Trying to make forehand a compact one

FiReFTW

Legend
I agree with the poster that says that Curious FH is pretty decent and he misses most of his FH because of footwork and spacing.
But I believe Curious likes to experiment with different stuff and it makes him happy to make such experiments and try different things with his stroke, so who are we to judge his decisions, just let him enjoy what he enjoys doing.
 

Curious

Legend
I agree with the poster that says that Curious FH is pretty decent and he misses most of his FH because of footwork and spacing.
But I believe Curious likes to experiment with different stuff and it makes him happy to make such experiments and try different things with his stroke, so who are we to judge his decisions, just let him enjoy what he enjoys doing.
True but you make me sound like a crazy person in my own little tennis world!:D
Anyway it's true I can get obsessed with small things, details but the quest is to play this bloody game better and better. I'm not ignoring the hugely important part of the game: fitness and footwork. Actually I'm one of those people here who are really interested in that too., having made a lot of threads.
The reality is I'm sure I can improve in the movement department but spacing with the ball, timing, coordination are the hardest things to improve in. I'm afraid I might be limited there in terms of inborn skills, athleticism, yeah ok talent!
 
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Dragy

Hall of Fame
I'm afraid I might be limited there in terms of inborn skills, athleticism, yeah ok talent!
Everybody is limited, yet some limits are very high :unsure:
But more important, there are those who test their limits and those who struggle well beneath. I believe for those passionate it's only good to go on chasing each next level of progress, be mindful and focused, dedicate time and effort to this and that element of development. A great route to travel.
 
Imo the importance of a compact arm swing is overrated. Maybe at the very highest level it can help to save the last 100th of a second and it can make sense but you see plenty of long and very long arm swings in pro tennis and they handle 75 mph pro rally balls just fine without being rushed while 3.5s are late on 40 mph rally balls.

That is because pros footwork and shoulder turn is on time which is far more important than a compact swing. If you quantify it probably 90% of the time saving is early prep of footwork and shoulder turn and 10% is arm swing length.

This is not to say a compact take back is a bad thing but just keep in mind that if you get jammed by 45 mph groundies the issue is likely not compactness of the arm swing.
 

spaceman_spiff

Hall of Fame
I agree with the poster that says that Curious FH is pretty decent and he misses most of his FH because of footwork and spacing.
But I believe Curious likes to experiment with different stuff and it makes him happy to make such experiments and try different things with his stroke, so who are we to judge his decisions, just let him enjoy what he enjoys doing.
I’m only suggesting against making unnecessary changes because I’ve seen a friend destroy what was probably the strongest part of her game by making an unnecessary change (as directed by her coach).

Rather than working on the problems that needed to be fixed, she became convinced that she needed to “fix” something that wasn’t broken. And since the change didn’t come naturally to her and she couldn’t get the hang of it, it just caused a problem where there wasn’t one before.

She eventually stopped playing matches because of it.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
I’m only suggesting against making unnecessary changes because I’ve seen a friend destroy what was probably the strongest part of her game by making an unnecessary change (as directed by her coach).

Rather than working on the problems that needed to be fixed, she became convinced that she needed to “fix” something that wasn’t broken. And since the change didn’t come naturally to her and she couldn’t get the hang of it, it just caused a problem where there wasn’t one before.

She eventually stopped playing matches because of it.
You should work on your weaknesses, true.

But you should also work on your strenghts, and build weapons with them.

Check Federer here at minute 5

 

spaceman_spiff

Hall of Fame
You should work on your weaknesses, true.

But you should also work on your strenghts, and build weapons with them.

Check Federer here at minute 5

You should implement changes that will lead to improvement. As I mentioned before, I don’t think the change that @Curious is trying to make will do that, which is why I call it an unnecessary change.

If he wants to improve his forehand, then he should focus on his footwork, because that’s what is causing problems. If he can get his footwork to be more consistent, then he’ll consistently hit solid forehands with his current technique.

He’s trying to make himself do something that doesn’t come naturally and won’t lead to a noticeable improvement. He’s got a glaring weakness and an obvious route to improving his main weapon, but he’s focusing on a style change instead.
 

Curious

Legend
You should implement changes that will lead to improvement. As I mentioned before, I don’t think the change that @Curious is trying to make will do that, which is why I call it an unnecessary change.

