Modern Tennis Tips by Oscar Wegner

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Wegner, Dec 24, 2012.

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  1. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    That all sounds good to me, but just to set the record straight, that quote didn't
    come from another post here, but from a whole different site altogether. It was
    intended as a chance to discuss technique and how some do still teach that way,
    even notable jr programs.

    Glad to see you here and working with posters thru your thread.
    Happy New Year!
     
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  2. TCF

    TCF Hall of Fame

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  3. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    1. As I said before, the outside foot landing is something that often doesn't happen by itself naturally and needs to be consciously cultivated till it becomes automatic.

    2. Not sure what the weight comparison implies. During warm-up at the net, gentle touches are not only good but necessary unless you do not want to rally. Hitting the ball hard will not result in the mini-tennis that needs to be played. And once warm up is over, the hitting is not about gentle touches. At advanced levels, it is indeed about power.
     
  4. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Not so much when you start them with Open stance as we do.
     
  5. TCF

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  6. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    As usual, it is those without a working knowledge who post this type of mistaken impression.
     
  7. Inner Game

    Inner Game Semi-Pro

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    Oscar is the real deal

    All I can say is that being a USPTA pro since 1980 I have seen a lot of "Modern Tennis" instructors and lessons plans. All and all, Oscar Wegner has it right....I have personally seen Oscar demonstrate his skills and even a few years ago at age 73 the guy could volley better then most ATP pros. While he is not a technical guy he knows tennis. Sure he copies others on some things but face it who doesn't. Isn't the goal to improve peoples tennis?
     
  8. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    When I started coaching my son I gravitated towards Oscars use of instruction because I felt the simplicity was scalable from beginner to advanced play. Its worked out so far. As I get better at teaching him tennis I am finding the least instruction that I can use to achieve a desired result the faster he gets it and owns it. We have used video to spot problem areas before they get out of hand. But mostly I study the details like video slow motion of his game but I try to in the simplest way convey my ideas how to improve. I tell him to feel the way through different strokes when its a new situation during practice.
     
  9. AbsolutTennis

    AbsolutTennis Rookie

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    I really find it interesting that people have here used the “theory X actual results” approach many times, but have actually failed to observe that Oscar has been able to back his theories with actual results… And the other way around… People really seem to forget that his techniques and approaches were REALLY used by Gustavo Kuerten (including the drill OW has just suggested to Raul_SJ). People also seem to forget that Bjorn Borg (ANOTHER #1 player in the world) looked for Oscar’s help and advice when he tried a comeback. I would think Guga and Borg can recognize what’s good and what’s not when talking about tennis related techniques… People ALSO seem to forget, or pretend they don’t know, that Richard Williams acknowledged the fact that he used Oscar’s videos when coaching his daughters…So much for facts and results, huh? You CANNOT contest and/or argue against FACTS!!!! Meanwhile, some people prefer to spend time discussing the sex of the angels (instead of generating results ON A TENNIS COURT)…
     
  10. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    Absolut,

    A closer look into your alleged facts would result in different conclusions regarding impact and results. You are taking the marketing claims at face value.
     
  11. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I was responding to Oscar's post. He has changed his tune that footwork is natural by now talking about the virtues of landing on the outside foot. If it is natural, there would have been no need to point it out. It is good that he now understands the importance of footwork.

    Please do not interfere when I am responding to his posts by posting partial quotes.
     
  12. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Serena does not have a short take back and an abrupt acceleration just before contact. She often has a big take back (so big sometimes the racket is behind the body). Clearly the facts about her play do nto indicate waiting late and hitting with small take back. Such shots will generate no power. In another thread, I had posted videos to illustrate how different her backhand is from what Oscar was advising someone.

    The other "facts" have been discussed many times - I don't want to discuss them any more.
     
  13. TCF

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  14. TCF

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  15. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I was also never taught anything by anybody. Well, almost. But I don't go about saying that Murray should not have a coach. Footwork is an integral part of all coaching that I have seen. Obviously, it is not the only thing - that kind of notion is only a strawman. Some people like Tonlars have great footwork by themselves, others like the slightly more successful Masha have described specific footwork training she undertakes. I don't take one example and generalize with it.
     
