Vic Braden Update

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by heretoserve, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. wihamilton

    wihamilton Hall of Fame

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    Thx BB. I had a chance to speak with Vic at length at Indian Wells this year. Great guy / great coach -- one of the all-timers.
     
  2. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    You are welcome!
     
  3. smoothtennis

    smoothtennis Hall of Fame

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    Yeah Will - you have helped me with my game a lot this past year too. I just haven't had much of a chance to tell you. Your vids are great, your site is great. You fixed up my serve in quite a few ways....

    And BB - you helped me get a twist serve working if you remember - up and out and lean in to get pace. I am still working on it, but it's at least it's been twisting to varying degrees. I appreciate every piece of instruction or tips that have helped me.
     
  4. drak

    drak Professional

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    well said BB. I remember when I lived in SoCal 25-30 yrs ago I remember going to a Braden weekend cliic with family when he was at Cota de Caza (spelling?). I was a 5.0 back then and Vic was a pioneer and really began the research and innovation phase in tennis, which we should thank him for. But when one is a pioneer things change and move on as they have in tennis, some things hold true, many don't.
    The one thing Vic at the time recommended was switching grips on the volley, using an eastern FH and then switching to the BH grip for a BH volley. I thought it was not a good idea at the time but did try it for several months then discarded it.
    Anyway, one should experiment and try different things and use what works! I recently tried switching to an abbreviated serve after recovering from major rotator cuff shoulder surgery. Frankly my serve is better (pace and placement) than it was pre-surgery, so old dogs like me can learn new tricks.
    Viva la difference!
     
  5. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Exactly right.

    So often "modern" instruction is geared to what the pros are doing. Never mind that some of the target market for this instruction are players that may have had knee replacements, hip replacements, have previous injuries, or are simply out of shape. Braden provide instruction so that everyone could play tennis.

    The serve thing that people bring up is so taken out of context. All Braden was trying to prove is you dont need to do a courtsey and swing palm up, stall in the trophey pose, and then try to hit for power. His demonstration of hitting the serve with only the whip of the arm and a low toss was so that everyone can serve a good strong serve.

    Was it for the pro? Of course not, and Braden knew that too. When I taught at Bradens college, he never once walked over to me and said, "coach, you know that we dont teach using the legs in the serve right." We only teach what I demonstrate."
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2009
  6. RadfordGirl

    RadfordGirl New User

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    BB,

    When did you work at Coto?
     
  7. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Coto was before my time. I did live in Lake Forest until about three years ago.
     
  8. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Remember, dont underestimate heading to the back fence and just spinning the ball. Arm needs to go outward more as the toss goes more behind you. You know the drill. However, that drill we used to do where you just spin and spin and spin without worrying about landing in the box was priceless.
     
  9. ClarkC

    ClarkC Hall of Fame

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    Yes. You quote their post, then you delete the irrelevant parts from within their post, making sure not to delete any of the HTML QUOTE tags.
     
  10. ClarkC

    ClarkC Hall of Fame

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    But that is not what Vic Braden said in the video. Regardless of what made you leave the ground, he said it would decrease your power. He did not leave room for any exceptions or loopholes.
     
  11. ClarkC

    ClarkC Hall of Fame

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    Could you explain this one? Thanks.
     
  12. wihamilton

    wihamilton Hall of Fame

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    Thx smooth! Glad to help.
     
  13. heretoserve

    heretoserve Rookie

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    Allow me. The typical overhead style of pointing to the ball promotes two counter productive actions. 1. It doesn't allow you to turn your body enough(this puts your body sideways to the ball but not coiled and 2. Your eyes will actually have a tendency to track your finger instead of the ball tampering with depth perception. Keeping your opposite hand on the racquet longer with you elbow pointing helps you to coil your upper body as well as relax the hitting arm.
     
  14. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    That is correct! It allows better rotation in the shoulders (coiling) which promotes power and the depth perception promotes better timing and clean contact.
     
  15. smoothtennis

    smoothtennis Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, this is true - but I rotate my body first by tracking up with the elbow to the ball, then I extend to point at the ball, and body stays coiled and you get the benefits of both.

    Pointing immediately at an overhead does typically lock the body from a good coiled rotation.

    EDIT - However, I will experiment with keeping the hand on the racket longer, and not pointing. I never liked the finger in the way of the ball come to think of it!
     
