It’s time to face my problem...

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
The vid in post #46 posted by @Shroud shows my old fh and no longer that relevant. I rebuilt it from scratch during the lockdown. The current fh is in post #22 above, and is quite a different technique that I switched to in May 2020 and much better - it lets me play 5.0 baseline level on hardcourt, but fails on clay - sorry I don’t have any other footage.

Lots of posters here have seen the old version in person, only two so far have seen the new and improved one.
would love to see the new one!

FWIW man I had a terrible fh and it took years of being all over the place. Horrible it was. Go see John Yandell. He fixed mine in one lesson. I have been trying to undo that lesson for years and have not managed to do it!! It was well worth it.
 
I had a meniscus tear in May. Took immediately the arthroscopic surgery and had to spend 2 months of rehab. Imagine i am an athletic built 45 yr old with no other myoskeletal issues. I decided at that period to address many of the physio related imbalances i knew i had and also take advantage of the rehab time to undergo a strengthening of the legs program. Despite having gone down the rabbit hole of perpetual specs tweaking etc (i ended up using at the same time 5-6 racquets jn my bag for different ambient conditions/ court type ) i took this off my mind as i could not use a racquet. 2 months later i hit the courts.... first session and i felt totally different. Now 6 months later i maintained a certain weekly regime of both court time and physio and currently play best tennis of my life. And I do that because I am most of the time correctly prepared (at the right place in court and in time) to make the shot and that is because I have the legs required to support the legwork/footwork needed in doing so. This is at least what has worked for me and only my 2 cents.

Reach early the place you want to be on court, and everything else will follow....
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Copy the instructions below with videos, especially compilations & model players, and insert your stroke video. For best comparisons, use clear high speed videos. Find model techniques that you like. Edit in new videos.

Compare your strokes one above the other & single frame in this post. To single frame on Youtube use the period & comma keys. Always select the video using alt key + left mouse click, otherwise the video starts playing. You can go to full screen and come back down and the video stays on the same frame. To use Vimeo, single frame by holding down the SHIFT KEY and using the ARROW KEYS. Compare similar impacts regarding impact height and pace, avoid pressure shots, avoid low intensity practice shots. List all stroke technique differences. Record the time scale of the impacts, example, 'backhand at 4:32', to identify the particular stroke clips being compared.

Justine Henin APAS display.

<<< OP, PASTE YOUR YOUTUBE STROKE VIDEO HERE>>>


For the Justine Henin APAS video, notice especially the separation angle between the pelvis line (a line between the two hips) and the line between the two shoulders. The rib cage appears to move with the shoulders line.

Warning - The APAS video shows the lines between the two shoulders and the two hips move independently and involve twisting of the spine and trunk, a major power source. Twisting may be too stressful for some spines and trunks, take care and also limit your range of motion.

Don't want to post on the forum? If you know a forum member you can use Conversation to send this to them and it will not be posted publicly on the forum. You cannot send a Conversation message to yourself.
 
Last edited:

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
I had a meniscus tear in May. Took immediately the arthroscopic surgery and had to spend 2 months of rehab. Imagine i am an athletic built 45 yr old with no other myoskeletal issues. I decided at that period to address many of the physio related imbalances i knew i had and also take advantage of the rehab time to undergo a strengthening of the legs program. Despite having gone down the rabbit hole of perpetual specs tweaking etc (i ended up using at the same time 5-6 racquets jn my bag for different ambient conditions/ court type ) i took this off my mind as i could not use a racquet. 2 months later i hit the courts.... first session and i felt totally different. Now 6 months later i maintained a certain weekly regime of both court time and physio and currently play best tennis of my life. And I do that because I am most of the time correctly prepared (at the right place in court and in time) to make the shot and that is because I have the legs required to support the legwork/footwork needed in doing so. This is at least what has worked for me and only my 2 cents.

