Side effects of learning ww wiper forehand too early

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by alexoftennis, Jan 11, 2010.

  1. alexoftennis

    alexoftennis New User

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    What are the common things that can go wrong when a person does not correctly learn the classic forehand before going on and hitting with the wind shield wiper forehand? Also, if you are a player that generally uses a wind shield wiper forehand are you able to switch back to the classic forehand and hit it effectivly or do you basically forgetHow to hit the classic forehand and only rely on your ww forehand? Thanks.
     
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  2. smoothtennis

    smoothtennis Hall of Fame

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    One issue can be that they wind up 'fanning' the ball much more than driving through the ball. A solid understanding of the angle and direction of the stringbed as aligned to the target may also be an issue if one learns the WW day one - even though it's going over the net - directional control may not be well understood.

    I hit both, and I can and do still hit a classic forehand when the situation calls for it. I find it much easier to hit a small target while hitting a flatter shot with the classic forehand. You don't forget. It is like a slice or volley - a fundamentally different stroke and swing path.
     
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  3. wihamilton

    wihamilton Hall of Fame

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    The main problem not learning how to swing through the ball properly. Starting w/the WW can lead to heavily spun but weakly hit shots.
     
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  4. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    NO, NO, NO, I disagree. There is not problem with learning it first and I for one, think it should be learned first. Every ground stoke shot consists of lift and push. Too many have learned this game with all push and I think it really holds them back.
     
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  5. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    That's basically it. That's why in my development, which started out trying to develop as much spin as possible, progressed towards more conservative grips - so I can still use a windshield wiper motion while easily hitting through the ball and/or generate flat shots. I've also developed better topspin drives.

    I think people obsessing with the modern game too much holds them back.

    Too many people have learned this game without feel for the ball or hitting through the ball, and they never get past hitting the ball 40 mph. :wink: Or at least, consistently.

    Tennis has progressions to it. You learn to hit flat before you learn to apply spin. You learn to be consistent before you apply spin. You learn to use placement before you use spin. You learn to apply spin before using heavy spin.

    Consistency -> Placement -> Spin -> Heavy Spin -> Heavy Pace

    And it all starts out with flat forehands.
     
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  6. bhupaes

    bhupaes Professional

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    I've changed my position on this issue completely since I started to understand body kinetics a little better. That's not to say that I couldn't be wrong, of course... just show me why! :)

    There are two main components to the movement that causes the racquet to go through the ball - transverse shoulder adduction and hip rotation. In my opinion, the shoulder adduction component is very weak compared to hip rotation, and may even be partly passive and a result of the violent hip rotation in ground strokes (FH and 2HBH - I understand 1HBH is different). Thus, it should be perfectly okay to teach the beginner to move the arm in WW fashion, knowing that the linear component will come eventually from hip rotation, which gets more violent as more power is applied.

    The other advantage to teaching the WW stroke is that the primary visualization of the student becomes upward racquet motion, which translates to more topspin and consequently, more safety. IMO, increased aggressiveness tends to make racquet movement more linear, and the upward visualization will result in fewer unforced errors in the long run.
     
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  7. phoenicks

    phoenicks Professional

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    I was a victim of learning WW too early when,

    1) don't hit through ball, fanning it, and hold back from contacting squarely with the ball for fear of hitting out.

    2) don't have the fast racquet head speed and rotational power from my muscle to generate any decent spin and pace.

    As a result, I end up getting neither pace nor spin.
     
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  8. bhupaes

    bhupaes Professional

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    ^^^ Hmm... seems to me that your problems are more because of improper coaching and/or self-learning, and not because of learning WW too early. Just out of curiosity, did you learn tennis from a coach? At what level do you play currently, if you don't mind sharing this information?
     
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  9. phoenicks

    phoenicks Professional

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    I self learn when I was doing WW initially, I did attend some tennis clinic, and I was told at some occasion that I should hit through more, but I was not really aware of the severity of the flaws(a few, not only hit through problem) in my game until I met a really good coach when he set out to change my swingpath enitrely and fixing other flaws before it finally become a "decent" looking weapon.

    So I think you're right, maybe instead of saying we shouldn't learn WW too early, we should say this,

    If you wanna learn WW forehand, learn it under a qualified coach. Self learn at your own peril !!!
     
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  10. phoenicks

    phoenicks Professional

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    ! more very important concept about WW motion is that it isn't a 2D fanning motion, which a lot of novies think it's what WW about. Instead WW is a 3D motion.

    This video shows us what's a proper 3D WW motion is about
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRzLgGPShUw I still think this form of federer FH technique is the most devastating, great hit thorugh ( long line from foward swing initiation towards contact ) coupling with excellent wiping motion.

    another thing about WW motion is that, I think 2 pre-requisites must be met before WW motion should be learn,

    1) (relatively, decently) fast racquet head speed
    2) proper weight transfer

    Since beginner especially those without proper guidance under a coach, will have slower racquet head speed and possess little to no concept about weight transfer, and this is when I think their WW forehand becomes a sitter forehand.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2010
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  11. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    Hah. My initial problem was shanking the ball. The next problem was pace.
     