  16. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Every pro accelerates before contact. It is a proven fact. The acceleration actually decreases before contact - but it is still acceleration.

    The videos show that her large swing is building up the speed. There is no slow movement of the frame to "catch" the ball and then a rapid acceleration just before contact. Of course, there is acceleration before contact - have we not discussed the speed vs position plots many many times?
     
  17. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Another thing in relation to the outside foot placement mentioned by Oscar: the first big step followed by small adjustment steps. This is a key difference between juniors and club adults. I saw it the day before the break, when a coach was conducting a women's clinic. The natural instinct to take a small first step, and then panic and use big steps when they realize they are not close to the ball. This tendency has to be reversed by learning. A more advanced use of footwork seen with the pros and college players is how the outside foot plant is also used to bounce back for recovery in a smooth motion. Club players have a discontinuity after hitting a wide shot and before recovery. Pros use an energy efficient continuous motion to use the foot planting to also fuel the recovery back to the court.
     
  18. Wegner

    Wegner Rookie

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    Yanking the ball

    Just to clarify what I mean by yanking the ball across, it is meant, an abrupt change of direction and the application of force through acceleration. This implies the tightening of certain muscles. My contention is that the hand pulls into the body as in bending or contraction or shortening of a length (arm), rather than separating the hand from the body, as in extension of the arm.

    And regarding the landing on the outside foot, I have seen it happen naturally even while just catching a ball or an object tossed to the side of a person. Nobody turns completely sideways to catch, unless they must cover a significant distance. In general, people prefer to catch in an open stance.

    The open stance promotes both the loading on the outside foot and the yanking of the ball. You have more strength this way to achieve a forceful action through the ball. The racquet may slow down at impact because it encounters the ball, but immediately increases speed (in a modern stroke), a proof that the player is still within that forceful acceleration).

    And yes, the so-called unit turn exists, but it happens to occur also naturally by keeping the non-playing hand on the racquet. All my players in Spain, Brazil, USA and other places used it to aid the movement and to aid the stroke. It works like a twisted spring, it want to straighten out.

    Although I cover these concepts in my videos, I need to shoot more video instruction to elaborate on these premises precisely comparing it with the opposite viewpoint.
     
  19. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    2 questions -

    1) does the contraction applies to a straight arm FH (e.g. Federer)? seems quite awkward to try it.

    2) in the case of a bent arm FH, e.g. Joker, is the contraction a purposeful action to shorten the arm, or is it just a reaction to the centrifugal force... in other words, during the core rotation, if the arm is bent to start with, and if you don't contract, it will straighten out and ruin the rotation.

    thanks.
     
  20. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Not turning sideways is not the same as moving outside foot out first. In real life, many people either do a small cross step without turning sideways completely, or worse, keep the outside foot planted and bend over sideways. Like knee bend, it is not obvious. All movers will tell you that a heavy object is to picked up with a knee bend, not a waist bend, but it does not come easily to others.

    The easiest way to see the natural tendency is on a FH volley. Heck, I took two group clinics last week (only way I could play) and this matter came up again. There were some who would "catch" a volley open stance moving outside foot out, and others who would step across closed stance. To each, that movement is natural. Every coach seems to have an opinion about which one is correct. Point is, natural tendency works both ways when catching a ball with a racket. The analogy of catching an object is not very apt, because a person may adopt an open stance with outside foot out if his job is only to catch. But if he is required to hit the ball back immediately, he will also think about how to generate force, and that might drive him sideways.

    You are not catching a ball in tennis. When a fielder catches a baseball, he might do it open stance, but he will turn sideways to generate power to throw it. He will typically not do both motions open stance.

    Regarding the yanking as a shortening process, I am not sure. The Federer forehand seems to start with a supination of the forearm, then the forearm tucking into the body, followed by a very straight arm towards impact with wrist perpendicular to arm, followed by bending of the elbow for the across finish. I see both a "shortening" of the arm towards the body followed by a lengthening for a straight arm, followed by a bend. The yanking seems to be the consequence of a fast swing and finish across the body.
     
