Wegner forehand article

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by JCo872, May 26, 2006.

  1. JCo872

    JCo872 Professional

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    On TennisOne, Oscar Wegner just put out an article on the forehand. I know Oscar Wegner is a hotbed of controversy around here, so let me state up front that I like his idea of "finding the ball". I like his idea of "accelerating on contact". I even like his idea of a more delayed backswing.

    However, I am completely puzzled by what he says in the article. He says that the pros "pull across their body" on contact. He says "pulling the arm in [on contact] is a lot more powerful. You need to pull in for several reasons..." One being that the bicep and chest muscles contract when you pull in towards you and as an example shows a guy pulling something in towards his body. He says if you twirl a rock on a string, if you pull inward, the rock accelerates. And then he finally says that pulling across the ball actually keeps the ball on the strings longer.

    I find this to be incomprehensible. From every pro stroke I've ever seen, you see the racket continue to face the ball and net after contact for several inches (sometimes a lot more on a flat drive). In fact I'd argue the exact opposite of what Oscar says. Lesser players pull off the ball quickly to the left, giving them very little contact with the strings, whereas the pros keep behind the ball for much longer, getting maximum compression and spring from the racket going forward.

    He also argues that Federer "pulls right across the body, he is not trying to go with the ball", but check out my video of Federer here: http://www.hi-techtennis.com/

    He goes straight up the back of the ball and goes forward towards the net for a few inches. The racket actually draws a rainbow like motion on the right side of his body, which is completely different than quickly pulling off to the left. In effect he stays right behind the ball for awhile, giving him clean contact and a good linear movement and lift through the ball, which are the real sources of power.

    If anyone can tell me what I'm missing about Oscar's argument I would appreciate it because I am just stunned by this idea of pulling off the ball on contact.
     
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  2. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    You should probably link the article.

    And the tricep is the biggest, strongest muscle on your arm.
     
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  3. TennisParent

    TennisParent Rookie

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    Good post JCO872, I totally agree. On TennisW.com another online tennis board OW hosts a forum called "Modern Tennis Methodology/The Wegner Method." I suggest you sign and bring your astute observation to his attention.
     
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  4. JCo872

    JCo872 Professional

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    I'll do that. Thanks. I hate to go after a guy or attack his ideas. Especially one I learned some things from. I know Oscar came up with his ideas before good video came out, so I understand why he could have missed the linear movement through the ball. It's just that this idea of pulling across the ball is so bad that it actually ruins the good insights he has into the game.

    I'll check out that forum and start a debate there.
     
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  5. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    So he is saying the classical "hits 4 balls in a row" advice is not correct?
     
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  6. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Oscar's stuff is good for those that subscribe to it, it is the "Father stuff" and his other remarks that are contested. The guy is a very intelligent man.

    Pulling huh? Sounds like some of Nick's stuff. :)

    Look at the slow motion video of Federer. Believe that. Remember, Oscar also doesn't believe pros prepare their racquet before the bounce. :)
     
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  7. JCo872

    JCo872 Professional

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    You got it. He says that strength and speed come from pulling straight off the the ball. He specifically says that "following the ball" is what NOT to do. He says by hitting 0 balls in a row is what makes Federer's forehand great.
     
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  8. JCo872

    JCo872 Professional

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    Well Nick says pull to the ball on the approach to the ball, whereas Oscar says to pull to the left on contacting the ball.
     
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  9. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    I guess pulling is the key word. Now I guess it boils down to what works for the player. Nick has produced some outstanding players. ;)
     
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  10. Brettolius

    Brettolius Professional

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    So BB, see that you've switched from the volkl tour10 to the babolat? How's that working for ya? Quite a difference in feel, from the softest feeling frame to the frame that felt like plywood (to me). You liking the bab?
     
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  11. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    It is not working out too well. What I dont like about my Volkl (only complaint) is the way the handle is built. I like a solid handle and not the palette type which is used on my Volkl's.

    That Volkl Tour 10 is like an extension of my arm, I can hit the crap out of the ball and it goes where I want it to go. I can volley real well with the racquet as well.

