How to stop children using wta forehand

Searah

Semi-Pro
Hello, in this area.
There is a child who does a WTA forehand.
and by WTA forehand.. it's not just facing the backfence but facing the next fence if you were to keep taking it back.

i assume that is WTA.

any fun drills or ways to sink it into his head not to do that?

he is about 8 years old. it's a baddddd shot.

not sure who taught him that.
it's hard muscle memory for him now.
i tell him not to but each time he goes to hit ball even after telling him.. the next shot is straight away facing the fence-fence.

if the parents weren't watching.. i'd prob give him a punching/box glove and tell him to try right hook the ball to engrave/shorten the swing.

sounds fun in my head. but i don't think parents want to pay money and see that.
 
Don't Change it. There are plenty of Videos from ATP Stars as Kids using a WTA Takeback.

Usually that will change later as they get stronger and opponents hit harder.

I Would say 10-11 is early enough to change that, that is not a hard thing to fix.
 

Dragy

Legend
Some rapid-fire hand feeds might work. Give him no time for huge backswing. Explain in advance you want to prep smth like this, but a bit lower:


Then just hand feed balls in fast tempo so that he can only get it back halfway and hit, and hit... Then add a requirement that the ball has to make it high over the net and far into the opposite court. So that he has to find power despite compact prep and fast execution.
 
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weelie

Semi-Pro
My kid seemed to learn a good forehand pretty instantly with instruction to start from a racket + hand ”high five”, looking somewhat like the first Dragy photo above. She is only 7yo, and not really played much.
 
Breaking hard muscle memory...
1. Shadow swing
2. Then, drop feed...Tons of drop feed
3. Incorporating moving to hit the ball
Even with these, he will probably go back to old ways when he is playing points. But at least he knows now what's the right way to hit the ball. All you can do is reminding him constantly. He will eventually get it after 3 months of constant reminders.

The challenge is you probably only see him once or twice a week. You can have his parents remind him but it takes a special parent to walk the fine line between nagging and coaching.
 
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Until you see kids 6-7 that have close to perfect text book strokes then you will want to change it. If you think the stroke is wacky, please change it.
 

HitMoreBHs

Semi-Pro
No need to. He’s young. That’s why he’s doing it. He’s not strong enough yet and so has to compensate. Just let time do it’s thing. As he grows up and becomes stronger, and faces faster balls, he will adjust.
This chap (who developed into one of the shortest take-backs on the FH) probably has a sound opinion on the matter. Does anyone know if he was ever asked?
 

Rubens

Hall of Fame
The so called wta forehand is like the waiter tray serve. They're the techniques that most beginners naturally use.
 

nyta2

Professional
This chap (who developed into one of the shortest take-backs on the FH) probably has a sound opinion on the matter. Does anyone know if he was ever asked?
i could be misremembering, but in his book i recall his dad made Andre, as a kid, stand on/near the baseline as "the dragon" fired balls at him at like 90mph... i imagine that kind of training would shorten up my backswing.

personally my takeback has gotten shorter and shorter over the years, as i started hitting with folks who hit with more spin/pace... in general i do tend to stand near the baseline if i can.
 

nyta2

Professional
Hello, in this area.
There is a child who does a WTA forehand.
and by WTA forehand.. it's not just facing the backfence but facing the next fence if you were to keep taking it back.

i assume that is WTA.

any fun drills or ways to sink it into his head not to do that?

he is about 8 years old. it's a baddddd shot.

not sure who taught him that.
it's hard muscle memory for him now.
i tell him not to but each time he goes to hit ball even after telling him.. the next shot is straight away facing the fence-fence.

if the parents weren't watching.. i'd prob give him a punching/box glove and tell him to try right hook the ball to engrave/shorten the swing.

