I might have monfils syndrome...

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Quikj, Aug 4, 2012.

  1. Quikj

    Quikj Rookie

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    Seriously, he's one of my favorite and most frustrating players to watch.

    Like Monfils, I'm an athletic player, who tends to rely on athleticism to win. I have a hypothesis for why I have developed this playing style. As a junior, I was always small. Growing up in Southern California, there was no shortage of talented juniors to compete with in our local tournaments and they all seemed to be bigger than I was. So, I relied on my speed, defensive ability and a heavy topspin game.

    A lot changed as soon as I hit my growth spurt rather late in high school. I'm now typing to you standing at 6'1" 180lbs. Not literally, but you get the point. As my limbs got longer and more developed, I developed into a more powerful player with a blend of offensive and defensive capabilities.

    I think that I'm a more complete player than I ever have been, but I could get a lot better. I still think that my strokes tend to favor a defensive game, especially my forehand. I hit somewhere between semi and full western, with a good amount of spin. I would like to know what you all think about my ground game, movement and stroke production. I've posted videos before and gotten some great constructive feedback.

    Here's a video of my latest hitting session. The video was filmed at 3 different angles. It starts with a side view. Rear diagonal @ 5:50. Back perspective @ 9:47. Let me know what you think! Thanks in advance.
     
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  2. TeflonTom

    TeflonTom Banned

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    Monfils is a lazy showboater
     
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  3. Quikj

    Quikj Rookie

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    That may be true. Heck, that may be true of me. I just posted an edited video of myself for the world to see. Maybe Monfils and I should spend less time admiring ourselves on video and more time receiving advice and constructive criticism from pleasant and insightful posters on message boards.

    I think that Tsonga's mind in Monfils' body would produce devastating results.
     
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  4. Thepowerofchoice

    Thepowerofchoice Semi-Pro

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    It's showtime!!!

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Quikj

    Quikj Rookie

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    Yeah... The above picture is an example of pure ridiculousness, but I was more referring to monfils' defensive style in spite of potential offensive capabilities.
     
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  6. aimr75

    aimr75 Hall of Fame

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    In terms of your forehand, you seem to have a lot if moving parts so to speak. Looks like some excessive probation in the takeback for example. Try using you arm less in the takeback and think about turning with the shoulders and letting the arm remain more passive
     
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  7. decades

    decades Guest

    I think on some level you like Monfee (might be your favorite player) and can relate to him, and Want to be like him. that's what you have to look at. confront that and then begin to build the player that "wins" and not just looks flamboyant and cool out there. btw, the guy you were playing wasn't very good was he? and that allowed you to hit out on your own terms, feeding off the lack of pace and depth. you didn't have to produce strokes under pace and pressure, which we all know is different story. also how is your net game and transition game?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 4, 2012
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  8. Quikj

    Quikj Rookie

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    Thank you for taking a look at my video. This is definitely something that I've been trying to work on. It's very hard to correct. I find it difficult to keep track of where my racket head is during my backswing. I'm not really sure how to change this. I've been shadow swinging in front of a mirror and drop feeding balls to my forehand and I still can't seem to produce the desired results. I guess I just have to keep at it.
     
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  9. Quikj

    Quikj Rookie

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    Yeah I do like the fact that he has fun out on the court, but winning is fun too. The last tournament I played, I won. But, i was taking far too long to win matches in an inefficient manner. It took me 2 hours to win my first round match 6-2 6-2.

    The guy isn't a guy at all. She's a fitness junkie who played high school tennis as well. She's a great hitting partner, who's consistent, has impressive movement and hits a pretty mean backhand.

    I'll probably take more video of me against my other main hitting partner. He's 6'3 210 or so and hits a huge ball. I actually hit better against him, because he doesn't move as well and isn't quite as consistent. He's a really good player, but I'm just a bad matchup for him.

    I used to play a good bit of doubles in juniors with my cousin and in high school. I feel like becasue of that experience, my net and transistion game is better than those of my generational cohort, but of course I have a lot of room for improvement.

    Thanks for your time!
     
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  10. aimr75

    aimr75 Hall of Fame

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_lywtCEci0

    In this vid you can see in the takeback he isn't doing much with the arms. He initiates the stroke by lifting the racquet so the tip points up but then mostly turns with shoulders. Notice his hitting forearm and torso. They turn together as a unit. His forearm doesnt look to disconnect relative to his body until the racquet drop at the end. In other words he doesn't actively use his arms much in the takeback
     
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  11. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    Decent strokes. not bad.

    Your control / spin seems good.

    But your fh is relatively weak, as in lack of power. yes i'm sure you can hit it hard if you swing rly hard. However, it's still weak. The ball is not jumping off your racquet... at all. With your physique and at 6'1" the ball should fly off your racquet w/ little effort. The sound it makes when it comes off your racquet is soft and powder puffy. Your backhand has better form w/ regards to the kinetic chain.

    You are losing power because of a lazy setup / lazy footwork and your wrist during the takeback. It's too stiff. Hitting structure is good during the swing but the stiff wrist is cutting off your kinetic chain. You are throwing away the last link in the chain. Arming it a bit too much too.

    Also your contact point on your should be a few more inches (4-6?) in front of you. it's too far back so you are losing power there too.

    edit:
    ok. i looked more in depth. you never point the butt cap at the ball. you are rly losing a lot of power by not doing this. i have the same grip as you and used to have this issue when i first changed to this grip. i'll post a pic in min...
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2012
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  12. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    Not balanced, hunched over, leaning back, left arm probably not in optimal position, butt cap never pointed at the ball. most of your fh's look like this. bye bye power. :)

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    You have nice strokes and you've obviously worked your game quite a bit.

