Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by gino, Jan 3, 2010.
Check out this video and give me your advice:
Decent split steps. Do you ever get low for any shots?
i try to get low, but im usually pretty upright on the forehand.
any advice to improve my center of balance?
Gino....you seem like a sincere kid. But have you seen your Tennis Recruiting page? No offense, those results are not gonna cut it.
College coaches don't care how you look hitting fed balls on a video. And they are not all that fired up about high school tennis team results. They want to see how you compete against other guys in the tough tournaments.
You need to get out there and enter some tough tournaments and show the coaches you can play. Could posters give you some advice on footwork? Sure. But that is not really what you need, you need to go compete.
Thanks for posting. Good job in getting your stuff out online for people to look at:
Several things I noticed that can help you:
1. Legs: Need more knee bend and a steady rise through the ball from your legs. There was little power coming from your legs and as a result you had to swing more to generate power.
2. Backhand taekback: the takeback you are using only a few can master. I don't know if you are one of them but I would highly suggest you consider what the clear majority of pros use which is the "smile pattern." The smile pattern primarily takes the racquet back mainly with the shoulder turn, the hitting hand stays near the navel in the turn. Once the shoulder rotation slows down, the hand roock up and back following a concave motion, then it comes down, levels, and then forward for contact. So in essence, if you trace the hitting hand pattern it sort of makes a "smile" shape. Some players like you that use the C pattern for their takeback can end up with timing problems when they play better and better people. Or those that can put some heat or spin on the ball. Check out my posts on the smile pattern when you get a chance. Here is an example of what you need to do:
3. Serve motion: for your serve, make sure you are folding in the non-dominant arm into your body and don't let it dangle off to the side. Having your arm dangle to the side not only can pull you off balance but you lose power as well. Here is an example of what you need to do:
4. Forehand: Your non-dominant arm use was also inconsistent on the forehand. Make sure you stretch it out there and then have it fold back into the body which allows your hitting arm to accelerate. This will help you have a consistent shoulder turn. Here is an example:
Thanks so much,
All of that really helps, I don't quite understand the variation of the backhand take back that you are describing. Is my take back the one federer uses? Also, I have always been told to take my racket back slightly above the height of the ball and then drop my wrist and come underneath it to produce spin. Is this correct?
Thanks Bungalo Bill,
No it is not. It is more of a C pattern than a "smile" pattern or shallow U pattern.
The key area to isolate is what the hitting hand is doing. If you had it trace something, what would it draw? Do not look at the racquet head which can confuse the pattern needed for the hitting hand. You can use a smile pattern or a shallow U and make the head of the racquet look like it looped which can make it confusing.
When studying players, you need to carefully ignore what the racquet is doing and only focus on what the elements of the body is doing and ask yourself what shapes are they making?
In essence you are "rocking" your hand back with the unit turn. It goes back with the unit turn and then up. Once it reaches a reasonable height (usually within shoulder width) it comes back down before it goes up, through contact, and into the follow-through.
Here is a good example of the hitting hand pattern. Watch Federer/Blakes hitting hand pattern. It simply goes back and up. Not up, back, and then down.
The clear majority of professional onehanders use this hitting hand pattern because it is efficient and effective for all surfaces when it comes to their timing. If your traced it, it would make a "smile pattern".
I am assuming you are talking about the onehanded backhand????
If so, I am not going to get into that now. That is a school of thought. However, when you introduce the wrist for anyone, you best have your mechanics and fundamentals down before introducing the wrist.
Getting the racquet below the ball happens from your legs first. It does not happen from your wrist. You need to maintain a long "L" (the long L is seen by drawing an imaginary line from the tip of the racquet to the shoulder of the player, see clip above) through your onehanded backhand as professionals constantly demonstrate. If you swing low to high and your mechanics are good, you will generate very good topspin. When you have mastered that and are consistent, then you can introduce the wrist and finesse or add a little touch on the ball.
However, when you introduce the wrist it is not something that dominates or is the premier attraction for your stroke. It is subtle and is used to enhance your shot rather than take over it.
I've been working on applying a "C" pattern to my stroke and it feels great. A lot more fluid and smooth... Sorry for such a late post, I totally forgot about this thread until just now. Thanks again BB for all the advice, I appreciate you going through all the trouble to explain and also attach videos and links. I'll try and get an updated video up and you all can tell me what you think.
you look way off balance in your serve, just like trying to jump but not putting your weight on the ball. and also need to stop making that back kick on your forehand its look gay IMO.
in your matchplay video when you try to S/V see clearly what i mean you serve and then you have to run to he service line, you need to push yourself up and forward so when you land already have your body moving to the net.
I won't comment on this video as a college recruiting tool or that tactic in general, because you didn't ask, but if you're asking about footwork it's a bit difficult to give you an accurate assessment because it seems your partner's hitting most of the balls to the middle of the court for you which doesn't illuminate how well you move to the ball. But you definitely need a much wider base, particularly when you land on your split step. Having a wide base does a number of things for you: it creates a suspension system for your body weight and without it most of that weight and force is being absorbed by your knees (that's bad, by the way), and it allows you to get going in either direction with much greater balance among many other benefits. Good luck.
+1 for the wider base.
That narrow stance has you off balance all the time when things aren't going right.
Haha thanks for the comment.
I've actually been working on all of those!Totally agreed! Thanks again for the comment and advice
I didn't know that! Thanks a ton for pointing that out, I'll be sure to hit the practice courts and work on a low, centered base. Thanks a ton for the advice!
Very true, I will work on developing a wider base. Maybe I could do some strength training exercises to develop a better base. Thanks again!
Not saying more strenth is bad, but maybe more emphasis on technique change to a wider base.
Notice those vids of Federer practicing. He turns shoulders really noticeably, barely moves feet, has narrow base.
Then we he plays for $$$$, his feet move quicker, his shoulder turn is always there, but his feet get spread apart a little more. He doesn't have a wide base, compared to some other pros, but maybe he's "special".
Most guys who have to run back and forth along the baseline need a wide hitting stance to get balance and posture.
Remember, we're not talking about you playing against people below your level, we're talking about you playing your peers and BETTER players, who will move you around more and in a more erratic pattern.
I wouldn't call Federer's base more narrow at all. He's one of the best at spreading his legs(that's what she said?).
He closes it during some shots, but during movement and split step it's consistently there. This especially true when he has to move a lot like against Nadal, Davydenko. He often improvises his 1hbh when pulled wide with a wide base.
At net it's also always there.
His balance is often because of his wide base
More Fed's footwork in slow motion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYDhjCf3JCA
when you hit the ball, how often does it go where you want it to go? if it goes where you want it to go most of the time, great.
if it happens rarely, ask yourself whether it is footwork that will help or something else.
footwork for the sake of footwork is not very productive.
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