If he wants to improve his forehand, then he should focus on his footwork, because that’s what is causing problems. If he can get his footwork to be more consistent, then he’ll consistently hit solid forehands with his current technique.

He’s trying to make himself do something that doesn’t come naturally and won’t lead to a noticeable improvement. He’s got a glaring weakness and an obvious route to improving his main weapon, but he’s focusing on a style change instead.
I take your point seriously but let's just assume that tennis is about getting to the ball and hitting it well, broadly speaking. Aren't they both equally important?
If you don't have the skill to hit the ball well, you will hit it badly even if you're there at the ideal time and ideal position. The opposite is also true.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
I take your point seriously but let's just assume that tennis is about getting to the ball and hitting it well, broadly speaking. Aren't they both equally important?
If you don't have the skill to hit the ball well, you will hit it badly even if you're there at the ideal time and ideal position. The opposite is also true.
True but his opinion is that you have good technique and hit the ball well when everything is ideal, I agree with his point, but still, if you want to experiment with stuff its not bad, u might figure out something that suits you more.

Alltho personaly I would advice you against trying to hit the ball like X player like you had with Nadal and now Federer, because that really won't end up well at all, because they hit it like that because of their unique build, flexibility, type of swing etc etc.. it works for him because its natural for him, trying to copy it exactly won't ever work because you are not him, I learned that by also trying to copy at the start, but I realized thats not how it is, you can take away important segments that are crucial but not copying the whole swing and motion because its not natural for you, but thats just my opinion.

So I support you trying out new things and I think its great and sometimes u might figure out something or something might click that it didn't before, but I wouldn't advice you to copy anyone's stroke step by step.
 

shamaho

Professional
You tighten up and muscle so much during the backswing that you lose a ton of power and sort of jam yourself up.

Try letting the racket drop begin sooner and with more gravity vs muscle. Also, that is the part of the swing that needs to incorporate the shoulder turn.

You're missing the point of a compact swing if you're still just going to arm and wrist the ball around.
@Curious IMMHO your arm portion of the FH is fine BUT you're so focused on not letting your arm move behind you that you tense up, your whole torso if stiff and tense as a board and consequently there's no coil /uncoil movement of the torso - as a result you're muscling the ball as @mnttlrg said.

relax, your FH is FINE!! use more of the coiling potential in your body and more kne bend, etc
 

E46luver

Professional
@Curious is trying to engage his body, but it's all out of sync, so he is essentially arming it.
You're a 3.5 player, correct?

How is he arming the FH when his shoulders rotate over 90 degrees?
He's also got great racket lag and RHS.

@Curious FH is better than most rec players, and is the last thing he should focus on.
No harm in academic debates dissecting video, but I would not waste any time trying to correct anything.
 

E46luver

Professional
Put a tennis ball in your right armpit and keep it there as you hit. That should keep your swing nice and compact (and you can ditch the ball once you get the feel of it).
This is the weirdest advice I have ever seen here.
You want to do the exact opposite of this utter nonsense.
Jamming your arm against your side is exactly how you will have zero racket lag.
Low level 2.5 & 3.0 players keep their arm stuck with torso and generate little racket speed
 
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Fxanimator1

Hall of Fame
You're a 3.5 player, correct?

How is he arming the FH when his shoulders rotate over 90 degrees?
He's also got great racket lag and RHS.

@Curious FH is better than most rec players, and is the last thing he should focus on.
No harm in academic debates dissecting video, but I would not waste any time trying to correct anything.
I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure @Topspin Shot is more like 4.5/5.0-ish.
 

Curious

Legend
Tonight I tried to focus mostly on torso rotation and extending the left arm to the right fence during the loading phase. This left arm extension is so important.
Here’s some points.

 

spaceman_spiff

Hall of Fame
I take your point seriously but let's just assume that tennis is about getting to the ball and hitting it well, broadly speaking. Aren't they both equally important?
If you don't have the skill to hit the ball well, you will hit it badly even if you're there at the ideal time and ideal position. The opposite is also true.
The problem with your footwork is not that you don’t get to the right spot; it’s that you sometimes get to the spot early and stop, which leads to you being flat footed when you hit the ball. And when you stop in the wrong spot, you’re flat footed and your spacing is off.

