oserver

Professional
#1
To summarize, the #1 modern tennis story is about the passive arm. It is the minimization of arm’s contribution in pace generation for the forehand first. The same is going to happen in the serve. Federer let his hitting arm take the back seat in the forehand hitting, using an open stance and open grip; someone will do the same in serve at elite level soon, not tomorrow, not even next year, but soon, considering the slow evolution of tennis serves.

Above is the short summary of a paper I wrote recently about active arm vs. passive arm in tennis. Will passive arm goes beyond the forehand? What do you think?

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/tennis-arm-end-active-story-gary-e-lou/
 

oserver

Professional
#3
If #1 modern tennis story is about the passive arm, then the #2 maybe the cross body swing of forehand and backhand. The pre-modern drive-through-the ball model lost its dominance because the angular motion is superior than the more linear motion.

Some tennis history from former tour player, coach, author, and creator of Modern Tennis Methodology,
Oscar Wegner

In the history of tennis instruction, researched by John Carpenter, 2 champion brothers from England, R.F. Doherty and his younger sibling, 1897 Wimbledon Champion H.L. Doherty, described in a 1903 book how they played, recommending the open stance. In 1904, a self-appointed “expert”, an attorney by the name P.A. Vaile, wrote a book called “Modern Lawn Tennis” in which he contended that tennis was played closed-stance, as in cricket and golf. This notion was then exported to the USA, and cricket replaced by baseball, which fortified also the theory that a tennis groundstroke is a linear, forward effort. To this day, these two erroneous concepts, closed-stance and hit forward through the ball are still thought to be the most acceptable way of starting a child in tennis. Compound this with the idea that you have to prepare early, and you have three immediate barriers to the ease and naturalness of your game.

Because the USA has been regarded as the leader and model in many facets in life, celebrated American coaches and associations who promoted the linear follow-through concept, early preparation and closed stance made a wide impact, which was, in effect, exported back to Europe and spread throughout the world. This was regardless of the fact that most major champions played the forehand topspin across the body and mostly from an open stance, including Bill Tilden, Fred Perry, Jack Kramer, Rod Laver and almost everyone else who has made a mark in the game.


Oscar was the early pioneer to teach the cross body swing forehand with open stance, open grip..
 
#4
If #1 modern tennis story is about the passive arm, then the #2 maybe the cross body swing of forehand and backhand. The pre-modern drive-through-the ball model lost its dominance because the angular motion is superior than the more linear motion.

Some tennis history from former tour player, coach, author, and creator of Modern Tennis Methodology,
Oscar Wegner

In the history of tennis instruction, researched by John Carpenter, 2 champion brothers from England, R.F. Doherty and his younger sibling, 1897 Wimbledon Champion H.L. Doherty, described in a 1903 book how they played, recommending the open stance. In 1904, a self-appointed “expert”, an attorney by the name P.A. Vaile, wrote a book called “Modern Lawn Tennis” in which he contended that tennis was played closed-stance, as in cricket and golf. This notion was then exported to the USA, and cricket replaced by baseball, which fortified also the theory that a tennis groundstroke is a linear, forward effort. To this day, these two erroneous concepts, closed-stance and hit forward through the ball are still thought to be the most acceptable way of starting a child in tennis. Compound this with the idea that you have to prepare early, and you have three immediate barriers to the ease and naturalness of your game.

Because the USA has been regarded as the leader and model in many facets in life, celebrated American coaches and associations who promoted the linear follow-through concept, early preparation and closed stance made a wide impact, which was, in effect, exported back to Europe and spread throughout the world. This was regardless of the fact that most major champions played the forehand topspin across the body and mostly from an open stance, including Bill Tilden, Fred Perry, Jack Kramer, Rod Laver and almost everyone else who has made a mark in the game.


Oscar was the early pioneer to teach the cross body swing forehand with open stance, open grip..
MTM Certified coach here, MTM does not advocate anything close to a passive arm. Actively Pulling the racquet with the arm is a critical MTM fundamental.