Reach early the place you want to be on court, and everything else will follow....
Luckily, my wheels are still the strength of my game.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Update:

Yesterday, I decided to tweak spec of my shortened UT to a spec that would promote a different fh technique with lag lock. I stripped off some gorilla weight from above the top of the handle to get to 20.6 mgr/I. Felt ok using lag on shadow swings in my room.

I kept my other UT, which is still at std length, setup up at 20.8 mgr/i close to my usual spec that promotes fixed wrist fh with control (which as explained above, works great for me on hard court, as demonstrated in post #22, but fails miserably for me on clay).

Got to courts early and did some wall tuning. I ended up stripping some more weight from top of handle to get my full lag-lock fh feeling comfortable on wall (smith court cement surface at wall). Mgr/I probably down to 20.4 or so.

To be continued (remarkable story)...
 
Last edited:

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
So yesterday I was matched up against young 5.0 teaching pro. His game is built around solid clay-court style forehand with semi-western grip. He’s especially good at balls in high strike zone around head level, and likes to dictate corner to corner with heavy balls. I’d already lost to him twice already in past two weeks. He plays style that I match up well against on hard court, but he has improved his consistency of his forehand weapon, and on clay I was finding my forehand handicap too much to overcome last week.

In warm-up, testing out my my new lag-lock style fh technique, I was a bit of a mess on mini. He’s offering advice. “mas topspin” ( one of the few English words he knows). Even motioning me to net to explain how I should be dropping racquet head lower below ball.

In baseline warm-up, I was spraying a few long. He’s still telling me to swing up more. But after a dozen balls or so (I’m running around a few bh to hit more fh practice), my fh starts to click a bit. I think I surprise him by suddenly stepping up the heaviness of my fh and blasting a few. Warm-up serves feel ok. The spec with lighter handle mass makes it easier to hit heavy spin serves with good explosive bounce.

We start match, and I feel immediately that my fh is already a step improved. I can do more with it. I even nail nice pass DTL on second ball. He holds to open... I bounce back and get up 2-1. But I’m not fully comfortable with fh yet, and my bh is also clearly not tuned as well as usual, so I can’t take risks with.

I get down 3-2. My instincts tell me I need a little more mass in hoop. I add a gram of gorilla at 11-and-2 spot on changeover. It messes up my serve, and I go down 4-2.

But then something amazing happened. First, the extra gram at tip fixed my 2hb issues. Now I could really hit heavy and accurate with my 2hb. And now the extra mass cleaned up the feel on my fh. I was still not fully confident, but I could take heavy low risk cuts high above net, and the heaviness of my fh was giving him trouble.

To be continued...
 
Last edited:

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Down 4-2, I was finding my new lag-lock fh was much better adapted for the clay bounces. I no longer had to fear his heavy fh.

I could easily defend his shots and use the heavy mass in the head of my racquet to send a safe spinny heavy ball back.

I started to win the majority of the rallies. I could simply rally and play safe, and my advantage in effective mass would usually pay off, as he was having trouble when I could get my groundies to land deep. I could feel the momentum shifting in my favor.

He started playing to my fh more, but it didn’t matter. I came back to take the lead 5-4. Unfortunately I didn’t hold to close him out. I was up a break 6-5 serving at deuce when he called time.

It was weird feeling to be outplaying a 5.0 player in forehand rallies on red clay, when he grew up training on the surface since age 12, and I was using completely new technique and new racquet spec for first time in my life. Having a heavier racquet was huge edge - enough to make up for my untrained form.

My UT was set up with about 365sw, but at 26.75” length, it’s equivalent to 375sw std length as far as effective mass. My opponent was using stock Extreme.

Downside: I butchered volley opportunities at net. Couldn’t just punch volleys accurately like I can with my heavier-handle spec. I would need to drill new volley technique to apply torque to get head moving before contact.
 

