Please help me get better (includes video)

#1
Hi! Here's a video from my latest tennis session. Any advice is greatly appreciated! Been playing now for about 6 years, but lately I have the feeling of being stuck on this level so I'm looking for help here.


Thanks!
 
#4
Looks okay. But from what I can see, you could use a bit more trunk rotation on your backhand. I feel like you're stopping and getting sideways too early and losing some momentum. Maybe try hitting the backhand while using a walking step instead of stopping and turning sideways.
 
#8
You need to engage your whole body. Not just your arms.
Yeah I feel you, definitely struggling wirh that. I am trying, but whenever I do I think I lose a lot of control...any tipps how to unlock that kinetic chain, drills etc?



Are you using the pro staff 97?
I‘m a bit of a racketholic, but now using Angelll TC95 16x19 27.25in 300g and absolutely loving it, best racket I ever had.

Looks okay. But from what I can see, you could use a bit more trunk rotation on your backhand. I feel like you're stopping and getting sideways too early and losing some momentum. Maybe try hitting the backhand while using a walking step instead of stopping and turning sideways.
Thanks I‘ll give it a try.

Why do you raise your left leg during a forehand?
That‘s just a bad habit I‘ve been trying to get rid off, luckily it‘s only when I feed in the first ball :)
 
Last edited:
#9
i'd say keep your eyes on the point of contact even after contact...you raise your head pretty early...sometimes even before you've made contact.
 
#11
Which strokes do u need help with. Since u have been playing for a while I assume u have certain strokes that u are happy with and others that seem to always gives u problems. As a rec player I think its easier to concentrate on one or two strokes that u feel like u need improvement with rather than trying to rework the whole game.
 
#13
Hi! Here's a video from my latest tennis session. Any advice is greatly appreciated! Been playing now for about 6 years, but lately I have the feeling of being stuck on this level so I'm looking for help here.


Thanks!
Thanks for posting a video.

This is a nice series of shots - there are enough to create some contrast between things going right and also not-so-right. I'll focus on what happens with your two forehands at 2:10 and 2:13 to help with the idea I have for you.

Most of us know how to execute a half-decent stroke if we're not in a rush, right? If the ball comes right to us at moderate pace, we have a little extra time to get set up and swing smoothly through contact. It gets funky when we have to move a few steps to the ball and/or it comes from the other end with a lot more pace. Suddenly we have more to do (take extra steps) and less time to do it (faster incoming balls give us a lot less preparation time).

We can't completely control where an opponent will place the ball or how hard that ball will come at us, but we can get better at setting up faster. If we can set up faster, we can execute our half-decent strokes without a rush a lot more often, even when we have to move or the ball comes at us more quickly.

Back to those two forehands at 2:10 and 2:13. The ball comes right into your strike zone at moderate pace for the 2:10 stroke and you actually get set before it's time to swing at the ball. For the next shot at 2:13, the incoming ball isn't in your wheelhouse and because you don't reposition yourself for it, that forehand is just a slappy sort of flail at the ball. But with more deliberate stroke preparation including a quicker first step to setup, that 2:13 forehand could also be fine.

Bottom line - learn to rush your setup for every ball. That will create that little bit of extra time you want to hit more half-decent strokes more regularly out there. Watch how stronger players take a split-step as the opponent, hitting partner, etc. hits a shot and then "pop" to either their forehand or backhand side right away. Focus on making this happen for every shot you hit and you will be able to get ready ahead of more incoming balls instead of just catching up with them.

More evidence - look at that backhand you hit at 2:30. That shot happens after you slowly drift toward the hitting zone and then you sort of tomahawk the ball with your weight falling backward. You had plenty of time to take a quicker first step, get into position, and move into the ball for a decent stroke. If you change your habits and take a more deliberate first step out of your split-step... all the time... that backhand becomes a shot with more command and consistency. Get ready ahead of the ball, not just on time with its arrival.
 
#14
If you are really serious about improving, wouldn't it be better to get advice from people who have a proven history of developing tennis talent? Tennis forums are not a valid substitute by any means. There is a lot of really bad advice floating around the Internet and this forum is no exception. But, if you want to argue who is better, Nadal or Federer, you have come to the right place.
 
