Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by BeachTennis, May 24, 2006.
agassi forehand... thats a one nice forehand lol
Where did you ge that video?
Its an old image sequence he either stole and converted, borrowed, or actually purchased the video.
This is an old film sequence of Agassi stepping in and taking the ball way early.
Looks like the ball is declining.
Just a bit. Good eye.
What I think is beautiful about this clip are two things. Steady head, moving into the ball and upper body rotation. I personally don't like the stroke mechanics but I do like how it's being executed using the whole body.
Short backswing, pow.
the grip agassi is using in that image, is that a semi western?
It's hard to fault the stroke mechanics, with the possible exception that he doesn't have a textbook step into the ball. He has still has a lot of forward momentum from the previous 2 steps though. I think a lot of people forget that it's ok to hit with open stance, but it sure works better if your body is moving forward.
Wow, great point! Impressive.
He even uses his left hand to catch his racket.
Yeah, that's normal. It doesn't add any significance to the stroke though, my child. :mrgreen:
And the funny thing is that it was a large backswing for Agassi. Agassi usually goes much shorter than that, but I guess he decided to let one fly according to his standards. Agassi's big backswing = another pro's semi-short backswing. Agassi's normal backswing = another pro's very short backswing.
Nowaday, not too many player catch their rackets
I'm not a big fan of catching the racquet although if some people need a guidance system, it can be ok for them.
Roddick, stop following me around. You are one creepy dude. I'm gonna have to change my name and address.
This is sort of outdated as far as the modern forehand is concerned. It's all about having the most stable base possible to generate as much upper body torque as possible. Likewise, walking into a baseball swing or a golf drive wouldn't allow a person to hit farther, they can hit a longer ball by having their feet planted in the right place, and allowing the kinetic chain flow smoothly from their feet to their hands.
You missed the point of my post. Look at how he steps FORWARD to plant his right foot. Then he launches himself FORWARD from his base into the shot. Most people assume they can hit a good open-stance forehand by simply rolling to the right and putting the brakes on with the right foot. But if you don't step forward in one way or another, then there's no forward weight transfer, and then the hitting zone will be too short, and power and consistency will suffer.
Why do you think it wouldn't? When you consider that taking a few steps into it allows a person to throw a baseball (or any other object) farther, and taking a few steps into a slapshot allows you to launch a puck faster, why wouldn't the same apply to swinging a bat or golfclub? The reason people don't is, one, you're not allowed to do it in baseball and even if you did it would make it very, VERY hard to hit an incoming pitch if your body is moving forward and unstable and, two, the mechanics are more complicated and in golf, which requires more in the way of precision rather than pure power, simply not conducive to hitting a good shot. A hard one, yes, a good, accurate one, no.
I mean, just look at Happy Gilmore!
Shouldn't his butt cap end pointing at the net?
It does point. Maybe it's too fast for YOU to see, "Ripper". :mrgreen:
His forehand is textbook. "Modern" or "not modern". The other thing is Agassi has a normal or average backswing other than his return of serve.
He's moving forward to take it early, to put the ball in his wheelhouse. He'll also move sideways to put the ball into his preferred strikezone. I'm not missing your point. If it was a really short ball, he would be moving forward even quicker, but it's not to put his weight into the ball, it's so he can hit the ball where he wants to hit it. On most of Agassi's groundstroke, you'll see that he doesn't "step into" the ball. On the backhand, people step into the ball more, but that's due to the nature of the mechanics of the backhand, because a cross step is needed.
Go ahead, try it then. Have somebody feed you some sitters and try 1) hitting it while walking, sprinting, jogging into the shot, and 2) by creating a stable base and generating lots of torque. Try it with a serve also. Tell me which way gives you more power.
Circular momentum rather than forward momentum is where the power comes from today. Notice, the older practice of extending the racket out towards your target, so that the racket is pointing at your opponent, isn't done anymore either.
You are one of the "very few" wise ones! I was taught what you have just explained, from the very best, Bollettiere Academy.
That "IS" the MODERN way!
Only losers play that "other" old school way! Hahaha :mrgreen:
Actually it is done. It is usually improperly taught. The racquet still needs to extend through the ball and out and it is a good thing to teach a person what it feels like to finish further out. The trouble is, many coaches misinterpret that as the completion of the stroke.
