Please, pick apart my game. Any feedback is helpful

sammyp99

Rookie
I'm working on my game to get from 4.5 to 5.0. Please let me know if you see anything I can improve up.

I can see a few things that need adjusted including:

Things I'm working on:
- opening up earlier and more trunk rotation on forehand
- split stepping/footwork improvement
- keeping my racquet head up on my forehand takeback


 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
Would be nice if you stayed more grounded on your forehands, like you do on your 2hbh, to get it more solid, less mishits, more depth.
Lots of shots landing just past service line, not a good choice for approaching net position.
I know lots of folkes are going to say that Nadal also hit's a lot of short balls in match play, but he hits with tons of topspin, and can hit deeper when he wants. More depth would give your shots more penetration and make them heavier. Short balls, service line depth, allows your opponent to take a good swing at your shots.
 

sammyp99

Rookie
Yep. I agree completely, especially when it comes to staying more grounded. Just doing that will help me hit a cleaner forehand. That's one of my biggest flaws is mishitting and shanking fh's now. Thanks for the reply!
 

FiReFTW

Legend
Maybe some other more knowlegeable member can confirm this, but to me your forehand looks much more stiff and rigid compared to your backhand, almost seems like your forcing it and arming it too much, you don't appear to get much racquet lag either, meanwhile your backhand seems to look very effortless and fluid, really nice looking backhand.
 

sammyp99

Rookie
Thanks for the response. I have been thinking about the racket lag I have and questioning how I can get more. Right now, it's there but its small. I'm trying to keep my wrist loose throughout the stroke and this is the result. Not sure how to go about getting more lag and making the forehand look more fluid.

Thanks for the compliment on my bh. I don't get much wrist lag on it though either :p
 
Looks like you're taking back your racquet with your hitting arm on your FH. That's one of the reasons that makes your arm stiff and tense. Try to take the racquet back with your left hand and by doing shoulder turn while your hitting arm stays relaxed (pretend that your hitting arm does not exist when you're turning).
 
Thanks for the response. I have been thinking about the racket lag I have and questioning how I can get more. Right now, it's there but its small. I'm trying to keep my wrist loose throughout the stroke and this is the result. Not sure how to go about getting more lag and making the forehand look more fluid.

Thanks for the compliment on my bh. I don't get much wrist lag on it though either :p
Can you achieve better FH lag if you do a simple drop feed or, even simpler, a shadow swing? If not, then you are probably very tight and need to work on stretching those muscles out. Yoga would be a great benefit.

If you can do it with a drop feed and shadow swing, then perhaps it's not an ingrained habit yet so when you're in a fast-paced rally, you lose it.

I recorded a match recently and was surprised when I saw I had a full FH racquet lag [butt cap pointing forward] because I wasn't even thinking about it at the time. Which means the practice I've been doing must have filtered down into my subconscious to make it automatic. Maybe you just need to work on this transition?
 
Can you achieve better FH lag if you do a simple drop feed or, even simpler, a shadow swing? If not, then you are probably very tight and need to work on stretching those muscles out. Yoga would be a great benefit.

If you can do it with a drop feed and shadow swing, then perhaps it's not an ingrained habit yet so when you're in a fast-paced rally, you lose it.

I recorded a match recently and was surprised when I saw I had a full FH racquet lag [butt cap pointing forward] because I wasn't even thinking about it at the time. Which means the practice I've been doing must have filtered down into my subconscious to make it automatic. Maybe you just need to work on this transition?
Actually, I went frame-by-frame through your FH and your racquet lag seems decent. But what I thought I noticed was you hunching your shoulders just before contact and one reason for this is that you're too close to the ball and you're trying to draw your racquet in just a bit to compensate.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
Your 1 handed shoulder turn looks very consistent, each and every forehand. Not sure if holding the throat would make better.
You do seem to casually "whip" up into some forehands that you mishit, rather than really LOOKING at the ball with a steady head.
Deep balls, you seem defensive, like jumping onto the backfoot and steepening your swingpath for extreme topspin...and some mishits. Maybe better to shorten the stroke, watch the ball, weight balanced, and just short hop it solidly with less swing.
 

atp2015

Hall of Fame
Good BH, I did not analyze further. FH looked a bit inconsistent.

