruction, which directs individuals’ senses to specific cues, also features prominently. Indeed, Williams and Hodges2 associate this instructional approach with coaches who feel the need to justify their existence and “be heard”. Serious doubts have been raised regarding its effectiveness in long-term performance enhancement and learning, with recent research indicating that such tutelage develops skills that are less durable and resilient to psychological stress than skills learned through less prescriptive approaches.”





    once i have a large list, i'll post it in the forum and those are interested, can take a look!
     
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  31. tikkimonkey

    tikkimonkey Rookie

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    I'm not a great player, but from what my friends have told me, hitting against walls messes up your tennis playing ability because you don't set up properly. If you're going to use a wall, stand really far away. Otherwise, find a friend and a court and spend some time hitting balls over the net.

    I have no research to back this up, but I've found this to be true.
     
    #31
  32. joshj2112

    joshj2112 New User

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    definaltly not a 5.0 player he is 15 and on the jv tennis team at my highschool
     
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  33. Cody

    Cody Semi-Pro

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    Hey Guys,

    I have been working on my footwork and i think i might be slowly improving.

    I rejoin training this week as the holidays are over and should get into a good pattern in which i can work on all aspects of my game.

    Just one last thing, If their was one most important piece of advice you could give to me from this video please share it with me :)

    PS: Please don't fight :)
     
    #33
  34. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    This is exactly what I'm saying here. It's like putting a 15 year old girl in the driver's seat for the first time and when she has trouble, you tell her to just "drive naturally". You put Michael Schumacher in the same position at 15, and he'll already be able to set a lap time better than most people alive today. If you aren't extremely gifted (this is not an insult cody, every single person on this forum falls into this category), aka, you're not a top 50 pro, you don't have any idea what "natural" means since you haven't learned anything yet.
     
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  35. certifiedjatt

    certifiedjatt Banned

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    footwork is important. i never said it wasn't important.

    but here's a test for your coach, if you have one. and this test can well be applied to BungaloBill. but knowing how evasive and defensive he gets when put on the spot, i expect nothing more than trite insults.

    ask your coach to list a footwork pattern, or drill. then ask him how it specifically improves an area of tennis. if he's giving you 5 drills and then tells you that it is important for "footwork" which "will make you a better tennis player", there is something wrong because he/she is failing to demonstrate a causal link between a drill and its intended result.

    ask that coach to prove what he is saying. it is obvious to me that if there was something unique about a drill/pattern and it lead to some dramatic changes, that records would be kept of those changes/improvements. it is NATURAL to keep such records of improvements in players because they provide financial incentives. if you can't understand the financial incentives portion and how it relates to coaching/footwork patterns, you should realize that there are important things that you do not know which someone else may, and which may help explain a lot of things.
     
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  36. Ano

    Ano Hall of Fame

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    #36
  37. Puma

    Puma Rookie

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    I am very busy at work today. But, I will answer this question as soon as I can. I have a specific example to give you.....Later
     
    #37
  38. raffi!

    raffi! Rookie

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    I love all of the great advice that Cody is getting from this thread.

    He must be thrilled. Absolutely thrilled.
     
    #38
  39. bhupaes

    bhupaes Professional

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    Hey BB, could you share with us what Pat Cash had to say about balls that are directly hit to a player, and also your own thoughts on this topic? I have problems getting out of the way of fast balls coming directly at me - one of my big weaknesses, in fact. I have to stand way back for first serves from a couple of strong players because they can jam me at will. To a lesser extent, I have the same problem with strong ground strokes hit directly at me. Is there any specific footwork pattern that applies here other than split-stepping? Thanks!
     
    #39
  40. boxerrumble

    boxerrumble New User

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    http://www.tennis-tube.net/play.php?vid=1047

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F55wNJrKpJ8&feature=related

    Look, foot work drills and I'm pretty sure these guys know what they are doing. Foot work is very important, and it's not just running to the ball. It's how your feet shuffles or moves slightly in preparation of the ball. Obviously training will help your game. Everything comes together, you can't always break down things like agility and speed.

    If someone was naturally skinny, they can take a lot of protein and lift weights to bulk up right? If they don't have agility, they can do suicides and footwork training to help them with their speed.

    And I can't believe you would say do what comes natural. Tennis does not even come CLOSE to coming natural. Some people might swing the racket like a bat or smack it as hard as they can. Tennis is mostly technique, exactly like a golf swing. You can break it down into parts and you need to be able to ultimately achieve what the pro's can do, and the best way to mimic them is by watching how they play in slow motion so every one of your movements is aligned with theirs. Of course you won't just hit like them out of nowhere, but watching them and getting feedback helps you get to your ultimate goal.

    Another thing with tennis is repetition and muscle memory. Basically in any sports, it's all about how your cerebellum adjusts to inputs from the motor cortex. What your brain does is compare your movement to intended movement. The more you hit and practice and learn, the more consistent your brain will do what you want to do. If I want to hit like Federer, I watch him, and my brain has an image of how I want to hit. But when I actually swing at a ball, I know it's nothing like his stroke and it feels weird. The more I hit, the more I can adjust until I have something that resembles a tennis stroke. Of course, the adjustment has to be conscious so that's where coaches come in to tell me to slightly change something. And that change over time will turn into consistent good strokes because I've been taught and I've practiced the stroke. Why would anyone want to learn a form or stroke from anyone BUT the best? I don't want to copy your stroke, or develop my own because it could be wrong, and obviously not the best. The pro's strokes are proven to be successful, and I want to hit like they do. Even though I will fall short, I can work to get there.

