Vince Spadea's tips on FH and Serve

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by boramiNYC, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2011
    Messages:
    2,337
    http://youtu.be/cUSpsyNXEXE?t=10m5s

    Interesting how much he emphasizes the 'through' component on FH. I guess the conventional teaching must have been really ingrained in him. :)

    He also emphasizes 'through' component on serves and I have to agree. People are so focused about the spin on their serves they tend to forget the importance of the 'through' component. He mentions even on 2nd serves the 'through' component should be the major focus.
     
    #1
  2. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Messages:
    1,294
    ' I don't like Novak's ..... '

    I turned it off right there.
     
    #2
  3. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Messages:
    5,639
    Some find Vince entertaining.
    (But not everyone is entertained by a clown.)

    And he does make the point of hitting through the ball that you mention, he just doesn't give much insight into how to do it.


    You may be interested in hearing from a real student of the game, and a fine teacher - Pat Dougherty, the Bollettieri Camp "Serve Doctor".
    Forehand Leverage, Contact Zone and Alignment to the Ball http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZqhHdmqSPQ

    In the above forehand video he demonstates the great long contact point that you need, even with a pronounced low to high swing, and even with a windshield wiper motion.


    (Vince mentions Fed's forehand as an example of hitting through the zone. He does, but so do all the pros, even though the "bent arm" forehand of Djoker, Murray, etc. predominates on the tour, as well as at you local courts.)


    If you watched the Australian Open (or any match), you saw how even Fed hits most of his forehands with a pronounced low to high motion - but obviously he is moving the head of the racquet through a fairly long hitting zone as contact is made.

    It's just that the head is moving so fast that on TV, or even in the rapid action photos of his forehand below, the human eye just can not see the real motion going on:

    [​IMG]

    In the above photo sequences, only the middle one is where he flattens the ball out (the telltale sign is the racquet on follow through finishes only about shoulder height) going for a winner (usually only after a carefully constructed point.)

    In the upper sequences he hits his "typical" rally shot of a waist high ball, with his follow through well above the shoulder.

    And in the lower sequence he hits a low ball, again with the pronounced "low to high" swing bringing the racquet well above the shoulder.


    But even though we are missing the side views to show it, I can assure you he has that long "through component" demonstated by Pat Dougherty in his video.


    _____________________


    As for the serve, many hit their second serves without pronating.

    You need to pronate on the second serve to have that "pop" as well as well as the spin.

    And here is the key: you've got to get the racquet well to the right side of the body on the second serve.

    Too many have the racquet drop in the middle of their back so as they bring the racquet up they just brush up on the ball.
    They can't pronate because it just is not possible to pronate right to left if you start in the middle of your back, rather than well to the right side of your body.

    [​IMG]

    In the above great stop action kick serve sequence Toly has posted here before, you can see how far to the right Sam Stosur has her racquet in pic1 - and how she maintains the racquet well to the right side through pic 7 as she aims the butt of the racquet at the ball. (She is bringing the butt of the racquet up at the ball almost as if she is going to spear it!)

    Once the arm is fully extended at the elbow (pic 9),
    the next major motion is "pronation" as she moves the racquet head from right to left in pics 10-16.
    That right to left movement (pronation) is the "slap" which really gives the "pop" on the ball.

    Notice that during the same pics of 9-16 that the racquet head is also rising, and it is this "low to high" motion that will produce the spin on the ball.

    Also notice that for any spin or kick serve the point of ball contact is somewhat lower than on a first serve - it has to be to get that low to high motion.


    Do all the above -that's how you get "pop" and "spin" on a second serve.
     
    #3
  4. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2011
    Messages:
    2,337
    He has world class tennis skills and practice with Novak. You gotta give him some respect. don't ya think?
     
    #4
  5. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2011
    Messages:
    2,337
    Charlie, appreciate your post.

    I bet he can get into details but he had very short time and two tips to give to general population. Maybe he saw a trend of too much spinning the ball without enough 'through'. Whatever the reasoning there must be some value to it since it's from someone who has achieved the worldclass skill level. Just something to think about and maybe such message will stick to people who's overspinning without hitting through the ball. It's all a balance act. I don't believe in one or the other. both through and spin components are valid and essential i believe. It just happens to be the latest tip from a pro to general population.
     
    #5
  6. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    34,745
    Fantastic insights by Spadea. He explains clearly what hitting through the ball means and how important it is - and uses Fed as an example. He knows exactly what he is talking about - the way the modern forehand is hit. "Firm through". 'Firm through does not mean firm across, it means firm through." "Coming across early means leaving the track and derailing the train."

