Please Critique my Forehand

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by latestgood, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. latestgood

    latestgood New User

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    Hello,

    I started 3 months ago and I feel that I've hit a wall on my forehand. I've been practicing 20 hours a day playing against others and hitting against the wall but I feel that I'm lacking something. If there are ways to improve my forehand, I would greatly appreciate it.

    For fun, how would rate my forehand in terms of NTRP ranking :)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eaOiq6pjNg&feature=youtu.be
     
    #1
  2. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    if you want to get better you should practice a minimum of 22 hours a day.
     
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  3. latestgood

    latestgood New User

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    Haha... I meant 20 hours a week.
     
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  4. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    First, don't bother asking for an NTRP rating because you don't have one yet. Second, you are flat on your feet. Even against the ball machine, get into hitting position, prepared position, ready position, attack stance, whatever you choose to call it. Balls of your feet, knees slightly bent, bent slightly at the waist. Let's you have your center of gravity lower, and you can move more quickly laterally and towards the net to make small adjustments. One of your shots is a perfect example of this. The ball bounced at the service line, but since you were flat on your feet, you let it bounce and drop to your knees (0:30) instead of run to get the shorter ball. And before you say that you were just hitting to get a feel for your forehand, footwork is just as important to your groundstrokes.
     
    #4
  5. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    Seems like you're falling into your shot. That may be no big deal when you know the next ball is coming right at you, but you're terribly off balance in case you have to run to the next shot. You should have a more solid base to attack from.
     
    #5
  6. latestgood

    latestgood New User

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    pvaudio,

    I really appreciate your feedback!!!

    I will try to bend my knee more and attack the ball instead of waiting.

    Thank you!
     
    #6
  7. latestgood

    latestgood New User

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    Anubis,

    You're right. I think this is because I am waiting for the ball to come to me. I'll definitely heed your advice!
     
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  8. skraggle

    skraggle Professional

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    Nicely put. Watch David Ferrer's footwork on Youtube, the king of proper tennis movement. His little movements, in stance and positioning, are truly ideal. Without them, he's out of the top 50 at least.

    You are off balance too often, but better footwork will allow you to add better timing and torso torque to your already good racquet head speed.
     
    #8
  9. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    better footwork means setting your feet for the hit at a good distance and good angle with the right balance between your feet and doing all these consistently for each and every hit in good timing which results in a rhythm when doing ball machine.

    do not go over board with balls of the feet. before you set your feet you should move like a mad man on balls of your feet but when you are setting feet in position at least one should be set from the heel. lifting that heel should be part of the swing that controls weight transfer.
    your grip appears SW. if so, you should focus on putting weight on the racquet side heel and push off from there for swing. completely transferring weight to the other side is not a good habit for regular rally. only for super aggressive shot. open your stance completely and keep weight on your racquet side foot most of the time.
     
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  10. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    I look to Kohlschreiber as a perfect example. He's not big, he's not strong, but he is NEVER out of position. He's playing one of the biggest hitters out there in this match, but just pay attention to his feet. It's not just that they're quick, it's that they're efficient.

    http://youtu.be/cPvJ0WJ_4f8?t=23s
     
    #10
  11. 3fees

    3fees Hall of Fame

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    Move your feet, make adjusting steps so that you hit the ball in the sweet spot of your tennis racquet
     
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  12. latestgood

    latestgood New User

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    Thank you (3fees, anubis, boramiNYC, pvaudio)!!!

    And I thought my take back is what I needed to work on. It seems like improving my footwork is my top priority.
     
    #12
  13. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    The reason is because even if you had Djokovic's swing mechanics, being out of position due to improper footwork won't let you use your strokes. Unless there are glaring flaws in the technique (and there are none in yours), improving your movement should be top priority. I don't mean footspeed, but as 3fees said, adjusting so that you have a consistent contact point for every shot is crucial. I have found that personally, when my shots are off, it's because my contact point is off and/or I'm moving my head too much. It's all about that solid base. Do keep in mind that I am not a coach, but rather someone who has improved his game IMO drastically without changing anything in my stroke mechanics.
     
    #13
  14. isilra

    isilra Rookie

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    I think your body turn and stroke timing is good for 3 months of practice. For sure there is a lot to improve but i can say you are on the right way. Your problem is you are not using the kinetic chain at all. Kinetic chain is the thing that provides the power to your strokes. The first step of kinetic chain is taking the power from the floor which means a proper footwork.

    First of all know the terms neutral stance and open stance, then choose one that you feel yourself more comfortable to use. You are a left hander, so an open stance means, you pivot and bend over your left foot and after the stroke, land on your right foot. That will allow you to use left to right body momentum better. A neutral stance means you take a step forward with your right foot and bend over it to take the power. That will allow you to use a forward momentum and generally found easier by beginners, but you always need time to make your step forward and as you improve, you won't always have the time to make it.

    Here are the best videos i have found about stances. The guy makes the open stance seem a bit weird by going too low but but this is definitely the thing you should do to get used to the foot pivoting;

    neutral;

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_yLd9y2nLk

    open;

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=giK5yGgIq9Q

    Also seach about split step after you get used to your stance. That will make you move faster to the ball, good luck.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2012
    #14
  15. FH2FH

    FH2FH Professional

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    One thing I like about your swing is something it took YEARS for me to realize that many/most(?) beginners and seasoned club players have a problem with and that is manipulation of the racquet face - or absence of it in your case, and now mine. Your swing is very full and complete, low to high, and appears pretty "loose," relaxed, which is good. It reminds me of the South American players, like F Gonzalez, J Acasuso(sp?).

