Wegner forehand article

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

  1. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Kelvin Miyahira on takeback

    http://www.hawaii.rr.com/leisure/reviews/kelvin_miyahira/2006-01_drhspeed.htm

    Traditional tennis teaching suggests that groundstroke preparation should be done early. While that may be true, top pros not only prepare early but more importantly, they prepare fast. In studying tapes of the top pros, one can clearly see that while they see the ball coming at them, their racquet preparation usually starts just before the ball hits the ground. This gives them between 4/10ths of a second to 6/10ths of a second to take their backswing and still swing in time to hit the ball. This is not something taught, this is just way that great athletes do things.

    In comparison, recreational players take 8/10ths of a second or more to prepare for a shot. They either lack the ability to prepare fast or idea that they should. More likely it is the latter. They may try to take the racquet back early but because it is too early, their swing lacks the rhythm and use of the stretch shorten cycle. Remember, muscles that are loaded or stretched fast, unload faster. Conversely, muscles that are loaded slowly will unload slower.

    Also, a racquet taken back too early and must wait or pause creates a situation where the muscles are losing its elastic energy. This is no different than the person trying to do a vertical jump but inserts a pause between the bend of the knees and the ensuing jump. That person will not jump as high when he pauses.

    But that is not the worst effect of the early yet slow racquet preparation. The worst effect is when playing against someone with power; the slow racquet preparation will cause the player to be late on the hit. This is the more obvious flaw of the recreational player. If this is your problem, try working on a faster racquet preparation.
     
  2. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    Very good points made by sureshs.
     
  3. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Mercy.

    Not only has this issue(s) been discussed numerous times, nothing seems to ever change - those that follow Oscar seem to believe in him but I suspect, as I always have, that they are relatively low ranked players looking for quick fixes to rather complicated problems. I think it was BB who once said that to be a good player you have to study the sport - every aspect of it. There aren't too many "quick fixes" to anything in life.

    I've been around these boards for years and if someone could point out "any" advice offered by BB that is wrong, I'd like to see it. Some of you people are nuts, you have people like BB, Yandell, MK and Dave Smith offering "free" advice and you make comments that are absolutely crazy.

    Incidently, there is a post relating to Dave Smith's book "Tennis Mastery" just a few away from this that has received about 15 times fewer hits. I guess when the advice is right on the money, nobody wants to talk about it - strange.

    Oscar is about the same age as me with a similiar educational background. I can only assume (I have talked with him and he doesn't live far from me) that all the "puffing up" is just a way to sell things. I would agree with BB that a great deal of his stuff is ok, not remarkable but ok. If you want remarkable stuff, read Dave Smith's book or any number of experts who post here.
     
  4. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    I haven't read this thread in a long time. But when this was brought up again, this post caught my eye.

    This is a very misguided throw everyone out with the bath water post.

    Tell me one pro on the professional that has not had extensive training, extensive coaching, or extensive constructive criticism. Players at this level run so many damn drills it would make your head spin. Do you thnk professional football players play a game and then go home waiting for the next weekend game? Don't they run timing plays over and over again? Don't they study film? Don't they workout? Don't they run drills? Why is tennis different?

    Listening to this person will breed mediocrity because at some point in time, talent only takes you so far. From then on good coaching takes over to help build the player. This means drills, salads, running, footwork drills, technical training, mental training, and RACQUET PREPARATION DRILLS!!! These just happen at a different level and with a different emphasis. They already know how change their grip, turn their shoulders, etc...

    What is missing in this entire thread is a good dose of common sense. Why would anyone think that a tennis player that aspires to become a top professional can go all the way without solid technical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical training?

    Is tennis the only sport in the world that one can make it to the top by just grabbing a racquet and hitting a ton of balls? Doesn't this sound a bit stupid? Does the word repitition mean pro tour? What if all you are doing ball after ball is engraining a weakness in your stroke only to be uncovered at a higher level?

    The pros have excellent racquet preparation and other technical skills. If you watch the film that John Yandell has on his site you will see how far in advanced they are prepared to hit the next ball. How do you think they developed those skills?

    If you want to be a 3.5 player the rest of your life then do what this guy says. Go get a racquet and start clubbing.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2007
  5. Over coaching



    I just read Mike Agassi's book. I also agree with about 95% of what he says.

    Like comparing apples and oranges, there is “Pro” tennis and then there is “College” tennis and then the USTA levels. If you want extensive training, extensive coaching, please watch the following videos. They are from last weeks Boys and Girls 18’s National Open held in Hawaii. Then, for a moment, imagine if you can be as good as they are, they have paid a hefty price for all their coaching and training to get this point in their careers. How good do you think they are?

    http://iws.punahou.edu/user/lcouillard/2007/02/usta_national_open_rd_of_16s_q.html

    http://iws.punahou.edu/user/lcouillard/Girls_Boys_Highlights.mov

    http://iws.punahou.edu/user/lcouillard/More_early_boys rounds.mov


    www.ipodtennispros.com
     
  6. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

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    One should be wary of anyone advising that the followthrough after contact is the key to pro strokes.

    One of the golden rules of tennis is that what happens before contact matters more than what happens after.

    Anyway, I agree with JC on this one.
     
  7. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Maybe, but one of the keys to "developing" good strokes is to keep reminding the player of the finish/followthrough position. So, I would not buy into the concept of what "happens before contact mattens more than what happens after" - wouldn't you agree that they are tied together?
     