When you move into your forehands correctly, you hit the ball well. When you’re flat footed as you hit the ball, you don’t (especially when your spacing is wrong). Even if you’re successful in changing the style of your swing, the results are going to be same. You’ll just look slightly different as you hit the ball.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
Tonight I tried to focus mostly on torso rotation and extending the left arm to the right fence during the loading phase. This left arm extension is so important.
Here’s some points.

That light creen count reminds me of one we have here, but it's inside and the walls are also light green almost the color of balls.
You have such a hard time seeing the ball it's crazy.
 

Curious

Legend
The problem with your footwork is not that you don’t get to the right spot; it’s that you sometimes get to the spot early and stop, which leads to you being flat footed when you hit the ball. And when you stop in the wrong spot, you’re flat footed and your spacing is off.
What exactly is being flat footed?
I see 3 issues here:
1. not being in the ideal position (spacing)
2. not being ready to swing
3. not being stationary/balanced when I get to the ball. This is similar to hitting the first volley on the run without a split step when you serve and volley. Pros always slow down to be balanced when they’re about to hit the ball although they get there very fast. ( unless they’re pushed wide by the opponent and hit on the run)
 

golden chicken

Hall of Fame
Next time you have a light hit with someone, try to position yourself to hit the ball at the same height every time, no matter if it is a moonball or flat drive. Do not allow yourself to be lazy and hit balls shoulder/head high or scoop them off your shoelaces.

You'll find just how much more you have to move to accomplish this, but it'll also groove your strokes in a way that you don't really get when you allow yourself to stand in one spot and hit balls back at varying heights.

It's important to have a cooperative hitting partner so they aren't making you run extra just to screw with you. :laughing:
 

Curious

Legend
Next time you have a light hit with someone, try to position yourself to hit the ball at the same height every time, no matter if it is a moonball or flat drive. Do not allow yourself to be lazy and hit balls shoulder/head high or scoop them off your shoelaces.

You'll find just how much more you have to move to accomplish this, but it'll also groove your strokes in a way that you don't really get when you allow yourself to stand in one spot and hit balls back at varying heights.

It's important to have a cooperative hitting partner so they aren't making you run extra just to screw with you. :laughing:
This sounds like a great idea!
 

diddyac

Rookie
Tonight I tried to focus mostly on torso rotation and extending the left arm to the right fence during the loading phase. This left arm extension is so important.
Here’s some points.

It's some good hitting, seems much improved since the last one i saw

Where abouts are these courts?

By the way, i think we might have a mutual friend, we should have all have hit sometime
 

Curious

Legend
It's some good hitting, seems much improved since the last one i saw

Where abouts are these courts?

By the way, i think we might have a mutual friend, we should have all have hit sometime
I know someone who knows you! He’s probably around your level, also a forum member here. See if you can figure out who he is.;)
That’s Nottinghill tennis club.
Yeah, would be great to meet and have a hit one day.
 

spaceman_spiff

Hall of Fame
What exactly is being flat footed?
I see 3 issues here:
1. not being in the ideal position (spacing)
2. not being ready to swing
3. not being stationary/balanced when I get to the ball. This is similar to hitting the first volley on the run without a split step when you serve and volley. Pros always slow down to be balanced when they’re about to hit the ball although they get there very fast. ( unless they’re pushed wide by the opponent and hit on the run)
Watch the video from your first post again and check out the forehand at 1:49. That’s what a flat-footed shot looks like. Because you stopped moving your feet too early, you didn’t get your shoulders turned enough, you weren’t able to adjust to the spin on your opponent’s shot, and you didn’t step into the shot as you hit it. As a result, the ball got too close to you and you had to muscle it over the net.

Now, compare that to the forehand at 0:48. That’s what happens when you get your footwork right.

Pros are almost never stationary when they hit the ball. Most of the time, they step into the shot, even when hitting off the back foot. And when they don’t step into the shot, they still load up by bending their knees and turning their shoulders so that they can generate power by uncoiling.

Here’s David Goffin showing how it’s done.

 

golden chicken

Hall of Fame
Watch the video from your first post again and check out the forehand at 1:49. That’s what a flat-footed shot looks like. Because you stopped moving your feet too early, you didn’t get your shoulders turned enough, you weren’t able to adjust to the spin on your opponent’s shot, and you didn’t step into the shot as you hit it. As a result, the ball got too close to you and you had to muscle it over the net.

