Critique my technique

paulorenzo

Hall of Fame
I’m trying to get better technically. Give me your insight, plz. Here are a couple wall hitting vids.



Obviously not an ideal way to look at my game as a whole, but hopefully it’s a fair depiction of groundstroke technique and positioning. USTA 3.5 mid atlantic player.


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Dragy

Hall of Fame
Hey mate, nice swings! Couple of things I'd point out particularly referred to wall practice, being an experinced adept:
- Don't you have issues with balls flying long on the court? It seems to me you lack some spin while sending the ball with rather healthy (and sometimes clearly excessive) height over the net ... line? :unsure: :-D The wall doesn't give enough feedback on that unless you're very focused and aware to control the ball shape. You might need to either hit lower, or get your racquet more closed by contact:

If you don't want to mess up with the grip going full SW, try executing more pronounced racquet head upward rotation as you drive through the ball, to achieve this type of racquet orientation at contact:

Get used to more spinny feel at contact and more shaped ball trajectory.

- Another thing is how you finish and prep for the next shot, which is affected with wall returning the ball twice as soon as a player from the opposite side. You don't fully follow-through into here (shoulder coming forwrad) on many shots:


Although they might speculate it's after contact, freezing your body hinders the flow and spoils the swing. I believe you can actually do it properly, there are some good finishes in the vids - it's mostly the wall timing throwing you off.

Even though you cut full finish and recovery from your sequence, you are still rushed preparing new shot - it's too brief. You'd better start earlier, keep off-arm on the throat longer, and then flow into new shot. Well, the wall timing again...

What I suggest, apart from on-court practicing, is altering your wall hititng if you work on the techniques:
- Use drop feeds and hit shots 1-in-a row, but with full prep and finish.
- Use underspin feeds off the wall, then hit 1 drive shot, catch the ball and repeat.
- Alter FH CC drive with BH chip to reestablish the FH ball. Mirror for BH.
- Get farther away, hit more balls on descend - rush initial prep, then go all the way through and into finish with more time than you have camping on the line. You can even introduce yourself for some 2-bouncers hits - they are much closer timing-wise to on-court hitting.
 
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paulorenzo

Hall of Fame
Hey mate, nice swings! Couple of things I'd point out particularly referred to wall practice, being an experinced adept:
- Don't you have issues with balls flying long on the court? It seems to me you lack some spin while sending the ball with rather healthy (and sometimes clearly excessive) height over the net ... line? :unsure: :-D The wall doesn't give enough feedback on that unless you're very focused and aware to control the ball shape. You might need to either hit lower, or get your racquet more closed by contact:

If you don't want to mess up with the grip going full SW, try executing more pronounced racquet head upward rotation as you drive through the ball, to achieve this type of racquet orientation at contact:

Get used to more spinny feel at contact and more shaped ball trajectory.

- Another thing is how you finish and prep for the next shot, which is affected with wall returning the ball twice as soon as a player from the opposite side. You don't fully follow-through into here (shoulder coming forwrad) on many shots:


Although they might speculate it's after contact, freezing your body hinders the flow and spoils the swing. I believe you can actually do it properly, there are some good finishes in the vids - it's mostly the wall timing throwing you off.

Even though you cut full finish and recovery from your sequence, you are still rushed preparing new shot - it's too brief. You'd better start earlier, keep off-arm on the throat longer, and then flow into new shot. Well, the wall timing again...

What I suggest, apart from on-court practicing, is altering your wall hititng if you work on the techniques:
- Use drop feeds and hit shots 1-in-a row, but with full prep and finish.
- Use underspin feeds off the wall, then hit 1 drive shot, catch the ball and repeat.
- Alter FH CC drive with BH chip to reestablish the FH ball. Mirror for BH.
- Get farther away, hit more balls on descend - rush initial prep, then go all the way through and into finish with more time than you have camping on the line. You can even introduce yourself for some 2-bouncers hits - they are much closer timing-wise to on-court hitting.
Thanks for the apt feedback Dragy. Fair observations. In regards to the balls flying long on court question, balls definitely fly long. Especially true when I full send on flat balls or when i decelerate the stroke when I’m badly positioned. Shots hit with a more neutral intent stay in much easier though. From what I know of my ball path, most of the balls in the vids “feel” comfortably in, even the loopy balls with high net clearance. But like you said, hard to gauge on a wall.

I agree completely with the dominant shoulder not coming all the way through on the forehand finish + late prep for shots. I’ve made efforts in the past to correct this by really focusing on early prep and emphasizing shoulder coming around at finish in the stroke, but habits I havent broken yet. Like you said some of it is the wall speeding up the rhythm, but problem exists on court as well.


