For Fun - Forehand comparison videos with Wawrinka

#1
***UPDATE VIDEO 11/2018***
Really quick and short update video. Was out yesterday on the ball machine and shot some video to see how things are progressing. As mentioned below in the original post, I have a natural swing that is very similar to Wawrinka's swing so I like ot use him as a template for improvements I can make. So you'll see a short vid of Stan first, then a few strokes from my practice. Things I am still working on are same as below.




***Original Post****
With some shoulder and range of motion stuff I got going, I have been trying to find various arm-bent forehand players I can use for comparison, and Wawrkina is one of the top I found. So trying to do some comparisons for fun to see what tweaks I can make that will help with mechanics and such.

First is an overlay


Then just a side-by-side

Stuff I am working on.
  • Need to improve balance and stance.
  • Would like to get the racquet down to load more, but I am still on the fence for that.
  • Need to improve shoulder rotation.
  • With shoulder rotation I should be able to open more towards the net - hips and nips to the next.

So as far off as I thought I was, video has actually been good to see I am generally swinging decent. Great tool for sure.
 
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#2
With some shoulder and range of motion stuff I got going, I have been trying to find various arm-bent forehand players I can use for comparison, and Wawrkina is one of the top I found. So trying to do some comparisons for fun to see what tweaks I can make that will help with mechanics and such.

First is an overlay


Then just a side-by-side

Stuff I am working on.
  • Need to improve balance and stance.
  • Would like to get the racquet down to load more, but I am still on the fence for that.
  • Need to improve shoulder rotation.
  • With shoulder rotation I should be able to open more towards the net - hips and nips to the next.

So as far off as I thought I was, video has actually been good to see I am generally swinging decent. Great tool for sure.
Looks good, great seeing both versions,
So stan hits a knee high ball with wider stance uses hips more,
Yours is waist high, maybe feet too close together like you said, stance
Noticed your into finish quicker, not sure if this is because his racquet travels out more in front or is slower.
 
#3
With some shoulder and range of motion stuff I got going, I have been trying to find various arm-bent forehand players I can use for comparison, and Wawrkina is one of the top I found. So trying to do some comparisons for fun to see what tweaks I can make that will help with mechanics and such.

First is an overlay


Then just a side-by-side

Stuff I am working on.
  • Need to improve balance and stance.
  • Would like to get the racquet down to load more, but I am still on the fence for that.
  • Need to improve shoulder rotation.
  • With shoulder rotation I should be able to open more towards the net - hips and nips to the next.

So as far off as I thought I was, video has actually been good to see I am generally swinging decent. Great tool for sure.
Wow that overlay is sxc as fuuuark. So nice. I need to try doing that.

Great job on getting the same angle of shot. One thing which might make the comparison more accurate; if you're hitting a ball of more similar height. The ball Stan's hitting is a fair bit lower than yours

Interestingly it looks like your takeback is much higher, and that you swing flatter than Stan, probably due to contact height. His legs are also wider and more bent. Aside from that, everything looks really good. I guess another thing to consider is the type of shot you're hitting. Is he hitting a rally ball? What are you hitting?

Also interesting how cocked back Stans wrist is. This could be a grip thing. Are you using an eastern?

Wheres the BH? i thought this was going to be a BH comparison :'(

Anyway awesome video!!
 
#7
With some shoulder and range of motion stuff I got going, I have been trying to find various arm-bent forehand players I can use for comparison, and Wawrkina is one of the top I found. So trying to do some comparisons for fun to see what tweaks I can make that will help with mechanics and such.
.................

Then just a side-by-side

Stuff I am working on.
  • Need to improve balance and stance.
  • Would like to get the racquet down to load more, but I am still on the fence for that.
  • Need to improve shoulder rotation.
  • With shoulder rotation I should be able to open more towards the net - hips and nips to the next.

So as far off as I thought I was, video has actually been good to see I am generally swinging decent. Great tool for sure.
1) The off arm increases the speed of the uppermost body (shoulders) turn when it is pulled in.
2) For added impact speed, you want that pull in before impact.
3) If you hold the arm out until after impact it adds no racket head speed.
3) If you compare Wawrinka's off arm pull in just before impact, his is farther in than yours.
4) Players may also be using the off arm pull in to get to the correct racket face angle. Control. ?
5) While accelerating the uppermost body turn with legs and trunk muscles, if the the upper arm is still out it slows down your uppermost body turn speed instead of speeding it up.
6) Maybe they are using the pull in for control?

Have you always used your off arm or is that new?
 
