Patting the Dog (FH question)

Alexrb

Semi-Pro
Hey guys, if someone has a f'd up looking Delpo take-back how would they go about trying the flip/pat the dog? Is it mostly grip? Something wrist/elbow related?

*I'm not saying Delpo's take back is messed up looking, saying mine is a crappy variation
 
D

Deleted member 771407

Guest
I think the best way to think about the take-back is to put less emphasis on the arm, and more on the rotation of your body. think about coiling with your upper body but relaxing your arm. As you coil by moving your left shoulder, most of your upper body is passive, and your left hand is turning the racket at the throat to help your right hand find your forehand grip. Your racket take back will automatically occur and be less pronounced than for someone like Del Potro.

Then when you have coiled, you start the forehand by opening your shoulders : you push on your right leg while while "pulling" from your left shoulder. A good way to picture it is imagining you pull on your left elbow towards the back fence. It is at this moment that you let gravity drop your racket in the pat the dog position for a fraction of a second. This is how you create the racket lag that makes the modern forehand so powerful ; when your shoulders open your entire upper body moves together : the left arm trunk and right arm. BUT because you let your wrist relaxed it will naturally fall and "lag" behind the rest of your upper body. When the rotation of your upper body is completed your hand and wrist will catch up and be catapulted further than the rest in your arm.

SO in short the secret is move your entire upper body as a unit and keep your wrist relaxed.
 

pencilcheck

Hall of Fame
It is also short contact point, I think a quick way to fix the Delpo take-back is to extend their contact point. One exercise I worked on with one of my friends to fix his takeback issue is very straightforward, keep telling him to hit the ball as if the ball is very very far away from him, that means no jamming and hitting with maximum distance from his body hotizontally. After awhile his body will adjust to rotation and instead of arming they will find the "pat the dog" takeback easier
 

shamaho

Professional
Hey guys, if someone has a f'd up looking Delpo take-back how would they go about trying the flip/pat the dog? Is it mostly grip? Something wrist/elbow related?

*I'm not saying Delpo's take back is messed up looking, saying mine is a crappy variation
immho "pat the dog" and Delpo FH (or even take-back) have no business together.....

Pat the dog is good for imparting spin on the ball, whereas Delpo's takeback is mostly for flat hitting or a very mild lift on the ball

nonetheless, you can try "pat the dog " immeditely before your foward movement begins ie. you took racket back , waited for the moment to start the strike on the ball (forward movement), that's when you pat the dog in a very short and quick "transition" from patting to "vertical" racket face to the incoming ball....
 

Alexrb

Semi-Pro
immho "pat the dog" and Delpo FH (or even take-back) have no business together.....

Pat the dog is good for imparting spin on the ball, whereas Delpo's takeback is mostly for flat hitting or a very mild lift on the ball

nonetheless, you can try "pat the dog " immeditely before your foward movement begins ie. you took racket back , waited for the moment to start the strike on the ball (forward movement), that's when you pat the dog in a very short and quick "transition" from patting to "vertical" racket face to the incoming ball....
Yeah wasn't trying to say they were related, was trying to find out what the major difference is between the two. Where in the process of the take back does Delpo no longer have the "pat" option, and what could he hypothetically do different at that point to get there?

I still think Delpo gets plenty of spin, but all my friends who have better FHs than I do get to that "pat" position whereas I don't. Not saying that's why my fh's worse (as Delpo proved you can hit a fh that way) but still am curious which way I like better.
 

Curiosity

Professional
Allow me to offer a different point of view: I think the "pat the dog" image is misleading and pointless. There is no dog. There is no patting. There are great forehand video examples in slow motion of Delpo, Fed, Tsisipas, et al available. They're worth viewing to see what they have in common, it seems to me. They all have the same ingredients in their forehand, just with slightly different mixes of the elements, either in extent or timing. Delpo, for example, takes his racquet back with some external rotation of the upper arm in the shoulder socket (ESR) already there. Cf. Federer or Tsisipas and others, who take it back with a good bit of (relative) internal rotation of the upper hitting arm in the shoulder socket (ISR). Delpo takes a bit more ESR just at the moment of first UB rotation, thus at first forward motion of the hitting shoulder/upper arm. Like everyone else, he lets the upper body (UB) drive the hitting upper arm into action, letting the UB power the arm until he's almost facing the net. As his UB forces the hitting upper arm into action he takes a bit more ESR, which rotates the racque back and down as his hitting arm goes foreward. What is unusual in Delpo's forehand (I think) is that take back with no ISR, but rather some ESR, already in his arm orientation, and his distinct downward swing of his off-side arm early on, very different. He progresses to ISR up and into contact just like almost everyone else.