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pencilcheck

Professional
Observe your own swing path and your center of gravity. If your center of gravity is changing al the time your swing path will also be changing along with it and that in my opinion is the main source of instability.

I would focus on finding stable position to allow consistent center of gravity
 

dahcovixx

Professional
I’m trying to get better technically. Give me your insight, plz. Here are a couple wall hitting vids.



Obviously not an ideal way to look at my game as a whole, but hopefully it’s a fair depiction of groundstroke technique and positioning. USTA 3.5 mid atlantic player.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
You are a strong guy, i see you leaning back on your fh's like your trying to loop. Lean on your target, have great hands
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
I’m trying to get better technically. Give me your insight, plz. Here are a couple wall hitting vids.



Obviously not an ideal way to look at my game as a whole, but hopefully it’s a fair depiction of groundstroke technique and positioning. USTA 3.5 mid atlantic player.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
One Hand Backhand-

Use period & comma keys to single frame on Youtube. Always hold the Alt key & left mouse click to select the video, otherwise the video starts. You can go full screen and come back down and it stays on the same frame. Find impacts and compare the frames before impact. For best accuracy compare the same camera angles and intensity of stroke.

Your 1hbh shot at 2:09.

This long thread has one hand backhand sub-motions that I associate with the best one hand backhands.

The last one, involving scapular protraction and scapular retraction, was just recently added and looks to me stressful for the shoulder joint.

The sub-motions as videos show:
1) post #51 on - called "chest press" with uppermost body initially supplying force and not shoulder joint.
2) racket bring down involving internal shoulder rotation (ISR) and then external shoulder rotation (ESR) before impact.
3) Scapular protraction/retraction. Compare.
4) Elbow straight in forward motion as videos show.

Federer has a different technique.

I did not invent these sub-motions but observed them in most of the best one hand backhands.

1) You could have more uppermost body take back and forward motion acceleration. Compare your angles. This involves spine twisting and may be too stressful for you.

2) The model backhands bring the racket down with ISR and up with ESR as described by geca. This must depend on the height of the ball so it must vary.

3) Compare the scapular protraction and scapular retraction and don't try the exaggerated motions of some of the pro players as illustrated.

The basic concept is that you don't want the muscles of your shoulder joint to initially move your upper arm, you want your uppermost body turn to move your upper arm and that will show as described.

Depend on the videos and not word descriptions.
 
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pencilcheck

Professional
This is not about the person, I think Chas has good attitude towards tennis as a research subject, however that is the problem. Tennis to Chas is just another research subject for his hobby.

I liked Chas's effort to promote the frame moving feature in youtube as that is very very useful if you want to look at individual frame of the shot of pros but I come to a very different conclusion than Chas about OHBH.

I would suggest you not doing what Chas mentioned about chest press, that is not the right focus. I would suggest you look into balance and hitting clean instead.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
This is not about the person, I think Chas has good attitude towards tennis as a research subject, however that is the problem. Tennis to Chas is just another research subject for his hobby.

I liked Chas's effort to promote the frame moving feature in youtube as that is very very useful if you want to look at individual frame of the shot of pros but I come to a very different conclusion than Chas about OHBH.

I would suggest you not doing what Chas mentioned about chest press, that is not the right focus. I would suggest you look into balance and hitting clean instead.
Quote what you don't agree with and show the OP video evidence.
 

paulorenzo

Hall of Fame
Observe your own swing path and your center of gravity. If your center of gravity is changing al the time your swing path will also be changing along with it and that in my opinion is the main source of instability.

I would focus on finding stable position to allow consistent center of gravity
Would better prep and footwork would help in that regard? Ive always relied on hands and last second upper body spacing in relation to the ball in order to hit balls that are too close or too far away, but I’m realizing that’s a crutch most likely compensating for my slow foot speed.


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paulorenzo

Hall of Fame
You are a strong guy, i see you leaning back on your fh's like your trying to loop. Lean on your target, have great hands
Good point, it’s not the first time I heard that I dont move forward/ transfer weight forward on the forehand side. But ive been making an effort to correct this by closing my stance as often as I can and being more perceptive to short balls to really lean in on. Harder for me for whatever reason


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paulorenzo

Hall of Fame
One Hand Backhand-

Use period & comma keys to single frame on Youtube. Always hold the Alt key & left mouse click to select the video, otherwise the video starts. You can go full screen and come back down and it stays on the same frame. Find impacts and compare the frames before impact. For best accuracy compare the same camera angles and intensity of stroke.