    I keep comparing golf and tennis with my friend because it's very similar. And golf, if anyone has played, is all about good form. That form comes from practice and coaching.

    You can always tell if someone learned tennis at an older age vs younger age in both golf and tennis because you can see their stroke just does not look right. When you're younger, it is easier to learn something because your brain is still developing. It's no rocket science that lots of athletes, especially in golf and tennis, even basketball, always have better form if they started young. It's about how you brain and muscles work.


    OH, and CJ, you suck at biology. Bad example. Natural selection is about selecting for traits that are REPRODUCTIVELY advantageous. You're tennis stroke, movement, is not a trait, it is learned. I'm pretty sure how good you re in tennis doesn't help you find a mate any better. You can't "pretend strokes/movements" are traits, because that would imply your tennis stroke is inheritable, and that is just not true. There is no tennis gene. There is a gene for muscle size, flexibility, etc...that helps in tennis, only through training. There is no gene that makes you hit the ball well.

    What you are saying is actually Lamarck's theory of evolution, which was proved to be incorrect. He stated that inheritance is acquired characteristics (like tennis) that an organism acquired over it's life time could be passed onto offsprings. Only changes in genetic material of cells can be passed on to offsprings. That's why you don't always see really good athletes with sons/daughters that are really good athletes, sure it happens sometimes because of TRAINING, and a good palette to build upon, but by no means are they naturally good at basketball, tennis, whatever without the hard work and practice.
     
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  41. boxerrumble

    boxerrumble New User

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    Sorry Cody that we digressed, please put another video of you hitting with someone. Where are you located? maybe a tennis talk member can hit wit you.

    All I have to say now is you forehand actually looks pretty decent. You have the right ideas, good drive, good rotation. I really want to see you hit with someone. For 5 months you're progressing really well.
     
    #41
  42. boxerrumble

    boxerrumble New User

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    Oh if you want me to break down with neuro anatomy how voluntary motor function works, I'd be happy to.
     
    #42
  43. Puma

    Puma Rookie

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    ]ask your coach to list a footwork pattern, or drill. then ask him how it specifically improves an area of tennis. if he's giving you 5 drills and then tells you that it is important for "footwork" which "will make you a better tennis player", there is something wrong because he/she is failing to demonstrate a causal link between a drill and its intended result




    I told you I would get back to you...



    I had a really good coach that worked with me last spring. She had been out of coaching for some time and I had to beg her to come out and hit with me. We did and at first I was smokin the ball, “over hitting as I usually do”. After a few moments the balls started coming back with more and more pace. Eventually she was smokin the ball to me.

    We took a break and she asked me what happened to my strokes. Of course I did not know. She explained to me that I have really poor footwork and as long as the ball was slow or I didn’t have to move I did ok, but once she moved me a little I lost most of my pace and control.

    She set up some drills where she fed me balls to my forehand and I was to hit, recover, split step, step out, shoulder turn w/ racket back, small steps, plant then hit. We did this over and over and over again until I got where I was in a much better balanced body postion (more closed) to stroke through the ball. The idea was for me to be not as open stanced and here is the why and the answer to your question about a Coach teaching a techique to “improve” my on court play……..
    According to her, I needed to be in a more neutral stance instead of being really open because at my level of experience I don’t recognize a somewhat short ball very well. Thus, if I shuffle over (following the footwork pattern she and I worked on) when I am getting close to planting, IF I am more closed I can easily use smaller steps to move foreward to take it in the court. If I were to be really wide open stance, I would have to close up then move forward or wait for it. Either way I am late on the ball and out of position both on the court and in respect to the ball. Moving forward from a really open stance is problematic. It is much easier to move foreward from a more neutral or closed stance as you feet are already in a better position.
    This drill really helped me a lot. My best weapon is court speed. I am quick and fast. But without proper footwork, even though I get to the ball I was still not in any where close to an ideal postion to hit the ball. After doing the drill we would go back to a base line rally and I was in a much better postion. She would then hit a shorter ball and expect me to take it inside the court with proper body position. The best part was I could actually feel it when I was not in good position before I shanked it over the fence.
    Why is this long winded story important. Because when I first came to this board I was looking for tennis help. I contacted BB and he asked for a video. I couldn’t put it on online so I mailed it to him on a DVD. He took his personal time to help me and give me advice. He spent a great deal of his time helping me. And, his advice was the same thing this woman tennis coach told me years later. The SAME thing….Proper footwork, shoulder turn, racket prep leads to consistent ball striking.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2009
    #43
  44. Cody

    Cody Semi-Pro

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    Thanks,

    I am in progress of getting another video together but i'm tied up with studies at the moment but i am restarting tennis training tomorrow.yay :)

    [OUOTE]Oh if you want me to break down with neuro anatomy how voluntary motor function works, I'd be happy to.[/QUOTE]

    I am very interested in that and would appreciate it.