    The Babolot is a good racquet but I think it is for someone with a tad less swing speed then I like to hit the ball with.

    We will see, but so far I am leaning to sell them if it doesnt turn around. On the other hand, it could be simply I am out of shape and am not playing a whole lot anymore. My tennis game takes a drastic switch when I am light on my feet and practiced. It is like night and day. So who knows.

    Why? You want them? :)
     
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  12. just out

    just out New User

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    I personally like Oscar's stuff, Nick also. I don't see a contradiction - 4 balls, 2 1/2 balls, 0 balls, 4 balls is just a way of trying to get someone to think of hitting through the ball and not to lift straight up or close the face on contact. I wouldn't describe a forehand by telling someone to push the ball. I have always thought of the forehand motion more as pulling especially from an open stance.
     
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  13. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    yada yada yada
     
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  14. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Well there are two important areas in the forehand motion, the pull forward and when the racquet goes to the other side, the shoulder still needs to be involved to help move the racquet forward. The pulling does not take place at the elbow which many end up doing. It comes from the shoulder to initiate the elbow to move forward. Rotation starts nearly immediately.

    In order to feel both sides, I hold the racquet from behind so the player can feel the pull from the shoulder and then at contact to feel the shoulders involvement I will push against the racquet.

    No one here is telling anyone to push the ball and the pulling term has been around a long long time.
     
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  15. JCo872

    JCo872 Professional

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    Exactly. I agree with the pulling to the ball feeling. No problems there. It's that he says the moment the racket touches the ball you need to swing the entire racket and arm immediately to the left. That somehow a motion to the left rather than forward through the ball is the key to pro strokes.
     
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  16. Brettolius

    Brettolius Professional

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    No way. I have found my holy grail and it is the tour 10 mp. Simply love it. Just like you said, I can rip it and put right where I want, and know my ball is heavy as hell. I just asked because I hit with a buddy's pure control and pure drive, and I just couldn't really feel the ball, didn't like it much at all. Seemed like a quite dramatic switch between the 2 is why I asked. But I doubt you'll have trouble getting rid of the babs, people seem to love them for some reason.
     
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  17. JCo872

    JCo872 Professional

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    Exactly. I agree with the pulling to the ball feeling. No problems there. What I have a problem with is that he says the moment the racket touches the ball you need to swing the entire racket and arm immediately to the left. That somehow a motion to the left rather than forward through the ball is the key to pro strokes.
     
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  18. JCo872

    JCo872 Professional

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    Exactly. I agree with the pulling to the ball feeling. No problems there. What I have a problem with is that he says the moment the racket touches the ball you need to swing the entire racket and arm immediately to the left. That somehow a motion to the left rather than forward through the ball is the key to pro strokes.
     
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  19. JCo872

    JCo872 Professional

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    Exactly. I agree with the pulling to the ball feeling. No problems there. What I have a problem with is that he says the moment the racket touches the ball you need to swing the entire racket and arm immediately to the left. That somehow a motion to the left rather than forward through the ball is the key to pro strokes.

    If you are a member of TennisOne you can see the article here:
    http://www.tennisone.com/club/lessons/wegner/fh/weg_fh.php
     
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  20. Orson Welles

    Orson Welles Rookie

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    Nick Produces Players?

    C'mon BB, I thought that you of all people would know better than to say this. The people in the tennis business who really know what's going on know that Nick didn't "produce" anyone. He gives scholarships to great junior players like Andre Agassi, Monica Seles and Jim Courrier who are already tops in the world. The unspoken deal is that they get great competition and a great facility so that he can later take credit for them in return for offering the facility and the competition. Usually, he gives this deal to dozens of players and only a small percentage make it which he and IMG take credit for.

    Nick is the pioneer of the academy business, a good motivator and he works hard, but I'd like you to name one player that you think that he truly "developed" or "produced". I'm not talking about him motivating some player who is already a great player; I am talking about actually taking a player who hasn't done much and making them great.

    When I was a kid I went to his academy and I was shocked that the emperor has no clothes.
     
