Need help with my Fore Hand (video)

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by tdk, Oct 24, 2007.

  1. tdk

    tdk Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2005
    Messages:
    145
    Here is yet annother video of my FH. Any input from you guys would be much appreciated.

    My intent in video is to:
    - make a big round take back (a few times I remember like in clip 3)
    - lean right with my upper body
    - align my shoulders to the oncomming ball
    - point my left arm perpendicular to the oncomming ball and then use it to swing my whole body arround (only I bring it close to my body quite early during the stroke)
    - keep racket head down during swing
    - bend my vrist back and dont straighten it out untill after ball contact
    - turn my upper body through the turn so that my swing is not done by my arm only
    - make the followthrough natural, relaxed and way over to the other side (not doing a good job at it I know)
    - perform a wind shield wiper finnish

    As you can see there is a lot going through my mind during that brief moment of hitting the oncomming ball.

    My conserns are related to what happens during and after ball contact. Not a proper follow through and my hips and legs seems to rotate in total unison to my upper body and arm. I would like to get proper upper/lower body separation (something we talk much about in alpine skiing). I know that I cannot compare myselfe to tour players but I think that I could improve my game if I got the movements dialed in.

    http://sports.topeverything.com/default.aspx?p=showprivatecontent&ID=ED+A+312
     
    #1
  2. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2007
    Messages:
    2,032
    Looks pretty good to me...

    ...I do have some thoughts, but the biggest single thing is...what kind of results are you getting? You're definitely hitting a pretty big ball, and if it's going in consistently, then you're most of the way there. Remember, it's like the difference between skiing and ski racing...there are no style points, really, and you have examples of people who had horrible forehands (Edberg comes to mind...), who still won a lot of majors.

    Having said all that, here's three things you might think about:

    - Takeback. Yep, a big, round takeback is a swell idea, because all things considered, it'll generate more pace, spin, etc....if you have the time. If you don't have the time, it can be a liability that causes you to hit the ball late, off center, etc. So when you're rallying, as you were in the video, by all means, try to go for a full takeback and a more or less "perfect" stroke every time. As soon as you get comfortable with it, however, start playing some drills or points where your coach or your partner moves you around and makes you stretch for some awkward balls. If you can still take a full takeback and wallop the ball, fine. If not, consider an abbreviated takeback, a la Agassi.

    Another thing about your takeback, I'd like to see you experiment with taking a full loop where your racket head gets real low at the end of the backswing so you can hit more low to high (more spin, and also, more pace more easily). You are hitting low to high, but you could hit "lower to higher" if you could get the racket head lower. It looks to me like you grew up Classical Eastern, which I also did, which was very much level swing. Today, it's very much Western low to high. One of the things I do to get myself more loop is to pretend I'm throwing a bowling ball. Bowlers get that real high loop at the takeback, but then they place the ball on the lane and snap from low to high.

    - Yep, I hear you about the lack of lower body separation, and it was my problem, too. I don't think you have it real bad, but it could be better. A lot of it is just in making sure you stay loose in the hips. Skiers talk upper and lower body. I don't think that's the way to look at it. I think of torso, legs, and the hips as connecting the torso and the legs. You've got these wonderful ball joints in your hips and this wonderful universal joint at the base of your spin that'll allow your legs and torso to do all kinds of things independently of and in opposition to each other...if you keep the hip area nice and loose.

    The most important thing, however, to the upper lower separation you're looking for is to do what my coach had me working on for about a month, which is to let the tip of the racket lead the stroke and the body follows the racket tip...not the other way around. If you throw your hips into the shot and hope the arm will do what it's supposed to, you've lost the game. Just think about stretching the racket tip toward that magic spot over the net during your follow through, and the hips and your momentum will follow along when they are supposed to...
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2007
    #2
  3. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2007
    Messages:
    2,032
    Additional thoughts...

    ...as soon as you start getting what you want down in rallies, as I said, start moving into playing points, point construction, finishing points, etc., while integrating your new forehand into the mix. The thing you'll find yourself having to step up, and it's something we all forget when we're trying to nail down a stroke once and for all, is that tennis, as Peter Burwash once noted, "a series of controlled emergencies." So your opponent doesn't want you to get set up for your big forehand, which means you have to learn how to temporize in order to play enough defense to get back in the point when you don't get a ball you can pound. And, similarly, if all you do is keep hitting one cookie-cutter forehand after another, eventually somebody at the 5.0 level and above (and you're obviously capable of playign 5.0 and above...), is going to figure out a way to counter your strength.

    What I'm saying is, as you get comfortable with your forehand, don't forget that variety is the spice of life, and tennis. Can you hit a heavy moonball with max topspin deep to the baseline? Because that's a shot that (a) some people do not like (and these are usually the same people who feed off a hard, flat ball) and (b) it's a great recovery stroke that let's you get back in a point when you're run wide, for example...
     
    #3
  4. paulfreda

    paulfreda Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2004
    Messages:
    1,614
    Location:
    Bangkok, Thailand
    Very nice video.
    What software/program did you use for editing it ?

    Classic Eastern FH swing. Excellent and consistent form !