    Thanks a bunch :)
     
    #44
  45. boxerrumble

    boxerrumble New User

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    So there are 3 different types of movements, voluntary (like tennis), involuntary ( reflexes) and rhythmic (walking - we don't think about every step we take). So in voluntary movement, it's basically your motor cortex sending nerve impluses that are exciting or inhibiting muscle fibers for contraction/relaxation.

    There are a few parts of your brain/body involved in movement, premotor cortex (plans movement), motor cortex (sends signal down spinal cord and out into muscles), and cerebellum ( coordination - very important in tennis).

    You premotor cortex is the part where your brain is saying "I want to hit a forehand" so it sends a signal to the motor cortex telling it to fire the signals necessary for a forehand. So it sends a signal out to the muscles. This signal not only goes to your arm/rest of body but also has a pathway to your cerebellum. Your cerebellum now is receiving your actual movement - the forehand. The cerebellum can also receive sensory feedback from your eyes, skin receptors, joints, muscles from the ongoing movement. Because it receives both types of information - one from the motor commands from your motor cortex (intended movement) and one from sensory feedback (actual movement), the cerebellum can compare the two and make corrections if needed. The cerebellum sends a signal back to the motor cortex and tells it to fire neurons differently in order to get the correct movement.

    Getting help from coaches, forums, reading helps in two ways, it makes your intended movement more similar to the forehand you want, and practicing helps your cerebellum make adjustments. If you think about it, a tennis stroke takes so much coordination from many of your muscles and joints, it's going to take your cerebellum quite a few tries to get it right from all the sensory information it's given.

    Your strokes, or complex movements, are also stored in the cerebellum called the lateral cerebellum. This part of your cerebellum also initiates motor movement. Now how do they "store" motor movements? This is a little complicated and I don't FULLY understand, but from what I'm getting is that the correction signal sent by the cerebellum to the motor cortex is larger as more and more signals were sent. Meaning, every time you it now, your motor cortex will get a larger, more useful signal from your cerebellum on how to adjust your stroke. This happens because there are less receptors (receptors receive signals) for the neuron that usually inihibits the cell that fires to the motor cortex BECAUSE of all those inputs from playing so much.

    I'm sure a neuro anatomist can correct anything wrong, and I'm sure I can be wrong somewhere, but I think this is how it works.
     
    #45
  46. boxerrumble

    boxerrumble New User

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    Shoot, no edits? Anyways, I meant at first you cerebellum gets a copy of your motor command, the intended movement. This signal from your motor cortex might not have coordinated every one of your movements like shoulder, arm, legs, the way it's suppose to.

    Meaning, every time you hit now, your motor cortex will get a larger,**

    the cell that fires to the motor cortex BECAUSE of all those inputs from playing so much changed the receptor make up of those neurons.***

    So the more you play, the more a certain neuron fires, the neuron that your cerebellum sends to your motor cortex. So the more the neuron fires, the more activation of certain type of messenger of cell are activated. The more of these messenger builds up, the more another type of messenger is activated/made. This messenger is the one that is telling the receptors to go away, letting the signal to your motor cortex become larger.

    Coordinating a tennis stroke, like golf, is no easy task because you are rotating your body a certain way inline with how your arm is swinging while inhibiting some muscles from moving, while integrating your sensory information from looking at the ball, from the muscles in your legs , from balancing your left arm, and..etc. There are so many muscles involved it's no wonder it takes YEARS to learn tennis. That is also why by practicing only, you cannot become a good tennis player because first your premotor cortex must know what it wants to do, and in order to do that, of course you read, watch videos, ask for help, get coached, etc because if you don't, then your cerebellum won't have an intended movement to compare to!
     
    #46
  47. boxerrumble

    boxerrumble New User

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    So to further discuss the theory of natural selection, this obvious cannot be passed down to your offsprings because acquired characteristics are not inheritable. What you learned from hitting, what's stored in your cerebellum cannot be passed down.

    What CAN be passed down is maybe your ability to adjust to motor movements, the neurons might make better adjustments, your muscles might respond to your motor commands better because maybe you have more receptors or different make up of motor neurons.

    Footwork training - what that does I think helps your muscles develop by working them more so signals sent down are stronger. Also, footwork training sometimes can mimic the movement in an actual tennis movement so your cerebellum already has something stored for it so when you actually play tennis, that's one less comparison by your cerebellum it has to do so you are more coordinated. But..right now..I think..I'm just talking out of my butt.
     
    #47
  48. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Your info was pretty much spot on my friend :). I'm minoring in cognitive neuroscience here and what you posted is actually a rough outline of what actually happens without all the boring brain sites that no one cares about i.e. lateral pre-motor cortex is actually what is stimulated for external clues, and the medial PMC is stimulated for learned actions once you encounter a similar situation.
     
    #48
  49. mrcalon

    mrcalon Rookie

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    wow i think i actually became smarter reading all that. thanks.
     
    #49
  50. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    boxerumble, your posts have been excellent. Very informative. Glad to have you around.
     
    #50

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