My Hitting Video-Advice Welcome Pt.2

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Ballinbob, Feb 11, 2014.

  1. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    For CC topspin fh, practice the pivot from the outer foot more than linear wt transfer. More open stance helps. Do more of the rotational stretch on your core/waist/lower back. I sense your core is pretty tight. When the soft tissues are tight there's nothing the muscles can do to override them.
     
    #51
  2. EP1998

    EP1998 Semi-Pro

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    Isn't Jeff salzenstein based in CO? It would be great if he could comp you a lesson or two for promotional purposes. He could film it to promote his site.
     
    #52
  3. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    He is but he doesn't teach out of where I play anymore (Gates Tennis Center). I know he used to charge $75/hr before but I don't know what happened to him. I will be in that area tomorrow and will ask around about him...that is a good idea
     
    #53
  4. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    In the meantime, something you might do is check to see if there are any group drill sessions at 4.5 level in your area. Those usually don't run more than $10 or $15 per session. Even though they aren't really supposed to "coach" during those sessions, a good pro who runs group drills will usually put small nuggets of coaching in.

    I have attended awesome group drills at 4.0-4.5. I think it cost me something like $12. I met some really good hitters and also got some great pointers/tips from not only the teaching pro, but also the other players themselves.
     
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  5. shindemac

    shindemac Hall of Fame

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    About the balance issue.

    I don't think it's an issue with your footwork because even with shots that you have plenty of time and set up properly, you still tend to have the same issues. Honestly, I think it's because you try to hit topspin and you think low to high or up in your head. Your swing should be low-to-high, but you unconsciously also raise your left leg up. Since you think all the energy should go up instead of forward, you try to raise your entire body 'up' but it ends up being up and back since you are trying not to get any forward momentum. It's not that you are trying to move backwards, but the opposite of forward is backward when instead you should stay planted.

    Look at 2:45 and you'll see the things I mention.

    You need to change your mental image of what a topspin shot is. It isn't swinging straight up or vertical. There's still a forward component. Instead of your swing path being 90 degrees or vertical, think of the swing path as being 45 degrees. Your contact point need to be more in front too, at least a foot.

    To practice these elements, I would actually hit 100% flat again. I didn't see these balance issues from that vid a few years ago when you hit flat. Notice changes in your balance, contact point, and power. Once you get the feeling of a proper stroke again, then hit topspin but at a 45 degree swing path. Try to have your balance and contact point resemble your flat stroke, and not your previous topspin stroke.
     
    #55
  6. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    This is a good call. Way too many people prop as I called it in my earlier post - they lift up as if their mind his told them jumping or being in balletic positions is going to somehow improve their shot. I said I thought some of it was down to people mimicking what they see on TV because I truly believe people are sponges far more than they realise in that respect > they see a slow-mo or still shot of a pro hitting some amazing winner and see that they're often in the air and doing the classic (see pic below) air time. What they miss is the poise and balance (also see the pic below). I see this every single time I go to the club and it is an almost universal trait of lower level players.

    Mimicry is not a bad thing at all - look at Dimitrov - but seeing what is actually going on is key. That takes a bit of understanding of the stroke and working out what is fundamental and what is flare (or merely situational).
    [​IMG]
     
    #56
  7. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    Hey Bob, as some others have said, you have a nice game. We all can improve stuff, but you hit a good ball.

    With the strokes you have, which are good, I think you could do a bit more damage in the rallies with a few strategy points.

    • One thing I notice is that once the competitive part of the rally gets started, after you both have hit a few up the middle to get things started, you tend keep hitting to the middle (with no obvious intent). The first, most obvious play is to go cross court once your opponent has started trying to move you around. Second would be to go to his bh and then cover the bisecting angle. You can go at him harder and see if he will get out of the way of the ball so he can swing at it. Any of these can set-up other shots in a series, but a rally ball up the middle is just giving the guy meat.
    • Hitting to the bh is good, but I saw some instances when you hit dtl to your opponent's bh and then you didn't even recover to the center hash, much less left of the center hash where you should have been. You shuffled a couple of steps left and then set-up, still well to the right of the center hash. Generally if you go dtl on either side, you gotta rip over to cover the bisector of your opponent's available angles on the opposite side of the center hash mark. If your shot's especially good you might step into the court a bit. If your shot's weak then you might take a step backward because you've just hurt yourself.
    • You did hurt your opponent when you made him move. You tended to get weaker balls and UFEs when he had to go wide on either side. Sometimes he got himself out of trouble, but it was a reasonable play.
    • As was already mentioned, he hurt you when he made you move wide. Join the club and work on defense on those wide shots.
     