#15
If you are really serious about improving, wouldn't it be better to get advice from people who have a proven history of developing tennis talent? Tennis forums are not a valid substitute by any means. There is a lot of really bad advice floating around the Internet and this forum is no exception. But, if you want to argue who is better, Nadal or Federer, you have come to the right place.
I wonder why you guys appear out of nowhere sometimes to share your warnings and wise advice? My newest guess is you represent some secret foundation distributing $$$ grants for rec players to enter best tennis academies in the world, but the code forbids you to disclose the opportunity unless the future adept claims his chance pro-actively?
 
#17
Not so bad -

if you want to improve work on your footwork- you are way to slow.
You are late on the forehand also. Start your takeback sooner.
Generally move faster - if you want to improve your backhand you can do a lot - but the most important thing is - work on you positioning. Try to be where you must to be faster.

If you really want to improve - do a split step before your opponent strikes the ball - and start rushing into the ideal position. Then you will have time to unleash the perfect stroke.

i dont need to blab a lot

@fuzz nation was faster than me.

I can just add a TIP.

Watch more than 100 video lessons. They not may be all very insightful but:

https://www.youtube.com/user/TennisMindGame
https://www.youtube.com/user/TopTennisTrainingNet

If you want more I am sure you will find them. They are all over the net.

I would focus on this if I were you:


Let me know if it helped you. Like the TOSS in the serve, equally important is not just how you hit the forehand and backhand - but your footwork - location. You can have the perfect strokes - but if you are not set up early you will be rushed and the execution will fail - resulting in half baked shots (and you were hitting a LOT half baked shots in that video). Footwork is the most important thing in tennis.
 
Last edited:
#18
There's a general lack of consistency, every shot looks a little different. Some of that is balance (falling backward on some shots) and on a bunch of shots you're late and the ball is getting too deep and you have to use your hands too much. My guess is that a lot of his could be solved with good early preparation on every shot. Big steps to get in position, unit turn, then little steps as needed - make that a habit on every shot. On too many shots your're standing their causally and all of sudden you're caught off guard. Get up on the balls of your feet right away and be ready to split step before your opponent hits the ball.

On the forehand several of them have an odd suppination move right before contact that cause the racket head to drop below the ball too much too fast and then an exaggerated windshield wiper move at the end that causing a lot of spinny mishits. Just think lag, pull the butt cap, and release at the end, and hit through the ball more.

On the backhand, you have no lag at all. It's like a baseball swing. You have to get the racket under the ball more, let the right arm get above the left as you take back the racket to drop the head before contact.

A lot of nice stuff going on, but just some feedback from the peanut gallery.
 
#19
I wonder why you guys appear out of nowhere sometimes to share your warnings and wise advice? My newest guess is you represent some secret foundation distributing $$$ grants for rec players to enter best tennis academies in the world, but the code forbids you to disclose the opportunity unless the future adept claims his chance pro-actively?
Unfortunately because it’s the truth.
 
#20
Unfortunately because it’s the truth.
Unfortunately such truth is not always helpful. Especially when it comes from random smartfolks, ones who never followed that wise advice themselves.
Or you really think some insightful guys, including practicing coaches, don’t think they’d provide much better help in person? Still they try to help the way they can.
 
#22
Unfortunately such truth is not always helpful. Especially when it comes from random smartfolks, ones who never followed that wise advice themselves.
Or you really think some insightful guys, including practicing coaches, don’t think they’d provide much better help in person? Still they try to help the way they can.
There’s some good advice mixed in with a lot of garbage. The problem for posters who don’t know any better, they don’t know what’s garbage vs gold. If lots of posters are posting the same garbage and making it sound like they really know what they are talking about (and there’s lots of this), the uneducated will likely believe that the garbage advice is gold because so many posters are parroting the same garbage. Hey, if so many people are saying the same thing, it’s probably true, right? Now if all the posters were > 4.5+ players who had all received good instruction along the way, then this might actually be true. But the fact of the matter is that the majority of the posters giving garbage advice are < 4.0 players, most who have not received any good instruction themselves.
 
