Junior...9 years old...what do you think?

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by Rten10, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. Rten10

    Rten10 New User

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    #1
  2. Rten10

    Rten10 New User

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    She's 8 in this video BTW
     
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  3. baseline08thrasher

    baseline08thrasher Semi-Pro

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    That is one awesome looking 8 year old tennis player.

    She's got smooth technique.
    This is probably the best technique you could get an 8 year old to do.

    Trust me, I've seen a lot of juniors at top clubs.


    One thing I'd get your child to do at an early age is to get her racquet prepared and get her used to doing that.
    Also, make sure she sets up and get to the ball on time.

    Have her develop positive habits.
    And don't overwhelm her with too many tips, because I've seen some coaches do that before, and this really confuses the children.

    Be simple and be to the point.

    Those two things though are very good habits to have, and in junior tennis today, you will see balls hit too late due to bad preperation.

    She has pretty good preperation though.
    I'd say she looks excellent.
    Keep working. =]

    And some advice that will help you:
    -Don't have her change to those extreme grips, this will not allow you to hit through the ball when you get older.
    Robert Landsdorp preaches this.
    -And remember to tell her to hit through the ball, and not be too cautious when she is playing, THIS might not help you win now, because other juniors have the ability to keep the ball in forever, but LATER down the road, if she can hit through the ball, and hit aggressively, everything will come into place.
    If you have her developing a good aggressive game, then she will be a really tough cookie when she gets older.

    Hope my advice helps you.
     
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  4. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    I am assuming you posted this to get honest reactions, pro and con? If so, to be 100% frank....for an 8-9 year old, she hits okay. Nothing stands out either great nor awful as far as her footwork, set up, strokes, power. She definately needs balance work, seems to hit leaning backwards a tad. The elite kids explode into the ball with consistent balance.

    Compared to elite Florida 8-9 year olds that I see daily, she would not be in the conversation. Compared to kids just playing tennis twice a week for fun and exercise, she would be considered very, very good.

    Advice? Balance work, Bosu, etc...programs are all over the internet. Get her to explode into each stroke, ending up a few feet inside the baseline...then scrambling back to her position for the next ball.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2009
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  5. Rten10

    Rten10 New User

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    Yes, any comments/advice are welcome. I live in upstate NY and as you might already know there aren't a whole lot of top juniors up this way so just wanted to get an idea of where she might stand among kids her age. The video was taken about a year ago, so she has improved, but I totally agree with you about her falling back and needing to step into the shot more. Thanks for the honest advice.
     
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  6. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    Don't get me wrong, she looks athletic and hits a very nice ball. At her age just let her have fun and develop solid fundamentals.

    If she is still into tennis in a few years, take her to week long camp in FL. and see how she stacks up with the top kids.

    Remember, being the best tennis kid at 8-9 is not important. We have lots of girls down here that hit better than she does, but many will burn out or simply have matured earlier than other kids. The best players at 8-9 are not always the best players at 15-20.

    Your girl is enjoying a sport that she can play her entire life. Enjoy, encourage, and see what happens. Good luck.
     
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  7. LSStringing

    LSStringing Rookie

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    She is very smooth. Biomechanics are good off the baseline. It will be tough to become a great player in that area of the world. Not many big hitters have come out of the NY/Western region...especially girls! It is truly a different world than down in FL. In Florida, if you are good, you get to hit with good players...a huge advantage. In Western NY, if you are good, then you are probably the ONE kid everyone talks about. You had better be willing to travel alot.

    If you really feel that you have a junior that is extremely talented that is under 11, have them enter a Little Mo regional event. It will give you a chance to see what the other juniors in her appropriate age division look like.

    You can enter the Eastern sections Little Mo on May 1-3, 2009 at the Saw Mill Club in Mount Kisco, NY (914) 241-0797 (914) 241-0683 (F). Hope this helped.
     
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  8. rozy888

    rozy888 New User

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    i was top 10 in great britain for under 10's. trust me it meant nothing. what you want to do is try and build her game up so she will peak when its important.
     
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  9. Rten10

    Rten10 New User

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    You make a good point about how being the best when you are 8-9 doesn't necessarily mean that you are going to be the best 10 or so years later. She has fun with it for now, obviously when she gets a little older she is ultimately going to decide for herself whether or not she wants to seriously continue with it. We put the video up just to get some honest feedback and you have helped us a lot. Thanks!
     
