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-   -   Cheetah, the heel thing (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=441794)

boramiNYC 10-01-2012 06:07 PM

Cheetah, the heel thing
 
Sorry I'm on my phone so I'll see if I can find a clip later. Meanwhile i think you're thinking too hard on this. most good players and virtually all pros do this. during the loading and coiling the upper body the weight is on the heel. and as you unload weight transfers to inside ball of the foot for push off to any direction. i'm refering to this process. this cant be done with the weight equally distributed to both feet in a very wide stance, which our college bound buddy seems to be doing. so more planted heel on the right foot for loading was my advice. hope this makes more sense.

Cheetah 10-01-2012 07:02 PM

I'm not thinking hard on this at all. I just disagree.

I don't think anybody is doing a heel to toe movement on a fh and loading on the heel. Maybe you are loading on your heel but videos of pro's or good player doesn't support your theory.

I've never read anything on this site, or seen any articles in tennis literature or videos mentioning this. I've been a member of jeff salzenstein's site, John Yandell's site, FYB, as well as listened to all of Ian's essentialtennis podcasts and I visit other tennis instruction sites every single day (for years) looking to learn anything i can about everything tennis. All of those sites talk extensively about loading and weight transfer and cover minute details related. None of them mention any heel action. I work at home and the tennis channel is on the tv all day long. I've been playing tennis since I was 4 and have taken many many lessons and i also was a minor league 3rd baseman with a sidearm throw which is very similar to fh. I have never received any instruction by coaches nor have had any discussions with anyone ever regarding loading on the heel.

Loading on the heel doesn't make sense. to me. If tennis players and baseball players were loading on the heel and transferring to the big toe you would see everyone hitting a fh or throwing a ball by planting on the heel with the toe pointed up and towards the target direction. You don't see this on anyone. Everyone lands flat or on the ball of the foot with the foot pointed to the side fence. They don't transfer weight towards the side fence. Baseball players have the same footwork (when open stance not a running forehand or a running throw).
The heel has no muscle to load, It doesn't have moving parts and it's not springy and doing a heel to toe transfer would transfer weight out towards the side fence instead of forward into the ball. The reason some ppl do it, including myself, on a 1hbh with the front foot is because that's a closed stance and the front foot is pointing forward in the direction you want the momentum to go. Not the same on an open stance fh with the rear leg.

Now it could be possible that this technique has escaped me all these years and I am wrong. I actually hope that is the case so that I can learn something new. So if anyone else on this board chimes in stating they load their weight on the heel and then transfer that to the toe and then transfer their weight forward (???) when doing a forehand or if you can find any tennis article or video stating such then that would convince me that this is an actual practice that some ppl do and I will thank you for teaching me something new and I'll go out and practice it.

Until then I'll wait for your video.

Thanks.

boramiNYC 10-01-2012 07:24 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHii6bkVhZY

Take a look at his right foot on his FH. The heel is solidly on the ground before it lifts for weight transfer and push off on the inside ball of the foot.

When I say place weight on the heel, are you thinking lifting the toes? What I mean is heel touching the ground with most weight on it. But, even when the heel is touching the ground many a times not enough weight is on the heel. 50 or 60 % instead of 80 to 90 %. That robs some power and can cause problem with consistency. That's the issue I'm talking about.

Even when the foot is pointing the side fence and heel is lifted to push off from the ball of the foot it doesn't mean the whole weight is going toward the side fence. Push off always happens at the ball of the foot and toe and when it's the inside ball the direction is anywhere between backward, sideway toward inside of the foot, and forward. Most efficient being between sideway and forward.

Cheetah 10-01-2012 07:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by boramiNYC (Post 6930554)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHii6bkVhZY

Take a look at his right foot on his FH. The heel is solidly on the ground before it lifts for weight transfer and push off on the inside ball of the foot.

When I say place weight on the heel, are you thinking lifting the toes? What I mean is heel touching the ground with most weight on it. But, even when the heel is touching the ground many a times not enough weight is on the heel. 50 or 60 % instead of 80 to 90 %. That robs some power and can cause problem with consistency. That's the issue I'm talking about.

Even when the foot is pointing the side fence and heel is lifted to push off from the ball of the foot it doesn't mean the whole weight is going toward the side fence. Push off always happens at the ball of the foot and toe and when it's the inside ball the direction is anywhere between backward, sideway toward inside of the foot, and forward. Most efficient being between sideway and forward.