#24
There’s some good advice mixed in with a lot of garbage. The problem for posters who don’t know any better, they don’t know what’s garbage vs gold. If lots of posters are posting the same garbage and making it sound like they really know what they are talking about (and there’s lots of this), the uneducated will likely believe that the garbage advice is gold because so many posters are parroting the same garbage. Hey, if so many people are saying the same thing, it’s probably true, right? Now if all the posters were > 4.5+ players who had all received good instruction along the way, then this might actually be true. But the fact of the matter is that the majority of the posters giving garbage advice are < 4.0 players, most who have not received any good instruction themselves.

This is completely true, however, when you post on a site like this you should know that's what's going to happen and accept the responsibility to sort out the good from the bad. I think you have to figure out what makes sense for you. Plus, half the time I would guess that people post here just to have a conversation about a sport they love, rather then intending on getting pro level advice, or they want people to tell them how good they are (nothing wrong with that). Over time though if enough people post you start to get a consensus of opinion.

My sense in this case is that the OP, having played for 6 years, has not invested in lessons with a pro, and probably would really benefit from them more than any advice he's going to get here. 4 or 5 focused lessons for someone who has not had instruction can make a huge difference. He's got some problems that an instructor can sort out pretty quick, and a decent base of athleticism to work with.
 
#26
Hi! Here's a video from my latest tennis session. Any advice is greatly appreciated! Been playing now for about 6 years, but lately I have the feeling of being stuck on this level so I'm looking for help here.


Thanks!
Forehand looks quite good it reminds me of Wawrinka!! Backhand looks terrible in comparison. You're falling over hitting it, looks way more unnatural. I hit a 1hander so i cant help you there.

I saw you hit one slice also and it seemed the racquet face was way too open, do your slices generally float up or knife down/skid low over the net?
 
#28
Hi! Here's a video from my latest tennis session. Any advice is greatly appreciated! Been playing now for about 6 years, but lately I have the feeling of being stuck on this level so I'm looking for help here.


Thanks!
Get some forehand videos of better ATP forehands to compare to yours. Side-by-side with high speed video is best but even slow videos (30 fps) can show things. Best to avoid low intensity practice or warm up stroke videos.

Difference in use of off arm.
https://www.google.com/search?q=federer+forehand&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-1

At first, his off arm is straight much like yours. Then he speeds up off arm while it is held high and near straight. Last he pulls it in to close to his body with timing. This pull in causes the uppermost body rotation to speed up. Look particularly at his heavier pace forehands. Your off arm seems to just get moved in. There are many recent posts on this subject. Search forum: forehand off arm Curiosity Posts by Chas Tennis

Do same for shoulders line to hips line 'separation'. First search this forum: separation shoulder hip uppermost body ..... Chas Tennis.
Find videos of Djokovic for comparison and look for the separation between the line between his two shoulders and the line his two hips. Look at his foot work.
video
 
Last edited:
#29
If you are really serious about improving, wouldn't it be better to get advice from people who have a proven history of developing tennis talent? Tennis forums are not a valid substitute by any means. There is a lot of really bad advice floating around the Internet and this forum is no exception. But, if you want to argue who is better, Nadal or Federer, you have come to the right place.
Well no, there can be good advice but the difficult thing is for the person seeking advice to sift through what is actually good and what is nonsense. I think its fine to read through all thoughts and opinions but have to keep in mind to take everything with grain of salt.

My advice to the OP is to keep playing, I don't see any glaring problems, you just need time to develop.
 
#30
There’s some good advice mixed in with a lot of garbage. The problem for posters who don’t know any better, they don’t know what’s garbage vs gold.
This forum is nothing more than the "Get Rich Quick" schemes out there that tell you this is the best way to cut corners, save a lot of money and ultimately become rich or the best without lifting a finger. NO, just watching a bunch of youtube videos will not make you a better tennis player. Learning tennis from people who know how to play tennis very well and are also able to teach that knowledge in person and ultimately develop tennis talent is the way to learn and continually get better at tennis. Why do all the better tennis players of the world have coaches? I can't for the life of me understand why they sometimes pay millions to coaches when they could just watch youtube videos. Or, since comparing recreational players to pros is a bit of a stretch, why do all students of good coaches always seem to develop into good players who can often go on and play D1 tennis, while the youtube taught seem to always remain as public park hackers? No, I'm not being a smartass, I am just telling people to do it right the first time and avoid the get rich quick approaches that seem to pervade the Internet.
 