I offer, at my own risk, an alternative visual for you: Think of what you do if you're standing in a swimming pool at the shallow end, say three feet of water, and you want to splash someone who is standing (relative to your initial ready position) a bit off to your right and forward of you. When you take the racquet back and down, your upper arm well out from your side and tensioned back lightly before final downward motion, just as you launch the stroke by simultaneously pulling in your off-side elbow (to transfer momentum to your UB) and extending your leg(s), think of scooping water to splash your friend. (I guess I'll call this bit "scoop water to splash your friend.") You'll roll your hitting upper arm back as you scoop the water, the arm motion powered, still, by your UB rotation. That roll-back is ESR, and will automatically tilt your racquet head back and down into so-called lag. From there do what everybody does: Hold that ESR, wrist laid back, until you shift into ISR, rotation counter-clockwise (if you look down at your hitting arm), wrist still laid back, up and through through contact. (But one thing at a time, so my goal here is just to substitute "scoop water to splash your friend" instead of the misbegotten "pat the dog.")

Feed back/critique welcome.
 
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shamaho

Professional
Allow me to offer a different point of view: I think the "pat the dog" image is misleading and pointless. There is no dog. There is no patting. There are great forehand video examples in slow motion of Delpo, Fed, Tsisipas, et al available. They're worth viewing to see what they have in common, it seems to me. They all have the same ingredients in their forehand, just with slightly different mixes of the elements, either in extent or timing. Delpo, for example, takes his racquet back with some external rotation of the upper arm in the shoulder socket (ESR) already there. Cf. Federer or Tsisipas and others, who take it back with a good bit of (relative) internal rotation of the upper hitting arm in the shoulder socket (ISR). Delpo takes a bit more ESR just at the moment of first UB rotation, thus at first forward motion of the hitting shoulder/upper arm. Like everyone else, he lets the upper body (UB) drive the hitting upper arm into action, letting the UB power the arm until he's almost facing the net. As his UB forces the hitting upper arm into action he takes a bit more ESR, which rotates the racque back and down as his hitting arm goes foreward. What is unusual in Delpo's forehand (I think) is that take back with no ISR, but rather some ESR, already in his arm orientation, and his distinct downward swing of his off-side arm early on, very different. He progresses to ISR up and into contact just like almost everyone else.

I offer, at my own risk, an alternative visual for you: Think of what you do if your standing in a swimming pool at the shallow end, say three feet of water, and you want to splash someone who is standing (relative to your initial ready position) a bit off to your right and forward of you. When you take the racquet back and down, your upper arm well out from your side and tensioned back lightly before final downward motion, just as you launch the stroke by simultaneously pulling in your off-side elbow (to transfer momentum to your UB) and extending your leg(s), think of scooping water to splash your friend. (I guess I'll call this bit "scoop water to splash your friend.") You'll roll your hitting upper arm back as you scoop the water, the arm motion powered, still, by your UB rotation. That roll-back is ESR, and will automatically tilt your racquet head back and down into so-called lag. From there do what everybody does: Hold that ESR, wrist laid back, until you shift into ISR, rotation counter-clockwise (if you look down at your hitting arm), wrist still laid back, up and through through contact. (But one thing at a time, so my goal here is just to substitute "scoop water to splash your friend" instead of the misbegotten "pat the dog.")

Feed back/critique welcome.
Sorry, that's waay to much to attempt visualize without some serious focus ;-) so I won't comment
 

shamaho

Professional
Where in the process of the take back does Delpo no longer have the "pat" option, and what could he hypothetically do different at that point to get there?
Delpo stops having that option the moment he starts moving his FH hand forward immediately AFTER the take back - also he doesn't quite need the "pat the dog" due to his height and long long limbs....

to visualize a very slow & elongated "pat the dog"... visualize Lendl's forehand, now the modern "pat the dog" is a much accelerated and compacted loop - that's another way to look at it....

but this doesn't lend itself to descriptions... betr watch a video in slo-mo and absorb it via osmosis... ;-) maybe I could recomend "Rick Maci" you tube video on "modern forehand" - it might help you.
 

