Video of forehands - casual rallying

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by JackB1, Dec 20, 2010.

  1. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Pct3rycBtk

    Please be kind! I am not claiming to be some hotshot 5.0 :)
    Just a 50 year old guy trying to make it from 3.5-4.0
    This is my first attempt at video and I was kind of dragging after playing two sets. It's a little chopped up, because I tried to cut out all the time chasing balls down, etc. I will try and make a better video soon and also include some backhands and serves.

    Thanks in advance for any critique or suggestions
     
    #1
  2. AllLeague

    AllLeague Rookie

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    Um, not to be rude but your hitting partner is bringing you down quiet a bit.
    Besides that, it seems like you are just tired after playing your two sets because shoulder rotation is very slow and you are pushing your body forward to compensate for the lack of shoulder rotation. And your footwork seems to be slightly lazy because you don't seem to be in the perfect position when you actually hit the ball.
     
    #2
  3. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Decent playing other than the tiredness. You play like most of the guys at my tennis club. IMO 4.0 is all about being consistent. You don't even need a weapon. And the singles guys from the 4.0 team around me would most likely double bagel you simply because they are consistent against your type of ground strokes. medium paced rally shots. You would miss before they did. Up the shot threshold and you will be good to go.
     
    #3
  4. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    Notice how your left hand drops, sometimes all the way to your waist on your forehand? Keep that left hand higher and out in front of you while going through your stroke, use it for balance. Right now its not helping you at all. It is in the beginning, but once you start to swing forward it moves out of the way but to the wrong place.
     
    #4
  5. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Good observation. I will do another video soon and work on that.
     
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  6. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Another good observation.

    So far I got:
    -keep left arm higher and do let it drop
    -turn shoulders more
    -more active footwork

    p.s. my teacher says 90% of my mishits are due to footwork and not getting to optimum hitting position. I'm sure she is right.
     
    #6
  7. dozu

    dozu Banned

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    nothing wrong with the tips above... but instead of focusing on body parts.

    watch this -
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ImeQaAyFPc

    how is his FH different from yours?

    here is a hint - what is he trying to swing? that Wilson in his hand? or the entire unit that's made up of the upper arm, forearm, and the wilson? (what I call the 'human racket', as opposed to the Wilson -the 'graphite racket')

    now envision the same picture when you practice.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2010
    #7
  8. dozu

    dozu Banned

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    here is an arrogant one - your teacher doesn't know what she's talking about.

    90% of your problem is due to that you are swinging the wrong object.
     
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  9. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I agree, but if your feet aren't in proper position and you don't have the ball in your "strike zone" then it doesn't matter how you swing. Am I wrong?
     
    #9
  10. dozu

    dozu Banned

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    yes and no.

    footwork is important.

    However, when you swing the wrong racket, you are limited to hitting balls in the 'strike zone' when you are in 'perfect position'.

    let me explain.

    If you try to hit a ball higher than your chest, when you swing the graphite racket, your arm collides with your chest, wrist flips over, ball into the net, all that funny stuff happens.... when you are in a running/reaching situation, you have no leverage to push the graphite racket into the ball, therefore producing weak shots.

    You look at pros game, going at lightening fast pace, ball comes at different heights, from shoelace low, to over-head high, but the pros can always produce a strong reply, even if they are running/reaching.... why?

    because they swing the human racket, which has 15-20 times more power potential than the graphite racket. (Hint - Human arm weighs 15-20 lbs).
     
    #10
  11. dozu

    dozu Banned

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    when you swing the 'human racket', you will have a strike zone (FH) that is seamless with the overhead smash.. which is what the pros have.
     
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  12. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    That all sounds great, but there has to be more to it than just saying "swing the human racquet". There has to be a way to translate that into something practical that people can use. It just doesn't come by magic if you think to yourself "swing the human racquet" like Federer does in that video. I know you are saying to use your whole body instead of mostly the arm, but it's not as easy as you are making it sound or everyone on this board would be 5.0.
     