Your 1hbh shot at 2:09.

This long thread has one hand backhand sub-motions that I associate with the best one hand backhands.

The last one, involving scapular protraction and scapular retraction, was just recently added and looks to me stressful for the shoulder joint.

The sub-motions as videos show:
1) post #51 on - called "chest press" with uppermost body initially supplying force and not shoulder joint.
2) racket bring down involving internal shoulder rotation (ISR) and then external shoulder rotation (ESR) before impact.
3) Scapular protraction/retraction.
4) Elbow straight in forward motion as videos show.

Federer has a different technique.

I did not invent these sub-motions but observed them in most of the best one hand backhands.

1) You could have more uppermost body take back and forward motion acceleration. Compare your angles. This involves spine twisting and may be too stressful for you.

2) The model backhand bring the racket down with ISR and up with ESR as described by geca. This must depend on the height of the ball so it must vary.

3) Compare the scapular protraction and scapular retraction and don't try the exaggerated motions of some of the pro players as illustrated.

The basic concept is that you don't want the muscles of your shoulder joint to initially move your upper arm, you want your uppermost body turn to move your upper arm and that will show as described.

Depend on the videos and not word descriptions.
Thanks for the insightful post. I’ll have to look into this


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Fxanimator1

Hall of Fame
Would better prep and footwork would help in that regard? Ive always relied on hands and last second upper body spacing in relation to the ball in order to hit balls that are too close or too far away, but I’m realizing that’s a crutch most likely compensating for my slow foot speed.


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You have sort of answered your own question, so you already know what to fix. From what I saw, you have the required form to execute your shots, but lack the conditioning to maintain that form after about 4 shots.
If you watch your video, your first couple of shots look good and then your technique starts to breakdown quickly after that.
 

paulorenzo

Hall of Fame
You have sort of answered your own question, so you already know what to fix. From what I saw, you have the required form to execute your shots, but lack the conditioning to maintain that form after about 4 shots.
If you watch your video, your first couple of shots look good and then your technique starts to breakdown quickly after that.
Truth. Looking forward to it but dreading it


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Turn sideways on FH & BH--plant your foreward foot more, you're opening up a bit.

Racket head UP! not "back". You get it up on the BH but early in your vid you were getting it "back"--later in the vid you were getting it up. Somewhere you paid good money to some "pro" who instructed you (and every other rec player to "get your racket back"--that's why tennis is in the toilet today--bad technique taught by "pros" who don't themselves do what they teach. Watch ANY pro on TV and they get the racket up HIGH above their head--out of 100, 98 of them do it the same. All you need to do is watch RFed's "takeback" on his FH & BH and SEE how high his racket is above his head! This allows gravity to do most of the work for you and will prevent arm injuries in the future--have you ever seen a soccer player kick a ball with a straight leg?--NO! Fix that bs "get your racket back" and you'll have a future in this game. Get the racket head high and hit a million practice balls an the other elements will fall into place in the kinetic chain of stroke technique. Watch Fed's "take-up"!
 

Alexrb

Semi-Pro
I’m trying to get better technically. Give me your insight, plz. Here are a couple wall hitting vids.



Obviously not an ideal way to look at my game as a whole, but hopefully it’s a fair depiction of groundstroke technique and positioning. USTA 3.5 mid atlantic player.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Your strokes look better than mine, so I won't give you tips. Nice hitting!
 

Mountain Ghost

Professional
There are a number of things going on ... but I'll narrow it down to one thing for your forehand ... and one thing for your backhand.

Forehand: Your racquet head should be getting far enough back so that the handle butt is aimed all the way to where the right net post would be ... (at the beginning of the forward stroke.)

Backhand: Instead of leading with the elbow at the initiation of the forward stroke ... the envisioned first movement should be a rotation out (supination) of the straight arm unit.

~ MG
 

paulorenzo

Hall of Fame
There are a number of things going on ... but I'll narrow it down to one thing for your forehand ... and one thing for your backhand.

Forehand: Your racquet head should be getting far enough back so that the handle butt is aimed all the way to where the right net post would be ... (at the beginning of the forward stroke.)

Backhand: Instead of leading with the elbow at the initiation of the forward stroke ... the envisioned first movement should be a rotation out (supination) of the straight arm unit.

~ MG
Thanks, I’m all about visualizations. These are interesting points as I’m shadow swinging through your descriptions. Can you quickly breakdown the positives of these changes?