    LOL what a blow to the "coaches" here who have been advocating "yanking" and "pulling" and their followers trying to twist everything to see if it fits that description. Wake up guys, listen to modern players who have actually played at a high level, not club-level playing coaches who just want to play with words. Listen to how Spadea admires all the top players - no false dichotomies and strawmen here.
     
    #6
  7. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2011
    Messages:
    2,337
    I knew you'd like it, shuresh. :twisted:
     
    #7
  8. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    19,757
    Location:
    On my iPhone
    suresh, you jumped on that too hard.

    Hitting through the ball (something I do) IS key, but it does not mean that what the coaches are saying is wrong. Vince is saying that rec players are misinterpreting. That is all.

    You can hit through the ball and finish across. In fact that is exactly what he says to do in his video.

    A lot of players focus on the WW finish, and silly things like that. All that happens naturally if you hit through the ball. The harder you hit, the more you will wipe across on the finish.

    Vince is basically saying not to rush the finish, but hit through first.
     
    #8
  9. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    34,745
    It is not about whether it is liked or not. It is just how it is. You don't hit 80 mph forehands without substantial forward hitting through. Physics will not allow otherwise.
     
    #9
  10. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    34,745
    Yes that is obvious. Didn't you hear him say that it comes across after hitting through? What is your point?
     
    #10
  11. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    19,757
    Location:
    On my iPhone
    My point is that nobody has said different. This video just clicked with you, but it does not go against conventional coaching.
     
    #11
  12. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    34,745
    Correct. It goes against those who advocate yanking and pulling in an abrupt manner just before impact.
     
    #12
  13. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    19,757
    Location:
    On my iPhone
    I have not read many who say that, but on this forum everything is over analyzed to death so I don't doubt it.

    To me, the key part of what he is saying is the 5 o clock take-back. If you do that every time, your timing will get better fast.
     
    #13
  14. Fearsome Forehand

    Fearsome Forehand Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Messages:
    1,183
    Location:
    USA
    Hitting through the ball. What a concept. :)
     
    #14
  15. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    19,757
    Location:
    On my iPhone
    It's a great detail though. I was always a huge spin hitter, but the nuance of hitting through the ball and rolling over too much is worth addressing. It is really easy to fall into the trap of rolling over the ball too much if you hit with a SW or Western grip, so it takes a lot of practice and feel to get that new timing so you hit through and then finish.
     
    #15
  16. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2007
    Messages:
    5,690
    I agree with Spadea's assessment. He wasn't saying Novak doesn't hit the ball well, he just thinks his takeback is too big. If I'm teaching someone to play, I'm going to suggest a smaller takeback rather than as big of one as Novak's. But no one is going to claim that it doesn't work for Novak.

    The five o'clock take back is the interesting thing in this discussion as well as hitting through the ball on second serves. Spadea doesn't really explain how Sampras and Roddick were able to still get massive spin while hitting through the ball. But Roddick is certainly interesting in that he can bring 110mph and heavy topspin when most other players are only able to hit it about 90mph with equal spin.
     
    #16
  17. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    Messages:
    5,743
    No one has argued against forward hitting, you made that up. But it can be combined with up as well as across elements. You know, like Nadal and Federer swiping the ball, remember?
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
    #17
  18. Fearsome Forehand

    Fearsome Forehand Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Messages:
    1,183
    Location:
    USA
    I hear ya. In my case, I can tell what I am doing wrong in tennis, or golf, by the end result. If my strokes lack pace, I know I am spinning too much and hitting through too little. Sometimes I intentionally load up the top spin just because it gives a lot of people fits.

    Would Spadea tell Rafa to hit through more on his FH? :)
     
    #18
  19. mbm0912

    mbm0912 Professional

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2012
    Messages:
    982
    That makes two of us..
     
    #19
  20. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    Messages:
    5,743
    Yes, it is against the laws of physics.
     
    #20
  21. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2011
    Messages:
    2,337
    Agree about Novak, his form works perfectly for him but it's def not a starting point or something to emulate without solid fundamentals.

    Yes both Sampras and Roddick had much bigger second serves than most other pros. Wish he could have explained more on that but I believe what he says about the toss can partly explain. The same toss spot for both first and second serves. Both Sampras and Roddick had very close tosses between first and second serves. This forces the spin generation to be at the tip of the racquet control (pronation and wrist control) instead of different stance and core body control. Their core motions were very close between the first and second serves.

    It may not be the safest practices to have aggressive second serve and they both had their shares of double faults on critical points. but definitely their second serves were big part of their exceptional holding percentage.
     
    #21
  22. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Messages:
    3,847
    Location:
    San Diego
    There's still an across element. how else is side spin generated?
     