  21. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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  22. Dragan

    Dragan Rookie

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    I frequently thought about what would be the most natural and the most efficient way to execute forehand stroke, to start with.

    For example, if you have an old or broken racquet, it's relatively easy to expeiment with different stances and swinging patterns, by throwing the racquet as far as possible while trying to aim in particular direction (i.e. achieving both racquet speed and accuracy).

    The analogy with throwing racquet is known for service motions, so I'm quite eager to try it with forehand stroke, too, and see what stance and swing pattern feels the most natural for me.
     
  23. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Without the across pull, how would the racket come across? The key is to see how the racket face is perpendicular to the target direction at contact. That is what imparts the power.
     
  24. guitarplayer

    guitarplayer Guest

    I have this saved and it is a perfect example of starting the swing slowly and then accelerating through impact and finishing across your body. Makes the swing effortless doesn't it!!! Not like the rigid swings of most hackers.

    People who worry about footwork or those who try to do split steps etc crack me up. Do you focus on your footwork when you walk to a specific point? Do you think about starting with the left foot or right foot???? NO NO NO..you just freaking run to where the ball is!

    Some people try to over complicate that which happens naturally. Thus..these people have many mechanical problems. I see it on the golf course every day.
     
  25. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I agree. It really cracked me up to see Federer split step before every forehand in the video below. I am thinking, does he worry about his footwork when walking? No he just freaking runs to the ball. That is why people like you and me who don't split step will always be the at the top of the ATP while these so-called pros focus on split-stepping and footwork.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ImeQaAyFPc
     
  26. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    I think the issue is you are just a terrible tennis player. Nobody thinks about split stepping when you can actually play. You do it automatically.
     
  27. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Yeah and it doesn't happen by itself at first. That is the point. It happens by instruction, or in my case, by subconscious absorption from high-level players (at least on the serve, working on the other shots). To dismiss split-stepping as never requiring instruction or pointing out by someone is a joke, and is an insult to the proven coaches out there who have mentioned it in innumerable articles.

    If you don't even understand that, then there is really no point.
     
  28. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    I taught my son to split step when he was 7. I think 2 weeks later he never needed a reminder. I was told around the same time. It is pretty much not needed after a couple weeks of practice. Whats the point? U still need reminders?
     
  29. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    That is the point.

    The point is not to laugh at those who try to split step. Like someone laughing at your son when he was 7. Like the previous poster said he does.

    Get it?

    The other point is not to derail Oscar's threads by posting stuff like what you and the other poster are doing.

    You guys are giving him a bad name. When he says footwork is natural, he probably means not overdoing it like the detailed USTA diagrams from the 1920s. You guys are giving him a bad name by confusing people about split-stepping and then admitting you are yourself teaching that. This derails the thread.
     
  30. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    It basically boils down to laziness. Most people just get lazy to keep split stepping, moving their feet and fixing their eyes on the ball and moving early. These are all easy stuffs which can be mastered in no time. But people are just lazy!!
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  31. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    I dont read oscars stuff too closely. So sorry. I think a split step is good to teach. But then after it is taught it kinda becomes just a part of the movement.

    Remember the kid on here who posted a video of his hitting where his split step was so exagerated he probably jumped a foot into the air and his heels hit his butt cheeks? Now that is funny. I'm going to try that and see if I move faster. No offence to kid w/goat split step if your reading this. :D
     
  32. Wegner

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    There is no point arguing who is right and who is wrong. You both Suresh and Archie presented each of you viewpoints clearly. I am not acting as a judge between posters. We are all presenting viewpoints. Let's move on.

    Have either of you tested the yanking, i.e. the drastic change of direction of effort at impact time?

    Thank you.
     
  33. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    It works for me. I have a slight double bend fh.

    Doesnt work well for my son. He hits straight arm.