A few things I noticed on your fh -

1 The setup had foot position reverse on occasions(not all the time)- Instead of left leg front, right leg back and rotate to hit, you had left leg back, right leg in the front - total loss of wt transfer on fh
(at 1:13 in the first vid)
2 The racket drop is not full
3 On unit turn, you do not open up your hips - the right foot points to the net instead of getting parallel to the baseline
4 You don't extend the left hand fully to the side fence
5 most importantly, no knee bend at all - loss of that push off feeling from the ground and the shots look "army" as a result
 
Actually, I went frame-by-frame through your FH and your racquet lag seems decent. But what I thought I noticed was you hunching your shoulders just before contact and one reason for this is that you're too close to the ball and you're trying to draw your racquet in just a bit to compensate.
@sammyp99 - it could also mean you are tensing up just before contact. I have this problem on my BH and I have been practicing exhaling on my swing.
 

sammyp99

Rookie
Actually, I went frame-by-frame through your FH and your racquet lag seems decent. But what I thought I noticed was you hunching your shoulders just before contact and one reason for this is that you're too close to the ball and you're trying to draw your racquet in just a bit to compensate.
Thanks. I think you're right. I've been having some wrist pain on serves and overheads. my range of motion had been considerably shortened as a result. I am trying to create some more space between me and the ball but you can see it's a work in progress. Thanks for the feedback
 

sammyp99

Rookie
Good BH, I did not analyze further. FH looked a bit inconsistent.

A few things I noticed on your fh -

1 The setup had foot position reverse on occasions(not all the time)- Instead of left leg front, right leg back and rotate to hit, you had left leg back, right leg in the front - total loss of wt transfer on fh
(at 1:13 in the first vid)
2 The racket drop is not full
3 On unit turn, you do not open up your hips - the right foot points to the net instead of getting parallel to the baseline
4 You don't extend the left hand fully to the side fence
5 most importantly, no knee bend at all - loss of that push off feeling from the ground and the shots look "army" as a result
I agree with all of this. These are things I'll work on and should be able to change rather quickly. will post a follow up video of progress in a couple of weeks
 

ChaelAZ

Legend
Things I'm working on:
- opening up earlier and more trunk rotation on forehand
- split stepping/footwork improvement
- keeping my racquet head up on my forehand takeback

Thanks for posting. While you are trying to work to improve your shot for the next level, I am working to try and achieve more consistency and swings at your current level. Love it.

My general observations of the videos....backhand is solid with consistent spacing and technique. Seems you rarely error there.

Forehand wise, you mention rotation and takeback, but I thought those looked good in general. Or at least I see you rotate and get your arm forward of your body properly.

On many of the FH errors I watched your elbow was brought in to your body, so that could be spacing or timing of the ball. Might be something to check. On other errors it was simply off-center strikes which look like they happen when you are moving and try to pull across the body. They look like they happen later in rallies so I would think just normal mental/focus loss and nothing technical or such.

Like I said, enjoyed watching and gave me some ideas to try to improve to get better in my strokes.

Cheers.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
OH, the HORROR....
I"m thinking, maybe consider a WTA type forehand, forget the ATP swing, use a locked wrist and longer followthru with less pronation, and increase the percentage in your forehand, while upping ball speed with less spin, requiring better posture and balance.
You mishit too often.
 
Please don't take this the wrong way (I'm a bottle of Shiraz in and the kids have just started their night yodels, not helped by the Foo Fighters on TV) but what is it about your game that you'd like people to assess or comment? Where/when do you feel that your game breaks down? Or are you asking people to simply comment on technique? To me, your title doesn't seem to match the focus of your Comments so far.
 

sammyp99

Rookie
Thanks for posting. While you are trying to work to improve your shot for the next level, I am working to try and achieve more consistency and swings at your current level. Love it.