Which fh are you referring to exactly? timestamp?

also from what i just saw there on the video the heel is touching the ground as well as the ball of the foot. it's flat. then there is a slight pause as he waits. that slight pause means no movement and no heel to toe transfer (as you can see on a 1hbh where there is no pause) After the pause due to him waiting and lining things up etc he loads his weight on the rear leg with his foot flat.

Now how can you tell me when his foot is flat that he is loading weight on the heel? How do you know that? You can't know that because it happens fast and once he loads he springs off it. If you read the tennisone articles or any other instruction site or watch vids they always say "load the weight on the inside of the foot on the inside of the leg". this means 'not on the heel'.

edit: idk.. maybe i'm misunderstanding you or something. but loading on the heel makes your weight go in the wrong direction or even backward. just try it. stand on one leg and put your weight on your heel. you will fall over backward or to some direction other than forward where the ball is headed.

Cheetah 10-01-2012 07:56 PM

The sound is good on that video though :)

boramiNYC 10-01-2012 08:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cheetah (Post 6930580)
Which fh are you referring to exactly? timestamp?

also from what i just saw there on the video the heel is touching the ground as well as the ball of the foot. it's flat. then there is a slight pause as he waits. that slight pause means no movement and no heel to toe transfer (as you can see on a 1hbh where there is no pause) After the pause due to him waiting and lining things up etc he loads his weight on the rear leg with his foot flat.

Now how can you tell me when his foot is flat that he is loading weight on the heel? How do you know that? You can't know that because it happens fast and once he loads he springs off it. If you read the tennisone articles or any other instruction site or watch vids they always say "load the weight on the inside of the foot on the inside of the leg". this means 'not on the heel'.

There are only a few Fh and he does the same on all of them. If the article says that I believe you are mis-interpreting it. I would think it means heel and inside of the ball of the foot. And it's pretty simple biomechanics. Weight on the heel engages the glutes and hamstrings properly for better control from the core and quicker reaction time. Any time the knee is bent and body is lowered the weight should be concentrated on the heel. For push off you transfer weight to the front of the foot.

Cheetah 10-01-2012 08:32 PM

No I don't think i misunderstood anything. If any instructor doesn't say 'inside of foot' what they will say is 'load on the ball of the foot'. Never have i seen 'on the heel'.

If loading was supposed to be done on the heel then we would see that every day on this site. People would be writing on advice seeking threads: "You're not loading your weight on your heel. Load your weight on your heel and then transfer it to your toes." I'll bet that has never been said on this site even once.

In any sport when there is a heel to toe transfer the athlete continues to throw the whole body in the direction of the toe. Look at any olympic long jumper, high jumper, runner, a running forehand, an outfielder making a running throw to home plate, a javelin thrower, an american football player, frisbee throwing, basketball, etc. All of those sports have toe to heel transfers and with every one of them the player continues to move the whole body in the direction of the transfer which is in the direction of the toes. Tennis players plant the foot pointing to the side fence then transfer weight to forward into the court which is perpendicular 90 degrees off of the direction of the toes. so there is no heel to toe transfer.

Safin has excellent technique. Look at this vid. clear slo mo. look at his right foot. He's clearly not loading on his heel. Most of the time his lifts his heel and his foot actually slides backwards behind his body. No heel loading or heel -> toe weight transfer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...o_M&NR=1&t=36s

boramiNYC 10-01-2012 08:46 PM

In that video I see Safin loading on full flat foot every time. Not once he begins his FH stroke with his right heel off the ground. Only as he transfers the weight to his left foot he lifts the heel and puts weight on his right inside toe. Hey it sounds you have developed ideas how to use your feet and if it's giving you no problem, I guess that's working for you. I just wanted to point out cuz I have gone through that and for me this heel thing is working better than before I focused on it when my foot balance had been all over the place. All's cool. Cheers.

Cheetah 10-01-2012 08:52 PM

yes. most ppl load on full flat most of the time. then they push off the inside of the foot or the ball of the foot. But you have to agree that if he was doing a heel to toe weight transfer then his foot wouldn't be sliding backwards as he's hitting.

When you do a heel to toe weight transfer and then slide your foot backwards that's called "The Moon Walk".

All's cool. Maybe someone else will chime in here someday.