Now, compare that to the forehand at 0:48. That’s what happens when you get your footwork right.

Pros are almost never stationary when they hit the ball. Most of the time, they step into the shot, even when hitting off the back foot. And when they don’t step into the shot, they still load up by bending their knees and turning their shoulders so that they can generate power by uncoiling.

Here’s David Goffin showing how it’s done.

My dad often told me to beat the ball to the spot, even if I was running backwards. The idea being never to fall backwards while hitting (or, at least minimize as much as possible). The pros are masters of this.
 

jga111

Hall of Fame
True but you make me sound like a crazy person in my own little tennis world!:D
Anyway it's true I can get obsessed with small things, details but the quest is to play this bloody game better and better. I'm not ignoring the hugely important part of the game: fitness and footwork. Actually I'm one of those people here who are really interested in that too., having made a lot of threads.
The reality is I'm sure I can improve in the movement department but spacing with the ball, timing, coordination are the hardest things to improve in. I'm afraid I might be limited there in terms of inborn skills, athleticism, yeah ok talent!
Keep doing what you’re doing.

I went through phases of replicating Djokovic, Thiem, Murray, Kyriakos elements of forehand and now I have my OWN forehand :) Sometimes you will need to mix it up, adjust grip, lag etc depending on circumstance.

Spacing and footwork you can improve on independently - for that I have always recommended endless drills with competent volleyer at net who makes you move around. You have no choice but to improve your footwork and spacing to keep up
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
Like everyone has said, you are arming the ball, but on the plus side it looks like you are moving better than in the past videos I used to see. Sure you arent 100% with it, but sometimes you are and thats solid progress.So now you just need to reward yourself for doing the hard work required to get set up for the shot. Stay loose and transfer your weight into the court, instead of just letting your arm do everything.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
Btw @Curious

Was bored today and went to check ur forehand in slow motion a bit for fun, and im wondering, how exactly does your forehand have a WTA takeback as you claimed? It looks completely the same as most ATP forehands bar some extremely compact ones like Federer, Dimitrov etc..

It seems like lately theres alot of vids about this short super compact forehand ala Federer, but in reality its not that common to have such an extremely compact one

WTA takeback is completely different






 

Curious

Legend
Btw @Curious

Was bored today and went to check ur forehand in slow motion a bit for fun, and im wondering, how exactly does your forehand have a WTA takeback as you claimed? It looks completely the same as most ATP forehands bar some extremely compact ones like Federer, Dimitrov etc..

It seems like lately theres alot of vids about this short super compact forehand ala Federer, but in reality its not that common to have such an extremely compact one

WTA takeback is completely different






It’s not that bad now actually. Especially after focusing on stretching left arm along the baseline during the turn without bending the elbow made a big difference. That way I turn more fully and don’t have to take the racket too far back to get power.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
It’s not that bad now actually. Especially after focusing on stretching left arm along the baseline during the turn without bending the elbow made a big difference. That way I turn more fully and don’t have to take the racket too far back to get power.
Do you have any other video where you were doing it more extremely?
 

Curious

Legend
Can't find now. It wasn't quite WTA actually but there was no flip of the racket.
Anyway it started getting more compact practicing on the wall a few weeks ago.
Today I hit some nice ones playing doubles. Will post video later.


 
D

Deleted member 769694

Guest
I recently got tempted again to give another go about working on developing a compact forehand Federer style especially after watching the Macci video once more ( @1stVolley posted the other day ).
Here’s my first attempt. The racket tip still annoyingly and stubbornly wants to go back behind me before I start the forward swing. I don’t want it to go beyond 5 o’clock position but that WTA style is so ingrained in my stroke that it sneaks in somehow. How do I stop it? Whaddaya reckon?


