The concept of the windshield wiper is bogus

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by David L, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. chico9166

    chico9166 Guest

    I find it a valuable term when teaching. As long as the player understands the almost inverse relationship between extension and hand and arm rotation, or "wiper effect".

    Can't tell ya how many times in the last few years, I've told Jr's to tone down the wipe on the ball to get the ball to go through the air. Or to increase the effect to break off angles. It's really not that hard for many, when they inderstand "what causes what". The term is not taboo.
     
  2. David L

    David L Hall of Fame

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    Yes, always a good thing and you're right, you never know what perspective will make the positive difference.
     
  3. Slicendicer

    Slicendicer Guest

    The wiper-motion is a result of pronation of the wrist, not a phenomenon. I've coached players with success using the "wiper" technique as a reference. My coaches taught me and several pros on ATP Top 100, Top 30 players this ... so to say it is not effective is not true. Maybe you prefer not to teach this method, doesn't mean it is wrong.
     
  4. David L

    David L Hall of Fame

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    This was the point of my thread.
     
  5. David L

    David L Hall of Fame

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    Are you talking to me? Do you have a link?
     
  6. David L

    David L Hall of Fame

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    Yes, further confirmation that I have a point.
     
  7. David L

    David L Hall of Fame

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    You have several people in this thread identifying problems they encountered with the windshield wiper idea. So while it may not be confusing for some, such as yourself, it clearly has been for others.
     
  8. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    ^^ But the thing is, hitting without using a WW motion makes it hard to generate topspin. The classic finish is great for flat shots, but alot of people don't have the good timing to hit flat shots consistently.

    I get the sense that you would like to see more people use the classic finish instead of the WW, but I don't see why. Today's game revolves around topspin, and the WW motion is a great way to get topspin/consistency in your game. Some people may have trouble with it, thats true. But I think its safe to say that vast majority of tennis players have benefited from using the WW technique...
     
  9. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    He doesn't believe a WW motion exists at all. Don't bother. His problem lies within the application of the WW motion, not with the motion itself. Except, he's too blind and ignorant to see that.
     
  10. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    He doesn't even think it exists? I wonder what motion I'm using for my forehand then.

    I just don't see why he doesn't like the WW motion. It's a perfectly good motion that gives players some extra topspin. its easy to learn,effective, and makes our shots more consistent. I mean its like God's gift to us tennis players lol
     
  11. jessey

    jessey Rookie

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    Yah, it's one of the earlier reply to this post,. Here it is.
     
  12. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Links for FYB were given twice on page 2 of this thread. 1st by me, then again by Will himself.

    (Edit: looks like jessey beat me to the punch)
    .
     
  13. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    "...the normal and natural one"!!!

    If the modern finish that you describe (for a topspin FH shot) is so normal & natural, then why was it not in common usage until fairly recently? In the 35+ years that I've been playing the game, there have been at least 3 topspin FH finishes that have been considered the norm (not counting the buggy whip & variations of the reverse finish). According to one source, the WW finish has apparently been used as far back as Tilden's time. However, it has not been the dominant finish until modern times.

    The 3 different "normal" finishes that I have employed are the product of differentt (dominant) grips and different swing paths. The amount of topspin employed has also been a factor. The dominant finish of the 60s thru the 80s (and earlier decades) was a somewhat abbreviated follow-thru that had the racket finishing forward & up. The doiminant FH grips of the time where the Eastern FH and the Continental grips. Only moderate topspin was used at the time.

    In the early-to-mid 90s, my dominant FH finish became the over-the-shoulder finish. The dominant FH grips during the latter part of the 1980s thru the 90s were the Eastern FH grip , extreme Eastern/mild SW grips and, to a lesser extent, the SW grip. More topspin was generally employed with this finish. This OTS finish is still very common today, especially with players using an Eastern or extreme Eastern grip.

    Since the SW (and mild SW) appears to have replaced the Eastern FH grip as the dominant grip in recent years, the WW finish has become much more common. Robert Lansdorp talks about 3 forehand finishes in the modern game (with the reverse finish as the 3rd type):

    The Three Forehand Finishes - Robert Lansdorp

    .
     
  14. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    There is a reason most won't get this so called "subtle" point.

    Most won't make the mistake you bring up here, and just spin the ball or concentrate too much on the follow thru. Follow thru is a symptom of the good swing, not the process. Talking of the follow thru is just to make sure u understand u don't need to finish above the shoulder.

