Open or Closed Stance

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by joeygun, Jul 25, 2013.

  1. joeygun

    joeygun New User

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    Working on my daughter's forehand. Any help appreciated.

    Thanks
     
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  2. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    I would not bother with closed or neutral (the terminology is not always consistent) stances, the time of 65inch wooden rackets is way behind us where those stances were a sheer necessity.

    Also I would avoid any instructor who shows a back to front forehand swing with a stiff wrist with one foot way in front of the other.

    But that is just my opinion. :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2013
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  3. The Meat

    The Meat Hall of Fame

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    You hit with open or closed depending on the shot. It's impossible to go forward and hit a forehand hitting open stance(unless of course you slide forwards somehow with both feet in horse position. :)). Do you mean just neutral baseline? Depends on how much time you have.
     
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  4. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    The Gangnam style forehand!
    [​IMG]

    http://youtu.be/8Bq8z2OoRQU
     
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  5. VeeSe

    VeeSe Rookie

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    If I have time, I always go mostly neutral stance on forehands (maybe not completely sideways, but most of the way there). There are plenty of guys on tour who do this too (Berdych comes to mind). Of course, you'll have to know how to hit both kinds, as you'll still be hitting open stance quite often.
     
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  6. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    All. But mostly open. If the ball is coming right towards you you can step into it and finish OTS. However for most shots you want to step out - swing more across the body and finish lower with a WW swing. If you watch the players on the tour they are mostly doing this..

    Actually very occasionally they will used closed stance too. In squash you frequently hit out of a closed stance but of course its a backspin/flatish sort of squash shot. Pros will use this as a 'emergency' measure. But in truth they can hit it pretty reliably. You can use this shot on both wings - but I am not certain its something a rec player needs to practice.
     
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  7. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    Both, depending of the situation. On groundstrokes open stance helps generate more power, while approach shots benefit from the gain of precision of a closed stance.

    I'd teach her the closed stance. beginners tens to be lazy in positioning and footwork, so while open stance sounds good, it tends to give bad habits to the player. Once closed stance is mastered, make her learn the open stance.
     
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  8. ProgressoR

    ProgressoR Hall of Fame

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    I agree with Lukhas, I am teaching my daughters, and am focussing on neutral stance, once they get the hang of that, then I can look at more open stance options.

    They are new to tennis and i think neutral or closed helps to the get the sideways thing and turning the shoulders more naturally.
     
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  9. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    Teach her the neutral stance first, closed stance is useless at this point and pretty much will be except for a few rare occasions. Once she's comfortable with that, start to introduce open stance on wide and deep balls and go from there. Teach her to find the ball with her right leg on forehand, and left leg on backhand (for righty). Find meaning distance from the ball, loading, etc.

    Can't give anymore info than that sorry. No idea about your daughter's level, age, experience etc. For all we know she could be 3 yrs old. Any other advice is pure speculation or generic answers you see in every other thread.
     
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  10. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    More detail needed OP...
     
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  11. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Semi open and neutral for FH, semi open, neutral and closed for BH
     
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  12. joeygun

    joeygun New User

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    More Information

    Daughter is 16, right handed, HS junior varsity - probably 2.0 - 2.5 skill level.
     
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  13. ATP100

    ATP100 Professional

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    Start with hitting the ball high over the net.
    I know, I know, sounds basic, but, most recreational players can't do this.
     
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  14. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    Woot, I meant neutral stance. Switch "closed" with "neutral" and the point stands. Anyway, closed is still worth it for approach shots or to gain precision, but I guess we're not quite there yet.
     
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  15. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    Don't really know US ratings, but I gather that is pretty basic?

    With that in mind I would concentrate on helping her find and protect her contact point before specifically focussing on the foot positions. You might be surprised how well she places her feet if you put her in situations where she has to work to protect her contact.

    Hope this makes sense?

    Cheers
     
    #15
  16. joeygun

    joeygun New User

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    Stance

    Awesome, thanks!
     
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  17. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    work with mostly open and semi open stances in instruction.
    Neutral/closed will then be easy on the rare times you need them for a
    good contact point. Sure they are used here and there to facilitate a
    quality contact point at times, but not the ideal way to do it if you have
    time to set up for one of the open stances.