    #57
  8. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    Hey all thanks for the replies. I think everyone is right when they're saying I don't understand how to get topspin in an efficient way. I just recently learned how to do that and it will take time to correct

    Maybe the balance will get better when my forehand improves. As topspin noted, I'm not off balance on my backhand. So maybe the same will be true if I fix my forehand issues

    Would you guys like to see a practice set by the way? I might be able to get a hit in with the tall black guy tomorrow and I can film it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2014
    #58
  9. shindemac

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    Even if the forums manage to fix some of your forehand problems, I would still recommend a good coach. He'll be able to spot your problems, find the root cause, and offer good solutions. Just imagine everytime you have a problem in your game, and you come to this forum and get advice that is all over the place. That could be weeks of wasted time, and how do you know who to listen to? Is it your footwork, the loading phase, elbow, or something else? In your last thread, look at when the balance issues on your forehand were mentioned. As your technique improves, do you expect this forum to notice even subtler things about your game?
     
    #59
  10. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Practice set against any peer or better is appreciated.
    Try playing your normal game a few games, then try the more aggressive style, allowing for long shots of course.
    You can't improve without making the mistakes. Practice, its not winning or losing, it's working on new things.
     
    #60
  11. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    This is a good post. Very true and to the point

    I will hire my 5.0 friend as a coach this summer. You are right, I get a lot of different advice on here. I know to listen to Cheetah, Topspin, and Lee but there is some advice Ive gotten here that was very questionable.

    Anyway, here is a 7 point rally game from today. I tried being more aggressive and moving the ball around. Went for some shots I don't usually attempt but it was fun. I know I haven't fixed anything, this is just a for fun video

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwlNJlNCcxc&feature=youtu.be
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2014
    #61
  12. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Very viewable, nice camera angle.
    Did you know your partner, a lesser player, moves less than 1/2 the distance that you do?
    Your only shot is to his backhand. Everything else up the center.
    Seems he feeds, you hit to his backhand, he hits to your forehand, over and over.
    That slice is still wierd, like bent wrist or something on the short followthru.
    Yes, your shots are lower and harder.
     
    #62
  13. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    You're right about the boring patterns we play. I noticed when I decided to go cross court to move him around I was in control of the point. I'm trying my best to add more variety to my baseline game and not only hit to the backhand.

    I personally liked hitting the ball harder like this...I hope I will be able to become more consistent with those shots. If I hit hard and aim for a safe target like CC then it should be doable. And yeah my slice is garbage lol, i dont know how I even make it work
     
    #63
  14. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    I can see you were trying to play aggressively. I don't think you have the tools to do this in a tournament match, but it's good to stretch your skills in practice. One thing I did notice from a quick view is that your crosscourt forehand footwork is much cleaner.
     
    #64
  15. Spin Doctor

    Spin Doctor Professional

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    You don't jump on your BH because you are hitting neutral stance or closed stance. You will notice that in the video MightyRick posted earlier that the good forehand he noticed, you hit that neutral stance. You only jump when you hit an open stance FH. It is unnatural to jump when hitting neutral stance. Two posters in your previous thread mentioned that you should try hitting neutral stance classic FHs but their posts didn't get any traction and although I agreed with them I didn't want to get into it with the Modern Tennis Nazis on this site.

    As far as figuring out the source of your jumping, I think Bobby is right that a lot of it stems from watching pros and also open stance lends itself to jumping if a ball is high or deep. I see a lot of players jumping while hitting open stance.