I’m imagining a more energy coil and uncoil on the forehand and using larger muscles to initiate the forward stroke on the backhand?


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pencilcheck

Professional
Would better prep and footwork would help in that regard? Ive always relied on hands and last second upper body spacing in relation to the ball in order to hit balls that are too close or too far away, but I’m realizing that’s a crutch most likely compensating for my slow foot speed.


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The details is body dependent and also up to what you want to achieve but yes you are correct
 

pencilcheck

Professional
I’m trying to get better technically. Give me your insight, plz. Here are a couple wall hitting vids.



Obviously not an ideal way to look at my game as a whole, but hopefully it’s a fair depiction of groundstroke technique and positioning. USTA 3.5 mid atlantic player.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
This guy is not like a pro but he got good idea, you should study and see if you can steal his technique that might help your own game:
 

pencilcheck

Professional
Foot speed on defensive shots maybe. I dont agree he has footwork or spacing I should emulate. His spacing is actually a weakness for him.


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Yea, so I said not perfect and also "attempt" at those spacing and footwork. if you want me to spell it out for you, i'm saying you don't even do anything he is doing, you are way behind.
 

paulorenzo

Hall of Fame
Yea, so I said not perfect and also "attempt" at those spacing and footwork. if you want me to spell it out for you, i'm saying you don't even do anything he is doing, you are way behind.
That’s fair. I simply disagree. Perhaps we’re looking at two different things. If you’re up for it, please find a couple of time markers in which I’m way behind in my foot work or spacing. If not, then I believe this argument is in vain.

In my honest opinion, when looking at quality of footwork, I display better spacing than he does, especially considering I’m working against a wall that rebounds the ball in half the time that it takes his hitting partner to return his shots. And this is obviously not a knock on him, but just my observation.

*edit: [mention]Dragy [/mention] could I get your two cents on this?

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Dragy

Hall of Fame
*edit: [mention]Dragy [/mention] could I get your two cents on this?
I think you have some good hustle with your feet between shots, and you get spacing right more often than not. I’m not exactly sure what @pencilcheck is trying to say. If he’s addressing some major movement typical for singles rally - left/right, forward/backward, then your wall video doesn’t contain it due to obvious reasons. Wall gives you balls back, not always perfectly comfortable, but still quite similar and not pulling you wide. So would be interesting to see at your adjustment in rallying/point play, to gauge your “macro” footwork.
 

pencilcheck

Professional
That’s fair. I simply disagree. Perhaps we’re looking at two different things. If you’re up for it, please find a couple of time markers in which I’m way behind in my foot work or spacing. If not, then I believe this argument is in vain.

In my honest opinion, when looking at quality of footwork, I display better spacing than he does, especially considering I’m working against a wall that rebounds the ball in half the time that it takes his hitting partner to return his shots. And this is obviously not a knock on him, but just my observation.

*edit: [mention]Dragy [/mention] could I get your two cents on this?

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I'm not saying you are late or something, it is more of what you are attempting that is a bit behind of what he was doing.

But that's fair, let me give you an specific example of what I was talking about. And then maybe you can catch other similar things that might also help you.

All of your forehand were hit where your right leg is tilting towards the ball, and your entire weight is shifted to the right. The issue in my opinion, is not weight shift, but more that your legs are not in athletic/balanced position so when you swing your whole center of gravity, balance move around. At wall hitting, or slow rally, this issue is not huge but if you want to move around while hitting, or hit faster or hit faster incoming ball this becomes a huge issue.

So if you look at the vid I quoted, that person at least is attempting those balancing that I talked about, not perfect but at least I see an attempt.
 

paulorenzo

Hall of Fame
I'm not saying you are late or something, it is more of what you are attempting that is a bit behind of what he was doing.

But that's fair, let me give you an specific example of what I was talking about. And then maybe you can catch other similar things that might also help you.

All of your forehand were hit where your right leg is tilting towards the ball, and your entire weight is shifted to the right. The issue in my opinion, is not weight shift, but more that your legs are not in athletic/balanced position so when you swing your whole center of gravity, balance move around. At wall hitting, or slow rally, this issue is not huge but if you want to move around while hitting, or hit faster or hit faster incoming ball this becomes a huge issue.

So if you look at the vid I quoted, that person at least is attempting those balancing that I talked about, not perfect but at least I see an attempt.
I get what you're saying now, thank you. yeah that's a poor habit i've noticed over the years. i'll work on incorporating a wider stance. Honestly, I find it physically difficult nowadays to stay in a wide stance for too long, but i'll make it a point to do so.
 