    Semi open and open teach the coil, but with closed and neutral there is
    no coil and the shoulders are still inline with the hips, so....you can only
    uncoil into the ball...not the best or most natural swing.
    Needs to be augmented with forward linear momentum...not the best for
    controlling power in a shot.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2013
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  18. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    My advice is to start with neutral and semi-open stances. Save the closed stance for much later. I still teach the neutral first, making certain that the student properly coils and uncoils. Shortly after, I introduce the semi-open stance -- making sure that the feet still turn and the torso coils properly.

    Despite what some here may believe, the neutral stance is not dead or even rare in the modern game. It is still used quite a bit at the pro levels.

    http://www.optimumtennis.net/tennis-stances.htm
    http://www.optimumtennis.net/images/neutral-stance-tennis.jpg

    [​IMG]


    http://blog.tennisspeed.com/
    .
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2013
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  19. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    More views on the various stances... Nick B's bias with his "Killer Forehand" is to develop both the open and neutral stances and minimize the use of the closed stance. Dave Smith, however, does show the closed stance as an advanced technique on some running FHs. Here is what he has to say about FH stances on the TennisOne site:

    "While it is absolutely true that the open stance forehand has indeed become synonymous with today’s ‘modern forehand,’ the idea of abandoning the closed or neutral stance forehand is a mistake among those who choose to only offer an open stance patterns to their students."

    http://www.tennisplayer.net/public/famouscoach/nick_bollet/nick_bollet_killer_forehand_part2_images/nick_bollet_killer_forehand_part2.html

    http://www.tennisone.com/newsletter/template/6.1.06.newsletter.html
     
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  20. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Interesting comment by Dave there, as I've never seen or heard of any instruction
    that abandoned the closed/neutral stance, and at MTM we are some of the
    strongest proponents of open/semi open stance for the Fh and even some use
    on the Bh.
     
    #20
  21. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    by the way....

    this morning working with an adult student who had learned traditional and
    played that way for yrs...
    We were working on his shoulder turn and how to improve it on his Fh.
    Noticed when we put him in closed/neutral stances to show him how it was
    different than when semi open in how with neutral,, no coil is required for shldr
    turn since the side stance already turns the shoulders.
    When we did this we found that not only did he not coil, but he sort of counter
    coiled...meaning he had a slight coil in the torso but in the wrong direction...

    From there we were able to illustrate how the side stance is not only counter to
    coiling, but can even cause some to actually coil a bit the wrong way....
    which will greatly limit power and contribute to arming it a bit in most cases.

    By putting him in a semi open stance, we could let him experience a proper
    torso coil and how uncoiling from there was easy and added to the natural
    flowing power of the stroke.
    Really helped in this case and greatly improved his use of the hips and shoulders
    into the stroke and way less "arming it". :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2013
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  22. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    I have seen quite a few in my area that are coaching high school or high-level junior players that appeared to have abandoned the neutral (and closed) stance. Don't know (or think) that they are MTM. Altho' I still (usually) start with the neutral stance with new students, I usually expose them to both the neutral and semi-open very early in development.

    Some will spontaneously hit with an open stance even before I introduce it to them. If they are performing it correctly, I'll let them hit that way w/o saying anything. If not, I'll have them make the necessary adjustments to perform it correctly. Eventually, I demo and explain the similarities and diffs between the neutral and the (semi) open stances. If, after a while, they are only using one type of stance, I'll have them perform shadow swings and hit balls with the other as a reminder that they have options.
     
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  23. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    The point for the OP (and any other parent/coaches) is that hitting stances are situation dependant. As a coach your job is to put the player in the situation and help them discover the optimum way to handle it - this is true technically, tactically, mentally and physically. As a general rule your hitting stance will vary from hitting off the front foot when moving up the court, off the outside foot when working laterally and off the back foot when working deep behind the baseline.

    Any coach who limits their player to only working in one stances limits their effectiveness to one situation only. This is my issue with teaching stance first. If you go contact first you can easily manoeuvre the player into different situations and see their footwork patterns adapt accordingly.

    SysAn - When you say you explain the similarities and differences between neutral and open stances - what do you explain?
     
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