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  13. dozu

    dozu Banned

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    ^^^

    yes and no :)

    5.0 requires not only techniques, but also physical abilities. But to answer your question, yes, with the correct coaching/practicing, no reason why anybody healthy enough can't play tennis correctly (oops, can of worm opened lol).

    what you can do, is to practice relaxation, by turning your body left and right, feel your arms fly up due to centrifugal force, feel the blood rushing into your finger tips, feel the arms tugging on the shoulder socket.

    that's what it feels like to swing the human racket... then the next thing is that you have to teach the hand how to behave to control the racket face.... just go to FYB or youtube and train the hand to do the 'tracing of a C' type of motion followed by windshield wipe type swing patter (doesn't really matter if you go classical swing path finishing over the shoulder).

    put the 2 things together, you can swing this human racket into the ball no matter how high/low it is, no matter if you are standing still or running wide...

    And you will be surprised by how effortless it is, because gravity and centrifugal force will be doing most of the work, and all the arm/hands do is holding on to the racket and providing the correct path for the racket face to travel.

    Believe me - the brain knows how to swing correctly, if it sees the right picture ... my 9 year old... complete beginner... still has a tendency to push the racket into the ball, but once I remind her 'swing the unit', her FH looks quite Federer-ish. :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2010
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  14. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Jack, cool vid. Being a FL boy i have never played indoor tennis.

    Your partner is not that good. What you should do when you play that person is practice punishing those moon balls by taking them earlier. I also think your follow through looks a little awkward and tentative, but i am not a tennis coach.
     
    #14
  15. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I only play indoors during the Winter. It's a little different indoors. The ball seems to really fly, as compared to outdoors.
    It's been quite cold in Atlanta lately. I played a doubles match a couple weeks ago outside and the windchill was below 20. It wasn't fun.

    My partner was having some trouble just returning balls directly to me. He is actually pretty good when we just play. I think he was letting up, instead of just swinging away like normal. I will work on a longer and looser follow through. My teacher also has been trying to get me to get the racquet moving earlier and swing more smoothly, instead of jerking it at impact. I think my technique is usually better than what that video showed, but I am sure it does look like that at times, especially when tired. I will try and do another one soon to prove it! :)
     
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  16. Mansewerz

    Mansewerz Legend

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    Whoa, is that teh same court that tennis_balla played on in his video?
     
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  17. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I don't think he is in Atlanta
     
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  18. chico9166

    chico9166 Guest

    Try and get your right leg behind the line of the ball more consistently.(more like when you play the open stance shots) This is your load leg, and what should establish your alignment to the ball. Can you see how you lunge right on many of these shots?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 21, 2010
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  19. Sreeram

    Sreeram Professional

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    Guys, dont judge the hitting partner based on this video. It is an edited one and Jack has put the clips that has a good few of his FH. But accidently the hitting partners reply to these shots are not great for those clips. Understand the motive of this thread before posting your expert advice.
     
    #19
  20. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Spend more effort getting into position, lengthen your stroke if needed, shorten them if needed ( closer and farther away from your body). You are off balance on EVERY shot, taking a hop step as you hit to compensate for poor positioning.
    As you stroke thru, you shouldn't need to move sideways, backwards, or forwards. Forwards is OK, but not part of a modern forehand against an equal opponent.
    Float back towards middle after you hit the ball.
     
    #20
  21. mtommer

    mtommer Hall of Fame

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    From what you posted I'd agree with your pro. I think the best shot you hit in your video was at :55. The difference between that shot and all the others is that, even though you were back on your heels a bit, you were relaxed, fluid and when you hit the ball you stopped trying to "think" and you just hit it - you just reacted. On your other FH hits you keep moving to your right after you hit the ball. On that defensive shot, watch your body. Although you were traveling back just a bit to pick up the ball, your body goes with the momentum, which included a much better unit turn, short take-back..basically you got your whole body into hit at ball contact. As you finish the swing watch how you are able to recover and naturally move forward with your momentum. The key is that what you're doing is just happening as opposed to you "making" it happen. I also think it's encouraging as it shows that you do have the natural ability to play higher and to do so with less effort than you put into your hitting now.
     
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  22. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    You are correct. I had a lesson today and my teacher told me to only try and hit a winner when I was in position and on balance. I was amazed at how often I was not. I really need to work on footwork and staying in balance. I started jumping rope and bought a agility ladder. Hopefully that will help.
     