Damn your getting good :)

TTPS has competition this year for most improved
 

Fxanimator1

Hall of Fame
I watched the first game and a half. My conclusion is that your partner can hit groundstrokes, but he is an awful doubles player. He is holding you back.
Ahahahahaah!
I especially liked the lob he threw up from the baseline, to make damn good and sure the opponents could aim for poor Curious at the net with their overhead.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Ahahahahaah!
I especially liked the lob he threw up from the baseline, to make damn good and sure the opponents could aim for poor Curious at the net with their overhead.
The point in the second game where Curious’ partner gave up his perfect net position to sprint-backpedal to no man’s land sealed my conclusion. I didn’t watch past that.
 

ubercat

Professional
I d vote for footwork hacks for us hacks. Big diagonal step fwd with wrong foot to volley. Dropstep to start that desperate run to the corner. Every time u hit deep and fast to backhand take a couple of big steps into the court for the inevitable bloody weak short slice etc.
 

spun_out

Semi-Pro
If you wish to have Federer as example, here're you go. You lack going through position in frame 4. You get roughly to frame 3 and pull through with a level swing from there.

But Fed is kind of "post-textbook". There are players who are better demonstrating the basic sequence:
- take the racquet back high;
- initiate the pendulum drop - down and forward through close to the hip;
- meanwhile initiate torso uncoil, and as the racquet passes lowest point, drive with your right leg to accelerate the swing; let your arm and racquet trail into full lag;
- as soon as chest faces the target swing your arm towards and past the ball executing internal rotation - so that racquet head rises towards above handle.
sorry to derail the thread, but Dragy in this post hits at something i have been struggling for years now (and have found myself in forehand purgatory like the one spaceman_spiff mentions about).

the current atp players, including fed, differ from the basic sequence in that they don't do a pendulum drop, that is, down and forward. rather, they seem to go back and down as they load their back leg and then explode in a direct line from the lowest and farthest point to the ball.

perhaps, Curious is having a similar being stuck between the pendulum drop and the back-and-down model of the current atp players. in some shots, it looks like he isn't sure when to unload his back leg. sometimes he seems to drop and the unload, sometimes, he unloads from the up position.

anyways, i am start to think that the pendulum model (i think Safin hits this way) and the back-and-down model are fundamentally different with different timing cues. am i wrong in this? it would be awesome if Dragy can elaborate on this. thanks.
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
the current atp players, including fed, differ from the basic sequence in that they don't do a pendulum drop
Hey mate! I don't quite agree with that. Many pros actually do demonstrate pendulum drop initiating their FHs. Here is Stef Tsitsipas coming out of my Mad Skillz Photo Edition :-D:


FH at 0:25 in the following vid. At 0:47 you can find chest-height contact with pretty much similar swing pattern.

I also like watching Stan (even Madder Skillz):



But if it was all about the pendulum, it would be too trivial, and would't be that deceptive. It's not the pendulum where major power starts generating. I like to watch Stan because he clearly demonstrates the sequence for power generation: he makes his backswing and drops it very casually. And then you can clearly see the acceletarion his arm picks as it approaches the lowest point - coming close to hip for comfortable height shots - and further towards contact.

Here what you possibly were referring to happens: legs get loaded as backswing comes to it's end and drop begins. Then leg drive delivers major acceleration. This sequence allows players to line up the swing at the initial phase and only go fully in rather close to contact, making late fine-tune adjustments work within powerful strokes.
Some players apply longer pendulum, like this guy (despite quite flattish ball striking):


Some, like Roger, mostly dropped the pronounced pendulum (big or small) from their stroke production because... because they can :-D I believe it’s much easier to learn going from pronounced pendulum drop (complete the backswing back high) and later, if naturally fitting, abbreviate it by making loop more compact, drop + straighten the arm simultaneously, etc. I also believe swinging back straight down with no drop is not good techniques.
 
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Curious

Legend
Don't watch your partner hitting the ball. Unless thats a really hot chick.
Your eyes should be on the guy/gal on the otherside.
I’ve always wondered about that and thought of asking people here. I want to see where my partner is and what sort of shot he’s hitting. I have a habit of doing that although I didn’t learn it from anyone.
 

spaceman_spiff

Hall of Fame
I’ve always wondered about that and thought of asking people here. I want to see where my partner is and what sort of shot he’s hitting. I have a habit of doing that although I didn’t learn it from anyone.
You should be able to infer where your partner is and what kind of shot he’s going to hit by the path of the incoming ball. Your partner is going to be where the ball is. His options will be determined by his location, the trajectory of the ball, and your opponents’ positions.

You can get all of the information you need about how and where the ball is travelling by the time it passes you, so from that point, it’s better to watch what your opponents are doing, especially the net man.
 
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