sounds fun in my head. but i don't think parents want to pay money and see that.
if you're dead set on shortening the backswing (though i think it will happen naturally as the kid hits with faster/spinnier players)... things i've done:
* play entire drills where i'm not allowed to step behind the baseline (play everything in no-man's land)
* hit more swinging volleys (even at the baseline)
* play games that promote hitting topspin approach shots from aroudn the service line
* hit on the rise
* feed balls standing close to the back fence (use fence to prevent too big a backswing)
* etc...
in general put the kid in scenarios where they have less time to react between the bounce and contact... at least those things helped me to take smaller and smaller backswing/loop

that said i'd lvoe to have a fh as good as anyone on the wta
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
As others mentioned, I don't think there is anything wrong with either a takeback a bit behind, or dropping on edge inherintly, but you can reduce both if desired. Stand against the net and have the kid hitting forehands with his arm over. This prevents being able to take the racquet back behind the hitting side. Start with shadow practice swings, then introduce drop feed balls. It is very rudementary for starting so a lot of work happens after they start to get the feel for that.
 
I don't use the term WTA forehand. I call it hitting like a girl. I ask my son do you want to hit like a girl? No? OK this is the way to do it.
 
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srimes

Rookie
A good WTA FH would stop most adults. Surely it would drop a child. Why would you ask such a terrible question anyways?
 

HitMoreBHs

Semi-Pro
As a surgeon with research interests in biomechanics, I would recommend this video for a sound explanation of how anatomy and build influences the pattern of stroke execution. Also why male juniors will naturally make the transition once they are physically able to.
(Suggest playback at 1.5x speed)

 

smashlob2

New User
What color balls do you have him on? The reason I ask is because the low compression balls give the more competitive kids more time than they need imo. It's part of the reason I aggressively push the better kids through to yellow despite all the USPTA and USTA claims to the contrary. Still, at this age I care more about coordination and control than I do getting into the nitty gritty of technique. You risk burning a kid out if you focus too much on changing something that works.

Introduce the ATP concepts you want to him, as another way of hitting a forehand, something new, something different. Let him try it out and play with it (this is where time with a wall shines.) I would approach it that way instead of a right/wrong scenario, because it isn't wrong.
 

onehandbh

Legend
personally my takeback has gotten shorter and shorter over the years, as i started hitting with folks who hit with more spin/pace... in general i do tend to stand near the baseline if i can.
I'm the opposite. I'm trying to increase the size of my takeback and shoulder turn /prep.
Also moving farther back behind the baseline. I usually play on a slow hardcourt and am finding that having more time to take a bigger cut seems to work better for me, especially on service returns.
 

nyta2

Professional
I'm the opposite. I'm trying to increase the size of my takeback and shoulder turn /prep.
Also moving farther back behind the baseline. I usually play on a slow hardcourt and am finding that having more time to take a bigger cut seems to work better for me, especially on service returns.
thiem agrees
agassi disagrees
:p

shoulder turn remains the same for all my strokes...
i can still take a biggish takeback (atp-style, ie doesn't go behind), but my issue was i didn't have the feel/timing to shorten the stroke when i needed to (eg. half volleys, hitting on the rise, etc...)
 

onehandbh

Legend
thiem agrees
agassi disagrees
:p

shoulder turn remains the same for all my strokes...
i can still take a biggish takeback (atp-style, ie doesn't go behind), but my issue was i didn't have the feel/timing to shorten the stroke when i needed to (eg. half volleys, hitting on the rise, etc...)
By bigger backswing, I mean extending my arm more at the takeback/pat-the-dog stage, not moving it (rotating it) behind my body.
 

eah123

Rookie
Agree with everything said here about giving him time to develop and evolve his forehand naturally. In addition, no need to push/force semi-western vs. eastern forehand grip, although full western and continental should be avoided.
 

srimes

Rookie
Why do people keep saying that boys will "naturally" switch to ATP forehand when they get older? This is so not true.
I did. Was taught the traditional, linear stroke when I was little. No real forehand coaching since I was 8. Just lots of hitting and getting a feel for the game. Now I have a compact stroke.

I can't tell you exactly when it changed as it wasn't a conscious decision.
 