    IMO, the prime reason for the WW FH is to combined power and spin. It is a way for power hitters to add some major spin to their driving balls, as well as a way for heavy TS spinners to hit more thru and drive the ball without giving up all the spin. It is much like serving with pronation, which is a way of getting a "power" spin on your serve, opposed to carving the ball for spin, across the body or just hitting flat for power. With pronation, you get power and spin, like is the reason of the WW FH.

    I watched the 2 vids provided and didn't see anything I would call a good example of the WW FH, so I'm not sure the OP even knows what the WW is. You can't call it a WW just because you finish in the same place!

    In the end, WW is just a name. It's one that works for a lot of people. If you can't see it, thats about you, not the chosen name. One of my buddies calls his FH the Terminator. I guess you would hate that name.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2009
  15. Jackie T. Stephens

    Jackie T. Stephens Professional

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    Look very simple, racquet head under the ball, brush up through the ball and clean follow through. That's all you need.
     
  16. jessey

    jessey Rookie

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    Got to be fast in this forum :)
     
  17. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

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    Seems misleading to call one forehand 'windshield wiper' and others not when there are simply varying degrees of paths and racquet angles that can be used.
     
  18. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    That's an interesting point. The windshielder wiper is a unitary counter clockwise rotation of the hand arm and racket.

    If you look at more classic on edge finishes even they have up to 90 degrees of this rotation. We call it the wiper when the rotation goes further and the tip of the racket ends up pointing more at the side fence than straight up and down. That looks like a windshield wiper motion on a care, but really it's just a more extreme version of something that is already happening in the swing.

    The other point to understand is that there is much more of this rotation built into the swings with extreme grips.

    Still I think the term is useful to understand how much rotation occurs when.
     
  19. VaBeachTennis

    VaBeachTennis Semi-Pro

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    Excellent points.
     
  20. chico9166

    chico9166 Guest

    Yes, to me this is key. As the grips get stronger, the structure, for the most part, is going to turn over. Even if one tries to extend alot. When, and at what rate of speed ,the structure turns over out on the line of extension is noteworthy, however, as it gives an indication as to the extent that the wiper is applied . The more one activates the wiper, the quicker the structure generally turns over, and vice versa.

    At least that's how I see it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 25, 2009
  21. VaBeachTennis

    VaBeachTennis Semi-Pro

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    Right on the money. In my opinion, after a basic stroke is "grooved", it's important to "experiment" with different swing paths and their effect on the ball and it's different spins and trajectories.
     
  22. VaBeachTennis

    VaBeachTennis Semi-Pro

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    Excellent video. It's nice to see it from a fellow lefty's perspective as well.
     
  23. chico9166

    chico9166 Guest

    Yes, the young man has done a great job with the website. And he is a credit to the profession.
     
  24. VaBeachTennis

    VaBeachTennis Semi-Pro

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    :) Yep! Different angles on the swing will yield different results as well.
     
  25. VaBeachTennis

    VaBeachTennis Semi-Pro

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    I also like the way that he replied to DavidL in a classy manner. The fighting on this thread is almost akin to the fighting and personal attacks on the political forums! lol
    In my opinion it's good to exchange and debate ideas, that's how we learn............ The other B.S. adds nothing but a distraction to the original subject.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2009
  26. David L

    David L Hall of Fame

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    You have misunderstood my posts. I am not advocating that people hit flat shots or don't hit flat shots. I am not advocating that people have a classic finish or don't have a classic finish. I am not advocating that people hit with topspin or don't hit with topspin. What I am suggesting is that the term and analogy of a windshield wiper is misleading when trying to help players hit western based grips, whether they are being taught to hit flat or with topspin. The reason why I believe it is misleading is because there is a tendency for many to believe they have to come across the ball, instead of hitting through and up the back of it. A number of posters have already shared their experiences where this was the case for them and others have said they have witnessed this tendency a lot too. So, my point is get rid of the term "windshield wiper" and find a better one which will not mislead so many people.