Fintft

Legend
So yesterday I was matched up against young 5.0 teaching pro. His game is built around solid clay-court style forehand with semi-western grip. He’s especially good at balls in high strike zone around head level, and likes to dictate corner to corner with heavy balls. I’d already lost to him twice already in past two weeks. He plays style that I match up well against on hard court, but he has improved his consistency of his forehand weapon, and on clay I was finding my forehand handicap too much to overcome last week.

In warm-up, testing out my my new lag-lock style fh technique, I was a bit of a mess on mini. He’s offering advice. “mas topspin” ( one of the few English words he knows). Even motioning me to net to explain how I should be dropping racquet head lower below ball.

In baseline warm-up, I was spraying a few long. He’s still telling me to swing up more. But after a dozen balls or so (I’m running around a few bh to hit more fh practice), my fh starts to click a bit. I think I surprise him by suddenly stepping up the heaviness of my fh and blasting a few. Warm-up serves feel ok. The spec with lighter handle mass makes it easier to hit heavy spin serves with good explosive bounce.

We start match, and I feel immediately that my fh is already a step improved. I can do more with it. I even nail nice pass DTL on second ball. He holds to open... I bounce back and get up 2-1. But I’m not fully comfortable with fh yet, and my bh is also clearly not tuned as well as usual, so I can’t take risks with.

I get down 3-2. My instincts tell me I need a little more mass in hoop. I add a gram of gorilla at 11-and-2 spot on changeover. It messes up my serve, and I go down 4-2.

But then something amazing happened. First, the extra gram at tip fixed my 2hb issues. Now I could really hit heavy and accurate with my 2hb. And now the extra mass cleaned up the feel on my fh. I was still not fully confident, but I could take heavy low risk cuts high above net, and the heaviness of my fh was giving him trouble.

To be continued...
Heavy racquet + ATP FH ftw!
 

AnyPUG

Professional
Update:

Yesterday, I decided to tweak spec of my shortened UT to a spec that would promote a different fh technique with lag lock. I stripped off some gorilla weight from above the top of the handle to get to 20.6 mgr/I. Felt ok using lag on shadow swings in my room.

I kept my other UT, which is still at std length, setup up at 20.8 mgr/i close to my usual spec that promotes fixed wrist fh with control (which as explained above, works great for me on hard court, as demonstrated in post #22, but fails miserably for me on clay).

Got to courts early and did some wall tuning. I ended up stripping some more weight from top of handle to get my full lag-lock fh feeling comfortable on wall (smith court cement surface at wall). Mgr/I probably down to 20.4 or so.

To be continued (remarkable story)...
An insensitive and politically incorrect comment on your vids (#22 and the old one) - the FH I saw is really just a short jab with a hitch after the racket drop. I suggest make it a full on swing . And stop messing with the racket spec FGS ! $30 wal-mart racket will work okay if the shot is really a complete swing instead of a little punch and a jab.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Heavy racquet + ATP FH ftw!
Well... I think I will try to stick with this new racquet paradigm (and new technique paradigm forced by it) for a while and see how it goes.

I still need to test how it works against the better players in my hitting rotation who are at least a level above my usual level.

The other question for me is whether continuing to practice this technique will solidify the new muscle memory pathways and let me reach a higher level.

Also, I’m definitely sacrificing net game performance, but on this red stuff, it feels like having a ‘clay style’ fh is more critical to winning than a competent net game.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Update:
I have the ex-top-1000 guy with huge fh for tonight’s match-up.

I’m not that confident that I’ll be able to access the new lag-lock technique two consecutive days... I will probably get humbled... but we’ll see... My arm might also be fatigued after using unfamiliar weighting last night.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Update:
Tuesday’s match against ex-pro rained out.

Played again yesterday with the lag-lock promoting spec, again against the same 5.0 pro as Monday.

After measuring the racquet in my room, I was surprised to find that mgr/I was actually about 20.7.
361g 33cm 362sw
This is roughly same spec I used for a few months on the red clay in 2019, so maybe that’s why I was able to play at decent level with it.