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#8
Have you always used your off arm or that new?
I posted on the darn thing before, my high "waving" hand. I've tried to work on using it to pull back in and open up, but I have not got that timing yet. I am thinking there will be a clicking point here where the shoulder rotation, elbow coming forward, hip rotation and off arm pulling back to help open will all happen. It does happen sometimes, I can feel it, but it isn't natural yet. The issue I come across is, at 50 now how much more tweaking do I want to do vs. just using the technique I have and maximizing it. I hit consistent enough and can compensate for less-then-timed mechanics. So I am not sure how much more I will change, or can change. I've been playing decent 50/50 matches at various levels, and competing well.
 
#9
Wilson 2015 Blade 98 18x20. I had done a 3/9 weighting and then counter-weighted the handle, but since have removed the head weight but left the handle weight. Nothing fancy, but LOVE the Blade.

Strings are full bed YTex Square X 52-56 lbs, depending on weather.
How heavy is it?
 
#10
I posted on the darn thing before, my high "waving" hand. I've tried to work on using it to pull back in and open up, but I have not got that timing yet. I am thinking there will be a clicking point here where the shoulder rotation, elbow coming forward, hip rotation and off arm pulling back to help open will all happen. It does happen sometimes, I can feel it, but it isn't natural yet. The issue I come across is, at 50 now how much more tweaking do I want to do vs. just using the technique I have and maximizing it. I hit consistent enough and can compensate for less-then-timed mechanics. So I am not sure how much more I will change, or can change. I've been playing decent 50/50 matches at various levels, and competing well.
Your technique is pretty darn good as it is. I guess you could perfect it more for the sake of perfection, or try to win more matches. What are your goals?

Also maybe from here its also about tactics. I noticed for example Stan will often slice a shot or two until he brings the rally to neutral where he has a ball he can attack. For every 1hbh topspin he hits in singles returning, he often has sliced two backhands prior.
 
#11
I think there are to many players that worry about copying certain pro players. Just work on your game and develop your strokes and forget about imitating a pro player.
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
#13
Would like to get the racquet down to load more, but I am still on the fence for that.
Try lowering the whole arm so that your hand comes closer to the hip. The swing will be more outward inicially.


And yes, Stan tilts quite a bit here, which is good on belly-height and lower balls.
DelPo for comparison.
 
#16
I use Kinovea for side-by-side and it has an overlay also as in your OP. It has many other capabilities including time scales, putting markers on from previous frames that stay or fade away. With a tripod the markers can be useful for hand, racket or ball paths. It also has time scales including a count down mode. Countdown works well making impact = 0 time. Two videos can be set side-by-side with a countdown scale. Many other capabilities for analysis and labeling the video are available.

Kinovea is free, open source.

If anyone is interested search Kinovea forum Version 8.27.
http://www.kinovea.org/en/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=3922#p3922
 
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#17
When you look at your forehand side-by-side with Wawrinka's, what are your thoughts about technique and how difficult the pro's techniques are? Not equivalent performance but just a copying of the technique?

Are you seeing the ceiling of your forehand?
Specific things that you can't do that Wawrinka is able to do?
Or is just the learning and changing the main obstacle?
Are you seeing some forehand motions to avoid because of injury risk?
Could you do everything that you see Wawrinka doing?
 
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#19
When you look at your forehand side-by-side with Wawrinka's, what are your thoughts about technique and how difficult the pro's techniques are? Not equivalent performance but just a copying of the technique?

Are you seeing the ceiling of your forehand?
Specific things that you can't do that Wawrinka is able to do?
Or is just the learning and changing the main obstacle?
Are you seeing some forehand motions to avoid because of injury risk?
Could you do everything that you see Wawrinka doing?

Hey Chas, thanks for the reply/questions.

Forehand is good, and I don't expect it to be a pro level swing really, but that isn't a reason to stop trying to improve it. So I am not really sure I have reached a ceiling of it. My takeaways from Stan are better takeback and loading down (I still tend to loop on edge) and getting the elbow foreward for better contact out front. At 50 my challenge to improve that is a boatload of years playing racquetball and starting tennis without really getting mechanics set from the start. So I was doing a swgin that was easy for me (mostly arm) but it got me to a decent level of competing. Yes, some of the current swing technique are due to limited range of motion in my shoulder and neck, and I am working to stretch and improve that but it most likely be something I compensate for through the rest of my life. Again, not a reason for me to stop trying to improve though.

So yes, with time and effort I could do things Stan does overall, but I don't expect a pro result in the end. More the proper mechanics for injury prevention and easier power. Personally I don't think the techniques are difficult, per se, to learn and emulate. I think being able to master them for pro level results is the difficult part that 99% of us will not see happen. So yeah, equivelant technqiue for the best results. I can achieve.