    When most people think of a windshield wiper, they think of a mechanism that moves across from one side to the other, but the correct mechanism for striking a tennis ball requires one to move the racket forward and vertically up the back of it; no side to side action is involved when actually making contact. To me, there is a discord between the analogy and what one is being asked to do with the stroke, which subsequently creates some of the problems you have heard some people here say they have encountered. To compound the problem, when you look at another player hit topspin with a western based grip, it can sometimes appear to be a side to side motion, hence the windshield wiper analogy, but the look of a stroke and the sensation of it are two totally different things. A voice impersonator will exaggerate or caricaturize (sic) the voice they are trying to impersonate and this is what some people have a tendency to do when they hear "windshield wiper". They try to go from side to side, when they should be going forward and upward, letting their natural anatomy do what comes naturally after the ball has left their racket. It's my view that simply getting rid of the term, "windshield wiper", would see a reduction in people having shallow extensions and coming across the ball. I think more focus should be given to the manipulation of the ball, complimented by the necessary mechanics, with better analogies if need be.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2009
  27. David L

    David L Hall of Fame

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    Okay, sorry for the late reply. I missed your post. I think your video is good, but I think the most important information you provide in it is the idea that one's swing path must be more vertical, swinging up on the ball more from below its height than horizontally through it. I personally would not mention windshield wipers at all because this racket finish occurs naturally when you have a more vertical flight path. At the start of the video there is a lot about the side to side aspect of the racket face, but as you say, the windshield wiper follow through is the product of a more vertical swing plane, so it's not really necessary to give it so much air time. I would just emphasize the more vertical swing plane.
     
  28. VaBeachTennis

    VaBeachTennis Semi-Pro

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    I understand some of your points, but different people teach the same thing in a different way or presentation, just like people learn the same thing in different ways and can understand different presentations better than others. The video you referenced gave a nice presentation and explanation, I just would have liked to see him show the difference between the classical follow through and the WW follow through when hitting the ball. As far as I remember, he only showed the WW follow through's effect on the ball.
     
  29. chico9166

    chico9166 Guest

    Well said.
     
  30. David L

    David L Hall of Fame

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    Yes, I agree 3 finishes pretty much covers all bases, although I don't consider the reverse forehand a natural finish because it depends on the circumvention of a natural follow through. Also, with semi-western and western grips, it doesn't feel comfortable to have an eastern type flat follow through. The wrist almost wants you to hit a 'modern forehand' whether you want to or not. This is especially true if you want to hit with topspin, which will require a more vertical swing.

    Lastly, while it's interesting and entertaining to know about and view archive material about earlier periods in the game, tennis is what it is today. This is why I do not speak in terms of modern and classic technique. Classic technique is obsolete and therefore not relevant to today's game. Today's game has been well established for over 20 years. Becker won Wimbledon back in 1985 with 'modern' technique, so to me it's just standard technique, not modern technique.
     
  31. David L

    David L Hall of Fame

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    Yes, people will have different approaches and that's not necessarily a bad thing.

    On the question of comparisons between classic and modern technique, I don't think it's really important to know about classic technique other than for academic or historical purposes. The game is what it is today, so players have to have the skills to be competitive in this environment. Knowing how players played pre mid 80s is not going to help them, so I tend not to consider discussions about tennis that far back as relevant today when talking about actual play. I think the modern game has been established long enough to become the standard form, as opposed to the modern form, it's certainly more relevant.
     
  32. wihamilton

    wihamilton Hall of Fame

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    Hey David no sweat on the late reply. You've got a lot of people vying for your attention, heh. And thanks for the kind words about the video.

    My feeling is that the follow through isn't always the natural consequence of what's going on prior to and at contact. You need to teach someone how to slow down / decelerate their racket and body smoothly for pretty much every shot in tennis -- not just the windshield wiper.

    While you're right that the windshield wiper follow through is the product of a more vertical swing plane, it's not the only option when following through. As I mentioned in the video, you could continue to extend your arm and the racket straight up into the air. In a way that's more intuitive than turning your arm / racket over to create the windshield wiper effect.
     
  33. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    OK I love this! I'm sure I'm not the only one who noticed. David, as is his pattern, didn't respond to all the comments that pointed out the errors and contradictions in his posts, and certainly didn't apologize for his various mistatements of facts.

    But the best part is now he agrees with Lansdorp about the three finishes. And of course what Robert calls the downward finish is the same finish everyone else calls the windshield wiper.

    So I guess so long as you don't call it the wiper, the wiper finish is a key part of the modern game. But wait I thought it was the CONCEPT of the wiper that was bogus. Hmm... that doesn't really make sense does it? Just another contradiction that will of course be ignored.