'Passive arm' isn't a story at all. It's something you made up.
 

oserver

Professional
#8
MTM Certified coach here, MTM does not advocate anything close to a passive arm. Actively Pulling the racquet with the arm is a critical MTM fundamental.

'Passive arm' isn't a story at all. It's something you made up.
Oscar's MTM teaching system was developed well before Federer's modern forehand. Federer certainly was a follower of cross body forehand swing style advocated by Oscar, but he did not stop there. The passive arm forehand was his contribution to the newer modern forehand. Federer keeps his wrist at extension state during the forward swing - another advancement than the earlier MTM methodology. Oscar is a tour player, a great coach and thinker. If you ask him whether Federer's forehand is a copy of "Actively Pulling the racquet with the arm" that fit the earlier MTM system, the likely answer would be a no.

If you believe "'Passive arm' isn't a story at all.", then watch this video -

 
#9
Oscar's MTM teaching system was developed well before Federer's modern forehand. Federer certainly was a follower of cross body forehand swing style advocated by Oscar, but he did not stop there. The passive arm forehand was his contribution to the newer modern forehand. Federer keeps his wrist at extension state during the forward swing - another advancement than the earlier MTM methodology. Oscar is a tour player, a great coach and thinker. If you ask him whether Federer's forehand is a copy of "Actively Pulling the racquet with the arm" that fit the earlier MTM system, the likely answer would be a no.

If you believe "'Passive arm' isn't a story at all.", then watch this video -

Oscar himself said that Federer hits his forehand by pulling the racquet and letting it whip. He's got a whole video about advanced forehand technique where he goes into his interpretation of the Federer forehand and how it perfectly aligns with the MTM fundamentals.

In that video you linked I'm seeing wrist extension, internal forearm rotation, internal shoulder rotation, and bicep contraction. There is a pull happening. It's not passive.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
#10
Oscar himself said that Federer hits his forehand by pulling the racquet and letting it whip. He's got a whole video about advanced forehand technique where he goes into his interpretation of the Federer forehand and how it perfectly aligns with the MTM fundamentals.
Anything can be made to align after-the-fact by juggling words.
 
#12
Anything can be made to align after-the-fact by juggling words.
Yeah, sure, but when you're making falsifiable claims about biomechanical phenomenon, actually leaving the door open for people to prove you wrong, then it's not just juggling words. What you're doing here, empty rhetorical posturing, that's just juggling words.

Oscars generalized analysis of Federer's forehand is consistent with Dr. Gordon's more thorough breakdown. "Aligned after the fact" lol uh huh sure...

Sureshs, I've said this before, and I'll say it again, you're very obviously ideologically possessed in opposition to MTM. Any time MTM is mentioned you're always around making condescending remarks and attempting to derail the conversation. I'm going to report you to the mods for trolling.
 
Last edited:

sureshs

Bionic Poster
#14
Yeah, sure, but when you're making falsifiable claims about biomechanical phenomenon, actually leaving the door open for people to prove you wrong, then it's not just juggling words. What you're doing here, empty rhetorical posturing, that's just juggling words.
LOL oserver being wrong does not make MTM right. They are two different things.

No one can see inside Federer's head to determine if he is "pulling" or not, so anybody can use the term to impress people. Similarly claims that pros take the racket to the ball slowly and then abruptly pull across can be argued and argued by setting the meaning of slow and abrupt to suit the situation, yet in the end they are just empty word jugglery and not useful to anybody.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
#15
Sureshs, I've said this before, and I'll say it again, you're very obviously ideologically possessed in opposition to MTM. Any time MTM is mentioned you're always around making condescending remarks and attempting to derail the conversation. I'm going to report you to the mods for trolling.
Spoken like a good cult member who has been brainwashed.
 

oserver

Professional
#16
Oscar himself said that Federer hits his forehand by pulling the racquet and letting it whip. He's got a whole video about advanced forehand technique where he goes into his interpretation of the Federer forehand and how it perfectly aligns with the MTM fundamentals.