  16. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    You can do it that way too! The point is to rotate the shoulders whether you point or not. Using the elbow is only an aid to help you do that.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2009
  17. smoothtennis

    smoothtennis Hall of Fame

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    Yeah - picked that elbow tip up on Tennis Channel if I remember correctly -can't remember who said it, but that was one that helped immediately, and I have never pointed first since. I love those kind of tips.

    Bill - check out my 2HBH Grip thread question - I was hoping you might chime in on that one - I would love your thoughts. I read all your posts on the Aggasi Comment thread before I posted that question.
     
  18. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    I couldnt find it. Post something in it to bring it back up.
     
  19. smoothtennis

    smoothtennis Hall of Fame

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    Look like you found me, once again, thank you for your comments---I will be using them.
     
  20. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Yup, found it. Hope that helps.
     
  21. Ano

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  22. ClarkC

    ClarkC Hall of Fame

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    What axis of rotation or coiling is being discussed here? Are we talking about turning the body in the same way that distinguishes a closed stance from an open stance, or are we talking about the height of the shoulders, with the rear (hitting) shoulder lower and the front (non-hitting) shoulder higher?

    Thanks.
     
  23. tennis angel

    tennis angel Guest

    Catch It

    If you pointed at an airplane going overhead could you catch it? So why point at a lob? Instead, track the incoming overhed by simply reaching up with your left hand (for a right hander) as if you're going to catch in your hand. At the last second hit down hard on the ball. Pretending to catch it puts it in the perfect strike zone. Move any way necessary, that feels natural (turn around and run, do a karaoke or whatever) to get in position to "catch" it. A scissor kick as you jump up to strike the ball will help you keep your balance and not fall backwards. This really works. I have my students who think they have a "problem" with the overhead start by just catching the ball in their left hand first, then progressing through the steps to the actual smash. In no time they feel confident and can't believe the improvement over pointing at the ball. They usually remark at first that they "can't catch" or can't catch with their non-dominant hand, but once they try it a couple of times they do it very well. Once they realize they can find the ball well with their non-hitting arm the racket strikes the ball very assuredly and they are proud of their catching ability.

    Another good practice is to go onto a racketball court and hit the tennis ball down as hard as possible against the back wall so that it bounces back very high and deep. Move as described above to "catch" the ball then hit the smash again so that the ball rebounds back like a lob. See how many times you can keep the ball in play hiting sucessive smashes. Then, move behind the center line and do the same drill keeping the ball behind the line every time. Your overhead will improve tremendously. It is a great workout as well!
     
  24. Inner Game

    Inner Game Semi-Pro

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    Awesome post.....I love Vic....
     
  25. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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  26. SVP

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    Works for volleyball spikes too.
     
  27. SVP

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    Any update on Vic?
     
  28. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    That's cool that somebody here knows Vic Braden so well. When I started tennis in the 70's, Vic was definitely 'the man' for tennis. I've come to appreciate his book "Tennis for the Future" as I've gained experience. Esp. his part on strategy, he says that to beat most players all you have to do is hit down the middle and deep. He emphasized that tennis isn't complicated, but that doesn't mean it's easy.

    Too many people think they lose because they don't have different spins and tactics and fail to notice that they lose because they're simply inconsistent, IMO. I'm glad to see an expert express this point of view with such clarity.
     
  29. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    doubles or singles or both?

    doubles or singles or both?
     
  30. equinox

    equinox Hall of Fame

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    i'll assume since this thread has been revived. that good old vic has passed away. he'll be missed by many and his contribution should be recognised by entrance to tennis coaching hall of fame, a true legend of the courts.
     
  31. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, the only problem I see with the elbow is that the hand often get right into the face - certainly within the feel of vision. This "could" effect the stroke. Having a two-stage approach seems to over-complicate things but it sounds like it works for you.
     
  32. gzhpcu

    gzhpcu Professional

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    :confused: Vic Braden has not passed away...:confused:
     
  33. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    People can be killed by just reviving some threads about them? Sort of like a web version of voodoo?
     