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  12. phoenicks

    phoenicks Professional

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    I had that shanking problem too, forgot to mention, but still it's not as acute as the pace and spin rpoblem.
     
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  13. bhupaes

    bhupaes Professional

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    Yeah, the danger of the do-it-yourself way of learning is that there is no feedback, and it's easy to get on the wrong track... that said, it can be done if one spends a lot of time experimenting, going through instructional websites, and more importantly, watching lots of videos. Although it all feels "natural" once learned, a little bit of help goes a long way in getting the student on the right path.

    Even watching a video can be very misleading. In the Federer video above, yes, you do see his arm being flung forward as well as upward. It doesn't tell you how he got to move that arm forward! Watch his legs and hips - that thrust from the ground and hip rotation propels his hands forward, IMO - and he's certainly not arming the ball to get that kind of pace (unless he's out of position and anything goes to get the ball back).

    Glad to hear you were able to work it out, though!
     
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  14. TennisKid1

    TennisKid1 Semi-Pro

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    hit the shot too early and it will not have any pace. hit the shot too late and the ball will go flying
     
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  15. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I hit a horribly weak, highly topspun ball with slow pace with what I consider a WW finish during the stroke.
    But I also can hit a pretty flat out fast ball with turnover technique on the followthru, something akin to WW, but well AFTER the ball strike.
    Then again, when I traditional finish, I can hit a medium paced topspin ball with some consistency.
    Which to adopt? The middle, of course, if I remember right.
     
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  16. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I'm with Papa on this.
     
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  17. aimr75

    aimr75 Hall of Fame

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    of yourself too.. helps alot to see what youre actually doing.. i didnt realise i do some form of WW until i noticed it on video
     
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  18. bhupaes

    bhupaes Professional

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    Yup, that would help a lot. I've spent lots of time looking at my reflection in a sliding glass door while shadow swinging, and I had to put up with accusations from my wife that I was being too vain... :) unfortunately I don't have a good video camera at the moment.

    I've seen the videos you posted, and I must say your strokes look very good - congrats!
     
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  19. aimr75

    aimr75 Hall of Fame

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    thanks.. i do the same actually, have a sliding mirror i shadow swing in front of.. and my fiance has a bit of a laugh whenever she sees me doing it.. :) ive found though shadow swings dont translate often when going on the court.. when faced with a ball, my swing tends to alter and end up swinging quite differently.. this gap is slowly closing from how i'd like to swing to how i actually swing, but it is a slow process.. there is always something to work on
     
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  20. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    I've had mixed results with teaching the WW forehand early on. Some students have picked it fairly quickly. With others, I regret ever showing them the WW early on. I'm currently teaching a more classic swing first but will expose the student to the WW finish fairly early in their development. With students that are less athletically inclined or have timing issues, I'll let them use whichever produces the best results for them -- they usually opt for the classic finish. For students with better hand-eye & timing, I'll push the WW idea more. Many eventually adopt it -- some use it occasionally, others use it as their primary finish. Ultimately, the choice is theirs.
     
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  21. Zachol82

    Zachol82 Professional

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    The windshield-wiper forehand isn't something you learn so you can use it 100% of the time. Just like how you have a backhand slice, a windshield-wiper forehand is a situational shot, at least for me. I use a western forehand, so all my forehands have topspin on them no matter what. I use a classic forehand to drive the ball deeper, and usually with more pace. I switch to a windshield-wiper forehand for shorter shots with more extreme angles, since I get more topspin from a windshield-wiper forehand. So to answer your second question, no you shouldn't forget the classic forehand; you should keep and practice both, then decide on which to use depending on the situation.

    As for your first question, the most common mistakes that I've seen from people who do not have the fundamental forehands down are:
    1. Too much wrist. I'm guessing this is because a windshield-wiper forehand looks "wristy" to many beginners' eyes.
    2. A lot of framing. Probably because you're swinging too fast, or too slow. Note that in contrast to a classic forehand, a windshield-forehand has a much higher chance for the frame of your racquet to hit the ball, instead of the stringbed. If this is the case, you should take the time to get your timing down first.
     
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  22. Blake0

    Blake0 Hall of Fame

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    It's really mainly, the hitting through the ball concept. A lot of people who start off learning WW forehands tend to brush up the ball a lot and never hit through the ball to get penetration on the stroke.
     
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  23. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Well, this is an age thing also. Older players are difficult to change while younger people will pick it up very quickly. This is also one of those situations where using a ball machine is important because you can stand right next to the student and demonstrate on an ongoing basis. Have them hit five or so then hit a couple yourself and keep going back and forth. I sometimes do this with five or six students at a time but think its best in a one on one situation.

    I don't find it so much of a "eye - hand" thing as much as getting the student to drop the racquet head below the ball. Sometimes, I'll have them tap the court on the backswing. One of the problems here is that what they "think" there doing and what "actually takes place" are often two different things. Once I get them coming "up" through the ball I feel the rest is fairly easy.
     
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