    Solution: Stop jumping. Just stop. People overcomplicate this stuff but you just need to keep your bloody feet on the ground. Alternatively, try hitting neutral stance for a while (or on easier balls that are in the middle of the court) to rid yourself of the jumping habit.

    I also think you need to focus on what your pro told you about the contact point. It is hard to tell from watching this video but it looks to me like you still need to hit further in front. Resolving your contact point could influence quite a few issues:

    - hitting CC will be easier
    - more power
    - may solve your balance issues and stop you from jumping.
    - may indirectly force you to shorten your backswing in order to meet the contact point earlier

    Trust the pro you worked with. He saw you in person and has experience teaching, most of us here don't. IMO, you should only be working on the 3 items he mentioned to you and the most important thing he mentioned was the contact point.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2014
    #65
  16. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for being honest and I really like the neutral stance tip Spin Doctor. I am working on what the pro told me and I will start working with a solid 5.0 friend of mine this summer.

    I guess I just wanted a place to post my progress... I'm not really taking advice anymore as I have what my pro told me and plenty more

    As for the contact point, it is still at the top of my list of things to work on
     
    #66
  17. Spin Doctor

    Spin Doctor Professional

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    Not saying you shouldn't hit open stance. It seems like open stance is more suitable to your game style. But you just need to get rid of the jumping habit. Balance issues are a problem with open stance. Try to think of pushing off that back leg, not jumping off it.
     
    #67
  18. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    Bob, do you jump on open stance backhands?
     
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  19. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    Yeah I do. I don't hit too many of them and try to avoid hitting open stance backhands altogether. If it's a ball where I'm stretched I prefer to slice it rather than hit an open stance backhand

    Why do you ask though ?
     
    #69
  20. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    Because I'm curious whether you lose balance on open stance backhands. I realize you won't hit them often.
     
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  21. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    Yeah I lose balance when hitting anything open stance

    5263 is the one who told me to hit open stance forehands. Look at my old forehand from 2012. i was hitting a much flatter, bigger forehand, not falling over, ect. I took his advice and changed my forehand to what I have now. The forehands from the 2012 vid look better than what I have now IMO

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5nJok7hB1c

    look at this thread: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=425530

    PS: MMI is unbanned
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2014
    #71
  22. Spin Doctor

    Spin Doctor Professional

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    Eh, sorry I don't want to bring the open vs. neutral stance issue into this thread. Your pro didn't mention it, so neither should I. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to open stance vs. neutral stance. There are pros and cons to both.

    I like Jeff Salzenstein's approach (he calls it closed stance, I call it neutral):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDFYvkk-e84
     
    #72
  23. dknotty

    dknotty Semi-Pro

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    Totally agree on the balance bit here. Whenever you look a any pro, even when they do jump, their core doesn't move much.

    You are simply unable to get consistency if your core is moving randomly on many strokes. All the good work around your swing will be for nothing If it's not off a stable foundation.
     
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  24. Cheetah

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    That's why balance is a fundamental.
     
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  25. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    Yeah it is indeed a crucial fundamental. I'm going to try to use a neutral stance for balls where I'm not stretched as I seem wayyy more balanced and natural looking on those

    Really bummed my pro and 5263 didn't pick up on this but whatever...All is good though, I know exactly what to work on

    I'll just use this thread and post periodic videos so you can track my progress. If my black friend gets back to me I'll get a practice set up by Friday or so

    And Cheetah, are you waiting till I improve more to show me that "pretty ATP style swing" you were talking about earlier?
     
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  26. dknotty

    dknotty Semi-Pro

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    Fwiw I had a lesson when I got back to tennis and this is the first thing my guy picked up... But then he didn't spot other things.

    I guess no one is perfect and in a lesson I suspect coaches pick a few things to work on only otherwise you get overwhelmed.
     
    #76
  27. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    I think you're pro would have touched on balance if you were taking more lessons with him. I'm sure he understands balance since he was an actual touring pro. Besides he's seen you hit once. ttw has seen it your vids 100 times.