Fxanimator1

Hall of Fame
I think the best way to think about the take-back is to put less emphasis on the arm, and more on the rotation of your body. think about coiling with your upper body but relaxing your arm. As you coil by moving your left shoulder, most of your upper body is passive, and your left hand is turning the racket at the throat to help your right hand find your forehand grip. Your racket take back will automatically occur and be less pronounced than for someone like Del Potro.

Then when you have coiled, you start the forehand by opening your shoulders : you push on your right leg while while "pulling" from your left shoulder. A good way to picture it is imagining you pull on your left elbow towards the back fence. It is at this moment that you let gravity drop your racket in the pat the dog position for a fraction of a second. This is how you create the racket lag that makes the modern forehand so powerful ; when your shoulders open your entire upper body moves together : the left arm trunk and right arm. BUT because you let your wrist relaxed it will naturally fall and "lag" behind the rest of your upper body. When the rotation of your upper body is completed your hand and wrist will catch up and be catapulted further than the rest in your arm.

SO in short the secret is move your entire upper body as a unit and keep your wrist relaxed.
I read through your description and it all sounded about like what happens. Unfortunately, that "feeling" does not translate well into words(even though yours are accurate) unless you've actually hit
a forehand in that effortless way, it's hard to imagine the correct feeling. But I liked your description.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
Reading comprehension isn't your forte I guess
I rule my kingdom of idiots with a steady but gentle hand.

Once you understand the gist of things you don't have to look in too much depth.

Every now and again someone comes through with actual good advice but it's rare and they don't last long. They either leave or the idiots drag them down to their level and beat them with experience.

J
 

oserver

Professional
It looks like this is a go back to past thing. Agassi and lots of WTA girls did/do this style of take back, looping through from backswing to forward swing. The following video shows that Agassi's "pat the dog" moment had 12-13MPH speed. Why anyone like to have a higher initial speed than necessary? Is it better to start with a near zero speed so you have more room to accelerate, as Federer and many other ATP players do?


This is exactly one of the difference between modern forehand and not so modern forehand. And some young players mistakenly think that they have some new weapons.
 
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J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
It looks like this is a go back to past thing. Agassi and lots of WTA girls did/do this style of take back, looping through from backswing to forward swing. The following video shows that Agassi's "pat the dog" moment had 12-13MPH speed. Why anyone like to have a higher initial speed than necessary? Is it better to start with a near zero speed so you have more room to accelerate, as Federer and many other ATP players do?


This is exactly one of the difference between modern forehand and not so modern forehand. And some young players mistakenly think that they have some new weapons.
On Cue!

J
 
D

Deleted member 771407

Guest
I rule my kingdom of idiots with a steady but gentle hand.

Once you understand the gist of things you don't have to look in too much depth.

Every now and again someone comes through with actual good advice but it's rare and they don't last long. They either leave or the idiots drag them down to their level and beat them with experience.

J
Ok then m'lord :rolleyes:
 
D

Deleted member 769694

Guest
TW, where 3.5s attempt to fix one of the most devastating forehands in the history of our sport.

Love you guys.

J
What ntrp level should you be to make the attempt? I personally dont listen to anyone unless they were 6.0 min.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
What ntrp level should you be to make the attempt? I personally dont listen to anyone unless they were 6.0 min.
Most people I listen to were ATP players, but some are/were much lower standard. It's not so much about your level as the quality of your knowledge.

But basically if you know a lot about something, or were any sort of professional you wouldn't go around giving advice to random bozos on the internet.

That wouldn't be fair to your real life clients who pay you actual money.

J
 

sredna42

Hall of Fame
TW, where 3.5s attempt to fix one of the most devastating forehands in the history of our sport.

Love you guys.

J
To be fair, I think the OP is trying to fix his own forehand, not Del Potro's.

I wonder who would win in a forehand slugfest, where you aren't allowed to hit a winner with a backhand. Just mano a mano 1980's action movie style.
Peak Fernando Gonzalez or Peak Del Potro
 
D

Deleted member 769694

Guest
But basically if you know a lot about something, or were any sort of professional you wouldn't go around giving advice to random bozos on the internet.

That wouldn't be fair to your real life clients who pay you actual money.

J
Thats how we differ i guess, some of the people here may no opportunity to get some tennis advice.