In that video you linked I'm seeing wrist extension, internal forearm rotation, internal shoulder rotation, and bicep contraction. There is a pull happening. It's not passive.
"I'm seeing wrist extension, internal forearm rotation, internal shoulder rotation, and bicep contraction." Watch it again. Please pay attention to frames from 0:50-0:59 (forward swing before contact). The whole arm is passively following the shoulder and upper body rotation. Not much "forearm rotation, internal shoulder rotation, and bicep contraction" can be seen. It's only after the contact point, you see more "forearm rotation, internal shoulder rotation, and bicep contraction".

Why no or very minimal active arm before that contact point? This is Federer's modern art in utilizing/distributing muscle powers - minimizing small muscle groups contribution in pace generation so that bigger muscle groups can dictate the pace.

Overall, Federer has been following the original MTM teaching, mainly in cross body swing part, not the active pulling the racket by using internal forearm rotation, internal shoulder rotation, and bicep contraction during the critical moments from 0:50-0:59. This is Federer's contribution to the modern forehand. It is a continuation of MTM route, but it's a big leap forward, to that bears his name.

We sometimes do some actively pulling the racket by using internal forearm rotation, internal shoulder rotation for some shots. Typical ones can often be seen by Nadal's over the head forehand swing.


If you watch the Nadal's first shot in the video, you can still see the passive arm before the contact point. That was not as passive as that of Federer's, but still passive nevertheless.
 
Last edited:
#17
Spoken like a good cult member who has been brainwashed.
Accusing me of being brainwashed is asinine and bordering on abuse and harassment. Further supports my observation thay youre a troll who only intends to condescend, inflame, derail, and generally not participate in serious interlocution.
 
#18
LOL oserver being wrong does not make MTM right. They are two different things.

No one can see inside Federer's head to determine if he is "pulling" or not, so anybody can use the term to impress people. Similarly claims that pros take the racket to the ball slowly and then abruptly pull across can be argued and argued by setting the meaning of slow and abrupt to suit the situation, yet in the end they are just empty word jugglery and not useful to anybody.
Troll who can't pass the high school book report standard claims to know what's in the book he hasn't read. Why so dishonest, troll?
 
#20
I read the oscar books. Good for beginners. But not based in reality.
MTM is literally just an array of fundamentals with a sequence of drills to learn those fundamentals. Outside of the spiritual **** it's one of the most grounded tennis books I've read. Do the drills, get the result. Nothing supernatural about it.

How could a recipe book be not based in reality? Your assessment seems not based in reality.
 
#21
"I'm seeing wrist extension, internal forearm rotation, internal shoulder rotation, and bicep contraction." Watch it again. Please pay attention to frames from 0:50-0:59 (forward swing before contact). The whole arm is passively following the shoulder and upper body rotation. Not much "forearm rotation, internal shoulder rotation, and bicep contraction" can be seen. It's only after the contact point, you see more "forearm rotation, internal shoulder rotation, and bicep contraction".

Why no or very minimal active arm before that contact point? This is Federer's modern art in utilizing/distributing muscle powers - minimizing small muscle groups contribution in pace generation so that bigger muscle groups can dictate the pace.

Overall, Federer has been following the original MTM teaching, mainly in cross body swing part, not the active pulling the racket by using internal forearm rotation, internal shoulder rotation, and bicep contraction during the critical moments from 0:50-0:59. This is Federer's contribution to the modern forehand. It is a continuation of MTM route, but it's a big leap forward too that bear his name.

We sometimes do some actively pulling the racket by using internal forearm rotation, internal shoulder rotation for some shots. Typical ones can often be seen by Nadal's over the head forehand swing.