    I was basically going to write up what i did in ts's thread but i knew it would be hard to write. plus the last vid of yours made me decide to wait. info overload. figured you should work on balance first so i didnt want to sidetrack. balance is fundamental so it comes first.
    Your old vid looks pretty good haha.
     
    #77
  28. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    Yeah I saw those posts in TopspinShot's thread and printed them haha, thanks

    Going to put the advice from that thread on the back burner for now till I get a bit better. And yeah I prefer my 2012 forehand over the one I have now, I was getting easy power then. I could smoke the ball with little effort, now... Not so much
     
    #78
  29. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    FYI: the listed youtube vid has been deleted or something.
     
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  30. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    #80
  31. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, these forehands are absolutely what you want. There is zero that needs to change in these forehands. In fact, the particular forehand that I pointed out as "your best" in the other video is exactly like the ones in this 2012 video.

    Plenty of professionals hit in a neutral stance. There is nothing wrong with it. If you can hit a consistent ball, keep it in, and get enough spin... it is absolutely fine.
     
    #81
  32. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    I know ! I remember my forehand was a pretty big shot back then. For some reason I thought the open stance forehand was all cool and superior to everything else and started using it for everything.

    I can't tell if it was bad TTW advice that transformed my forehand like this or if it was just me being stupid. Whatever, this is fixable at least. I know what to do
     
    #82
  33. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Small factor in your choice of stance, but one I see in every player from 3.5 thru 5.0.....
    You very first feed ball, the one you drop, determines your "favored" stance on your forehands. If you hit that first ball open stance, then you will hit every easy ball open stanced. If you hit neutral on the first self drop feed, you will learn to hit neutral as you preferred de facto forehand. If you hit closed, you will find every excuse to close your stance as often as possible when hitting forehands.
    We all DO what we practice, and what we choose to practice.
     
    #83
  34. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    Not sure about "zero," but yeah, this in general is what he wants. IMO, he needs a little more spin that what he's getting in this video, but overall, it's a much more solid swing, and with a couple little tweaks, he can get the spin.
     
    #84
  35. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    Neutral stance is for approaches and when the ball's coming within a few steps of you, and you have time to set up. Open stance is for when you're moving laterally, or the ball's blasted at you, and you can't get out of the way. On the backhand, open stance is only for the last case, when the ball's blasted at you.
     
    #85
  36. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    About to hit on a ball machine... Let's see if I can eliminate the pat the butt once and for all and stay balanced
     
    #86
  37. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    Do it mate! I'll be working on my core rotation as I shovel.
     
    #87
  38. MeMyselfandI

    MeMyselfandI Guest

    I worry about Bob's game, there is a stage when too much advice actually hinders your development. I find shadow swinging and watching pros the two most effective things for my personal technical development and also video recording my serve.

    Pick a pro, study there movement and set up, stance and body movements. Try and copy their footwork, stance, body movements and preparation.
     
    #88
  39. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Good stuff, MMI!
    But maybe, some of us don't learn the same way as other's.
    Some need to know why, the celebrally learn it, then apply it on court.
    Other's just look at JohanKriek, and blast winners from any concieveable location on his court to any concievable location to the opponent's court.
    And then there are the tweeners, who need both celebral knowledge and visual clues to copy.
     
    #89
  40. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    don't get too fixated on the concept of balance. that's how you prevent achieving good balance. Because for good balance there has to be fluidity and great range of motion besides the sheer strength. If you want to improve your balance, improve balance standing on one leg and move the other leg to challenge the balance. once you can swing the leg in the air anyway you want and still keep the balance, your two legged balance will be very good. do a bunch of lateral step ups. and lateral leg raises.
     
    #90
  41. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Balance.
    Widen your feet at ball impact, or when you start your forward swing.
    With wider feet, including backfoot, your front foot will be grounded.
    Look at the pics posted on this thread. Wide feet stance.
     
    #91
  42. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    It's not that simple for me. I like to know what I'm doing and why, not just blindly copy a pro.

    I too really like video though, shows you exactly what you're doing.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2014
    #92
  43. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    I do a lot of stair workouts and lunges which require some balance, but I will incorporate standing on one leg too. I really like that exercise
     
    #93
  44. shindemac

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    Reread that thread about the open stance. It does have its advantages that even you noticed.

