What is wrong with this picture

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by gindyo, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. gindyo

    gindyo Semi-Pro

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    It was beautiful out today(50F and and just a bit of wind) so I decided to to take my ball machine for a spin and took some video.
    I felt really off with my timing and as though as I was wrestling the ball. I wanted to blame it on the dead balls but after I watched the video I think I know what was wrong. Anyhow I would like to get some different prospective and would love to hear from guys like tennis_balla, ash_smith and 5263
    here is the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErooQcrd24c
    thanks
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2012
    #1
  2. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I can't tell what's wrong, but I commend you for hitting every modern forehand with a closed stance.
     
    #2
  3. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    my input:
    .not consistent. some shots you hit on back foot. some you hit on front foot.

    .not enough leverage. i think you need to lay the racquet back a little more.

    .you're not using your legs. you are rotating but not using legs at all. like almost zero. use legs and lay your racquet back a little more for more leverage.

    .you're not using your left arm. you're doing 'something' with it but you are definitely not 'using' it.

    Stick your left arm out parallel to the baseline and to start the swing by pulling that arm in. don't just let it dangle there doing nothing like you are doing now. pull it in. dont YANK it. this will do several things. it's good for balance. it helps you open up and swing w/ body more. it also helps increase racquet speed (if done correctly) by using the law of conservation of momentum. like a figure skater pulls her arms in to increase rotational speed.

    also when you pull your arm in it's good if you can feel your pectoral muscles stretch. stretched muscles contain energy. pull your arm over and if you are loose you will feel tension in your chest. this will whip the racquet around faster and help you not to arm the shot.

    . i think, but not 100% sure, maybe one of the experts can chime in here, but your contact point is a touch too far in front of you.
     
    #3
  4. gindyo

    gindyo Semi-Pro

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    Good points, especially the "left arm" one. I had the same feeling when I watched it.
     
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  5. gregor.b

    gregor.b Professional

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    Lazy left arm. It's causing your shoulders to open a little too early.
     
    #5
  6. atac

    atac Rookie

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    Form looks good to me, but it'd be better if we could see where the ball is landing.
     
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  7. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    Simple. You tried too hard to hit your forehand like Federer.

    Kidding. It's a nice looking Federer-inspired forehand. LeeD covered the main comment I'd have made on it.
     
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  8. Chyeaah

    Chyeaah Professional

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    Federer's forehand is more open stanced.

    Was it your first time with a ball machine? First time I used a ball machine the ball was way faster and harder than I'm used to.
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2012
    #8
  9. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    first of all, i would like to say that it is a very beautiful forehand stroke.
    regardless of what technical errors or faults might be there.
    the one thing i noticed is that you seem to be holding back on your stroke with your body. you are holding back your right hip therefore prohibiting a natural flow of your stroke.
    that is why i agree with the poster who thinks that the contact point is sometimes too much in front of your body.
     
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  10. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    i would like to know your own assessment of what was wrong:)
    since nobody else seems to want to give his opinion
     
    #10
  11. gindyo

    gindyo Semi-Pro

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    I would have liked to make a separate video with comparison but dont have the time right now. Basically if you look at this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErooQcrd24c you can see how Djocovics torso shoulders and arm move together as a unit the whole way until contact and if you look at my video you can see how my arm starts getting ahead from the shoulder midway to contact. That is probably due to as I call it having the speed sensor in my hand rather then in my core. It is a false sense of speed by trying to move the racquet quick through the air and taking feedback from your hand instead of your core (if that makes sense).
    I will work on that the next time I go out and see if there will be a difference.
     
    #11
  12. Mountain Ghost

    Mountain Ghost Semi-Pro

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    Forehand

    You're not getting a full racquet-head drop before you start coming forward. Elbow positioning and simply not being consciously aware of it are the culrpits.

    MG
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2012
    #12
  13. dr325i

    dr325i Legend

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    Can you post your own video, please?
     
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  14. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    if you look at my post #9 it seems we have been seeing more or less the same thing, only i described it differently.
     
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  15. gindyo

    gindyo Semi-Pro

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    yeah a lot of times it is difficult to explain in writing what one wants to say. We have different ways of picturing things in our heads. A lot of times I struggle understanding what people mean when describing technique. That is why I like video analysis.
     
    #15
  16. gindyo

    gindyo Semi-Pro

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    I understand what you are saying, but I like to concentrate on the basics that go into every one shot . How much you drop the racquet head is all depending on how much spin you want to impart on the ball. In this particular video I was hitting pretty flat hence the lack of substantial racquet head drop.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2012
    #16
  17. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    true. in my case english is a second language, so that makes things even more challenging for me....and others:)
    the main thing is how you are able to correct that flaw in your fh.
     
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  18. gindyo

    gindyo Semi-Pro

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    So it is in my case :)
     
    #18
  19. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Agreed! And that is made more difficult with a neutral stance on the forehand.
     
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  20. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    for that, we´re doing fine, don´t we?:)
     
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  21. 14OuncesStrung

    14OuncesStrung Rookie

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    This is nothing to be commended. An open stance allows for more torso & hip rotation and hence more power.
    OP needs to work on getting the legs involved more in the stroke.
     