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  10. Rten10

    Rten10 New User

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    Thanks for the feedback and the info on the Little Mo tournament. We were already considering making the trip down there this year so we will see...and you are definitely right about kids in Florida having a huge advantage by being able to hit with other high level kids. As you probably already know, most girls in the area around her age basically slice, dice, lob, etc. the ball. But we're hoping to enter her in some L1 tournaments so she can at least get the experience of playing some girls from downstate (providing they enter the tournaments up here).
     
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  11. Rten10

    Rten10 New User

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    Thanks, she is ok for now because we taught her to be aggressive. We tell her to keep the balls in play is very good, but we are interested in a long term goal. She needs to hit the balls, she needs to be very aggressive. I mean she does hit top spins so she has an advantage of allowing her to hit the ball very hard and deep. We don't have her video of serving yet, but she does serve with very good spins and some pace to them also.

    I don't know if you a coach, but if you are then you are a very good coach. You have similiar design as me when come to teaching kids. I don't bother to give too much informations to kids, because it is not good for kids to fill their heads with all the info. I make it very simple for now. I would have her hitting backhand down the line and she does it because she doesn't understand that it is difficult, she just does it. We hoped to start her full time starting this summer, but living in upstates New York, it is very difficult to do an all year round tennis. Indoor tennis are very expensive here. Anyway, thanks so much for your inputs.
     
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  12. mctennis

    mctennis Hall of Fame

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    Looks like every other 8,9, 10 year old at my club. Same stance, hitting, follow through, etc.. Cookie cutter teaching anymore in the Jr's. IMHO
     
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  13. pandal3oy

    pandal3oy New User

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    the most amazing 8 year old i ever saw was at the bollettieri academy. i was there in october and i saw the supposed next "maria sharapova." i believe her name was marie. well i watched her in a practice match against one of the boys. he was either 10 or 12 i dont remember. i remember i had watched him a few days earlier and i thought the boy had an impressive all around game.

    well this little girl was amazing! i dont impress easy either! i could not stop laughing at how good she was. i laugh when im impressed hahaha. she was a pint size compared to him but she could beat the stuffing out of the ball. as with most at the academy, the kids really try to smack the ball but she did not miss once. i watched up until she said called out the score 5-0 and i had to go somewhere else.

    she was not much taller than her racquet. i heard one of the academy coaches tell me she was coached by bollettieri himself in those indoor courts during the day. im sure she had a whole team behind her. i did go up to her mom and told her that her daughter was amazing. she let out a polite "thank you" and went back to watching her daughter. i think they were from Bulgaria. well her mom looked like a model and she didnt even look like she belonged outside in the heat with her chanel glasses and nice clothes. im sure the academy takes very good care of the family since she is the next prodigy.

    i left that weekend as they held a USTA tournament at the academy. i looked at the draw for girls 10s later on and saw she won the whole event. she was unseeded and she beat the #6, #3, and the #1 seed in the finals. she beat the the #1 seed 6-4 6-1. she is definitely someone to keep an eye on later. get your earplugs ready though. sharapova has some grunting competition from this pint size lol.
     
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  14. predrag

    predrag Professional

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    I agree with this assessment.
    She is pretty decent, but there is a lots of work ahead of her.

    Regards, Predrag
     
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  15. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    You must be talking about Victoria Tomova. She just turned 9 and is from Bulgaria. She is amazing for her age and Nick B. pays her lots of attention.
     
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  16. hunter

    hunter New User

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    he may be talking about mariya shishkina (sp)...sounds like the correct description of the mom too... i think she is 10 though...
     
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  17. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    Mariya is from Kazakhstan and is 10. He said this girl was 8 and from Bulgaria. But he did say the first name was "Maria" so somehow he has the two of them mixed in there.

    My guess is he saw Victoria, she is kicking some butt over at Nick's.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2009
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  18. beckstennis

    beckstennis New User

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    Well it has been mentioned that she is very small , if indeed she is not much bigger than her racket then she may have the talent now but will she have the physical strengths in the future ???
    I,ve seen plenty of kids 8-10 years old playing well and winning tournys , but they are small and physicaly slight , then kids with the size and strength come through as there technquie catches up .
    Surley Nick B & his team take this into account ?
    I would imagine that the kids parents heights / physicality etc would be screened ?
     