    Some of these balls you should work on stepping forward and hitting through, harder and flatter. And to different spots of course. Maybe also with the ball on the rise, not dropping into your strike zone. Don't get bored or only proficient at *one* type of ball or shot. Work on all of them. When I used the machine I would set it to oscillate, to work on stepping around to hit inside out, etc. You also get a better workout this way.

    What others said is also true. You're flat footed. You'll notice this more when you have to move, whether you have good footwork or don't. The pros setup EXACTLY the same for nearly every shot. They're like machines. It has been ingrained into them for decades, and will make non-professional, average players much better.
     
    #15
  16. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    There is a good chance that you will get too concerned about your knees and feet
    and other details, thus losing that excellent hand/eye relationship you currently
    show. When you work on those things, be patient with other things that you
    are not working on at that time.

    I'd prefer to see you think of all this as "position on the ball"; which shouldn't
    take your focus away and may even enhance it a bit. Working harder to get
    super position to receive the ball for the stroke keeps your focus on the ball, while
    your subconscious tends to direct the parts of your body to get their links in
    place. Instead of thinking about bending knees, I suggest thinking of getting
    yourself below and behind the ball in good position to get a rip at it.

    Yes, realize you need to bend your knees and move your feet more, but imo
    it's better to focus on what the things those actions bring when you do them.
    Either way you go about it, reps are required to get things in place. So the more
    you hit with good intention, the better you will get over time.

    Biggest flaw I saw was you let the ball get too much to your side for your
    contact point....at least at the beginning. As you hit, slowly the contact pt
    moved more forward to a better position for the last several shots.
    The difference was subtle, but very important imo. I also like that you were
    NOT taking big steps into the shots.
    Very good for your stage!
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2012
    #16
  17. FH2FH

    FH2FH Professional

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    Also, keep your left foot on the ground. Someone mentioned kinetic chain. You are stepping into the ball, but that isn't necessary or great unless you're following the ball to the net. Someone else also called it "falling into the next shot." When you hit off of your outside leg (your left), and turn, you are ready for the next shot. This is where your power comes from as well. I think it will help with timing issues too as ball speed increases (like returns, higher level of play, etc).

    Watch Gonzalez here how he drives off the right leg (your left is the outside leg). It will feel weird for a while, and people don't *always* do this, but I think(?) it is the standard instruction today. Someone might want to correct me if I'm wrong.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hA28Wqp0Fg
     
    #17
  18. FH2FH

    FH2FH Professional

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    #18
  19. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for this vid. I love watching Kohlschreiber play.
     
    #19
  20. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Honestly, I am not sure of another player today who can hit his forehand with such devastation as Gonzalez. I remember when he retired and they interviewed all of these players saying farewell, and Murray, Djokovic, Federer, Bryans, Blake, Simon and someone else ALL commented on his forehand. That's when you know you've got a monstrous stroke.
     
    #20
  21. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    To me, he is the best player who doesn't have superb talent second only to Ferrer. Why? He has every single shot in the book because he developed them. He can't hit them harder than anyone else, he's not the fastest out there, but putting Federer in another bin, I do think PK is the best developed player. Let me put it like this: I look at him as someone with normal talent, but is the example of what happens when you absolutely max out what is physically possible without having extra natural talent. Every one else has something innate that puts them a step up. PK simply just doesn't have anything physical or genetic that lets him beat the top guys. But when you watch him play, you see how his strokes are textbook, his footwork is textbook, his serve is adapted specifically to him and his mental fortitude is top tier. It's just that you need to go beyond the textbook to win the big titles.
     
    #21
  22. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    edit: wrong Kohlscreiber vid haha
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2012
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  23. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    3.0. Maybe 3.5. But hey, you can play with uglier and play as a 4.5 or even 5.0 if you know how to use it in a match.
     
    #23
  24. effortless

    effortless Rookie

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    Yes i think your forehand is quite brilliant really for someone who has only been playing for 3 months. In that video where you are hitting the same shot every time your forehand looks very good. Thus i have a feeling that you really need to work on variety , just like the quoted poster said.
     
    #24
  25. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    It's a nice forehand.

    I'm with the crowd that advocates working on footwork and position on the ball. Specifically get set-up semi-open, knees bent, weight on the outside (right) leg (outside leg behind the ball is another way of thinking of it). Keep your head still and use that same, very nice swing path that you already have. The bent outside leg will help you turn your hips more powerfully.
     
    #25
  26. polytheist

    polytheist Rookie

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    Are any of those balls going in? They all look 10 feet long to me.
     
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  27. latestgood

    latestgood New User

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    Thank you! I will make it simple and try to get under the ball.
     
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  28. latestgood

    latestgood New User

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    Thanks for the compliment, yes I'll try to make the machine move me:)
     
    #28
  29. latestgood

    latestgood New User

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    Yea, fortunately there's enough spin to bring it down to baseline
     
    #29
  30. mbm0912

    mbm0912 Professional

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    I think that's a good looking forehand!
     
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