Yesterday, in warmup, I focused on finding the lagged wrist position in advance in the takeback (like Djokovic and Moya). I felt pretty good in warmup. Blasting pretty big balls and keeping most of them in.

But then match starts. It’s tougher conditions. 5pm start in the sun. 85F. Humid. I played strong opening game to break, but then I sort of fell off the rails. It felt like I was spraying a lot of balls long. And when I tried to go back to my old chip fh return, it wasn’t there - the new spec seemed to pop these too high and I kept missing these long (normally I go a whole set without missing a single fh return when I use the the chip strategy). I dropped the first set 6-1 in a flurry of dumb risky misses, usually missing long. I think sometimes I wasn’t fully finding the lag lock. I also still felt sloppy at net again.

But then we start the second set, and my fh started to click. I discovered that I could take a full cut on second serve return and take control of the point with the heaviness of my ball. I played to safer targets. I got on roll and won second set 6-0. I just overpowered him. My weight of shot on my forehand was clearly a lot heavier than I’m used to hitting, and on the bad bounce clay this was a huge weapon.

So this was a mixed bag day.

Weird thing... my instincts tell me I need more mass in the head. If I’m going to compromise my usual crisp slice and dice control game to embrace the heavy ball claycourt baseline game, I need to go all in. I might experiment with some setups with sw up in the 370s and 380s.
 
Update:
Tuesday’s match against ex-pro rained out.

Played again yesterday with the lag-lock promoting spec, again against the same 5.0 pro as Monday.

After measuring the racquet in my room, I was surprised to find that mgr/I was actually about 20.7.
361g 33cm 362sw
This is roughly same spec I used for a few months on the red clay in 2019, so maybe that’s why I was able to play at decent level with it.

Yesterday, in warmup, I focused on finding the lagged wrist position in advance in the takeback (like Djokovic and Moya). I felt pretty good in warmup. Blasting pretty big balls and keeping most of them in.

But then match starts. It’s tougher conditions. 5pm start in the sun. 85F. Humid. I played strong opening game to break, but then I sort of fell off the rails. It felt like I was spraying a lot of balls long. And when I tried to go back to my old chip fh return, it wasn’t there - the new spec seemed to pop these too high and I kept missing these long (normally I go a whole set without missing a single fh return when I use the the chip strategy). I dropped the first set 6-1 in a flurry of dumb risky misses, usually missing long. I think sometimes I wasn’t fully finding the lag lock. I also still felt sloppy at net again.

But then we start the second set, and my fh started to click. I discovered that I could take a full cut on second serve return and take control of the point with the heaviness of my ball. I played to safer targets. I got on roll and won second set 6-0. I just overpowered him. My weight of shot on my forehand was clearly a lot heavier than I’m used to hitting, and on the bad bounce clay this was a huge weapon.

So this was a mixed bag day.

Weird thing... my instincts tell me I need more mass in the head. If I’m going to compromise my usual crisp slice and dice control game to embrace the heavy ball claycourt baseline game, I need to go all in. I might experiment with some setups with sw up in the 370s and 380s.
Make sure u check your dampener--is it rated for south of the Equator?--it's the details that will kill u.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Make sure u check your dampener--is it rated for south of the Equator?--it's the details that will kill u.
You can laugh... but when you are blessed with 3.5 fh talent like me, your only chance to win when competing against 5.0+ players is to find advantages in the details. It doesn’t always work, but sometimes it does!
 

heninfan99

Talk Tennis Guru
The vid in post #46 posted by @Shroud shows my old fh and no longer that relevant. I rebuilt it from scratch during the lockdown. The current fh is in post #22 above, and is quite a different technique that I switched to in May 2020 and much better - it lets me play 5.0 baseline level on hardcourt, but fails on clay - sorry I don’t have any other footage.

Lots of posters here have seen the old version in person, only two so far have seen the new and improved one.
In both versions your elbow is very close to you your torso. Some space there and the old pat the dog in shadow swings might help a lot.