My general observations of the videos....backhand is solid with consistent spacing and technique. Seems you rarely error there.

Forehand wise, you mention rotation and takeback, but I thought those looked good in general. Or at least I see you rotate and get your arm forward of your body properly.

On many of the FH errors I watched your elbow was brought in to your body, so that could be spacing or timing of the ball. Might be something to check. On other errors it was simply off-center strikes which look like they happen when you are moving and try to pull across the body. They look like they happen later in rallies so I would think just normal mental/focus loss and nothing technical or such.

Like I said, enjoyed watching and gave me some ideas to try to improve to get better in my strokes.

Cheers.
Thanks for the feedback. My goal is to get better and I'm trying to walk through my process via YouTube and TT so I'm glad some of the comments and video have helped to improve your game.

I have been trying to keep the elbow separated from the body on the fh side and sometimes I still revert to bad habits... especially when im tired or have sloppy footwork
 

sammyp99

Rookie
Please don't take this the wrong way (I'm a bottle of Shiraz in and the kids have just started their night yodels, not helped by the Foo Fighters on TV) but what is it about your game that you'd like people to assess or comment? Where/when do you feel that your game breaks down? Or are you asking people to simply comment on technique? To me, your title doesn't seem to match the focus of your Comments so far.
I suppose I wanted to just get some help with anything people see that needs improvement. Not sure my comments are contrary to that but if so, I'd like to know and I'll adjust my replies.
 

gallen1999

Rookie
How are your serve and returns?
Most 5.0 players can take advantage in the point with their first shot.
I am a 4.5 looking to become a 5.0 also and serve and return are my biggest focus right now.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
I'm working on my game to get from 4.5 to 5.0. Please let me know if you see anything I can improve up.

I can see a few things that need adjusted including:

Things I'm working on:
- opening up earlier and more trunk rotation on forehand
- split stepping/footwork improvement
- keeping my racquet head up on my forehand takeback


Bending your knees plus leaning forward instead of falling back will help you.
 

ChaelAZ

Legend
I have been trying to keep the elbow separated from the body on the fh side and sometimes I still revert to bad habits... especially when im tired or have sloppy footwork
All of that happens often for me (elbow pulls in because of my position and need for better footwork) so that is the first thing I notice watching others. Watching you hit more forward and such does help me a lot.

Honestly watching your hitting those are a few nuance periods of, like you mention, old habits. Moving from 4.5 to 5.0 I think those little things will be helpful, but I am sure you have a lot of things you are working on in how you apply all that in match play. It is interesting as I watch players moving up the technique and ability to hit the balls kinda levels out (mostly) and then the mental side of the game gets to be incredibly critical. Following your YT and will check out how things go.

I follow a few guys going through the same leveling as you, so not sure if you've seen them but well worth checking out their posts. Andrew has a similar stroke as you, but move really well and has good consistency in applying his game in matches. Rob is working strokes in videos and you can probably pick up things there. He is an active mover on court.

Rob

Andrew

All the best.
 

atp2015

Hall of Fame
All of that happens often for me (elbow pulls in because of my position and need for better footwork) so that is the first thing I notice watching others. Watching you hit more forward and such does help me a lot.

Honestly watching your hitting those are a few nuance periods of, like you mention, old habits. Moving from 4.5 to 5.0 I think those little things will be helpful, but I am sure you have a lot of things you are working on in how you apply all that in match play. It is interesting as I watch players moving up the technique and ability to hit the balls kinda levels out (mostly) and then the mental side of the game gets to be incredibly critical. Following your YT and will check out how things go.