Why do you visit this section then? Its tips and instruction
 

sredna42

Hall of Fame
It looks like this is a go back to past thing. Agassi and lots of WTA girls did/do this style of take back, looping through from backswing to forward swing. The following video shows that Agassi's "pat the dog" moment had 12-13MPH speed. Why anyone like to have a higher initial speed than necessary? Is it better to start with a near zero speed so you have more room to accelerate, as Federer and many other ATP players do?


This is exactly one of the difference between modern forehand and not so modern forehand. And some young players mistakenly think that they have some new weapons.
That screencap gave me epilepsy
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
To be fair, I think the OP is trying to fix his own forehand, not Del Potro's.

I wonder who would win in a forehand slugfest, where you aren't allowed to hit a winner with a backhand. Just mano a mano 1980's action movie style.
Peak Fernando Gonzalez or Peak Del Potro
To be fair any decent coach would say if your takeback is anything like Delpo's it's probably fine and your issue is most likely that you prepare late .

J
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
Thats how we differ i guess, some of the people here may no opportunity to get some tennis advice.

Why do you visit this section then? Its tips and instruction
Entertainment, that's the point of this board isn't it?

There's plenty of good information out there so everyone has opportunity to get good advice if they have the internet.

Once in a while I get baited into saying something or somebody cool will ask me a question.

You learn plenty from people's mistakes in addition to their successes.

J
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
Hey guys, if someone has a f'd up looking Delpo take-back how would they go about trying the flip/pat the dog? Is it mostly grip? Something wrist/elbow related?

*I'm not saying Delpo's take back is messed up looking, saying mine is a crappy variation

There are quite a few players with higher taake-backs, so might be worth posting video of your stroke to see what might be more important to work on.
 

oserver

Professional
That screencap gave me epilepsy
Data is a good thing, isn't it? Any argument without data won't have a good footing.
If Agassi had the potential to hit a 120MPH forehand, and he started his backswing with 12MPH initial speed, he effectively wasted 10% of the acceleration potential ((120 -12 = 108, (120-108)/120 = 10%) .
Same applies to Del Potro. He has big forehand not because advanced forms and techniques, but because his flat hitting style (less spin rate so the ball travels faster), and because his body type (long arm) that provide bigger leverage than player like Federer. Don't know why average height players want to learn from him; plus using a weak eastern forehand grip for forehand is really a go back to the past. The modern trend is more spin at the expense of pace, not more pace at the expense of spin.
 
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pencilcheck

Hall of Fame
Data is a good thing, isn't it? Any argument without data won't have a good footing.
If Agassi had the potential to hit a 120MPH forehand, and he started his backswing with 12MPH initial speed, he effectively wasted 10% of the acceleration potential ((120 -12 = 108, (120-108)/120 = 10%) .
Same applies to Del Potro. He has big forehand not because advanced forms and techniques, but because his flat hitting style (less spin rate so the ball travels faster), and because his body type (long arm) that provide bigger leverage than player like Federer. Don't know why average height players want to learn from him; plus using a weak eastern forehand grip for forehand is really a go back to the past. The modern trend is more spin at the expense of pace, not more pace at the expense of spin.
Agree. And even worse (since most people don't know pros) a lot of coaches are teaching double handed backhand and teach them to hit a lot of flat trajectory strokes. And you end up a generations of Djokovic, who have no variety but just the standard 40+ rally over a match.
 

oserver

Professional
Agree. And even worse (since most people don't know pros) a lot of coaches are teaching double handed backhand and teach them to hit a lot of flat trajectory strokes. And you end up a generations of Djokovic, who have no variety but just the standard 40+ rally over a match.
Yes. Most payers adapted Djokovi's #2/#3 (continental grip cross-body hand at bottom/eastern forehand ball-side hand in front) two-handers. Because the grips are low in numbers, the ball spin rate is much lower than the one-hander forehand. To close the huge gap between current forehand and backhand, we need to increase the grip #. I'm currently experimenting the #3/#4 (eastern grip cross-body hand in front/semi-western ball-side hand at bottom) two-handers on both wings. It's kind of forehand style two-handed model in a symmetrical way.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
Agree. And even worse (since most people don't know pros) a lot of coaches are teaching double handed backhand and teach them to hit a lot of flat trajectory strokes. And you end up a generations of Djokovic, who have no variety but just the standard 40+ rally over a match.
Heaven forbid!