  34. equinox

    equinox Hall of Fame

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    re: kimbo slice is dead. ;)
     
  35. mntlblok

    mntlblok Professional

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    Vic and Roscoe and pics and xmas day

    An interesting aside (to me) is that Roscoe landed on his left (or back) foot in that video - the way Boris Becker did - and the way many platform tennis players do. (I don't care for the game (platform), myself, as bouncing an overhead over the fence not only loses the point, but you have to go chase the dern ball yourself). All the guys I know who play both "paddle" - as they are wont to call it - and tennis also land on their back foot when serving in tennis. Some of the reason seems to be that their caged game is always played as serve and volley, plus by landing further into the court, one significantly (I think) enlarges the window through which one can pass the ball, and land his first (and only) serve into the service box. I *think* the court is exactly half the dimensions of a tennis court. I've also wondered if some of that comes from the olden days when one, by rule, had to keep one foot on the ground when serving. I only know "old" paddle players. We're infested with retired yankees down here. I don't know when the rule change was, but I seem to recall hearing that Pancho Gonzalez could really rip it in spite of having to keep one foot on the ground. But, I came into tennis *after* white tennis balls.

    Anyway, when checking my "Flickr" stats today, I noticed that this photo had been "viewed" a couple of times. http://www.flickr.com/photos/mentalblock/4327116837/ I then noticed that it looks like Roscoe has changed his serve footwork to the more usual version of landing on one's front foot, and then remembered this thread.

    I happened across this thread the other day (and spent a *lot* of time reading through it). Learned a *lot* about teaching tennis in the US. Also learnt that David Smith is someone whom I'd love to get to know better, and who I would like to learn to debate like when I grow up - a logical, rational, gentleman. (Logical fallacies is (are?) one of my hobbies).

    I jumped on the thread when I saw Vic Braden's name. When I was getting into tennis in the late 70's and early 80's, Vic's "scientific" approach *really* appealed to me. My natural inclination is to over-analyze - which actually seems to me to be just the right amount of analysis. :) The fact that it seems to **** a lot of folks off is just an added bonus. I practically memorized his book and videos. I just *loved* the guy - except for the way he pronounced "backhand". :mrgreen: It's great to hear that he's still going strong at 79.

    However, when I was trying to learn to hit a topspin forehand, I managed to mix parts of what I read in his book with what I was told by multiple teaching pro's over the years. I never did get it right. Well, I think I understand it pretty well today, but I'm long past being able to utilize the knowledge. The wrist is toast. Can't do a double bend if you can't "extend" yer wrist - and you can't extend yer wrist if yer wearing a brace with a piece of metal in it (and it makes you see stars if it *does* get forced back a little). Some of my Vic-related "over-analysis* can be seen here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mentalblock/465718926/in/set-72157600094800395/

    On that Flickr "stats" thing, this (somewhat tennis-related) "set" from Key Biscayne gets infinitely more looks than any other of mine: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mentalblock/sets/72057594094698519/ :mrgreen: And, with my new Digital Rebel that has video and is capable of an ISO of 6400, I hope to do more with, and improve upon, this one: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mentalblock/4242125228/in/set-72157623006415375/

    I just joined tennisone (based on reading David Smith in this thread). Anybody have any insights on that video software that they offer via their membership? TIA

    Kevin Scrooge
    Savannah
     
  36. mntlblok

    mntlblok Professional

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    dropper

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mentalblock/sets/72157625501192521/ Here's the latest effort, warts and all. . . I'll start a new thread on it and brace for abuse. :mrgreen: Oops. Those are stills. Here's the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIO4dbUkf6I

    Kevin
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2010
  37. onehandbh

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  38. julian

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    A video by Braden about a serve by Roddick

     
  39. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    I like Vic and Oscar's techniques. Been playing 30+ years and currently play 4.5 give or take a bit. Play 500 ball at 5.0 when younger, much younger.

    Vic Likes:
    1. low ball toss on serve
    2. shoulder rotation on serve; still think shoulder rotation is better than deep knee bend for power. Almost every pro has their back to the net before uncoiling up and into the serve.
    3. use kenitic chain on serve and topspin ground strokes. Federer's forehand swing is in perfect unison - his hips, shoulders uncoil whipping the arm up and thru the ball

    Oscar Likes:
    1. simplify the strokes: catch and hit is a good concept; get away from long backswings; Agassi busted it a ton and had practically no backswing - just pivot, move to it, and uncoil
    2. late start of swing: pros move to the ball and then uncoil and hit around or after the bounce in front of them

    The only thing I can criticize is Oscar's original book didn't stress the shoulder turn. Maybe he thinks it will happen naturally. But, every pro coils their shoulders on ground strokes unless they are just late and scampering to block it back. I think coiling the shoulders regardless of stance (open, closed, or square) should be taught as it is critical to power, control and spin.
     

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