Me playing tennis.

It seems as if your racket head rotates on impact maybe from hits high or low relative to the center line of the racket. You hit some very high forehands. ? I don't know the stats on pro players for how much and often the racket head sharply rotates. Compare this issue for you forehand.

See forehand at 4:17 and look at your ball watching for each forehand. Are you looking consistently at the ball? Look at your head position for the forehands, it varies too much. Compare your head positions to high level pro forehands with bent elbow.

It seems in some forehands from how your head points that you might be looking through the right frame of your glasses to see impact. Forehand at 4:17. After each shot ask yourself where on the racket face you contacted the ball. If you don't have much of an idea you may not be seeing impact well enough. Do you often know where you struck the ball for your best shots?

If you watch pro players you often see a quick head motion just before impact. Watch videos and look carefully at head motion before impact. There is variety. Djokovic has a bent elbow forehand but does not look as intensely or consistently as Federer (straight arm forehand). Federer has a straight arm forehand and looks very carefully and consistently at the ball, a model for looking at the ball.

D. Knudson in his tennis reference said that most players break off looking at the incoming ball at some point and switch to looking at the impact area. You have to look carefully to see the quick head turn.

Federer is the model for head held still and eyes on the ball, but he has a straight elbow forehand. He may also look through the back of racket strings to view impact as some camera angles show? Try Federer's head positioning. The ball is well gone when he moves his eyes and head. Your head seemed to be still but maybe there is an issue on your where your head points, consistency.

I had some instruction to keep my eye on the ball. One drill was to not look at the struck ball until it bounced on the other side of the net. It taught better looking at the ball. If you saw the ball crossing the net you failed on that stroke of the drill.

Can you wear contacts? That would take care of any issues with the frame of the glasses getting in your line of sight. Another advantage is that contacts don't fog up.

What should the racket face angle look like for a forehand top spin drive? Closed 5-10 degrees. The best information and display technique is on Tennisspeed in a long series on the forehand. Here is part #9.

This Tennisspeed display shows racket face closed angle: 1) before impact/yellow, 2) at impact/green and 3) after impact/red. The path of the racket can be seen up and forward. Probably the red tilt is from an off racket center line impact. Look at the racket face turn for your forehands.


How closed the racket face is affects the height of the ball trajectory. The ball cups into the string bed so the stroke height is not simply related to the face tilt, but the result can be reproducible with training. Off center line impacts when the racket shaft is horizontal, turn the racket face and affects the height is some way that I have not seen explained or measured. The better players control that angle by looking at the ball and using a controlled tilt to the racket face at impact.

Do you use high speed video for feedback on your strokes? As one goal try to get the information shown in the Tennisspeed picture above.

I recently bought a used Casio FH100 camera for under $100 on Xbay. It has a very fast shutter speed, down to 25 microseconds, small video file sizes and shows all details of tennis strokes.
 
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ontologist

New User
From my and my friends' experience, you would probably be best off playing for a low-mid D3 team where you have a chance to play 5-6 on the starting roster your freshmen year. You want to be able to get matchplay, but also have incentive to work hard and move up the ladder as your college year progresses. Ranked D3 teams are tougher than people think, and even unranked teams or low-ranked teams often have their 6 player as at least a low 10, often much higher. It's tough competition out there. I know you've picked schools already, but if I were you, I would focus on many of the D3 schools in the mid west with good academic programs.
 

jm1980

G.O.A.T.
Yea your self assessment is correct, your forehand is unstable and need a lot of change to make it better.

I can’t really give good feedback from watching the video as it is well known that video changes the perspection and also POV and frame rate will also affect actual ball speed.

I would say that you have good instinct and that shows in your handling of some nasty balls that kick into you.

however you often try to overcompensate by tightening up and your motion becomes very rigid and that throw off your aim and feel completely.

I think it might be that are not prepared or maybe you think hitting power with power,either way I think training on being normal or finding the routine at any given speed is definitely something you should work on to improve your consistency.

I slightly disagree with the previous post I actually think your forehand is a lot more consistent than your backhand. Your backhand has glaring weaknesses
I'd like to see how stable your forehand would be if you were to play against a UTR 14
 

Liam Grennon

Semi-Pro
Watch the ball.
Why? Most pros do not "watch the ball" at contact. And I do watch the ball 95% of the time. Not a very big fan of one word / short phrase answers. We get it, ur smarter then everyone and you can simply watch somone hitting and solve all problems with your wisdom!

As a ball approaches the contact point, elite tennis players stop watching the ball.



I've been saying the same thing for quite a few years and often receive quite a bit of static for making the claim. Thanks for providing this additional resource that backs up my assertion. I have cited gaze control studies by Joan Vickers and others that discuss this. Vickers talks about the "Quiet Eye" technique for various sports.

In the past I've observed some high speed, slow-motion footage of Federer hitting a forehand and have noticed that his eyes (gaze) jump to the contact point slightly before the ball gets there. His eyes do not follow the ball all the way into his strings as many would suggest. His eyes lie in wait for the ball shortly before it arrives at his contact point.

Likewise, he does not attempt to follow the ball off his strings. He keep his head still with his eyes fixated on the contact point for all/most of his forward swing. This ensures that the swing path of his racket remains true. Moving of the head to sneak a peek at the ball or the opponent can adversely affect the swing path of the racket.