I don't think it would take much to change to that Macci style of forehand since you're already on the outside with your racquet with your current technique.
 
Last edited:

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
They cheat you. You don't want to add anything to your SW of 362 if heaviness is your priority. You actually could drop to 350 or lower, particularly taking into account long misses.
But you misunderstand the goal... the goal is not to beat lowly 5.0s... the goal is to level-hop to beat players above my level who have trained technique since they were 6 years old. I have no chance against them with my untrained fh at 350sw... but at 380? Maybe?

Another match against ex-WTA pro this afternoon.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Compare your strokes one above the other & single frame in this post. To single frame on Youtube use the period & comma keys. Always select the video using alt key + left mouse click, otherwise the video starts playing. You can go to full screen and come back down and the video stays on the same frame. To use Vimeo, single frame by holding down the SHIFT KEY and using the ARROW KEYS. Compare similar impacts regarding impact height and pace, avoid pressure shots, avoid low intensity practice shots. List all stroke technique differences. Record the time scale of the impacts, example, 'backhand at 4:32', to identify the particular stroke clips being compared.

Justine Henin APAS display.
---- substitute a two hand backhand compilation for this one hand backhand compilation.

For the Justine Henin APAS video, notice especially the separation angle between the pelvis line (a line between the two hips) and the line between the two shoulders. The rib cage appears to move with the shoulders line.

Warning - The APAS video shows the lines between the two shoulders and the two hips move independently and involve twisting of the spine and trunk, a major power source. Twisting may be too stressful for some spines and trunks, take care and also limit your range of motion.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------


You hold your upper arm close to the side of your chest and appear to do internal shoulder rotation (ISR) for racket head speed. If the upper arm is not held there ISR will move the racket head in other directions.

Look for that sub-motion among ATP players that have bent elbow forehands.

To me that looks stressful for the elbow, possibly Golfer's Elbow injury. Golfer's Elbow injury has been associated with forehands and serves. I have no medical or sport training.
 
Last edited:

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Compare your strokes one above the other & single frame in this post. To single frame on Youtube use the period & comma keys. Always select the video using alt key + left mouse click, otherwise the video starts playing. You can go to full screen and come back down and the video stays on the same frame. To use Vimeo, single frame by holding down the SHIFT KEY and using the ARROW KEYS. Compare similar impacts regarding impact height and pace, avoid pressure shots, avoid low intensity practice shots. List all stroke technique differences. Record the time scale of the impacts, example, 'backhand at 4:32', to identify the particular stroke clips being compared.

Justine Henin APAS display.

For the Justine Henin APAS video, notice especially the separation angle between the pelvis line (a line between the two hips) and the line between the two shoulders. The rib cage appears to move with the shoulders line.

Warning - The APAS video shows the lines between the two shoulders and the two hips move independently and involve twisting of the spine and trunk, a major power source. Twisting may be too stressful for some spines and trunks, take care and also limit your range of motion.
But that vid is not me. It’s some random ex-ATP pro from San Diego I think.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
But that vid is not me. It’s some random ex-ATP pro from San Diego I think.
Post #22 video is too poor quality. Do you have a high speed camera?

Post #58 has instructions for copying videos and inserting your forehand video.

Selecting & copying the whole post #58 does not pick up the videos, you have to click and copy each video individually and paste the Youtube links into your reply.

(the hidden agenda is to get forum posters to use and post video comparisons)
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
What do you mean hidden???
If I were you, I'd be looking at ATP bent elbow forehands to see if any have their upper arms on the side of their chests. It's time to face your problem.

Please keep track of the percentages.

My personal experience - As a USTA 4.0 captain, a strong singles player on my team used a similar very bent elbow technique for racket head speed. I told him that it looked stressful and asked about elbow issues. He did not complain of any arm issues.

I played a USTA doubles match against a player with that very bent elbow, near 90 degrees. He was having elbow pain, I believe it was on the Golfer's Elbow side.
 
Last edited:
Top