What horrible coach would teach the best backhand in the game and want their players emulating a dominant champion?

Oh the burden of having a Djokovic backhand and Delpo forehand.

J
 

heninfan99

Talk Tennis Guru
Hey guys, if someone has a f'd up looking Delpo take-back how would they go about trying the flip/pat the dog? Is it mostly grip? Something wrist/elbow related?

*I'm not saying Delpo's take back is messed up looking, saying mine is a crappy variation
 
D

Deleted member 771407

Guest
Heaven forbid!

What horrible coach would teach the best backhand in the game and want their players emulating a dominant champion?

Oh the burden of having a Djokovic backhand and Delpo forehand.

J
Don't put clowns like oserver in the same bag as the rest of us. It's not like each poster is different and has his own opinion ? Nobody suggested Del potro had a poor forehand, and nobody but this clown wants to improve joker's backhand (and every pro's forehand according to his other thread).
I don't think you contributed much to the thread, be it in advice or entertainment.
 

TnsGuru

Professional
The Delpo FH has the easiest takeback. He doesn't PTD (palm down) but he does have a lag prior to the hit and he primarily hits flatter with only enough TS for control. He uses an eastern grip so he will be driving the ball more than someone like Nadal who uses a SW grip.

Compare Feds FH vs Delpo.
 
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oserver

Professional
The Delpo FH has the easiest takeback. He doesn't PTD (palm down) but he does have a lag prior to the hit and he primarily hits flatter with only enough TS for control. He uses an eastern grip so he will be driving the ball more than someone like Nadal who uses a SW grip.

Compare Feds FH vs Delpo.
Nice comparison video. I may add a few things here. It confirms that Delpo is going back to the past, not developed a brand new forehand.
First, remember the unit turn versus segmented turn teaching dogmas of the past versus present. This slow motion video clearly shows Delpo went to the unit turn model (both take back and forward swing), while Federer showed the typical segmented turn (body, shoulder, elbow and wrist).
Second, I mentioned in previous post that by looping back swing to generate an initial speed of 12-13MPH, Delpo squeeze out about 10% of the acceleration potential off his forehand.
Third, by using a weaker eastern forehand grip than Federer's, he is hitting flatter and in a more hitting through the ball fashion, with more wrist flexing, just like the model of Aggies.
Forth, his stroke pattern is more linear versus Federer's (more angular), another thing of going back to the past.
Fifth, Delpo could generate more pace, that mainly came from a flatter ball (spinning ball creates more air friction), also from his taller body and longer reach. The flatter ball is not in line with the modern tennis trend that is more spin and penetration power.

Curious, everyong, If Federer recommend young players to learn from Delpo, who will benefit?;)
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Allow me to offer a different point of view: I think the "pat the dog" image is misleading and pointless. There is no dog. There is no patting. There are great forehand video examples in slow motion of Delpo, Fed, Tsisipas, et al available. They're worth viewing to see what they have in common, it seems to me. They all have the same ingredients in their forehand, just with slightly different mixes of the elements, either in extent or timing. Delpo, for example, takes his racquet back with some external rotation of the upper arm in the shoulder socket (ESR) already there. Cf. Federer or Tsisipas and others, who take it back with a good bit of (relative) internal rotation of the upper hitting arm in the shoulder socket (ISR). Delpo takes a bit more ESR just at the moment of first UB rotation, thus at first forward motion of the hitting shoulder/upper arm. Like everyone else, he lets the upper body (UB) drive the hitting upper arm into action, letting the UB power the arm until he's almost facing the net. As his UB forces the hitting upper arm into action he takes a bit more ESR, which rotates the racque back and down as his hitting arm goes foreward. What is unusual in Delpo's forehand (I think) is that take back with no ISR, but rather some ESR, already in his arm orientation, and his distinct downward swing of his off-side arm early on, very different. He progresses to ISR up and into contact just like almost everyone else.