    My advice is to not get too caught up in mechanics and the meta language.
    If you are hitting it in consistently [as said in 1st reply above] and able to keep it deep, then you are on 3rd base.

    I would have you try something different to deepen your understanding of the complexities of a FH. Think of this as a totally different shot and not an adjustment to your present swing which is just fine. Try making more of a Lansdorp type swing where you finish not with a windshield wiper but with the tip to the target. This may require you to close the face [pronating the forearm; rotation CCW] on the backswing a bit and then coming in to the ball suppinating [rotating the forearm clockwise] thru the hit. This will teach you to add power with the arm in addition to torso rotation and the leaning in to the ball with your body weight. Finish with the strings/hoop perpendicular to the court or even slightly closed and the racquet tip pointing to target.
    This works best on balls at or below waist level.
    This technique does not require the wrist laid back at all. In fact it allows you to release it to a straight position at finish when the tip is pointing to target. This is the new world you will learn about and it will give you options and shots you never had before.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2007
    #4
  5. tdk

    tdk Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2005
    Messages:
    145
    Thanks for great feedback skiracer55 :).

    Im 45 and Ive picked up tennis after not playing actively for more than 20 years. I now joined a masters group and play with a coach once a week in a group of four and additionally a couple of times depending on time scedule. I want to continue to play tennis for as long as it is physically possible and I want to get better at it. Thats because I know I can. Just gotto get the movements right and then work on consistancy. I dont play tournaments but I will deffinetly start playing ín out club masters series.

    You come with a very important observation and that is that I should be hitting lower to higher! I think this solves a lot of my problems with not enough spinn on the ball and having trouble with the follow through that stays too low. I will try the bowling ball consept with the full take back and the low to high swing.

    I really gotta get lose in the hip area. I think Im a bit too A-framed (if thats a proper tennis term I dont know) because it looks as though I could open up more and get moving arround smoother and faster.


    Thanks

    Tom


     
    #5
  6. tdk

    tdk Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2005
    Messages:
    145
    As a matter of fact I finally managed to beat my opponent that day of filming. More importantly than winning was the confidence I have gained by working on my FH and being able to rely on it to hit winners which I did many times just when called for.

    We have been practissing playing games with this guy this fall. We ralley for just a few minutes, go through all the strokes including volley and smash and then we start playing. Sometimes with drills like second serve only or not being allowed to hit wide but also serious anything goes tennis.

    Thanks for pointing that out.
     
    #6
  7. Jonnyf

    Jonnyf Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    Messages:
    5,047
    Location:
    Scotland ;-)
    Hi tdk, check the thread in hi-tech. I posted some more thoughts
     
    #7
  8. tdk

    tdk Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2005
    Messages:
    145
    Thanks for excellent posting and for your good words on the video. Its made with Sony Vegas, the budget version listing at under 100 bucks I think. There is a one month trial version available and there are great things you can do with it. These videos are made in just a few minutes but there are multiple video traxs as well as one for text and soundtrack. It has the mucho important slowmotion and there are hundreds of effects and transitions. This video/editing/www/forum consept is hard to beat and the best spent money I ever did.

    A couple of questions regarding the FH you are talking about. Should I start the stroke with the strings horisontal or vertical and finnish the stroke strings horisontal or vertical? One coach thaught us something like that on both FH and BH as first strokes when comming on court to get us dialed in on the game.

    Tom


     
    #8
  9. tdk

    tdk Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2005
    Messages:
    145
    Sure I will, I just did not get any feedback so I hopped here in the meantime....
     
    #9
  10. quicken

    quicken Professional

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Messages:
    1,126
    Location:
    Chambana, IL
    looks great
    although i have to say, the follow through looks a little stiff, you might want to relax your arm a bit.

    also am i the only one who feels that he is hitting the ball a little too late?
    hm i guess its only me =[
     
    #10
  11. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2007
    Messages:
    2,032
    Yep, that's it...



    ...that's exactly where I wanted you to go, and that's very much the same routine that my main hitting partner and I go through. Keep it up...you have some great fundamentals going, and if you keep up sith this program, it's only gonna improve from here...best of luck, and keep in touch!
     
    #11
  12. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,466
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida
    Nice smooth forehand, great video.

    Thanks for sharing.
     
    #12
  13. FEDEX1

    FEDEX1 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Messages:
    384
    uhhh all i can say is that you dont follow through on your forehand. im not sure what not following through does but all i know is you should follow throuh your strokes.
     
    #13
  14. paulfreda

    paulfreda Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2004
    Messages:
    1,614
    Location:
    Bangkok, Thailand
    Lansdorp FH

    What I said about pronation going back and suppination coming thru the ball really applies best to SW and W type grips. Since changing grips is so drastic I think it best if you just tried finishing with the tip of the frame pointing to the target and your wrist no longer laid back. This is how Sampras and Davenport learned it from Robert Lansdorp. The releasing of the wrist will give you a more relaxed natural stroke and more power. Works best on benign balls and should be thought of as an entirely different shot from your video technique [which is quite good IMO].
    Open face on the backswing, tip pointing to the back fence, and then finish with the strings perpendicular [or slightly closed] to the court, tip pointing to target.
    It is worth the effort to hit enough balls to learn this technique.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2007
    #14

Share This Page