    I dont have the timing down or muscle memory to do it all the time. And maybe its too advanced for my 11 year old son. Not sure. And I dont want to miss because I'm hitting a new fh.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  34. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    I am now convinced that the 'yank' does NOT add any power, but is a mere necessity of a bent FH.

    for a straight FH, the arm can't extent, so the centrifugal force will not change the rotation radius, i.e. the MOI Moment of Inertia stays constant, which is necessary to avoid arm stuck behind the body.

    but for a bent FH, with the core rotation picking up angular speed, the centrifugal force increases and is pulling the racket and the forearm outward. if the bicep does not contract, the arm will extend, MOI changes, and the rotation is ruined.. player probably end up in an awkward position with arm stuck behind the body as it cannot keep up with the rotation of the core.
     
  35. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Just not the case. I remember how I'd been playing for yrs before I ever heard
    the term. I wondered what it meant, then once it was explained I realized I
    had always done that instinctively. I think most sports involve moves that
    work much like the split step in tennis, but folks who didn't play other sports
    may need more help with that.
     
  36. Avles

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    That's a pretty bad analogy. When I'm walking to the fridge to get a sandwich it doesn't really matter if I get to the sandwich a fraction of a second sooner or later, so I don't have to worry whether or not I'm in balance at the moment I decide to get that sandwich. But fractions of a second do matter in tennis. So tennis footwork isn't quite like "walking to a specific point" because economy of motion and time matter much more in tennis.

    Maybe some players do just naturally start split stepping once they've played a bit. But that's far from universal, as evidenced by the fact that there are tons of rec players who play tennis all the time and don't do it.

    Not overthinking is all well and good, and I agree that it's easy to get mired in unhelpful detail. But it's wacky to think that good footwork will just magically happen if everybody obeys their instincts. There's a place for instruction as well.
     
  37. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Not sure why he struggles under this misunderstanding of how MTM uses "natural".
    It has been explained to him before that it does not mean instinctive or what
    you might do without instruction, but it means what is a natural way for the
    body to function without being awkward or adding negative types of stress.
    In some cases things may actually be instinctive as well, but the main point of
    natural in MTM is about doing things that are "suitable" to how the body works.
     
  38. CCH4TENNIS

    CCH4TENNIS New User

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    Rhythm and Timing: Oscar Wegner Got It Right


    Stalk the ball. Find the ball. Rip the ball. Oscar Wegner is absolutely correct about the rhythm and timing of top hitters and I think his insight is still not well understood. Hopefully my site can confirm what Oscar brilliantly discovered, perhaps 30 years ago.

    Watch how Coria and Hewitt don't "take the racket back" right away. Instead they are "stalking" the ball. Getting a feel for the incoming ball. And delaying so that they can meet the ball at just the right time - not too late...or too early.



    Instead of "swinging fast" into the ball, these players work first on alignmnet - or what Oscar calls "finding the ball". They get hand, arm, body and racket properly positioned behind the ball first. Then they accelerate with the force of the hand and shoulder in a windshield wiper motion.

    More at http://www.hi-techtennis.com/oscar_wegner/rhythm_and_timing.php
     
  39. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    See what always happens is we end up fighting with one another and the thread gets deleted. I think it is best to direct all comments only at Oscar and towards those who comment directly on what he says. Like Oscar never said anything about not split stepping or for that matter about the Williams, but that is what generated more arguments than what he actually said.
     
  40. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Maybe, but it is not borne out by the thousands of bonafide USTA 4.5s who don't split step. Also, you are not a typical example of the adult with a desk job.

    I met many veteran 4.0s last week (all strangers). The only person who was split stepping was the assistant coach of the clinic (a member of the women's team at the local university). It was so obvious.
     
  41. JW10S

    JW10S Hall of Fame

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    Yes, it's kind of funny, and a little weird, when others attempt to speak for Wegner. In another thread 5263 said there is no abrupt change of direction in MTM--in this thread Wegner said there is indeed an abrupt change of direction, a 'yank'. 5263 has said the word 'modern' in MTM does not mean current, it is just a noun, a name--in this thread Wegner said the word is meant to be descriptive, therefore an adjective. Now we're hearing from arche3 and others what he means by natural, footwork, etc. Maybe Wegner should speak for himself, instead of those who clearly don't know near as much as they think they do, so everyone can honestly judge his work for what it is, and for what it isn't, without the unnecessary (and frankly creepy) fanboyism.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  42. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    what's a split step?
     