    Now as for that hard distinction between classical and modern, that won't really hold up either. There were western forehands in the 1920s. The rackets changed the preponderance of grips and shot types. But every shot in the game, including the wiper forehand, and the reverse forehand have always been part of the game.

    You can see Tilden hit a wiper forehand on our site. Also Pancho Gonzales. And Fred Perry hitting a reverse forehand--with a continental grip.

    The rackets allowed the players to (eventually) figure out the advantages of the more extreme grips and spins (the real benefit of the wiper at high levels), but great players in all eras intuitively new how to use the racket in the way that best facilitated what they were trying to do.

    Anyway this has been a fun exercise as a compliment to watching the AO. Love the Dokic thing and we have some amazing high speed footage of her forehand I'll put up now that she's back. And yes, to stay on the topic of the thread, she hits an amazing wiper as one of her forehand variations, one of the first women to do that routinely going back to when she was in the top 10 as a teenager. And have to say it's the opposite of bogus.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2009
  34. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    Yandell dissing someone. Man, that's something I haven't seen since BeHappy was trying to say the Serve Doc was wrong.
     
  35. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah, I can see what Dick was trying to say. Unfortunately, you and I have played that game where you say one thing to a person and by the time it has been said to fifteen others it ends up being much different than the original meaning or phrase.

    If one understands that the process is equally important, having players swing with the finish in mind is okay. However, many coaches ignore the process and only focus on the finish.
     
  36. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    BB,

    I must agree that it is all about process. And again the finish thing is just one tool. If the preparation isn't correct, it won't matter how you finish. If the movement and the set up isn't right, etc, etc.

    So the idea of visualizing the finish and allowing this image to guide the foreswing is one part of producing the whole.

    I have also found that some players will be late at contact even if the finish is correct, in which case the focus needs to shift to the image of the contact. If you think of the forward swing as a continuum, an image of any part may produce the whole--or even a moving image of the whole motion.

    John McEnroe once said to me: sometimes I'll just see the shot flash across my mind before I hit it.
     
  37. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Okay, I can start buying your information. You do know, you came off a bit strong which threw everyone out of whack. Lots of passionate players and coaches here.

    So, with that said, I am a process person. Some people here are an end result type people. However, I love the process and can buy into what you are saying above. You are not dishing the WW pattern or finish, what it seems like is you are dishing is those that ONLY focus on or glorify the finish as if it is the Holy Grail to improve your ability to hit topspin, consistently, on time, and cleanly. In this case, I am with you.

    So, if this is true. the point is we both know, no matter how you slice the swing, need to understand that the most important aspect of the swing is your racquet making contact with the ball on time and hitting it cleanly.

    People like John Yandell know that the contact with the ball is very important or he wouldnt have come out with the book Visual Tennis. However, there are some coaches out there that ignore the process and just emphasize a certain finish. With these people, I am in disagreement.

    What happens in the backswing, drop, forward swing, contact, extention, followthough, and finish are all important elements that provide feedback to the various stages of the swing. For example, if a player breaks off into the finish too soon, this might shed light that he is not accelerating to and through the ball in the stages prior to the finish. Or he might not be extending very well through the ball.

    So if my explanation is aligned with your original objectives for this thread, I am fully with you. I am not a finish person as well, I am a process person. I place more emphasis in the swing path portion that leads up and goes into the extension of the stoke more than anything. I rarely concentrate on the finish because I will get the finish I want by concentrating on what happens before the finish. However, for coaches and players that understand the process is important as well, getting players to think of the finish can work as well.

    I wish you would have said it this way to begin with!!!
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2009
  38. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    John, I know you think that way, otherwise, you would have never wrote the book Visual Tennis. In that book, you provide a step by step process that leads up to the finished result and you provide the information to players on what they should be feeling and doing along the way.


    Yes, I gotcha. Some coaches or players dont get that though. :) They just think "oh John Yandell said I should be concentrating on ONLY the finish." And off they go...

    Uhhhh, no. That is not what he said or meant. You know the drill.
     
  39. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    Sorry Nam yeah I couldn't resist. I just think when people post controversial views and then actually get responses from those they may be crticizing they should have the integrity to continue the discussion--even if it means admitting they have misspoken, need to enlarge their perspective etc.