    #22
  23. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Messages:
    3,666
    Location:
    Here and There
    Good video. What I find funny and if my memory isn't failing me I remember Oscar Wegner stating how he taught Spadea, and then you hear Vince talk about hitting through so many times.
     
    #23
  24. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    Messages:
    2,370
    You have to hit both through and across if you want to hit big. Those ball won't land in without the topspin. I know for me I'm totally focused on hitting across the ball. With my grip I get all the through that I need. However I think it's different for other people.

    Assuming you're starting with a player with reasonably good form, I think you need to assess what the player is already doing well and what elements they're weak on before you can make statements about where they should focus.
     
    #24
  25. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Messages:
    954
    Spadea is a great player, but I don't think he actually knows what he himself is doing. Good players don't always make good coaches.
     
    #25
  26. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Messages:
    3,666
    Location:
    Here and There
    He knows a heck of a lot more than an average club pro or a TT poster....or no wait, the TT poster definitely knows more, my bad.
     
    #26
  27. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Messages:
    954
    I'm sure he does, but he's not the best at articulating it. "Go through the ball" is hardly expert advice.
     
    #27
  28. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    34,745
    Sometimes they know more, sometimes they know less. You have to look at each situation and assess for yourself.

    But by and far the best advice has been from coachingmastery with his "keep the plane the same." Most rec players do not do this. They are always trying to make minor adjustments because of lack of confidence in keeping the plane the same.
     
    #28
  29. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Messages:
    954
    I thought his 2nd serve advice was good.
     
    #29
  30. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    34,745
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-k40zmz1uvA

    For the 2 backhands shown, freeze the frame at contact and mentally note the distance of the impact point (zone) from the back fence. Keep stepping through and see how much the distance increases before it starts decreasing. The confusion is because the path of the contact point an arc. It extends into the forward (x) direction, sideways (y direction) and upwards (z direction). For the entire swing, find the x coordinate at the time it starts decreasing, and subtract the x coordinate at impact. You will see that the former is almost in front of his forehead with hand extended, while the latter is just in front of his hips.
     
    #30
  31. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Messages:
    3,666
    Location:
    Here and There
    Tennis isn't rocket science. Its a simple game and saying 'go through the ball' is correct. Some might have different ways of explaining this, which you might understand better but thats the trick to teaching. Finding 100 different ways to explain the same thing, because everyone is different and understands differently. However, in the end keep it simple which is what Vince is doing. Even the top coaches on tour aren't having complex explanations, its all very basic terminology.
     
    #31
  32. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Messages:
    6,362
    I'm not sure. being able to execute is not the same as knowing it intellectually. I'm not sure whether federer even knows what pronation is.


    however Spadea is right. the "through" component is very important. you Need up/across AND through.
     
    #32
  33. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    19,757
    Location:
    On my iPhone
    Exactly, I see threads in here from rec players who are treating it like rocket science. Worst way to learn a sport.
     
    #33
  34. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Messages:
    3,666
    Location:
    Here and There
    You're joking correct?
     
    #34
  35. Bhagi Katbamna

    Bhagi Katbamna Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,061
    See the whole thing, Vince praises Novak's shots including his forehand.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
    #35
  36. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    34,745
    LOL discussion of technical topics which are beyond your ability does not mean it worsens the way to learn a sport. Read the article by TWU prof today on string displacement in the 99S. It does not mean he should be compared to Nadal who can actually produce great displacements. Just because you are not capable of understanding scientific formulations does not mean others are stupid for being interested in that, or that it somehow takes away from the game in your narrow world view. I see this knee jerk reaction from several pseudo-coaches and players here (none of whom have probably achieved anything) when confronted with facts. On the other hand, real verified coaches like Macci are on TV talking about the use of 3D analysis, and real players like Spadea are referring to slow motion video of Federer to illustrate their points.
     
    #36
  37. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    34,745
    And the Williams sisters use long takebacks from before the bounce and even double-pump during the forward swing. That also doesn't add up.
     
    #37
  38. FrisbeeFool

    FrisbeeFool Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Messages:
    377
    Not a fan of the long takeback. Most of the guys have more compact takebacks like spadea is talking about. If you look at Serena's takeback it is a little more compact then when she first came on tour. The important part is her Early prep and her long follow through.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
    #38
  39. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2011
    Messages:
    2,337
    Knowing it so it can be discussed with other people without confusion. This is not the only intellectual thing about understanding. He might use different term for all I know but I guarantee he is fully aware of the minutest movements and control of his forearm and hand.

    It's the other way around. We who discuss these things don't understand the minutest movement and control of pronation the way Fed does. We try our best and at the same time try to communicate that with others. But, what's being communicated isn't very clear all the time and can't be executed by ourselves. that's why it's worth going back to whatever these pros are saying since they are closer to the truth of the ability than we are.
     