More so, my journey has a lot to do with working with my son and a few others in development. While I may never get to a higher level, I have been able to help others improve, so I consider that worth the time to learn.

Cheers.
 
#21
Nice videos. Lot's of positives. I wouldn't worry about anything but lower body. I think if you engage your lower body and get some real leg drive, most of your minor issues will take care of themselves. Using Stan as an example, he really loads his legs which supports and initiates his upper body. You're upper body is a little disconnected from your lower body which gives you a little bit of that spinning out, shoulders back look going through the ball. That also pulls your head off the ball a little premature. Stan, the way he uses his legs, has a lot of stability and drive through the ball and his posture allows his head to stay really still through contact. One key visual to look at in the side by side of you and Stan is the position of your shoulders relative to your hips. Stan's shoulders are forward of his hips where your a little more straight up and down. I've seen some of your other videos and you hit a nice ball. With your build, you probably have even more power potential along with the potential to take some stress off your upper body. I think Wawrinka is a good model. Keep it up!
 
#22
Nice videos. Lot's of positives. I wouldn't worry about anything but lower body. I think if you engage your lower body and get some real leg drive, most of your minor issues will take care of themselves. Using Stan as an example, he really loads his legs which supports and initiates his upper body. You're upper body is a little disconnected from your lower body which gives you a little bit of that spinning out, shoulders back look going through the ball. That also pulls your head off the ball a little premature. Stan, the way he uses his legs, has a lot of stability and drive through the ball and his posture allows his head to stay really still through contact. One key visual to look at in the side by side of you and Stan is the position of your shoulders relative to your hips. Stan's shoulders are forward of his hips where your a little more straight up and down. I've seen some of your other videos and you hit a nice ball. With your build, you probably have even more power potential along with the potential to take some stress off your upper body. I think Wawrinka is a good model. Keep it up!

Thanks much! Agree on loading and lower body activation. Knees kinda give me a bit of push back on that, but I am trying to get them back in shape to load better. Much of that is dropping the lbs, which will do a world of good at my level.

Cheers. Appreciate the time to look Rob.
 
#23
Stan, the way he uses his legs, has a lot of stability and drive through the ball and his posture allows his head to stay really still through contact.
And I did a comparison with Thiem before, and you wanna talk about a low loading with legs...I'm not sure I could get that low. He isn't always that low, but also another stroke I like.

In case anyone is interested.



First is side by side and overlay half way through.
 
#24
And I did a comparison with Thiem before, and you wanna talk about a low loading with legs...I'm not sure I could get that low. He isn't always that low, but also another stroke I like.

In case anyone is interested.



First is side by side and overlay half way through.
Chael, look how thiem’s upper body tilts slightly forward into the shot whereas your upper body tilts slightly backward. Because your center of mass is farther back, in order to keep from losing your balance as you extend through the ball, your left shoulder pulls back. If you lean forward, like thiem and wawrinka, your center of mass will be shifted forward and your left shoulder won’t rotate so quickly to keep you in balance.
 
#25
Chael, look how thiem’s upper body tilts slightly forward into the shot whereas your upper body tilts slightly backward. Because your center of mass is farther back, in order to keep from losing your balance as you extend through the ball, your left shoulder pulls back. If you lean forward, like thiem and wawrinka, your center of mass will be shifted forward and your left shoulder won’t rotate so quickly to keep you in balance.
Had a hit with @ptuanminh tonight again while he is in town and played around with a bunch of stuff. Was fun and I got to mess with timing and such. Tried loading lower, which did give me more pop/power but many of those went long. Also tried a Khatchanov grip and I can't contort my wrist enough to get the racquet face parallel to the net so I was driving those in the net, but they had a lot of spin gonig there :p. Needs some ball machine time to really drill it and find how to work loading better and getting the rotation sorted.

Thanks again for the thoughts.
 
#26
Had a hit with @ptuanminh tonight again while he is in town and played around with a bunch of stuff. Was fun and I got to mess with timing and such. Tried loading lower, which did give me more pop/power but many of those went long. Also tried a Khatchanov grip and I can't contort my wrist enough to get the racquet face parallel to the net so I was driving those in the net, but they had a lot of spin gonig there :p. Needs some ball machine time to really drill it and find how to work loading better and getting the rotation sorted.

Thanks again for the thoughts.
Keep at it! It took me awhile to finally get my off arm sorted. When you get it right, you get more penetration on your forehand
 
#27
Had a hit with @ptuanminh tonight again while he is in town and played around with a bunch of stuff. Was fun and I got to mess with timing and such. Tried loading lower, which did give me more pop/power but many of those went long. Also tried a Khatchanov grip and I can't contort my wrist enough to get the racquet face parallel to the net so I was driving those in the net, but they had a lot of spin gonig there :p. Needs some ball machine time to really drill it and find how to work loading better and getting the rotation sorted.