I follow a few guys going through the same leveling as you, so not sure if you've seen them but well worth checking out their posts. Andrew has a similar stroke as you, but move really well and has good consistency in applying his game in matches. Rob is working strokes in videos and you can probably pick up things there. He is an active mover on court.

Rob

Andrew

All the best.
What's this about?
 

sammyp99

Rookie
All of that happens often for me (elbow pulls in because of my position and need for better footwork) so that is the first thing I notice watching others. Watching you hit more forward and such does help me a lot.

Honestly watching your hitting those are a few nuance periods of, like you mention, old habits. Moving from 4.5 to 5.0 I think those little things will be helpful, but I am sure you have a lot of things you are working on in how you apply all that in match play. It is interesting as I watch players moving up the technique and ability to hit the balls kinda levels out (mostly) and then the mental side of the game gets to be incredibly critical. Following your YT and will check out how things go.

I follow a few guys going through the same leveling as you, so not sure if you've seen them but well worth checking out their posts. Andrew has a similar stroke as you, but move really well and has good consistency in applying his game in matches. Rob is working strokes in videos and you can probably pick up things there. He is an active mover on court.

Rob

Andrew

All the best.
I've been dealing with a weird wrist injury that limits my serving so it's kind of frustrating. I feel like I'm improving and want to go play a practice set and when I do, the pain sets in and limits my game.

I follow Rob and am impressed with his footwork and movement. It motivates me to emulate that on court. I wasn't aware of Andrew but I'll check him out. Thanks for all the input.
 

sammyp99

Rookie
How are your serve and returns?
Most 5.0 players can take advantage in the point with their first shot.
I am a 4.5 looking to become a 5.0 also and serve and return are my biggest focus right now.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Before I mysteriously injured my wrist, my serves were pretty good. My first serve would get me a few free points and I could move it around the box. My second serve wasn't consistent enough and didn't have enough spin to get the margin I would need. I was working on that before the injury.

I have a very decent return especially when I focus. I can at least get most serves in neutral and start the point from there. My favorite serves to return are the big flat ones. Left slice and kick were my least favorite to return.
 

coupergear

Professional
Looks like you're taking back your racquet with your hitting arm on your FH. That's one of the reasons that makes your arm stiff and tense. Try to take the racquet back with your left hand and by doing shoulder turn while your hitting arm stays relaxed (pretend that your hitting arm does not exist when you're turning).
great observation. I think your #1 fh issue. When you release your left hand so early in unit turn and control takeback with right arm only it's much harder to then release smoothly at the same point every time. You can't groove it, tends to fly on you. I know from experience sometimes running down a wide forehand ill forego left hand on neck just try to control backswing with right hand...it feels all over the place when I start to pull through.
 

Digital Atheist

Professional
Nice hitting and very smooth backhand.

A few things I noticed on your fh -

1 The setup had foot position reverse on occasions(not all the time)- Instead of left leg front, right leg back and rotate to hit, you had left leg back, right leg in the front - total loss of wt transfer on fh
(at 1:13 in the first vid)
OP probably already knows this since he is using it, but as an FYI that's called a step-through or walking step forehand and is a perfectly valid technique especially on shorter balls, often but not always used when carrying on into the net (OP is using it in the appropriate situation but mistimed one I think). The alternative is the method Federer employs and is called a hop step. Both are fine and it's horses for courses (3:24 in the last video for those who want to trim the fat).



 
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dgold44

G.O.A.T.
I'm working on my game to get from 4.5 to 5.0. Please let me know if you see anything I can improve up.

I can see a few things that need adjusted including:

Things I'm working on:
- opening up earlier and more trunk rotation on forehand
- split stepping/footwork improvement
- keeping my racquet head up on my forehand takeback


I see that you fall back a lot on your FH. I dont see any leg push forward. You seem to be losing power as you fall back. Also I dont see as much shoulder turn as I think you should have.

I think you can easily make these adjustments and achieve that elite 5.0 mark.
 

dgold44

G.O.A.T.
Your FH lacks depth

The guy in the blue can tell you that and he looks like a 5.0 guy !!!! His shots seem to have good pace and depth.