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  21. JCo872

    JCo872 Professional

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    Wow that's interesting you went to the academy. I like his videos a lot, but I get your point. I know that Malisse and Agassi had their games before going to the Bollitieri academy. I think Nick actually took those players and studied them to produce his videos.

    Anyway, I'd love to hear more about the academy and what kind of stroke training you got. Sounds like it wasn't all its cracked up to be. And of course you are right. I haven't seen a player he has "produced" make it to the tour. I still like his videos a lot though. Maybe a kid would be better of just getting the videos and skipping the whole academy thing :)
     
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  22. Orson Welles

    Orson Welles Rookie

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    You are correct about that. The reason that the videos are so good is that Nick didn't produce them, Pat Dougherty and that Australian guy named McCormick or something produced them for Nick and they give Nick a few lines to say in them. I'm willing to bet that Nick doesn't even understand the content of the vidoes. As you watch the videos try to find one instance where he actually says something substantive about stroke technique. Usually it's just neanderthal, juvenile, unsophisticated motivational nonsense like: "I want you to have the mentality to have a weapon" or "I want you to make 10 out of 10, not just 4 out of 10 shots."

    If you read Mike Agassi's new books he makes clear that he always knew that Bollietieri "didn't know jack about tennis" but that he decided to send Andre there when Andre was 13 because Andre needed the competition and was starting to rebel against his father/coach who is the guy that actually "produced" Andre.
     
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  23. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Is that even possible? Won't inertia keep moving the racquet a little forward even if you don't want to?
     
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  24. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Didn't he take a risk on Maria and offer her a scholarship when she was little and a nobody?
     
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  25. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Okay sorry for not being explicit, should I say his academy has had "touches" or "influences" on great players. I should have given you the dates, times, and specific names of each coach that had anything to do with a star player. Maybe I should have given you what they ate and when they SH*T as well. Would that be enough for you to get it?
     
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  26. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Lol, but mine aren't the MP's, they are the Mid's. :) Yeah, they should be pretty easy to dump.
     
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  27. Orson Welles

    Orson Welles Rookie

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    Yes. That's better. I can buy that. Basically, the academy facilitated their development.
     
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  28. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Of course because they had the means to do it. Nick isn't going to coach a facility like that by himself. So do you really think we meant he had to market, do the accounting, stay on the courts and coach all day, teach every player that comes through, run the high school, and everything? When people say "Nick" most people do not mean Nick literally.
     
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  29. Orson Welles

    Orson Welles Rookie

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    Yes and no. That still doesn't mean he "developed" her. Her coach was never Bolliettieri; it was her father and then Robert Lansdorp in California. Moreover, it has always been a CALCULATED risk by IMG (which is an organization of sports agents) to let dozens of promising junior players train at the academy so that IMG can make money on the 10% of them who make it as pros on endorsement deals. Also, Bollietieri can also claim credit that he developed them if they make it so that they make money on the "suckers" who aren't so promising but whose parents pay the full price.
     
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  30. Roddick The Beast

    Roddick The Beast Banned

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    Haha, now that's funny. :)
     
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  31. JCo872

    JCo872 Professional

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    You would think so! I mean I don't think it's physically possible either. And if it was, wouldn't the ball go straight to the left?? When I said it was a weird idea, I wasn't kidding.
     
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  32. BeachTennis

    BeachTennis Semi-Pro

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    to pull or to push

    To push is the way !

    Compact Circular motion with the strings pushing to the target

    I can hit great forehands and finish between my legs but it is where the racket was pointing at contact that counts!

    The hands are majik!
     
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  33. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    wow, computer gone mad
     
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  34. tim3

    tim3 New User

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    Wegner's approach is to provide simplified instructions to players. I think he considers some of the skills can be acquired naturally, so they should not be told and confused the players. As long as the players have a coach to tell them the finer details when something go wrong, his approach may be okay.
    I have read the article. I think he was trying to say pulling the racket to the left is the major source of power in forehand. He was perhaps describing rotation of the arm on the shoulder, which I agree is a major source of power. What he did not mention is that the movement of the racket is also governed by other compensatory movements. Those movements do not provide much power, but are essential to maintain a linear racket path at contact.
     