    This happens to me all the time when I speak at coaching conferences. I'll show a piece of high speed footage and inevitably get a question or a comment that I can't answer or haven't considered. It can be challenging at times, particularly if the coach is very avid with a criticism, but I've learned that by really taking it in and figuring how it relates to my work, I learn more and expand/or change my perspecitve.
     
  40. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    I can say for me, when I have a nice short ball in the strike zone and the thought goes through my mind "I hope I don't miss this at break point..." well that thought itself is the kiss of death of course. So by visualizing a perfect finish and imagining making it you block the doubt and give yourself a powerful positive image. It makes a huge difference in the ability to execute and percentages of shot making. And in Visual Tennis it's the final payoff of building the stroke from the ground up.

    Oh, and on "finish "probably really important to say by that term I mean the extension of the stroke, the extension of the forward swing--the last point in the forward motion where the racket is going upward and/or outward. NOT the wrap, or the backward motion part of the wiper. That's probably really important to make clear. The stuff after extension I believe happens on it's on and is a mistake to create mechanically.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2009
  41. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Wow, for someone that wants this, why do you dish it out? I disagreed with you a few times (in a polite way) and you took it so personal. Geeez, get a backbone.

    The bottom-line, is we are all competitive tennis players and are passionate about tennis or we wouldnt be here. If you cant take someone dishing it out here, or maybe doing a verbal "fist pump" at you, you probably should leave so it wont hurt your little ears or feelings. lol
     
  42. chico9166

    chico9166 Guest

    I just don't think it takes a particularly "big man" to hurl insults, over the internet, which is something you do on a regular basis. But then again, maybe I'm a little old school. Just not internet savy.
     
  43. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    But you did? I dont get it. So you can imply an insult, execute an insult but no one can do it to you? What kind of nonsense is that?

    I posted a perfectly fine post WITHOUT any insults to you while giving you the benefit of the doubt (although it didnt agree with your opinion) and you got all bent out of shape and provide your own "insults."

    So, how do we need to treat you? With kids gloves? The internet is the internet. People are allowed to speak freely. If they dish it out, they should expect to get dished back.

    The bottom-line is, the internet is a tough place, if you cant handle it, you probably shouldnt be here.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2009
  44. chico9166

    chico9166 Guest

    Just let it go, it's obvious neither one of us are interested in the others opinion. I'm certainly not interested in resolving whatever problem you have with me. Period.
     
  45. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    LOL, I see, so whenever someone confronts you with the truth, you run and hide.

    I think you are a hypocrite for posting your nonsense when you insulted me and others. It is a flat out joke. And as far as letting it go? LOL!!! Sorry, no such thing is gonna happen.

    And as far resolving? Are you kidding? LOL!!! I wasnt trying to resolve anything! PERIOD!
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2009
  46. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    LOL, what are excellent points? Here is what you quoted too?

    Originally Posted by David L [​IMG]
    No, I disagree you need to be conscious of the windshield wiper at all, because it happens naturally after contact, whether you are conscious of it or not, and is not an essential part of the stroke, but a consequence of it. Your racket cannot help but go to the other side of your body if you don't try to resist. What you need to be conscious of is hitting through and/or up the back of the ball, the rest takes care of itself.

    Sorry but the definition of a WW wiper is something that players can be conscious about when they hit a ball with this pattern. It is not something that "just" happens. The windshield wiping motion is more than just a finish or where your racquet is going.

    And the hitting through part? If a player chooses to use a WW motion up across the back of the ball, it is the angular momentum that needs to be sent INTO the ball for full effect. The reference point for your angular momentum is your back shoulder.

    Let's back up, do you even know what a Windshield wiping motion is and how it is performed? When I hit with a windshield wiping motion, you bet I am thinking about it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2009
  47. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    But didnt you agree that the WW wiping motion was what happens "naturally" or is something a player DOESNT need to concentrate on? WHERE ARE YOU GOING!!!!!
     
  48. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    It is easy to teach players to continue to use a strong wiper motion without telling them to "tone it down" while getting them to go through the ball more.

    You are looking at the wrong body parts to get that done. And you teach?
     
  49. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    13,916


    I find that the Windshield Wiper motion just occurs naturally to me. I focus more on clean contact and proper setup. However, this may occur because I've practiced the WW motion enough for it to become my normal stroke.
     
  50. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,885
    Exactly!!! The "real" WW motion is something that is practiced. Anything practiced is not natural and the brain needs to consciously engage to automate it.
     

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