If you watch the Nadal's first shot in the video, you can still see the passive arm before the contact point. That was not as passive as that of Federer's, but still passive nevertheless.
Waiting until the last possible moment to release your power and pull the racquet is actually an MTM core fundamental. We teach players to calmly approach the ball and then pull to the finish as late as possible, ideally in synchronization with the rest of the body lifting/pulling/rotating. Because the acceleration happens at the last possible moment it looks a lot like he's not accelerating until after contact, but that's not the case. Acceleration continues after contact but ideally peak accel is right at contact, making it only seem like the arm is passive at contact.

Federer isn't doing anything new, he's just doing it extremely well.
 
Last edited:
#22
MTM is literally just an array of fundamentals with a sequence of drills to learn those fundamentals. Outside of the spiritual **** it's one of the most grounded tennis books I've read. Do the drills, get the result. Nothing supernatural about it.

How could a recipe book be not based in reality? Your assessment seems not based in reality.
Ok, reality as in someone trained in MTM is actually an ATP pro player. Not in the sense you mean that people can play how oscar describes. People can play Oserver method and do fine. But there won't he an ATP pro trained in it. Like I said. Fine for beginners. Beyond that nothing. Find me a video of an advanced mtm player.
 
#23
Ok, reality as in someone trained in MTM is actually an ATP pro player. Not in the sense you mean that people can play how oscar describes. People can play Oserver method and do fine. But there won't he an ATP pro trained in it. Like I said. Fine for beginners. Beyond that nothing. Find me a video of an advanced mtm player.
Paradorn Srichaphan. His game is textbook MTM. His father was a tennis nut and used to books to train him.

Also, according to Bud Collins who visited Russia (in the 80s or 90s), the entire Russian training system is based on the first MTM book. Idk how true that is but I can see MTM technical waypoints in most players from that era. Same with Argentinian and Spanish players.
 
#24
1 player?? Lol.

And you really think the entire Russian tennis federation used a mtm book to train their players? The same Russia that burns out thousands of their athletes in all sports using any and all natural and illegal means to find the few worthy of national glory? That Russia used mtm as the basis of their tennis academies?
 
#26
1 player?? Lol.

And you really think the entire Russian tennis federation used a mtm book to train their players? The same Russia that burns out thousands of their athletes in all sports using any and all natural and illegal means to find the few worthy of national glory? That Russia used mtm as the basis of their tennis academies?
You seem to lack certain logical functions.

May I propose a better question? Do you know of any tried and tested comprehensive training methodologies that can boast top 100 ATP/WTA success? I'd genuinely love to find something like that. So far MTM is the best comprehensive methodology I've found, but I'd totally drop it if I found a better one. Know of any?
 
#27
You seem to lack certain logical functions.

May I propose a better question? Do you know of any tried and tested comprehensive training methodologies that can boast top 100 ATP/WTA success? I'd genuinely love to find something like that. So far MTM is the best comprehensive methodology I've found, but I'd totally drop it if I found a better one. Know of any?
Every other coach on the ATP right now. ?? Non are MTM. Copy them.
 
#30
Oscar himself said that Federer hits his forehand by pulling the racquet and letting it whip. He's got a whole video about advanced forehand technique where he goes into his interpretation of the Federer forehand and how it perfectly aligns with the MTM fundamentals.

In that video you linked I'm seeing wrist extension, internal forearm rotation, internal shoulder rotation, and bicep contraction. There is a pull happening. It's not passive.
But Knox you are ruining Oservers whole 4 years of arguments in one succinct post. How dare you.

His serve is based on Feds fh being passive. If its not his whole argument is a house of cards.
 
#32
Every other coach on the ATP right now. ?? Non are MTM. Copy them.
Do you know the difference between a comprehensive training methodology and an individual coaches approach? A methodology is an approach that has been made into something reproduceable and capable of being distributed.

So my question is this: do you know of any ATP coaches who have taken their training approach and formed a comprehensive methodology? Something I can study and copy. Do you understand my question?

