where to look after shot?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by 7zero, May 15, 2014.

  1. 7zero

    7zero Rookie

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    I noticed this watching Nalbandian videos:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Peh9pJ2Zj-Y

    after the hit he keep his head unmoved watching the point of hit not turning head into ball direction for a while. Is this only his technique or is it general rule how to do it? In golf it is general rule after contact not to turn head to avoid topping of shot, but tennis coaches never forced me doing this.
     
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  2. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    I complained to my instructor that I had a big problem looking at the ball. A new student, he gave my group some lessons in ball watching.

    He did drills where we would hit the ball and could not look until the ball bounced. If we saw the ball going over the net, we failed the drill. For a few wonderful months after that I was watching the ball better than at any other time in my life before or since.

    I won't say that you have to watch as long as in the drill after you are trained.

    At that time I got an injury and took off maybe, 2-3 months. When I started playing again, my looking at the ball reverted back a good bit to my normal poor state, but it was better. I lost the new eye watching level I had for those few months.

    I still have periods, especially when receiving pace, with very poor ball watching, looking out front many feet from the impact. But sometimes I am also OK. In videos, I am usually doing better than I think but I don't video matches that often.

    When I'm having a bad day under pressure I check myself by asking where on the ball did I contact that one? If there is no hint of an answer I know that I was not looking at the ball at all. If I hit a very good shot I ask myself and often I can picture the ball and where I contacted it.

    The mind set seemed to have shifted to strokes by hitting spots on the back of the ball instead of toward targets. A very different thing for my strokes.

    Federer is the best model for carefully watching the ball. Knudson has a book with an interesting discussion - he says that pros track in so far and then break off and look at the anticipated impact area. Study high speed videos on your own.

    There is one exception, the serve. I do not believe that most pro servers are looking at the ball when it is impacted by the racket. To study this I viewed serves from the side. I believe this occurs because the pros in forceful serves have their upper body and neck rotation forward. Looking up at the ball would cause too much stress in my opinion.

    In my opinion this ball watching seems typical of the majority of professional servers, but I have not studied enough serves and did find a few exceptions where servers were probably looking at impact. Tsonga probably watches to impact on the serve.
    [​IMG]
    https://vimeo.com/53440915
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2014
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  3. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I doubt if I have ever watched my own shot before it cleared the net.
    Mostly, I don't even see it as it goes over or into the net.
    I DO see it by the time it passes the service line of my opponent's court.
    I am NOT good at watching the ball.
    I guess I have slow eyes.
     
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  4. RetroSpin

    RetroSpin Hall of Fame

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    You needed better coaches. Every good player I have ever seen made it a point to see the ball at impact. There is a strong tendency to look up, so keeping your focus on the impact point after the ball is long gone is a good check that you kept your head down.

    It's the same in basketball. Good shooters keep their eyes glued on the rim until the ball gets there instead of looking up and following the flight of the ball. I have seen good shooters who look up, but I have never seen a poor shooter who kept his eyes on the rim.
     
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  5. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Problem here is Nalby is practicing, NOT playing a match.
    A player practices so he can do something he needs to work on, but PLAY's a match the way he does anyways, hopefully with some injection from his practice, but not the whole shebang.
    Practice has a sense of over exageration.
     
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  6. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Roger and Rafa do the same thing that David does. It is sometimes referred to as the Federer vision technique altho' the Federer gaze technique might be more accurate. Novak does this but not all the time. If you look very carefully at HD slow-mo vids of Roger or David (below), you might notice that his eyes (gaze) gets to the contact point slightly before the ball does.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMbKKhuYVeo

    Once the ball is close, the gaze is fixated on the contact point (CP). Not all elite players fixate on the CP. However, the most important part of this gaze technique is that the head remains still, not turning, for nearly all of the forward swing. Moving the head will often throw off the intended swing path of your racket. By exaggerating the "quiet eye", the player ensures that they are not moving the head during the contact phase of the stroke.
    .
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2014
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  7. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    ^^^^
    Yeppers.

    10char
     
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  8. 7zero

    7zero Rookie

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    yeah, packing up for Florida :) anyone here has Nicki's number?

    will try to fix head at impact then, maybe I will get closer to Nalbandian estethic :)
     
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