Looks like your BH is getting good depth

You play open tennis and you get to play guys like the blue man and you lose

Why I would never play open
 

sammyp99

Rookie
great observation. I think your #1 fh issue. When you release your left hand so early in unit turn and control takeback with right arm only it's much harder to then release smoothly at the same point every time. You can't groove it, tends to fly on you. I know from experience sometimes running down a wide forehand ill forego left hand on neck just try to control backswing with right hand...it feels all over the place when I start to pull through.
Thanks. I think I kind of shrugged this advice off initially but seeing you explain it in more detail makes me realize this is something I should invest in. I'll work on this next time out!
 

SinjinCooper

Hall of Fame
Hey everyone, here's a recent video with some evident progress. Let me know what you think.

Hey bud.

At their heart, I'd say you've got beautiful strokes.

If you're looking for a "next step," I don't think I'd be telling you anything you don't know if I suggested it's got to come in the form of gaining some consistency on the FH wing.

Watch where the ball is hitting your strings on that side. It's a total scatterplot. Your #1 issue isn't anything to do with form: it's focus. I'm not always a big stickler for keeping the head still to Federer-esque levels through contact, because some people have hand-eye connections such that the hand will keep doing what the eye was telling it to do, even after they pull their attention away. That's NOT happening for you. You're hitting high on the stringbed, and the racquet face is opening and balls are sailing (one over the fence!). Or you're out too far, or framing it, and they're falling short or flat out dumping. When you're anywhere near the middle of the stringbed, your shots look lovely.

I can't see your eyes, but just watching your head, it looks like you're pulling attention away from contact and into the court pretty early. That, plus your contact inconsistency suggests to me that really paying attention to keeping your head still through contact would pay big dividends -- because your ball has nice movement, pace, and consistency when you're making good contact.

It seems as if you have a pretty consistent swing path and follow through. See if you can use that as a physical cue. Head still, through contact, until you feel the racquet complete its followthrough arc. Try it for a practice or two. I think you'll start seeing much more consistent contact, and with it, your biggest bugaboo ought to take a pretty big hit. I wouldn't dream of making any physical tweaks until you see if you can get your contact issues ironed out. I think you'll find your strokes are 5.0 worthy right where they are.

(Even though I agree with the above sentiments that you could be a little more overt and consistent in your unit turn mechanics.)
 

sammyp99

Rookie
Your FH lacks depth

The guy in the blue can tell you that and he looks like a 5.0 guy !!!! His shots seem to have good pace and depth.

Looks like your BH is getting good depth

You play open tennis and you get to play guys like the blue man and you lose

Why I would never play open
Thanks for the feedback in those two messages. I think you're right about forward momentum. It's something I need to make a conscious effort to do.

My hitting partner finished his last season at a D1 university so he's very much a 5.5. Never misses.
 

sammyp99

Rookie
Hey bud.

At their heart, I'd say you've got beautiful strokes.

If you're looking for a "next step," I don't think I'd be telling you anything you don't know if I suggested it's got to come in the form of gaining some consistency on the FH wing.

Watch where the ball is hitting your strings on that side. It's a total scatterplot. Your #1 issue isn't anything to do with form: it's focus. I'm not always a big stickler for keeping the head still to Federer-esque levels through contact, because some people have hand-eye connections such that the hand will keep doing what the eye was telling it to do, even after they pull their attention away. That's NOT happening for you. You're hitting high on the stringbed, and the racquet face is opening and balls are sailing (one over the fence!). Or you're out too far, or framing it, and they're falling short or flat out dumping. When you're anywhere near the middle of the stringbed, your shots look lovely.

I can't see your eyes, but just watching your head, it looks like you're pulling attention away from contact and into the court pretty early. That, plus your contact inconsistency suggests to me that really paying attention to keeping your head still through contact would pay big dividends -- because your ball has nice movement, pace, and consistency when you're making good contact.