Also your claim that no ATP coaches are MTM lacks evidence and seems to be emotionally driven
 

oserver

Professional
#36
Accusing me of being brainwashed is asinine and bordering on abuse and harassment. Further supports my observation thay youre a troll who only intends to condescend, inflame, derail, and generally not participate in serious interlocution.
Agree with you even we have different opinions on MTM and so forth. Some posters here won't post to "participate in serious interlocution", just throwing judgements and conclusions with out reasoning or sound arguments.
 

oserver

Professional
#37
Paradorn Srichaphan. His game is textbook MTM. His father was a tennis nut and used to books to train him.

Also, according to Bud Collins who visited Russia (in the 80s or 90s), the entire Russian training system is based on the first MTM book. Idk how true that is but I can see MTM technical waypoints in most players from that era. Same with Argentinian and Spanish players.
I don't know why some people have so much distorted view of MTM system and Oscar. Oscar is on the very top of tennis trainers. The teaching of cross body forehand swing was a mile store in modern tennis. Who else can claim this contribution beside Oscar. I like to know the names and documented proofs.
 

oserver

Professional
#39
But Knox you are ruining Oservers whole 4 years of arguments in one succinct post. How dare you.

His serve is based on Feds fh being passive. If its not his whole argument is a house of cards.
Where did I say "Feds fh being passive"? Can you find the quote? Here is what I said in the paper (Tennis Arm, the Active Story?):
"The biggest change is the way to use the arm. The active arm is replaced with a passive arm. Players used to swing the arm to increase the racket head speed. This is still the case for baseline slice shots today. But for modern topspin baseline forehand shots, the swinging function of the arm is reduced to minimum. In the forward swing phase, the arm is just for holding the racket and rotating it to change the racket face to meet the ball (not hitting the ball). Only in the backswing phase from the ready state, the arm is doing the swing back. If one watch the slow motion of Federer’s forehand, his arm is almost stationary relative to his center of gravity point. The arm is just following the rotation of the body. He does not try to speed up the arm to swing the racket head faster as the players did in CC era. This is a huge change, the change from an active arm to a passive arm."
To say "Feds fh being passive" is a big distortion and an atempt to confuse readers.
 

oserver

Professional
#41
Is it a true statement: the progresses of the forehand development from beginner to elite player levels are (forward swing after the take back of the racket) -

Very active arm swing -> active arm swing -> reduced arm swing -> minimal arm swing -> passive arm swing (Federer).
 
#42
Where did I say "Feds fh being passive"? Can you find the quote? Here is what I said in the paper (Tennis Arm, the Active Story?):
"The biggest change is the way to use the arm. The active arm is replaced with a passive arm. Players used to swing the arm to increase the racket head speed. This is still the case for baseline slice shots today. But for modern topspin baseline forehand shots, the swinging function of the arm is reduced to minimum. In the forward swing phase, the arm is just for holding the racket and rotating it to change the racket face to meet the ball (not hitting the ball). Only in the backswing phase from the ready state, the arm is doing the swing back. If one watch the slow motion of Federer’s forehand, his arm is almost stationary relative to his center of gravity point. The arm is just following the rotation of the body. He does not try to speed up the arm to swing the racket head faster as the players did in CC era. This is a huge change, the change from an active arm to a passive arm."
To say "Feds fh being passive" is a big distortion and an atempt to confuse readers.
Arm is 'passive' as its being pulled by the shoulders, once shoulders hit peak accel (ideally right before moment of contact) then the arm activates and 'adds on' to the acceleration from the hips and shoulders.


You ever do the office-chair-spin thing where you build momentum with all your limbs extended, and then pull your limbs in and start spinning crazy faster? That's the law of conservation of angular momentum in action, and it's what Federer utilizes to generate such effortless power. (Inertial tennis, anyone? @jch) So his arm basically goes from 'passive' to 'active'. Saying it's only one or the other is somewhat misleading. Does that make sense?


 
Last edited:
#48
The pre-modern drive-through-the ball model lost its dominance because the angular motion is superior than the more linear motion.
I disagree with both parts of this statement. The current 20-something generation of ATP players is clearly inferior to past generations. I think the more angular motion of the "modern" forehand is a primary reason for this ineptitude.
 
Top