I hit my best forehands when defensive, wtf is wrong?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by perfmode, Sep 24, 2004.

  1. perfmode

    perfmode Hall of Fame

    Apr 17, 2004
    I seem to hit my best flat forehands when I am pushed back off the baseline defensively and on my back foot. When I hit this shot, I am usually leaned back and on my rear foot with my legs bent then I push off of that foot and onto my front foot but my entire body travels backwards. This gives me a really consistent, deep, flat stroke and have have so much control over it. The problem with this is that I want to be able to hit like that when on the offensive. I can't get this glitch out of my stroke though and I don't know what's up.

    The problem arises when I am on the offensive and just inside the baseline on a shorter ball. That shot is more inconsistent because for some reason, I find myself starting off on my front foot and leaning too far forward. Do you understand my problem? It's really starting to get to me and I don't really know how to fix it.

    I don't have any problem on my topspin, rally balls. It's just my flatter balls that I usually hit for winners.

    Here's my profile:

    Age: 16
    Rating: 4.0
    Racquet: HPS 6.1
    Height: 6'0"
    Weight: 165#
    Forehand: Topspin rally ball, Flat, low winner
    Backhand: Flat, low one-hander

    I'm going to take some vids of me hitting but I don't know how I am going to upload them or where I can host them.
  2. joe sch

    joe sch Legend

    Feb 19, 2004
    Hotel CA
    Sorry about this reply, it was not appropriate to your post, just made me think about why counter punchers can often produce great defensive shots under attack ?

    I often wonder why counter punchers do not play offensive with the great shots that they are capable of hitting but it just seems to be thier mindset. Probably sorta like being a type A vs type B personality. I have also noticed that aggressive players are often front runners thus play very well when ahead and dictating the play but when attacked thier offensive skills often dissapear. These scenarios demonstate why you really should be an allcourt player and capable of being offensive or playing good defense. I am naturally an offensive player so when I practice and play baseline games, I like to practice my defense and try to retrieve as many balls as possible pusing them back deep and hoping to force an error.
  3. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

    Feb 19, 2004
    Yes I understand - you're off balance and feel sometimes like you got to do something with the ball at the last second.

    On short balls you have to get in QUICKER then you think. However, the quickness should not overtake your ability to stay in balance. It is sometimes called getting a jump on the ball.

    I don't know if you have ever heard of the 5 System.

    It is something the USPTA tests us on. The 5 system covers 5 topics with 5 points in those topics. One of those topics talks about how much backswing you need on the short ball.

    The court in this example is divided 5 ways with the dividing line running from alley to alley. So the first few feet of the court from the net is one part and it works its way back to the last part being the deep baseline area. As a player moves in, the key is to shorten the backswing.

    It is called "measuring" the backswing. This phrase "take a measured backswing" comes from the thought that each section of the court dictates a certain amount of backswing. If you were volleying at the net you would have little to no backswing, as you moved back in to the next section (mid-volley or long volley) there would be a tad more backswing and so on to the groundstroke with a full backswing.

    The other area is thinking to much about the stroke or the shot. You need to take your measured backswing according to where you are on the court and followthrough. So you must be relaxed and not tighten up and "check" the swing. If you check the swing the racquet head speed slows down and up goes the errors.

    Timing your footwork to work with your swing takes practice. In past posts, I have mentioned that if you mentally take the right shot but miss it, this is easier to fix then the mental part of the game if you chose the wrong shot to begin with.

    So all you have to do is setup the simulation of what you're doing to learn what you need to do with your racquet, swing, and footwork. Getting them to work together. It is never ending. There are always things to work on in this game.

    The other thing is you shouldn't be going for the lines on these shots in case you are. This is to risky from this far back, you still need to get closer to the net. I am assuming the other player is a fine player or a player with good footspeed and anticipation. Use this ball to set up the next ball. Think of this ball as the placement ball and then go in to hit the winner.

    Let me know if you need further explanation.
  4. TennsDog

    TennsDog Hall of Fame

    Feb 26, 2004
    I tend to have a similar problem, although I don't think it is as extreme. My best shots come when I am defensive, particularly on the run. I can hit some great topspin angles and passing shots when I am pulled out of position and forced to do something in one shot. I make a lot of errors when I have time to setup and <i>think</i>. Reacting is best, but not possible when playing a pusher or just not power player. This is why I play better tennis against better players with power. My coach (and most everyone) says not to go for a lot when you are on defense, but it seems to me that when you are in that poor of position then you need to do something somewhat spectacular in order to have any chance at winning the point. Otherwise, if you just push it back, even deep, then you are still out of position and they just need a decent shot to win. It is like handing them the point. It is one thing to go for a shot too early or one that isn't there, but if you have no choice and see a sliver of a shot, then it seems like you should.

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