playing like Jim Courier

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by vkartikv, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. vkartikv

    vkartikv Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 4, 2005
    Messages:
    3,282
    Location:
    The Gym
    What FH grip did he use? I don't understand why people thought his baseball style game was ugly. I was watching the classic AO 95 q/f between Courier and Sampras and it was 3.5 hours of high quality tennis from both. I'm curious as to why no one has tried to replicate/follow Courier's game today.
     
    #1
  2. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    36,324
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    I suspect Courier was a tough, 6' tall, 185lbs guy who jerked at the ball with lightning fast twitch muscle development. His SW forehand grip was cutting edge, his compact strokes hard for most players to duplicate, and his quick movements and recognition something just above level of the way most of us moved and acquired.
    Obvioiusly he was practiced and grooved, but his style would indicate he practiced MORE than his peers, more hours, harder work, more dedication.
    I'm lazy, and would like to breeze thru with as little hard work as possible.
     
    #2
  3. smoothtennis

    smoothtennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    1,541
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    I for one, loved Courier's game then and now. I was just watching him play Wayne Ferriera on the Senior's Tour, and Jim was just crushing forehands all over the place.

    The thing about Courier to take away is that his takeback is ultra compact. Yet the way he uses his body to generate pace is just amazing. His shallow takeback is why I think his shots look slappy sometimes - but it is solid technique.

    Even today - if guys let a ball get to his forehand - they are pretty much going to get thrown around for a few more shots, and then the winner will be on the way. At least the was the case against Wayne.
     
    #3
  4. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    36,324
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Wow, I'd think a guy with Smoothtennis moniker would detest those short violent compact strokes and embrace the long fluid strokes of a Mecir or other slow moving, long stroking guys.
    What do I know?
     
    #4
  5. Mike Cottrill

    Mike Cottrill Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2004
    Messages:
    1,626
    “why no one has tried to replicate/follow Courier's game today” There are plenty of players that build their game around a serve and forehand. Are you referring to his stroke mechanics or the playing style?
     
    #5
  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    36,324
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    I suspect he means the short, violent, rapid fire strokes only Courier employs.
     
    #6
  7. smoothtennis

    smoothtennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    1,541
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    LOL! I don't 'detest' the way he hits a tennis ball. And yes, I go for a more fluid shot personally in my technique. I appreciate and try to understand what Jim does as I would with Nadal. I would never try to hit shots like Nadal however. Sorry if I dissapointed you.
     
    #7
  8. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    36,324
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    NO no, you didn't come close to disappointing anyone.
    Just Smoothtennis doesn't evoke strokes like Couriers, that's all.
    And when I try to emulate ANY pro's strokes and form, by game goes deadly downhill to the bottom of the pits.
    Sure, it's nice to be ABLE to understand and hit like some top pros, but copying them is just a sure formula for failure.
    I'm built the way I am, move the way I do, and see the ball the way I see it.
    Badly, yes. Like an old person, yes. Like an injured old person, yes. Like a blowhard thinks he knows it all old person, yes. I yam what I yam.
     
    #8
  9. smoothtennis

    smoothtennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    1,541
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    Funny stuff LeeD. :)
     
    #9
  10. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    36,324
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Yup !
    You know, you live ONE life. You can life it THEIR way, you can live it YOUR way, it's your choice.
    On your deathbed, the worst words you want to hear is ..... "what if"....
     
    #10
  11. vkartikv

    vkartikv Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 4, 2005
    Messages:
    3,282
    Location:
    The Gym
    The stroke mechanics is what I was referring to. We are yet to see another baseball style player but there are a million budding Nadals...
     
    #11
  12. oneguy21

    oneguy21 Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Messages:
    817
    Location:
    Northern Virginia, not Virginia
    Are you sure he used a sw? I thought he used a western grip. Anyway, Courier used to be one of the fittest players on the tour. He was an offensive grinder.
     
    #12
  13. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    36,324
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Not sure, but there was one TennisMag article on Courier vs Kriek forehand grips and they look pretty much the same.
    Now remember, few playes actually used Western those days, sos it was cutting edge and NOT normal. Even Borg, being an aberation grip, didn't seem as Western as some players use nowadaze, especially some of the European women.
    Tall guys don't need much western, as they don't get high bouncers like shorties.
    HaroldSolomon used western, or almost, not anything like eastern forehands.
     