Thanks again for the thoughts.
I found when i upped the weight on my frame a lot of topspin shots went long, that i had to hit m the top of the ball more to get it to spin back down
 
#28
Had a hit with @ptuanminh tonight again while he is in town and played around with a bunch of stuff. Was fun and I got to mess with timing and such. Tried loading lower, which did give me more pop/power but many of those went long. Also tried a Khatchanov grip and I can't contort my wrist enough to get the racquet face parallel to the net so I was driving those in the net, but they had a lot of spin gonig there :p. Needs some ball machine time to really drill it and find how to work loading better and getting the rotation sorted.

Thanks again for the thoughts.
It was a lot of fun hitting with @ChaelAZ. He has a lot of power. And I also made him wait for me 1 hour at the court. So sorrrrrry.
 
#29
You know these comparison videos look really helpful. I agree with what everyone says about legs/torso/off-hand and everything but I think those are symptoms and not root cause. IMO your hips are very stiff. The hips don’t look to be relaying the power coming from the legs. If you compare the lower body of how one swings a baseball bat and how Thiem is hitting the forehand here I think you’ll see some similarities especially with how the left leg/hip is acting as the centerpoint of the torque around the body. I’m sure there’s a cleaner way to phrase this but I think you understand what I mean. With all that being said youre making a ton of progress dude keep on keeping on. Totally jelly over here my forehand is steadily becoming my liability while backhand is becoming a weapon for some reason.

TLDR: I have tight hip flexors/glutes too man
 
#30
You know these comparison videos look really helpful. I agree with what everyone says about legs/torso/off-hand and everything but I think those are symptoms and not root cause. IMO your hips are very stiff. The hips don’t look to be relaying the power coming from the legs. If you compare the lower body of how one swings a baseball bat and how Thiem is hitting the forehand here I think you’ll see some similarities especially with how the left leg/hip is acting as the centerpoint of the torque around the body. I’m sure there’s a cleaner way to phrase this but I think you understand what I mean. With all that being said youre making a ton of progress dude keep on keeping on. Totally jelly over here my forehand is steadily becoming my liability while backhand is becoming a weapon for some reason.

TLDR: I have tight hip flexors/glutes too man
I actually think if @ChaelAZ were to widen his stance, it would resolve the balance issues. It’s easier to stay balanced with a wider base. Widening the base also lowers the center of gravity automatically.
 
#31
You know these comparison videos look really helpful. I agree with what everyone says about legs/torso/off-hand and everything but I think those are symptoms and not root cause. IMO your hips are very stiff. The hips don’t look to be relaying the power coming from the legs. If you compare the lower body of how one swings a baseball bat and how Thiem is hitting the forehand here I think you’ll see some similarities especially with how the left leg/hip is acting as the centerpoint of the torque around the body. I’m sure there’s a cleaner way to phrase this but I think you understand what I mean. With all that being said youre making a ton of progress dude keep on keeping on. Totally jelly over here my forehand is steadily becoming my liability while backhand is becoming a weapon for some reason.

TLDR: I have tight hip flexors/glutes too man
I actually think if @ChaelAZ were to widen his stance, it would resolve the balance issues. It’s easier to stay balanced with a wider base. Widening the base also lowers the center of gravity automatically.
Thanks guys. Some of the issue with wider stance and loading will resolve with weight loss and getting my knees back healthy. They are on again/off again liabilities. Very true with being able to load out wide, where right now I end up having to play more defense when I move out wide because I can't load like I need to. Well, without using 1000mg of Ibuprofen, but that isn't a good regiment to get into.

So like most rec players I think fitness would be #1 here and would allow me to do much of the above, or start to work on it to improve the stroke. That said, I like pizza and beer, so maybe I can half-ass my way to a lower loading position and do better at energy transfer. ;)

Thanks again.
 
#32
Thanks guys. Some of the issue with wider stance and loading will resolve with weight loss and getting my knees back healthy. They are on again/off again liabilities. Very true with being able to load out wide, where right now I end up having to play more defense when I move out wide because I can't load like I need to. Well, without using 1000mg of Ibuprofen, but that isn't a good regiment to get into.

So like most rec players I think fitness would be #1 here and would allow me to do much of the above, or start to work on it to improve the stroke. That said, I like pizza and beer, so maybe I can half-ass my way to a lower loading position and do better at energy transfer. ;)

Thanks again.
Hit like Fognini and keep the beer and pizza. Dude bends his knees about as much as old dudes. :p
 
#34
Your new video looks as if the off arm is pulling in with better timing.