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  35. JCo872

    JCo872 Professional

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    I just found all this info on Oscar Wegner's own site. Here is the link: http://www.tennisteacher.com/FloridaTennis.htm

    Here are some quotes:

    "How should you apply this martial arts idea to your game? Simple and easy. Wrap the racquet across your body. When hitting the forehand, bend your arm, bringing your fist toward the opposite shoulder. Rather than hitting "five balls in a row," as taught in conventional tennis, imagine hitting the first one and avoiding the other four. Change your path across the body, not forward."

    And this...

    "The ball enters the racquet and slides across the strings before coming off the racquet. On groundstrokes, especially on topspin strokes, players direct the force up and across the body, rather than straight toward the intended target"

    Slides across the strings? Direct the force across rather than straight ahead?
     
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  36. BeachTennis

    BeachTennis Semi-Pro

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    wow

    Well one must wonder what OW is thinking!

    I watch the video and see this guy doing some weak drrop hit demo!

    He almost trips on his own feet to hit that one ball.

    Don't get my wrong I have seen OW teach and speak.

    I get players to move the ball top edge to bottom edge of the frame

    Seems to me OW was looking for a ball strkie from the head to the throat in a pulling fashion.

    I will go cross face on high ball above my shoulder . This shot could be that so called wind shield wiper motion.

    One must realy wonder whats up with that tip!

    I say OW is paying Tennis One !

    Thats not a Tip thats a Ad
     
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  37. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Hey Beach,

    I dont think any of us (or at least I) have a problem with a coach developing his own method, marketing it, and having success with his students. If we think about it, all coaches do this to some extent.

    I happen to be a mix of methods not discounting other coaches inputs or ideas unless it is either mythical, old, or is simply not my choice to use.

    The biggest problem I have with Wegner is:

    1. His exxageration on who he has had a REAL influence on in regards to professional players.

    2. His denial of visual information regarding racquet preparation.

    3. His exxaggeration of putting ALL coaches that do not subscribe to his methods as old, outdated, conventional, etc..

    4. His claim as "inventing" the open stance in 1970 something.

    5. His claim to being the "Father" of modern tennis.

    He is none of the above. He has good information as any coach should have.

    EASI also has excellent information and their own method and approach to tennis which Oscar can't hold a stick to. This is something I disagree with you on.

    I have already proven the wrist release and so have other biomechanic experts and coaches both of us can't hold a stick to.

    I dont want to do this, but the video you posted of Federer can be used to prove EASI's findings and support many of their claims. You really need to take a careful look at that.

    As far as Oscar, I have no issue at all with him wanting to teach his methods, it is only the things above that are farfetched which when challenged point blank on, he squirms away.
     
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  38. JCo872

    JCo872 Professional

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    My biggest problem with Wegner is that he says you should "sweep across the ball" rather than hit through it first.

    I think his biggest problem is he clearly just won't look at video. If he did he would have to change some (not all but some) his ideas.

    That being said I do like his idea of accelerating on contact. But unfortunately he says to accelerate in the wrong direction.
     
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  39. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Well Wegner only has to look at how long Federer's racquet stays in the contact zone line. He goes well through the ball before tailoring off.

    But of course, you and I know that we can light up his eyes with all the film in the world to prove him wrong and he will still find a way to squirm out of admitting wrong.

    Have you ever tried to get his followers to see how early pros take their racquet back? :rolleyes: It is an endless circle of denial.
     
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  40. JCo872

    JCo872 Professional

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    So when is the Bungalo Bill Tennis Academy opening up? That would be cool man. All your players would be hitting through the ball with good wrist release and real backswings and knocking off those Wegner players with no backswing and no drive through the ball. I'd love to see that!

    And btw many years I ago I tried that delayed backswing. It was a disaster. As soon as I went back to an early and proper preparation, it all came back. He's right that you don't just take your arm back and stop, but geez, that doesn't mean you get rid of preparation.
     