    #13
  14. Mike Cottrill

    Mike Cottrill Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2004
    Messages:
    1,626
    Well,
    It appears to me he uses a western FH grip.
    As to why most would say, “Do not use JC as guide to learn your strokes”:
    Although JC gets to and through the hitting zone with excellent results, how it gets there is what most would end up coping. How he gets there works for him, but most likely would not for majority of players. When a young kid or new to tennis player watches tennis on TV of JC, they will see jerks, mannerisms and ticks which overshadows the important points of a particular stroke.
    Do you see kids copying Nadal style or couches teaching it? Back when JC and the others were king of the hill, kids would copy them, but would copy the jerks, mannerisms and ticks and miss the important part of the strokes,

    My opinion anyway
     
    #14
  15. wihamilton

    wihamilton Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2007
    Messages:
    1,535
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    Courier had a pretty extreme grip. I don't think his game was ugly, but it was very unorthodox. I would strongly recommend against trying to hit groundies like him. A similar mistake would be to try and hit a Nadal-style reverse forehand right out of the gate. If you're looking for a forehand to copy, copy Frank Salazar's (linked below). He's the former #1 junior in the world, now a top high-performance coach, and one of his kids just won the Orange Bowl 16s.

    Baller Forehand
     
    #15
  16. Hirotto

    Hirotto New User

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2008
    Messages:
    33
    I read that the forehand Bolletieri teaches is modelled after Courier's. I think he used a Semi western grip if that is the case.
     
    #16
  17. vandre

    vandre Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2007
    Messages:
    1,761
    Location:
    no man's land
    if you're gonna park yourself in the backhand corner of the court, you'd better be looking to run around a ton!

    on the up side, you can quit practicing your backhand so much. if you're gonna play like courier, you're not gonna use it!
     
    #17
  18. Mike Cottrill

    Mike Cottrill Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2004
    Messages:
    1,626
    Not one of my better pictures, but I think you can clearly see his grip.
    [​IMG]
     
    #18
  19. Mike Cottrill

    Mike Cottrill Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2004
    Messages:
    1,626
    Hi Will, do you work with Frank? I saw some clips of him teaching some blue chips on the tube. Do you get to hit with him and his students?
     
    #19
  20. wihamilton

    wihamilton Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2007
    Messages:
    1,535
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    Hey Mike. Frank's a good friend of mine. We used to work together when I was at the Tennis Center in College Park. If you watch the intro video on FYB he's in there. We do hit on occasion. Haven't hit with his "blue chips" but I know them. Great kids as well as great tennis players.
     
    #20
  21. sinned

    sinned New User

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2006
    Messages:
    84
    I was at the Stanford champions tournament, and i believe he hits with a western grip, and if its a SW, it is very extreme...even more than Roddicks.
     
    #21
  22. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    36,324
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Good point.
    But for Wimb and fast courts, like Aus, he always talked about moderating his grip to handle lower balls, so maybe his actual grip changes a little depending on courtspeed and bounce. Talked with BudCollins on TV, anyways.
     
    #22
  23. sonicboi21

    sonicboi21 Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    Messages:
    364
    definetely western or in between sw and western
     
    #23
  24. phoenicks

    phoenicks Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    Messages:
    1,246
    i you want a game like jim courier, then you gotta have very good inside out forhenad, and with that you need some great ootwork as well.
     
    #24
  25. 1st Seed

    1st Seed Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Messages:
    759
    Location:
    Toronto
    Any time somebody's talking about Jimmy I'm concerned.I'v been mistaken for him every tourney I go_One lady took my picture thinking I was Jim.My nicname at my club is Courier.Just lacking the 20 million$.

    Jim was the Mark Messier of Tennis.Relentless.Still a big fan.His comentating.Not so much.
     
    #25
  26. dlesser13

    dlesser13 Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2008
    Messages:
    311
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I guess you could call my game similar to couriers. I hit the same baseball style backhand, but really only when I can anticipate its coming, otherwise I stick to the slice backhand or I run around it and hit my western forehand. I should post a video of my game.
     
    #26
  27. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    36,324
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Upon further review of that pic, it appears my grip is about the same...maybe less hammer.
    My ring finger tip is at the top of the racket on a forehand strikezone just like that pic.
    Knuckle of the thumb at the top of the racket also. 4 5/8 grip size.
    I don't consider it a real full western because I play with some guys who hit the same face on fore and backhand, and they are western.
     
    #27
  28. DJG

    DJG Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    Messages:
    768
    Location:
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    Almost. Nick teaches the FH first shown to him by Jimmy Arias.
     
    #28
  29. The_Question

    The_Question Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Messages:
    2,748
    Location:
    Towson, MD
    Pretty sure he use western grip. His inside-out forehead was powerful, but people caught on to him...
     
    #29

Share This Page