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  19. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    Great point. Nick has said many times he would rather roll the dice with a tall girl than a shorter one. And that he considers the parents athletic accomplishments.

    But Nick is hard to pin down. Married 8 times, changes his mind often. If a kid is small but has a hot mom who knows! Maybe he just likes having the mom around the place and if the kid turns out great despite her size, thats fantastic. With Nick, you get what you get. He is a stone cold business man one minute and a salty old horndog the next!
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2009
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  20. robertg06

    robertg06 Semi-Pro

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    At that age I could still barely hit topspin. She's very very good.
     
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  21. eeytennis

    eeytennis Semi-Pro

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    I think that the height thing is completely overrated. I mean, lets compare Justine Henin to Lindsay Davenport. Both have accomplished a lot...but Justine is by far the better athlete. She is strong and very very quick, Davenport's movement is so heavy and not smooth. Another player to consider in the Jr's is Kristie Ahn...short but her movement is so beautiful and that girl is FAST. I think she has a ton of potential although she may only be 5'4".
     
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  22. beckstennis

    beckstennis New User

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    I think citing Justine is pretty lame as she was THE exception & one of the greatest female tennis players of all time so height was not a issue for her , however to say height/physicality is overrated is very naive as womans tennis is very much about height , strength , athleticism & ability .
    Who can argue when the average height of the top 30 girls on the WTA is 5ft9&3/4in ???
     
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  23. eeytennis

    eeytennis Semi-Pro

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    I never said that women's tennis ISN'T about strength, athleticism, and ability...not sure where that came from. I said that HEIGHT shouldn't be the catch all for training good players. Height isn't going to necessarily hurt (although I do believe that players over the 6' mark don't move anywheres near as well as their shorter colleagues)...but I think this whole "Oh if you aren't tall you don't have as much as a chance" or something like that is a bunch of BS. And Justine Henin was indeed one of the best women players ever...but not just because of her talent, as all top tennis players have at least some...but because she worked her butt off. I remember reading an article about her where she said Pat Etcheberry worked her so hard she was in tears. And she isn't the only short tennis player...what about Chris Evert? There are also a number of decent players who are 5'6" or less, Harkleroad, Dulko,...and Hingis is only 5'7"...which really isn't that tall.
     
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  24. RestockingTues

    RestockingTues Banned

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    I think she has a bigger forehand than me :(
     
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  25. train5524

    train5524 New User

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    my little sister could do that at 9 and shes not even top 50 in the state
     
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  26. Rten10

    Rten10 New User

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  27. ChiefAce

    ChiefAce Semi-Pro

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    The sizes of the swings on both sides are too large, it will inhibit her at a higher level with more pace involved during the points. She'll still be good despite that but could be better by shortening up the heights of those loops.
     
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  28. BigBUBBA

    BigBUBBA Semi-Pro

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    She has gotten tons better in the 2nd video, in regard to both footwork, power, and mechanics. Bravo

    ~Bubbs
     
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  29. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    Same story sir. Leaning back on her forehand and backhand. She knows how to stay in one general place and hit the ball very well. Thats fine.

    Now she should be expending 5 times the energy at practice, even if practices are much shorter. Have her explode into the ball on both sides, scramble around a cone placed 3 feet inside the baseline, then scramble back to her position.

    She is past the stage where standing in one spot, 5 feet behind the baseline, and hitting over and over is how she should practice. Time to move, time to break a sweat, time to be 5 times more intense.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2009
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  30. tacoben

    tacoben Semi-Pro

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    This is a great drill! My daughter's coach does this with her, which led her to hit stronger because of the forward momentum and combined stroke as she approches the ball (on both sides). It also improved her footwork since she actually has to come to the ball versus getting fed in a stationary position.
     
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  31. predrag

    predrag Professional

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    What about the HUUGE take back on both forehand and backhand?

    Regards, Predrag
     
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  32. Rten10

    Rten10 New User

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    Thanks to everyone for the advice, but I do want to say something about her large backswing...Ivanovic and Jankovic are two players with a relatively large backswing. If you go to usta.com and watch them on the video instruction, their backswings are quite big and loopy. We do know that she takes a very big backswing, and we haven't changed it because it seems like a lot of pros take very big backswings, and as long as she can read the ball and adjust to the shot (ex. take her racket back faster, set up with her footwork, etc.) then we don't see the problem. Thank you for noticing, but just wanted to justify that part of her game.
     