Following is an additional source that discuss gaze control with tennis strokes. Thist is a reprint of a journal article from Knudson and Kluka. I also provide an excerpt from that article.

http://sportsci.org/news/ferret/visionreview/visionreview.html

"In striking sports (baseball, tennis) teachers often use cues telling players watch the ball till it hits the bat/racket. Ball/bat collisions in baseball and softball only last 1 or 2 milliseconds ... It is unlikely that any athlete can consistently see the ball hit the bat. Batters cannot use smooth pursuit to track the ball to the point of impact, even in slow pitch softball(Watts & Bahill, 1990)! Coaches should develop attentional cues that do not ask athletes to concentrate on doing things that may not be possible. The cue "watch the ball hit your bat" could adversely affect performance by encouraging exaggerated head motion and less visual attention earlier in the trajectory of the ball."


Here is a journal article on gaze control for a tennis volley:

The Change of Gaze Behavior, Eye-Head Coordination...

"...it is required not only for the line of gaze to track the ball but also for the eye-head coordination to move toward the impact direction with stable alignment in advance. This implies that two visual systems (i.e., eye-head system and image-retina system) are needed in order to obtain information on the ball during the volley stroke..."
 

pencilcheck

Semi-Pro
Why? Most pros do not "watch the ball" at contact. And I do watch the ball 95% of the time. Not a very big fan of one word / short phrase answers. We get it, ur smarter then everyone and you can simply watch somone hitting and solve all problems with your wisdom!
That's a tennis coach way of saying "I don't know"
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
Your tennis looks fine to me.

I'm 30 minutes south of where you used to go to school and NH is definitely a challenging place if you want to play tennis and improve.

Since you already have offers, it seems like you're more in the phase of deciding on a school. And so you look at the schools to see if they have the programs that you're interested in, along with the type of school (liberal arts, engineering, research, technical) that would fit your long-term goals.

So you can set up a pros/cons table or weighted analysis of each school, including tennis, of course.
 
Why? Most pros do not "watch the ball" at contact.
I guess there is a fine line here, but I think you and @SystemicAnomaly are right. Most rec players can probably benefit from advice on how to track the ball correctly as well as not looking up too soon to follow their shot, but imo that's not the same thing as "watching the ball" and becomes less relevant to higher level players, in large part because they can hit a target without immediately looking up to check it.

Federer has a straight arm forehand and looks very carefully and consistently at the ball, a model for looking at the ball.
GIven your analytical background, I wonder why you think this. Federer is, practically speaking, the only player to hold his gaze on the contact zone for as long as he does, so rather than a model, wouldn't that make him an (THE) anomaly? As an exercise, how many other players ranked in the top 100 do you think replicate his behaviour? If 98 or 99 of the top 100 do what Djokovic does, and given how clean joker hits the ball when playing well, wouldn't that be a better model?? Keeping the head *still* at contact (and just after) is obviously important, but past that, it can create problems and even inhibit the body's natural rotation.

 
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SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Federer has a straight arm forehand and looks very carefully and consistently at the ball, a model for looking at the ball.
Not quite true. Federer fixates on his contact point, not the ball, during his contact phase. Close inspection reveals that he tracks the incoming ball for quite a while. However, (shortly before contact) his gaze gets to the contact point shortly before the ball does. This is an indication that he is no longer watching the ball. While the ball remain on the strings for a mere 4-5 ms, Roger's gaze remains on the CP quite a bit longer than that. Well into his follow-thru. Further evidence that he is not watching the ball.

Nadal does something similar. However he often does not turn his head quite as much to fixate at (or near) the CP. Quite a few images and (slow-mo) videos reveal that his eyes are directed to the CP even tho his head is not always facing the CP. Djokovic and Murray do not provide the best gaze model for many players. These 2 players manage to keep their swingpath true even tho they do not keep their heads still (quiet) quite as long as Roger or Rafa does. But players who attempt to emulate Novak or Andy will often throw off their swingpath in an effort to see where their own shot is going.

Roger and Rafa provide better models in this respect. For players who find Roger's head turn to extreme and too inhibiting might find Andre Agassi's gaze technique easier to emulate. He tracks the incoming ball but then fixate on a point somewhat forward of his CP before and after impact. Andre keep his head still for quite a while -- tho not quite as long as either Roger or Rafa. His forward fixation point means that he does not need to turn his head as much as Roger for his contact.
 

Liam Grennon

Semi-Pro
Your tennis looks fine to me.

I'm 30 minutes south of where you used to go to school and NH is definitely a challenging place if you want to play tennis and improve.

Since you already have offers, it seems like you're more in the phase of deciding on a school. And so you look at the schools to see if they have the programs that you're interested in, along with the type of school (liberal arts, engineering, research, technical) that would fit your long-term goals.

So you can set up a pros/cons table or weighted analysis of each school, including tennis, of course.
Sweet! Hows the weather treating you up there? You probably go to Longfellow (formerly Nashua Swim and Tennis)? Let me know if you ever want to hit, I come back for summer and all the normal holidays!
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
Sweet! Hows the weather treating you up there? You probably go to Longfellow (formerly Nashua Swim and Tennis)? Let me know if you ever want to hit, I come back for summer and all the normal holidays!
We had about 30 inches of snow from Sunday night to Tuesday afternoon. I spent 90 minutes clearing a roof of snow and ice last night. I imagine that you can relate to dealing with snow and ice.

Longfellow bought out Nashua Swim and Tennis recently but I don't know how recently and they have been improving and expanding the club. It still suffers from a difficult location (having to go under that narrow railroad bridge to get there). I do get my racquets strung there and a bunch of former hitting partners play there during the summer.

I play at the Merrimack YMCA during the off-season. Court time is $12/hour and there are no other clubs in the area that can touch that with the possible exception of the Goffstown YMCA.

I've taken a long break from tennis and only started hitting again early 2019. I'm working on getting my fitness back to what it was a few years ago.
 
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