    Fundamentally you have to hit more through the ball if you want more drive on it. Your grip is similar to Djokovic's, so you might consider watching some you tube videos of his forehand. Keep making videos of yourself because you're almost never doing exactly what you think your doing on a stroke. The video is a nice, objective tool.

    I have a grip that is on the opposite end of the spectrum, strong Eastern, and I tend to hit too flat some times. Power is no problem, but getting enough topspin to keep the ball in can be. I've been making videos of my forehand and comparing them to pros with strong E. and SW grips to see the differences. Not surprisingly, I'm hitting through the ball too much some times.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2012
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  14. Quikj

    Quikj Rookie

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    I can see how his arm is less involved in the takeback. I'll need to find a new way to keep.track of my racket face during my setup. I'll try and take more notice of where my forearm is in relation to my torso.
     
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  15. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    Watch this Djokovic vid (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QH6sJEJp5qM). He definitely drives the butt cap toward the ball (it's actually pointed over the top of the ball).
     
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  16. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    Yes, and that's djokovic 1.0. He does it better now.
     
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  17. Quikj

    Quikj Rookie

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    Yeah, I pretty much figured that I should be able to hit the ball a lot harder. I normally only hit forehand winners on approach shots or by maneuvering the ball around the court. I just started concentrating on hitting a heavier ball than a ball with greater pace. I'd definitely like to be able to do both with ease. I can hit a big ball when I want, but you're right in that it takes a considerable amount of effort. There were a couple of forehands in the video that I hit with a bit more pace and they're usually up a bit higher in the strike zone.

    Powder puffy? Haha! That's going to fire me up to get my forehand into shape. Can't have my opponents thinking that!

    Thanks for the positive comment about the backhand. It helps that I'm left-handed. I just play tennis with my right hand. I've always understood footwork/kinetic chain/swing mechanics better on my left side.

    I'm sure that my footwork can improve on the forehand side, especially moving to my right. I've been trying to work on closing my stance more, as it helps me visualize my intended swing path better, but what else should I be doing?

    I'll try and work on getting my wrist more loose at takeback, but i've got to tell you that I don't really think about my wrist at all in the backswing. Whatever it is that is making it look stiff just happens. I don't want it to, if I can get a more efficient stroke.

    Hitting the ball further out in front is definitely something that I can do a better job of. 4"-6" further out in front is something concrete that I can build towards immediately. Thank you.

    I also saw the still photos that you posted and I agree that I'm not pointing the buttcap at the ball. Is this something that one must actively think to do on every forehand or is it a result of some other process?
     
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  18. Quikj

    Quikj Rookie

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    You're right. I felt like I've been doing a lot of things very differently, yet here I am.

    I want to hit through the ball more, but I still want to keep a lot of my spin. My ideal ball would be similar to Verdasco's. I love his balance between pace and spin.

    Thank you for your comments. I'm watching the video that you posted about DJ now.
     
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  19. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    look at djokovic's wrist on takeback in the above vid. look how floppy the racquet face is. same with all the great fh's. it's like the face is connected on a dangling string. like the tip of a whip. a whip that cracks. contrast that to your wrist and racquet face. your racquet looks like it's cemented to your forearm haha. :)
    it's as if you are holding a whip that was cut off a few inches from the handle. no crack. powder puff only.

    regarding buttcap pointing, i don't know about every time. probably not. but if you have time to set up then yes. definitely pointed at the ball an overwhelming majority of the time. the difference on the resulting ball is literally night and day. it feels completely different on impact. much more power for less effort. not only that you can get better control/spin because you can use the arm for control instead of power. if the wrist is loose and you have a good takeback the butt will point. but when i learned it i had to think about it for weeks.

    djoko well balanced, good left arm, butt cap pointed, body weight going into the ball
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2012
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  20. guitarplayer

    guitarplayer Guest

    You are a natural player. You play by feel. Too much mechanical instruction can ruin you. It will lock you up. You've got a very nice forehand and backhand. You are in great shape. I would focus on match stragety more than mechanics.

    Just play more matches. Hit 3 heavy cross courts in a row....move him off the court then DTL. With your speed, fitness, great control, and movement....you can be a real force to deal with. Screw the mechanics...you don't need them.
     
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  21. tennisplayer1993

    tennisplayer1993 Semi-Pro

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    well i can say in someways I had the monfils syndrome when I was very active in tennis back in middle school. I was one of the only few on my team who could run 3-4 miles on a 6 minute pace on each. I used to be great in warms up but I relied way too much on my athletic ability back then and had very sloppy footwork. Also I got frustrated very easily. I had a 5'5'' 150 frame at 13 so I was quite big. However I didn't grow much from there and eventually at 19 as of now i'm 5'10'' in a 160-165 range. Projected to grow at least one more inch according to my doctor. I had a 5 inch growth spurt in my senior year of high school.

    I'll be honest, I used to always play high risk/high reward tennis. I played entirely aggressively from the baseline and rarely came to the net back in middle school/high school tennis. There were some singles matches that I blew out the opponent 6-0 6-1 but if I was struggling early on, I always tended to freak out and blow the whole match.

    Kind of sucks though cause the only high school friend i play tennis with has a huge height advantage on me, he's 6'4'' with well over a 7 foot wingspan.


    In terms of your video, i thought your strokes were solid but i'm slowly coming back to tennis in terms of playing (been inactive for a few months and have only played three times this year against a 5.0 player at college who kicked my but in straight sets).

    We both i guess have monfils syndrome haha or at least when i was younger i had it.
     
    #21
  22. sunof tennis

    sunof tennis Professional

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    You may try using your left arm more to help with a consistent take back. It almost guarantees that you will turn your shoulders and hips. Google Djokovic hitting a forehand.
    I agree with previous poster. Looked like you wre falling off or back on some of your shots. Tyr a lower wider base and really explode off that left leg.
     
    #22

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