Ash_Smith 10-01-2012 11:17 PM

Interesting discussion! The only time i have ever consciously asked a player to specifically load on the heel is when landing the front foot when hitting a neutral stance backhand. Too many players step onto the ball of the foot with this final step which basically puts the brakes on the stroke. A heel landing allows the heel to toe weight transfer that cheetah was referring to and lets the player 'roll' their body weight into the shot better. As for loading on the outside foot (during a forehand or wide backhand for example) I cant see any definitive evidence that elite players load on the heel rather than the whole foot or even the front of the foot - in terms of planting the foot a neutral weight or a more toe biased weighing would make more sense than a heel weighting as in that situation you don't want to continue the weight transfer in the direction of travel?

I would go and have a play about with this and experiment - but none of my players use their legs!!!

cheers

boramiNYC 10-02-2012 06:27 AM

something like this is usually too trivial to mention in a tennis instruction but I find it very important just like how important it is to very precisely control the wrist and hand in manipulating a racquet. foot angle and force distribution are something that can be controlled consciously relatively easily with good results esp people who don't do it automatically from their own coordination. with some right training the foot muscles can get a lot stronger and the flexibility can be improved as well, which almost always escapes the mind of people for its trivialness.

as for your students, how effectively do they use their lower back and abdomen muscles to generate power? I'd imagine better than regular players.

Ash_Smith 10-02-2012 06:47 AM

^^^depends on their injury level/condition - some have no use of any abdominal/lumbar muscles at all!

rkelley 10-02-2012 07:52 AM

Just to weigh in (without piling on), I'm with Ash and Cheetah on this. I only heel/toe weight transfer when I want the motion to continue in that direction. So yes on my right (front) foot on my 2hbh from neutral stance, no on my fh from open stance (or any stance I think) - at least if I'm not being lazy with my footwork.

sureshs 10-02-2012 08:47 AM

On forehands, I notice from videos that the right foot comes up on its toe right at the time of impact.

boramiNYC 10-02-2012 09:08 AM

I'm not describing any elaborate heel toe weight transfer. if your foot is flat and push off on the ball you are doing the weight transfer. so every walking moment this happens. however, in that flat state people put different amount of weight on the heel side. in terms of static posture it's better to rest most of the weight on the heels without leaning front. when posture becomes dynamic people tend to over do things that are taught to be good like staying on the balls of your feet. for moving around that's good esp shuffle steps, but when setting feet for any stroke where you have to transfer force from the ground heel is important connection between ball of the foot and the rest of the body.

if you are already high level player with great movement and consistency and power, most likely your feet are very stable in motion. however not every one of them realize how thier feet are controlled. there's no hram in bringing this into the light as some could benefit from it.

tricky 10-02-2012 09:12 AM

I'm actually with boramiNYC on this. When you're planting from heel for an open-stance FH, you're using the posterior chain (waist down.) This puts your hip flexors in a much safer position from the open stance, and it lets you more efficiently load power into an open-stanced FH. Also, if you learn to move using the anterior chain, you'll end up moving in soft arcs across the court, with improved lateral movement and balance.

For the 1H and 2H BH, it should still come from the balls of the foot.

Cheetah 10-02-2012 10:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by boramiNYC (Post 6931417)
something like this is usually too trivial to mention in a tennis instruction

I see references to loading on the ball or inside of the foot all the time. So why would instruction to load on the heel be considered too trivial? Some of those pay instruction sites go into extreme detail and often include articles by sports physicians and professionals in biomechanics etc and they talk about which muscles, forces, tension, SSC, balance, position of this and that, timing, firing sequence, joint angles etc. Where to specifically load the weight is not trivial.

If loading on the heel was utilized then forehands today would look different than they do now. The technique would have evolved such that elite players would have very pronounced heel to toe transfers and they would start every forehand with a very noticeable toe pointing up to squeeze every ounce of benefit from the weight transfer just as athletes do in other sports that use heel to toe where you can clearly see it being utilized and their weight continues in that direction and every kid would be hitting fh's with their toe pointing up in imitation.

imo

Power Player 10-02-2012 11:15 AM

Tricky has spoken. Borami, nice post.

/thread

boramiNYC 10-02-2012 11:17 AM

so when your stroke begins the back swing is your heel off the ground or you try to do that to load on the inside ball of your foot?

as I said heel toe weight transfer is not a fancy idea. heel on the ground then heel off the ground this is weight transfer. basically every pro do this most of the time in their stroke so I don't know where we are crossing each other. when there is no weight on the heel it's off the ground as simple as that. I don't think initiating a stroke with the heel off the ground is a sound advice at all. what am I missing?

Power Player 10-02-2012 12:21 PM

I load off the inside of my foot and my weight shifts over to my left foot personally. But if I thought about all this stuff in a match I would make a million mistakes.


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