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  23. j00dypoo

    j00dypoo Rookie

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    Which courts are these? I don't know of any indoor courts around here besides Racquet Club of the South.

    And as others have said, not bad but you look a bit stiff on the shots b/c of your pushing tendencies. Without seeing your backhands, volleys and serves it's hard to say if you've made it to 4.0. Definitely hit with more spin and pace than most 3.5 guys I see.
     
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  24. Dreamer

    Dreamer Professional

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    You have issues with position. Your feet are constantly compensating during the shot. You want to have proper spacing so you don't constantly have to fall this way and that to reach the shot. You feet need to be planted so you can pivot. Also you shoulder rotation turns into an arming motion. You can tell because your left shoulder does not go around. Make sure your stroke is driven at the core.
     
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  25. chico9166

    chico9166 Guest

    Yes, the Op has ALIGNMENT issues.
     
    #25
  26. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOgPPfZqUx8

    Jack, I figured I'd repost this link since it is awesome and shows you how your feet should be. Watch Safin rally and hit his strokes. He is a machine, but watch his feet. He uses a semi open stance in the middle of the court, which enables him to have the proper balance each stroke. I am using this video to work on my footwork because I think Safin has incredible textbook game. It may help you out.
     
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  27. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    No...I am a solid 3.5 right now. I win about 80% of my matches. If I played 4.0 right now, I would probably lose 90% of the time. What hurts me most is inconsistency, which stems from bad footwork/positioning. I am going to be filming more today and will do some backhands and hopefully some serves.

    Those courts are at the Midtown Athletic Club in North Atlanta.
     
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  28. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Can you go into a little detail about how my "shoulder rotation turns into an arming motion"? And how can I correct this? Thanks!
     
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  29. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    I think you can correct it with proper footwork and balance. I see what he is saying also. A lot of it is footwork.
     
    #29
  30. obtn

    obtn Rookie

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    Hey Jack, sorry for the off-topic question, but what courts are those? I didn't know there were any indoor courts near us...
     
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  31. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    ..................

     
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  32. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    They are at Midtown Athletic Club on Windy Hill Rd in N. Atlanta.

    Hey obtn....drop me an email if u ever want to hit. I am in Marietta also and am a 3.5 and I play better that I look in this video :)
     
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  33. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I never realized how off balance I was until I watched this video. I am going to pay a lot of attention to staying on balance next time. I hope to do another video soon that also shows backhands and serves. I will do it this time BEFORE playing 2 sets! :)
     
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  34. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Great video! I use a similar open stance but my teacher wants me to always use a neutral stance for now, which I dont like. She thinks that open stance causes lazy footwork, but for me, it easier to stay in balance when semi-open and it's one less step, so why not? If I get get my feet into proper position, why should it matter if it's open or neutral? She said I can eventually get to open stance, but to me it's making things harder for me and it's frustrating.
     
    #34
  35. Dreamer

    Dreamer Professional

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    Ok keep your body still and swing your arm independently. that's what the shot is turning into.

    Now keep your arm extended and steady. now connect it to the shoulder and do your take back. swing from your core muscles, the abs pecs and use them to turn the shoulder. Notice the arm doesn't disconnect with the shoulder until after contact. That's how you should be using your muscles to create a stroke. It's more powerful and predictable.

    edit: oh yeah then use your foot to pivot and amplify the turn. Then you should really understand the difference in power.

    Good luck
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2010
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  36. chico9166

    chico9166 Guest

    Establishing right foot alignment (lateral positioning from the line of the ball) is necessary, regardless of stance choice. On the balls, that you have to lunge right for, the root problem is that your right foot is not close enough to the ball. Your ability to redirect momentum, balance, and optimal use of the kinetic chain will suffer.

    Try this. As you move to the ball, make sure that the last step you take (laterally, to the right) is with your right foot. You can play the shot either from an open stance, or '"work into a square stance" time permitting.
     
    #36
  37. pushing_wins

    pushing_wins Hall of Fame

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    contact is not out in front enough

    spinning around too much
     
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  38. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Thanks.

    lot of great tips guys! Thanks!!!!!
     