    #21
  22. sabala

    sabala Semi-Pro

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    #22
  23. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    That is an excellent demonstration of the difference setup of a traditional vs. modern forehand. Thanks!
     
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  24. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    thanks, excellent.
    fascinating what´s out there in terms of really good instructional tennis vids
     
    #24
  25. gindyo

    gindyo Semi-Pro

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    thanks sabala this is a great video in which you can see the difference between modern and traditional forehands, however I believe that one should not replace the other but rather it should be added to a player's arsenal, and used when appropriate given the situation. I had posted a video before hitting some wide FHs and people came out of the woodwork to comment how I hit every forehand off my right foot. What a lot of people on this forum do is analyse strokes after they take them out of context. Not suggesting that you are doing the same because you did add "maybe will be of some help" disclaimer, but just saying.
    Thanks again for the video. I will take some pointers from it, when I go out to practice my open stance FH
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2012
    #25
  26. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    In addition to the stance, there's a much deeper knee bend in the setup of the modern forehand, AND there's a noticable difference in the swing that isn't discussed by the coach. In the traditional forehand, the upper body rotation and arm are pushing the racquet through the shot from behind. In the modern forehand, the rotation leads the swing and the racquet and drags it through the shot and the ball from in front.

    For me, the only time to hit with a closed stance is when you're on the dead run parallel to the baseline and you don't have the ability to set up with an open stance.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2012
    #26
  27. gindyo

    gindyo Semi-Pro

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    If you are talking about the closed stance where your inside foot (left for a righty) goes across the outside then I would agree, but if by closed you mean the one in my video where the line between your feet is perpendicular ( or close to perpendicular ) to the net, I would disagree and add that I would try and hit with that stance every time when I have the time to set up.
     
    #27
  28. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    That's fine. But, IMO, a neutral stance is irreconcilable with a modern forehand. You can't do what that 4.5 player demonstrates as a modern forehand with a neutral stance.
     
    #28
  29. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    gindyo, hey, just saw the thread.
    I think you are referring to the neutral stance above (perpendicular),
    which is by the way, a subset of the closed stance IMO.

    I'm going to have to go against you above I'm afraid and go with limpin.
    I think you have an attractive stoke on the video, but
    one that to an extent, exemplifies the challenges of mixing classic and modern.
    I expect you will have great days, when you can play aggressively, but also lack
    the consistency to do it most every day against a broad array of opponents.

    LeeD commends you for it, and I caution you of it.
    You hit from neutral and use that to move your wt foward and out towards
    the target. This extra extension leads to hitting long, in the net, and backing off
    on power to avoid the first 2, along with other more subtle problems.

    With an open or semi open stance, along with a more vertical lift of your weight
    into the shot, you can unleash the beast and take full cuts that allow for a blend
    of copious spin and formidable pace! All while staying well within the lines.
    Even when you get caught in a neutral or fully closed stance, you can simulate
    the open stance technique by lifting and rotating to open in the air. This allows
    you to keep that more vertical approach to contact and hit up and across the shot.
     
    #29
  30. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    No no no....
    I don't ever recommend a closed stance and modern SW grips forehands.
    I could not detect anything consistently wrong with OP's forehand except for unusual overall stroke from prep thru backswing thru forward swing, especially including timing. That's the comment on HIS style.
    I have never seen ANYONE close their stance and hit a modern forehand on purpose, that's all. And OP does it conscously and does it well!
     
    #30
  31. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Fair enough Lee, but
    while he does it well and looks great doing it I may add,
    he is aware he needs to improve it IMO and
    there is usually more improvement needed than
    a player is aware of. Meaning that once you get better,
    you then again see where you can improve even more!
     
    #31
  32. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Yes, OP needs a quicker stroke from inception to finish, so he can adopt a semi open stance, using his modern grip and finish. Now, it's too linear, and too dependent on perfect timing and read.
     
    #32
  33. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    I've always been a bit ambivalent about this video.

    I agree the second forehand is superior and should be the form you strive for when you can get set-up for it.

    However the first fh is not a traditional forehand and definitely has a place. The swing path on this forehand is basically the same as the second fh, and they are both modern strokes. Limp is correct that the player gets his shoulders turned more in the second fh and pulls the racquet around more. The first fh is the fh that one would hit for a shorter ball, especially low and short. You have to move forward, step into the ball and hit from a neutral stance. You swing and then bring the back leg around and end the stroke in an open stance. I just can't get to every ball in time to set-up open or semi-open, and I'm not the slowest guy on the planet.
     
    #33
  34. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    What is modern in the First Fh?
     
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  35. gindyo

    gindyo Semi-Pro

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    I completely agree. I think that the only reason why open stance took over the use of neutral stance is because the pace of the game increased tremendously in recent times and players do not have the time to set up. But if you pay close attention many times when the pros have time to set up they will use neutral stance.
    I didn't want to go there but I will have to pull the youtube card :)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0f6gkc49qk
    just watch what both of them do when the ball is in the middle and they attack it (Especially Fed)
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2012
    #35
  36. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    The swing path.
     