ChaelAZ

Legend
I’m trying to get better technically. Give me your insight, plz. Here are a couple wall hitting vids.



Obviously not an ideal way to look at my game as a whole, but hopefully it’s a fair depiction of groundstroke technique and positioning. USTA 3.5 mid atlantic player.
Your strokes look pretty good to me. What I did notice more was footwork and positioning. I realize you are only hitting on the wall, but when you are lined up you were good in execution. I have a bit of bias that most 3.5 players should put about 70% of their training time in footwork and fitness and only 30% in technique.

Find a level up mentor who can push you and help.

Cheers.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
I’m trying to get better technically. Give me your insight, plz. Here are a couple wall hitting vids.



Obviously not an ideal way to look at my game as a whole, but hopefully it’s a fair depiction of groundstroke technique and positioning. USTA 3.5 mid atlantic player.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Your forehand looks excellent for 3.5 (looks more like a 4.0 level). The backhand... well... I guess that’s why you are still 3.5. Have you experimented with a 2hb? It doesn’t seem like you have much to lose - it doesn’t need to be great, you just need to find a way to reliably bump the ball back in play, as the 1hb doesn’t look very natural for you - it’s feeding your lazy footwork, and a 2hb would force you to get your feet set better.
 
The backhand...Have you experimented with a 2hb? It doesn’t seem like you have much to lose -
Other than going from being a real tennis player that the ladies will respect to a cheater. Yeah, not much to lose.
One-hander looks good to me. Keep the racquet head up a little longer. Not so long that it restricts your ability to get full reach on the backswing but wait long enough so there is still some ability for the racquet head to be able to drop below hand level when you transition to forward stroke. A relaxed arm will help this. Then, when you come forward, you’ll get some extra spin. It also keeps some extra energy in the forearm, like a little pre-pronation which sets you up for the supination that happens on the forward stroke, especially if you have a little wrist extension in your backswing. (Search Stan Wawrinka slow motion backhand)
 
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Fintft

Legend
Thanks for the apt feedback Dragy. Fair observations. In regards to the balls flying long on court question, balls definitely fly long. Especially true when I full send on flat balls or when i decelerate the stroke when I’m badly positioned. Shots hit with a more neutral intent stay in much easier though. From what I know of my ball path, most of the balls in the vids “feel” comfortably in, even the loopy balls with high net clearance. But like you said, hard to gauge on a wall.

I agree completely with the dominant shoulder not coming all the way through on the forehand finish + late prep for shots. I’ve made efforts in the past to correct this by really focusing on early prep and emphasizing shoulder coming around at finish in the stroke, but habits I havent broken yet. Like you said some of it is the wall speeding up the rhythm, but problem exists on court as well.


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Paul Laurenzo,

Maybe you'd like to try some of Dragy's suggestions for hitting at the wall, such as this one?

"Use drop feeds and hit shots 1-in-a row, but with full prep and finish.".

I am in awe with what he told you and didn't even bother much with other advises, nor with your BH (maybe neither should you? :D). Well on the BH, maybe with post #33 from Ballmachineguy...

GL!
 

polksio

Rookie
Jealous of that wall ngl
You move pretty well, you can definitely hit harder so the ball bounces back to you even well behind the baseline, will give a better idea of what amount of energy to put out in every shot in a real tennis rally and also what kind of motion you need to execute to get that ball all across a tennis court, all you're doing is a mini tennis warm up there. You move well though and your technique is sound you just have to scale it into a full court.
Also you need to focus on consistency, try to get 10 balls in a row like 4 or 5 inches above the net no more no less and the same on the backhand. Also 10 forehand in a row and 10 backhands in a row, forces you to hit straight down the court not cross and not out, good luck!
 

paulorenzo

Hall of Fame
Other than going from being a real tennis player that the ladies will respect to a cheater. Yeah, not much to lose.
One-hander looks good to me. Keep the racquet head up a little longer. Not so long that it restricts your ability to get full reach on the backswing but wait long enough so there is still some ability for the racquet head to be able to drop below hand level when you transition to forward stroke. A relaxed arm will help this. Then, when you come forward, you’ll get some extra spin. It also keeps some extra energy in the forearm, like a little pre-pronation which sets you up for the supination that happens on the forward stroke, especially if you have a little wrist extension in your backswing. (Search Stan Wawrinka slow motion backhand)
Nice breakdown! Will do. Im pretty sloppy with my take back, as a previous poster pointed out. Indeed the racquet head stays too low and my left arm doesnt assist in taking it back enough. Been trying to be more cognizant of this.
 
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