  43. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Well, the big difference between you and I is that I'll man up and admit to
    those mistakes or differences, posted by me and contradicted by Oscar.
    I admit my mistake while you continue your lack of class with your name
    calling and making creepy fanboy comments.
    As to the "yank", this lately is the first I've heard of him use it and am caught
    off guard by that idea.
    Honestly at this point, I'm not seeing it. Maybe it is a language thing and it is
    not in the book I'm pretty sure.

    As to the Modern noun comment, well I'm thinking Oscar was just trying to be
    accommodating with you and not stir up more fighting. He and I have talked on
    that topic before and I thought I understood his position more clearly.
    Either way, You are right, I have been contradicted in these areas.
    Of course I defer to Oscar to clear up any misconceptions on the MTM system he
    developed, but given his comment on modern, must admit that as a descriptor,
    it falls a bit short imo as well.
    As always, if someone makes a good point as you have in this case, I'm always
    ready to accept the superior position or comments.
    I can only do my best as always :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
  44. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    It just occurred to me that there is a simple model for the forehand - a door. It neglects the relative motions of the upper arm, forearm and wrist, but in the end, it is a door. Place a ball before a door which is fully open, and swing it. Then do the same (for the same distance from the hinge) when the door is half closed. The ball paths are totally different.

    The ball path is perpendicular to the door at contact - along the tangent. For the same contact point, if the hinge is in a place such that the door meets it in a more open position, it is a DTL shot. If the hinge position is such that the door meets it more closed, it is a CC shot.

    The same hinge position with the same contact point will not allow both types of shot to be hit (unless there is jerky wrist motion which is seen in some club players).

    Another way to look at it is to imagine drawing two circular arcs passing through the same point (the contact point) and with the same radius, but with different centers.

    The complication is with players like Fed and Nadal who can swipe the ball sideways for side spin, which a door cannot do.
     
  45. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Imo you are seeing this in a pretty good way, and if you could avoid the
    friction of the floor, I think you would also get the sidespin.
     
  46. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    Incorrect.
    You can pull across with any type of forehand. Oscar talks about bicep usage but there are other ways to do it. You can pull across with a minute change in torso rotation or a slight adjustment in tension in some part of the body such as the shoulder or hip or by a change in the amount of bend in your knees. You can even do it using the tilt of your shoulders or any combination of the above. Any such change during the swing no matter how small increases rhs considerably.

    Many people don't get this because they've never tried, or they won't try because they don't believe it or they don't want to change or because it challenges the method's they were taught since the beginning or because they can't see it because it's usually not a big move.

    The fact is it works. Not everyone does it and not everyone who does do it does it on every stroke. Pro's need every ounce of advantage they can get. A one inch tug here or there give or take that will increase rhs and spin will be utililized.

    Here's one player who does it on a larger scale that is easier to see:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-4ssvjz1Sg&t=2m05s

    watch it for a few mins
     
  47. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    I was not speaking about Oscar. Or for Oscar. But simply pointing out advanced tennis players do not think about split stepping. They just do it. It has nothing to do with what Oscar has said or not said. If any of the great players I've played with ever thought about doing it I'd be surprised. The point is great players move to the ball without much thought. They just get there.
    If anyone is still worried about not doing a split step they have not spent enough time on court or took up the game too late in life.
     
  48. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    If this is what Oscar means then I do this to an extent all the time. I was under another assumption. Oscar has a video of a junior trying this and he was pulling his bicep back way more forcefully. It changes the timing of the stroke because your activating your bicep muscle to pull back prior to contact as opposed to at the wrap. I think this is something new. Beyond the wiper. And frankly I've never heard anyone but Oscar say this.
     
  49. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    eh - you call it yanking to the left, i call it counterclockwise rotation.

    to-may-to
    to-maa-to
     
  50. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    in this clip he elaborates that it isn't just the rotation, but also a pull back type motion. my interpretation is that this means to actively pull across immediately before contact rather than to continue rotating through the ball. i haven't tried it yet.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYYc-bn5vz4
     
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