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  33. predrag

    predrag Professional

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    Without going into further analysis I would just like to point out that if somebody successful does something
    wrong, does not make it right.
    Those succesful players made it IN SPITE of their technical issues, not because of them.
    They must have had some other qualities that ofset the problem.

    Regards, Predrag
     
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  34. Rten10

    Rten10 New User

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    You make a good point, but when you mention that the players must have had some other qualities that offset the problem, I basically said the same thing when I wrote that as long as she can read the ball and adjust to the shot then we don't view it as even a problem. The balls she was hitting were coming out of a ball machine at about 70-80MPH which isn't slow, especially for someone as small as her.
     
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  35. predrag

    predrag Professional

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    ok, I have to ask here, was that estimate 70-80 MPH or did you actually measure the speed?
    I really have hard time believing that 9 y.o. with displayed technique can consistantly hit balls in the 70MPH range.

    Regarding her large backswing, I was trying to say that if Monica Seles had two fisted forehand, does not mean that I will teach that technique.

    Regards, Predrag
     
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  36. Rten10

    Rten10 New User

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    The ball machine she was on allows you to choose the speed and spin. So the speed was set between 70 and 80 MPH with a good amount of topspin to keep the ball in...I myself have hit with the same ball machine at the same speed and it comes at you pretty quickly and rather heavily considering it's coming out of a machine.

    And I understood what you were saying about teaching techniques, etc. , I was trying to say that if it's not a glaring problem (like using a Western grip when hitting volley) then as long as the kid can adjust correctly then some things aren't worth the time and confusion to change...in my opinion. Repetition will help any player to improve.
     
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  37. predrag

    predrag Professional

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    Just when I was about to give up on this, you say something that I have to reply.

    Repetition will help any player to improve ONLY IF TECHNIQUE IS SOUND
    If not, player will learn wrong technique REALLY WELL.

    Regards, Predrag
     
    #37
  38. Rten10

    Rten10 New User

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    Yes, I agree with that completely, but what I am trying to get across to you, is that no one has to be (or is) the exact same or has the exact same strokes. Dementieva's backhand is different than Ivanovic's, Serena's forehand is different than Davenport's...and like I said, as long as there are no really obvious technical mistakes (I gave the example of hitting a volley with a Western grip) then it's OK for strokes to be a little different. Some people have big backswings, some people have short ones, some people hit their forehand with an Eastern grip some with a full Western...I would never teach a student a full Western grip, but I have come across players who have had a good amount of success with it...but just because I wouldn't teach a full Western grip doesn't mean it's "wrong" or technically unsound.
     
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  39. tacticaltennis

    tacticaltennis New User

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    Your actually correct. Even Lansdorp teaches an exaggerated backswing and then expects the better player to use refined eye to hand coordination to tighten up the swing when the ball comes in fast. Its better to let them take a bigger swing when they have the time and tighten up when they don't than to always teach a tighter swing and then try to get them to go back bigger when they have time to hit harder. A good player will read the ball and know what to do. Thats why Ivanovic, Jankovic, Serena and Sharapova etc will take a bigger swing at the ball because they are professionals and know when to tighten it up when necessary.

    I think you daughter is great. She is bouncy and seems to hit clean. I'm sure this is just a short video of her forehand and backhand and I'm sure
    whoever is working with her doesn't just pitch these same balls to her.
    I'm sure she gets plenty of opportunity to run down balls and move around the court. Thanks for the video and good luck to her!!!!
     
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  40. Rten10

    Rten10 New User

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    Thank you for your feedback, she isn't my daughter, but is family :). But yes, you make a very good point about how it's better to start up with a big backswing than to try and teach it later. She still has a long way to go for sure, but thanks for your opinion.
     
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  41. SmAsH999

    SmAsH999 Rookie

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    on top of the net, ready to put away an easy volle
    jeez, she could've destroyed me when I was 8.
     
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  42. tacticaltennis

    tacticaltennis New User

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    I think she is really good.
     
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  43. unprotennis

    unprotennis New User

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    her backhand's backswing is like GIGANTIC!

    her forehand follow through looks a tad bit awkward. maybe because the racquet is almost the size of the body :)

    she could of easily owned me at that age.
     
    #43

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