The other problem with not developing a longer path to the ball, is that players develop a shortened stroke and create more spin then penetration.
But in essence, what you said is incomplete and a bit misleading. Going through the ball and extending before coming back around for you finish is a time tested and well proven way to hit the ball that still exists today!
This is a great clip of Rodger Federer extending through the ball.
That is all extending to the target teaches. It teaches to increase the lenght of the linear path which increases the chance for clean contact. This is very much part of the modern stroke and yeateryears stroke. It is essential.
I thought he was only talking about the weight transfering and follow thru finish.
Well, even Braden knows that the stroke does not stop with the racquet pointing toward the opponent. What Braden is trying to do is to get people to hit through the ball more. However, with this thinking things have changed regarding stance, grips, etc...that is the normal evolution of things. What happens is people misinterpret and dismiss the intention and the meaning behind the instruction.
The whole idea of extending out toward the target is to lengthen the linear interval to increase the chance for clean contact.
So if mentioning a model candidate for what you're discussing, if someone brought up "Nadal", you would just end up covering your eyes and shake your head, right?
Depends on what type of ball you're trying to hit. If you're trying to hit flat, "extending through" the ball, or hitting through it more, is the only way you're going to accomplish it. As you get closer to the net and when you want to generate more spin, obbviously you want to drive through the ball less.
The interesting thing about this observation is that clay court specialists are usually the ones who have longer swings, and they're also the ones who hit with more spin generally. I don't see why this problem should be considered inherent to what I'm suggesting. McEnroe has some of the shortest swings I've ever seen and he hit relatively flat with a continental grip.
It may mislead somebody, but only because I didn't go into great detail. For some shots, you want to hit through the ball more. For spin, more of an angular collision between racket and ball. All I'm saying is that finishing with your racket pointed at your opponent on the forehand is outdated, and I'm pretty sure that's incontrovertible. Likewise, stepping into the ball is sort of outdated. Step into the ball insofarasmuch as it allows you to hit the ball in your preferred strikezone, but not because it's going to make your shot faster.
Not as much today. I don't see anybody hitting through the ball quite like Connors did. On the backhand, people tend to drive through more, but on the ATP, the forehand is a vicious arc motion. If you looked from overhead at an ATP player's forehand, the racket would go through almost a complete circle, at no point would you see a straight line. Always curving. Circular momentum. So, yes, they DO hit through the ball, but not as much as they used to even 25 years ago. I'm speaking in generalities. Some players hit through more. Guys like Saulnier, Schalken, Behrend. And the WTA players hit through the ball more.
edit: important to note that I'm talking about what I'm observing on the ATP, not necessarily how I would teach somebody a forehand. I start off beginners (I only teach friends) with an eastern forehand, starting slightly below the ball with a slightly closed face, and finishing at the opposite shoulder in classic trophy pose, catching the racket with their non-racket hand... much like how Venus hits a forehand, but not how most ATP players hit it...
Actually, even on heavily topspun balls hitting out is still important to teach for the simple fact that theplayer learns to use their legs, torso, and an upward swing path to generate topspin. Once this becomes habit, the player can hit a consistent clean ball, then introducing a "windshield" wiping effect can be done for other types of balls like short balls.
The engrained swing path along with a slight windshield wiping motion is what produces a professional stroke. Otherwise, the stroke becomes too short.
Well now you are splitting hairs. Anyone knows that that the closer you come to net the shorter the swing. However, a couple swing paths can be achieved and the preference usually falls in grip choice. The windshield can be used and a combination of the Nike Swoosh path and the windshield can be used. But they still need to execute a shot that they go through the ball. The extended swing path drill builds this in and can be proven that it indeed happens.
Well technically it shouldn't be a problem. But what most players do is shorten the stroke further because so much information is missed about the stroke during high speeds. It takes practice to extend through the ball and eventually build style and preference around it. But the name of the game is to lengthen the stroke as Federer does so often.
But you need to and you need to understand that the most critical area is sustaining a linear path into the ball for about 4- 8 inches. If you look at Federer's swing path it is AMAZINGLY different than what you see actually happen on TV. Teaching a person to extend through the ball will not stop someone from developing a swing like Rodgers, in fact, it promotes it.