    I reread the original thread from 2012. No one told you to shift your contact point so far back, and to swing straight up. (TBH, your swing path was becoming more straight up and back).

    I don't know if he's not a native English speaker, but it's worded kinda strange. To translate, you still need to hit through the ball AND up at the same time. So if you combine a flat stroke with a vertical swing, you get a 45 degree swing path which is how I described it. _ + | = \

    (Your 2012 fh is flat. Your topspin fh is vertical. Your newest vid is 45 degree topspin.)

    Worded badly and bad grammar makes it hard to understand. First paragraph says if you want to hit flatter (more power), use a 15 to 30 degree swingpath.

    Second paragraph says if you want more topspin, use a steeper swingpath (like 60 to 75 degrees). Basically, he's telling you how to vary your swingpath to get more power or more topspin. He also throws in other concepts that confuses me. When I gave you advice earlier, I left out these 2 things (hitting flatter, hitting more spin) since it seemed like you didn't understand the basic concept of how to generate topspin. I don't like the kitchen sink approach to advice. Once you get the basics down of how to hit topspin, then you can work on varying the amount of spin/pace.

    Going back to the issue of how you came down this road the last two years. Some of it might be due to the hard to understand advice. Some of it is your lack of tennis knowledge to correctly apply the advice. And some of it is your penchant to take things to the extreme. (open stance is awesome, swinging straight up, open stance is the cause of all my problems).
     
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  45. MeMyselfandI

    MeMyselfandI Guest

    I never said blindly copy a pro.

    It is the best way to learn I believe. You learn how pros hop when hitting an approach shot in a close stance ala Federer/Haas, or some glide through the ball in an open stance, ala Nadal or Lopez when he approaches down the line.

    You learn how to stand for a serve, sideways like the pros, you learn of the platform or pinpoint, you learn about the trophy position. You learn millions of things.

    You dont need to and sometimes I think it is even a waste of time to teach people pat the dog, hitting topspin with pronation/ supination etc etc.

    The fundamentals of teaching a topspin forehand are a unit turn, looped backswing and finishing across the shoulder yet none of these things seem to ever be mentioned here? It is all about pronation thorugh contact and stuff like engaging the SSC to get the holy grail of all ATP forehands.
     
    #95
  46. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    This is good advice. Jumping is the crux of so many rec players but it is unproductive to think of hitting the ball requiring a jump or having your body flailing around like you see in so many classic media shots of players.

    The stability and solidness of their base is a huge part of what makes the top pros' strokes so great. That's why we hear constantly about how great their movement and footwork is - it enables them to hit a higher percentage of shots without reaching/leaning/lunging. When their movement suffers - take Federer for an example - the quality and consistency of their average shot plummets quite quickly. And this can be seen across all levels of player.
     
    #96
  47. Ballinbob

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    That last paragraph sums it up well. I never really studied tennis and just played. I am originally a track and field athlete and picked up tennis quickly. I'm just now starting to understand the technical side of the game and why the pros hit like they do. It's just now clicking for me

    5263 meant well in that thread but he confused me a bit. I then with my limited tennis knowledge tried to do as he said and I took it to the extreme. I hope this time around I will make a move in right direction as I'm understanding WHY I'm making the changes I am
     
    #97
  48. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

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    I'm sorry... but hitting video's are useless for most part. Post a video with you 2 guys playing a set and post all points (not just winners or good ones). You will get better feedback and improve your game a lot faster that way.
     
    #98
  49. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Tiebreaker's is sufficient, best of 12, first to 7, by 2.
    It only counts when all the parts are put together.
    And our attention spans might be too short for a real set.
     
    #99
  50. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    Sep 7, 2008
    Messages:
    3,327
    Location:
    colorado
    Why are hitting videos bad if your intent is to spot technique problems? That was the intent of the thread... This is not a show off thread by any means.

    That being said, I can post a set no problem believe me. I probably won't take anyone's advice until I fix what's on my list first though
     

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