#31
If you want to be a 5.0 player, drill the heck out of your cross court shot and get SUPER fit, and get ready to grind. I'm not kidding, forget about what everyone is saying in every other post except for maybe Jollyroger and stop analyzing strokes technically, if you can hit cross courts to perfection and chase everything down, you will go SO FAR in recreational tennis.

People overestimate how much productive hitting they actually do in their practices, when was the last time you hit and felt like you couldn't ever miss? You can do that by accident once in a blue moon, but you can also pursue this actively. Work on this first, push and aim for the middle of the court if you have to, but tell your partner you'll treat them to dinner or six pack of beer if they can hit 100 balls in a row (total 200 shot rally) with you. You won't believe the kind of concentration you need and how much fitness you need to do even that, and that's just pushing.

Increase the pace or spin or depth if you can do it, and push it a TINY bit at a time. I used to hit with a guy from the men's Stanford team and our entire 20 minute warm up was ONE rally. Down the middle, crosscourt forehands, crosscourt backhands, my inside out forehand to his backhand, his inside out forehand to my backhand, my down the line backhand to his forehand, my down the line forehand to his backhand.

If you think that sounds crazy, that's how kids were grinding at my tennis academy too, from 12+ onward. Everyone on this forum is so obsessed with being technically perfect, no one gets that you just have to hit a ****ton of balls with intent and purpose.
 
#32
If you want to be a 5.0 player, drill the heck out of your cross court shot and get SUPER fit, and get ready to grind. I'm not kidding, forget about what everyone is saying in every other post except for maybe Jollyroger and stop analyzing strokes technically, if you can hit cross courts to perfection and chase everything down, you will go SO FAR in recreational tennis.

People overestimate how much productive hitting they actually do in their practices, when was the last time you hit and felt like you couldn't ever miss? You can do that by accident once in a blue moon, but you can also pursue this actively. Work on this first, push and aim for the middle of the court if you have to, but tell your partner you'll treat them to dinner or six pack of beer if they can hit 100 balls in a row (total 200 shot rally) with you. You won't believe the kind of concentration you need and how much fitness you need to do even that, and that's just pushing.

Increase the pace or spin or depth if you can do it, and push it a TINY bit at a time. I used to hit with a guy from the men's Stanford team and our entire 20 minute warm up was ONE rally. Down the middle, crosscourt forehands, crosscourt backhands, my inside out forehand to his backhand, his inside out forehand to my backhand, my down the line backhand to his forehand, my down the line forehand to his backhand.

If you think that sounds crazy, that's how kids were grinding at my tennis academy too, from 12+ onward. Everyone on this forum is so obsessed with being technically perfect, no one gets that you just have to hit a ****ton of balls with intent and purpose.
I do this once in a while (or basically whenever I want). There's this man at our courts who doesn't play matches. He just likes to "rally" but with me he completely gets it that I like to drill cooperative hitting, as many shots as possible, and I had counted that we had gone over 200. You're right. It takes a unique kind of focus. For me, while I'm hitting this long cooperative rally, I am not just trying to put the ball back I am also trying to apply as many basic mechanics as possible.
 
#33
I agree with the quicker first move suggestions above.

I noticed as the ball bounces you have your racket back on the forehand side but your prep is much later on the backhand side. Related to this I think you would get power more easily if you had a bigger take back on your backhand side.

 
#35
That‘s just a bad habit I‘ve been trying to get rid off, luckily it‘s only when I feed in the first ball :)
it’s a footwork pattern everyone uses when late... (ie contact is too far behind your ideal contact out in front)... but given that you’re also doing it when self feeding and on easy balls,... tells me that you don’t know where your ideal contact is/should be...

imo a drill you should try is self feeding at various distances away from you,... figure out how to hit it while moving your body weight into and through the contact consistently... get an idea of where that ideal contact is relative to your body,... then fight (footwork!) to maintain that relative distance on all balls




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
#37
Thanks for all the great feedback. I will definitely try to improve footwork.

I find myself often in a mindset where I hustle just enough to get to the ball instead of getting there early, if that makes sense. I don't know why, but I seem to struggle to overcome being lazy on the court...
 
Top