I offer, at my own risk, an alternative visual for you: Think of what you do if your standing in a swimming pool at the shallow end, say three feet of water, and you want to splash someone who is standing (relative to your initial ready position) a bit off to your right and forward of you. When you take the racquet back and down, your upper arm well out from your side and tensioned back lightly before final downward motion, just as you launch the stroke by simultaneously pulling in your off-side elbow (to transfer momentum to your UB) and extending your leg(s), think of scooping water to splash your friend. (I guess I'll call this bit "scoop water to splash your friend.") You'll roll your hitting upper arm back as you scoop the water, the arm motion powered, still, by your UB rotation. That roll-back is ESR, and will automatically tilt your racquet head back and down into so-called lag. From there do what everybody does: Hold that ESR, wrist laid back, until you shift into ISR, rotation counter-clockwise (if you look down at your hitting arm), wrist still laid back, up and through through contact. (But one thing at a time, so my goal here is just to substitute "scoop water to splash your friend" instead of the misbegotten "pat the dog.")

Feed back/critique welcome.
OMG. A Curiosity post that I think I actually understood, and didn't hurt myself trying out stuff mentioned....though my friend got water in their eye. No mention of boffins??

Doesn't Graff kind of do that ESR take back too?
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
Hey guys, if someone has a f'd up looking Delpo take-back how would they go about trying the flip/pat the dog? Is it mostly grip? Something wrist/elbow related?

*I'm not saying Delpo's take back is messed up looking, saying mine is a crappy variation
As a coach, I would not recommend focusing on the grip, elbow, or wrist to develop this technique - especially just starting out with it. First thing I’d have you doing is working on preparing your racquet and your body in the right way (to accommodate this style forehand), and along with that, leaving (or creating) enough space between you and the ball. If you can’t do these these things first, patting the dog probably won’t help your forehand (matter of fact it will probably do more harm than good).

IMHO, the best case scenario would be for you to get on court with a qualified coach, who can teach this technique to you preferably through a progression, utilizing video analysis.

A cheaper way would be to watch Rick Macci’s YouTube video on the modern forehand (for example), and try your best to imitate, copy, and implement what you see in the video to your own forehand. (Which could be easier said than done). If you can record yourself while you work through it, that should be very helpful.

Another thing to consider is why not try to retain and improve on your Delpo style forehand? That might be easier to accomplish. OTOH, if your forehand already feels like an unfolding lawn chair, you might have nothing to lose to go in a different direction and try the pat the dog. Good luck.
 

Alexrb

Semi-Pro
As a coach, I would not recommend focusing on the grip, elbow, or wrist to develop this technique - especially just starting out with it. First thing I’d have you doing is working on preparing your racquet and your body in the right way (to accommodate this style forehand), and along with that, leaving (or creating) enough space between you and the ball. If you can’t do these these things first, patting the dog probably won’t help your forehand (matter of fact it will probably do more harm than good).

IMHO, the best case scenario would be for you to get on court with a qualified coach, who can teach this technique to you preferably through a progression, utilizing video analysis.

A cheaper way would be to watch Rick Macci’s YouTube video on the modern forehand (for example), and try your best to imitate, copy, and implement what you see in the video to your own forehand. (Which could be easier said than done). If you can record yourself while you work through it, that should be very helpful.

Another thing to consider is why not try to retain and improve on your Delpo style forehand? That might be easier to accomplish. OTOH, if your forehand already feels like an unfolding lawn chair, you might have nothing to lose to go in a different direction and try the pat the dog. Good luck.
It kinda does feel like a lawn chair forehand, that's what I'm getting at. 5:40 and 6:30 are good examples. Again, I'm not saying I have Delpo's takeback, or I would keep it. It's just seemed like I was closer to that than patting a dog of any breed. I know it's over a year old, will have to try recording something more recent.

 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
It kinda does feel like a lawn chair forehand, that's what I'm getting at. 5:40 and 6:30 are good examples. Again, I'm not saying I have Delpo's takeback, or I would keep it. It's just seemed like I was closer to that than patting a dog of any breed. I know it's over a year old, will have to try recording something more recent.

Not bad, it will be fine if you are willing to put in the time and hit a lot of balls.

Technically and aesthetically your takeback is fine. It's not like Delpo's at all.

You have two issues which are somewhat connected.

One, though your unit turn is nice and early, you don't get your hand in position to initiate the forward swing in time (the elbow extension/racquet drop.) Your racquet is dropping as the ball is rising and you initiate your swing before it's complete.

Next you have no extension, and pull off the ball to your left. This coupled with the too high start produces the spinny ball that doesn't go anywhere.

J
 

pencilcheck

Hall of Fame
It kinda does feel like a lawn chair forehand, that's what I'm getting at. 5:40 and 6:30 are good examples. Again, I'm not saying I have Delpo's takeback, or I would keep it. It's just seemed like I was closer to that than patting a dog of any breed. I know it's over a year old, will have to try recording something more recent.