HitMoreBHs

Semi-Pro
Why do people keep saying that boys will "naturally" switch to ATP forehand when they get older? This is so not true.
I taught both my sons how to play from age 5. As expected, they initially had WTA style FHs until around age 12/13 when they grew in physical size and strength, whereupon they naturally transitioned to ATP style FHs.

It wouldn’t have bothered me one bit if they had not, since my focus was always on quality of shot and effectiveness rather than the actual stroke mechanics they used. I accept that not everyone naturally makes the transition.
 

Rubens

Hall of Fame
I agree that most boys who advance to higher levels eventually progress to more of an 'ATP' style forehand, but I wonder if this is mostly due to them watching/emulating ATP players over the years. The same reason most females have a 'wta' forehand, a 2-handed backhand and an ineffective/ugly serve.
 
The thing is ... would you take the chance that they will naturally move to ATP or would you play an active role and teach them the ATP. Personally I would take the latter approach. Over coming the muscle memory is not an easy task. I prefer teaching the right strokes and having the right grips from the beginning and be done with it. Its not easy and you risk turning them off but with persistence, patience and motivation tricks, it can be done. But as a parent, you are always wondering when they can’t hit one particular shot...is it a technique thing or is it a physical thing. You might think ATP forehand can’t be taught to little kids...then one day you see a 7 year old doing it then you realize that it can be done. It’s this constant doubt that makes you hire a coach...
 

Dragy

Legend
I did. Was taught the traditional, linear stroke when I was little. No real forehand coaching since I was 8. Just lots of hitting and getting a feel for the game. Now I have a compact stroke.

I can't tell you exactly when it changed as it wasn't a conscious decision.
Do you have video of your FH hitting? Wonder how it looks.
 

morten

Hall of Fame
Sometimes the best way to motivate them is to use their language. It's wrong but it works better than candies and ice creams.
It's not their language it is your language(and us other adults) and it is very descriminating against woman. It belongs to the past. So it is either ice cream or this? I am shocked. It is that kind of attitude that makes boys grow up with the same ancient attitude. You are lucky there are not many woman on this forum.
 
It's not their language it is your language(and us other adults) and it is very descriminating against woman. It belongs to the past. So it is either ice cream or this? I am shocked. It is that kind of attitude that makes boys grow up with the same ancient attitude. You are lucky there are not many woman on this forum.
If she is a girl and I am teaching her WTA forehand, I would ask her the opposite question. Whatever it takes to motivate them. Ask any 6 year olds if they like the opposite sex, they will say ewww.
 

srimes

Rookie
Do you have video of your FH hitting? Wonder how it looks.
Not handy, sorry. Took a little video 7 years ago as I was just getting back into playing and I was appalled at how bad it looked compared to TV that I haven't bothered since lol. I should take new video just to see.
 

BallChaser

New User
How about target practice? Your child scores points by hitting into a target area. Generally, kids don’t like compacting their backswings because they lose power at first. But once they realize they can contact the ball more easily, place the ball much better and get rewarded for that, they will stick to compact swing.
Another game to encourage compact swing would be feeding fast balls. Kids score when they can hit back the fed balls.
 
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eah123

Rookie
Interesting debate. In my experience working with my girl, I taught her the WTA style forehand when she was 8 years old and doing red ball clinic. Mechanically, it is simpler to teach and easier to learn. Semi-western grip. She is now 12 and hits with an ATP style forehand, close to Nexgen style. I will try to get some video so you can see. I never taught her or transitioned her to this style, it’s something she developed on her own.

That doesn’t mean that there was never work done with the forehand. Specifically, things I focused on was 1) early preparation (unit turn) 2) making sure the elbow was away from the body during the unit turn 3) swinging inside out / away from the body for power and low to high with over shoulder finish to create top spin 4) contacting in front 5) extending the left hand to the side during the backswing and catching the racquet with the left hand to ensure proper shoulder rotation.

I believe if you focus on the most important elements of the forehand, which are not specific to WTA or ATP style, the kid will figure out on their own how to do it the most efficient way for their body.
 
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