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  37. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Certainly the swingpath is different than the traditional mid 70's forehand.
    But grip and followthru makes the swingpath.
     
    #37
  38. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    Well, I didn't exactly mean that.

    I think the open/semi-open stance is generally what you want to set-up in for most balls if you can. The open stance makes it easier to get your hips around to start the stroke and allows your follow through to go past "facing the net." Just like that video shows: set-up open, get those legs bent, left arm parallel to the baseline, racquet back and up. Turn those hips to start the stroke using the legs to drive that hip rotation, the shoulders follow aided by the left arm, and the power will just flow into the racquet as it whips into the ball.

    But I've found that sometimes I can't get to the ball with that set-up, particularly low, short balls. I have to go neutral stance on those balls as I step into them to get to them, and then allow my right leg move around during follow through so that I end up in open stance - just like in the first fh in the video.
     
    #38
  39. gindyo

    gindyo Semi-Pro

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    #39
  40. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    Well, imho, i think they use open stance over 90% of the time even when they have time to set up. They will use the neutral stance when they are moving forward and attacking. The vid you posted shows this. the neutral stance was used when they were inside the baseline moving forward on attack.
     
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  41. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    and in this video too. rafa used neutral stance because he was 1 step inside the court AND was hitting an inside out fh.
     
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  42. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Not sure what you're trying to say.
    In the vid, Nadal hits winners with a neutral stance, as I advocate, then hits rally balls with a open stance.
    Are you going for all winners in your vid? It doesn't look like it, as your swing as not all that fast, the the path of the ball leaving your racket seems rallyball high.
    Fed, OTOH, uses a strong E grip, almost an abberation nowadaze. He certainly hits neutral quite a bit, but that's shown on all his slow motion rallying vids.
    I think you are defending your closed stance forehands. OK, neutral. So what's the problem you're having, besides being a strong 3.5-4.0 player?
     
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  43. gindyo

    gindyo Semi-Pro

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    I am not defending anything. When I play I use open stance 80%+ of the time. My original point when this argument begun was that neutral stance has its place in modern game, and when I have time I prefer to step in and hit with neutral stance.
    And can we please not go to the ratings thing again pleeeeeees.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2012
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  44. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Fair enough, but what is wrong with this picture of yours?
     
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  45. gindyo

    gindyo Semi-Pro

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    No he didn't just happen to be 1 step inside the court, he intentionally stepped in, he could have very well waited for the ball and hit it with open stance.
     
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  46. gindyo

    gindyo Semi-Pro

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    Well, that is what we are trying to figure out. And I don't think it is the stance. Do you?
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2012
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  47. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    yes. that is my point. he intentionally stepped in. in order to attack like i said. if a player steps inside the baseline he is attacking. they don't rally back and forth from inside the baseline. inside the baseline is an attacking position. Brad Gilbert used to tell agassi to not attempt any winners unless you are 1 step inside the baseline.

    also, rafa is hitting an inside out shot here. inside out shots are usually hit from a slightly more closed stance than a cc.

    if you step inside the baseline you don't have enough time to setup for an open stance so a closed stance is used. and if you are stepping inside the baseline there's a good chance you are going to the net so staying closed so you can keep moving forward is the smart move.

    And, that shot is not even a closed stance. it's clearly open. it's just less open than his normal shot because 1) he's stepped into the court for attack and 2) he's hitting inside out.

    Can you produce a video where someone is hitting a rally ball when they have enough time with a neutral stance? ie: not rushed. and tipsarevic doesn't count for purposes of this discussion.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2012
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  48. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Gindyo....
    Assuming neither of us really see a glaring problem here.
    You hit the ball YOUR way, everyone hits THEIR way, and I hit MY way.
    I think your closed stance is limiting your torso twist on the followthru. If you want to hit like that, it's your choice. A replicable followthru is most important, just like in golf.
    I think your stroke is too linear and not enough circular, and also a too flat swingpath. Once again, I've seen great forehand with a straightback takeback, so it's your call. As for swingpath, it's also up to you. Obviously, you have the power to hit winners from any forehand position on the court.
    You hit flat footed. Again, your call. Heck, I serve flat footed.
    You are a big strong guy who can smack the ball hard with ANY technique, given lots of practice and no injury.
    So overall, I don't know what the problem is, as I have mentioned.
     
    #48
  49. gindyo

    gindyo Semi-Pro

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    Wait wait when arguing with someone first make sure you know what their point is. From your post above I see that you have no idea what is my point.
    1st - I never said that one should use closed stance under any kind of circumstances (I hope you do make a difference between closed and neutral stance).
    2nd - I never said that closed or neutral stance should be used in a rally situation. But rather when the ball is in the middle and one has time to setup and attack.

    When this argument begun there were suggestions that neutral stance should be decommissioned in favor to open stance. And my argument was that it depends from the situation and there are situations, like approach shots for example, where neutral stance is still alive and well.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2012
    #49
  50. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    For low short balls, keep your open stance and drop the racquet head.
     
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