You look confident, I would say you are ok. The only thing I would be worried if I were you is running forehand CC, you miss that almost 100% of the time when that happened.
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
For me your forehand in the video is closer to patting the dog, than it is Delpo’s on edge style. Regardless, it doesn’t look all that bad to me - certainly not unfolding lawn chair territory. (I can understand how it might feel that way, but important to note that it doesn’t look that way - to me anyway).

Sometimes you get too steep - particularly on high balls. That is, your racquet drops too low underneath the ball, causing you to have to swing too sharply low to high to make contact. You either lose control of the racquet face and miss long, or you produce an overly spinny ball with nothing on it. Couple that with a lack of extension that Jolly pointed out, i imagine you have some difficulty consistently producing forehands with good weight of shot and depth - especially if the balls you are hitting against have significant variation of height, speed, spin, etc.

I’m of the opinion that the height of your racquet preparation should be directly proportional to the height of the ball you’re about to hit - the higher the ball, the higher you start your preparation. This way you only drop the racquet just low enough under the contact point as is necessary. That said, you want to move your feet in such a way to try to avoid hitting any shot out of your strike zone. At the risk of making a captain obvious statement, generally, hitting anything above head high or below knee high should be avoided at all costs (this can vary a bit depending on grips and an individual player’s comfort zone).

To my eye also, sometimes you look a bit crowded hitting your forehand. That is, the ball is too close to you to allow you to prepare and swing the racquet unrestricted. And inevitably, when the ball is too close to you, you can’t extend - you have to cut the forward swing off and swing across your body. You do a better job of spacing and extending when you’re hitting inside out from the ad side of the court (which is not surprising). So you need enough space to prepare the racquet correctly...but also to facilitate that extension that gives you easy power and better left to right accuracy.

TLDR? I agree with Jolly’s assessment. Your forehand in the video isn’t all that bad. You’re athletic and you’ve got a decent foundation to work with. If you’re committed to improving it, and willing to do what it takes, I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t be able to.
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
Here’s the video I referenced. The music and the presentation are a little annoying and corny, and perhaps Macci isn’t universally loved...but overall, the video is pretty good at breaking up and explaining the relevant moves.

 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
What ntrp level should you be to make the attempt? I personally dont listen to anyone unless they were 6.0 min.
A 6.0+ player won't necessarily give you good advice. Roger doesn't seem to be aware of what grip he uses for the forehand or how he hits certain shots. He really hasn't analyzed how he does this stuff as much as others who have studied his strokes have.

I've seen some very questionable advice coming from 7.0 players, like Novak. Supposedly, Nick Bollettieri never played higher than a 3.5/4.0 level. But if you have read what he has written or have listened to him, he seems to know his stuff.
 

Alexrb

Semi-Pro
Not bad, it will be fine if you are willing to put in the time and hit a lot of balls.

Technically and aesthetically your takeback is fine. It's not like Delpo's at all.

You have two issues which are somewhat connected.

One, though your unit turn is nice and early, you don't get your hand in position to initiate the forward swing in time (the elbow extension/racquet drop.) Your racquet is dropping as the ball is rising and you initiate your swing before it's complete.

Next you have no extension, and pull off the ball to your left. This coupled with the too high start produces the spinny ball that doesn't go anywhere.

J
Thanks, going to try this and post a more recent vid at the same time. So hard to make changes on things you can't see, really need a full length mirror!
 

Curiosity

Professional
Ah, so you are a cat person?
A dog person, actually. When I pet my dog it doesn't resemble any part of a good forehand. A pool person? Yes! Near the bottom of the arm-straightening (or hitting hand lowering...), I roll my arm and scoop like a splash. Laugh. Macci must not have spent much time in the pool as a kid?
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
Thanks, going to try this and post a more recent vid at the same time. So hard to make changes on things you can't see, really need a full length mirror!
If you can hang a ball from a string somewhere it will help you as a reference point.

J
 

J_Ring

New User
Where in the process of the take back does Delpo no longer have the "pat" option, and what could he hypothetically do different at that point to get there?
It's probably mostly due to his eastern grip that you are not seeing him "pat the dog" although he is basically doing that motion. It's just that his racket head is vertical instead of flat.
 
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