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  41. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    I have only a fleeting desire to do something like that. I look at tennis academies and wonder, who is really making money? Nick maybe? But he had to diversify into other offerings.

    When I coached tennis on the court, I know way more then I ever have. I wish I knew what I know now, when I was younger. I guess age has its benefits.

    I will teach privates and small groups on an on-call basis or as a part-time basis here in Boise. If a player really wants to get good, I will commit to them.

    But I think the better coaches are still out there like TennisMastery, Yandell, Kann, etc...

    He likes to make everyone think that coaches that dont subscribe to his style are making p-layers run around with these huge gate like backswings and leaving the racquet way back and running. He never mentions that the drill is often misused and simply launches his marketing campaign off of it.

    Anyone in their right mind woud know that a person subscribing to his type of takeback would be more on the beginner level.

    Oscar is a slipper fish! :)
     
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  42. tsungtak

    tsungtak Guest

    From reading these comments about Oscar You guys seem a little skeptical, I purchased these dvds about 2.5 years ago to help with my daughter, she plays junior tennis she has been coached and been thru the local junior development program and like many of her peers she had not developed into a better player, at this point I took over the coaching and dropped the junior develpment programs and followed the Oscar method within 3 months she went from never getting to a final at a local tournament to winning 9 tournaments over the next 12 months and then I made a mistake and gave her back to a local coach and the coach changed her strokes back to the traditional method (the close stance, follow thru to the front, bend your knees, hit everything in front and don't hit as hard) during that year she did not win another tournament. 2 months ago I've started coaching her again using the oscar method, her game has improved and she is winning again
     
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  43. goober

    goober Legend

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    I didn't realize there were still any junior development programs that are teaching closed stance and old skool techniques.
     
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  44. tsungtak

    tsungtak Guest

    Its not so much the jd progam that teaches that but a lot of the coaches do teach old school, the Jd program seems to be more of a drills based program. Goober which part of the country are you in
     
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  45. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    In the pros there is a mixture of stances used: closed, neutral, semi-open and open. I have still yet to have a definite meaning on what "old school" really is.

    Open stance has been around and used for years. Even in 1926. Pointing the butt cap at the ball has been around for years. Oscar does not have an invention here. He along with many other coaches teach the open stance. This is a false assumption.
     
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  46. tsungtak

    tsungtak Guest

    Bungalo Bill

    Oscar says thru out his video that what he teaches is not new its just not what the coaches are teaching in usa, for those of us who loved tennis as a child and as an adult we are tired of being bad at it and paying money to stay bad
     
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  47. artworks

    artworks Rookie

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    Oscar has simplified tennis.

    Bungalow who? :mrgreen:

    Tell us about yourself and invite us to your website instead.
     
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  48. TennisParent

    TennisParent Rookie

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    Any quack can open open up a website, geez.
    Well, if you would buy into OW's claims, you would think he invented the sport, not just simplified tennis. I don't think BB has ever claimed Wegner's method has absolutely no merit, just challenged the misrepresentations OW makes about mainstream tennis instruction and how he takes credit for the work of others. He has the balls to challenge Oscar directly on his moderated forum. Wegner has not been able to answer BB...
     
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  49. TennisParent

    TennisParent Rookie

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    What Oscar says is being taught in the US is just not the case. I'm sure you have seen his so called "MIT Study" where he shows a pathetic flat forehand stroke to contrast with the glorious Wegner invented forehand. I have asked Oscar more than once on his forum who teaches that kind of the forehand-Bolletieri, Macci, Hobden? I don't think so. If I am not mistaken these guys all teach here in the good ol' USA. Nobody competent teaches that abomination. Still no answer from the "Father of Modern Tennis." He just ducks that question because he knows he is wrong...
     
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  50. tsungtak

    tsungtak Guest

    Wow this oscar method of teaching rubs some of you the wrong way I just know what has worked for my daughter, she is by no stretch the next Kim Clister but she is good and now enjoys it. By the way most of us do not work with any of these camps (Bolletieri, Macci, Hobden) we play tennis at the local club or the city courts where their is a pro teaching
     
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