It seems as if you have a pretty consistent swing path and follow through. See if you can use that as a physical cue. Head still, through contact, until you feel the racquet complete its followthrough arc. Try it for a practice or two. I think you'll start seeing much more consistent contact, and with it, your biggest bugaboo ought to take a pretty big hit. I wouldn't dream of making any physical tweaks until you see if you can get your contact issues ironed out. I think you'll find your strokes are 5.0 worthy right where they are.

(Even though I agree with the above sentiments that you could be a little more overt and consistent in your unit turn mechanics.)
Thanks for the feedback and encouragement, man. I know that when I make a habit of watching the ball longer I hit cleaner. I have been consciously making an effort to change things on the fh side so when those become second nature, I can think more about watching the ball longer and turning my shoulders more on takeback.
 

SpinToWin

Talk Tennis Guru
You are correct. Here are some drophit points we've played:


Interesting... are these footages older?

I feel like sometimes you get lazy with your footwork. That's a common fault that I too often commit when not fully focusing.

Have you learned the footwork for a smash before? The one from the first video in particular looked a bit awkward.
 

atp2015

Hall of Fame
Nice hitting and very smooth backhand.



OP probably already knows this since he is using it, but as an FYI that's called a step-through or walking step forehand and is a perfectly valid.
I was talking about his "setup" to hit, not when was doing hop step or walking step.
And it's possible that I was talking some rubbish and nonsense which I tend to do quite often, but i digress. I yield my remaining time...
 

dennis

Rookie
It looks like you often make a well timed, effective split step immediately leading into a good first move with the shoulders, other times you look relatively flat footed to me. Also, this might be related to the varying contact points (left to right) on the FH, this plus perhaps not taking an extra adjustment step or two to get you in just the right place. I wonder what a comparison of freeze frames of all the contact points of the BHs compared to FHs would look like.
 

Digital Atheist

Professional
I was talking about his "setup" to hit, not when was doing hop step or walking step.
And it's possible that I was talking some rubbish and nonsense which I tend to do quite often, but i digress. I yield my remaining time...
At 1:13 in the first video (the reference given) OP implements a typical walking step forehand on a ball he has to move forward to, and is partly why I made the comment. The setup you mentioned, with the right leg in front of the left, is a critical element in the implementation of that shot and is not independent. I might not have been clear either (but I thought the first video explained it quite well).
 
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marian10

Rookie
As others have said you need to bring your racquet further behind with your left hand.

The reason for your mishits on FHs is that you don't hit inside out. It's the face of the racquet and angle of your arm that create trajectory. Not rotating towards you target.
You need to prepare earlier, keep your left hand longer on the handle, use your left arm to distance your body to the left. Then hit diagonally towards the ball. Through contact you have to extend more and rotate.

An image to understand what hurts in you FH is to visualize your serve. You don't rotate immediately into your serve. You coil, then drop to your left, then hit to your right, then use your arm/hand to position the face of the frame toward the target, then let your body rotate into the path of the ball's flight.

So

1. Your racquet is aligned with the ball, not your body

2. Hit inside out on every forehand

3. Use the extension to rotate, not the other way around. Think of the distance between hand and shoulder. If it's minimal you're doing something wrong. Hold your shoulder back. Another correction is to hit a lasso forehand, and combine a lasso racquet path with your usual finish. Using neutral stance will help you with hitting more inside out.

4. Release hip, shoulder and back leg toward the target
 

Hansen

Semi-Pro
My hitting partner finished his last season at a D1 university so he's very much a 5.5. Never misses.
your hitting partner doesn´t have a better forehand technique than you do, but he is just way more consistent in the execution.
the biggest problem is that your arm ist not loose enough, especially your wrist. the result is lack of spin and consistency. since your forehand is very similar to tim smiczek´s, here is a video, maybe you can see what i mean:
 
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