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Old 06-09-2008, 10:45 AM   #20
Bungalo Bill
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 11,885

Originally Posted by Uthree View Post
What is the difference? Isn't the standard open stance fh normally hit off the back foot.
No it is not. The open stance is not suppose to be hit off the back foot and certainly not with your weight leaning back or falling back. Your coiling and uncoiling needs to go INTO the ball especially since you are to contact the ball in front of you.

In the open stance you prepare by loading over the back foot and then uncoil your stored energy through rotation upward or upward/orward to hit the ball in front.

You plant and then rotate forward into the ball. Sometimes if the ball is on you, you have to adjust accordingly by perhaps slightly leaning back but this is not ideal.

In both cases energy is either stabalized and sent forward or stablized and sent upward to stop from going backward. In the case with Federer choosing to run around his backhand, his momentum is going toward the side fence, but his shoulder rotation goes forward or stabilizes to compensate.

With right advice the open stance can work for everyone, any age any standard.
You are absolutely correct. The open stance is a great stance and one that should not be considered for all levels. However, the truth is advanced players and pros use various stances depending on what is going on. So players need to learn how and when to use a certain stance.

I want to use this example of Nadal hitting a passing shot from a closed stance. Nadal uses both an open stance and a semi-open stance frequently. Federer uses the same frequently and will use a neutral stance on occasion. But in this case, Nadal is using a closed stance.

Notice when he moves, he is moving sideways and his momentum is going sideways. If a club player hits from a closed stance (hips face the side fence), it is usually because they did not get a good read of the ball, a good jump on the ball, they move too slow, and/or they used poor footwork to get to the ball. Hitting many forehands from a closed stance on the forehand side plagues club players because of poor movement along with their inability to stop their momentum from going sideways too much.

There really is no reason for a player to hit from a closed stance on a forehand unless they have to as indicated by Nadal. However, it is also made clear that a power forehand can be hit using a closed stance with Nadal demonstrating.

Yes it is not desperation, but ideally the closed and neutal stances are used as little as possible.
The following stances are acceptable for the forehand: Semi-open, open, and forward/neutral stances.

Power forehands can be built on all of these stances. If a player has time it is perfectly okay to prefer to hit the ball as you are stepping into the ball to let it rip.

We do not play a pros game. We are not pressured for long rallies where the ball is placed and hit exceptionally well where we actually have a chance to get to the ball.
Former USPTA Teaching Professional
Volkl Tour 10 V-Engine Mid/Luxilon Big Banger

Last edited by Bungalo Bill; 06-09-2008 at 11:40 AM.
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