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  39. pushing_wins

    pushing_wins Hall of Fame

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    when u hit open stance, the right side wants to come around hard and fast. u have to somehow hold the right side back for the arm and racquet to release properly. there got to be a natural way to do it. i m still working on that. its similar to a golf and baseball swing.

    u should try to hit through 3 balls and out in front. there is no way of doing that if your whole body spins around as a unit.

    just my 2 cents
     
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  40. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    So to break down what you are saying... First move is split step upon contact, second is full turn to forehand or backhand. Third is racquet back, and outside foot stepping out to line up with the ball. Fourth would be swing to contact, transferring weight into court onto inside foot.

    Is this correct? I do this myself. Have found that balls hit to the middle can be hit a lot harder with a more closed stance due to the right foot not needing to up the stance like in a wider shot.
     
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  41. chico9166

    chico9166 Guest

    Power,

    What I'm saying is that, regardless of direction of movement, or stance choice, the right foot placement should be responsible for lateral positioning/alignment/spacing. As you track the ball, if the right foot is correctly established, a player can play the ball from an open stance, or work forward (neutral stance) off the right foot. At any rate, a player should not have to step across (laterally/closer to the line of the ball) with the left foot to establish proper alignment/spacing. If you watch the video of the OP, the reason for the extreme lunge to the right, is that the right foot is too far away from the line of the ball. (again, in a lateral sense)
     
    #41
  42. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    I agree with you. Been trying to work that in better,because sometimes I will finish off balance due to my right foot being too far behind my body at times. That is why I was asking how you go through your progression because it just takes a little proper practice for me to drill it in so it is automatic.
     
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  43. chico9166

    chico9166 Guest

    Good for you. It's one of the first things I establish with players, as proper alignment to the ball is absolutely critical. It leads to flexibility in stance, better balance, and generally better angular transfers.

    Two things you might want to work on to improve in this area.

    1. Try and play with your "feet apart" as much as possible. Which would mean that you try and "lead" with your right foot as much as possible. (step out footwork pattern). Certainly there are times when you will have to cross-over to initiate movement, but only when you have to really cover alot of ground.

    2. Be very, very, concious of your posture. As you near the ball, make sure you keep your shoulders up and over your hips, as you try and establish the right foot. Do not allow yourself to bend over/reach out to hit the ball. This just reinforces poor alignment. If you observe lower level players at your club, it's pretty easy to see what I'm talking about. In most cases the reaching, bending, poor posture, is just a result of really poor alignment to the ball.
     
    #43
  44. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Ok great, makes sense to me..thanks.

    The biggest trick has always been to get the full body turn early, then line up the right foot before transferring the weight forward on contact. Doing it every time and hitting the proper stance for each situation (middle ball, kicked wide, drop shot) is the biggest challenge of tennis groundstrokes IMO.
     
    #44
  45. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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    Good forehand - at 41 secs: your shoulder rotation (prior to contact) powers the arm swing (your rotation is accelerating the racquet head to improve power/spin).

    Bad forehand - at about 23-24 seconds: prior to contact, you swing only with the arm, and then, after contact, you rotate the shoulders to finish the follow through because your are trying to get the right position.

    Freeze for a second, at contact, to check your stroke
     
    #45
  46. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    These are good tips.

    What is the proper alignment of the right foot to the ball? On open and closed stances?
     
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  47. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Lets see what he says, but this is what i do to ensure a proper pivot.

    I start with my feet pointed towards the net obviously, then split step and turn to forehand or backhand. At this point, my feet are pointing to the side fence as is my entire body.

    I then step out with my outside foot and line up the shot. I swing and make contact while pivoting my feet towards the net and stepping into the shot so my weight transfers back into the court on my inside foot. I am now fully turned and facing the net like step 1, and ready to do it again.
     
    #47
  48. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    That doesn't really tell me HOW I "line up" the shot so that it's not too far away and not too close.
     
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  49. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    #49
  50. fruitytennis1

    fruitytennis1 Professional

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    I wish i knew
    Big improvement.
    Its possible its the angle/how your hitting(stamina wise)
    Turn your shoulders more and limit your takeback. Less windup but guarenteed more power and contol
     
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