Hitting through the ball is a critical element of a good stroke. Players can form their own touch, style, or preferences (whatever you want to call it) as they learn to implement a clean and consistant stroke.
Old school or no school, helping players extend through the ball is a time tested and proven (both yesteryear and today) exercise that promotes consistency.
BB, what doe you mean by "NIke swoosh"? I know that it is a swing path , but where is the "beginning" of that checkmark . . . in your body, behind it, in front of it etc. AND, is that checkmark parallelly flat with the ground or not?
P.S Please answer my previous post as well. Thanks. :mrgreen:
Well I have never had anyone ask this before. But there is always a first to test my ability to make it clear. So hopefully, I can.
The thick part of the swoosh resembles the back swing and the racquet coming down. The thinning part resembles your swing going up to the ball. Your position would be more towards the thicker part. Hope that helps.
Why would I shake my head? Nadal definetly goes through the ball. He adds on many of his shots, a windshield wiping effect, but he certainly goes through that ball.
The idea of extending through the ball and letting the racquet go out further is to develop your balance, your feel of what it is, and to lengthen your swing.
It is not trying to stop your swing and prevent you from finishing off to your side, over your shoulder, etc...
Oh ok. It's just that one time when I was playing on a public court, some tennis coach ( a 50ish year old guy) noticed my FH strokes and came over to me and made some comments about it. He said that my stroke is like what of all the new kids are doing nowadays, like Nadal's, and that I should rather hit through the ball, abondoning the rotations! That's why I thought that Nadal wasn't hitting through the ball as much. The guy suggested that I use the "linearl" swing and linear square stance weight transfer, so that I would have more efferotless power. I tried it out in order to see his point and to give him a chance for his effort.
Well, I never did change to that style, ever. I figured what he was showing me was "basic" "old" stuff. Plus, I felt that I have NO reason to change.
Well, thanks for the replies.
4-8 inches? I think the length of the linear contact zone is what separates the pros from the rest of us. The pros are usually on the long side of 8 inches. I can't find it any more, but there used to be a slow motion clip of Fernando Gonzales hitting a high forehand. The amazing thing about the stroke was that even though he took a big swing, it was evident that his linear contact zone was well over a foot!
I'm beginning to think this is mostly semantics. Insofarasmuch as I was talking about a follow through in which the racket is pointing at your opponent at its finish, not sure if BB and I are actually disagreeing over anything.
[testing, testing 1-2-3]: Nice try, buttmunch! You are now just "flanking", trying to side with BB, because you are too "scared" that he will put you in your place, putting you to shame by proving you wrong! [end of test]
(Note: For those of you who do not know what's going on, what the deal is with this post, let me just say that it's something that I do not expect others to understand. It's between that buttmunch and I! :mrgreen: )
Here is a free 2003 Nadal forehand video:
Great video! Lot's of extension!
That's some excellent quicktime footage of Nadal. Each shot, you can see him use his legs and see his body/head rise. He also gets some air on almost every shot except one. On that low ball, he stays down low to get it. I think he gets a lot of drive on those strokes even though it would be considered a modern forehand.
If you look at his second shot frame by frame, I noticed a few things. First, he's in the air. Right after the contact point for the next 3 or so frames, nothing is moving except his arm. It almost looks like he's standing on the ground. Even though only his arm is moving at this point, all the power was generated from the rest of his body and from the kinetic chain. I guess the classical way of shifting your weight forward doesn't take a part in the modern stroke?
One last useless tidbit. He twirls his racket one revolution after each hit.
Yes. All of your content was indeed "useless"! :mrgreen:
The racket head acceleration/speed is ridiculous.
[In 3-2-1 . . .]: Your ugly-ass avatar is "ridiculous"! [end of test]
It is ridiculous. It is ludicrous speed (borrowing a term from Space Balls).
Oh, please pick a different word besides ridiculous. This is the word I use to counter a post.
Haha. Bill, I'm fortunate! I can say all I want behind his back and he wouldn't even see it! :mrgreen:
Check this out: Hey 35ft6, if you are gay, don't reply to this post!
This video is VERY interesing. Nadal rarely comes across his body on finishes like that nowadays, and generally only when he's stepped into the court to attack a short ball and finish the opint.
I'm buying a Thesaurus off Amazon as we speak, uh, type, read.
Separate names with a comma.