    #39
  40. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    34,745
    What was great was how Spadea broke up the serve angle in terms of speed and spin, and the racket angle. Racket angle more into the court = more speed, less spin. Racket angle more across the court = less speed, more spin. The guy knows the direct path to explain something which coincides with the reality of how it is done.
     
    #40
  41. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    34,745
    I loved his volume concept on the forehand. It coincides with the notion of the racket almost perpendicular (square) or slightly closed at contact, and sweeping a 3D volume with the ball by extending through the swing arc. That is where he says the power comes from.
     
    #41
  42. FrisbeeFool

    FrisbeeFool Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Messages:
    377
    Spadea's teachings really remind me a lot more of Nick Saviano's approach, I do have to agree with you on that.
     
    #42
  43. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    34,745
    #43
  44. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Messages:
    954
    Just because you pull up and across, does not mean there is no forward motion on the swing, Frisbee. What the pulling up and across does is let you impart a ton of topspin AS you drive the ball. It gives much more margin for error and control.

    Just go out and try it yourself, everyone. It clearly is the way to play.
     
    #44
  45. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    35,696
    That "pulling up and across" thing is also good for reacting to balls hit deeper than you like. Holding the hand allows the racketHEAD to come thru earler than normal, so you can handle deep shots that you didn't expect.
    Same as reverse forehands.
     
    #45
  46. FrisbeeFool

    FrisbeeFool Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Messages:
    377
    I do hit my strokes with topspin. Most people do these days. It's not 1975. No coaches that I know are telling their students to hit groundstrokes with wooden rackets and continental grips. This whole controversy started because Wegner and his followers on here were telling people not to hit through the ball. Go see his internet videos with the ball attached to the prop where he's talking about contacting the ball on the bottom of the strings by the frame, and massaging over the top of the ball rather than hitting through it. Plenty of us on here know the fundamentals of the game, we just have to waste our time constantly debunking myths about yanking, hitting near the frame, counting to five, prepping late, massaging over the top of the ball etc. etc. That's not what characterizes the modern game. And it never will.

    It was a good thread with Spadea talking about the fundamentals. Wegner and all his followers claim you need to abandon certain fundamentals like hitting through the ball in order to learn the modern game. It's simply not true and it's a recipe for disaster. Modern players like Federer hit through the ball as dramatically as anyone. It is still a huge part of the game always will be.

    Then Wegner's claims about being responsible for players like Novak Djokovic and all of Russia's tennis players because Wegner's book might have been read my some people in those areas, forced the sane members of the forums to debunk those constant claims and selling and exaggerations. It's clear that accomplished players like Vince Spadea found the advice about hitting through the ball to be helpful, and if pointing out the fundamentals of the groundstroke is somehow painful or inconvenient for internet denizens, I'm sorry. It's simply how all good players in real life hit their groundstrokes.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
    #46
  47. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    34,745
    Of course. That is what everyone does. It is the finer details which are exciting.

    When you pull something up and across, where does it go? Take your cell phone right now and pull it up and across as you toss it. What happened? It went up and across and crashed against the wall and shattered.

    Does the tennis ball go up and across like that?

    No.

    That is because most of the energy is in the forward direction with the up and across component coming from forces below the center of mass, and friction with the strings, which create the spin.

    One of them is like flicking a vertical wheel on the lower side with an upwards and forwards force. As long as the line of force does not pass through the center of mass (axle) but above it, the wheel will rotate. Another way is to grip the wheel and turn it. These two are analogous to the strike on the ball followed by friction during the dwell time, and both require the across and up component.

    If the direction of the force (and hence the swing just prior to it) was merely normal to the ball, it would just go straight. If the across and up direction passed through the center of mass, the ball would also be launched across and up. So it is a combination of the force in the forward direction which also acts up and across in a glancing way, which makes the combination of pace and spin possible.
     
    #47
  48. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    35,696
    Could the "up and across" be a physiological function, one influenced by the pivot point of the shoulder, not allowing the racket to head towards the target, instead redirecting the swing in an axxis according to your arm length?
     
    #48
  49. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Messages:
    954
    Yes, obviously everyone has some combination of hitting through as well as up and across.

    I think the magic in describing it as pulling is that you're actually pulling the racket towards your body to create the upward and across motion, rather than through extending your arm outwards and up. You can accelerate your arm much more quickly by pulling than otherwise.
     
    #49
  50. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    35,696
    I see it as ..before you hit the ball, your racket is moving along the path of your target.
    After you hit the ball, your racket starts to pivot it's arc off your shoulder.
     
    #50

Share This Page