I'm not sure what best timing is. From a certain off arm speed no matter when you pull the arm in before impact it should add the same rotation speed. But if you get it up to speed early you might pull it in earlier to have more speed over a longer time. This can get you to impact sooner. On the other hand, maybe the ball turns out slower and you don't want to get there earlier? You then might not pull the arm in at all. ? Probably it is best to just work on the stroke and keep in mind the timing options.

To get a feel for the timing of your off arm and uppermost body turn use a 1 or 2 lb dumbbell and experiment at moderate arm speed with start and pull in times and how it feels. Loose mid section muscles for pull in for demo.

When I get a set up in my doubles matches I use the off arm and it feels good. I believe that the pace is up a little. Not optimized timing yet.

First find a high level stroke for comparison. Then use the same incoming ball height as the high level stroke for your video. It is easier to do that than to first video your stroke with incoming ball height and from a certain camera angle and then afterwards try to find a matching high level stroke. I can't tell whether some of the differences, like your foot separation. are due to stroke differences or the height of the incoming ball. ?

Djokovic forehand especially for foot position and posture (forward bend). 2nd video shows jump forehand.
Djokovic Forehand. View from behind. Also watch his off arm motion to speed uppermost body rotation.

View from above. See second forehand, both feet off ground.

Warning - Djokovic has exceptional flexibility and twists his spine during strokes more than most players. Take care copying his strokes. He also jumps off the ground.

Have you seen the Dan Brown video on the linear and circular forehands? Search- I'm on your side forehand Dan Brown. He was working on a client's front knee pain and found getting his client's front foot off the ground was less stressful than his linear 'step forward' technique. The player gets entirely off the ground.
 
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#36
When do we get to see the BH side-by-side with Wawrinka? :)

I was supposed to do that, but the FH made more sense. My back hand is probably more Fed in style that Wawrinka, but soon as I can get my phone sorted again for recording I will do it for fun. Or maybe I will just tool through some recent vids.
 
#37
Your new video looks as if the off arm is pulling in with better timing.

I'm not sure what best timing is. From a certain off arm speed no matter when you pull the arm in before impact it should add the same rotation speed. But if you get it up to speed early you might pull it in earlier to have more speed over a longer time. This can get you to impact sooner. On the other hand, maybe the ball turns out slower and you don't want to get there earlier? You then might not pull the arm in at all. ? Probably it is best to just work on the stroke and keep in mind the timing options.
Yeah, I have played with trying to time earlier, but I am not seeing that spot right yet, so will just continue to find comfortable spots and inch them out as I can. I go between the quicker release and slower timed release.

Djokovic forehand especially for foot position and posture (forward bend). 2nd video shows jump forehand.
Djokovic Forehand. View from behind. Also watch his off arm motion to speed uppermost body rotation.

View from above. See second forehand both feet off ground.

Warning - Djokovic has exceptional flexibility and twists his spine during strokes more than most players. Take care copying his strokes. He also jumps off the ground.
I have watched his forehand work quite a bit, more for his timing and how relaxed he hits.




Have you seen the Dan Brown video on the linear and circular forehands? Search- I'm on your side forehand Dan Brown. He was working on a client's front knee pain and found getting his client's front foot off the ground was less stressful than his linear 'step forward' technique. The player gets entirely off the ground.
Have watched the forehand vid quite a lot. I play around with loading and weight transfer, but my natural motion is stepping in. Will have to play with that again though as things develop.

Thanks as always for all the insight.
 
#38
..................................................................................................
Have watched the forehand vid quite a lot. I play around with loading and weight transfer, but my natural motion is stepping in. Will have to play with that again though as things develop.
.................................
I use the Dan Brown video as a guide, especially the overlay at 4:30. If the player's feet do not appear to step forward and there is little forward movement, I consider it circular. I see both circular and linear (step forward) in your "UPDATE VIDEO 11/2018" forehands.
 
#42
Using a pro as a reference is fine; it's when people obsess over tiny details and turn the reference into a blueprint or recipe that they go astray, IMO.

x's 100. Dropping lbs and improving fitness will do more for a 4.0 player than most amounts of technqiue tweaks....but who doesn't wanna see an overlay of a pudgy middle aged male trying to look like a pro? Amiright? :D
 
#45
You don't need to wrap your arm all the way around your body for the follow through, I want to say that the important part is your racket moves fast through the ball and you turn over/bend at the elbow. I feel as if your swing continues even after you've already hit the ball. Your racket will stop moving on its own and that's how you get the smooth deceleration.
 
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