  8. Mike Cottrill

    Mike Cottrill Hall of Fame

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    I only watched the first one. The girl with two fisted on both wings stuck out., but she needs to stop that squeeelllling
     
  9. tennisplayer

    tennisplayer Rookie

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    I now agree with this, although I did not before. This is a very powerful teaching technique. After all, as Wegner himself has said, he didn't invent any tennis techniques, he only makes teaching of pro techniques easier and more available to laymen.

    What he has said is that if one concentrates on the "right" aspect of the game, the other aspects will take care of themselves. On the other hand, if one keeps a whole bunch of technical tips in one's head and tries to execute them while playing, the most likely outcome will be a poorly executed stroke. What I got from reading his book is that there are fundamentally two "right" things to keep in mind: how to address the ball with the racquet, and how to finish. To me, this sounds like a mental picture of the stroke one wants to execute. This is a powerful concept, akin to the the visualization method formulated by John Yandell. Indeed, life is simplified a lot if this is the only thing one has to "think" of while actually playing!

    Of course, this does not obviate the need for training and other practice exercises - even Wegner's book has a ton of practice routines in it. But I have found this concept to be very powerful, and it has helped me improve quite a bit.
     
  10. JCo872

    JCo872 Professional

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    Great points. A lot of wisdom here with the mental pictures and the "right" things to keep in mind.

    I also completely agree that what happens AFTER contact is as important as into contact. Here is a story that you may/may not think applies, but I think it does.

    I was watching Jeanette Lee, the female pool player, give a demo on pool technique. She talked about how the followthrough was crucial. She said that it was "weird" that what happens well after the hit affects what happens during the hit, but that if she didn't follow through to a certain point every time, her stroke didn't work. I think this applies big time to tennis as well. I know when my two hander starts to go on me, I just get an image of the the racket well in front of my body with my left shoulder touching my chin. Then I start getting the drive back. This mental image gets me back on track every single time and I start to powerfully drive through the ball once again.

    I'm glad tennisplayer brought up the topic of Yandell and "key images" because I think it is one of the most helpful techniques imagineable. If you are interested, here is the picture I have in my head for the two hander. It's the only mental picture I need.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2007
  11. tennisplayer

    tennisplayer Rookie

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    That's really cool, Jeff! Imagine, such a similarity in so different a sport as pool! Must be something to do with the mind and concentration, I guess. If we don't think beyond the point of contact to the end, the mind probably disengages too early and affects the actual contact...
     
  12. JCo872

    JCo872 Professional

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    Yes! Think about hammering a nail. Your mind focuses on the nail and then boom, the hammer gets there. You don't think about swinging the hammer. I think you are onto something.

    I put up a page on my site describing what you talk about with key images. There is no doubt in my mind that a) key images are crucial and b) some images are a lot more important than others. Here it is!

    http://www.hi-techtennis.com/secret/key_images.php

    Jeff
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2007
  13. JCo872

    JCo872 Professional

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    One more thing about Oscar. I think his "big picture" ideas are great. If he could change his "across the body" to a "windshield wiper" motion, then I'd be happy. The modern forehand has a much fuller motion from contact to finish than he teaches. But then again Oscar didn't have the luxury of high speed video when he started. If you just watch tennis, it looks like they come straight across. But when you slow things down, the "fullness" of the wiper motion is striking. You can see Nalbandian's full "wiper" motion on my homepage now:

    http://www.hi-techtennis.com

    Just scroll down a bit and you'll see it on the right side.

    If you go through the Fed video frame by frame, you will also see the full rainbow wiper motion. It's much more powerful than just coming across your body.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2007
  14. ubel

    ubel Professional

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    I know this sounds really stupid, but I used to do this a lot when I played Counter-Strike competitively. When I realized how much I sucked at the game, I finally sat down and started studying every single time I played and I'd spend hours just looking over every mistake I was making, as well as all the things I needed to improve such as better positioning and not walking into obvious traps. I started to realize so much of it was just common sense, but I also developed that idea of having a "key image". I would be able to visualize where people were most likely to come out on different maps, and at those times I'd be most alert to the key areas of danger. It evolved into a kind of percentage strategy where I'd be able to envision where they were most likely to come out, and just by thinking of that key image [of shooting them in the head at those spots] I was able to play at a far higher level than I had played before.

    That's just my little tidbit on key images. As far as coming across the body/swinging to the left... I generally only see that when someone like Federer or Roddick wants to put outward sidespin on an inside-out forehand. If you hit this shot with a laid-back wrist, that spin is exactly what you create, but if you bend your wrist and hit to the left you'll hit the outside of the ball and it will obviously go to the left. Eitherway, swinging to the left won't create topspin. In order to create topspin, you have to swing the racquet with a slightly inclined/upward trajectory, which is exactly what happens when one uses the windshield wiper motion. :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2007
  15. JCo872

    JCo872 Professional

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    Awesome post! Great example of using one key "target" position to get everything on track.

    Video games are, in my opinion, a great example of how people learn motor movements and improve with practice. It's an amazing process.
     
  16. waves2ya

    waves2ya Rookie

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    That's a lot of changes re: the Wegner concessions at your site JC - good stuff.

    I'm reminded of a subset of Chinese internal martial arts - something called Hsing-I; "mind boxing". The circulum is complex but could be reduced (in a way that others, like Bagua or Tai-chi can't) to one idea - which is to forge a straight line to the opponent. No circles, no complexities - just finish it off.

    Hsing-I asks that you be the goal - just get there, get it done. See the fininsh and then actualize it...

    Wegner would like that.
     
  17. JCo872

    JCo872 Professional

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    Very nice!
     

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